WTB Small Knee Mill (smaller than Bridgeport)

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Jared

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Hi guys,

I'm ready to move up from my little Cummins Tool X2 and so I'm trying to round up a small knee mill like a Rockwell 21-100 or 21-122, Clausing 85xx, Millrite, Index 40H, Jet 8x36, Grizzy 8x30 or something along those lines. Maybe a 9x32 Bridgeport if the price and logistics are right. I prefer an R-8 spindle and single phase motor but I can probably make 3-phase work. I've been considering the Grizzly G0695 like Mr Britnell just bought but I think for that price (4k) I should be able to pay considerably less for a used US made machine and ship it if needed and still come out cheaper. I really like the Rockwell mills but they are hard to find. Harbor Fright is a no-go. Lots of Z-space (15"+) is important. The 6x26 mills would be OK but they seem to have only 12". I'd like to keep it under $2000 but for the right deal I can go up to $3000 or so. I'm in SW Washington. Thanks!

Jared
 

gbritnell

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Hi Jared,
When I looked for a knee mill to replace my round column mill I looked long and hard to find all the features that I needed. I like you wanted the head space. The grizzly has 19 inches. I also realized that buying the Grizzly new was a lot of money compared to some of the good used Bridgeport and Bridgeport clones out there. One of the other requirements for my mill was that I could get it down in the basement safely. That left 2200 lb. machines out. If you have a shop that's accessible with a forklift then I would say buy a good used machine. I have just reassembled my Grizzly, hooked up the electricity and checked things out. I'm more than pleased with the looks, features and overall quality of the machine. Am I happy about the $4,000 outlay, not necessarily but after all the looking this was the best I could find.
gbritnell
 

Mainer

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I had a similar argument with myself back in 1985 when I bought my Jet mill for what at that time was a high price -- $2835, I think. Although it was financially a stretch I've never regretted it. I think it helps to reflect that, if you get the mill you really want, you'll probably keep it "forever" and enjoy it every time you use it. Amortized over a lifetime, a payment that seems high now will be forgotten in a year or two. If you get something you need to talk yourself into liking, chances are you'll always be vaguely disappointed.

The Grizzly 0695 should be pretty good.

...but I know there has to be an upper limit on cost, somewhere...


 

Jared

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Thanks, fellas! As luck would have it today I ran across a Clausing 8530 that I may be able to pick up cheap but I don't know yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! If it falls through I'll talk to myself a lot more about buying an 0695. But I go back and forth because I want to build a shop/apartment for myself and get outa this town soon and I could really use the dough for that. We'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll have some good news to report in the near future! I'm bummed because I missed a really nice surplus Jet 8x36 a few weeks ago because I had to work ::) and iron in between Bridgeports and mill drills is hard to find around here.

I like the way you think, Mainer.
 

Jared

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The 8530 followed me home the other day! Only thing is it has a bent spindle but I was able to order a new one from Clausing. There's another part that supports the spindle pulley bearings that was bent that I was able to duplicate. I should get the new spindle Wednesday and with a new bearing I should be good to go!
 

Mosey

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I have had my Clausing for about 10 years now, and I like it very much. If I had a grade entrance to my shop instead of steep narrow stairs, Bridgeport in a heartbeat.
Actually, if I had the easy entrance and big bucks, I'd have an Aciera F3 or a Deckel. If I only had the big bucks, I have the F3 disassembled and reassembled down in my shop. I passed up an F3 with full-house DRO for $3000..00! Still weeping over that one.
 

dwentz

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I have an 8520 that I moved up to from a grizzly minimill. I love mine. Best addition was a DRO I added this year. I have collected lots on info on the Clausing. If you are interested www.wentztech.com/metalworking

Dale
 

Mosey

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I have an extensive illustrated article on changing the spindle bearings, parts manual, etc., all for the asking.
 

Jared

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Thanks, guys!

Mosey said:
I passed up an F3 with full-house DRO for $3000..00! Still weeping over that one.
After I bought mine I helped another guy get a brand-new 15-year-old 9x42 Bridgeport knockoff for 300 bucks! Only reason I didn't jump on it myself was I didn't want that big of a machine. I'm sure at some point in the future I'll be kicking myself.

dwentz said:
I have an 8520 that I moved up to from a grizzly minimill. I love mine. Best addition was a DRO I added this year. I have collected lots on info on the Clausing. If you are interested www.wentztech.com/metalworking

Dale
I found your site a few weeks ago and I found it very helpful especially for taking the head apart which turned out to be very easy. I wasn't too excited about using pullers or large hammers to get things apart and as it turned out a rubber mallet was all I needed. I'm thinking about a DRO but that's in the future. The original manual even came with the mill!
 

Mosey

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The DRO's are indispensable!
I can show you how I installed my cheapo Chinese ones.
 

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