which mill to buy?

I would like some suggestions as to which vertical Knee mill would be the best to buy for a model shop in a small consumer product development firm.
We would like about a 9 X 50 powered table, 3 axis digital readout, and variable speed spindle. Most of our work is on plastics, although we do occasional aluminum and steel milling as well. The work is not constant production. We would like to spend < 6K with shipping.
In our other model shop (different location) we have an old Bridgeport; a bit used but OK. This time we would consider a new machine. Any suggestions - Enco looks good. - Grizzly seems to have more size / same kind of cost, my guess is that they are not as good quality. Seems to be a lot out there, the choices are many.
Thanks for your help.
Rob
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designo wrote:

"Pay now or pay later".
Please consider a gently used Bridgeport over a Jet, Enco or Grizzly.
I bought a new Jet several years ago. It does not compare favorably to the clapped out Bridgeport I used at work.
The Jets spindle speed is about half of that advertised. How can you be productive at 1600 RPM? Its 'one shot' lubrication puts oil somewhere, not on the ways necessarily. Its quill is designed to scoop swarf into itself during aggressive cuts, resulting in downtime to restore operation of the Z axis feed. The nut holding the table leadscrew was only threaded on by 1.5 turns or so.
Ask Gunner, Leigh@MarMachine or either of the Daves (Fiken, Sobel) for sizes and prices of your like-new, quality American Iron.
--Winston
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You could have your existing BP rebuilt or trade it in on one already rebuilt. See http://www.precisionservicesinc.com/ Their machines are like new. I bought one in 1995. It has performed flawlessly. Not affiliated, just a happy customer.
Randy
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firm.
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I think you are in dreamland if you want a decent 3 axis DRO ($1500)and power feed ($500.) and varidrive spindle (an extra $1500. at least)for $6000. I can sell you a Jet from our "Scratch & Dent" inventory for a little more then that but a new one with those specs is in the $8000. range. They are on sale right now so call me if you if a Jet innterests you. Freight in is free so my SoCal location is not a consideration. I just went through the WMH facility (the Jet parent) about three weeks ago and their quality is looking pretty good these days, at least on their milling machines and higher end lathes. Jet tells me their machines are the first choice of the variable quality Chinese production lines. If it doesn't meet Jet's quality standard then it gets painted as a Grizzly or even worse an ENCO. Only HF buys lower then ENCO. Leigh at MarMachine
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Leigh Knudson writes:

Kinda like electronics parts grading: Military, then commercial, and then consumer. And lastly, Radio Shack.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

I used to work for Precision Monolithics. In the early days, they sold OP07's to the military for $70. If they didn't pass spec, they were industrial grade, then commercial grade. If they failed all the other grades, they would wiggle the input and see if the output wiggled. If so, it got sold to RS for those packages marked "Operational Amplifier".
Steve
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    --I've got a few places to check listed here: http://www.nmpproducts.com/usedtool.htm
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Just another fart in
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : the Elevator of Life...
  Click to see the full signature.
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steamer wrote:

Whoa, Ed! Better update that page! South Bend and Meridian for starters are no mo!!
GWE
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Grant: Don't bet on it. SBL is still very much in business and Dave at Meridan has only taken another job and has lots less time to deal with the used machines. He is not totally out of the business though. Leigh at MarMachine
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Leigh Knudson wrote:

Fair enough. Let me rephrase the comment, counselor. The South Bend and Meridian links on Ed's Web page go nowhere. *That* is observable fact. - GWE
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    --Yeah; link rot; that's my page in a nutshell. Gotta cure some serious time crunches.. ;-)
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Just another fart in
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : the Elevator of Life...
  Click to see the full signature.
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