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Barker Pm Horizontal Milling Machine

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gwarner

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#1
While I would love to have a big old Bridgeport I don't have room for one. So I am on the hunt for a small mill.
There is a Barker PM available about 2 1/2 hours away from here and I am interested in it.
My research has shown that they work well on aluminum but will they actually make a decent cut in steel.

This one has leadscrews on the Y and Z axis and rack for the X axis. It come with no tooling. The asking is under $500.

Are Barkers a good choice for a hobbyist or would I be better served to put the dollars toward a Chinese Grizzly?
 

Glenn Brooks

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#2
Is this the type of mill?


If so, might be a bit limited for an all around hobby mill. Also likely to have limited resell value - although I am no expert on these machines- at all... So if you found it didn't meet your needs, then you still would want another and may find a limited market trying to resell this one to free up room for what you really want.

I have an older Grizzly bench mill and have been quite happy with it for maybe 18 years now. I did finally find a Van Norman 12 as I got tired of messing with belt/pully changes on the Grizzly every time I wanted to change speeds - and the Grizzly also doesn't take heavy cuts at all - the head pulls into the work etc. so an honest, heavy, old school universal mill was in the cards for me.

Am keeping the grizzly because it also serves as a sensitive, downward motion, precision drill press - which is an often overlooked feature.

Overall, I suspect you might be happier if you keep looking. Maybe a Burke #4 will turn up in your area. I also have one of these and it's a really nice little machine... 1/2 the size of a Bridgeport.

Cheers,
Glenn
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
If that's the mill under discussion, if it were mine, I'd fabricate an angle plate to use as a 'table' and mount my vise on that, so that you can work from the 'top'. It would be far more versatile in that mode.
 

gwarner

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#4
Glen,
Thanks for the reply. That is the machine of which I speak. The one here on CL is better equipped with the front support arm.
I saw that video you posted while searching for more information. That was what lead me to determine they work well on aluminum.
I have held off on buying it due to what you describe as basically being stuck with an inferior machine.
If it can't cut steel then I have no use for it. I still have not heard if it can adequately cut steel.

I can tell you that I have been watching Craigslist and auctions within 150 miles almost daily for over 2 years and there has been 1 Atlas for $350 that was basically a pile of rust no motor and no tooling and 1 over priced Hardinge TM that has been there for months. Everything else is too large and I would never get them down my basement steps.

I am getting impatient and am about to give up searching for some good old American iron and go with a Jet or Grizzly.

I have been doing all of my milling on my Sears radial arm saw with 1/4" shank carbide router bits. If you want to talk about light cuts.
 

Glenn Brooks

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#6
Gw-

Yes, that mill is much better equipped. Running as a true horizontal will certainly allow you to cut mild steel. It looks like a wonderful robust little machine. So I wouldn't worry about its ability to mill steel, or anything softer. One thing to consider, if you buy a small mill that is 500 or 1000 miles away- even within a 1500 mile radius, you will be able to put it on a pallet and have it delivered to your doorstep by a freight forwarder for under $400. I've bought three machines this way as I couldn't find anything locally, at a reasonable price. Even with freight, with the right purchase price, you come out ahead. Plus you can look in a much wider search radius, and be more selective.
 

gwarner

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#7
Glenn, I would like to thank you for your advice on expanding my search area. Sunday, before Memorial day I drove 6 hours to Saint Paul and 6 hours back pulling my new mill home.
I got it for a great price and had a lot of extras with it. While it looked rough in the images I first saw of it, once cleaned up it is actually in excellent shape.

I got a Nichols hand Miller. This is a heavy and capable machine that will more than meet my needs. I was able to disassemble it and move it to my basement shop.

Shipping rates must be better where you are located. There was an Index machine that I wanted in Ohio but that was going to cost $645 to ship here.
That is more than I spent for the mill and travel to get this one.
 

gwarner

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#9
I do of the original ad. I will post them and the way it is now under the new Nichols category in a day or two. Have been real busy.
 
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