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Bench top milling machine

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Chris Walby15/11/2018 21:08:10
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907 forum posts
220 photos

H guys,

Thinking of adding a milling machine to the workshop tools (My dad has passed on loads of cutters and tooling from when he had a Bridgeport).

Any suggestions on make or model?

This one caught my eye (Clarke CMD300) from a size perspective, but no idea about quality.

Gary Manuel15/11/2018 21:48:19
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Posted by Chris Walby on 15/11/2018 21:08:10:

This one caught my eye (Clarke CMD300).

Unusual for them to come without a safety guard wink

Bert15/11/2018 21:51:02
511 forum posts
7 photos

It’s not bad I had one of these with different badge/colour and it was ok. It will not have anything like the power or rigidity of a Bridgeport so you may find that you can’t use the bigger cutters that the Bridgeport can. As for quality, they are Chinese machines built down to a price so you get what you pay for. That said, there are a lot of people who turn out good work on them.

Bert

Chris Walby15/11/2018 22:02:06
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907 forum posts
220 photos

Thanks Bert,

I don't need anything like the size of the Bridgeport (one reason I didn't bring it home + it was 3 phase).

Most of the work is small bits and bobs for the model aircraft so will be aluminium and I can take my time.

Gary, one of the reasons I picked up a 1947 Myford was the total lack of guards. I have access to a lathe at work with self ejecting chuck key and guard that obscure's your view of the work piece..it a total pain in the rear end IMHO.

You will be telling me you never walk in front of restrained model with the engine running next!

Graham A 215/11/2018 22:51:30
2 forum posts

Chris, have a look at a Proxxon MF 70, Graham.

Ronaldo16/11/2018 01:43:00
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I know this will not meet the approval of many, so firstly I do not say follow my lead or claim it is safe practice. On the subject of guards on workshop machines, I must admit I have removed the guards on 'some' of my machines, not all, (machine guards to protects hands and fingers such as circular saws etc I leave on) this is only where the guard obstructed my view of the work, and was practically impossible to work on ! I much prefer to use a clear full face good quality visor, I can see my work much better, less mistakes made, and in my opinion 'sometimes' safer, avoiding tools digging in or drill bits jamming simply because I couldn't see the work fully. So if you have to use workshop machines without a guard, please be safe, and at the very least wear eye protection, or better still a full face visor.

John Rudd16/11/2018 08:03:36
96 forum posts
2 photos

I have one of these......https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Machines-Accessories/Milling-Machines/SIEG-SX2-PLUS-Mini-Mill/SIEG-SX2P-HiTorque-Mill

Supplemented by a Chester 626 milling machine....

I'd avoid the Clarke machine, the electrics are not the best for reliability ( I can say this with some authority, having repaired numerous control boards) The motors are also fairly fragile, they tend to overheat and the gears are plastic. Replacement requires a strip down of the head after stripping the teeth from them...Clarke and other similar branded machines are well documented on the web about their shortcomings/reliabilty...

Edited By John Rudd on 16/11/2018 08:06:14

Chris Walby16/11/2018 08:34:09
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907 forum posts
220 photos

John and others thanks for the advice,

The SIEG looks the right size and reliability is one of my main concerns...I think my 1947 Myford has had sufficient time to settle in!

What's the accuracy of the beds like and backlash? I'll get asked by my Dad as he was a ex instrument tool maker! Although within a thou is good enough for me!

Peter Miller16/11/2018 08:40:01
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I was a technician in a school and the milling machine had all the guards. It was impossible to see what one os doing at all.

Hopeless. The lathes were better, not much in the way of guards at all.!! This was over 25 years ago

Chris Walby16/11/2018 08:51:09
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907 forum posts
220 photos

The self ejecting chuck key drives you mad...how are you meant to hold the work piece with one hand and the chuck key when you need two hands to use the darn thing!

Having said that I am slightly nervous of using the Myford in reverse......as it has a screw on chuck! Then again it hasn't fallen off yet!

It has main and reduction belts (unguarded of course)...if they are going around...don't put you finger in there as it will just hurt!

On the bright side keyless chucks for drills are one of the best inventions for the DIY person

Sorry OP off topic, but it is Friday

John Rudd16/11/2018 09:37:20
96 forum posts
2 photos

Chris,

If you are considering the Sieg machine, talk to Ketan at Arceurotrade. He is well respected in 'trade' and has customer service second to none.

If you hadnt noticed, the Sieg machine has a brushless 500 watt motor, the CMD unit from Clarke has a brushed motor, with a 350 watt rating. The torque on the Sieg mill is far superior ( imho....)

Edited By John Rudd on 16/11/2018 09:40:18

Chris Walby16/11/2018 11:36:43
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907 forum posts
220 photos

John,

I think I'll go with your advice, the review covered off most of my concerns and the Clarke seemed under powered and old technology if you get my drift.

With my collection of old cutters would you suggest the R8 or MT3 taper for chucks/collets, gut feeling is R8 but don't know the down side if there is one?

Gary Manuel16/11/2018 11:58:18
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1831 forum posts
1507 photos
Posted by Chris Walby on 15/11/2018 22:02:06:

Gary, one of the reasons I picked up a 1947 Myford was the total lack of guards. I have access to a lathe at work with self ejecting chuck key and guard that obscure's your view of the work piece..it a total pain in the rear end IMHO.

You will be telling me you never walk in front of restrained model with the engine running next!

No Chris - it was the fact that it caught your eye - oh never mind.

John Rudd16/11/2018 14:30:11
96 forum posts
2 photos

You will find R8 tooling better suited, R8 collets taking up less headroom than an MT 3 collet holder.

Gordon Tarling16/11/2018 14:32:41
229 forum posts
4 photos

This one, from ARCEurotrade, is much better value than that Clarke one. Though it looks very similar, ARC have incorporated several improvements of their own, which improve it greatly. ARC's service is top notch, too!

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