Too good to be true?

This is the cheapest milling machine I have seen so far:
http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?&NETID 24421028082086153&NTITEM=CT133
Has anyone got some experience with it? Any comments on the specs? I suspect someone will recognize it as an equivalent of a similar piece of Chinese machinery sold in the USA under a different name (a game I have been playing with mini-lathes recently :-)
--
Michael Koblic,
Campbell River, BC
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http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?&NETID 24421028082086153&NTITEM=CT133
If you get down to this end of the island, you should drop into House Of Tools. They may have the same thing on the floor, .....or not. Worth checking though. Saves a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in ferry fares. They have a catalogue on line.
Steve R. in Sooke
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House of Tools is my second home (after Canadian Tire). Here is theirs:
http://www.houseoftools.com/product.htm?pid 460
Fro all I know they are identical but the price is not. As it happens I was going to go to Vancouver this week anyway - the quarterly visit to Summit tools, KMS, Lee Valley and Busy Bee as well as a few well chosen sushi houses, Floata for dim sum and the Dynamo fencing club.
Summit tools have an insane sale on: The savings on a router would cover the cost of the ferry alone.
Oh yes, and Warriors and Wonders on Cambie for the high end cutlery...
--
Michael Koblic,
Campbell River, BC
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http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?&NETID 24421028082086153&NTITEM=CT133
The variable speed usually indicates it's a Sieg mill. see
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Versions/versions.htm
http://www.littlemachineshop.com/Info/minimill_compare.php
I've seen cheaper prices. But there is shipping, etc. to consider.
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On Tue, 28 Oct 2008 06:56:15 -0400, Maxwell Lol wrote:

With the Loonie at 0.79 it could be a better price than it looks at first.
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One feature to consider for a small mill (or larger mill/drill machines), is the spindle taper. The machine you linked to has a Morse #3 taper. Tooling is generally less expensive for R8 taper tooling.
Adapters arereadily available for R8 to MT2 or MT3, but uncommon for MT3 to anything other than MT2 or MT1.
Both the R8 and MT3 types of tooling are for drawbar mounting to provide secure mounting.
WB ......... metalworking projects www.kwagmire.com/metal_proj.html

http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?&NETID 24421028082086153&NTITEM=CT133
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Michael Koblic wrote:

http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?&NETID 24421028082086153&NTITEM=CT133
Yes it looks very similar to the mini-mill at Harbor Freight.
I suppose that price is in Canadian dollars. Not sure how that compares to U.S. dollars right now. A year to two back you could expect to pay about 45% more in Can.$ than US$ but I think they are much closer to par right now. (Is our $ sliding downhill? ;-) )
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Your basic minimill. There are some variations, so it's worth investigating. For the minis, this site has a ton of info: http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Main/mini-mill.htm Note that they have a great section on all of the varieties of the lathes as well.
So basically, yes, it's the same as the Grizzly/HF/Seig/etc. By reputation, Busy Bee is on a par with Grizzly for support, a step or two above HF. --Glenn Lyford
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I don't have hands-on experience with it or any other mini-mill except the Sherline, which is too small. Arbors and collets are easier to find for an R8 spindle.
Users manual: http://grizzly.com/products/Mini-Milling-Machine/G8689
Parts and accessories: http://littlemachineshop.com/
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Michael,
I would not reject a mill on the sole grounds for having a M3 spindle taper.
On a small mill the space between table top and spindle nose is at a premium, consequently you will want to keep the cutting tools as close to the spindle nose as possible. This would require collets, and from personal experience M3 collets hold the tool much tighter than R8 collets.
M3 collets are advertised in the Home Shop Machinist, and I have used a set for about 20 years. I used R8 collets professionally and I thought they did a very poor job of holding cutters. With R8 collets the cutter may pull out, that is why end mill holders with a set screws are sold. With an M3 collet I have never had this happen.
I arranged for a "jacking" type draw bar in my mill. This draw bar pushes the collet out of the spindle nose so you don't have to beat the daylight out of the draw bar end to get the collet to release; M3 collets hold very tightly and require a healthy thump to release otherwise.
Also, Morse taper shanks with a soft and unmachined ends cost less than $10 each and are suitable for making special cutter holders for boring heads and fly cutters.
Wolfgang
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Thanks.
Much food for thought. As someone else suggested I am looking at another mill sold locally for $200 more. Just comparing the specs including accessories the latter mill has a 3/4 HP motor compared with less than 1/2 HP for this one. It also comes with a drill chuck and a "quick change collet chuck" including 8 collets. None of this is mentioned with the Busy Bee one. The Z travel is full 21/4 inches more.
http://www.houseoftools.com/product.htm?pid 460
I had a look at the costs of end-mill holders for MT3 and they are double that of R8. I surmise I would need at least two - 3/8 and 1/2? The collets as well as the drill chuck, however, would give additional versatility?
I wonder if one added all the extras whether the local purchase might work out about the same.
The additional problem is that one cannot always trust the specs as printed - House of Tools has been wrong in the past!
Things are never simple...
--
Michael Koblic,
Campbell River, BC
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On Tue, 28 Oct 2008 19:41:49 -0700, "Michael Koblic"

see http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID#93&category{also available in #2MT}
also see http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID"31&category http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID09&categoryhttp://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID08&category{other fractional/metric sizes available but 3/8 and 1/2 will cover almost all the endmills you will ever use}
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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On Oct 29, 1:00 am, F. George McDuffee <gmcduf...@mcduffee- associates.us> wrote:

http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID09...http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID08...
Michael wrote:
"...I had a look at the costs of end-mill holders for MT3 and they are double that of R8. I surmise I would need at least two - 3/8 and 1/2? The collets as well as the drill chuck, however, would give additional versatility?... "
If you get a M3 spindle nose I would not bother with the set screw type endmill holders. The M3 collet holds the cutter securely.
The size range of M3 collets is up to 3/4" dia... same as R8. Just buy a 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", & 3/4" capacity collets. Heck, CDCO Machinery has an ad in the current issue of HSM listing 7 x M3 collets (1/8" to 3/4" inclusive) for $53 US! To hold drill chucks I simply fitted them with a parallel shank and hold them in an appropriate collet. M3 blank end stub arbors are $6.50 US by a different advertiser in HSM, who also has threaded M3 arbors suitable for threaded drill chucks, $6.90 for 3/8"-24UNF and $7.50 for 1/2-20UNF / 5/8-16UNF. Less than $100 for this stuff and you are good to go! Unca George pointed out a source of M3 blanks with a 1.5" dia.x 1.5" long soft end, large enough to adapt for any tooling one is likely to use in a mini-mill.
On a small mill you are unlikely to use any large face mills or similar tools. In any case a cutter with a 3/4" shank held in a M3 collet is a pretty robust set-up.
All I am saying here is don't discount a good deal simply because the spindle nose is M3. Personally I would pick M3 over R8 any day; of course I am prejudiced... I have used both tapers in a milling machine and own one with a M3 spindle nose.
Wolfgang
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On Wed, 29 Oct 2008 12:45:41 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote: <snip>

<snip> I have both the collet and weldon style holders. It is much easier to change the endmills in the weldon style with a setscrew, which may not be a consideration if you don't change the endmill frequently. The MT is not self-releasing and you will need some way to jack the collet back out of the spindle. Both styles hold the tool securely.
You are correct that you only need the 3/8 and 1/2 sizes for most [all?] tooling.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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On Wed, 29 Oct 2008 15:48:22 -0600, F. George McDuffee

---------- PS to my own message.
While the Weldon set-screw style end mill holders are indeed easier to change the end mills, these also extend 2 to 3 inches below the bottom of the spindle and depending on what you are doing this loss of spindle to table distance can be a show stopper.
This is why I have both.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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I have just learned that this mill is going on sale for $699 in November. Is there no end to temptation...?
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Geez, Michael,
At that price, including the collets, why don't you end this torture and buy the thing??:-)).
Suppose the price goes down by $50 or $60 over the next 3 months or so, so what? You will have missed out on 3 months of pleasurable occupation. Is this not worth the possible savings?
So end this torture, of all of us, already:-)).
Wolfgang
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I feel your pain...:-)
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It's on order!!!!
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Yessss, the torture is over! Welcome to the wonderful world of true metal mangling.
Wolfgang
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