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Does anyone have the PM-30MV mill yet?

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Metalmill

Swarf
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#1
I am in the market for a mid-sized hobby mill. Was set on the PM-932-PDFs, but like the relative simplicity of the PM 30MV, as well as the slightly smaller size. It will go in a vacation/future retirement house with a smaller shop area than I have now.

I've searched for comments and reviews here and YouTube, but have not found anything helpful. I would love to hear comments from owners and users.

Thanks, Bill.
 

T Bredehoft

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#2
If it's anything like my PM25MV, its well worth the cost. I opted for 2 axis DROs, have built my own X drive and Z lift motors. I amazed myself last week, with a 5/16 TiN coated HSS 4 flute end mill, 7/16 deep I was taking .050 at a pass, 900 rpm .001 per tooth feed in cold rolled steel. Just like a Bridgeport. I had to tweak the (variable) speed a bit to eliminate howl/chatter, but I could, easily.

The PM30 is a new model, not many in use yet.

If I were replacing my PM 25, the PM 30 would be my first choice.
 

Genetics

Iron
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#3
I've had one for a couple of weeks. Haven't got to use it a lot but here is a short review.

Third World Trucking delivered it on time. I would have thought it would be a professional company with a pallet jack but that wasn't the case. They had what appeared to be a Harbor Freight four wheeled flat dolley. They laid the pallet down and then pushed it up on the dolley. Then get it to the lift gate that was sloped downward. I just knew it was going to roll off on the way down. I had backed a trailer up to the truck so all they had to do was drop it down to the trailer and roll it off. That got done and then the moron lays it on it's side again. Oh well.

Now for the review.

The machine looks very nice! I got the model with the dro installed. I built my own table as I wanted one that would be at a comfortable height. It it 42 inches from the floor. The first thing I noticed was that the Z axis wheel was hard to reach. I'm 6'3" so if I was shorter it would have been impossible. A powered z axis should be an option. Actually it should be mandatory. But I can understand keeping cost down. I will remedy that in the future. In the meantime I made a brass fitting and hooked a 1/2" drill up to it as a temporary fix.

Some small minor irritating things.

The table slots are 14mm which is an oddball size. 9/16 will work on the center slots but do not work on the end slots. They will need to be milled slightly to fit.
The scale on the Z axis does not start at 0. It starts around .300. It has a built in dro which is nice but still.
The scale on the table is a piece of tape measure riveted to the table. This could be done better for very little cost.
The spindle nut on top is a four sided 13mm bolt. This is a pain. It would be nice to be able to use a socket but that's not the case.
Changing high and low speeds is kind of a pain.
It came without an instruction manual if you can believe that! It's funny to read the warning label that says "Read and understand the operation manual and safety information before operating this machine."

So in conclusion all very minor details that can be fixed . The machine is very quiet and runs really smooth. Having the DRO installed is worth the money. I'd give mine 4.5 stars. So far I'm very happy with my machine and wouldn't hesitate to buy one if the size would work for you.


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T Bredehoft

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#4
Changing high and low speeds is kind of a pain.
I run my PM 25 in high range, it'll go down to about 200 rpm for the bottom with all the torque it needs. Yeah, once in a while I need slower speed, and it's not really that hard to loosen two screws and swivel the motor to release the belt. (I removed the cover once, when it was new, haven't put it back yet.)

As to the scales on the machine, I may use them to get within half an inch of somewhere, but the DRO is there for accuracy.
 

Metalmill

Swarf
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#5
Tom and Genetics,

Thank you both for sharing the info on you mills. I had planned on having the machine delivered to a freight depot and just pick it up when I had time. That way I could control at least some of the delivery issues. One of reasons I am attracted to the 30 model is the 550lb. Weight. Beefy enough to be a solid performer (as Tom described), but small enough I could move it myself with a cherry picker lift.

Been thinking about building my own stand as well, or using a tool cabinet as a base. My shop is small and I need to make use of every inch. I do woodworking there as well, so need covered storage to keep sawdust off tools and equipment.

At home I have a 1968 Bridgeport vari-speed that I restored many years ago. I only have power on the X axis and don't really mind cranking the knee up and down manually, so at this point anyway, I am not worried about hand cranking the head up and down. I agree a DRO is a must-have. I already have a Shumatech DRO-550 ready to put on my mill, thanks largely to my friend Fred.

I am delighted to hear the machine is smooth and quiet. Those are important attributes to me ! Any more comments are most welcome and appreciated. Thanks again!

Bill
 

qualitymachinetools

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#6

Genetics

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#7

wrmiller

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#9
If you do mostly work in the vise, as opposed to clamping work down on the table, that extra money spent on a quality vise will pay for itself in no time. :)

EDIT: The drawbar is like the one on my PM25 I had years ago. It's replacement was one of my first projects. :D
 
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