Small knee mill

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

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DM95
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:35 pm
Location: North Mississippi

Small knee mill

Postby DM95 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:44 am

Just want to hear opinions on the small knee mills that usually have a 6" by 26" table. I like the looks of them and they seem much better than a mini mill. I think one of these would be the largest I could go due to a lack of space and I think I could actually move one of these without too much help or equipment. So I wanna hear all the bad and all the good you know of because at this point I'm strongly considering these. BTW, who all makes them? So far the cheapest I ran across were HF and Wholesale Tool and Penn Tool Co. I'm sure Ill look for a used one though.

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SteveM
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby SteveM » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:00 am

My dad has an Arborga. He likes it a lot.

It's not a knee mill, but the column has quite a bit of travel.

It takes up about as much space as a drill press.

Image

http://www.lathes.co.uk/arboga/index.html

Steve

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ken572
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby ken572 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:19 am

Steve,

That is ONE BEEFY SMALL MILL. :wink:

Very Cool. 8)

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

Mr Ron
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby Mr Ron » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:51 pm

My recommendation fo a small knee type mill would be one similar to the Grizzly G-0728. It costs $2995 and is made in Taiwan. They also have a less expensive mill model G-3102 for 300$ less, but it is made in China. My mill is very similar to the G-0728. It was made in Taiwan and is the typical 6x26 mill. There are many 6x26 mills on the market, both made in China or Taiwan. I would go with one made in Taiwan. Mine is very sturdy due to it's construction. You may be able to find a used one for half the price of new. Try to find one that has handwheels on both ends of the X-axis table. This is for backlash reasons.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

stevec
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby stevec » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:36 pm

Mr Ron, I would be curious as to how handles at both ends of the table address backlash?

Harold_V
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby Harold_V » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:42 pm

stevec wrote:Mr Ron, I would be curious as to how handles at both ends of the table address backlash?

That's a recipe for future trouble. One should learn to work with backlash, as it's a fact of life and has little to do with the performance of a machine unless it is not managed properly.

Once one forms the habit of addressing backlash, it's as if it doesn't exist. I liken it to being able to fashion cutting tools from HSS. An art that, once mastered, seems to be a non-issue.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

spro
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby spro » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:53 pm

SteveM. What a neat mill and your just going to have to introduce us to the wonder machine in the background.!
DM95. Sorry for driving off the topic but see what he did there? like a flashburn!!

DM95
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Location: North Mississippi

Re: Small knee mill

Postby DM95 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:44 pm

I dont mind you getting off topic. I'm glad SteveM shared that picture with us because I cant say I've seen that particular type of mill before. Some of you have mentioned the difference in the Chinese and Taiwan mills and how you prefer the Taiwan mills. I was looking today and I see that the grizzly G3102 mill is a whole lot more than say the HF or Wholesale Tool mini knee mill with 6" by 26" table. The WT mill says it has a 29 inch table but I wondered if that wasn't just a mistake, and its really 26. So is there a difference in the Grizzly mill and the cheaper ones or is it just the cost? Penn Tool Co also sells a version of this mill for around $1900.00, but the Wholesale Tool one runs about $1800.00. I still hope to find a used one but I've yet to see this type of mill on Craigslist and only one on eBay.

Mr Ron
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby Mr Ron » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:31 pm

stevec wrote:Mr Ron, I would be curious as to how handles at both ends of the table address backlash?

The left hand dial reads increasing increments, while traversing left to right. If I were to traverse from right to left, the left dial would be reading decreasing increments. By using the right hand wheel, I can keep the increments reading increasing increments. It's more of a convenience than a backlash thing, but I can also compensate for backlash by zeroing the dial before traversing. I hope I made it sound clear.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

John Evans
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby John Evans » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:43 pm

That style mill has been around for years,had one made in 1980 branded "Husky" . Much more ridged than a mill/drill but with the same PITA of speed changes and not a lot of daylight between quill and table. Almost every supplier of home type machines has one of those in their line. Personally I don't see a lot of difference between a Taiwan or Mainland made machine quailty wise ,more boils down to the sellers rep and after sale backup if needed.

Harold_V
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby Harold_V » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Mr Ron wrote:
stevec wrote:Mr Ron, I would be curious as to how handles at both ends of the table address backlash?

The left hand dial reads increasing increments, while traversing left to right. If I were to traverse from right to left, the left dial would be reading decreasing increments. By using the right hand wheel, I can keep the increments reading increasing increments. It's more of a convenience than a backlash thing, but I can also compensate for backlash by zeroing the dial before traversing. I hope I made it sound clear.

I understand how you'd use both dials---what I don't understand is how you'd use them for multiple features. I'm going to use a series of holes in a work piece as an example.

You have a large number of holes you must revisit. Some require contersinking, while others require counterbores. Some require tapping. Where you are on the work piece will determine if you move clockwise, or counterclockwise on the handle, to the succeeding location. The direction of travel is ever changing, and may or may not be the same for each hole you visit, depending on how you work. Which one do you use for each location? If you use the wrong one, you miss location by the amount of backlash in the screw.

The above example is very real. I've done a huge amount of work that requires the steps described. I've done it all with just one dial, because I work with backlash and don't worry about having to select the proper handle to use. It also prevents me from running end to end on my machine.

Do yourself a favor and learn to manage backlash for table travel in an acceptable manner. It will bail you out at some point in the future. After all, you do it with the saddle all the time, don't you?

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

stevec
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Re: Small knee mill

Postby stevec » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:59 pm

Mr Ron wrote: It's more of a convenience than a backlash thing, but I can also compensate for backlash by zeroing the dial before traversing. I hope I made it sound clear.

It may be a convenience thing but even if you can't subtract as well as you add, your going to have to compensate for the backlash before zeroing your dial. Or am I missing something.

Ooops! I guess you beat me to it Harold.


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