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Gorton Mastermil opinions.

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toolman

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#1
I posted on another thread about a smaller Nantong mill/drill that I can purchase locally, but I'm leery about a Chinese machine that looks to be a bit rough but, it comes with tooling and probably $600-$700 worth of vises with it for $1200. That said, I was looking on Dallas CL and found a Gorton Mastermil for $1000, but it has no tooling and it can't be powered up because the motor isn't mounted. The gentleman said that he bought it with no motor and then purchased a Bridgeport motor on eBay, but never mounted it. Now, health/age issues are forcing the sale. He claims that the machine seems good and tight with no discernible slop anywhere. I asked about the somewhat oddball taper of the early Gorton mills and he said the guy he got it from claimed it is a late model machine with an R-8 taper, but he based that on the 5" handwheel, saying the early models used a 3" wheel. Can anyone here shed any light on this? It's 150+ miles away, so I want to have a little knowledge before I drive all the way there to look at it, then I have to figure out how to get it back her and unload it. I'm assuming he has a way to load it if I take it.
 

Senna

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#2
The Gorton is an order of magnitude better than the mill/drill.
Don't worry about the taper as any taper used can be found. The standard BS 9 taper is superior to the R8 but the Gorton spindle is legendary.
Get the Gorton.
 

Uglydog

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#3
toolman,
Your choice depends on your objectives, time and patience. Sounds like the drill/mill will be operable with less pain. However, the Gorton will likely be more accurate when complete. I was very satisfied with my Rong-Fu Mill/Drill. However, she had clear limitations. With considerable help from HM Users my Cincy is in place and operable. The Mill/Drill was a great starter mill. And I certainly wouldn't be writing this without that first date with her. But, after that first kiss I wanted more and she didn't have it to offer. However, I would hesitate to castigate anyone who chooses a mill/drill and sticks with her, she does a great job for the purpose she was designed for. It all really depends on your needs and applications.
Please keep us posted on your choice and progress.


Daryl
MN
 
Last edited:

xalky

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#4
I posted on another thread about a smaller Nantong mill/drill that I can purchase locally, but I'm leery about a Chinese machine that looks to be a bit rough but, it comes with tooling and probably $600-$700 worth of vises with it for $1200. That said, I was looking on Dallas CL and found a Gorton Mastermil for $1000, but it has no tooling and it can't be powered up because the motor isn't mounted. The gentleman said that he bought it with no motor and then purchased a Bridgeport motor on eBay, but never mounted it. Now, health/age issues are forcing the sale. He claims that the machine seems good and tight with no discernible slop anywhere. I asked about the somewhat oddball taper of the early Gorton mills and he said the guy he got it from claimed it is a late model machine with an R-8 taper, but he based that on the 5" handwheel, saying the early models used a 3" wheel. Can anyone here shed any light on this? It's 150+ miles away, so I want to have a little knowledge before I drive all the way there to look at it, then I have to figure out how to get it back her and unload it. I'm assuming he has a way to load it if I take it.
I would say get the gorton too. I've never regretted buying more machine than i need....ever. But I've regretted buying smaller/lesser tools more times than I want to remember. Look at everything else real good shake the table run the x and y , the knee, table wear, the quill. This also gives you time to feel the guy out and try to judge his character. If your confident that he seems to be a solid guy, and the machine looks solid, make him an offer.

Because you can't see the machine run, tell the guy, "I'm taking a chance here on your word that this machine is good" and then offer him $700:)) You guys will go backa nd forth and settle somewhere in the middle. Because the fact is that you are taking a chance. Risk vs. reward. But you've done your homework. My character sniffer works pretty good, but everybodys gut is not as intuitive as mine. You can always get tooling, and it won't bother you so much if you know you have a good solid machine.

My 2 cents.

Marcel
 

toolman

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#5
Thanks for the advice guys. In all honesty, it's probably a lot more machine than I need, BUT, it's hard to make a smaller machine do what a big machine will sometimes. The primary usage will be very light duty drilling in my gunsmith shop, but there's always something that needs to be milled, and I have some ideas for different jigs that I want to try. My biggest concerns are the condition of the machine, distance, and loading/unloading. I'm still trying to get the shop outfitted and opened (sure wish ATF would hurry on my FFL application!), and I can't afford a lot of extra expense or another project ,like the 12x36 lathe that I ended up with. The guy has already told me that he's firm on the price, so if I have to pay for $200 worth of fuel, and pay for a wrecker to unload it, then start gathering tooling and a vise, my $1500 budget is pretty well blown if the machine has any other issues. I'm waiting on a call back from him to see if he has a means of loading it and what type of motor it has (may have to buy a phase convertor as well), so we'll see what happens.
 

toolman

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#6
Well, he's not sure on the loading (may have a buddy with a tractor who can load it), or the voltage, but I did find out that it's a 3 phase motor. He's going to call me back tomorrow (oops, that would now be today) with all of the specifics. At this point, I'm seriously looking at getting a Grizzly G0704 for now and upgrading to an actual mill after I get some money coming in instead of just going out. I hate to let this one go, but I'm afraid it's going to be more money than I can spend at this time considering the other equipment/tooling that I still need in other areas of the shop. If anyone is interested, I can hook you up with his number...
 

xalky

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#7
I don't know how long you've been actively looking to pull the trigger on a mill and how urgent your need is for one. I would wait it out a little while longer and see if you can't find something else closer by, or more suitable. These things do take awhile to appear. In the mean time you can keep socking away a few bucks into your mill fund. I'd hate to see you sink some money on something that your not gonna be happy with. What about your buddies mill?
 

toolman

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#8
I don't know how long you've been actively looking to pull the trigger on a mill and how urgent your need is for one. I would wait it out a little while longer and see if you can't find something else closer by, or more suitable. These things do take awhile to appear. In the mean time you can keep socking away a few bucks into your mill fund. I'd hate to see you sink some money on something that your not gonna be happy with. What about your buddies mill?
It's a chinese mill as well and has not been well taken care of, but it does have two vises and quite a bit of tooling, but he wants his $1200 back out of it, which I think is way too much. I also found a like new Enco for $900 about 200 mi. away, but my thinking is, the Grizz would at least come with a warranty and does not require a phase convertor, plus it would be delivered directly to my shop. I could use it while I save for a better one, then sell it to recoup some of my cost later. I may just hold off, but I could use it to build some of the parts I need for the 12x36 Craftsman lathe I bought, plus some other light-duty projects that I'm working on. If you can't tell, I'm pretty wishy-washy about the whole deal! :roflmao:
 

xalky

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#9
I know the feeling about wanting to get a new toy to play with in the garage and the prospect of having a shiny brand new one seems like a great idea. I agree, I think $1200 is too much for your buddys mill.

A couple of years ago, i was so close to pulling the trigger on a HF 7x10 mini lathe, but i couldn't justify the money they wanted for such a small lathe. I called my buddy, that has a machine shop in his basement, to see if he knew anybody that had a small lathe for sale. He said, he had a small south bend 9" that he needed to get rid of to make some room. I paid $100 for it. I've probably put another $500 into it, it needed a chuck , and a thread dial, and a couple of gears were missing,and i wanted a quick change tool post. It has served it's purpose and I still have it, but I quickly outgrew it.

My suggestion is to go out there and shake a few bushes and put the word out that your looking to buy a mill. Once you buy that Grizzly, you're gonna be stuck with it for awhile, not to mention that you're gonna need a whole bunch of tooling.

It's your money, after all. I'm just trying to talk some sense into you...:LOL:
 

itsme_Bernie

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#10
+1 on xalky's thought to shake a few trees.

When I simply told everyone I know what I was trying to do, starting a little home shop, one friend gave me a really beat up Atlas 618 which changed my ability to machine, and taught me SO much.

Other friends found machines for me to buy cheap, or mint machines for a great deal. Some others sold me spare machines that they were happy to get out of their way, but even easier to let go of knowing who it was going to.

Your buddy's machine sounds like too much $$. You said something about recouping his costs. Did he buy it new?

CRAIGSLIST*****!!!!!!

Bernie
 

toolman

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+1 on xalky's thought to shake a few trees.

When I simply told everyone I know what I was trying to do, starting a little home shop, one friend gave me a really beat up Atlas 618 which changed my ability to machine, and taught me SO much.

Other friends found machines for me to buy cheap, or mint machines for a great deal. Some others sold me spare machines that they were happy to get out of their way, but even easier to let go of knowing who it was going to.

Your buddy's machine sounds like too much $$. You said something about recouping his costs. Did he buy it new?

CRAIGSLIST*****!!!!!!

Bernie
No, he and his father-in-law bought it last year for their hotrod shop, but didn't use it as much as they thought they would. IMO, the vises and tooling are worth more than the machine,but it's still overpriced. OTOH, I'm going tomorrow to look at a Bridgeport copy that another buddy of mine just happens to have sitting in storage...:thumbsup:
 

itsme_Bernie

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No, he and his father-in-law bought it last year for their hotrod shop, but didn't use it as much as they thought they would. IMO, the vises and tooling are worth more than the machine,but it's still overpriced. OTOH, I'm going tomorrow to look at a Bridgeport copy that another buddy of mine just happens to have sitting in storage...:thumbsup:
THAT sounds like something!!



Bernie
 

toolman

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#13
THAT sounds like something!!



Bernie
Yeah, I don't know why I didn't think about him first! This old guy has some pretty crazy stuff sitting around. If you need a big-block Camaro, 30 dirtbikes, a conveyor belt, etc., he's your man.
 

xalky

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No, he and his father-in-law bought it last year for their hotrod shop, but didn't use it as much as they thought they would. IMO, the vises and tooling are worth more than the machine,but it's still overpriced. OTOH, I'm going tomorrow to look at a Bridgeport copy that another buddy of mine just happens to have sitting in storage...:thumbsup:
Now that sounds like something worth pursuing for sure. It sounds like it aint doing him much good sitting in storage. The first mill i ever ran was a bridgeport copy sold by MSC, it was almost brand spankin new, when i started using it. I hope this comes through for you buddy, I've been rootin for ya. If it's not a basket case , you might have to pilfer some $$ from the rent/mortgage fund to add to your $1500 budget, but I think you'll be very happy with it. Maybe he'll take a payment plan. OR If the machine gods are feeling merciful, you'll get it within budget!!
 

toolman

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#15
He's a wheeler dealer who loves to trade and I just happen to have several extra vehicles/projects sitting around, so if it's not junk, I'll probably trade him out of it. He did say that they took it apart to transport it and somehow lost some of the gibs, but can't remember which ones. He said when he put it in storage in his buddy's storage building, that it had a ton of tooling with it, but there's been a lot of people in and out of there over the years, so he doesn't know what's left. We'll find out tomorrow afternoon.
 

xalky

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#16
He's a wheeler dealer who loves to trade and I just happen to have several extra vehicles/projects sitting around, so if it's not junk, I'll probably trade him out of it. He did say that they took it apart to transport it and somehow lost some of the gibs, but can't remember which ones. He said when he put it in storage in his buddy's storage building, that it had a ton of tooling with it, but there's been a lot of people in and out of there over the years, so he doesn't know what's left. We'll find out tomorrow afternoon.
Man, I'm wishing for your sake that it's not too much of a basket case. A little bit of a basket case, might work in your favor for price reasons.:)) Take lots of pictures so we can help you make a decision as to it's worthiness and if it's missing parts, where you might be able to get them. I'm rootin for ya. :allgood:
 

toag

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#17
how did it turn out? good choice not getting the gorton, its a beast of a mill, but if he wanted 1200, and it didnt even have am motor installed or tooling... well i bet it will be there for a while.

if you went up to look at the BP copy i hope you took some pictures. or if the mill is too much of a progect you can at always make a deal for the tooling. I have easily double the my machine budget with tooling. collets, vises, angle blocks, hold down kits and endmills... you always need the things you dont have!
 

toolman

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how did it turn out? good choice not getting the gorton, its a beast of a mill, but if he wanted 1200, and it didnt even have am motor installed or tooling... well i bet it will be there for a while.

if you went up to look at the BP copy i hope you took some pictures. or if the mill is too much of a progect you can at always make a deal for the tooling. I have easily double the my machine budget with tooling. collets, vises, angle blocks, hold down kits and endmills... you always need the things you dont have!
I haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet. It's sort of a long story, but the mill (and a lathe) are in storage at a warehouse that my buddy's buddy rents out. Been trying to get all three of us together at the same time to go take a look, but it hasn't panned out yet. He called me Friday to go look at it, but I was already out in the country chasing deer and pigs, so maybe sometime this week, I hope.

My FFL should be approved pretty soon, and I'd like to have the equipment in place before I open the doors for business.
 
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