X2 or heavy duty mill which one to buy?

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BillyHill

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this was your quote not mine
I'm not sure why you chose to pick a fight with me about my opinion. Are you just trying to be combative?

Show me where the round column mill has the same "mill" features as an X2 and, as promised, I will admit I'm wrong. Otherwise, you can go ahead and stop talking to me, mkay? Thx.

But to be honest I think this useless conversation has gone on long enough so I'm going to do the patient mods here a favor and probably won't be back except to acknowledge my error if and when you (or someone else) show me those features exist on that round column "mill".

Good day. :)
 

Tin Falcon

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Gentlemen please stop the arguments . IMHO there is nothing worse than someone asking a question expecting help and the thread going down hill because of arguing.

It has been a while since anyone has been banned for misbehaving but we will if needed. No one hear should feel attacked for respectfully expressing there opinion. Flame wars may be the norm on other forums. Respect and encouragement is the norm here.. If you do not want to play nice find another sandbox.
Tin
 

canadianhorsepower

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Gentlemen please stop the arguments . IMHO there is nothing worse than someone asking a question expecting help and the thread going down hill because of arguing.

It has been a while since anyone has been banned for misbehaving but we will if needed. No one hear should feel attacked for respectfully expressing there opinion. Flame wars may be the norm on other forums. Respect and encouragement is the norm here.. If you do not want to play nice find another sandbox.
Tin

I shown that I can be as neutral as someone can be
I even offered to put this behind and go forward
and I'm still getting challenge
what should I do
 

cfellows

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I have a round column mill and I like the fact that is heavier duty than the X2. It has served me well for the past 20 years.

What I don't like is the round column. I do occasionally have a setup problem where I lose position by having to crank up the head. I also have a problem keeping the spindle trammed. Mine, however, is not quite as large as the one you pictured.

If I had to buy a new mill right now, I would probably follow Ron Ginger's advice and buy the Little Machine Shop mill. I looked one over at the GEARS show last fall and it's a nice little mill. Very nicely finished and it doesn't take up as much room as a round column mill.

Chuck
 

Paulsv

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I shown that I can be as neutral as someone can be
I even offered to put this behind and go forward
and I'm still getting challenge
what should I do
For a starter, you can refrain from obnoxious comments like "smarten up if you can." No excuse for calling others stupid. This place used to be noted for its civility.
 

Naiveambition

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With the problems of keeping the spindle trammed,,, would it be due to the mill/ drill feature.. Isn't this what the dovetail column would take out per se,.

Thank chuck for your response, I have see most of your work on here, and with motors you are putting, It seems well capable.

But in all honesty besides add ons, what is more special about the LMS mill. I order from them often, but general consensus is they don't make them so... Is there cleanup machining done to make them correct, or some other quality checks performed.?

I have a harbor freight 7x10 lathe, and it, needed it's adjustments done of course, but when right, it performs just like its $800 brother
 

Tin Falcon

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But in all honesty besides add ons, what is more special about the LMS mill. I order from them often, but general consensus is they don't make them so... Is there cleanup machining done to make them correct, or some other quality checks performed.?

The 500 Watt brushless spindle drive motor provides tremendous low-end torque. And you can vary the speed from 50 RPM to 2500 RPM continuously. There are no gears to shift. And, with no gears, the HiTorque Mini Mill is the quietest in its class.

The large mill table provides 50% more table area than other mini mills. It also has 30% more travel in each direction. The resettable feed dials allow you to zero them at any point.
you are paying for quality checks a bigger motor a belt drive upgrade a bigger table and more x -y travel.

Tin
 

canadianhorsepower

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[quoteFor a starter, you can refrain from obnoxious comments like "smarten up if you can." No excuse for calling others stupid. This place used to be noted for its civility][/quote]

PAULsv I can't read "stupid" in there, it's sad to see how people can change a complete phrase only
by interpretting in their way
 

Tin Falcon

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I am going to attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff here.

Like I said both machines will do good work in the hands of a craftsman.

I will have to agree the Mill drill is designed more as a heavy drill press than a mill . but having more mass and more power it will take bigger cuts than an x-2.

that being said if you buy a super x-2 that has a bigger motor and fill the column with rocks you also have more power and mass than a standard machine.

so weigh the options generally more x-y -and z are good things. bigger tables allow for bigger parts a heavier machine will produce smoother cuts. more horsepower will allow for deeper cuts and faster material removal.

also keep in mind moving a 150 pound machine is easier than a 700 lbl machine in tight spaces or up stairs. .

read take note re read before you place an order.
Tin
 

Paulsv

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I agree with everything Tin said. A lot guys here do work with a round column mill or an x2 that I couldn't hope to match with the best equipment. And every piece of equipment has strengths and weaknesses and trade-offs.

That said, I think the limitation of Z movement on a round column would drive me a little nuts after a while. I often spot drill, drill, and then ream or tap a hole, and it's nice to be able to do all operations when your quill is centered on the same location. A reamer or piloted tap wrench with tap is a lot longer than a drill, and if you run out of Z room, you have to re locate the hole.

I would really consider the x3 or a Grizzly G0704 mill. More travel, more grunt and better rigidity than the x2, for about the price of the round column you are looking at.
 

Wizard69

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I am looking at a mill and trying to decide between two different ones, and was hoping members could shed some light on them.
Unfortunately my light is pretty dim when it comes to the machines you selected. I wouldn't buy any of them.
The first is the x2 from harbor freight and with coupon can be had for bout 500$
If you want an X2 sized mill go to Little Machine Shop or another vendor selling solid column variants. The column mount is perhaps the biggest weak link in the machine the original X 2 design.
I like this for price and the many options available for upgrade, ( cnc , dro, etc) and also having dovetail column. Figure price with cnc will b 1000$ which makes the other mill the alternate.
If your intentions are CNC related you really need to think much harder about what will be the best machine for you. In my opinion the original X2 isn't suitable for CNC conversion if you are about to buy all new for that conversion.

As to upgrades, any machine can be upgraded. That shouldn't even come into the equation.
But am. Pretty worried about y movement being 4 inches, that sounds too small. Am sure to run into something that is bigger than a model so... How big is some stuff that can be done on this mill?
Well that depends upon your interests. For me it is too small of a stroke. The common mistake people make is buying too small so if you are worried now that is a bad sign. In the end you need to nail down what your interests are because that dictates what the proper machine is.
The other is the round column heavy duty mill with 9 inch y movement, which sounds pretty nice for bench machine.
If your interests involve CNC it is useless.
This also is able to upgrade to cnc, but doesn't seem as popular. Heard complaints about z axis.
It isn't a question of hearing it is rather understanding. That is you need to understand the limitations and incredible difficulties a round column mill gives you when it comes to CNCing the machine. If you understand that you wouldn't even be considering a round column mill. Having used such mills for manual work I can also say they leave a lot to be desired for manual use.
This one is only 400$ more amd more than. Doubles everything from righty to workable dimensions. Or so it seems. Are their problems that I am unaware of that I should stay away from this unit other other?
You are actually lucky in one sense, there is more hardware to choose from than at anytime in the past. As such I'd limit searching to machines with either dovetailed columns or columns with linear slides. Linear slides will put the machine out of the more reasonable price range though. So in a nut shell stay away from both units. If an X 2 sized mill is right for you go the "solid" column route.

However your concerns about travels on an X2 are real so look for a slightly bigger machine. Yes that puts you into another price category, but if you are already concerned about travels it would be foolish to invest in a machine that is too small.
 

Wizard69

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With the problems of keeping the spindle trammed,,, would it be due to the mill/ drill feature.. Isn't this what the dovetail column would take out per se,.
Tramming in isn't really the same thing as spindle alignment issues that round columns lead to.
Thank chuck for your response, I have see most of your work on here, and with motors you are putting, It seems well capable.
There are some extremely talented people here.
But in all honesty besides add ons, what is more special about the LMS mill.
The solid column goes a long way to eliminating long standing issues with the X2 while keeping it small and manageable. Other features that L!S adds really go to positively improve the machine. Given that it is still a smallish machine.
I order from them often, but general consensus is they don't make them so... Is there cleanup machining done to make them correct, or some other quality checks performed.?
You must have access to a catalog or the web site then right. If so review the machine for yourself as currently shipping. The reality is some of LMS features probably aren't important to you so focus on the unique improvements that you might think are worthwhile.
I have a harbor freight 7x10 lathe, and it, needed it's adjustments done of course, but when right, it performs just like its $800 brother
Every machine need adjustment. I find it amusing that people think the machine should be perfect when even a high end machine needs adjustment from time to time. Even the Hardinge at work requires TLC to keep it humming along. If you have the ability to adjust a machine almost all of the Chinese machines can be tuned to work remarkably well. You mention your 7x10 and as such I have to wonder if you running into size limitations with that machine. If not then maybe the X2 is ok size wise. Right now though I have to wonder.
 

Wizard69

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I am going to attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff here.

Like I said both machines will do good work in the hands of a craftsman.
True but today's craftsman have many machines to choose from.
I will have to agree the Mill drill is designed more as a heavy drill press than a mill . but having more mass and more power it will take bigger cuts than an x-2.
Some of them are more like drill presses with heavy XY tables attached. The fact that many of these mills ship with Morse taper spindles reinforces this view.
that being said if you buy a super x-2 that has a bigger motor and fill the column with rocks you also have more power and mass than a standard machine.
Rocks and mass however don't overcome issue of mechanical strength. This is where the stock X2 is wanting.
so weigh the options generally more x-y -and z are good things. bigger tables allow for bigger parts a heavier machine will produce smoother cuts. more horsepower will allow for deeper cuts and faster material removal.

also keep in mind moving a 150 pound machine is easier than a 700 lbl machine in tight spaces or up stairs. .
Or down into a cellar. This does highlight one thing, expectations have to scale with the machines size
read take note re read before you place an order.
Tin
 

Tin Falcon

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as far as z axis the way the x 2 is made it would be easy to ad a riser block and lif the head about an inch and a half. screw machine drills save space as does collects for toll holding sometimes small machines demand creativity.

for the price of a hf x-2 you can experiment and trade up if needed. for $1200 for a x-3 you are a lot more committed.
tin
 

Tin Falcon

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Rocks and mass however don't overcome issue of mechanical strength. This is where the stock X2 is wanting.
Agreed.

An issue here not mentioned is vibration and vibration dampening. It is hard to get a machine that is shaking all over the bench to cut smooth.

I expect a HF mill out of the box to have this problem. 1 convert upgrade to a belt and pulley instead of gears. this will reduce vibration produced . Pouring a mixture of granite and epoxy into cavities will absorb vibration as will bolting to a sold heavy base. And yes this will help but not turn a x-2 into a Bridgeport.

Also I recommend replacing the gibs and if needed gib screws. if you can not adgust the gibs the table will move around and you loose rigidity.


I know lots of guys out there are experienced machinists used to running Bridgeport and real machines. If you have room and funds get a Bridgeport.
This is a hobby board we build small models so I like to help fols figure out how to make the small import stuff work. there is no right or wrong way for everyone . Each person here has to build there own shop.
so we need to do our best to share clear information for a informed decision.
Tin
 

Naiveambition

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First of thanx everybody for their informative posts. I have made my decision and will go with the g0704 from grizzly. I took into account most of the issues you all were describing, and a little more homework and chose this one,
It's the same price as the larger HF one so makes a great alternate.

The following on it seems to be great, and many company's are making parts for it. Also with this machine it seems that some larger workmay be capable should it ever come up. I would like to make Bob Shores little angel, but at 2x size. Have Seen one done on this site, and it started the gears aworkin.
So... Here it is

Please throw your likes and dislikes torward this one. Good choice for rigity, size, power.?

image.jpg
 

Paulsv

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I've had one for a couple years, and I love it. I have found it to be surprisingly rigid and capable. If you ever think you might want to do a CNC conversion, it's a GREAT choice. Plans and parts are pretty available, and all kinds of information.

If you haven't already seen this site, make sure to take a look:

http://www.g0704.com/

He has lots of you-tube videos of his machine cutting, and of his modifications.

Hoss, who maintains the site, also has a very large thread on CNC Zone documenting his CNC Conversion, for which he sells plans, and other modifications. Lots of other G0704 conversions and modifications documented on CNC Zone as well.

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop_machines/111863-hosss_g0704.html

I put iGaging digital scales on my X and Y axis, for not much money, and they make it a lot more fun to use.
 

aarggh

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I have the model down from that, and find it great quality and a beautiful machine to use, so I can only imagine the model up is even better!

cheers, Ian
 
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