• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

Awesome New Mill- Is it worth it?

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#61
OK FOLKS!

I appreciate all the comments here, and have no wish to end this discussion. You guys are great!

However, I'm pretty sure at this point that the mill for me will be a new PM30MV, and wouldn't you know, they are in stock!

Wife is ok with it, even pointed out where I had some cash stashed. Good woman!


At this point, I expect that I will plan my upgrade path like this:

-Right away: X power feed, collet set, face mill, fly cutter, end mills

-ASAP: Other cutting tools, DRO,

-When possible: Z power feed, coolant system

Would you guys adjust that list any?

Keep in mind, the jumpo to new PM30MV does stretch the mad money a bit. . .

I have some cheap end mills so really an R8 collet set would get me cutting. . .


Any reason not to build a very stout wood stand , with drawers and so forth? (I'm an experienced carpenter) I'd been planning to put this on my bench, but now I'm thinking dedicated stand in the corner. . .

I have my lathe, about 350 lbs, ona cheap HD rollaway cab, but I'm a bit wary of doing that with this mill- maybe a Snap-On 27" rollaway would support it. . .

What do you folks think?
 

tq60

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
509
Likes
254
#62
Avoid a standard tool cabinet as the mill is heavy and it has viberations that will work on the cabinet.

Simplest path is a wood stand with dimensional lumber in the corners and 3/4 thick ply on 3 sides and top.

Under top is cross members to hold weight.

On very top place sheet melamine as it is a vinyl covered particle board that structure is not strong but surface great for cleanup.

Locate a suitable tool cabinet for under the mill and build the above box to fit chest inside.

Use cross members between sides for top support and in front one drill holes to hold your collet and Allen wrenches.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#63
Avoid a standard tool cabinet as the mill is heavy and it has viberations that will work on the cabinet.

Simplest path is a wood stand with dimensional lumber in the corners and 3/4 thick ply on 3 sides and top.

Under top is cross members to hold weight.

On very top place sheet melamine as it is a vinyl covered particle board that structure is not strong but surface great for cleanup.

Locate a suitable tool cabinet for under the mill and build the above box to fit chest inside.

Use cross members between sides for top support and in front one drill holes to hold your collet and Allen wrenches.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk

Awesome, that is a great idea.

I guess I have a sketchup/carpentry project to do while I wait for the mill. . .

Thanks for the line-out on how to do it.

I bet I could destroy melamine pretty quickly, I do use it in aqaurium stands and the like, but I do have a nice piece of white formica covered 1" ply that was part of the original Unisaw outfeed table. . .
 

higgite

General Manger - Proofreading Dept.
Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
641
Likes
619
#64
HA! It worked, I knew that would spool someone up. . .

There will always be a guy that says, the "next one up" but I've already taken that advice a few times in a row!

That bench mill is way MORE than I need. I'm a casual, lazy hobbyist so it's never going to see production work.
Aw, c'mon, Jet. Why settle for a new pickup truck when you might find a killer deal on a used 14-yard dump truck that will do everything the pickup will and more? :grin:

Tom
 

tq60

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
509
Likes
254
#65
We built a bench years ago from assorted harvested goods...

A steel frame on floor that once was a display stand with a group of tool chests for storage setting on top of that

Plywood structure like an old style six pack carton surrounding tool chests with space for floor mount drill press in corner.

Top as suggested above.

On top was hf mill on one side and lathe along other.

Makes for great work center.

We have yet to stain ours.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,076
Likes
1,073
#66
When I had my PM25 and SB1001 lathe, I had both on 40" Craftsman toolboxes that I built outriggers for to stabilize the mill (didn't need them for the lathe, just made some screw jacks to stick under the toolbox). Zero problems with that setup, and I had a bunch of drawers to keep stuff! :)

DSCN4203.jpg
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#67
Aw, c'mon, Jet. Why settle for a new pickup truck when you might find a killer deal on a used 14-yard dump truck that will do everything the pickup will and more? :grin:

Tom
This, my friend, is one of the funniest, and most apt analogies of my situation. Hats off to you! I really enjoy this. . .
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#68
When I had my PM25 and SB1001 lathe, I had both on 40" Craftsman toolboxes that I built outriggers for to stabilize the mill (didn't need them for the lathe, just made some screw jacks to stick under the toolbox). Zero problems with that setup, and I had a bunch of drawers to keep stuff! :)

View attachment 235642
That is a nice shop area and similar to my setup. I think this mill is a bit heavy for that setup, but I have a similar lathe on a very similar toolbox.

Any detail pics of your outriggers? Can't quite mentally picture that.
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,076
Likes
1,073
#69
No, sorry. Basically I just took some angle iron I had laying around and fit some large bolts for adjustment and made some cups to sit between the concrete and the bolt heads. Had the pieces at both ends of the toolbox. Crude, but it worked. Once I quit stubbing my toes on the outriggers that is.
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#70
We built a bench years ago from assorted harvested goods...

A steel frame on floor that once was a display stand with a group of tool chests for storage setting on top of that

Plywood structure like an old style six pack carton surrounding tool chests with space for floor mount drill press in corner.

Top as suggested above.

On top was hf mill on one side and lathe along other.

Makes for great work center.

We have yet to stain ours.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
I would love to see a picture of that, I love to repurpose stuff.
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#71
No, sorry. Basically I just took some angle iron I had laying around and fit some large bolts for adjustment and made some cups to sit between the concrete and the bolt heads. Had the pieces at both ends of the toolbox. Crude, but it worked. Once I quit stubbing my toes on the outriggers that is.
Sure, I understand.

So I notice here and elsewhere that a lot of machinist hobbyists are also gun hobbyists. I am a proficeint shooter but not even a novice gunsmith- I've always been interested.

I can imagine many things one might do for a gun with a lathe, but what, other than removing the pesky parts of the action that preclude rapid fire, would I do for a gun with a mill? I'm asking, because I have lots fo friends with guns that are probably dumb enough to let me work on them. I'd love to try.

In my state, I can make silencers legally if I don't try to sell them.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
4,024
Likes
4,172
#72
I'm asking, because I have lots fo friends with guns that are probably dumb enough to let me work on them. I'd love to try.
Before you work on anybody else's gun, even for free, make sure you have read and understand the FEDERAL as well as state and local rules that control that sort of work. You can get into serious trouble if you do something illegal and get caught. I am not just talking about illegal modifications, I am also talking about doing work that requires licensing to do, even if no money changes hands. I am not saying not to do it, just know what you are getting yourself into...

This thread is going off-topic...
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#73
Before you work on anybody else's gun, even for free, make sure you have read and understand the FEDERAL as well as state and local rules that control that sort of work. You can get into serious trouble if you do something illegal and get caught. I am not just talking about illegal modifications, I am also talking about doing work that requires licensing to do, even if no money changes hands. I am not saying not to do it, just know what you are getting yourself into...

This thread is going off-topic...

That is certainly good advice. While I'm pretty aware of my State's gun laws, I hadn't really considered the legalities of working on them. However, in a State where you can make your own silencers, I'd doubt there is much to worry about from them. The Federal Government, on the other hand, specializes in violating State's rights so you're quite right to suggest that I protect myself from them!

And yeah, I better get back to the topic at hand, before the OP gets pissed. . .


J/K, the thread served it's purpose, and I'm pretty sure I'm going with the PM30MV. This decision became much easier, once some kind soul dropped by PM and put a deposit on the discount mill, thus removing it from play. I'd already decided to pass on it, but it's really easy not to second guess myself now that it is no longer available.
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,076
Likes
1,073
#74
I've been building my own competition pistols and rifles since the mid 80s. I was also lucky to mentor under a very good pistolsmith. I was also offered a job to work for a nationally known pistolsmith in the midwest. But he was in the midwest, and I didn't want to move there. That and one of the first tasks he wanted of me was to spend a year building two pistols for submittal to the Pistolsmiths Guild. That would have been a ton of work for someone just branching out on their own. :eek:

I have been very careful regarding pistolsmithing/gunsmithing. I don't want to get on the wrong side of the BATF, or any law enforcement agency for that matter. Given recent events in my life, I have been considering getting a gunsmithing FFL so I can legally work on other folks guns. I haven't researched it in depth yet though.

And don't fret the OT stuff jetmech: pretty much every thread here on this forum goes off topic to some degree. Maybe some folks are just touchy about certain OT subject matters?

And yes, you will use your mill just as much or more for gunsmithing. It just depends on what you are doing.
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#75
I've been building my own competition pistols and rifles since the mid 80s. I was also lucky to mentor under a very good pistolsmith. I was also offered a job to work for a nationally known pistolsmith in the midwest. But he was in the midwest, and I didn't want to move there. That and one of the first tasks he wanted of me was to spend a year building two pistols for submittal to the Pistolsmiths Guild. That would have been a ton of work for someone just branching out on their own. :eek:
Two years? How would you support yourself during that time? Or did he mean, a year of all your spare time?

I have been very careful regarding pistolsmithing/gunsmithing. I don't want to get on the wrong side of the BATF, or any law enforcement agency for that matter. Given recent events in my life, I have been considering getting a gunsmithing FFL so I can legally work on other folks guns. I haven't researched it in depth yet though.
I will look into it. I'm already an outlaw in several ways so I probably don't need to add this, but I'm not worried about doing stuff for my friends. They tell the government where to find me, I bring out what I know about them, heh heh. . .

And don't fret the OT stuff jetmech: pretty much every thread here on this forum goes off topic to some degree. Maybe some folks are just touchy about certain OT subject matters?
Heh heh, I erm, wasn't worried about pissing off the "OP" or getting OT. I'm a veteran of threads with much worse thread police and warn-holes than this. . . I appreciate the advice and I know it gives some people a warm fuzzy to be the content cop. No worries.

In order to keep the threads "clean" I did start a new one about my mill stand I'll need to build.

And yes, you will use your mill just as much or more for gunsmithing. It just depends on what you are doing.
I can't wait. My old Taurus auto doesn't have a rail on the frame like the new ones. . . I suppose I could fix that issue, for instance. I'd not try that until I was sure I'd not trash the gun, though it would not be great loss with that piece.
 

brav65

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
898
Likes
427
#76
Indeed. However, this outfit has a good reputation, and while people praise the sevice they get, every review mentions that you get response within a "reasonable time" meaning it could be quicker.

The vendor is Precision Matthews. The reason that it's taking more attention and wrangling is I'm trying to buy a "return" off of them at a discount. Service after the sale isn't really an issue, as there is no warranty if I buy this mill. I don't look for much service after the sale on Chinese tools anyway, and if something breaks, I typically repalce it with better stuff.

I'm going to email them again right now, and turn up the pressure, and I will also email their "regular" sales people. But hey, if they don't want to take my money, I'll take it somewhere else, many people make version of this mill.

To tell you the truth, I can't figure outhow they run that business at all, given that they are nearly always out of everything they sell, just look on their site! I kind of think that this is some side-biz and they run it super-understaffed to save money.

However, PM consistently gets better reviews for QC and for being the "best" version of these import machines, plus, the white and blue is so cool!

But then, Grizz Green will be acceptable too, if they won't "shut up and take my money!"

I have done business with Matt and it can get frutrating sometimes to get a response from him. He is a small operation and he does many of the jobs himself. That being said he is a top notch guy and a man of his word. I ordered an x axis power feed for my PM-25. It took waaaay longer to get than expected. It showed up at my house one day without me paying for it. I contacted Matt and he said he was not going to charge me because it took soooo long. I have also had some minor warranty items on my mill that Matt resolved quickly with new parts over nighted to me.
 

Cadillac STS

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
504
Likes
156
#77
A comment on your upgrade path: Very first thing should be a high quality milling vise. High quality is important here because that is what will hold all your material and it needs to be accurate and square. This is one place to spend significant money because if you get a cheap vise nothing is going to be straight or repeatable. And a good set of parallels.

Then a system to tram the mill and set the vise absolutely square as you bolt it to the table.

Then the other things you mentioned after that.

Size of the milling vise is really important to size of your mill and I'll let others comment on size because I am not familiar with your mill.
 

Eddyde

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
858
Likes
500
#78
I agree with Cadillac, a good vise is the most important "accessory" you need. Kurt has "scratch and dent" vises available, they are fully functional warrantee and all but with minor cosmetic flaws, at a nice discount.
Also, I would consider getting the DRO before the power feed. IMHO the DRO is much more useful.
 

Woffler

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
14
Likes
0
#79
I have something similar to this mill you talking about , i very quickly said this is not going to work , they rattle like a freight train on old track and the speeds are way to slow .
I got rid of the head and purchased a new belt drive head from Tormach from there 1100 model, speeds with VFD 150 t0 6,000 RPM ,yes you can buy the whole head .

And i soon discovered this was slow going and converted to cnc this added another whole dimension to my shop and what the hay we might as well CNC the lathe too ,i have to say it was the best thing i ever did .

But i had to do it piece meal because of funding but it has been fun doing it .
 

clockworkcheval

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
6
Likes
1
#80
I agree with the comment on low speed. The lowest I could do was 50 RPM and the highest 2000 RPM. I added a speed controller to get as low as 15 RPM and I regularly use it for large bores.It also gets me as high as 3000 RPM. Later on I added a separate milling head that gives me up to 6000 RPM. But overall I find more use for the low speeds.
 

JetMech

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
45
Likes
15
#81
I have done business with Matt and it can get frutrating sometimes to get a response from him. He is a small operation and he does many of the jobs himself. That being said he is a top notch guy and a man of his word. I ordered an x axis power feed for my PM-25. It took waaaay longer to get than expected. It showed up at my house one day without me paying for it. I contacted Matt and he said he was not going to charge me because it took soooo long. I have also had some minor warranty items on my mill that Matt resolved quickly with new parts over nighted to me.
Hey, sorry to get back to you so late, I'm sure you aren't worried about it. I ultimately didn't buy a mill- I still have it on my list but once everyone convinced me to go for the larger, belt driven mill, I decided to back off and save a few more pennies.

Also, I realized that there were many cleanup projects that needed my attention before I tried to situate a mchine of this size in my work area. I will buy a mill soon, and it will probably be the PM30V. Thanks to everyone for their advice, it certainly informed my thought process.

I agree that Matt's reputation is good, but I will say, if I pay this much for merch of any kind I expect prompt attetntion to my concerns and questions. One thing that cooled me off on this sale was the way that it was hard to get any information out of QMT, and there are some more things I'd like to know before I buy.

A comment on your upgrade path: Very first thing should be a high quality milling vise. High quality is important here because that is what will hold all your material and it needs to be accurate and square. This is one place to spend significant money because if you get a cheap vise nothing is going to be straight or repeatable. And a good set of parallels.

Then a system to tram the mill and set the vise absolutely square as you bolt it to the table.

Then the other things you mentioned after that.

Size of the milling vise is really important to size of your mill and I'll let others comment on size because I am not familiar with your mill.
Great advice, certainly correct. I've looked at 4" and 5" Kurts and I cannot believe that you can't make something 95% as good, for less. You pay a lot for the "K-U-R-T" decoration. I'll be in the market for a good knock-off, probably. Recommendations?


I agree with Cadillac, a good vise is the most important "accessory" you need. Kurt has "scratch and dent" vises available, they are fully functional warrantee and all but with minor cosmetic flaws, at a nice discount.
Also, I would consider getting the DRO before the power feed. IMHO the DRO is much more useful.
Yes, DRO would be really nice. $700 for the QMT one is too much for a Chinese DRO, so I'd have to install my own. I'd pretty much thought o f the vice as an integral component rather than an accessory, but I appreciate you guys making sure I know I need one.

I have something similar to this mill you talking about , i very quickly said this is not going to work , they rattle like a freight train on old track and the speeds are way to slow .
I got rid of the head and purchased a new belt drive head from Tormach from there 1100 model, speeds with VFD 150 t0 6,000 RPM ,yes you can buy the whole head .

And i soon discovered this was slow going and converted to cnc this added another whole dimension to my shop and what the hay we might as well CNC the lathe too ,i have to say it was the best thing i ever did .

But i had to do it piece meal because of funding but it has been fun doing it .
Yes, the folks here quickly convinced me that gear-heads were a waste of time. I'm interested in your swap- How did you determine the Tormach head would fit your mill? I'm really interested in that if you have any details.

I may get into CNC later but for now I figure I'll be better served by learning manual machining first. I will get into CNC someday, it's just too cool!

I agree with the comment on low speed. The lowest I could do was 50 RPM and the highest 2000 RPM. I added a speed controller to get as low as 15 RPM and I regularly use it for large bores.It also gets me as high as 3000 RPM. Later on I added a separate milling head that gives me up to 6000 RPM. But overall I find more use for the low speeds.
Very interesting- is this "separate head" a whole other milling head like Woffler above, or is it some tyoe of added attachment? In any case I appreciate your advice. It's clear I need variable speed and a wide envelope.


Thanks for all the replies everyone, I try to respond quickly but for some reson I wasn't getting notifications for a while.
 
Container Above bottom breadcrumb