Sieg C2 lathe and X2 mill

In an earlier message "Sieg C2 and others the same" I asked if the Sieg C2 mini lathe was the same as more expensive alternatives. We also
touched on Axminster having low prices but no stock.
Well, the lathe (300) has arrived, along with an X2 mini mill (324). Here's some brief notes which I hope may help someone considering a purchase.
I expected both machines to be covered in packing grease and - from warnings on a forum - "little more than a loosely assembled kit of parts". As it happens there is only a thin coating of oil and the slides all work smoothly. I adjusted the gibs and obtained little improvement. Apart from the colour I can see no significant difference between my mill and a used Sealey which I spotted in a local shop for more than I paid new.
First set up jobs to do for the lathe:
- check gears for burrs and sufficient grease; - bolt to bench (avoiding warping the bed in doing so); - check runout (C2 headstocks are reported to be normally good); - align tailstock (C2 tailstocks are a bit crude!); - add thin washers to cross-slide and compound to remove a little slack. True backlash seems low but I haven't measured it yet.
And for the mill:
- check gears as above (belt drive conversion on order); - bolt to bench; - tram column; - check runout.
The belt drive conversion reduces noise and prevents broken gears; a known problem with the X2. Spare gears are available from Arc Euro Trade though.
The 'manuals' are very brief and contain some interesting 'Chinese English'. However, excellent guides are available to download for both machines at the Little Machine Shop <www.littlemachineshop.com> . There is also a vast amount of information at <www.mini-lathe.com> , and several Yahoo groups.
For the mill in particular there are several schools of thought on the best collets and vice. I've gone for ER32 MT3 collets from Arc Euro Trade and a screwless vice (see item 2356 at Little Machine Shop for a picture of a similar item). As far as I could find that particular vice isn't available in UK. You can get a similar one from Chronos for example, but it lacks the side slots for mounting.
The vice hasn't arrived yet so I can't comment, but the collets are here and seem decent quality to me. Each covers a 1mm nominal diameter range. I intend to use them for drills as well as milling cutters. Using MT3 collets would free up some Z axis travel and maybe reduce chatter, but until I need to use them I would rather avoid wear on the spindle (the ER collets of course go in a holder which stays in the spindle).
I can't check runout or properly align the tailstock until I receive a mag stand (a basic Noga unit) which is on order for my dial test indicator (used Mercer from eBay), but will post results later if anyone's interested.
Dave
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Hi Dave, could i ask what Longitudinal travel are you able to get on the Mill table. I've read that the Axminster is 180mm, but a similar Sieg on Ebay claims 210mm. Are they just including the extra couple of inches before the table falls to the floor or does the factory make these tables to various specs? I've got several Bronze project pieces that need flat milling and measure 190mm, so obviously don't want to get a mill that's only got 180mm of travel. Any update as to the experience with the mill so far? Best wishes, Nick.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

This one on eBay: item 260144894510? It certainly *looks* the same as mine, bar the colour of course.
My table will travel 180mm from full left (where the end stop hits the right hand side of the carriage) to the point where the left end of the table is level with the left side of the carriage. It will of course go further, becoming looser as it does so
The carriage is 150mm wide, so you would still have 120mm of overlap after 210mm of travel. IMHO, 190 travel would be usable but 210 is getting optimistic for that table.
I don't know if there is more than one table length available: I've never seen an X2 that looks different to mine in that respect, although Sieg did short and long table versions of the smaller X1. You could try asking on this Yahoo group:
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GrizHFMinimill
As for an update, I'm ashamed to say I've haven't used it for more than a few experimental cuts: partly due to lack of time and partly because when I have had a chance I've needed to make things on the lathe.
Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Further to my previous reply, this has a longer table:
<http://amadeal.co.uk/xj12.htm
I haven't dealt with them, but happened to see it mentioned on the Yahoo group I gave the link of.
Dave
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