Proxxon micro mill

Any good or bad experience with the Proxxon micro mill or other tools?
It costs less than half of a Sherline.
http://www.proxxon.com/us/html/37110.html
And yeah, I realize it's a toy to you guys but who else can I ask.
--

Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
zero, and remove the last word.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Harold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom Del Rosso skrev 2010-10-24 08:01:

I have seen it and handled it on some occasion. Its OK for miniature work in soft materials, but you have to realize that for milling you are pretty much limited to denitsts tools. I dont 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 Proxxons 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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jesper wrote:

Can a Sherline hold larger tools?

I realize. I have a drill press though.
Thanks to all.
--

Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
zero, and remove the last word.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/23/2010 11:01 PM, Tom Del Rosso wrote:

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.
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 24 Oct 2010 02:01:40 -0400

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.
http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/tls/1979032411.html
I saw this listed before awhile back, so it didn't sell right away...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob La Londe wrote:

That is significant, although I doubt if I'd ever need more than 5 inch travel.
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.

Thanks.
--

Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
zero, and remove the last word.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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 www.YumaBassMan.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob La Londe wrote:

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 started looking.

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 budget. :)

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?
--

Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
zero, and remove the last word.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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 force.
jsw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    [ ... ]

    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.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
--
Remove oil spill source from e-mail
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
anorton wrote:

Thanks. That machine looks like a nice middle ground and a much better value at only $100 more.
--

Reply in group, but if emailing add one more
zero, and remove the last word.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.