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    1. Kit: , by (Active Member) Ctype is offline
      Builder Last Online: Aug 2018 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 0
      Started: 08-11-11 Build Revisions: Never  
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      Hi guys,

      I've been wanting to buy a milling machine for a while now. It's a little hard to come up with the dollars, but the machines I've been looking at (the imports) are up $200.00 since I've been looking. Let me figure this out. Sales are down because of the ecomomy, so the price goes up. Must have slept through the supply and demand part of my basic business course.

      In anycase I'm about to take the plunge and Micro-Mark has this machine on sale for $399.00.

      MicroLux Micro Milling Machine

      Does anyone have experience with this machine, or an opinion? I don't see myself doing any serious work in steal, so maybe. I'll give any thougths you have a lot of weignt.

      Thanks
      Bill

      BTW For anyone who hasn't taken the advice from this forum. I got my copy of 'Tabletop Machiining' by Joe Martin today. What a surprise. I was expecting a thin book on light paper, not 350 pages of glossy, heavy paper. I've got some reading to do.
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  1. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
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    Hey Ctype. I'm not a machinist but I hear that book is a real winner. There are a number of builders on the site that highly recommend it.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  2. Ctype's Avatar Active Member
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    Bill
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    Hi jeff,

    I'm not a machinist either, but I play one in my basement. The book is great. I've been reading it all day.

    I'm going to guess no one has one of these machines, so I think think I'll hold off for their bigger one. Too much money to spend on something that unknown.
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  3. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Ctype, visit the Sherline site for tips and advice and how to's, they have some great online information. I have the machines you are looking at and they are great for learning, but not as precise or close tolerance as the Sherline equipment.

    Also check your local Harbor Freight and find out when they are going on sale. That is also a good way to get them.

    Ken
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  4. Ctype's Avatar Active Member
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    Bill
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    Thanks Ken, I would like to have a better machine, but my budget just won't allow for it. I ordered the Micro Mill. For what I'm doing it should be accurate enough. Certialy better than the eyeball and file method I'm using now. I've lookied at the Sherline products for some time, just don't have the $$$ for them.

    Bill
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  5. Ctype's Avatar Active Member
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    Bill
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    Well, after waiting 8 weeks for the micro mill to show, I broke down and got the next one up instead. Glad I did as this machine isn't very big, so I can only wonder at how small the other one really was. I did discover that the Chinese must excel at putting razor sharp edges on machined surfaces. JK. I know that keep the cost down. I've done some lathe work, but this is my first mill so I have some more learning to do. Overall, in my opinion it's not a bad little machine. Got some weight to it, the motor is real smooth, as is the table movement, plus it looks good. Can't beat that. I need to get some R8 tooling for it as my lathe tools are MT.

    Bill
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

  6. 46SuperDeluxe's Avatar Active Member
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    Gary
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    Feb 2007
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    I would like to get these machines also. I work for a statewide chain of hardware stores out here in California, and watch the prices go UP on a daily basis. It is in direct relation to our currency being devalued under QE1 and QE2. I comment to my fellow employees that "even the Chinese stuff isn't cheap anymore." One saving grace that I'm starting to see, and I recently read something in a British news source (of all places) that this might spur investment into American factories once again, as a number of companies have already brought their production back to the US due to the fact that it is no longer favorable (due to shipping lag times,copying of intellectual property etc, the unwillingness of young workers to put up with sweatshop tactics etc. etc.) So "GO for it Ctype!" There are a number of new threads on here to do with scratchbuilding and machining metal to do so, that have pulled me back to this site on a daily basis. It's get'in real interesting!
    QUOTE QUOTE #7

  7. 5thwheel's Avatar Active Member
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    William
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctype View Post
    Well, after waiting 8 weeks for the micro mill to show, I broke down and got the next one up instead. Glad I did as this machine isn't very big, so I can only wonder at how small the other one really was. I did discover that the Chinese must excel at putting razor sharp edges on machined surfaces. JK. I know that keep the cost down. I've done some lathe work, but this is my first mill so I have some more learning to do. Overall, in my opinion it's not a bad little machine. Got some weight to it, the motor is real smooth, as is the table movement, plus it looks good. Can't beat that. I need to get some R8 tooling for it as my lathe tools are MT.

    Bill
    Bill, contact LittleMachineShop.com They have replacement parts and up grades for your mill plus all the tooling. I am not sure it makes any difference to you right now but they have conversion lead screws to convert from metric feed to inch. Also order an extra set of gears for the mill. The gears are plastic and if you try to use a fly cutter (my first mistake) you will blow the gears.

    I just sold my mill and 9x20 lathe and am now just using my Sherline lathe and mill. Sherline has a good assortment of accessories that can be bought over time and saved up for.

    Bill
    Last edited by 5thwheel; 11-15-12 at 10:57 PM.
    QUOTE QUOTE #8

  8. fuzzy's Avatar Established Member
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    Ted aka Fuzzy
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    Nov 2005
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    I have the "import" lathe and mill from micro-mark.Not bad machines to start with and with a little work fine tuning them they can be even better and more accurate. Shars.com along with blue ridge tools have plenty to offer along with little machine shop,who I heartily endorse. Little machine shop has very fast shipping and I have purchased a fair amount from them in the past 6 plus years.Metalartspress.com has enough reference literature to blow your mind and wallet. And last is a website for tips,home DIY upgrades and links for all kinds of interesting stuff for both mill and lathe.All this should give you plenty to think about. Don't blame me for the amount of time you spend looking thru all of this as it will take a little bit to get thru it LOL. Enjoy and there are plenty of members who will answer guestions if possible. Safety first ... And last, the only silly questions are the ones you don't ask.
    QUOTE QUOTE #9

  9. Ctype's Avatar Active Member
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    Bill
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    I still have my 9x20 lathe. Just put new bearings in the spindle a few weeks ago. It's a nice machine for what I do with it. I like the sherline equipment, but once in awhile I need to do something where I need more swing, so I'm staying with it. I've had it for about 25 years and it's still much like I got it. I really need to make some of the modifications owners have posted, and I did spend a lot of time going through it all. What I need most is to slow it down. It's lowest speed it 130. That seems a bit fast for cutting threads.

    I love the mill, and now have the R8 collets for it. Except for wood, I use it in place of my old table drill. I can finally put holes where I need them, and for modeling it is probably as good as any of the affordable jewlery drills are. This mill is the newer model, and it doesn't use the gears. It's belt drive, and the motor will spin it from a completely useless rpm to 2500. I'll probably have to get a tach for it.
    QUOTE QUOTE #10

  10. 5thwheel's Avatar Active Member
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    William
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctype View Post
    I still have my 9x20 lathe. Just put new bearings in the spindle a few weeks ago. It's a nice machine for what I do with it. I like the sherline equipment, but once in awhile I need to do something where I need more swing, so I'm staying with it. I've had it for about 25 years and it's still much like I got it. I really need to make some of the modifications owners have posted, and I did spend a lot of time going through it all. What I need most is to slow it down. It's lowest speed it 130. That seems a bit fast for cutting threads.

    I love the mill, and now have the R8 collets for it. Except for wood, I use it in place of my old table drill. I can finally put holes where I need them, and for modeling it is probably as good as any of the affordable jewlery drills are. This mill is the newer model, and it doesn't use the gears. It's belt drive, and the motor will spin it from a completely useless rpm to 2500. I'll probably have to get a tach for it.

    I take it your 9x20 lathe is an Asian import... If so you cannot get the speed down low enough to thread. You will need to make a hand wheel to fit in the spindle and thread by hand. Find a length of cold roll round stock to fit nicely in the spindle. Drill a 1/4" hole in one end of the bar. Tap one inch in for 1/4" bolt. Cut that end of at a 45 degrees. Oversize drill through the rest of the bar. Slip a washer on a 1/4"long bolt and run it in the hole and thread into the end piece. Leave loose. Slip the bar into the spindle from the rear. When you tighten up the bolt it will clamp the bar in the spindle. Add a hand wheel with a crank handle on it and you are ready to go. When you cut the thread, crank until end of thread then without moving any thing crank it back. Reset your cutting tool and cut more doing this until your have threaded you part.
    QUOTE QUOTE #11

  11. Nortley's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Buck
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    Thank you, 5thwheel. I've been scratching my skull trying to figure out how to slow down my 13x40 Grizzly for threading. You've seconded my problem and suggested a simple fix. I'd been thinking of a pulley mounted on the far end of the spindle, driven by a motor somehow fixed to the headstock, but I like the crank idea, that works for Sherline. Gotta remember two things. Set the speed to 2000 rpm for easier turning, and DON'T go near the power switch. I might also need longer arms to turn the crank and see the work.
    Scorpio - Builds models the way the prototype should have been built.
    QUOTE QUOTE #12

  12. Ctype's Avatar Active Member
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    Bill
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    5thwheel, Yes, it is an Asian import. Thanks for the information. I never would have thought it could be that simple. I was thinking along the same lines as Nortley.
    QUOTE QUOTE #13

  13. Andym's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Andy
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    I've been using my new littlemachineshop lathe and mill for a month now and I'm quite pleased. The machines are very smooth and precise and the folks at LMS are great to work with.I still use my sherline lathe and mill for the small stuff, but for the bigger pieces I highly recommend the offerings at LMS.
    When I was young I used to say "When I grow up I'm going to be somebody!"

    I now realize I should have been more specific.
    QUOTE QUOTE #14

  14. Noel Smith's Avatar Active Member
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    There has been no mention of the Austrian Emco Unimat range of small lathe and accessories.
    Also there is a German company named Proxxon who have a really nice large range of small machines aimed at the model maker. Well worth looking at both websites.
    I have seen the Sherline machines here in the UK. A very well made American product.
    There are 2 British companies, Boxford and Denford who currently supply small CNC machines to the educational market. Years ago they both used to supply small manual lathes and milling machines to technical colleges. There may well be a number of these on the second hand market, and they are excellent very well built machines.
    QUOTE QUOTE #15

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