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Grizzly G0704 v. an X3 mill - what are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'GRIZZLY INDUSTRIAL INC.' started by Lone Watie, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Lone Watie

    Lone Watie Active Members Active Member

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    What are your thoughts out there between an X3 mill v. a Grizzly (BF20) G0704. It seems that weight-wise, they are in the same category. With the 0704 you get the digital height adjustment and the stand, but pay less, is there that much of a quality increase in the X3 styles, namely the G0463. My question stems from seeing the similarities between the G0619 and the G0704 but the huge (~$500) difference in price. I know they're made in different factories in China, but, while not as popular as the X3 styles, there seems to be a decent following on the BF20s, so just wanted to get some input from the users. Thanks.
     
  2. Lone Watie

    Lone Watie Active Members Active Member

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    Great information - thanks. I'm hopefully within a few weeks (positive thinking) of acquiring a mill. I don't have a lot of room to play with, and even less money (same old song and dance I'm sure), and think I have it narrowed down between the X3 and the G0704. I'm sure you've been on the www.g0704.com website, and I noticed the following there, as well as the CNC conversions. Has the tilting head on the 0704 caused you much anguish for tramming? It seems a bit more solid than having the column tilt on, for example, the LMS X3 with the column tilt. Most of my reading shows that not too many use the tilt feature of either the head or the column. Have you used it much, or do you simply use a tilting vise? Again, great information.
     
  3. Griffon

    Griffon New Member

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    Be very careful when milling SS, I burned out the motor on my G0704 which Grizzly rapidly replaced.

    I have made a mod by installing a thermo-disk overload inside the motor and I also installed a cooling fan to draw the heat out of the motor. I will not be doing any SS in the foreseeable future as it is VERY hard stuff to mill.

    For 4140 steel there is no apparent issue, especially since installing the cooling fan. All-in-all, it is a nice machine with a small footprint. My problem is available floor space of which I am very limited in.
     
  4. Splat

    Splat Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    As the guys have already mentioned, for all the right reasons, get the 704. What you get is more workspace and lower cost, but less weight than the 463. A lot of guys would say the weight makes the difference but you have to weigh that against your budget. As I've said before, when I was looking for my first mill months ago and researching as much as I could I had decided upon the 704, until I found a used Johansson small knee mill that popped up only 2 days before I planned on riding out to Grizzly for the 704. Get the 704. It's a great machine and the $ you save over the 463 will buy you some needed tooling or accessories.
     
  5. Splat

    Splat Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    FWIW..... I just got a catalog from Penn Tool (New Jersey, USA) and I see they have a small knee mill from Top Tec for around $1800, link here. I've read of guys' positive reviews of their lathes but so far haven't searched for any reviews on their mills. If I had saw that before I bought my used 1956 Johansson/Clausing small knee for only a few hundred more, I might have went with that.
     
  6. Griffon

    Griffon New Member

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    City:
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    [​IMG]

    120Vac fan powered from inside the control panel on the G0704. Installed a SPST toggle switch as you can see in photo.
    I cut a large opening in the top with a dremel tool as the slots don't allow enough volume of air flow.

    As for the motor, I installed a thermodisk inside the motor inline with one of the brushes. Should the heat rise to a dangerous level, it will open and thus shut down the motor until it cools to the pre-trip level.

    When the fan is running, it sucks an enormous amount of air thru the cover thus effectively preventing heat build up and motor melt down.

    Thermodisk = $8
    Fan = $20
    Not having to worry about 2 weeks down time = Priceless

    Top view (motor was installed a little crooked) NOTE: must install screw heads on the inside and nuts on the outside as there is very little clearance between the motor and the cover. Also use nyla-lock nuts so doesn't loosen with the vibration.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. kd4gij

    kd4gij Active Members Active Member

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    I have had my G0704 for almost a year and have been very pleased with it. The latest ones comming from grizzly have the 3 bolt mod already done.
     
  8. ozzie46

    ozzie46 Active Members Active Member

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    Got mine last month. It did not have the 3 bolt mod. But it does now.

    Ron
     
  9. timbertoes

    timbertoes Active Members Active Member

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    Might want to see what Precison Matthews/Quality Machine tool has.

    Although my mill is the dovetail column "45" size, I found that PM had the best overall price/package.
    While I did not care for the PM lathe I got (and sold) , I am very happy with the Mill.
     
  10. Splat

    Splat Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    I talked to the owner of PM about 2 months ago and they only had the bigger machines in stock with no ETA of the smaller ones, like the PM20/25/30. Might be obvious but you should definitely call them before you start seriously considering them.
     
  11. BRIAN

    BRIAN Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Supporter

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    I run the smaller brother of this mill( a 16 ) and am very happy with it .I use the head tilt a lot and find it easy to tram . Most of my work is light weight so I cant comment on its heavy use.

    If I have a issue it is the noise that the primary reduction gears make when used at high speed.I had to drill out the motor plate holes to adjust the depth of mesh to improve this. But after 2 years and a lot of use it seems to be getting a lot less, Or i am geting Deaf in my old age.

    If you are thinking of power feed you may like to look at. 2 AXIS POWER FEED FOR MINI MILL pdf
    I posted some time back.
    I think the 20 will definately be a good machine for you.

    Best regards Brian.
     
  12. geraldsd

    geraldsd Active Members Active Member

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    I, too, am in the market for a small mill. I saw a reply mentioning the 0463. What are the main differences, besides weight? Is there a measurable difference in ability to make cuts without chatter becoming an issue? What do most people here use this mill for? I hope to use mine for gunsmithing work. Obviously, I would like a full sized knee mill, but it is in the future. Would I be making a mistake by buying this to begin with?

    Thanks for everyone's help here!
     
  13. Splat

    Splat Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    A lot of, if not most, people associate weight with rigidity. Therefore, a heavier machine should ideally be more rigid, thereby able to take cuts that would make a lighter machine chatter or not be able to take at all (with equal motors, etc.). The G0463 is an excellent machine. It's got a little more travel but the table and the motor HP is smaller than the G0704. Both are capable machines for the home machinist.
     
  14. mekanix48

    mekanix48 Active Members Active Member

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    Hi from across the pond.

    I have the UK equivalent..BF20L? (Warco WM16, the smaller capacity brother) & have just started to use it in anger after getting my garage coversion sorted, I have milled a couple of stops for head now that I have trammed it in, the first of some mods that I have in mind. I am now in the process of machining some cast iron for a rear toolpost from a kit I bought some months ago,& so far it is handling cutting quite well, I am using a 2" four tip index insert facing mill as a fly cutter, that way it spreads the intermittant loading of a single point fly cutter, I am not being greedy only putting on between .020" - .050" per cut.. 'slowly, slowly catchee monkee' as the saying goes. I started off with 127 rpm as calcs indicated but upped it to 250 rpm & it handles it quite well..so far! really don't like counting chickens & all that.

    The machine is straight out of the box & apart from the removal of the travel grease off the table & haven't done any strippinng to bits as a lot of guys seem to want to do etc, if it aint broke don't fix it I say, I am satisfied with the way it is performing so far, the cast iron cutting has not produced any excessive heating of the motor-750 watt DC, & it was running for at least 20 -30 min at a time, there was some clatter which concerned me but on checking the cutter I found that the head (cutter) was not tightened snuggly onto the taper(MT2) this soon quietened down once I gave it a extra tweak with a Allen key & it improved the cutting properties. There is some intermediate gear chatter which seems to be the norm for these chinese machines from all accounts so I am not unduly worried about it.


    One of the other mod's I want to do eventually is convert it to belt drive to eliminate the intermediate gear & improve the torque rating as some have done with the X2 version..any one out there have a conversion kit, or plans for one? I would most gratefull.
    I have att. a couple of pics..if they have loaded ok. :thinking:

    Cheers
    George

    2012-12-02 16.45.47.jpg 2012-12-02 16.44.28.jpg 2012-12-02 16.44.06.jpg 2012-11-30 12.38.14.jpg
     
  15. xman_charl

    xman_charl Active Members Active Member

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    I have used both. I gave the x3 to a brother at my church.

    I prefer the G0704 or Enco. Seems to be more rigid.

    The steel in the sig seems to be softer, the quill bearing tube.

    Also had a round column mill, mostly used it for drilling. Its been long
    gone.

    charl


     
  16. hey-bear

    hey-bear New Member

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    The cooling fan is a great idea. I've already lost the first motor, it was covered under warranty and I had no issues getting a replacement.
    One thing about the fan switch, Why, just wire it so the fan comes on when the motor is running?
     

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