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WTB or Trade for Mini Mill

Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
37
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Location
Laurinburg NC
I have always wanted a mini mill.I know this is a shot in the dark sort of but if you have one you want to sell or if you know where the best deal is let me know. Not a big industrial type but more like the Grizzly 8689


https://www.grizzly.com/products/grizzly-4-x-16-mini-milling-machine/g8689


The reviews on the Griz 8689 arent that great..Some say you have to do some work to make it usable and the shipping crate it came in was flimsy and electrical box usually is damaged .Im still looking though.If you have something just let me know.

I am a flute maker so it will be lightly used !
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
474
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261
Location
Marysville, OH
Website
www.ColvinTools.com
I have a Grizzly mini lathe (one made by the Chinese company, Sieg). It works, but I would NEVER call it a quality piece of equipment.

I am pretty sure the Grizzly mini mill you are referring to is also made by Sieg.

I understand that Sieg makes lathes and mills sold by many other companies using their own labelling. They are so common that you can get parts for them at LittleMachineShop. And that is good as you will need to get parts often.

Don’t know your budget, but I can tell you my Sieg-made metal lathe is one tool I look forward to replacing.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
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Location
Laurinburg NC
Hi Rich thanks for chiming in.Just a little background I am not a machinist but a flutemaker. I do want a quality tool in every tool I buy.I use a router and a drill press which isnt a great drill press at all to do the operations on the flute I would use the mill for.I dont need machine shop accuracy but want to improve how I do stuff and may be easier on my hands maybe a little.(I am 64 and have some hand issues) I definitely don't want to buy a problem tool.I do have an online friend that has the Grizzly 6869 .He made reference to the LittleMachineShop and bought the conversion kit to change his to belt drive to do away with the plastic gears. He could make and fix anything though.....I just see so many that are made in China that are mainly the same tool. I want a good one and can wait a little bit and save a little more $. Do you have a good one in mind that isn't way more expensive than the Grizzly which is $675 plus $99 shipping? It doesnt need all the bells and whistles but some of the basic stuff ...flatten a surface on a round cylinder (flute) accurate hole placement and some other things.....I have a jig with a router I use for some of this but always wanted a mini mill Thanks a bunch for your input!
 
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Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
474
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261
Location
Marysville, OH
Website
www.ColvinTools.com
If you are looking to only work on small pieces, then a micro mill may be something to consider. Proxon makes one that is sold by Woodcraft for around $400. I’ve heard good things about Proxon tools though I don’t have any.

The other brand I’ve heard good things about is Sherline.

And LittleMachineShip sells HiTorque mills. This is the brand I am looking to get when I do get one.

Hope that helps.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
37
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Location
Laurinburg NC
I like the HiTorque mills. But I cant seem to justify the costs.I may end up modifying my router jig. I have to have enough travel to do the finger holes on my flutes and so some of the mills wont work unless there is something I could modify.....Still thinking!!

Ive seen versions of a poor mans mill using a router on some You tubes....More thinking!
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
474
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261
Location
Marysville, OH
Website
www.ColvinTools.com
Have you tried to use a drill press vice on your drill press?
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
37
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1
Location
Laurinburg NC
Have you tried to use a drill press vice on your drill press?
I have thought about it and it would probably work. But heard some discourage doing that.It is a thought....My drilll press is ok but cant really control the speed on it.....It is on a Delta/Rockwell combo tool...It is a drill press/tablesaw and jointer all in one...It is made solid but the drill press has one step and then a single pulley on it...I looked at the manual and that is how it came but with just moving the belt on one step pulley it is still way too fast....Saw and jointer work good.I would like to sell it and just have something smaller...shop is smaller...Ive heard the multi tools are usually ok but not as good as having 3 separate tools.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
1,953
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862
Location
Nebraska
Michael,

If you use a drill press they do make small adjustable tables with T-slots that are used on various types of equipment that allow precision moves in the X & Y axis on a drill press.
This small table would turn your drill press into a milling type machine with the basic milling functions you are looking for. You could then mount whatever router or milling bit
into the chuck and adjust the speed of the drill press to get the proper cut from the tool.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
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Location
Laurinburg NC
I heard people say it wasnt good to use a drill press like that because the bearings arent designed for the side pressure and could eventually cause problems. But people have done it successfully....light cuts I guess ok.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
131
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59
Location
Quad Cities, IL
A bigger problem with milling on a drill press is the side loads on the Morse taper mounted chuck may cause it to fall off. Would be just okay if it had a drawbar.
A sharp cutter mounted in a chuck flying around is no fun.
It’s one of those “don’t ask how I know “ things.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
474
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261
Location
Marysville, OH
Website
www.ColvinTools.com
Yeah, I hate when my Jacobs chuck comes off the drill press.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
269
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63
Website
www.gulfcoastwoodturners.org
I have no experience with milling machines.

Brother-in-law bought a HITorque Mini Mill, model #3990, from LittleMachineShop.com. He has been very satisfied with performance. - John
 
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Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
1,953
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Location
Nebraska
A three axis DRO is a good option on a Mill, you can always use the adjustable stop for the quill travel. You can add a DRO "Digital Read Out" to a Mill for about $250.00 if you purchase the kit online and do the install yourself. If you are machining similar type items on the Mill, you can locate a starting point on your work piece, zero out the DRO and then use the DRO to make all of your moves and cuts accurately using dimensions from your drawing. The DRO helps to overcome the backlash issue that is common on mills and lathes when you rely on the X,Y and Z dials for making your moves.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
37
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1
Location
Laurinburg NC
Thanks everybody.Im still trying to decide which one/what to do sort of thing.Trying to justify the costs especially...Im 64 and going to have thumb surgery so would be down a while and able to use the mill too. Thanks again!!
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
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862
Location
Nebraska
Thumb surgery......I would get a power feed on the X-axis for sure, unless you want to use the Mill for therapy sessions.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
37
Likes
1
Location
Laurinburg NC
Thumb surgery......I would get a power feed on the X-axis for sure, unless you want to use the Mill for therapy sessions.
Good idea.Ill have to see how the funds are and try to justify it...Ill be down for a while with the thumb so right now I am looking for the best one with the best deal or maybe even one some maybe needing to sell...Just in the thinking mode for now but I have always wanted/needed one...
 
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