Mill for Model Engineering - Advice required?

OK, So now I have my first lathe up and running, attention turns to a mill/drill. The advice of this learned community turned me away from a new imported
lathe to 2nd hand British I am now the proud owner of a 1963 Chipmaster. This was somewhat helped by the fact it was sitting idle in a engineering shop less than a mile away. I now need advice on a Mill. Again my attention turns to Warco, good range, first class reputation, etc. WM18 or a knee type VMC? Or is there a "classic" choice of British Mill sized for the model engineer? i.e. table 24-26" x 6-8" in a reasonably compact form. I have a reasonable budget, but tooling and accesories soon add up! Any advice would be appreciated
Stuart
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dvice on a Mill. Again my attention turns to Warco, good

I have a VMC and it's OK for its size but I'd much prefer an 8" wide table to the 6" it has so I would suggest that should be a criterion.
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Boo

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Boo wrote:

I too have a VMC (Myford) and agree with Boo on the table but with an 8" table comes bigger everything. Depends on how much room you have. Get as big a machine as you can fit in. Don't discount 2nd hand. Bridgy if you have the space. Certainly I would only go for a knee mill. I also have the raising block which gives another 4-5" daylight under the quill which is useful. Bob
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I bought a VMC a few years ago as my first foray into model engineering. I've been very pleased with it. It's as accurate as I am likely to need and has done everything I ask of it. I instinctively prefer the knee mill design because putting on a cut is a positive lifting of the table rather than taking support from under the head and hoping it drops the right amount.
As you have noted, the mill is just a start. Budget for things like milling and drill chucks, vice, rotary table and cutters. I splashed out and got the three axis DRO and it has been worth every penny.
Bera in mind that even though it's a "small" machine it occupies a lot of space. A lot depends on what size jobs you plan on doing.
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"Norman Billingham" <norman.at.tumulus.org.uk> wrote in message

DRO would be good. My bench mill is round column mill from Warco, and without a DRO at least on the spindle you are sort of guessing where the cutter went. I plotted the hand wheel measurement against the DRO and you get a massive difference, not quite a yard, but the uncertainty explained quite a bit of scrap when I first started this adventure. I wouldn't knock the round column mill it does everything I want. I really can't justify an upgrade to square columns, knee's or anything else.
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On 8 May, 14:48, "Norman Billingham" <norman.at.tumulus.org.uk> wrote:

The WM18 the OP is considering has a dovetail column and Z axis leadscrew. Apart from any slight backlash there may be in the leadscrew there's no element of 'hoping it drops the right amount'.
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Thanks all for your contributions. The VMC is obviously a much more rigid and robust machine, its'nearly twice the weight of the WM18. By the time I factor in the different features price is not that significantly different. Biggest advantage of the WM18 is the 8 1/4" table as opposed to 6" on the VMC plus a a variable speed spindle drive and built in digital depth, so I would only need to add a two axis DRO. Also it is about a foot less deep. Advantages of the VMC,knee design and additional rigidity, option for power feed. Still a difficult decision....
Stuart

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I have a Mikron (Swiss) mill that I bought about 30 years ago second hand, it is a superbly built machine and never once needed any remedial work done to it. It is universal with vertical and horizontal heads. The table is only 15x5 inches with power feeds, sounds small but it's done everything I have ever wanted . The only downside maybe is its weight, really heavy all cast iron including the stand. The previous owner fitted this machine with V pulleys (it was originally flat belt) and a variable speed motor also swiss of which he was the importer, about halve HP that too has never let me down. The whole machine was hand scraped from new and the scraping marks are still visable over the entire machine. Best machine I ever bought , anyone else got one ??? David
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Something more British and 'classic' perhaps a Marlow? http://www.lathes.co.uk/marlowmiller/ My TM10a has got a 28x10 table and probably the same footprint as the VMC or there abouts, might weight a bit more. Fitted with an inverter drive to give variable speed and if I could get the damn table motor rewound it would have powerfeed on the table. Come up occasionally on fleabay, however if my missus get her way I'll need to shift mine on at some point :(
Cheers, Rob
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Please consider a balance between your ,machines, you have a good lathe and now I wouls ask myself if a mill drill is what I want, I would be inclined to get two seperate machines as the floor (or bench) space occupied by a drill is outweighed by the superior milling you will get fropm a dedicated machine. I would urge you to look at a seperate mill like a Centec (for smaller work) or a Deckel, Alexander, Thiel, Harirson or similar machine, the advantage is that these machines were built for the job and can hold a tolerance under heaver cutting than a compromise machine. Peter
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Gentlemen,
I have a Centec 2 in horizontal format, I don't have the vertical head, couldn't justify the ridiculous price, but I do have the Centec grinding spindle. It sits nicely on a steel two draw filing cabinet and doesn't take up much space. The vertical side of things is covered by a large sturdy mill/drill I have had for a while, round column, which I do agree has its moments with the vertical column if you are not careful, but this has got me thinking is there any reason why a gas strut could not be fitted to give so backlash elimination.
Martin P
wrote:

Please consider a balance between your ,machines, you have a good lathe and now I wouls ask myself if a mill drill is what I want, I would be inclined to get two seperate machines as the floor (or bench) space occupied by a drill is outweighed by the superior milling you will get fropm a dedicated machine. I would urge you to look at a seperate mill like a Centec (for smaller work) or a Deckel, Alexander, Thiel, Harirson or similar machine, the advantage is that these machines were built for the job and can hold a tolerance under heaver cutting than a compromise machine. Peter
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Talking of Alexanders,here`s one I noticed earlier on my website.
http://www.ems-fife.co.uk/alexander.htm
Mark.
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On May 8, 10:11pm, snipped-for-privacy@ems-fife.co.uk wrote:

wow, good machine that .. two tone paint work and jumps starts landrovers. :)
all the best.markj
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It`s not two tone paint in case anyone believes it.The sun was shining on one side of the machine when the pic was taken.
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On Fri, 8 May 2009 12:31:08 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I would certainly second those comments. Also if you have the space and can handle the weight of some 'heavy iron' you get vastly more for your money getting any of the above or indeed a Bridgeport than you do with the VMC. As you have the Chippie, a VMC seems rather incongruous. There's a lot of industrial gear around at the moment with so many places going under.
A few years ago I bought a Russian made Stanko which is a sort of near-ish copy of a Deckel FP2/3 and I personally rate it highly. Slightly smaller floor print than a Bridgeport, about the same weight (a ton) power feeds all ways.
A friend of mine recently bought a combo mill/lathe and I was horrified at both the price per se and the quality of the machine. Why he didn't ship it straight back and cancel the credit card I don't know - and nor does he! The response to his disatisfaction from the firm wasn't very inspiring either - 'Well mate for that price what do you expect'. For a tad under two grand I would expect one that works properly.
That said plenty of people have lots of fun with the new Chaiwanese stuff so it's horses for courses I suppose.
Richard
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