Optima lathe and mill

Discussion in 'Tools' started by Moper361, Jun 26, 2019.

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  1. Jun 26, 2019 #1

    Moper361

    Moper361

    Moper361

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    The possabilities of me relocating from Thailand back To perth Australia are starting to be a reality. I have a12 36 lathe and a zf45 mill at the momment in Thailand however if i move i dont think they will be riding along with me unfortunatly. If i move i will be limited to the room i have now .I I have a lot of tooling etc i am looking at taking with me and will sell my lathe and mill and look for new if we shift.I have been looking at optimum BF 20 LV mill and optimum TU 2506 and TU 3008 lathes as these are available around Perth also various other makes of chinese stuff. Is there any fellow members running these machines or have experienced them ? They seem to look reasonable as far as chines lathes and mills go .Im lead to believe they are of german background and made in china .
     
  2. Jun 26, 2019 #2

    XD351

    XD351

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    Correct but don’t think that because the mother company is German that the quality is going to be superior , i take it you would be purchasing through Hare and forbes in Australia so look at their metalmaster series as well .
     
  3. Jun 26, 2019 #3

    Moper361

    Moper361

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    Im at work just now so just doing online searching just now and yes Hare and Forbes seem to be about the only ootion in Perth for now .Ive only seen there opti mills online but see there is a couple of options for lathes .i will be down in Perth in July so ill Throw dad in the car and kick the wife and kids out in the city and go take a look at what ootiins there are .
     
  4. Jun 26, 2019 #4

    XD351

    XD351

    XD351

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    If You sign up to their mates club ( free of course ) you can get Emails from them notifying you when there is a sale on and member deals etc , currently it is the EOFY sale but there will be more later this year - i think they do one in early October to coincide with the Bathurst 1000 motor race . The optimum series replaced the sieg units they were selling and i believe are slightly better specifications / features but i wouldn’t say better build quality - they are all made in China at different factories as is the metalmaster series .
    The one optimum item i constantly get a good laugh from is the DRO unit - looks fantastic for a small machine like a sieg c2 etc but the 3 axis display alone is around $300 and you still have to buy the reader heads and stick on magnetic scale , I can buy a Sino unit complete with 3 scales at about 2/3 the cost of the complete optimum unit with the reader heads !
     
  5. Jun 26, 2019 #5

    Moper361

    Moper361

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    Yes i was looking at the DRO read out and yeh the read out looks good but a fair chunck of fun tokens to set it up like you say buying tbe strip at 64 then the mag pick up 74 bucks you do that a few times it adds up sharpish lol.I will sign up once im back in a reasonable wifi area asjust nowim in the middle of chinaat a gas plant and internet is like you would expect out here nil to a flicker.Truth be known those products are probably made just down the road
     
  6. Jun 26, 2019 #6

    deeferdog

    deeferdog

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    I have the Optimum BF-20LV. It is nearly two years old and has done a lot of work. The machine is quite good for the money and is capable of a lot of modifications. I have power feed on both the Z and X axis and this makes a big difference to the fatigue factor of operating the mill. Accuracy depends on how well you want to set it up and maintain it. It is sold all over the world under different names, in the US it is the Grizzly G0704 and is often converted to CNC operation and there are lots of sites dedicated to this. The DRO is expensive, there are now better and cheaper available, however the Optimum unit bolts on in a few minutes as the machine is pre drilled to accept the kit. I think for the hobbyist it is a good buy, I had the Sieg X2 before this and I found it a bit small, this more suits my needs. Hare and Forbes are a reputable company and I have never had any issue with them over many years but that is only my personal observation. The German ancestry of the machine is marketing spin, the whole thing is Chinese as a chopstick but the quality is acceptable considering the price. Cheers, Peter
     
  7. Jun 27, 2019 #7

    Moper361

    Moper361

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    Thanks for the feed back Peter .May i ask how does it do on mild steel .Obviiusly it would not perform like my zx47 however is it capable of nibbling away at mild steel within reason ?Also would a small indexing head with a 100mm centerline be okay on the table as i would like the capabilities of still being able to mill small gears from time to time ? .My other ootion on mill is the HM 28 v ootimum but this would be depending on room available at this time .
     
  8. Jun 27, 2019 #8

    deeferdog

    deeferdog

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    The machine performs well on all metals if it is kept within its limits. I think that if it was thrashed really hard problems would soon show up, but this would pretty much apply to any machine. I would like a bigger mill such as the HM-46 but it's double the weight of the BF-20 and I don't have the room for it. I also don't have the money but even if I was able to solve those problems I would still have to confront the exchequer (my wife) with a reason that she would find reasonable. Unfortunately, the last problem is insurmountable.
     
  9. Jun 27, 2019 #9

    Hopper

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    The only experience I have with Optimum is an Optimum mini/micro lathe I sorted out for a bloke in town here. Was woeful quality. Bend in the bed from new of half a millimeter or more. Woeful fit between saddle and ways. Leadscrew so far out of alignment the carriage jammed mid-travel. Once that was all sorted (other than the drooping bed at the tailstock end) it went on to do a bit of good work making small model engines etc.

    How that reflects on Optimum's larger machines I have no idea.

    Personally, I would go for a SIEG. They seem to be better finished off.
     
  10. Jun 28, 2019 #10

    Wizard69

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    Have you considered shipping the tools to Australia? Air freight might be a decent choice here.

    Decent in the sense of being competitive with buying the equivalent new machines. Stuffing a air freight container with everything you can find would also help with costs.

    Personally I’d buy new machines from Taiwan if you can find what you need there. My experience with stuff from China hasn’t been good be that be something simple like a socket set or the few machines currently in my shop. Obviously you can get high end stuff from China but most of these “home shop” machines are of low quality. .
     
  11. Jul 15, 2019 #11

    rodw

    rodw

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    For the record, sea shipping ex China to Australia is only USD $65 per cubic metre plus handling charges at each end so Thailand would not be much different . (To Brisbane anyway where I live). You would need to crate your gear somehow and it needs to be export quality packaging. No raw timber for quarantine but plywood is OK. I can buy crates like that here, so I guess you an there.

    With that out of the way, the Optimum 3008 is a nice lathe and has a DI chuck. I almost purchased one after I sold my AL320G but moved my business out of home. The day I went to buy an AL336D, Hare and Forbes had a used AL960B equivalent for sale. It had been in a tafe and was basically unused so I bought it instead becasue I had 3 phase power to plug it into. Incidentally it is made in Taiwan so you could get one shipped over. The build quality leaves the AL336 for dead and my mate is very envious of it in comparison with his AL336.

    The Optimum mill however, is nowhere near the quality of the Seig SX3 I purchased from Hare And Forbes just before they replaced it with Optimum. You can still get Sieg in Australia https://www.ausee.com.au/shop/category.aspx?catid=57 but I guess local support is worth something. The HM46 is a much sturdier machine and not that much more
     
  12. Jul 15, 2019 #12

    Moper361

    Moper361

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    Im actually in ozz now and been looking at second hand lathes and they seem to be going for silly money and when you tally it all up i think better of to by new again
    Been looking at AL336 which is basically what i have now in thailand at scare and forbes with dro and most of the good options its not a bad price.I checked out the optimum mills the finish and feel seems quite nice but no were as beefy as the x3l siege .Only benifit would be like you say hare and forbes are in perth Ausee machines are not .As fare as the Machines i have in thailand we own the house there so sort of plan to leave them there for a rainy day for now as never know we may end up bouncing back and forth between ozz and there .so looking at starting fresh really .
     
  13. Jul 18, 2019 #13

    Moper361

    Moper361

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    Well after a lot of thought and looking at new chinese lathes i decided on this lot as is was only 200 bucks more than a new al250 chinese lathe
    I ended up with
    Boxford aud with vertical mill attachment .3c collet chuck with collets and drawbar .t slot table .quick change toolpost and loads of tooling
    Aeg german bench drill
    3 phase 180 amp german stick welder
    Single phase tig stick german made welder 20190718_150233.jpg 20190718_150238.jpg 20190718_150243.jpg 20190718_150249.jpg 20190718_150254.jpg
    Brand new german made micrometers upto 100mm
    Dial guages german brand and mitatoyo
    Various other boxes of little treasures from reamers to small boring bar sets etc etc
    Various german drill chucks and live centers .
     
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  14. Jul 18, 2019 #14

    rodw

    rodw

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    Looks lika a good buy. The lathe looks to be in good order.
     

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