Got myself a new RF-30!

matthewsx

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It's actually not a problem of experience! I took welding in school and did it professionally for a short time. I just haven't gotten myself a machine yet. I've been eyeballing the AlphaTig 201xd for awhile but haven't been able to pull the trigger because it seems like something else always gets in the way. I do have some buddies with welding equipment so I'll have to go bug them with a 6 pack so I can get something made up.

That's the way I'd go, most welding shops will rent machines too. If the toolchest is cheap enough go ahead and pick it up for under your new machine stand.

John
 

mikey

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I'm with Mickri. You need to be able to access the leadscrew nut for the Y-axis. It sits around the middle of the Y-table's travel so you need a big hole under the stand. The nut is a split nut that allows you to dial out backlash. You also need that access to lube the screw. Mounting it on a tool chest will not work.
 

mickri

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The feed nuts are in the middle of the table. You can get to the Y nut from the top with the table all the way forward. You need a hole to access the X nut.
I think that the stand you posted from HD would work if it is truly rated for 1,000 lbs. You will still need to put a top on it to help distribute weight out to the edges. You can always beef it up with some angle iron welded to the corners. The stand has drawers which is a big plus as is that it is on wheels. Another big plus. You will still need a hole to access the X nut. That means you will have to take the drawers out. Maybe once or twice per year for cleaning.

Like John said above. Buy the tool chest if it is reasonable. You can always find a use for a tool chest and it will be a temporary place to put the mill until you get a better stand made.
 

mikey

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The feed nuts are in the middle of the table. You can get to the Y nut from the top with the table all the way forward. You need a hole to access the X nut.
I think that the stand you posted from HD would work if it is truly rated for 1,000 lbs. You will still need to put a top on it to help distribute weight out to the edges.

Hmm, I wonder if our mills are constructed differently. My Y-axis nut has a boss that fits in a hole that orients the split in the nut for backlash adjustment towards the front of the mill. I just looked at the manual and the IPB shows that my Y-axis nut is oriented correctly. The only way to access that Y-axis adjustment screw is from underneath the mill. The X-axis nut adjustment is accessible up top, from the end of the table with it shifted most of the way to the left. So, if his mill is really an RF-30, I am not clear how this mill, if set on a tool chest with no access to the bottom of the mill, will work. What am I missing?
 

ahazi

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I have an Enco RF25 that I mounted on top of a Harbor Freight drawer toolbox. I used 1-1/8 inch plywood to spread the weight and I welded a custom wheel base so I can move it. I only use it as a drill press so I am not using the XY table much and all the comments regarding lead etc are probably something I need to look into. So FWIW here are the pictures with the generic wheels and my custom base that was my first welding project...

20190302_140249 c.jpg
20190303_141216 c.jpg
 

mickri

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Mikey our machines are different. And I guess my memory is fading. Checked my machine. The screw for the Y nut is only accessible from the top on my machine. I have to remove one of the side plates for the X lead screw so the table can slide past centerline to get to the screw that holds the Y nut in place. I can also now access the bolts for the X nut. There is no backlash adjustment on either the X or Y nut on my machine. When moving the table past centerline be careful. The table is very, very heavy on my machine. Attached is a manual for an RF 30 that I found online. Don't remember where I found it. My Excel 31 seems to be very similar to the RF 30.
 

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mickri

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Also have a manual for the Enco version. Might be best to take the table off of your mill/drill to see what you have and proceed from there. There appears to be some variations in the different clones of the RF30.
 

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C-Bag

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Similar, but very different Chuck. My RF30 sold by Enco has adjustments on the X &Y lead screw nuts and the adjustment for Y is only accessible underneath through an access hole. And looks exactly like the pdf you posted.

I see so much variation on stuff that is tagged by other makers. Some are what RF called the 25 which has a different column and is lighter built with smaller head.
 

mikey

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Mikey our machines are different. And I guess my memory is fading. Checked my machine. The screw for the Y nut is only accessible from the top on my machine. I have to remove one of the side plates for the X lead screw so the table can slide past centerline to get to the screw that holds the Y nut in place. I can also now access the bolts for the X nut. There is no backlash adjustment on either the X or Y nut on my machine. When moving the table past centerline be careful. The table is very, very heavy on my machine. Attached is a manual for an RF 30 that I found online. Don't remember where I found it. My Excel 31 seems to be very similar to the RF 30.

Yes, it appears our machines are quite different but maybe that's a good thing because they seem to be similar enough that it might be possible that the nuts from the RF models might fit your Excel? If so, it might be a good idea to change them because the RF nuts allow you to adjust for backlash and that might make a difference, especially when making a climb cut. As you know, a climb cut can pull the work and any slack in the screw can cause the part to move suddenly and snap, there goes your end mill. I dunno', I would definitely check if the nuts will interchange.

The point of concern was the stand the OP needs. A tool chest will NOT work for a Rong Fu mill like this and I didn't want him going out and spending money on it, only to find he can't use it for that purpose. On the other hand, he is going to fill a chest like that up with tools and tooling so maybe it might not be a bad purchase after all. It's a sure thing we will try to help him fill it!
 

ChandlerJPerry

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Thanks for the input everyone! A trip to the local metal recycler and to a friend's home that let me use his welder allowed me to make a simple steel stand for it. I still need to get some hockey pucks to put on the bolts to function as leveling feet. The angle iron is 1 1/4"x1/8" and ditto on the square tube. I used 1/2-13 bolts for the leveling feet.
 

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