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New to me Heavy Mill/drill (RF30)

Discussion in 'HARBOR FREIGHT, CENTRAL MACHINERY & BUSY BEE' started by Investigator, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Investigator

    Investigator United States Active Member Active Member

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    I've been watching for quiet a while for a deal on a mill. This week the stars aligned for me. I made a deal on some machinery and in it was an unbadged (although identical to HF model) RF30 mill/drill. It is missing the manufacturers plate on the belt cover, it has sticky residue where it was but no plate.

    It looks to be decent shape, but needs a good cleaning. It appears to have dried sludge/oil/dirt on the ways and column. I am wondering about taking it apart and cleaning it thoroughly, is there a best procedure for this? Some of the paint is flaking and I am considering repainting since I may have it torn down anyway.

    I know this type of mill has issues that center around the round column. I also know that it's not a Bridgeport or other brand knee mill. But I also realize it can to decent work within it's limits and that any mill is better than no mill to start with. I need to make a stand for it.

    I'm a beginner to machineing, so I look at it as a starter machine until something better comes along. I couldn't pass up the price at $250.

    So, best way to tear down and clean? thoughts on painting? suggestions for upgrades.
  2. Dave Paine

    Dave Paine United States Active Member Active Member

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    Eastern PA

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    I do not have experience with this mill. A YouTube channel "Cuppa Joe" has a number of videos on his modifying/upgrading projects for his Rong Fu 30 or as he calls it "The Mightly Wrong Fu". Worth taking a look.

  3. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Not much to the RF-30/31. Its basically a big drill press with a X-Y table. My RF-31 came completely apart, down to the last nut and bolt for cleaning, inspection and re-painting. I changed the spindle and drive sleeve bearings, greased what needed grease and oil what needed oiling.

    If you take it apart and take pics when you do it, this mill is simple to do. You might want to download a manual for yours, though. I pulled the head off the column so I could work safely and comfortably. Once that was done, I took the table apart and cleaned, lubed and adjusted it. Then I re-installed the head and trammed the column. Now it runs with about 0.0001" TIR and all is well.

    If you have specific questions, there are some RF-31 owners here who can help.

    Edit: I should add that I wrote up how to change the spindle and drive sleeve bearings in the Rong Fu sub-forum. There are some good discussions there.
    rdean likes this.

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