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Also, could you let me know if there is any play in the controls for the x-y table?

Richard T

The gibbs on the X-Y are adjustable, like ane good machine should be.  As for the handles to move the table you have to turn it a few degrees before the table moves but I see that on expensive machines too.

 

 

Bob

Edited by Cap'n'Bob
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This is a much more heavily built machine with a very handy 5000 rpm top speed I've not seen on a machine like this before.

 

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4660&category=

 

An important factor for machine tools is that (within reason) the more mass the machine has the better quality cut you'll likely to get.

$699.95 seems a good price compared to some other stuff out there...

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Bob,

I may not be explaining correctly.  Let me try again.  There are customers on Amazon that are describing their dissatisfaction with the Proxxon Mill.  For instance, one wrote "... the z-axis hand wheel had a full 1/4 turn of play". Others mentioned what sounded like similar comments.

If I understand correctly, you are saying that "play" is just the nature of the beast and will be experienced on many different mills?

 

By the way, I really am enjoying the education. Thank you all.

 

Richard T

Edited by rtropp
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Have a Smitty 3 way Midis. Also have an 8" Rotary Table that I plan on making into a divider head with some add on home built attachments. Probably have everything I could need for model building and the means to make fixtures I might need for that hobby.

jud

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Richard,

 

If it's the rpm holding you back, Sherline does make an RPM kit.  It may or may not fit the R8 type of mills from Micromark, Harbor Freight, etc.

 

I have the Mini-Mill from MM and have pointed out elsewhere what I thought were it's good points and it's bad points.  I did modify the drive system to produce about 12,000 rpm at the bit.. + or -. 

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Mark,

I appreciate the insights.  I began considering what I had been told about rpms but it seems that lower rpms could be countered by slower feed rates, so not sure that is significant in my decision process.

 

I guess my holding back is to figure what would be best.  I have bought some tools in the past that were limited, i.e. some dremel and proxxon.  These were learning machines but were fairly inexpensive. I could sell them which would limit the cost to well within reason for something to learn on. 

 

With the mills that does not really seem possible.  The key machines advised by this group seem to revolve around proxxon, micromart and sherline.  all of them involve fairly significant costs so I am taking more time to make the decision. (Heck, for me the shopping is part of the fun.)

 

Proxxon or MM would be least expensive, but once you start buying the necessary accessories the investment runs a lot higher.  I think that the Sherline would give me the most flexibility and the highest quality for the price. Also I suspect that if milling did not work out it would provide the best resale.

 

It is my intention to obtain both a table saw and a mill.  Because of the precision required of these tools it would seem to be a good idea to get the best I can afford.  the table saw will be the Byrnes, so I need to figure what is left over for the mill... and the accessories required.

 

Sherline's web site has some downloads for their mills that show how to set up, and how to use them.  Reading those is my next step.

 

So, I am going to take some time to investigate used mills to see what is available.

 

Thanks for the help. I will continue to post as I learn more.

Edited by rtropp
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Richard

 

Most if not all the metal milling is done at the big shop or what we'll call my day job.  These machines all have 15HP motors on them and 10k to 15k spindles and remove aluminum faster than most people cut wood.  I can turn a 6 x 6 x 6 aluminum block into chips in about 2 minutes with them.  The home shop is dedicated to ship modeling and on occasion something that Donna thinks I should make for the house etc.  

 

The play in the Z axis  you are referring to is called backlash and is present on every machine.  The backlash is the result of the slop as we'll call it between the lead screw and the nut it sits in that is connected to and drives the axis. Obviously there has to be some play in there or the screw and nut would bind.  The better machines have what is called split nuts which are adjustable to remove as much of the backlash as possible.  To remove the backlash you would either move the nuts further apart or closer together to tighten them on the screw.  A 1/4 turn is an awful lot of backlash on a machine that I doubt has adjustable nuts.  Sounds like it needs a new nut or screw or both.   The nuts are usually made out of bearing bronze and the screws out of hardened steel so the nuts wear a lot more than the screws do and they can be replaced when they get really worn out.  I usually keep around .008 backlash on my manual machines.  Another way around working with the backlash is to install a digital read out which is going to be expensive but makes life a lot easier.  

 

Jim.  

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Model engineering is one of my other hobbies Bob and when folks ask what machine to get on any of the other forums I frequent, the answer is always the same: "buy the biggest machine you can afford/have space for" and "you can do small work on large machines but you can't do large work on small ones!"

 

I have quite a large mill in the garage but if I was after something smaller for model boat building I personally wouldn't go for anything smaller than the two I linked.

In fact I think the specs make them almost ideal for the job provided you have the budget and space for one.

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We have been talking about various machines.  Some of us experience and some of us looking to try it out. The problem with trying it out is it pretty expensive for even the least costly machines, and too many of us have ended up upgrading which really adds to the cost. 

 

So, for those of us looking to learn, a cheap machine that is "adequate" would be nice if it was somewhat functional in model building tasks. 

 

I was poking around eBay and I found the product below. It is listed for education and training or crafts.  It is $99 and about $50 for shipping.

Now, I know it will not be a great machine.  But I wonder if it would be decent to learn on and also for some of the basic wood milling tasks that a beginner would try. At @$150 including shipping, it is the least expensive option I have seen but I do not know anything about the machine or its reputation.

 

Was wondering about your thoughts. 

 

post-4218-0-89214000-1384788448_thumb.jpg

 

The description is

Milling characteristics:

    Milling tool is cutter, cutter blade side and in front of all, there is a certain degree of risk, so be sure to use under the guidance of professionals.
    Machine's major components: such as spindle, tailstock, dock, slider, connecting blocks and so all-metal structure, accuracy up to 0.02mm.
    For processing: wood, soft metals (copper, aluminum, etc.), glass, plastic, etc.

Technical parameters:
    1.Motor speed: 20,000 rev / min;
    2.Input voltage / current / power /: 12VDC/2A/6W;
    3.Slide stroke: 30 ~ 50mm;
    4.Chuck :1-6mm;
    5.Vise clamping size: 25 ~ 35mm.

 

This is not computer controlled, that is just what has been put in the name.

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Hi all.

Just jumping in here with my comments and expearance with the Proxxon mill.

Being a ex toolmaker I spent most of my life with mills/lathes and all sorts of machines.

When buying you must look at the hardest and the biggist object you are going to machine.

I have a Proxxon mill and it's well built for Small jobs.

The gib's will need tightening before use as mine when I received it were quite lose.

Very easy job to adjust.

For me it's a very valuable tool to model ship making.

 

Regards Antony.

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Looks like the Unimat (not the old style Unimat but the newer plastic model which is totally unrelated to the old all-metal machines). A quick search will show lots of comments about it if indeed it is the basic Unimat. Most of the comments have been about how limited it is, but of course that is the point.

 

Tony

[EDIT: Antony got in before me. I was replying to rtropp's picture just above Antony's post]

Edited by tkay11
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Much more expensive, but you can do much with a Smithy. Plenty of attachments and tooling available, if you need the high speed, mount your Dremel  on the tool holder or mill whichever will provide the motion needed. I do have a table to get the work closer to the mill that mounts on the cross slide. Not a production machine, but I'm not into producing anything except for my own use. More machine than needed for hobby work, depends on your view. With it, some molding sand, a heat source, patterns and mold boxes you can easily produce any tools or simple machines that  you could ever want. Make your castings from aluminum and mill it on your smithy.

jud

Edited by jud
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just for the interest of those who've been following this topic, I've posted the modifications I made to my Proxxon MB 140 drill stand to make it into a milling machine as well. The link is http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/4539-how-to-modify-proxxon-mb-140-drill-stand-to-act-as-mill/?p=130660

 

Tony

Edited by tkay11
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Hi all,

As you all will know from this thread, I was trying to decide which machine and was having a tough time of it comparing price vs. features. The Sherline, even with its price break, was just outside my price range.

 

Also, I want to learn more about milling, both wood and metal, and learn some of the standard practices in milling. It seemed the Sherline is set up more like a standard mill than the Proxxon and would give me a better feel for standard milling as well as better capacity for milling metals, But as I mentioned, at the present time the Sherline is just outside my price range especially when you consider the accessories that will be required.

 

Then MicroMark put their micro milling machine on holiday sale for $399. So, I pulled the switch and ordered it along with some accessories. (Oh yeah, accessories will end up more than the mill itself.)

 

My rationale for the MM was that it is supposed to be similar to the Sherline in build and features. I will have to see about quality. The attachments should be, on the whole, compatible with Sherline. For instance, it uses an MT1 spindle which is same as Sherline, its hold down provision is 2 'T' slots, also similar to that on Sherline. Since accessories are a big part of the cost, it is my hope to not only have a wider range of suppliers ( i.e., EBay) but also be able to keep the investment in accessories should I need to upgrade. Also, there is a lot of information on the web about using Sherline and its attachments that might help in learning about the MM mill.

 

Well, that's my story for now.

I will update as I get the equipment and begin to use it. We have been hearing a lot about Proxxon and Sherline and this should give us another option to look at.

 

Thanks,

Richard

Edited by rtropp
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