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Mini-Mill and Lathe on Amazon?

DAT510

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#3
My only issue with Amazon for items like this is Service and Support. The Machine on Amazon may be fine..... but if it isn't then what do you do?

The worst thing when starting out, is to have a machine that's not right and not really knowing it's the problem and not have access to MFG support.

I'd look at Grizzly. They have 7x14" machine for just a bit more, (if you include sales tax, now that Amazon collects it and Grizzly does not, but charges shipping). I've found Grizzly's customer service to quite good and the availability of spare/replacement parts to be really good, even after they've stopped selling a given machine.

Chris
 
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Billh50

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#4
The lathe is the same chinese lathe sold by Harbor Freight and others. The Mill I know I have seen elsewhere also.
 

ch2co

Grumpy Old Man
H-M Supporter-Premium
#5
I think it all boils down to customer support. If you save a little but can't get service, parts etc. it's a poor choice.

CHuck the grumpy old guy
 

tq60

Active Member
Active Member
#6
Same as hf for more money.

Had the hf one and all gears are plastic.

Use same money for small south bend

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
 

Charles Spencer

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#7
The mill looks to be the same as this one from Harbor Freight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/two-speed-variable-bench-mill-drill-machine-44991.html

Which is listed as $699. With a 20% off coupon it would be about $560. With a 25% off coupon it would be about $525. I bought one of these. Shipping was $20. So $580 or $545 vs, $840. These coupons come out frequently.

I haven't had any problem with my mini mill, but I have had to deal with HF customer service in the past. I found them to be satisfactory.
 

pstemari

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#8
Tilting column Mills like that are a pain. It's nearly impossible to use a tilting column, unlike the situation with a knee mill, and they will get out of tram constantly.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

SEK_22Hornet

Active User
Active Member
#9
The mill looks to be the same as this one from Harbor Freight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/two-speed-variable-bench-mill-drill-machine-44991.html

Which is listed as $699. With a 20% off coupon it would be about $560. With a 25% off coupon it would be about $525. I bought one of these. Shipping was $20. So $580 or $545 vs, $840. These coupons come out frequently.

I haven't had any problem with my mini mill, but I have had to deal with HF customer service in the past. I found them to be satisfactory.
Also, there is some additional support for these through Little Machine Shop, so the Harbor Freight isn't a bad choice.
 

SEK_22Hornet

Active User
Active Member
#10
One other thing to keep in mind - these are best for light work on small pieces and don't always do well cutting steel - not bad for brass, aluminum and plastic. If you anticipate a lot of steel being cut you may want to look at something larger and heavier.
 

Rockytime

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#11
A 3M spindle is a problem. R8 would be preferred. Also the tilting column can be a problem. My mill has a tilting column and I wish it did not.
 

Ken from ontario

Active Member
Active Member
#12
I have a mini mill like that except the motor is brushless, the tilting column has not created any problem for me yet,I trammed it once and it hasn't budged , this is an entry level milling machine with a not so ridgid head, and not so powerful motor, wobbly table, loose gibs etc,etc, most of it's shortcomings can be fixed or dealt with , but over all it is accurate enough to mill small projects with it within its small size/limit.you'll be amazed to see some of the stuff talented hobbyists(not me) can come up with using this little machine.
 

ch2co

Grumpy Old Man
H-M Supporter-Premium
#13
I'm with Ken from Ontario
I got my Grizzly version of the mini lathe used (it was thrown into my lathe purchase). I've had co trouble with the tilting column once it was properly trammed in.
If I didn't already have this one, I would definitely buy ( I'm a real cheapskate) a somewhat larger mill like the PM25MV or one of its next of kin. The little Griz is
OK, but the table is very small, and it just takes a lot more patience to do even simple things on it. Its a great teacher of patience.
 

silence dogood

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#14
Save your nickels. I bought the LMS 3960 mill with the tooling. The LMS 3990 is the same machine except it does not use the spring. It's a tough little machine and I never had any problems. Also, you will find out that you will most likely have to buy upgrade kits for that "amazon" machine. Yep, from LMS. So there goes your savings. I understand that the Grizzly is good, too. Just be sure it has the R8 and not the Morse taper. Just to keep the record straight, I don't work for LMS.
 

roadie33

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#15
My only issue with Amazon for items like this is Service and Support. The Machine on Amazon may be fine..... but if it isn't then what do you do?

The worst thing when starting out, is to have a machine that's not right and not really knowing it's the problem and not have access to MFG support.

I'd look at Grizzly. They have 7x14" machine for just a bit more, (if you include sales tax, now that Amazon collects it and Grizzly does not, but charges shipping). I've found Grizzly's customer service to quite good and the availability of spare/replacement parts to be really good, even after they've stopped selling a given machine.

Chris
Just a FYI
If you live in Missouri or Washington States where Grizzly has stores, they do charge Sales Tax and shipping for online orders.
I live about 4 hours from the Springfield, Mo. store and when I bought my Mill I asked them if I ordered it online and shipped, would they charge me sales tax and they said no since I live in Kansas but would charge shipping.
It was cheaper to pay the sales tax at the store than the shipping and pick it up at the store.
 

BRIAN

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#16
In answer to the implied question "is the lathe a good introduction to machining" my answer is YES. a working lathe straight out of the box.
yes you will have to tweek a few things to settle it down as you explore it's capability's
On this forum you can get all the help and advice you require. to assist you as you progress.
You may want to do the odd modification or two as you go but that applies to almost any lathe you are likely to get big or small.
Take a quick look at my thread and see what can be done with a 7x12
www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/five-cylinder-radial-with-ohc.34815/
Brian.
 

CraigH

Swarf
Registered Member
#17
This is my first post to the forum. It begins referring to the initial post of the topic - amazon listed lathes. There are similar lathes on ebay and also another interesting model only recently appearing in the US. It appears to be very similar to the Warco WM180 sold in the UK. While a 7x12, it is quite a bit heavier than SIEG C2 and C3 models, has steel change gears, and a belt for the two speed ranges. Some have been sold but locating anyone that can respond as to its good and bad features has not been possible. It does not have a threading dial, but installing such should be easy. Certainly support in the US is unlikely, but just maybe Warco could be an asset for parts supply.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Motorized-M...753741?hash=item282d4d9fcd:g:m4kAAOSwax5YuOPA

I had a SIEG Homier years ago, since sold; it worked fine, unfinished metal was very bright compared to the Grizzly to be mentioned next. I made many things culminating with a Sparey 5cc engine. I recently endeavored to purchased a Grizzly 7x14 (with the upgraded tailstock); I sent two back for very serious issues in the headstock, electronics, and of course they had the usual minor problems, before getting a full refund. So, no need to recommend that model.

The 9x20 lathe is compelling but it's known shortcomings are troubling; mostly the spindly belt drive and as delivered minimal speed limitations. I did discover there is a variable speed version of this lathe in China, but no US vendor has decided to import it. It seems this would be a great hobby lathe.

http://en.realbull-machine.com/products_detail/productId=29.html

There is little information on the 8x16 to be found.

And finally, after several months of looking for the couple of American lathes of the past, I have given up on that path having seen nothing that the price and condition match up. Worn ways and headstock issues are not worth $1000-$2000.

So, is it the newbie 7x12, the 9x20, or the 8x16? Or just get the best 20% or 25% discount on the HF 7x12 and add the second half-nut? Any will do the size work typically undertaken.