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Rudy

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I have a nice generic Chinese mill type "ZX32G". It is sold under a huge number of different names. I got it directly from China with no name on it. It is the only mill I have owned so I have no experience with others.
The case is, I do like to make things with high accuracy. And when I started my new project now I realized this mill was not quite up to my demands. I did spend som time adjusting the gibs and got it slightly better. I have installed a nice DRO that reveals the limitations in the precision department of this mill.
I must say though, this mill is a very,very nice and capable tool. I just want to take it to the next level.
The question is for a new mill. I prefer a bench type because I have space limitations and I don't need something big.
I'm looking at three options and would like some inputs from you guys and gals.

1: A new mill: Presicion Matthews PM-833 TV (https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-833tv-ultra-precision-milling-machine/). The question is, is this really two steps above the crowd as PM claims? Or is just a bit nicer and four times more expensive version of what I got?
2: An old tool room mill like Aciera F3.
3: Get the mill I have grind and scraped.

Appreciate tip on any other wayable options too.

Rudy
2017-11-05 14.37.08.jpg



Rudy
 

SmithDoor

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Looks like you have great mill now why change.

Dave

I have a nice generic Chinese mill type "ZX32G". It is sold under a huge number of different names. I got it directly from China with no name on it. It is the only mill I have owned so I have no experience with others.
The case is, I do like to make things with high accuracy. And when I started my new project now I realized this mill was not quite up to my demands. I did spend som time adjusting the gibs and got it slightly better. I have installed a nice DRO that reveals the limitations in the precision department of this mill.
I must say though, this mill is a very,very nice and capable tool. I just want to take it to the next level.
The question is for a new mill. I prefer a bench type because I have space limitations and I don't need something big.
I'm looking at three options and would like some inputs from you guys and gals.

1: A new mill: Presicion Matthews PM-833 TV (https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-833tv-ultra-precision-milling-machine/). The question is, is this really two steps above the crowd as PM claims? Or is just a bit nicer and four times more expensive version of what I got?
2: An old tool room mill like Aciera F3.
3: Get the mill I have grind and scraped.

Appreciate tip on any other wayable options too.

Rudy
View attachment 121987


Rudy
 

dnalot

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I have a SX3 mill and I am very happy with it. One thing that really bothered me about it was the backlash on the X and Y axis. To remedy this I replaced the lead screws with ultra-smooth Acme threaded rod and self-adjusting nuts. It was a very easy upgrade and it was a huge improvement. The machine is now very accurate.

Here is a link to my post on the upgrade. New lead screws and nuts for SX3 mill

Mark T
 

tornitore45

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There is nothing wrong with the mill.
I have the same mill and the matching lathe. Both were a POS out of the crate, but output quality improved drastically with age.
I am trying to figure if it was the machines age or my age. Get the drift?

You can not expect a mill to achieve the accuracy of a grinder, but you can consistently stay within 0.001" with an X3
 

Rudy

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There is nothing wrong with the mill.
I have the same mill and the matching lathe. Both were a POS out of the crate, but output quality improved drastically with age.
I am trying to figure if it was the machines age or my age. Get the drift?

You can not expect a mill to achieve the accuracy of a grinder, but you can consistently stay within 0.001" with an X3
I agree, there nothing wrong with it, and as say, it's a capable tool. The reason I'm a bit turned down may not be the case for others.
I'm experiencing slop in the quill. And as I feed down to make a cylinder bore, I make a cone. I know I can get past this problem by other means, but that's my concern. I can do nice work on it, but that doesn't mean I can do even better with better machines. I'm no pro and could use some help from the machine :)
Rudy
 

tornitore45

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Try locking the quill an lower the head. The head runs on dovetail and should be tighter.

Also if you are making engine cylinders a slight taper can be corrected when honing. A slight taper, in the right direction, is desirable. Tight at the top and loose at the bottom.
 

clockworkcheval

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My Aciera F3 is sturdy, versatile and precise. There are some negatives: 1) the weight is about 500 kilo what limits its place to downstairs 2) The working height is traditionally much too low so to spare my back I had to raise it 300mm, what makes it again a little high when I train my grandson of 11- but that will solve itself in time 3) for z-travel you have to raise the whole table which does not leave me with enough 'feel' to drill holes under say 3 mm 4) The solid industrial Heidenhan DRO that came with it is very reliable but has also quite limited functionality 5) the accesories are expensive: a set of 40 good quality used collets is about 1.000,- euro, a dividing head 2.000,- euro and a keyway cutting head 1.000,- euro'. So I ended up acquiring a tabletop mill similar to yours, in my case a German made Wabeco F1200 with a SINO DRO. I welded a cabinetstand for it that gives me the same working height as on the Aciera. I do lighter work with a lot of holes on it. But the real precision work like cutting horological gears and the heavier work is done on the Aciera F3. Some pictures attached.

Aciera raised 300 mm.jpgGrandson Reinder (11) on Aciera.jpgCollets 1 (0,5) 20 mm.jpgAciera dividing head.jpgAciera keywaycutting head.jpgWabeco F1200 on stand.jpg
 

Rudy

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Thanks for the info on the F3. I'm considering the options and appreciate others experience!
Rudy
 

ajoeiam

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My Aciera F3 is sturdy, versatile and precise. There are some negatives: 1) the weight is about 500 kilo what limits its place to downstairs 2) The working height is traditionally much too low so to spare my back I had to raise it 300mm, what makes it again a little high when I train my grandson of 11- but that will solve itself in time 3) for z-travel you have to raise the whole table which does not leave me with enough 'feel' to drill holes under say 3 mm 4) The solid industrial Heidenhan DRO that came with it is very reliable but has also quite limited functionality 5) the accesories are expensive: a set of 40 good quality used collets is about 1.000,- euro, a dividing head 2.000,- euro and a keyway cutting head 1.000,- euro'. So I ended up acquiring a tabletop mill similar to yours, in my case a German made Wabeco F1200 with a SINO DRO. I welded a cabinetstand for it that gives me the same working height as on the Aciera. I do lighter work with a lot of holes on it. But the real precision work like cutting horological gears and the heavier work is done on the Aciera F3. Some pictures attached.

View attachment 122037View attachment 122038View attachment 122039View attachment 122040View attachment 122041View attachment 122042
oh boy - - - - - do I like that Aciera.
Re: difficulty in drilling holes - - - does the m/c have graduations on the handwheels?
If it does - - - well - - - with practice some fairly good 'feel' can be developed.
 

clockworkcheval

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Yes, one graduation equals 0,02 mm displacement. As the diameter of the handwheels is 80 mm it is quite doable to eyeball a displacement of 0,01 mm.
 

ajoeiam

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Yes, one graduation equals 0,02 mm displacement. As the diameter of the handwheels is 80 mm it is quite doable to eyeball a displacement of 0,01 mm.
Just remembered something that I was taught by the 'old timers' in the shop.
Park your magnetic base dial indicator on the column (or wherever its NOT in the road) and then use the dial to give you very accurate measurements.
Should work decently for those small depth holes I would guess.
 

HMEL

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I agree, there nothing wrong with it, and as say, it's a capable tool. The reason I'm a bit turned down may not be the case for others.
I'm experiencing slop in the quill. And as I feed down to make a cylinder bore, I make a cone. I know I can get past this problem by other means, but that's my concern. I can do nice work on it, but that doesn't mean I can do even better with better machines. I'm no pro and could use some help from the machine :)
Rudy
I really understand where you are coming from. I bought a drill press that did not have a name and it has issues at times. I resolved some of them but now I am asking myself if I should just buy a new one and be done with it. To do the final fixes I would have to dissemble it and rework the spindle. However where do I go for parts. I suspect there was a reason no name was put on it. Could be a manufacturing issue that the drill press was out of specs. In your case I would be tempted to take the quill apart and examine it if you have the time. You might be able to fix it if you see something obvious. But then you have to be able to get parts and that could be a problem. Bearings have markings on them so those can be had. gears and racks and other odd ball stuff much harder to get a hold of. I would be tempted to upgrade and avoid some grief in my life. However you could save some coin if you were successful. Its a question of time and how much fun you wish to have rebuilding something. But if you do buy new make sure its a good one or you will be very unhappy. good luck.
 

packrat

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Quote "A new mill: Precision Matthews PM-833 TV (https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-833tv-ultra-precision-milling-machine/). The question is, is this really two steps above the crowd as PM claims? Or is just a bit nicer and four times more expensive version of what I got "

For your $3899.00 money you could get used Bridgeport clone machine or a well used Bridgeport if you can find one.?

Quote" I prefer a bench type because I have space limitations and I don't need something big. "
Yes I know there very heavy and hard to move and take up a lot of room and used ones may or may not have worn out parts, and are three phase..
 
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SailplaneDriver

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I sold my Horror Freight mini mill and purchased a PM-835S and haven't looked back. It was the smallest knee mill I found and It is way larger than I really need; but it also is much more robust allowing me to be more precise. At 1500 lbs (680 kg) it is quite heavy and difficult to move. All that weight means things don't flex as much and the knee adds a lot of versatility not to mention working height - my 6" rotary table now fits!
 

Rudy

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I really understand where you are coming from. I bought a drill press that did not have a name and it has issues at times. I resolved some of them but now I am asking myself if I should just buy a new one and be done with it. To do the final fixes I would have to dissemble it and rework the spindle. However where do I go for parts. I suspect there was a reason no name was put on it. Could be a manufacturing issue that the drill press was out of specs. In your case I would be tempted to take the quill apart and examine it if you have the time. You might be able to fix it if you see something obvious. But then you have to be able to get parts and that could be a problem. Bearings have markings on them so those can be had. gears and racks and other odd ball stuff much harder to get a hold of. I would be tempted to upgrade and avoid some grief in my life. However you could save some coin if you were successful. Its a question of time and how much fun you wish to have rebuilding something. But if you do buy new make sure its a good one or you will be very unhappy. good luck.
Guess new parts will be much the same. Don't know if making a new quill is feasible.
Rudy
 

Rudy

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I sold my Horror Freight mini mill and purchased a PM-835S and haven't looked back. It was the smallest knee mill I found and It is way larger than I really need; but it also is much more robust allowing me to be more precise. At 1500 lbs (680 kg) it is quite heavy and difficult to move. All that weight means things don't flex as much and the knee adds a lot of versatility not to mention working height - my 6" rotary table now fits!
I`m not just looking for a cheap option. However, if I got a machine like yours, which I can afford, I would have to park one of my beloved cars out in the rain and snow. Or, build a larger garage. (My shop is upstairs in my garage and getting big machines up there is a very indecent operation, not to mention the weight). Then the cost starts to be a concern. So I was hoping for a bench mill type of solution, if possible.
Rudy
 

packrat

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Yes Rudy, I know what you mean, even getting my Bridgeport clone off the rented trailer and into the garage was a real job..
 

Peter Murphy

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I`m not just looking for a cheap option. However, if I got a machine like yours, which I can afford, I would have to park one of my beloved cars out in the rain and snow. Or, build a larger garage. (My shop is upstairs in my garage and getting big machines up there is a very indecent operation, not to mention the weight). Then the cost starts to be a concern. So I was hoping for a bench mill type of solution, if possible.
Rudy
Hi Rudy, I have a Sieg SX3L & have done some decent machining with it. Granted it does have limitations, as do most, but I work with M238 pre hardened injection mold steel with no problems. @ 162Kg/360lbs 2 of us managed it onto a benchtop with a small block&tackle. 1KW, belt drive R8 with a 700mm/27.5" x 160mm/6.3" table with tapping mode on the spindle handles.
 

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