small mill for home shop

I'm looking for a mill for my home shop. I've passed up a few
great deals on Bridgeports (and a really nice hardinge lathe)
because my shop is located in the basement. It's dry, there's
lots of headroom, and it has a nice concrete floor. But it's
still downstairs. I'm trying to limit any machines that go
downstairs to 1000 pounds or so (per subassembly if they can
be disassembled without a lot of trouble!).
I want something better than the mill/drill units, something with
more stability and precision. I'll be working with mostly softer
metals, fabricating parts for small engines and projects.
I was considering the following three mills from Grizzly and
wondered if anybody had experience with them:
G3102 It's 915 pounds and looks almost like a real mill, only
smaller! $ 1800
G6760 At 1701 pounds it's definitely a stretch, and at $ 2700
it's at the high end of my price range, but it might be feasible
if it's substantially better.
G3616 This looks more like a Bridgeport than the others, and it's
even a little cheaper at $ 3400, but weighs 1996 pounds, and if
it doesn't break down into a few pieces it's probably too big.
I freely acknowledge the superiority of a lot of the older US made
machinery (thus the Clausing 5400 series lathe instead of the
Grizzly, Enco, et. al. alternatives) but my primary limitation is
that the equipment has to get down to the basement safely.
Comments on the above machines, or suggested alternatives, are
welcome.
Reply to
Mike Berger
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is the one to get.
Known as square colum mill, it is easily CNC-able, sold by 5 or 6 outlets, in both 120v and 240v, incl 3 phase.
Loads of horse power and it is BIG. Check out
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- there's a nice write up as to why it is a good choice for ya
:)
Reply to
rashid111
Why?
Why not take the time to change around those "steps" that go down to that basement so that they are removable? Then you can set up a permanent or temporary hoist assembly over the "pit". Now you can take up and down almost anything you like at will.
If you disguise the whole thing appropriately it will look like part of the house and get good WAF (Wife Approval Factor) rating! :- )
The other option is to create a nice metal floor assembly that you can do a similar trick with (lifting done with a hoist or two - electric being kewl). The advantage to the liftable floor is that you can stow the hoist mounts only a foot or so above the top lift level, making the thing stealth...
An appropriate use of pipes (etc...) for the "floor" to "track" on will inprove the handling and safety aspects... you can use the "deadman" elevator brake trick too, so if the hoist cable/chain gives up the thing won't hurtle to the floor at high speed...
For extra protection, some auto (truck) coil springs around said pipes assuming the required extra depth of the pit will add another layer of "soft landing" safety...
Go for it.
_-_-bear
Reply to
BEAR
Take a look at the Shopmaster machine at
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its as good a mill as those you mentioned, plus you get a lathe as well- weighs in at about 1000#
Reply to
EdFielder
Get the Bridgeport, you won't regret it.
Safely rigging a 1,000# mill into a basement and safely rigging a 3,000# mill into a basement are just about the same. The Bridgeport will readily breakdown into base, head and table sections that are relatively easy to handle with suitable rigging. Lathes can usually be broken down into a few manageable sections as well.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
Suggestion #1
Unless its a totally hammered piece of shit, priced far beyond what you can afford...never pass up a Hardinge.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Having read the usual responses, nothing that could be considered unusual, or practical without more information.
KBC has an A1-s size mill that breaks down into pieces that two people can carry nicely. Smaller than a Bridgeport, but still a knee mill, and with more knee travel than the same size from Grizzly. Total weight is 960 pounds. 20" max spindle to table.
Model number is VM-22-R8 Part number is 6-380-002
Good solid little machine, I have one, haven't regretted buying it. 2003/2004 catalog price is $2450, not a bad buy.
Rich
Reply to
Richard
Step 1) purchase hardinge inexpensively.
2) sell for more money than you paid for it.
3) purchase brand new bridgeport and
4) hire riggers to install in basement!
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
| I'm looking for a mill for my home shop. I've passed up a few | great deals on Bridgeports (and a really nice hardinge lathe) | because my shop is located in the basement. It's dry, there's | lots of headroom, and it has a nice concrete floor. But it's | still downstairs. I'm trying to limit any machines that go | downstairs to 1000 pounds or so (per subassembly if they can | be disassembled without a lot of trouble!). | | I want something better than the mill/drill units, something with | more stability and precision. I'll be working with mostly softer | metals, fabricating parts for small engines and projects. | | I was considering the following three mills from Grizzly and | wondered if anybody had experience with them: | | G3102 It's 915 pounds and looks almost like a real mill, only | smaller! $ 1800
Looks a whole lot like the HF 40939 at $1600, except that the HF motor is 2 hp, supposedly. Might be a big difference in shipping, since you can buy one right from a store instead of shipping it.
Reply to
carl mciver
Bingo!
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Look at a used Clausing 8520.
Reply to
Clark Magnuson
Rich
KBC has an A1-s size mill that breaks down into pieces that two people can carry nicely.
Link or a web site?
Bob AZ
Reply to
Bob AZ
"Gunner Asch" > >
Problem with that idea is that if the hardinge is so good, you won't find one that inexpensive- Trying to rig some monster into your basement is an invitation to all sorts of disasters- Find something new, with a warranty that you can afford and is small enough to move into your basement, then spend your time using the tool for the projects you have, which was the whole point of buying a mill in the first place.
Reply to
EdFielder
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Follow the menu.
(.pdf , Dammit. Page2.)
Still $2450
Rich
Reply to
Richard
Demand for Hardinge is high, therefore, so are prices. They're solid, they should be, the weight is almost up there with a Bridgeport.
Getting large machines down stairs is hairy at best. Advising people to modify the house, maybe some people don't do math. Spending $5k to modify the house so you can get a $1200 machine into the basement somehow doesn't make sense. Then it's probably 3 phase, more expense. Someday you might want it out, still more expense and if you're selling the home, (Assuming you own it.), taking the modification out for the buyer, more expense. Somehow the logic escapes me. If you don't own the house, modifying might lead to problems you don't want, far beyond the cost of getting the machine down.
Rich
Reply to
Richard
It's only hairy if you don't understand rigging. If you understand what you're trying to do it's pretty straightforward. The key is to think/measure/plan several times before ever attempting the actual move. I've moved a 10,000# shipping container by myself with nothing more than a high lift jack, some chains/slings/shackles and some small logs.
We aren't talking a 16,000# VMC here, we're talking a 2,500# or so Bridgeport knee mill. I don't think I've seen any house that has sufficient headroom in the basement for a Bridgeport, where rigging one down into the basement would require and modification to the house.
Not really, $20 home built rotary phase converter or $200 VFD if you want to go all out.
Again no modifications necessary. I take it you're the kind of person who buys the Volvo because you're afraid of the safety of other cars and who checks the distance to the hospital before buying a house because you might need to go there.
You may also be hit by a bus tomorrow and never have to worry about selling anything. If you worry and procrastinate all the time instead of just getting the damn tools you need to enjoy yourself you're running the risk of living an unfulfilled life.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I advise you to find a nice rockwell vertical mill. They are very similar in size to the clausing 8520 but they use R8 tooling. The mill will break down into pieces small enough to move into the basement by two people with a refrigerator dolly. Rockwell made a vertical and horizontal mill that look like twins. They are in fact almost identical except the column on the horizontal contains the horizonal spindle. It is possible to find a combo mill. Two mills in one (horizontal and vertical) is very useful. The only downside is pulling the vertical head off to put in the overarm. Reguardless it is still a very setup.
My first mill was a jet JMD-18. It was also disassembled and moved into my basement. It is just as much work to move as the rockwell vertical mill. This mill drill has a large work envelope which is the only reason I keep it after buying the rockwell mill. I would opt for a small knee mill over a mill drill any day!
It is also possbile to move a clausing 12 inch lathe or rockwell lathe this way. I have helped move both. Both are nice machine.
chuck
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
FInd a nice, short tabel[32 inch] short knee[9 inch] step pulley bridgeport, they weigh maybe 2000lbs complete. pull the head, maybe the turret or table, and it is as light as the others you are considering.
It is a sweet machine, much nicer than the monsters we tend to buy 'just in case I need the travel"
Reply to
yourname
I agree. I have the same KBC model A1S mill, and I'm pleased with it. The A1S mills are a fine alternative if you don't have the room for a BP. The Clausing mills are also worth considering, though smaller yet than an A1S.
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
IF I was, I wouldn't have three lathes, up to 12X36, the mentioned KBC mill, and many other machines in my basement. All of which were purchased keeping in mind that first, I'm going to have little help getting it down my admittedly weak stairway, second, I'm going to have to put it together with little help. Last, I still have to be able to move around after it's down there. A mill with a 4 foot table would be nice, but that also requires 8 feet of clear space to effectively use. Cramped and cluttered workspace is an accident waiting to happen.
Based on the information given by the OP, and not making any ASSumptions, any other suggestions are not practical, only personal opinion, worth what you were paid for them. Logic should tell you that you know nothing beyond the 1000 pounds that was stated, anything beyond that is ASSumption and worthless. Most people know their situation a lot better than you ever will.
Rich
Reply to
Richard

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