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Options On Purchasing New Mill

Pmedic828

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#1
Finally saved enough money (maybe) to purchase a new milling machine - I now have a 3 in 1 machine and the lathe is fine but when milling, the quill extension causes deflection. Now for the 64 dollar question.
I am looking at a Grizzly 0796 or a Grizzly 0678 - I have limited space in my shop and cannot use 3 phase power - only 220v single phase. This is a hobby for me and do not intend on using this commercially. I am also recently retired and self taught if this helps. I have many questions listed below and I thought that you maybe more experienced and help me decide.
1) Quill travel - one has 3 1/2 and the other is 5 inches - one is 1 1/2 hp and other is 3 hp.
2) One has 8 step pulley system like Bridgeport and other is single pulley with VFD built in
By the time I purchase a DRO and a Power Feed for the smaller mill, the price is about the same.

Is the 5 inch quill travel better or can you get by with 3 1/2? Is variable speed better - I didn't do any calculations yet but use hardness RPM = (3.82 x SFM) / D - due to cost, I use only 3/8 and 1/2 end mills and have a 1 1/2 face mill and homemade slot cutter. Will I have enough choice with a step pulley. I know that variable speed is probably better, but cost is a great factor - is it better to put money into somewhat larger machine (or a cheaper price) or elect to get variable speed? This is something that cannot be changed easily except to get a VFD.
I really only have space for 8 X 30 and you can always use a bigger machine but .... I will have to disassemble the larger machine because I only have a 74 inch opening to get it into the workshop. The weight I can move with a tractor with a bucket except for getting it into the workshop. Decisions, decisions.... maybe I was blessed without money so I wouldn't have to worry about these things.
Any help would be appreciated - understand to purchase as large a machine as I can but I really don't want to get into overkill and price is important. Your Thoughts Please......
 

DoogieB

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#2
These are two different classes of mill: one is 1000 pounds and the other is 2500. Obviously the bigger and heavier mill will be able to do more.

I have a the G0678 and it's fine for what it is, but I bought it because I don't have room for anything larger. If you have the space and cash, buy the bigger mill.
 

mikey

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#3
I don't own a knee mill but like most of us, I would love to own one. If I were in your shoes I would look at the Precision Matthews line of mills. I understand the space constraints and all but if I had room for a knee mill I would look hard at the PM-935 - hardened and ground table and ways and many other better features than the Grizz line. Cost is nearly the same as the G0796. I would live without a DRO to have the 935 and add it on later as I am able.

If I had this decision to make I would call Matt and talk it over before making a decision.
 

JimDawson

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#5
The larger machine is, well, twice the machine:) Comes with a power feed and a DRO!

As far as space and getting it into your shop, I moved a 9x49 machine exactly like it through a standard 36 inch door without disassembling the machine. I did take the door off of the hinges to get it out of the way. Not sure what you mean by ''only have space for 8x30''. Is that the size machine that would fit in your shop? If that's the case then the discussion is over.;)

Speeds: I spend years using change belt machines in both tool & die and general use and found them to be adequate.

I agree with the comments above regarding the PM machines.
.
.
 

Pmedic828

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#6
checked with PM and with shipping, single phase, and light, cost is over 2k more - that puts it out of the park - I just don't want to purchase something that would be too small but i only have 73 inches in height to get the machine thru. I guess that if I purchase the large machine, I will have to separate the ram from the base and move them separately, then reassemble - does anyone know if that machine can be separated by the ram or motor removed without a great hassle to reassemble - I am all by myself and in late 60's and cant lift too much without help. Thanks everyone
 

JimDawson

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#7
The machines are shipped with the head rotated upside down. So only about 60 inches tall. You have to rotate to the working position on commissioning. This is accomplished by loosening the 4 attaching nuts and using the rotation screw to rotate. To remove the head, remove the 4 attaching nuts and slide the head off forward. An engine hoist or other lifting means is required.

The motor on the change belt machine is very easy to remove. Disconnect the wiring, remove the two attaching bolts, and lift the motor out. It weighs about 90 lbs.
 

Bob Korves

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#8
Look into a used 7x27, 8x32, or 8x36" Burke Millrite. It is basically a 2/3 size Bridgeport, and more stout than any bench top mill. Weighs about 1400-1500 pounds, depending on options. Depending on where you live (don't know the market in La.), they generally go for about $1-2 K in ready to use condition, and often come with some tooling. Solid, made in USA machines. With the head upside down it is well under 72" high.
 

mksj

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#9
I would be more inclined to go with a 9x42" knee if you can fit it in, but the weight and size may be an issue. There have been some issues with the QC on the G0695 mill, which is very similar to the GO678. Both of these mills have a cross Y travel of only 7 3/4", and you will probably loose at least another inch if you add a DRO scale. That is very limiting, I sold my bench top mill which had a little over 8" with a scale, and still was a problem , especially after throwing a larger vise on the table. Grizzly G0796 is not a bad package deal, the PM935TS is less, but add a Sino DRO and a power feed, a little more than the G0796. The quality would be better and it is a little more manageable size wise. If you bought a 3 phase mill, you could add a VFD for about $200-$250 if you wanted to go that route. The quill travel, really depends on what you are doing, but 5" would be nice.

http://www.hobby-machinist.com/thre...ion-issues-i-need-guidance.45388/#post-386888
 

Silverbullet

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#11
Did you look at the grizzly g0801, g0822 mills , not sure of your budget but these are good smaller knee mills , with x y z plus spindle travel. I'd love to have the thirty inch table and vari speed of the top model in that class. I have an older enco mill like these but haven't been able to get them in my shop. To much pain and bad weather. I looked for two years to find the one I got used. One like it on eBay now but to pricy $2695.00
 

ksmith

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#12
Thanks I will look but I am really looking for one I won't outgrow too fast and the Bridgeport's I have found either cost too much or were in bad condition
 

TakeDeadAim

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#13
I know it has been said but I would look into the PM935 from Quality Machine Tools. This is a 3/4 size bridgeport machine that has an excellent reputation. I own one and it is a really good machine. I owned a smaller machine prior to buying this machine and the difference is huge. Quality of cut and accuracy; These machines are better build than many of the other imports and Matt at QMT is great to deal with.

I checked the price on the base machine and its the same as the larger machine your looking at. You can do without any of the extras like DRO other items. I think like me you will be happy you chose the best and largest machine you can get. Moving the machine is not has hard as you think. As someone mentioned the head is shipped rotated down so the overall height is low enough to get through your door. The machine can be moved on rollers as simple as lengths of tubing and a large pry bar. Low movers dollies also work depending on their height. The machine is shipped in a large crate (true no matter who's you buy). The sides and top get un screwed or cut off with a recip saw and your left with the machine bolted to a heavy pallet. It can be un bolted and lifted off with a chain hoist or large engine hoist and set down on the rollers. Check you tube for some videos of how others have done this.

Really I would strongly suggest getting not only the largest but also the best quality machine you can afford. I think others here will agree with this and suggest you consider this and putting off the extras. I have no power feed or power drawbar, I used a DRO Matt gave me a deal on in place of a phase converter. I am so glad to have discussed this with him and decided to go that way. A member here helped me figure out the wiring and Id be happy to do that for you if you went this way. I am now adding an RPM readout to the machine but you can live without it, I really just decided to do it because building the kit was something I could do while recovering from a back injury.

Please let me know if I can answer any questions.
 

Subwayrocket

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#14
That Griz 0796 looks like a nice machine . I have a PM935TV , it is a Taiwan made mill. I previously I had a chinese machine . Everything seems alot higher quality with the Taiwan made machine , and it's not a subtle difference . The PM935TS runs on single phase 220 and has a wheel that you can dial from 70-500 Rpm , flip a lever and 600-4200Rpm . It's a 2/3 size bridgeport and 1500 lbs . Good luck whatever you get !
 

Eddyde

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#15
Given those choices the Grizzly 0796 would be my pick, the increased capacity, rigidity and HP far outweigh the varispeed IMHO. As it goes, once you have it you'll wonder how you ever got along without it...

Also, While I agree with the above comments saying PM (Matt) are better machines, the reality of economy weighs heavily in these decisions. If you are coming from a 3 in one, the Grizzly 0796 is gonna be a huge step up, and you'll have some extra cash to spend on tooling .
 
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markrf555

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#16
I'm also trying to get a bigger mill. Found an old Bridgeport 9x42 1hp. Looks very clean and runs well (has vid of it running on ebay). Shipping is real high and not sure if I should just get one of the Precision Matthews PM-940M or 932M with the packages he offers and much better freight $.

Questions are should I go with proven old USA made iron (my preference) or try one of these sweet import models? Im sure there are + and - to each. Opinions?
 

markrf555

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I would not buy a used machine on eBay...
I understand and appreciate the eBay concerns. I have bought many things on ebay and they have pretty good protection for purchases and this co seems legit and has a good track record. BUt again I am still weary. Might feel out the PM guys as shipping is less.
 

mksj

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#19
When you are dealing with a large heavy machine, returning a machine can be a big deal and often the fine print might indicate that the buyer pays shipping if they do not like it. I usually find on machinery, that the sellers intentionally provide as little information as possible. They may have pictures, but often there might be details you miss, like the motor voltage. You can ask questions, but often these liquidation companies are just moving inventory.

Part of the decision on the size of the machine depends on what you plan to do. Although a bit more pricey, the PM935 offers the best of both machines and at a higher quality level.
 

BGHansen

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I'd really be hesitant to buy any machine sight unseen. If you buy new, you've got a much better chance of having it work great right out of the box (or crate). I'm looking at upgrading mills this spring/summer (have a Jet JVM-830) to a used Bridgeport or a PM-949VS. I use the web site www.searchtempest.com for Craig's List shopping. You input your search text (i.e. milling machine), your price range, and how far from your zip you want to shop. The direct results search gives you hits from eBay and CL pages with the matches. In my case there's a 2 HP BP about 80 miles north of me that looks to be a good buy ($3800). I'll take a trip to see it before sending the seller any money. But I wouldn't hesitate to send Matt a check for a new PM-949VS sight unseen.

Bruce
 

Bob Korves

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You really need to look at an eBay machinery ad with a lot of skepticism. What does it really show? What is guaranteed? Read the description and look at the photos carefully. Most machinery ads show poor pictures, say nothing about the condition, state that the machine has not been tested, and state that it is sold as is. The seller usually insists that the machine is sold where is. You will need to hire someone to pick it up, or go get it yourself. Before it is picked up, it is all yours. When you get it, you will have a machine you know very little about, and will have no assurance it will be usable at all. When you go to eBay for help, they will want to know what was misrepresented. Think about that. What did the seller represent with his poor photos and his disclaimers? eBay will not help you unless the seller made a verifiable mistake in the condition or terms, and the ads are carefully crafted to avoid that. You can very easily end up with a ton or two of expensive scrap metal and no recourse. If you are looking for a parts machine, perhaps. If you are looking for a major restoration machine, not so much. If you are looking for a plug and play machine, then you will likely be disappointed if it is not specifically represented to be a plug and play machine, and even then wear may be a big issue that eBay will not help you with if it is sold as "used."
 

Eddyde

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#22
I found my mill on eBay, However, I went to look at it before purchasing. I would be wary of buying a machine sight unseen, even new, but might take the chance buying remotely if the description was detailed, I got a good vibe from the seller and the price was right.
 

markrf555

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#23
Yes found a few on CL close to my bro in Orlando, and he can look at them, kick the tires ya heard. Getting good vibe from ebay seller and they have video of it running and going through ways/clutch/gear changes etc but I understand the risk and cost of shipping so may bail on eBay idea. Appreciate the feedback.

Slim pickings here in the Gulf Coast where I am. Got an email back from Matt at Precision Matthews today (Saturday) and answered my questions! Im kinda a sucker for old US made machines and like idea of an old classic Bridgeport to go with my old Logan lathe but those Taiwan PM mills are pretty sexy. Not too sure on the Chinese ones, as will be keeping this for lifetime and beating it up Im sure...
 
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