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Proxxon Micro Mill vs. Drill Press

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Hi, as a Proxxon Distributor, I would like to address the advantages or disadvantages of the mill vs a drill press. Ultimately, they both can achieve a desired result. The main question is whether you need vertical or "z" dimensional control. As George mentions, the Mill can achieve better results. If all you're trying to do is have somewhat control of your piece, you can probably achieve that with a drill. The results will be satisfactory, but here again accuracy is relevant. The prices are not too different, and if you are spending that kind of money why not spend a small amount more and have the Mill which does it all. I run a number of combination deals, so anyone with an interest PM me for a special MSW deal.



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It's a choice to make depending on what you intend to do with it Walt. I only bought mine because somewhere along the line, I plan to to be scratch-building more and more parts, before diving into the "Dark Side". Building fully-framed models. There's plenty of uses for a drill press as well. 

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I modified my basic Proxxon drill and the basic drill press (together with an x-y table) to act as a mill. You can see how at




It works quite well for me. As I have only worked with wood so far, it seems the sideways forces on the drill are not too much. The only thing is that although the height adjustment (z axis) has about 0.1mm accuracy (each division on the knob is 0.1mm), I find it better to use a template or a measuring device for really accurate height adjustment.


In that posting, I said I'd make a block from Perspex, but although I did buy a block, I'm still using the wood one as it works so well. Also, although I did experiment with removing the depth stop and adding a ball race to make the action extra smooth, in fact I have left the depth stop in and it still works well with the screw from the wood block resting on top of the depth stop screw directly. By the way, the 'bamboo plug.jpg' in the posting is reference to a photo of a plug that I had put in the hole left by the depth screw. Since I no longer use that, it's redundant.


The Proxxon MF 70 is probably the one to go for if you stick to wood, and it really is a very popular wood mill with modellers all over Europe who produce superb results. I'll probably get one as soon as I'm into serious milling as it is the only dedicated mill that I know of that has speeds up to 20,000 rpm.


I had considered the mills that will handle metal as well, but some complain that the speeds of these machines are too low for satisfactory milling in wood (most only reach 2,000 rpm). Despite this concern with speed, there are a very large number of modellers on this forum and on others who use the standard metal mills and produce wonderful work without any apparent problem. I presume they just use slower feed rates for a decent cut.


Some of the French modellers do swear by the heavier duty mill/drill system BFW 40/E which can go up to 6,000 rpm (I'm still thinking about that in preference to the MF 70), and there are some mills such as the Sherline which have accessories to increase their speeds to 10,000 rpm -- but of course all these are far more expensive and perhaps still a bit slow for the very small milling cutters that are used in small scale ship modelling (i.e. 0.6mm).


One last comment about my drill stand. Although the head rotates, it is very easy to adjust it to a perfect 90 degree vertical when measured from side to side (use a set square to do so). However there is about 0.5 degrees deviation from the vertical front to back which can't be adjusted. For the depths to which I drill, that deviation is of course not noticeable, but it's worth mentioning or looking out for if you're a fanatic.



Edited by tkay11
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