On that particular example the belt cover hinge was weak and the feed
handle dials didn't turn. I opened up the dial bores (with a file) and
added a thumbscrew. The only other annoyance was the 8 TPI
I never pushed it hard enough to make the frame vibrate, which is the
cutting rate limit on my Clausing. When that happens switching to a
shell mill with more teeth sometimes raises the limit to motor power
or belt slip.
And in my opinion minor mods to an already operational mill.
To the OP, the approach I took (and the one that this group
suggested...thanks guys) is to take a hard look at what you expect to
use your mill for.
What you are trying to determine is what size of working envelope that
you need which translates into how big a table and Z height you need.
In my case I have small mills (Sherline/Unimat) for tiny work and
extreme portability, an Enco 6x26 modified with a 7" riser and a Burke
Millrite for medium sized work (both mills still portable by one man)
and finally a Bridgeport for larger work (limited portability at
best...ever carry a Bridgeport up three stories to an
Not highly likely, no...some stuff is but they're pretty close-chested
about manufacturing facilities and what actually might be US-made 'cuz
it gives 'em complete flexibility to change at any whim.
Jet, Powermatic and Wilton at least are now owned by an outfit called
the Walter Meier Manufacturing Americas which is subsidiary organization
of the Walter Meier Group.
Powermatic used to be all US-made in McMinnville, TN--in fact, I picked
up my Model 66 and Model 27 TS and spindle shaper there directly back in
the early '80s and got the cooks tour of the facility. I think that
facility is now completely (or nearly so) shuttered--back then there
were piles nearly 50-ft high of castings in the yard curing before being
brought in for final machining, assembly...
The Grizzly G0704 is very popular small mill for the CNC conversion guys
because the square column allows for raising and lower the head without loss
of X Y position and no need for laser pointer tricks.
Its my understanding that its similar to the BF20, and the BF20L is a
popular longer table longer travel version. There is a ton of information
out there on them
I have used the JET round column mill/drill many years ago, and I currently
own a minimill like this
made by Sieg in
The JET is definitely more powerful and perhaps a tad stiffer, but there
are now also some larger minimills also made by Sieg:
There were a few things that bugged me about the JET. Manually moving the
belt on the pulleys to change speed can get old very quickly. If you are
doing some quick drilling , you usually just end-up putting-up with a
non-optimal speed. The other issue was there was no provision (in the model
I used at least) to prevent the spindle from rotating as the draw bar was
loosened or tightened. You had to grab things with a rag. This was one from
the late 1980's. I hope they have fixed that by now. The final issue is
there was very large backlash in the table.
As for the Sieg minimill, it is adequate for the small parts I use it for.
Of course when you get it, you have to clean it, lube it and align it. One
full turn of the table leadscrew is 0.0625", so I attached some of the
cheap, battery-powered linear scales to the axes. This makes it much easier
Yeah,.but you live where there's been a lot of machine shops and
industrial activity. There's a whole section of the country where if
it doesn't go on a tractor, it doesn't exist. Have never seen a
Bridgeport for sale around here. HF mini-mills are about it for local
machine tool availability.
Ayup thats indeed true. Now folks can either do road trips, or pay
shipping. There are indeed plenty of machines available for very good
The methodology of the left has always been:
2. Repeat the lie as many times as possible
3. Have as many people repeat the lie as often as possible
4. Eventually, the uninformed believe the lie
5. The lie will then be made into some form oflaw
6. Then everyone must conform to the lie
Price and availability is an issue in Yuma as well. I do know where there
is a working Bridgeport CNC (Haidenhein Controls) for sale locally, but its
not a steal. $3500. Not bad, but not great and I have no clue about the
quality of the mechanicals of a machine that age. I had to drive several
hundred miles to pick up my Hurco, which admittedly I got a smoking price on
($500 partially working), but that is an exception.
From what I have seen the Northern Midwest seems to have a lot of machines
available compared to some other places.