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LMS Micro Mill - Comparing Apples to Apples

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MarkStephen

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I have been thinking about a Taig mill to go with my Taig lathe, and then I come across the LMS micro mill. A "hopped up" version of the Sieg SX1P. Now comparing Micro mills to Micro mills and not some floor standing Bridgeport or G0704, what am I missing here with the LMS micro mill?

Looking at the work envelope compared to the Taig or Sherline (which I've already decided against, week column) it's right there with them, and has a bigger table, more Z travel, solid column, Brushless spindle, more mass, more HP, better price. i think I'd stick with the ER16 version as I already have ER16 stuff with the lathe.

The folks at LMS do say that the gibs are cast iron, so that would probably be one of the first mods done, but other than that, it looks like a good deal. So what am I missing. Anyone have on of these little mills? Anyone know where the warts are lurking?

Mark
 
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David Kirtley

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I have been thinking about a Taig mill to go with my Taig lathe, and then I come across the LMS micro mill. A "hopped up" version of the Sieg SX1P. Now comparing Micro mills to Micro mills and not some floor standing Bridgeport or G0704, what am I missing here with the LMS micro mill?

Mark
First of all, if you plan on possibly going CNC in the future, I would say forget it and get the Taig. You can get a full CNC Taig for about the price of just the kit for another mill.

I don't have that mill but I have the next one up (X2) Looking at the specifications, it matches the X and Y travel but a bit less on Z. I would prefer its quill feed for drilling over the Taig. I like the integrated motor. The Taig always seemed to be a hack to me.

Personally, I prefer the X2 for the reason that it is cheaper and you can use R8 tooling on it.
 

MarkStephen

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First of all, if you plan on possibly going CNC in the future, I would say forget it and get the Taig. You can get a full CNC Taig for about the price of just the kit for another mill.

I don't have that mill but I have the next one up (X2) Looking at the specifications, it matches the X and Y travel but a bit less on Z. I would prefer its quill feed for drilling over the Taig. I like the integrated motor. The Taig always seemed to be a hack to me.

Personally, I prefer the X2 for the reason that it is cheaper and you can use R8 tooling on it.
Thanks for the input. If I were going to CNC it, which would be more than likely, I don't think I would use a kit, whether it was a Taig or Sieg, so that part is about neutral for me, but I do get what your saying.

The R8 spindle is a big +, but most every post I read about the X2 seems to lament the tilting column. Being an owner of an X2, is this really something that is as big of a problem as it is made out to be?

Mark
 

David Kirtley

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The R8 spindle is a big +, but most every post I read about the X2 seems to lament the tilting column. Being an owner of an X2, is this really something that is as big of a problem as it is made out to be?

Mark
Well, I have been using big boy tooling on mine (3in fly cutter, boring head, 1" carbide insert milling cutters) and take cuts that knock things off the bench it is mounted to and have yet had to readjust the column. Either I have just been lucky or possibly some of the concerns are of a more "theoretical" nature.
 

Al-Hala

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I too looked at the three machines (Taig, Sherline, LMS CNC unit), and decided the work envelopes were too small.

To muddy the waters, my own choice was to convert the LMS 3960 (Seig SX2L, R8, rigid column, thicker as well) (now 3990, has included air spring which I purchased individually) over to CNC. I picked it due to the larger work envelope and table; the next size up is of course the Grizzly or similar.

The cost of a CNCFusion ballscrew kit, associated motors, motion controller and a DIY enclosure, stand, electronics case is so far working out comparable to the LMS unit price wise. However, frankly, if there WERE a ready-to-go CNC variant of the LMS3990, I'd have simply whipped out the card and been done with it; I've a LOT of sweat equity invested in this machine so far. There's a lot to be said for a machine designed and built from the ground up as a CNC unit.

It's handled a 7 insert, 2" Rich Mill shell mill (albeit loading about 3A of the 5A of the 500W motor): Depth of Cut: 0.002" (maximum with this head is 0.007") , spindle: 2500RPM, feed rate: 80IPM, material: 1018 steel repeatedly; I understand the Tormach Superfly insert cutter can likely outperform the facemill (at considerable cost savings too).
 
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MarkStephen

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If I start looking at those, the G0758 comes into the mix, and after shipping cost for the LMS 3960, ($1090.95 to my door), the G0704 starts to look like a much better deal, though I really don't have the room for one of those. Unfortunately in current situation has me limited to one average size bench, so whatever I get, must work within that space, and I would like to leave room if I decide to upgrade my lathe size, as the Taig is more or less portable. That space restriction, with price coming in a close second, is what had me wondering about LMS's SX1P offering. It just looked on paper to be a nice entry point, when compared to the Taig or Sherline. I still would like to here from some one that has one of these LMS Micro Mills. Luckily i am in no hurry to aquire one and though it would be wise to do all the research i can before I get to the point of making a purchase.

Thanks for the input. Still more things to think about, including what can be done to improve the space I have.
Mark
 

brav65

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I went through the same exercise you are currently doing in October of last year and decided that the G0704 was the route to take given the increased work envelope,rigidity, motor size, etc. I ultimately got the PM-25MV because Grizzly was onl back order for 3 months. I am very happy with my choice. I worked on a friends HF X2 and the difference is HUGE.
 

MarkStephen

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I went through the same exercise you are currently doing in October of last year and decided that the G0704 was the route to take given the increased work envelope,rigidity, motor size, etc. I ultimately got the PM-25MV because Grizzly was onl back order for 3 months. I am very happy with my choice. I worked on a friends HF X2 and the difference is HUGE.
Yea, I might very well end up trying to fit a G0704/PM-25 type mill into my small space, but I'm not quite sure that I need something that big/heavy/pricy on my bench. The thing that is gnawing at me currently is the fact I almost have enough squirrelled away for the LMS Micro and some basic tooling. I just don't want to be completely sorry and in tears if I go for the LMS Micro and it turns out to be a complete useless hunk of junk. It can also share some tooling with my Taig lathe as I have ER16 collets and such for it. True, that is nothing to write home about in regards to saving money, but it does put a checkmark in the win column for workbench organization. Then again, maybe it's just me. After all, I am looking at a mill that will complement the Taig lathe, not manufacture it. :))

Mark
 
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