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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Milling Machines

I saw the post about drill presses and the suggestion to get a milling machine instead. Does anyone know of any that are geared more toward a shadetree mechanic rather than a machinest. I have no idea how much they are either. I would hope under $1,000.

Any ideas/suggestions?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 03:57 PM
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Re: Milling Machines

There's a device referred to as a mill/drill, that can be bought in that price range. They are of course a lot smaller and lighter than a Bridgeport or equivalent, and don't have a head that will swivel, but will do reasonable work withing their limitations. They're bench-top machines.

The problem is that some are quite crappy and others are as good as a 'real' machine, just smaller. If you don't know machinery and what makes it good or bad, you should get the advice of someone who does before laying down good dollars.

And for two or three thousand you can get a used Bridgeport-type and have a real machine, if you have room and a floor that will support a couple of tons in a small area..
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 04:30 PM
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Re: Milling Machines

DOn't buy a cheapie you will only be disapointed. Every year I go to sales at a few trade schools near me and routinly see decent "Shade tree mechanic quality" Bridgeport Knee mills sell for around 1000.00 they may need a little work but for the most part are servicable... The lathes they sell are for the most part junk,, They just seem to destroy the lathes, but the mills survive... Some day I will buy one, I have been holding out for some of the newer machines to be replaced with cnc items..
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 05:29 PM
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Re: Milling Machines

I just recently acquired a drill press that had a mill type table mounted on the drill press table. Basically it had the T-slots and such needed to bolt items down to it and had handles to move the table in the X and Y co-ordinates. The drill press has a taper chuck so it would be possible to use end mills and such with the proper adapters. That way you'd have a drill press and semi-mill.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 06:22 PM
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Re: Milling Machines

In the past many years manufacturing of everything has moved overseas making many machine shops go under so there are lots of use machine tools on the market. In any major city you can find a used machine tool dealer and if you want a small knee mill I'm betting that they would trip over themselves to try and sell you one.

If all else fails DoAll is still around aren't they?

Bridgeport has been out of business for years…… only us old farts remember when those things were new. Bet I can still rebuild a 2J head, belts, bearings, shives in two hours or less…..
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 07:43 PM
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Re: Milling Machines

I bought one from Harbor Freight about 5 years ago. It normally sold for 999 but they had it for 600 in their club discount. Works great. I've seen used bridgeports for the same money around here.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2004, 09:14 PM
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Re: Milling Machines

FWIW, back in the mid '80s, I bought a knock off of the real deal Bridgeport. With all the fru-fru (power feed table, a decent collet assortment, "digital" readouts, small tool asst., etc), it was about $2k...50% of the stripped Bridgeport. One of my machinest buds came over to set it up with me...brought all his gauges & scrappers...was shocked to find it accurate *and* tight.

Keep in mind that was 20 years ago and we only used it occasionally (5-10 hrs/week)...not 2 shifts, 16 hours a day, 6 days a week like most shops which typically would need rebuilds/trueing yearly . It performed admirably...despite my limited knowledge & shadetree methods at the time.
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