Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Mill / Drill Opinions?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by unixadm
    Thanks guys.

    Can anyone recommend a good machining book? I'd really like to buy a good book and read up to educate myself before I buy much in the way of tooling.

    Thanks!

    I'd go to one of the big book stores and pick one out that suits your level of expertise.

    The Machinery Handbook is more a must-have reference for when you get into the actual machining projects.

    I'd recommend buying only tooling as the jobs dictate. Don't go crazy buying things you think you might need someday. You can spend hundreds of dollars a week for years on end and not have it all so it's not unusual to make a shopping list as jobs come up.

    After the machine, here is a partial list for starters. Brands and styles will have to be decided on.

    R8 collet set by 1/16's
    Drill chuck (1/2 cap, keyed or keyless)
    Drill set- preferably fractions, numbers and letter set
    Common tap sets, plug and bottom for #10 thru 3/4"
    5" or 6" vise (remember you have a small table, 6" seems a bit large to me)
    Clamp kit
    Measurement tools if you don't already have. Calipers and mics
    A few end mills - you will buy per job mostly. Too many flavors to hope to have them all
    DRO (nice to have but not absolutely required)


    The list could go on and on. Indexer/spacer, sine table, tapping head, collet indexer etc. These you buy as you need if the job justifies.

    Are you real sure you want to do this???


    Keep us posted.

    Tom

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by wb5jhy
      I'd go to one of the big book stores and pick one out that suits your level of expertise.

      The Machinery Handbook is more a must-have reference for when you get into the actual machining projects.

      I'd recommend buying only tooling as the jobs dictate. Don't go crazy buying things you think you might need someday. You can spend hundreds of dollars a week for years on end and not have it all so it's not unusual to make a shopping list as jobs come up.

      After the machine, here is a partial list for starters. Brands and styles will have to be decided on.

      R8 collet set by 1/16's
      Drill chuck (1/2 cap, keyed or keyless)
      Drill set- preferably fractions, numbers and letter set
      Common tap sets, plug and bottom for #10 thru 3/4"
      5" or 6" vise (remember you have a small table, 6" seems a bit large to me)
      Clamp kit
      Measurement tools if you don't already have. Calipers and mics
      A few end mills - you will buy per job mostly. Too many flavors to hope to have them all
      DRO (nice to have but not absolutely required)


      The list could go on and on. Indexer/spacer, sine table, tapping head, collet indexer etc. These you buy as you need if the job justifies.

      Are you real sure you want to do this???


      Keep us posted.

      Tom
      Tom,
      Fantastic post and good starter list. It's easy to get caught up in a frenzy when you first start out (I wonder how I know ) with tools like this. It usually works out that you spend more on tooling that machinery. Your advice on purchasing things as jobs come up is right on the money. I have got most of the things on your list and have added a few others based on specific jobs (the Kurt Minilock's or the Miteebites as an example).

      David seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders so I think he will approach it with caution. One thing I will say, I have a 6" vise on my mill/drill and now would not want to be without it. It does have a large footprint on the small table but there hasn't been an instance where I thought it was too much. In fact, its large capacity has proved incredibly useful on more occasions than I could have imagined. I also picked up a set of hardened step keys so the vice could locate on the T-slots and be easily moved if necessary. The alignment with them is also right on the money.
      Dynasty 350DX
      Dynasty 200DX TigRunner
      MM 350P
      MM Passport Plus
      Spectrum 375 Extreme
      08' Trailblazer 302

      Comment


      • #33
        Thanks for the info guys. It's great.

        I was not planning to run out and buy every possible item at the start. I'd just like to get some of the basics so I can experiment and learn. Again, the motivating factor here is the 'drill' aspect of the machine at the start. Having the milling capability is just a big plus, but will be a very sought after feature in the coming months. So buying a machine to serve both purposes would be ideal.

        I did some research on the Mill/Drill Yahoo Group and people seemed to like the 6" vise on these size of machines. It is a biggie, but it gives you a lot of flexbility. Kurt was the most recommended vise, both there and on this forum so that is what I'll buy. I'm finalizing my choice of books (Thanks Barry) and will place the order today with Amazon.

        The only thing I have yet to finalize is which machine and that just takes time. I'm not in need of one today, so unless a sweet deal comes along I'm going to take my time, do as much research as possible so that when I order the machine I know I made the right choice based upon the requirements I have.

        Again, thanks for all of the information. It's extremely helpful and is very much appreciated.

        Thanks!!
        David W.
        Machines: Millermatic Passport; Millermatic 350P, Dynasty 300DX TIGRunner, TD Cutmaster 51 Plasma, Hypertherm 190C Plasma,
        Machinery and Project Pictures: Click Here

        Comment


        • #34
          David,

          One more book from my library (aka the Porcelain Throne Room) and a favorite :

          New Encyclopedia of Machine Shop Practice, George W. Barnwell, 1941. Usually around $10 or so, although this seller has one for $5 http://www.continentalbooks.com/books.cgi?bk=9319

          Truly a classic and well worth the money and the time to read. Hundreds of superb line drawings. Not much space devoted to CNC or CAD-CAM
          Barry Milton
          ____________________

          HTP Invertig 201
          HTP MIG2400

          Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
          Clarke Hotshot

          Comment


          • #35
            Here's acouple of good ones and the price is not too bad.


            http://www.grizzly.com/products/item...emnumber=G4985


            http://www.grizzly.com/products/item...emnumber=G4986

            Dennis
            Dennis


            Thermal Arc 185-TSW
            Millermatic Challenger 172
            VictorO/A
            Atlas Craftsman 12 by 24 Lathe
            Esab PCM-875
            Wholesale Tool Mill-Drill

            Comment


            • #36
              Well I made my decision. I'm going to order up the mill from http://www.industrialhobbies.com It has the best specs size wize of any of the dove tail column mill/drill clones. A Kurt D688 will be right at home on this machine. I'll order it with the single phase and then replace the motor down the road with a Leeson 2HP 3-phase running off of a Hitachi or similar 3HP VFD with a remote operator panel.

              I'm going to add a power downfeed and a power table feed for now. If I do decide to take on CNC machining, I'll purchase another mill just for that purpose. I'll start putting some dollars away for a Tapmatic auto-reversing tapping head and some other tooling and cutters. To start I'll just add a nice Jacobs ball bearing chuck to do some drilling, along with the Kurt vise.

              I looked at a lot of machines, but shipping was the deal killer on most. Several of the machines would ship from the East coast and shipping was running about $500 with terminal pickup. IH has free shipping.
              David W.
              Machines: Millermatic Passport; Millermatic 350P, Dynasty 300DX TIGRunner, TD Cutmaster 51 Plasma, Hypertherm 190C Plasma,
              Machinery and Project Pictures: Click Here

              Comment


              • #37
                Looks like a great choice. Eager to hear feedback once you start making chips.

                BTW, you'll also want a clamping set, similar to this:
                http://www.wttool.com/c/13500003p
                Measure your t-slots before ordering, most M/D slots are not the same as a B'port.

                Best place I've found for Tapmatic heads is eBay. I've freshened up quite a few for myself & friends, not too difficult to clean and check the bearings and the clutch plates. Figure six hours on the first one , about two hours after that.
                Barry Milton
                ____________________

                HTP Invertig 201
                HTP MIG2400

                Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                Clarke Hotshot

                Comment


                • #38
                  That sure does look like a nice machine based on the specs. I would like to see one up close and play with it, but your eventual review would also I have been looking at the different offerings and would also lean towards this machine. The only real concern I have about it it parts availability. I am not sure whether any parts would be necessary, but if they were, can you get them? I assume that it is easier to get Rong Fu parts in the future. Maybe not.

                  Anyway, I am envious. I wish I could justify it myself.

                  Joshua

                  BTW, does anyone know whether it is possible to use this machine as a lathe by turning the head 90 degrees and mounting tools to the X/Y table? I have seen where people use standard Bridgeports as lathes in a bind.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    You can do a little lathe work in a mill by chucking round work in a collet and mounting the cutting tool to the lathe table. move the work down the tool bit by advancing the down feed.

                    Dennis
                    Dennis


                    Thermal Arc 185-TSW
                    Millermatic Challenger 172
                    VictorO/A
                    Atlas Craftsman 12 by 24 Lathe
                    Esab PCM-875
                    Wholesale Tool Mill-Drill

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Here is a smaller version from Grizzly.
                      It's pretty light but interesting as
                      far as features.

                      http://www.grizzly.com/products/G0463

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Additional IH Mill questions

                        Originally posted by ichikuma
                        The manual machine operates fine. I haven't had any trouble out of it. Most people switch the motor out as soon as they get it for more HP. I'm going to keep the motor on it that came with it. Like I said, it's just a finishing mill for me. Operation is nice and smooth and it keeps tolerances so I'm happy with it. It's no louder than a Bridgeport, it's gear driven in the head so you always have that mesh of the gears sound.

                        For the price and the extra large table compared to some of the other import mills out there, it really can't be beat IMHO.

                        Thanks,

                        Craig

                        I am seriously looking at buying one of these also, and have a few questions for you. Hopefully you won't mind. What kind of tolerances are you holding with these mills? How well does EACH axis repeat, especially Z? How rigid is the quill, and dovetail z-axis? How hard is it to crank the Z-axis up and down with the manual setup? I am worried about this since it is in the back, which seems like a bad place to me. I will need better access with it in this location (or maybe just adapt a motor with a manual toggle switch to drive it up and down from the front). Have you done anything to the ways or anything else for that matter since you have owned it, such as lapping?

                        What increments are the dials in, and how many per revolution? Does the Z-axis have a dial on it, or just the quill fine feed? I am really unclear on how the depth measurements work on these, as well as an adjustable depth stop of some sorts. I would like to get a Newall 80 for it also, but that might have to wait a little while (vise and tooling is more important).

                        Finally, can you tell me what you think of the gear head in general? I like the quick speed change, but can you really use reverse (say manual tapping without a tapping head)? Do you get a clunk?

                        Thanks for any answers you can provide. IH website is not very good, and does not tell much about the machine. They seem to be more concentrated on CNC stuff, which is fine I guess, if it works for them.

                        Thank You!
                        Joshua

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          ... but can you really use reverse (say manual tapping without a tapping head)?
                          Whether belt drive or gearhead, tapping without a tapping head is brutal on the machine. It places great stress on both the motor and the drivetrain. It is possible - I do it on occasion - but it's not something you want to do on a regular basis.

                          Why not???

                          No depth control. Not a problem on through holes, but a tap-breaker on blind holes.

                          No torque control. A real issue on smaller taps, or when tapping harder materials.

                          No instant reverse. You have to flip the switch & restart the motor in reverse.

                          No fast reverse. Tapping heads run faster in reverse than in forward, which speeds up the work.

                          High quality heads (Tapmatic, Procunier, Ettco, etc.) sell for pennies on the dollar on eBay. They are well worth the money!
                          Barry Milton
                          ____________________

                          HTP Invertig 201
                          HTP MIG2400

                          Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                          Clarke Hotshot

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Joshua,

                            I know you didn't pose your questions towards me, however I will try to answer what I know and also give you some additional information on the machine itself.

                            There are plenty of Rong-Fu 45 clone machines on the market. Enco, Grizzly, Lathemaster, Penn Tool Co., Wholesale Tools, Harbor Freight, etc.

                            From what I can tell, the best machines are from Lathemaster, Industrial Hobbies and Wholesale Tools. The other machines have lighter grade castings that I'd steer clear of.

                            The Lathemaster (http://www.lathemaster.com) was originally imported from the Tong Yong tool company. That company was bought out by another, but they still produce the same unit. What Aaron at Industrial Hobbies did was increase the specs of the machine to make the machine that he offers unique. His machine provides much more spindle to table clearance over the more typical RF-45 clones (23+ versus 18). His machine has a much larger table with axis travels of 30x12+ which is a considerable amount more than the other machines. He also had extra stiffening ribs installed in the base and the column for added support and strength. Lastly the gears were hardened for higher RPM operation. All but the 2-Speed RONG FU JFC-45N2F are rated to run at a max of ~1900rpm.

                            If you looked at the pictures posted in this thread that show the Industrial Hobbies Mill with CNC, you'll notice that the gear levers are gone. IH actually replaces it with a fixed belt drive with a 3-phase motor if you so desire for maximum performance. The gear drive is good for 3000rpm or so, with a belt you can go higher.

                            I spoke with Aaron for 45 minutes on the phone. I'm convinced that this mill is probably the very best clone you can buy. If you want the best quality, I'd say buy a real Rong Fu. They created the design, others just copy it. However I think as time has gone on, the clones have gotten right up there in quality.

                            Now I'm fully expecting to receive my machine and promptly tear it down before ever turning it on. I will spend over a week, part time lapping the ways, polishing the gibs, adjusting backlash and tramming the unit once assembled. At any point that you move the machine, you just re-tram it. So I would not expect this machine to arrive and I'd jump into using it with 100% confidence. The machine will operate much better with a litle prep work up front.

                            Motor and gear wise, I plan to run the stock 2HP 220V single phase motor for a few months. After which I'll add a 3HP Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) with a 2HP Leeson motor to gain full control speed control. Tapping wise, I 100% agree with Barry. Do not rely on the machines reverse capability to withdrawl taps. Get yourself a good Tapmatic self-reversing head and you'll be set. This is true for most machines.

                            I'm not the only one on this forum who is waiting on one of these machines. If you want some additional info and groups to do some research in, please shoot me an email and I'll send them over to you. I don't think you'd be dissapointed with this machine. It's a lot of machine for the price. On top of th at Aaron who own Industrial Hobbies is EXTREMELY sharp. The guy knows his stuff and even with his busy schedule he talked with me on the phone for over 45 minutes, telling me about the mill, what he does, how things work, etc. He told me about some of his future CNC kits and how he conducts business. Overall, I came away from that call VERY impressed. CNC is how he makes his money and he's currently replacing his old RF-45 clone with one of the machines he now sells. If he can use it for his production runs for the products he sells, it would be more than enough for my shop. He is focused on CNC and does it well, but he also sells a good machine to pair with his kits and technology to get the job done. Just my two cents worth.
                            David W.
                            Machines: Millermatic Passport; Millermatic 350P, Dynasty 300DX TIGRunner, TD Cutmaster 51 Plasma, Hypertherm 190C Plasma,
                            Machinery and Project Pictures: Click Here

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Wow, Thanks both to Barry and David!

                              Barry,
                              I asked about the tap reversing for a couple reasons. I am well aware that a tapmatic head works well, and have used them personally before. With that said, I have also done a lot of manual tapping on through holes using the reverse switch only. Set the machine to run slow, coast the tap in, reverse and back out. Never broken a tap with this method, although I have always done it in aluminum with larger threads (#6 and up). Isn't this basically how a tapping head works? I assume the microswtich just hits a relay to reverse motor direction. This is also how a CNC does it, at least the Haas that I have used.
                              No doubt a tapping head is nice, but manual tapping should be fine also. What am I missing here?

                              David,
                              Thank you for the lengthy post. After all, it is your fault I am looking into getting a mill! No really, thank you for the information. I have wanted one for a while, years in fact, and now these RF45's look like they would fit my cramped garage. I followed your post and have been doing research for hours upon hours reading as much as I can about the Wholesale Tools, Enco, LatheMasters, and others. I just can't find much info about the IH, except that a few over at CNCZone would buy one. I am going back and forth on a knee mill versus square column. The square column seems to either have less capability in the Z-axis (in regard to ease of use and possibly precision) than a knee mill. I really like the smaller Jet JVM-836. It is more expensive, but has some advantages and disadvantages over the square columns.

                              Advantages:
                              1. More massive, possibly more rigid.
                              2. True turret style head with ram.
                              3. Can buy with 3 phase motor off the bat (saves a few hundred if going VFD).
                              4. Perceived Quality. The Jet's I have used have all been rather nice machines. I have used the older style mini knee mill with a different style head, and it wasn't bad.
                              5. Readily available parts "just in case".
                              6. Real Bridgeport style quill depth stop (I REALLY like this!).
                              7. Quill lock. Do the RF-45's have a quill lock? That is not obvious. I like how the Bridgeport style works (Another Biggie).
                              8. Power feed that is below the table! All the RF-45's power feeds protrude above the table surface! I really don't like this, although I do realize that simply blocking the part up to extend over would probably work.
                              9. Belt drive. Maybe this doesn't matter though.
                              10. Head tilt looks to be easier in that it has a drive for this. Looks to be worm drive.

                              Disadvantages:
                              1. More massive. Maybe this is a problem for people who want to put it in the basement. Going in my garage though. Higher shipping costs?
                              2. Smaller working envelope with less travel in all axis. The Z-axis could probably use an extension block. 14" is probably not enough. Why do mills have maximum clearances equal to the knee travel? Shouldn't the travel roughly be equal to the knee travel PLUS the quill travel. Even then, what about the tool length, vise height, etc? This doesn't make sense to me. A riser seems like it could do wonders here.
                              3. More expensive. I don't mind paying more though for real usable features or quality. I mush prefer quality over price! NO HARBOR FREIGHT for this purchase.
                              4. Speed changes would be harder, although with a VFD, this may not be a problem.
                              5. Probably can't use it for a lathe. Rotated head is too high. It looks like the RF-45 head can be lowered down to the table and rotated to be used like a horizontal or a lathe. Could be wrong here.

                              The Jet would probably be a clear winner for me IF the travels were bigger. I really like the IH for this reason.

                              Thanks for mentioning that the CNC is belt drive. I didn't notice that. I don't see it on their webpage either. I did notice that something did not look right in those pictures, but never realized that the handles were missing. Do you know if that is an available option by itself? Cost? I am looking at the Leeson 3PH motor upgrade and VFD. Do you happen to know about the speed range with that setup, and torque? I know that VFD's are available with constant torque, but I am not sure I fully understand this. Does that mean that motor torque is independent of speed, and if so, in what speed range? I would appreciate any links or knowledge you have on this.

                              As you expect, if I go with any of the RF-45 clones, I also expect to tear the machine down nearly immediately. I would make sure it runs first. I am mostly concerned with fit, FINISH, ACCURACY,
                              REPEATABILiTY, backlash, FLATNESS, etc. I realise that these are small mills, but I don't want to sacrifice these aspects for cost or size. They aren't going to cut like a big mill, but when doing lighter cuts, I expect these features. Otherwise it is a glorified drill press (wait, is that what it really is, J/K).

                              Do you happen to know what the lead screw pitch is, and therefore the handle increments? I am so used to even numbers on the dials (.100" or .200" full rev with .001" increments), I don't want something odd ball. I know a DRO who help, but I don't think that completely solves the issue. Repeated use might fix it, maybe not. It is human feel and touch after all.

                              Finally, do you know whether the z-axis has any dial readouts, or is the concensus that the quill is for fine depth control? I know is has the fine feed, but even that does not seem to be positioned very well for readability.

                              Thank you very much for the help!
                              Joshua

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Joshua,

                                I pretty much gave you all the info I have at present. What I needed was a large drill press, but this machine will do far more than that. I think a lot of guys these days don't realize how handy these square column mill/drills are. I also think the round column mill/drills have created a general dislike of the 'mill/drill' class when milling comes into play. I guess if I had the space and the capability to move a Bridgeport style machine, I'd go that route. However my space is limited and so is my ability to move equipment so I think this machine will do just fine.

                                Overall, I don't think you'll find too many real complaints about these machines from people who own them. There are a lot of people out there who will talk trash about something they have never seen, nor never used. A lot of time it's people being arrogant and ignorant. The only people I take advise from are those who own the machine or are not biased in doing their research. You have a lot of valid questions and I think a call to Aaron would get you the answers you seek. I think he will sell you whatever you want for a price. I didn't want to go overboard right off the bat so I stuck to a stock machine with single phase. Right now I have absolutely no way to do any type of milling. So this machine will immediately open up the possibilities. I guess it all comes down to what you want to pay. I bought a brand new very capable machine for less than a used worn out Bridgeport would cost me. That's a big plus right there. There is quite a following on mill/drills and CNC and I don't think people would spend the time or money outfitting machines such as this if they couldn't get solid, accurate and repeatable results. I was ready to plop down $2200 for a Ellis 9400 drill press, so in reality this isn't much different in terms of price and now I can do milling as well (on a fairly large scale).

                                If you were to convert one of these machines to CNC, I believe they actually use the Z-axis column to plunge the head into the material. For manual work, you would use the quill fine down feed. I do not know if there is an actual Z-axis scale or not. To my knowledge, there is a way to lock the quill into position.

                                As for Jet - I don't really hold them in very high regard over anyone else. They import machines just like everyone else with a different paint job and you pay a premium price. For example they sell a stomp shear that is identical to the one Grizzly sells - the only difference is about $700. Some of their machines are good and some are terrible. This is true for companies like Grizzly - it's really luck of the draw. After all we're dealing with items imported from China based on loose/flexible specifications to keep costs down.

                                The best advice I can give you is to buy what you are most comfortable with. Remember, part of owning a mill is being able to fabricate parts and do things you couldn't right now. If I need a better positive stop for boring, I'll machine one. I actually like this because it will give me a valid project to work on and providing I do it right, I'll have something to be proud of that was designed to suit my needs by the operator of the machine. You can't beat that and best of all, you can do it cheaply if you've got free time on your hands.

                                As for the tapping heads - I believe the self reversing taps actually reverse themselves as the mill continues to run in it's forward speed. Applying pressure turns the tap the same direction as the spindle, letting up puts the tapping head in a sort of neutral (it has a clutch) and retracting the quill will cause it to reverse at a rapid rate for quick removal from the part. I've never used one, but that is what I got out of the quick and dirty research I did on the Tapmatic R series tapping head.
                                David W.
                                Machines: Millermatic Passport; Millermatic 350P, Dynasty 300DX TIGRunner, TD Cutmaster 51 Plasma, Hypertherm 190C Plasma,
                                Machinery and Project Pictures: Click Here

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X