Milling Machine Recommendations

Recomendations made to a friend for a benchtop type milling machine:

 

I suggest a mill with these features:
Dovetail column – DO NOT BUY A MILL WITH A ROUND COLUMN!!!
R8 collet capable – most have this feature
110V – this may limit what is available…but for me it’s a must and there are lots of good 120V mills to choose from
Look for reasonable X, Y, and Z travel – you will have to compare machines.
If there is something you REQUIRE make sure the machine has that feature or ability.
I do not suggest a mini-mill like this one from HF: https://www.harborfreight.com/two-speed-variable-bench-mill-drill-machine-44991.html If you only did really small stuff then the Sherline is a far better choice.
Be aware of this spec: Max. distance spindle to table:
Look for a machine that has future CNC capability.

 

This is a mill I know a bit about:
The mill is also called the Sieg X3 – Sieg mills and lathes have a small but very loyal following in the US
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-Mill-Drill/G0463
It’s a pretty basic mill – I am not sure I would recommend this for others today
R8 collets
Table travel (longitudinal): 15-7/8″
Table travel (cross): 5-3/4″
Headstock travel: 14-⅞”
Spindle travel: 3-3/8″
And a Dovetail column – never get a round column – no matter what you get, make sure it has a Dovetail column.

 

This mill has a large following online:
If I were to do it again I would probably get this one. I think it’s a bit lighter weight in all respects than the machine I have.
R8
Dovetail column
Table travel (longitudinal): 18-7/8″
Table travel (cross): 6-⅞”
Head travel: 11”
Spindle travel: 2″
Grizzly has other mills. Poke around and maybe you will find something better suited to your needs and pocketbook. Other companies also make mills…

 

You will need this stuff right away:
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-HSS-TiN-Coated-2-and-4-Flute-End-Mills-20-pc-Set/G9760 – this or something like it (or only get the ones you need) (2 flute for alum – 4 flute for steel)
Edge finder – this is a must have – I like the .2 and not the .5 – just easier for me to use
6” steel rules – there are different ones – I like the ones with both metric and inch with the inch scale in 16’s and 32’s much finer I can’t see… Maybe this https://www.amazon.com/Bestty-Stainless-Conversion-Metric-Imperial/dp/B07DCLWJM6 or https://www.amazon.com/Kristeel-Stainless-Machinist-Engineer-Conversion/dp/B07BBRNQCJ/ref=sr_1_12?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1547951009&sr=1-12&keywords=6+Inch+Stainless+Steel+machinist+Ruler

 

In addition to the mill you will need most of this stuff over time:
Universal magnetic base
Dial indicator
A pair of 1-2-3 blocks and V blocks
Something like this: 5C COLLET BLOCK SET- SQUARE, HEX, RINGS & COLLET CLOSER HOLDER – https://www.ebay.com/i/112194207638?chn=ps and some 5C collets (only get the ones you need)
Twist drill set – get good HSS drills – maybe only get what you need
I got some taps in sizes I typically use – ¼-20 for sure – bottoming and plug
Fly cutter

 

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