No experience with the mill, but be certain that it is capable of performing
the tasks you may wish to accomplish. It will be VERY limited in its
ability. Likely real nice for miniature work.
I question the claim that it works in both inch and metric. The dial will
be off one way or the other, depending on the screw used.
Tom Del Rosso skrev 2010-10-24 08:01:
I have seen it and handled it on some occasion.
It´s OK for miniature work in soft materials,
but you have to realize that for milling you are
pretty much limited to denitst´s tools.
I don´t think there are any locks on unused movements,
and the height adjustment is fine for miling,
but a pain for drilling.
The machine is basically metric, so an inch will be
25.4 mm on the machine. Of course stuff like T slots
are cut to Proxxon´s own dimensions...
I have some Proxxon accessories used on a larger mill,
and they are OK within their limitations, mostly in size.
I would rate Proxxon as one of the better cheap machines,
with all major parts made of metal at least.
I haven't seen one to check it for rigidity or anything. The only other
comment I can make beyond what's been said is you should make a list of
everything you think you'll want to have in the first year or two you
own it, and price it out as a package.
The Sherline mill is much more common, and there's a much bigger
aftermarket for Sherline mill accessories -- I've ran across two or
three websites that sell Sherline accessories, but none for this guy.
Don't know anything about the seller, saw it yesterday while cruising
though Craigs list:
Proxxon MF-70 Mini-mill with compound table #37110 and
accessories including collet set, clamping set, proxxon
precision vise #24260, proxxon dividing attachment #26264,
several HS steel machining end mill bits ranging from .015"
dia to .125" dia. Original packaging and manual included.
Also included are 3 homemade X,Y,and Z axis crank wheels
to give a larger diameter to the rotation for smoother
movement: the three aluminum crank wheels have been tapped
and threaded for the included screws.
Item is in excellent working condition and is about 5 years old. It has
been used over that period, but not heavily. The precision vise #24260
has surface discoloration (visable in photo) but is in perfect working
order. The compound table has several nicks in the clamping grooves
from bolts, but no flaws in the table surface itself (see photos).
New this item costs: Mill - $350, Precision Vise - $68, Dividing
attachment - $120, End mills - $10 to $30 each.
Contact e-mail above or call 616-915-3727 after 8 a.m. and before 8
p.m. Please note, e-mail responses will happen in the evening, no
access to home e-mail during the day.
I saw this listed before awhile back, so it didn't sell right
I would think about the working envelope. The price looks good, but the
working envelope for the Proxxon is one of the smallest I have seen in mini
mills. I have been playing with and study mini mills for two years now. I
have a Taig 2019 and a MaxNC 5 (the smallest one) and both have much larger
working envelopes than the Proxxon.
Of the two I have I think base accuracy and rigidity is slightly better with
the MaxNC, but it is ALL aluminum and its light weight so if you over muscle
it I am sure you can tweak it. Since its sold as CNC (only as far as I
know) that is not likely with the stock stepper motors it comes with. The
Max NC has acme screws and anti backlash nuts (latest models). The Taig has
much larger v groove screws and pinch nuts. It can handle more abuse IMO,
but at the sacrifice of maintaining accuracy relative to time spent
tightening it up. The MaxNC being lighter may be more subject to vibration
issues, but they do often run it with a variety of fairly high speed rotary
tools and spindles. Both are true inch machines.
There are modifications and accessories available for the MaxNC, Sherline
and Taig Tools. MaxNC and Taig are manufactured in Arizona.
If somebody gave me a Proxxon machine I probably would not just throw it
away, but I would make sure that I had projects that were within its working
envelope. And not just hobby projects.
That is significant, although I doubt if I'd ever need more than 5 inch
I really don't want to pay for CNC either. For little hobby projects the
manual element adds to the fun.
I do wish it had a rotary table though. CNC would make one unnecessary
AFAIK, but I'd prefer it.
It's hard to weigh the value of these features and options when it isn't for
commercial use and there isn't any real value attached to it. When it comes
to hobby work, even practical differences are subjective.
Yeah, until you do. LOL. I am also a hobbyist, although some of my
projects are more involved and more original work than many hobby
machinists. I thought the Taig would be more than adequate for me, but I
have since done a couple projects to increase its range and capabilities. I
am also shopping for a bigger machine. I'll probably use the Taig or the
MaxNC to make motor mounts to convert the new machine to CNC or set it up
for dual usage as CNC or as a mill/drill depending on what I am doing when I
finally select one.
CNC is in my opinion a way (once you get it worked out) to also eliminate
human error on long repetitive projects. I do some hobby projects just for
my own use that take 30-40 hours with my machine running at max speed. Sure
I could sit there for 3-4 days cranking the hand wheels back and forth, but
I would rather design the part and let the machine do the work while I take
care of billing, go do a service call for a client, or send out advertising
fliers for my contracting company. Also, its very difficult to get any
decent production time when doing compound shapes or worse compound curves
by hand. That 30-40 hour job would might be theoretically possible, but in
practical terms it would take months if I could do it at all.
Just imagine cutting a .250" deep groove in a piece of aluminum .005" at a
time. Then consider that would be just one of half dozen cuts necessary for
a relatively small project. I am in awe of machinists who do complex
projects without aid of CNC.
Not at all. Its very handy for indexing 3D shapes and maintaining
references when changing to from one face to another while milling. In some
cases it can allow you to enlarge your working envelope slightly, and it
will allow you to cut perfectly round parts or features on a part on a
perfect circumference with less worry about backlash compensation. There
are dozens of applications for a rotary table in CNC milling, and more if
put a motor on your rotary table as well. As far as Proxxon making their
own rotary table... I think most machinists just find a rotary table that
fits their needs and will fit within their machine's working envelope rather
than get one specifically from the manufacturer of the mill. However, given
the small working envelope of the Proxxon you may have a hard time finding
one that is not too big to be useful unless you make your own.
One other note: The Proxxon can be converted to CNC if you wanted to, but
when you add the cost of cables, motors, controller & and power supply you
could just buy a MaxNC 5. Paul Henrik (deepgroove1 on Ebay) was offering
his own version of the MaxNC 5 with a Gecko controller and 270 oz steppers
on Ebay recently for $950 with some accessories. I think his setup is
probably superior to the controller and steppers MaxNC uses on that machine
and its slightly cheaper than buying it direct from MaxNC. If you are
interested and he doesn't currently have it listed drop me an e-mail at bob
(at) yumabassman (dot) com and I'll give you his contact information, or you
can just find his website and ask him if he is still offering it.
Sometimes its just a matter of being able to do something versus not being
able to do something. I fish a lot as a hobby, but like all things I do I
try to take it seriously enough to do well at it. (Its more fun if you
experience some success once in a while) I ran into a snowbird/client of
mine a couple years ago on the water and he was complaining about not doing
very well. I gave him a popper I had been nailing them on during a certain
time frame and type of area. I told him how and where to fish it and I told
him something I had discovered about the bait. It has cheap undersized
hooks. They miss fish and they sometimes bend. I told him what hooks to
replace the stock hooks with and how to handle a strike so he would hook up
better. He said, "Oh, we aren't serious. I'm not going to go to all that
effort." I almost asked for my bait back. If he could not take the effort
to swap the hooks why should I waste any more effort trying to help him.
Instead I asked him if he wanted to catch some fish or just see them splash.
My point is that if you just want to have a mill to play with and have to
hunt for projects that you can do within its range the Proxxon may be fine
for you, but if you want to do something in particular it just might not be
of much use to you. Sometimes on this group I find myself being in the
position of that snowbird I mentioned, but when it all comes down to it you
have to make your own decisions. Let me say this though. Its better to
have better quality and more capability and not use it, then to need it and
not have it. Its also very unlikely that you will actually have more than
you will use in the long run.
... and all that being said. My dad had a room mate when he was in the Air
Force who had a complete set of micro machines that he used to make
derringers. My dad says his room mates machines were all smaller than mine,
so it may be possible to do some projects with such a tiny machine. If
those are the only projects you want to do and you don't mind sitting there
cranking it back and forth all day long then it's the right machine for you.
Of course only you can answer that.
Bob La Londe
I have not used a Proxxon, but it would seem to me even for small work that
the 1/8 hp would be a big limitation, and who knows if that is exaggerated.
It seems like it is basically a high-speed dremel motor. Milling off lots of
material with that would be painfully slow. All of the Proxxon videos on
Youtube show the CNC version doing engraving, small details or cutting
shapes from thin materials. It seems good for those high-speed tasks, but
all of that is not very suited to a manual machine.
I would not discount the Sieg mini-mills (such as the Grizzly G8689) for use
as a manual hobby machine. The quality may not be quite the same, but it is
better than the Sieg lathes and can be tuned up. The larger size and power
make it far more versatile, but it is still a benchtop machine. There is a
lot of online advice about the Sieg machines. Off-course it is not a
high-speed machine and not as suited to engraving or cutting thin material
if that is what you want to do.
It's natural to push out the edges of the envelope (to aptly use an often
misused metaphor) no matter how big it is. To decide where to draw the
line, I'm trying to compare value. Now I see the Proxxon is not a very good
value even if it is the cheapest.
I'm even more in awe of people who did it with hand tools! But somehow they
did it quite prolifically. It's amazing they had enough hours in the day.
Understood. The Proxxon caught my eye because of the price, but I only just
I want to do everything as well as I can, but it's a matter of how much I
would do. If I don't use a tool very often then the price has to come down
to "feel" justifiable.
That's something to keep at the forefront of considerations, right behind
I've always been compulsive enough to hold something together while glue
dries, for example, when a clamp wasn't possible.
So I think I'd be ok with cranking.
If it's so tedious to use such a machine, then why are they still so common
even in large sizes, when CNC has been practical for so long?
Manual machines are good for modifying experimental parts and making
repairs since they don't absolutely require a zero reference for
measurements. You need only a quick scribbled sketch of the part, or
the broken one to measure, or a good visual imagination, and you can
improve it if you have a better idea while watching it take shape. It
may not be a change to the part itself, but to the sequence of
operations so you gain a better reference or clamping surface when you
unclamp and move the part to access another surface.
Personally I prefer to turn the table handles rather than the little
jog knob on the controller, which feeds back no feel for the cutting
[ ... ]
In large sizes, you can take deeper cuts. No such thing as
being limited to 0.005" deep passes to get to 0.250" total depth. (That
would be 50 passes, FWIW.)
And a lot of people buy old machines from when they *all* were
large or larger. I can do a lot of things by hand in reasonable time
with the semi-large machines which I have -- while with a tiny machine,
I would be pretty much forced into CNC to accomplish something. There
are times for manual work on tiny machines (such as a jeweler's lathe),
but most things that I do require larger machines for reasonable time.
I do have a nice 5" CNC lathe -- and am working towards a CNC
Bridgeport mill -- for complex shapes where by the time you are
approaching the end you are tired and more likely to make a mistake
which will invalidate twenty hours or more of work.
My advice is to get a somewhat larger machine than you think
that you will need (less likely to break something), and then work it
manually for a while to learn how it *really* works before diving into
CNC (if you have things complex enough to need that.) Using a CNC
without having a feel for how the manual operation works is a recipe for
broken tooling and spoiled work. Learn the limits of the machine in
manual mode first, then worry about going CNC.