MT3 currently in imperial version. MT3 will also be available in
Metric version sometime early next year I hope...subject to Chinese
holidays....slow boats....production costs..etc.. Either way, all MT3/
R8 out of stock at present, which is good and bad....met my targets
for the factory...failed to order enough...it seems!....even though it
still has the "horrible X2 vertical action".:-)...
Ketan at ARC.
I don't own an X2, and I haven't had much of a chance to use one, but it
seems to be a common complaint.
The basic idea behind the X2 mill/drill Z-axis arrangement - a handle to
move the entire head with a quill-like action for drilling, and a
separate handle for fine feed and positioning when milling - was
actually a good idea.
It would be an even better idea for a belt-driven mill with a brushless
motor and no gears, as the lack of a quill (which has to be loose enough
to slide, and thus will unavoidably vibrate) and gears could make the
mill very quiet and vibration-free indeed.
The problem is the execution of the idea. On the two examples I have
played with the quill-like action handle for drilling works reasonably
well, but the positioning and fine feed knob (which should be a handle,
not a knob) doesn't.
You can't set a height and repeat it. A digital height gauge can
mitigate this, but...
Positioning is done on a rack, not a screw, which is inherently less
accurate. It's also sloppy. When you release the gib lock after a cut,
the head moves. The head also creeps if the gib lock isn't used.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/7x10minilathe/message/165640 has some more
-- Peter Fairbrother
That is a very weird thing to say. It implies only stupid people buy
these products. It also implies that such stupid people will buy one,
then keep quiet once they encounter the flaw.
Do you sell them, or something?
No, re-read my tongue in cheek remarks.
The people who do the most moaning about ANY design are never in the
market to buy said product.
The people who do buy the product in the main are aware of any short
comings before hand or are prepared to either work around the problem
or re-design it.
Lets face it there have been many, many pages published in the mags on
improving a know design, probably because no one has ever designed a
machine tool that appeals to everyone.
Many people have to buy machines for this hobby with limitations,
these limitations can be size, cost, weight or a combination of all
three. You have to chose a machine which ticks most boxes and work
around the rest.
I could write a resume on all these hobby machines starting off with
the limitations and only dwelling a bit on the good features.
I could then write a resume of the same machines dealing with the plus
features and glossing over any limitations or even ignoring them all
Which write up is correct ?
Ream them. Didnt even slightly come across are tongue in cheek.
I find they are people who find out after they bought it.
And tell others about that, no?
Personally, I have never read about this "issue" before, but then I dont
read these mags. TBH, the price range would make me less likely to care,
since I would assume at that price every different make would have some
ups and downs, and normally they can be worked round. If one is a hobby
user, then that is some of the fun in its self. If I were spending 4
times that I would put some research in. But then I would expect the
machine not to have silly annoying habits, as it were.
To me, the so called moan was an interesting read. But then I am no
expert. I'm way below that.
Of course. No reason not to point out the flaws though.
Neither, both would be incomplete and misleading. Both should be
combined. To do different would seem a bit shady to me.
And, then, why complain that customers, or who ever, who point out these
things? Surely its the very feed back a manufacturer needs to improve
the product. Or not. Which tells its own story.
Perhaps because the column issue only exists in one persons mind ?
Do a search on the American forums where this machine far outsells any
other and see what the problems are, the rack and pinion drive never
seems to be an issue there.
This Super X2 Plus is belt drive with brushless motor. The positioning
of the Z Axis is done on a rack, which has its own set of limitations.
Still, there are people who are happy with the results they get from
this "family of X2 mills". The views expressed about the limitations -
some of which are stated above - will depend on a persons personal
point of view, experience, and expectations. I have well experienced
engineers as well as complete novices who have purchased this mill and
used them without major issues/problems. One machine has been returned
as the large handle used to mesh/engage the rack (dont know the best
way to explain this) is very stiff to start with, and in this
particular case of return, the customer had a disability which I had
fogoten about (old regular customer), which made it difficult for him
to handle this. This engagement/disengagement operation is especially
difficult for people who have arthritis with limited power in the
hands and arm. Other then that, as far as I am concerned, it does the
job of drilling nd milling quite well...in my openion.
Ketan at ARC.
It may be interesting to contrast the new Super X2 with the old X2.
Here's Ketan on uk.rec.models.engineering May 16 2006, on why Arc
stopped selling the X2 mill:
"It had / has a niche. There were technical issues such as circuit
board, table size (width), limited table travel, restricted Z movement,
rack & pinion movement, some of which restricted sales. The main thing
it has going for it is the motor. Commercial reasons such as
competition was just a minor issue."
Well the circuit board issue is history, the table size and width are
now much bigger on the new version, and table travel is increased and
The restricted Z movement and rack & pinion movement seem unchanged however.
The new motor sounds nice (but the old one was okay?) and the lack of
gears is a big plus.
Shame they didn't fix the Z axis though - like backgear on the
mini-lathe, a decent Z axis drive on the mini mill is the
almost-essential which would make the machines near perfect (or a
near-perfect "kit of parts") - but for some inexplicable reason Sieg etc
seem unwilling to provide them.
The only reason I can think of is perhaps it's because their focus has
been on CNC machines, not manual ones.
-- Peter Fairbrother
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