Jump to content

Milling Machine


Recommended Posts

If you have the money you should maybe look at Sherline web site before you buy, there is also Taig and a few others that are better. This is my option, and I have all Sherline equipment, but it does come down to you and how much you want to spend. The add-ons is what is going to cost you in the long run,try and get the best package deal you can. If you go with Sherline tell them that you are retired and you will get a discount.They stand by there product 100% all the time. do yourself a favor and check them all out before you make a buy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahoy Dragzz  :D

 

For model shipbuilding I find a Dremel mounted in a drill press with an XY table sufficient for most milling needs

 

Here is a link to my set up

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/1643-x-y-attachment-for-dremel/?p=54766

 

The problem I found when I did my research was that most mills require an upgrade to achieve the speeds needed to mill at the scale that we require. This was not a problem for the Dremel. This scale also does not require the power that most mills provide.

 

Proxxon also makes a hobby mill http://www.proxxontools.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=63&idcategory=31

Blue Ensign has had very good success with this product.

 

These will be my next purchases

Dividing attachment

http://www.proxxontools.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=66&idcategory=31

Z axis fine adjustment

http://vanda-layindustries.com/html/mill_accessories.html

 

The extras needed to mill can easily exceed the cost of the mill. Another item to consider. One day I may own a full sized mill but when that day comes I will take the experience learned with my set up to make that purchase. Good luck with whatever path you choose

Edited by JPett
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow,  J.Pett - thank you.  Just what I have been looking for.  

 

I have checked out the other mills but they always seemed too much for what I have been considering.  The Dremel in a Drill press is a good idea (but I need a better drill press, the dremel press - at least the one I got - isn't true so it doesn't work quite right).

 

However, that proxxon hobby mill ... now we are talking!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sherline makes a kit to overdrive their mill.   Possible that it might fit the Micromark.  For the money, they're not bad machines.   I have the mini version which I modded for 12,000 rpm or so... In hindsight, I should have bought the Sherline version of MM's R8 or the R8.  Bigger is sometimes better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the things I've been considering is to continue with my Proxxon Micromot 50/E (5,000rpm- 20,000) but to add a Proxxon MB 200 drill stand and the KT 70 table. The mill MF 70 has exactly the same speed range (albeit with a higher power of 100W) but I'm still trying to find out if the MB 200 drill stand can really be used with fine vertical adjustment as a milling device. Does anyone have any knowledge of this combination?

 

Am I right in thinking that speeds of 20,000 rpm suit milling wood with small mills (about 1mm diam)  very well?
 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahoy Mates :D

 

Here is a link to upgrade the Micro-Mark Milling Machine and some others

 

http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2560&category=

 

 

Tkay11: I don't have a tach on my Dremel but don't find much difference in the speed range when milling. I think once you go over 5K it is irrelevant. I do find the higher speeds will burn the wood faster. As for the "X" axis that was another reason I went with the Vanda Lay. 

Edited by JPett
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahoy Mates :D

 

Here is a link to upgrade the Micro-Mark Milling Machine and some others

 

http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2560&category=

 

That's the one I've seen and fits all the mills coming out of Central Machine.  The Sherline is similar but designed for their equipment.   Be very aware... it kills the warranty as the bearings are rated for the higher rpm.  They need to be run in and watched for heating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahoy NMBrook :D

 

The higher end Dremel and Proxxon offerings are designed for some side loading. Not quite what one might need when milling a piece of 3/4" steel but enough to last years on small pieces of hardwood in a mill configuration. I am also sure there is some deflection which to date I can not measure but for the hobbyist on a budget I highly recommend this set up over a full on mill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been shopping these mills for awhile now. The bottomline for wood work is rpm. The Proxxon or the Dremel are the only two meeting the 20,000 rpm need for working hardwood. Between the two, for my needs, the Proxxon is much more staple and will hold to much tighter tolerances. Cost, the Proxxon is almost half the price @ $400 vs the Microlux @ $795. 

I would be using it primarily for inlay work. Or flush-setting hinges and other metal work. I think for my purposes, the Proxxon will be sitting on my workbench after the first of the year.

I should add as other uses, any joinery I would do in the cabinet shop or post and beam work I can replicate in my ships. 

 

Warm Regards,

 

BIll

Edited by Bill Hime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Nigel for the clarification and to JM Pett for the advice about speeds. It does sound as though the Proxxon MF 70 is the way to go as so many on this forum use it happily.

 

I'll still wait to find out more about using my Proxxon Micromot 50/E in the MB 200 drill stand as the stand is advertised as allowing milling work with the mini-drill but I can't see how it allows for fine vertical adjustment as there are no manuals available online for this particular stand.

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have been looking at Mills for awhile now and had almost decided on the Microlux micro.  The I read all your comments about rpms needing to be 20k or higher.  The top speed for the Microlux micro is listed as 2,800.  I have asked Chuck P, as model designer to comment on his experience with the Microlux Micro. I am hoping some other owners will comment.

 

In my research I have found negative comments about the Proxxon MF70 on Amazon.  There are a few comments about wobble, x or y table with too much play, etc. But, the cost is the best price to buy into milling. The Microlux looks great and has a lot of attachments to play with but there is that 2,800 rpm cap which I did not realize might be too great a limitation.

 

So I am in kind of a quandary, the Dremel work table is pitiful for this purpose.  The Proxxon drill stand with x-y and rotary drill (I only have dremel) or Vandalay equipment would cost a good portion of the price of a stand alone machine. And Byrnes does not make one :)

 

Being a milling beginner, I do not want to be disappointed problems with the equipment itself while learning.

 

What's a poor boy to do!

 

Richard T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any of the mills you guys are talking about but I have used the Sherline and Taig and can say they are both good machines for the tiny stuff.  Rpm is definitely a big consideration and the faster the better when cutting wood or brass especially when using those tiny endmills.  Keep in mind the actual machine will only be half the cost in the long run.  All the accessories you'll need will easily cost more than the machine itself.  Adding vises,  indexers, buying all the cutting tools,  adding a DRO can double the price easily.  Don't skimp on the cutting tools,  buy good quality endmills,  carbide if possible.  

 

I have a small manual Hardinge TM UM milling machine with a Bridgeport M head mounted on it that I rebuilt in my shop at home which was originally 4250 top speed.  I quickly changed the motor and bearings in the head and now can run it at 12000 top end,  what a difference

 

Jim Byrnes

Model Machines 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I originally bought a Microlux mill to test my block making concepts.  At 2500 rpm it was the same as the Sherline buut only about $200 cheaper.  I am one of those guys who prefers to use hand tools when making parts for my models.  I will take a sharp chisel over a mill any day of the week.  But to mass produce parts it just wasnt a consideration so I took the plunge.  

 

After about 6 months,  I had successfully set up a method for the mill to cut blocks.  I did not find that the 2500 rpm was a problem at all.   The Microlux is a heavy and sturdy machine.   It performed well.   But after 6 months I was producing 20,000 blocks per month.  I was probably using the mill more often than most here would ever need.   So about two months ago I sold the Microlux and bought a Sherline.  It was the same speed.   I still dont see a reason to have more speed.  But that doesnt mean that if I eventually did upgrade it for more speed I woudnt be happy.

 

The Sherline is actually lighter built and seems more fragile.   The Microlux was a heavy machine and could take a beating....BUT

 

The smoothness of the Sherline is far superior to the Microlux.  The movements of the X and Y tables are incredibly precise and very very smooth.   The movement in teh Microlux is a bit primitive and it has a lot of slop.   The set up time for the Microlux took so much longer because I had to account for the slop and loose-play in the X and Y axis.  You learn to adjust but the results spoke for themselves.

 

I have had far fewer rejects and much less tear-out of the wood using the Sherline.   The smooth precise operation gives you more control to maintain a consistent speed of the x and y tables....this produces a much cleaner part.  The number of accessories is also better for the Sherline.    

 

Do I need more power and more speed (RPM)???   I dont really know...but the 2500-2800 rpm on the Sherline seems to be more than enough. The finish and clean surface of the wood (boxwood and Swiss Pear) tells me that the the speed is just fine. I think its important to recognize what the proper feed speed of your work should be and not rush the operations...that will give you a problem.  Once again I am really abusing these machines.   They are being used 4 or 5 days a week for hours at a time.   My 17 year old son uses it with less care than I do...it has been holding up well and I literally make 20,000 blocks per month on it.  I cut wood anywhere from 1/16" thick to 3/16" thick...the larger sizes require multiple passes with the endmills....Before making a decision I recommend visiting a friends shop to sit and use theirs and discuss the pros and cons...you have to see and feel the machine at work.  Having used both brands in a short time I feel qualified to make the comparison....The Sherline is well worth the extra $200.

 

Chuck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chuck,

I appreciate your time in providing that comprehensive answer.  It is exactly what I am looking for. 

I don't have anyone nearby that has this equipment or I would visit them, In fact, I have not located a hobbyist or build club in GA. One reason why this site is so helpful to me.

 

By the way, lucky for you NJ is so far away or I would turn your answer into an invitation to visit :)

 

Richard T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard

 

This machine is in my home shop.  I use it for milling boxwood,  pear, maple and a little aluminum or brass but 99% wood.  Chuck is right about the speeds and feeds and having the right combination.  The higher speeds are also a lot more forgiving  than the low on the tiny tools.  

 

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the 5400......

 

It can be bought here the cheapest that I have seen.   There is an instant $25 coupon and free shipping.

 

http://www.discountcampus.com/cgi-bin/webc.exe/store/st_prod.html?p_prodid=4615

 

Its about $700

 

In comparison,  the Mocrolux is $500 plus about $45 for shipping....It would have also been some additional sales tax in NJ for me so the cost difference for me was only about $130

 

For you it would be only about $150 more for the Sherline but you then have to spend $$ on hold down clamps and endmills....the endmill chuck etc....the same is true if you bought the Microlux.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...