Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

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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rudd
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by rudd » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:36 am

And another way. Machine does not "nod", but tilt is controlled by a worm and worm gear in the round housing at the back of the machine. This ass'y is locked from moving once set by the two large bolts on the side of the ram. I've yet to have mine get out of tram, other than when I have tilted it intentionally.

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spro
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by spro » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:02 am

That's a classic, Rudd. It also displays how important an accurate degree of tilt is. The large ring gear would be adjusted by the back wheel and if I'm not mistaken, there is a vernier type plate at the forward end. The indicated degrees could be further split.

WJH
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by WJH » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:55 am

spro wrote:That's a classic, Rudd. It also displays how important an accurate degree of tilt is. The large ring gear would be adjusted by the back wheel and if I'm not mistaken, there is a vernier type plate at the forward end. The indicated degrees could be further split.
With that said, how precise do you think the average Chinese mill/drill is from the factory? I don't trust them to be accurate enough, and it is fixed with no adjustments other than scraping or shimming.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:16 pm

I believe someone here (I will let him out himself if he chooses) once said the some of the CHINESE mills were actually more rigid than Bridgeports.
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by Harold_V » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:52 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:I believe someone here (I will let him out himself if he chooses) once said the some of the CHINESE mills were actually more rigid than Bridgeports.
A personal opinion.

I am not even remotely familiar with the machine tools produced by the Chinese, so I can't judge that they may or may not be more rigid than a BP, but I can offer this bit of wisdom. If readers think that the Chinese are incapable of producing quality when it's required, they are sadly mistaken. Morons do not put satellites in orbit, nor is it done with substandard equipment.

The Chinese are capable of extreme quality, but they are also capable of producing junk, especially when individuals who know little, or are willing to settle for oats that have already been through the horse, continue to accept inferior quality. The low quality from the Chinese is produced because there is a ready market for such equipment. If buyers raised the standard, they would not be produced, as there would be no market for such junk, but the less than wise consumer tends to assume that one can make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Or so it seems.

Harold
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John Evans
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by John Evans » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:44 pm

Very very true ,Harold.
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WJH
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by WJH » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:42 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:I believe someone here (I will let him out himself if he chooses) once said the some of the CHINESE mills were actually more rigid than Bridgeports.
I said Mill/Drill! Apples and Oranges. Fine, let me rephrase, so you trust any of the importers to pay extra for tight tolerances on a mill drill for ensuring proper tram better than .001?

Mr Ron
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by Mr Ron » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:29 pm

One has to make do with what you got. I have a small bought new, knee type Taiwanese mill. I'm sure a BP would be a step up, but if it was used and they do get a lot of use due to their popularity, it may not be much better than what I already have. My very first venture into the world of machine tools taught me several lessons. The first and I feel the most important is weight. Weight to me equates to rigidity and that equates to clean cuts without chatter. The other lesson was there are (were) many American tool makers in the business besides BP or SB.Their popularity was due to their price and versatility. I would vote for a rigid machine over a versatile one any day. While nodding and swivel may allow you to set up work as you want it, you trade versatility for rigidity. To me, that is not a good option. When I do milling on my small mill, I know the head is trammed and will stay that way. If I want to do a cut that would call for a nod or swivel, I make a fixture to position the work to the cutter. A swivel vise will take care of any cuts that are off the normal X and Y axis. Tramming a head takes time. It is not something one wants to have to keep doing. I'm definitely no expert (way far from that), but I do have a basic understanding of how things work. It's not hard to understand why a 5000# machine is more rigid than a 2500# one.
I have a Sheldon 11" lathe that is in pristine condition. It still has the scraping marks on the ways (not flaking). It was built in the 40's and saw very little use as it was on a U.S. Navy ship. Just the other day, I was doing a turning on steel and realized how smooth running it was and without any vibration. I placed a coin on edge on the saddle while the machine was cutting and it was perfectly vibration-less. This indicates to me a quality machine. I was lucky to have found this treasure. I have run S.B's and Clausing's in a school shop, but never a Monarch. Judging by the weight and Harold's endorsement, I must assume the Monarch is a better lathe than the Sheldon, but I don't know how much; at least it does what I need it to do. I am a tool junkie, but unfortunately, don't have the finances for the very best tools. I'm lucky to have what I've got.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by Harold_V » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:01 pm

Mr Ron wrote: Judging by the weight and Harold's endorsement, I must assume the Monarch is a better lathe than the Sheldon, but I don't know how much; at least it does what I need it to do. I am a tool junkie, but unfortunately, don't have the finances for the very best tools. I'm lucky to have what I've got.
Sheldon was recognized as an industrial machine, and was of reasonable quality. I would rate them the equal of Clausing. It is an excellent machine for the home shop, assuming one would have the good fortune to find one as nice as yours.

My experience with Sheldon indicated to me that the machines are lacking in power, but were very nice to operate. Monarch, one of many companies who built heavy industrial machines, provided a machine that would take serious cuts, as roughing is critical in the shop. As a result, such machines tended to weigh a great deal more than those with which the home shop machinist might be familiar.

To give you an idea of how robust Monarch lathes are, I'll use the EE model as an example. It is a 12" machine, 20" between centers (a longer model was available). The standard machine hit the scales @ roughly 3,500 pounds, while my 12" Graziano, 32" between centers (and also an industrial machine) clocks in at about 2,200 pounds.

The most robust machine I ever operated was a 17" Axelson (taking in to consideration the size of the machine). Large form tools could be applied without issue, something that is virtually impossible on light weight machines.

Harold
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earlgo
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by earlgo » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:22 pm

There are also lots of horizontals out there with vertical head attachments. Don't get stuck thinking inside a box.
Some horizontal mill vertical heads can point in any direction:
Image

But the headspace is very small on this one making it nearly useless.
Image

So I use #40NMTB tooling in a horizontal spindle mode.
Image

FWIW
--earlgo
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pete
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by pete » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:56 pm

ronm wrote:+1, WJH...amazes me how the pros never miss a chance to tell us how bad a BP is... :wink:
First I'm no "pro". I'm the same as most here a hobbiest. But I have made a point of studying every single machine tool design I can. My comments were to point out simply that a Bridgeport just isn't the most rigid of the vertical mills. I own a 3/4 sized Taiwan clone of a Bridgeport, and don't consider it or a real Bridgeport junk. They are what they are. I have been around some pretty large commercial machine tools while in the open pit mining industry. One was that that huge vertical/horizontal universal Cat 50 taper Cincinnati. They also had a Bridgeport in that same shop, and it wasn't hard to see you could lay the Bridgeport down across the table of that Cinnci and turn the whole thing into chips without too much trouble. And all with 3 axis built in power feeds along with the spindle feeds. So which mill would be more rigid? And unless your lucky, most Bridgeports's on the used market sell for at least a higher premium than most other vertical mills with everything else being equal.

One selling point about actual Bridgeport's is there easy parts availability. You can ALWAYS find parts for any Bridgeport, and usually at decent prices. The same can't be said about a lot of other vertical mills.

Rigidity or the lack of it with a Bridgeport is a fairly common subject over on the PM forum. And I don't recall anyone there ever saying a Bridgeport was junk either. Just that there are many vertical mills that are better built and more rigid at usually less money on the used market. That's simply logic and in no way meant to insult anyone who owns one.

And Harold is 100% correct. Those Bridgeports unless rebuilt to better than new standards were never hand scraped as far as I know. As he said, that's flaking and it's designed to help hold oil and cut down on wear because of it. Actual hand or power scraping looks nothing like that flaking. But flaking can also be on top of a hand scraped surface. And it almost always is on the higher accuracy machine tools.

And Ron made an excellent point about that rigidity. If my shop had a concrete floor my own machine tool choices would have been much different I think. I'm the same, I'll certainly take that rigidity first. No one has ever said there machine tool was too rigid.

Pete

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ronm
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Re: Faster track on first milling machine purchase?

Post by ronm » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:55 am

tornitore45 wrote:
Or maybe the pros just think they know...
That is a gratuitous comment, without specifics it can be said of anyone.
Why would a consensus among people that have direct professional experience and an economic stake (they make their living) in a field be dismissed so easily without even a serious counter argument?

Just wandering
By the way if you are tired, is not that difficult to move over the next thread.
Good idea-I have moved along...to reading books..goodbye.

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