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PM25 vs LMS 5500 guidance request

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Bill Kahn

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#1
Hi. I am new here. Did a bit of machine shop stuff in high school. Loved it. Life took me down a different road. Decades later now I have weekends available. Have a drill press with 4" cross-slide vise and some HSS end mills. A 4x6 HF bandsaw. So, nothing very precise coming out yet, but I make chips. Life is good. Oh, and a 1-ton HF shop crane. And best of all a garage I can futz in.

I have zeroed in on the LMS 5500 and the PM25 mills as next on the list. Have watched the Hoost videos. Googled and read for a few hours. (Well, more than a few actually. Fun hobby.)

Question 1: Any suggestions of pros/cons or compare/contrast between these two?

Question 2: I think I will spring for the power feed right off. Anything else should obviously be started with? (I am not seeing why I need DRO. I have hand wheels. In theory (and certainly traditionally) that is enough. I must be missing some key value they bring.)

Thanks.

And, Hello.

-Bill
 

GLKeeney

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#2
Interested in this as well. Those two are at the top of my list. Currently leaning LMS for no other reason than their "special" delivery options (bring it in and put it where I want it in my bench). I'm in need of that. If Matt offered something similar, I'd be all over that.
 

tweinke

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#3
I am a garage futzer too! I'm sure both mills are fine machines. The PM25 is slightly bigger, 3year warranty. The question is probably more to do with the work envelope of the machine that you decide to purchase. I personally would get the biggest machine I could fit in my designated area because weight is a good thing and for some reason projects have a tendency to get bigger then one thinks. Both DRO and power feed are nice but if I could have only one or the other it would be a DRO if only to be sure I could return to my zero point with out loosing count of handle turns ( good memory just short) :distracted: I spent hours looking and reading and had pretty much suffered from price and size creep but after much thought talked myself down in size to a PM-727 and am happy with my choice even after flip-flopping between it and a PM-25 with variable speed so I know where you are coming from. I can say in my experience Matts customer service is wonderful but have also heard LMS isn't bad either. I think others will chime in on this soon because there seems to be a fondness here to help you spend your money or blow the budget! :eagerness:
 

Four Corners

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#4
Sorry. I started to type. Pressed save accidentally, and now I can't figure out how to delete a post.
 
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T Bredehoft

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#5
I have no experience with the LMS 5500, so my opinion is liable to be one sided. (if that isn't a cop-out....)
I've had a PM25 for a couple of years, I ordered it with 2 axis DRO, X and Y, and have added power X feed and head power. I could just about feel Bursitis in my shoulder each time I had to raise or lower the head.
The PM25 has done everything I've asked of it, it is a well built small machine. It can't compare to a Bridgeport, of course, but I would get another, or one of it's big brothers in a New York minute, should I need one.
 

9t8z28

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#6
What size parts or what type of parts are you typically producing or looking to be able to produce?
 

wrmiller

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#7
I've had both (actually at the same time), and the PM25 is far superior in terms of work envelope, mass, and rigidity. If the little lms mill will suit your needs, it is a good little mill, and will work fine as long as you stay within it's intend work envelope. If you might want to work on larger parts, the PM25 would be a better choice.
 

fradish

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#8
Your original post asked why you might want a DRO. If you are only moving within 1" at a time
you can probably just use dial indicators (actually I have seen 2" indicators as well.) A DRO comes
in handy if you want to move greater distances accurately. I have seen people take cheap digital
calipers and mount magnets on the end and on the body use that as a removable DRO. Though
digital calipers are generally 6", 8" or maybe 12" long, so that might limit you some.

Having a dedicated DRO is more convenient. Also, many have advanced features like bolt circles, etc...

In terms of price, you might want to look into BlueDro/TouchDro and iGaging scales. The PM-25
DRO is around $700. I would think you could put something together yourself for less than 1/2 that
for either mill you decide on.
 

9t8z28

Steel
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#9
I agree with fradish about DRO's. I got 3 axis iGaging scales for $130, Blu-Dro controller $130, and an Android tablet for about $40 and am using the Touch DRO app which is free to download. Total was $300. It would have been even cheaper if I had gotten the cheapest iGaging scales but I got the EZ-View because at the time I thought they were better. The scales are identical, its the controller/display thats different.
 
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