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Shynon

Milling machine

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Shynon

So I have an older Atlas TH54 metal lathe that works well.  I am considering a smaller milling machine due to space constraints.  Or a 3 in 1 lathe mill combination machine. Anybody have a smaller mill or 3 in 1 combo machine.

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Myself and 3 of my 'wannabe' machinist buddies (one of whom has one) all agree that the 3in1's are --- well, not so good. The mill on the 3in1 machines that I have been around is a poor excuse to get milling done. The lathe is somewhat better but still not up to what a dedicated lathe is.

 

Obviously the Bridgeport type mills are the first choice but can be pricey. For just general home shop milling this type mill drill below is a pretty decent option, I started out with this type and did a lot of work on it. Its draw back is that you lose your set-up when raising/lowering the column, but as you get used to it there are a lot of work arounds. This one here is from HF and is shown for $1199 (would definitely want to see if a 20% could be used!) But several other sources have similar at similar $ -- or more!

 

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I remembered another mill that HF has that is pretty nice for a home shop, more pricey at $1899. A few more features similar to the Bridgeport mills - its draw back is somewhat limited room under the spindle. I also owned this mill after the mill/drill type and learned just how much a fella can do with a mill, so much so that I ended up with a Bridgeport clone --- now thats a MILL!!

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82Caddy

I'd check out some grizzly machines.  Seems they have better reviews and a wider product selection but aren't going to be your HAAS/bridgeport type of machines.

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For sure others do have these 2 types of mills - like Grizz - HF just had those 2 nice pics of the type they are.

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ri702bill

Shynon:

 

A lot depends on how much vertical room you have and the access opening size to get it there. I wanted a traditional Bridgeport style knee machine, but bought a large benchtop machine instead. I have exactly 7 feet from basement floor to the floor above - between the floor joists. Only one model of Bridgeport is under 7 feet tall - the old style Model M  - it is a 5/6 scaled down version of the J head.

These have not been made for about 50 years - I was looking for a used one that was not all used up.

I scored on a good deal for a new, still in the crate import 110 volt benchtop mill/drill, with the metal base and a 3 axis digital readout. It fits with the motor between the joists just fine. This has the rectangular dovetail column for the head - do NOT waste your money on a round column machine if you plan on milling with it. When you raise the head, it is free to rotate - those do not track true vertically. Check out the comments on the Littlemachineshop.com website  - they have a guide to pick the correct style for the application. Also - if you add a DRO, power it thru a good surge suppressor as they are extremely sensitive to voltage surges or spikes.

 

 

Bill

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40i powered thru APC Supply.JPG

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