*IF* you get a good one, they can work pretty well, somewhat sturdy (the
castings are surprisingly thin-walled once you get past the 1/8" of filler,
add the filler in the casting flaws to that reckoning) etc., but the
alignment can be a bit iffy sometimes ("friday afternoon jobs"?) and they
really need the switchgear and contactors rewired as they're configured as
though for a 3-phase motor with "plug reverse" which doesn't work too well
when it just reverses one of the single-phase windings while it's running...
No interlock to prevent it, and it can wreck the motor pretty quickly :(
Mechanically they're pretty noisy (the head's full of straight-cut gears
made to Chinese "Standards") but can be reliable enough for occasional use -
the standard bearings in the spindle/quill are the usual Chinese "bargains"
though. - worth looking at replacement fairly soon with something better
Should you get one, it's worth getting a sparky who knows machine tools to
check it over, the Chinese aren't too good at that sort of thing! Pay
particular attention to things like earth continuity, insulation etc.
Physically, tramming the head is a bit of a hassle(on a pivot with a pair of
t-bolts to lock, no adjusters) , and there aren't any grease ports for the
table feed screws so they have to be hand-smothered in grease...One you look
closely, you can see where costs and corners have been cut!
Ant chance you could find a used European / American or even Taiwanese
machine at around the same price? A secondhand Aciera or Thiel (or one of
the Eastern European clones) would be a lot more versatile, around the same
price (of you're lucky!) and footprint, and a *much* sturdier machine with
power feeds and accuracy built in as standard.
Thanks for that, I have gone right off it! Even though my wife tells me
that I am deaf in my old age I still abhor machines that are noisy. I am
considering getting rid of the (constantly engaged) back gear on my
Viceroy and changing to belt drive over to the main spindle.
Aciera's that I have seen go for a lot of money. I was thinking about a
Schaublin 13 a while ago but it did not have the milling and drilling
head so I did not bother even though it hadall the rest of the kit.
I will keep looking.
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