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Old 08-11-2011, 11:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Harbor Freight Mini mill #44991

ya I know but its a fawking Seig X2 clone the same as the one from grizzly, wholesale tool and everyone else. Just better shipping charges and a R8 collet.
So can anyone else think of a PORTABLE mill for doing gunsmithing work for $600ish? Advice on this SIZE mill?

I want this to become my "inside" mill for doing shit like milling dovetails, sights and small gunsmithing work with nothing over a 1/2" endmill.

I see littlemachineshop offers thier what I can assume "modified" version of it with a belt drive and brushless http://littlemachineshop.com/3900 but is it worth it plus shipping? Eventualy I was going to convert the HF unit to belt drive but who knows.

also advice on the cheapest for sets of collets/endmills? Its been a while since I had to buy my own

Thanks
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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http://www.shars.com

Shars.com for the collet sets

as far as the chinese mini mills go they all need a little tweaking for accuracy anyways... mostly the "nicer" ones just have a better bondo job on the castings and shiny paint

if you have to pull it apart and clean the sand out of the spindle bearings and deburr the gibs you might as well pay less for the iron
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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my buddy bought one, brought it home, chucked a piece of steel in, and took it back.


he said it was terrible, fresh out of the box it was a piece of junk. (an he like i are always buying HF)
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Aww, its cute. I dont know how much actual milling you plan to do with it, but I would have my doubts about how well that thing would handle a 1/2" endmill. Kinda of suprising that has an R8 considing its size.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mini-lathe/mini-mill page

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GrizHFMinimill/
(there are many mini mill yahoo groups, but most have <50 posts/month, effectively dead)
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Given the need for portability, I might be tempted to go with these over the HF piece - http://www.sherlinedirect.com/index....&category_id=2

If you can get past that need, an old knee mill for the same price will be an infinitely better machine.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the Micromark version (I think it has different X,Y graduations than the HF), and it's great for doing light work on guns. I purchased it used on Craigslist in mint condition for around $300 or $400. I use it for drilling small holes in hardened pieces with carbide bits and for drilling precise patterns. I also use it to chuck pieces up for polishing (guide rods, pins, etc.). I'm also going to start using it for trimming brass once I get the proper shit.

I have never used it for milling as I don't believe it is rigid enough to mill through hardened steel (like dovetails for sights), but I could be wrong. Overall, I like the mill, but if I was going to be using it for any serious gunsmithing work, I would upgrade to a full size unit. It's not a precision mill, but it beats the shit out of a drill press becuase of the table.

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Old 08-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just got rid of an old "Benchcraft" mill that was pretty nice for its size. Try to find one of those instead. Heavy as hell and will last a lifetime.

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m...ullfrontal.jpg

They are rare, but might be worth tracking down.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Spend a little more and get a real mill/drill.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I got one from Homier (parking lot truck sale) it was only like $300 bucks. It's alright for what it is. I did change it over to belt drive with the kit from littlemachineshop.com and added the gas cylinder lift upgrade too. Also put some epoxy in the column and built a big thick washer for the back of the column where it swivels to spread the load from the nut over a wider area. Most of these upgrades are mentioned on that yahoo group posted above.

I have used mine quite a bit for different random crap. Most the time when I am facing something I use a carbide insert face mill type tool that's about 1.25" and it works great.

Just don't go making huge cuts and hogging stuff out... Take your time and it'll do pretty well! Works really well on plastic and pretty good on aluminum. Steel can be a slow process sometimes. Drilling anything larger than about a half inch hole is pretty much annoying as hell cause you will overload the motor protection and have to reset it a hundred times to get through.

I think they are pretty hard to beat for gunsmithing and other small stuff. I have used mine for r/c cars and paintball related stuff a lot.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I wouldn't let a gun anywhere near that thing. I consider a 'mini' mill something like a Powermatic.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Don't do it!!!!!!!
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, READ the post please

Small mill, PORTABLE, that means under 300lbs ish. Around $600 bucks.

If i am spending more than that i am buying a REAL mill, used, from a wide assortment of places. If i am buying a mill larger than that and i will be getting a full size mill, not a halfway inbetween.

Small, benchtop mill.

People are making these cnc, they cant suck that bad
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know you only want to spend $600 but this one is slightly more and is getting pretty good reviews. Its also pretty easy to convert to a 3 axis CNC machine. R-8 taper and VFD included and its 290 lbs.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Dril...th-Stand/G0704
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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People are making these cnc, they cant suck that bad
Uh huh, and what are they running for feed rates, depth of cut, and in what material?

Even smaller dovetails get into a lot of tool contact in a hurry. Have others done this with this unit?

R8 collets, $65 for the set, comes with the rotary holder which I think is kinda handy:
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...PARTPG=INLMK32

fscaug will get you free shipping
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Have you considered an old Unimat sl 100 or db 200 or are they to small?

I have one, they come on a nice wood box and for small jobs ( and I do mean small) they are cool.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm the first one to counter the argument to buy American old iron for a number of reasons, but in this case, I think it's gonna be too small to be of any real use.

Harbor Freight used to sell a glorified drill press with R-8 spindle and draw bar that was way better than those tiny little toys. Sadly, I'm afraid they've discontinued them, but that would be a good compromise between a tiny little toy and a 1000# mill/drill and the price would likely be close.

When cutting dovetails, that thing would either bog down, or have to cut so slowly that you'd be better with a file and hacksaw.

edit-the one I'm referring to is listed on this page, scroll down a bit. http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/...s/versions.htm it's the HF 33686

Last edited by PTSchram; 08-13-2011 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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dammit...

save more money and suck it up and wait
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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dammit...

save more money and suck it up and wait
'tis better to have $ in the bank for when a good one comes along than not have $ and be pissed off at what you bought.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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what about this?
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/tls/2545850216.html

(btw, please no one be a dick and snatch it from under me )

what is it a clone of and what price should I offer this dude?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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what about this?
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/tls/2545850216.html

(btw, please no one be a dick and snatch it from under me )

what is it a clone of and what price should I offer this dude?
Thanks, I picked it up this morning!
























On a more serious note, that would be light years ahead of the mini mill.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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what about this?
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/tls/2545850216.html

(btw, please no one be a dick and snatch it from under me )

what is it a clone of and what price should I offer this dude?
Much better than anything HF has to offer...


edit- and I wouldnt pay more than $600 IF I was wanting something that size..

Last edited by Azzy2000; 08-14-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I was going to say 6-800 depending on the area

See:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/2-HP-Mill-Drill/G1006



http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...&PARTPG=INLMK3

http://www.amazon.com/350017-JMD-15-...ata/B0009H5TA0

Magna Mill Drill small shop home shop mill drill from Industrial machinery - YouTube

{edit} HF one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-2-h...ine-33686.html

Last edited by rocket flier; 08-16-2011 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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dude wants 1200, ya fuck that. I can get a new unit with support for that cash
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #25 (permalink)
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what about this?
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/tls/2545850216.html

(btw, please no one be a dick and snatch it from under me )

what is it a clone of and what price should I offer this dude?
Weighs close to 700 pounds, is that portable enough for you?

Those are pretty rare to see used as everyone that has one has three or fifty friends who either want to use it in their shop, or buy it when they're ready to sell. Around here, used they sell for as much as brand new although I did find one yesterday for $600. No, I'm not saying a word about its location as I'm waiting for a check so I can go pick it up!

The round column is less desirable than the square column as it's difficult to keep the head true if you move the head up and down much, but it's a huge PITA to move the head up and down so most leave them put.

Edit-H-F sells damned near the same thing, as does Enco, Wholesale Tool, Homier, etc. If you want a good one, get a Rong-Fu. Yeah, I know, who'd think with a name like that it would be any good?

Last edited by PTSchram; 08-15-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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