Older Rong-Fu Mill Drill Question

Howdy,
In a few days I will be looking at a mill drill for consideration of purchase, an older 2HP RF-30, and am hoping someone might have some
experience with those. It is an actual "Rong Fu 30" , not rebranded like they all seem to be nowadays, and I am wondering about the general quality of such a machine compared to the more recent iterations of the design.
Anyone ever encountered one of these before?
Also, it is on it's second owner, and has seen some active use. Being a complete neophyte to milling machines, is there anything I should be looking for in terms of wear which wouldn't require me to make measurements which are probably beyond my capabilities?
Thanks for any help,
Jon
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For the RF type and most benchtop mills, getting a model with a square column will be easier to use than a model with a round column.
But if the price is good, settle for a round column model, and maybe a better one will happen to come along later.
I don't own one, but an older model, possibly made in Taiwan, is likely to be a better made machine than the newer ones made in China.
WB ......... metalworking projects www.kwagmire.com/metal_proj.html

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"Wild_Bill" wrote:

Thanks Bill, I certainly will check to see if it is made in Taiwan. I would wait for a square column or a dovetail version, but there as rare as hen's teeth up here, and likely get snatched up pretty quickly.
I think most guys who are going to build a shop are able to get a full knee mill, but right now I'm looking for a bargain to at least have something to play with for awhile, and grow out of at a later date.
Thanks again,
Jon
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Jon Danniken wrote:

Jon, to try to respond to your question: I own an Enco round-column mill drill, have used it little and read up on them quite a bit. I am not aware of any inherent weaknesses or wear points on these. I can'r remember anyone ever having claimed to have worn one out, or even found one in that condition. Usually the poor condition examples have been due to rust, not wear. So try all the controls, check it for signs of crashes, table gouges etc. If everything seems to work, and the price is right, you will probably have a usable machine you can sell later for what you paid. The trump card on these deals is the included (or not) tooling of course.
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What Jon said. These mills are enough of a pain to use that they rarely get worn out, they are either broken or rusty.
The biggest problem on these is the vertical travel. If you set up for an end mill, you don't have enough travel to substitute a drill to hit the same hole without tearing down your setup. They have plenty of power and rigidity: I've ploughed a 5/8" roughing cutter through 1/2" steel in one pass.
RB wrote:

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"RB" wrote:

Thanks, RB, I appreciate your experience. I am interested in what you mean by "crashes," though; what is this and what are signs to look for concerning it?
Thanks,
Jon
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Jon Danniken wrote:

By crash that means when you crank in too much feed and/or too much depth of cut, or maybe your setup isn't secure. With a powerful machine, something has to give. Usually the workpiece is ruined, often the setup is knocked loose, sometimes the tooling can break, but occasionally there can be damage to the machine.
Not speaking from experience on this, but gouges in the table are the most obvious signs.
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On Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:28:36 PM UTC-8, RB wrote:

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Light Tool Supply had written this in response to http://polytechforum.com/metalworking/re-older-rong-fu-mill-drill-question-150515-.htm :
Hello I have a manual for the RF-30 Milling machine I can send you in pdf form if you like. Please email me for free copy
snipped-for-privacy@lighttoolsupply.com
Michael Elson President Light Tool Supply 100 Bayview Dr Suite 1029 Sunny Isles Beach FL 33160 800-526-4956 ext. 107 http://www.lighttoolsupply.com/ ------------------------------------- RB wrote:

##-----------------------------------------------## Delivered via http://www.polytechforum.com/ Metalworking Forums Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - rec.crafts.metalworking - 193737 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
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On Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 11:27:10 AM UTC-8, Jon Danniken wrote:

On Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 11:27:10 AM UTC-8, Jon Danniken wrote:

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wrote:

I bought one from MSC for the company shop around 2000. The Z axis adjustability wasn't as good as the scale indicated. I couldn't position it closer than 0.005" because tightening the lock screws shifted the spindle, and took precision jobs home to my antique Atlas Clausing mill. The Z axis was slightly tilted and the tee slots weren't quite parallel to the X axis travel, so I had to make a custom non-parallel alignment key for the milling vise, by filing the key blank to fit snugly in the tee slot and milling steps on its top to match the slot on the vise. I could work to 0.005" on it but not 0.001".
I bought it to make relay rack control panels, for which it served well.
-jsw
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