Skip to main content

Image 1 - 100~240V Mini Milling Machine DIY Woodworking Metal Aluminum Processing Tool New

I have been looking at this mini milling machine on ebay.   It is from Red china which means its cheap but it is priced right for me.   I have used a sherline to cut out diesel chassie's to convert to a can motor and it really worked well.......the problem for sherline is its price.

Anybody got any thoughts about this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Jackie

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

When I first retired back in 2007, I got bored two years later and worked full time at a Harbor Freight for an entire year.

Fully half of the lathes, mills, and other complicated bench machines were returned within a week, with the buyer cussing that they were total junk, out of spec, and wouldn't hold their specs for five minutes even when properly set.  (The return rates on the compressors and generators were even worse!  Key parts were often defective, and were totally non-replaceable and non-repairable.)   I remember one guy who brought a model of compressor back three times for NIB replacement units during a two week period, and finally gave up and got his money back.

So, if you are planning to do any detailed milling, requiring close spec tolerances,  . . . forget it.

Buy a moderately used quality machine, for half price.  Assuming you take care of it, you can use it for years and then get your money back.

For something like a large crow bar, a rough metal or wood cutter, a sledge-hammer, or a huge adjustable crescent wrench, the tools at Harbor Freight are a great buy.   (The best deal is the multi-tool, which it the cord powered oscillating tool.   These generally cost 1/3rd of what a Bosch costs and actually last longer.  I get 5 years of really hard use out of those tools without burning them up!)

The other fantastic buys are the large white canvas painting clothes, and the plastic tarps.

Hope this gives you some useful info.

Mannyrock

I did check the price and was surprised its so low but the soft material caveat would greatly limit its use. I had a first edition Unimat many years ago that had bar stock for ways vs the newer dovetail and you could barely take cuts more than .010” in brass or aluminum or the tool would grab and either break or tear up the work.

Pete

William Jack,

Unfortunately in the machining world, hobby or otherwise, You get what you pay for. If you want to machine plastic, a milling machine for under $1500 will work fine, just don't expect close tolerances.  Three things to consider in your purchase: 1. Spindle. What kind of bearings, and service life at the highest rpm.  2. Ways of the X and Y Axis. What material? Dovetail or box? Adjustable for wear? 3. Leadscrews.  Do they repeat? Just overall quality.

Not knowing your total situation, and you want to machine materials other than plastic and wood, I would suggest the used market. There are plenty of used, industrial milling machines, stand alone and small bed mills out there, for a fair price. Fair price = just over $3000. Then add more for phase converter. Yes, you really have to want to be in this hobby.

I suppose that's why entry level 3D printing is so popular, as you can get into it for less. But if you want to do real machining, you have to get the good stuff.

I have been a moldmaker for the last 40 years, and my home machine shop has the same equipment as my "work" shop does. I won't settle for "hobby" type of machines. They only lead to disappointment in the final product.

unless the milling machine has a servo controlling each axis that can be connected to and controlled by a program on your PC, these hand-operated mills are difficult to use/ This is an automated one, no handwheels:

A while ago, before 3D printing, I took a milling machine and added servos in all four directions (4th being a circular).

The milling machine controller was made in China; and I could never get it to work.

@AlanRail posted:

You can move the mill in the x, y and z directions fairly easily .

But to make a circle you need to be able to move the x and y together....a real challenge.

Automatic is the best for sure but I have been able to do a lot of work with my hand wheel Bridgeport. Not even any readouts just look at the dials. For circles I have a couple of rotary tables. Someday, especially if I get into production work, I will get a small computer driven machine. For simple shapes though in small quantity its faster to just clamp some material in a vise and start making chips. You will spend more time programing a piece than it takes to cut one by hand.

BTW impressive work on your homemade machine. 👍

Pete

Last edited by Norton

I’m tempted to get my hands on a WEN mini mill, just over a grand to my door,…..I have the small 7” Harbor Freight mini lathe in the RR shop, ….is it as good as my big JET lathe out in the big shops, ….probably not, but the mini lathe does a descent job if you know what to tweak on the machine, …..mine had some tool post bolts work loose, but since I’ve corrected that, I’ve had no issues spinning all kinds of parts, ( some of them for y’all) ….I wouldn’t cut anything more than mild steel on it,…but it does fantastic on brass, aluminum, and of course die cast pot metals …..I spun the stack pictured below for a project, and I had no issues setting up,….it’s no worse than any other machine, as you should always inspect your tools before use,…….I’m pretty confident the little WEN pictured below is gonna handle anything in the RR shop with ease,……mostly I’m looking for in house method of milling out the ex-Pulmor shells to accept a Pittman ……the OP’s mill he’s asked about, to me, is really the bottom of the barrel,…As mentioned, I can’t see an extruded bed keeping stuff clamped with out walking…..and walking is wrecking,…..7F0C933C-3E67-429E-81A4-2B89421BACEB9DC19961-0800-4FD5-9FC7-5FB7150BBD80B14888BA-E8BC-454A-8DE4-E8822BEBE03FPat

Attachments

Images (3)
  • 7F0C933C-3E67-429E-81A4-2B89421BACEB
  • 9DC19961-0800-4FD5-9FC7-5FB7150BBD80
  • B14888BA-E8BC-454A-8DE4-E8822BEBE03F
Last edited by harmonyards

Jackie,

Just a thought, I have trouble justifying the purchase of an expensive milling machine for very limited use also. I do some wood working and own a Shopsmith. I purchased a cross slide vice and have used it to do very light milling to remove the molded motor mounts on soft metal chassis. I take multiple light cuts with low feed rates and found it does an acceptable job, if you have that machine, it's possible it would work for you.

Ray

proxx mill

This is the machine I added 3 servos to create an automated milling machine. I used a Chinese controller to control the servos via a milling program on a devoted PC.

The way I attached the servos was so that I could also hand control the milling.

Milling, like laser cutting and engraving, is a subtractive process, whereas 3D printing is an additive process.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • proxx mill

I have a used "Benchmaster" end mill that I got for $200 a while back.  Heavy cast iron, made in the USA.  It will cut steel if I go slowly - but I use it all the time for brass and aluminum.  I make locomotive mainframes, modify cylinder blocks, machine siderod masters, cut windows in passenger car extrusions, make small parts for old aircraft - it is quite heavy, and one of my better purchases.

As to Harbor Freight - that small cast iron drill press is superb, and a "steal" - I have three at home and one in each hangar.  Decades of practically daily use!

I agree - a lot is junk, but there are some gems in there.  My "Dremels" come from HF - $9.95, pitch them when they break.  Never had any luck with their sprayguns - I recently graduated to a Croix HVLP, and love it!

I looked into this about two years ago. The machine is a cost but then the tooling is a huge cost I didn't expect. I'm glad I was advised on that because I would have bought a machine that I couldn't afford to even run.

I will say though, I find machining relaxing. I wish I could get into it at home for that reason. I ran the lathe at the foundry and despite wet charges going into the furnace behind me and the cranes running and whatnot, running the old Monarch lathe would always get me in a zen mood.

Ray,  I recieved my Mill yesterday.  Very nice .......cast base very good, Proxxon did not furnish a allen wrench to install table but that really isn't a problem.  As you can see I have mounted a old alco chassie to give you some idea of it size.  For me it is perfect for what I want to do.  I have turned the handles and found that the wheels might have been a little larger.   Even though it is heavy for its size and  I will bolt it down to my work bench before using.

Smooth operation of the axis.     I have not used it yet but so far I am very happy with this purchase.  I also bought the 3 cutter bit assortment and the vise              ( haven't recieved the vise yet.)          Nice catolog came with it.  Well constructed and it did not come from red china!!!!! Luxenburg.......They have a great REP for High Quality products.



regards

Jackie

Attachments

Images (1)
  • mceclip0

Ray,  I recieved my Mill yesterday.  Very nice .......cast base very good, Proxxon did not furnish a allen wrench to install table but that really isn't a problem.  As you can see I have mounted a old alco chassie to give you some idea of it size.  For me it is perfect for what I want to do.  I have turned the handles and found that the wheels might have been a little larger.   Even though it is heavy for its size and  I will bolt it down to my work bench before using.

Smooth operation of the axis.     I have not used it yet but so far I am very happy with this purchase.  I also bought the 3 cutter bit assortment and the vise              ( haven't recieved the vise yet.)          Nice catolog came with it.  Well constructed and it did not come from red china!!!!! Luxenburg.......They have a great REP for High Quality products.



regards

Jackie

Jackie, is that item # 37110?…….do you plan on making some test cuts/runs on some scrap?…..I’d like to hear feedback on run out, wander, etc….??…..I’m still on the debate on a bench top mill for the RR shop,…..my JET salesman stopped by the other day, and they have a bench top model, but I’ll hurt my feelings…..😳

Pat

I've got the Proxxon CNC Mill and Lathe.  Had to buy them from a company in Italy as Proxxon USA doesn't sell them or support them in the USA.  Had to get a 110 to 220 power converter, as they are not setup for USA power but they really are nice.  They use their own protocols so are not compatible with Mach III/IV.  They use ball screws instead of lead screws and that was the biggest reason I chose them.

Pricey, very pricey, but much better made then the Harbor Freight/whomever Chinese manual variety.  Reproducabiity of parts was tedious and in some case not doable do to sloppy backlash.  I CNC'd the Harbor freight variety but spent more time dealing with backlash so as to make it not worth the while.

My mill was shipped from Hickory North Carolina 28601-1909 .........ready to plug in 110 AC......The Catalog simply calls MICRO MILL MF 70.   www.proxxon.com/us

It is priced more that the red china stuff......but I think it much better.  I got in at under 450.

Yes of course I'm going to be making test cuts  very soon.

Jackie

Really interested in your results.

Restore a 1957 South Bend 9" Tool Room Lathe years back, but it is just too big for my modeling work.

Ray,  I recieved my Mill yesterday.  Very nice .......cast base very good, Proxxon did not furnish a allen wrench to install table but that really isn't a problem.  As you can see I have mounted a old alco chassie to give you some idea of it size.  For me it is perfect for what I want to do.  I have turned the handles and found that the wheels might have been a little larger.   Even though it is heavy for its size and  I will bolt it down to my work bench before using.

Smooth operation of the axis.     I have not used it yet but so far I am very happy with this purchase.  I also bought the 3 cutter bit assortment and the vise              ( haven't recieved the vise yet.)          Nice catolog came with it.  Well constructed and it did not come from red china!!!!! Luxenburg.......They have a great REP for High Quality products.



regards

Jackie

Thanks for the update, might be a need to buy here, as others have asked, looking forward to hear about test cuts.

It does look to be perfect for S gauge mods.

Ray

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×