My adventures with my RF-30

In this thread I will document my adventures in getting this mill from the dealer to up and running in my garage. I have another thread here that documents some of the early research and mills I looked at.

I just bought an RF-30 clone. It was originally sold by Rutland Tool, which I remember as a local SoCal company in the 80's. I bought it at a machinery dealer in Pomona, Wheeler Machinery. Nice people, very reasonable to deal with. I was pleasantly surprised. I got the mill and a 5" Kurt vise for $975 out the door. After the sale I asked if I could get a t-shirt, too, and they said yes.

They loaded it with a forklift into my truck. I have a Chevy 1500 so the 600lb weight was no problem. The put a 2x4 between the quill and the column and picked it up with a forklift. It balanced really well and the 2x4 held the weight just fine.

Once in the truck they pushed it to the back with the forks.

I tied it down with just two straps wrapped around the column. It didn't move at all.

I bought a used engine hoist on CL. My 15-year old son and I used it to get the mill out of the truck and onto some moving dollies.

I used some scrap blocks to get the strap to clear the plastic belt cover. I used a strap under the mill between the quill and column and another behind the column just to be sure. We lifted the mill up about 2" off the truck bed to make sure it was stable. I moved it by hand and it wasn't tipping so we moved the mill back and lowered it to the floor.

I used a 4x4 on this side, and another 4x4 underneath.

I used a block of wood on the other side to get the strap to clear the belt cover.

I used another block of wood to take up slack in the strap I ran on the rear of the column. I was not comfortable with just one strap, even though it balanced fine. Better safe than sorry, and the instructions show two straps.

I need a table for this. There needs to be an access hole underneath to access one of the leadscrew nuts in order to lubricate it. How big does the hole need to be?

I've drawn an oval in the general area I think it needs to be. Can someone tell me the minimum sizes for dimensions A, B and C? If it's just a round hole, that's fine, I just want to know the size and location.
RF mill access hole location.jpg
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You don't really need an access hole. You can oil the leadscrew from the top. I just checked mine after several years and it's still covered in oil.
Have you looked underneath the base? On some of these you can access the nut from below and some of them you can't. Mine is one of the ones that you can't access the nut from underneath the base.
The Y leadscrew on my RF30/31 clone (Grizzly G1007) can be oiled simply by lifting the chip guard rubber sheet & oiling it, the Y leadscrew is out in the open.
Maybe older machines cannot be oiled in this fashion?
The tag on my machine and also the motor lists mfg date of June 2004.
On my Ecel EC30B which seems to be similar to the RF 30 manuals I found online the back of the nut for the Y access is at back edge of the table and the Y lead screw is exposed as you move the table to the front. However to get to the fastener that holds this nut in place I have to remove the table. The X axis nut is a pain to deal with. It is sandwiched between the table and the base. You can see it from either side and with a long wrench you can get to the bolts that hold the nut in place. But you can't reach the nut with your fingers. Plenty of access to lubricate the X lead screw because it is exposed on the underside of the table.

On mine to get to the X nut you first have to remove the X lead screw and then the table. To put it back together is not simple. There is nothing that holds the X nut precisely in place on mine. I have to leave the bolts just loose enough so that the nut can shift into position as you screw the lead screw through the nut. Once the lead screw is back in place I have to carefully tighten the bolts as I move the table from one side to the other. Back and forth several times. If I don't do this the nut and the lead screw will bind up. On some models the X and Y nuts are adjustable. Mine does not have this feature.

Attached are 3 manuals.


  • RF-30.pdf
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  • rung fu 105-1110.pdf
    1.9 MB · Views: 56
  • jet 18 manual.pdf
    1.9 MB · Views: 35
The nut on my RF30 clone is not adjustable for backlash but it is located with a pair of roll pins making reassembly fairly easy apart from having to try and cram my hand between the column and underneath the table to hold the nut and start the bolts.

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Congratulations, it looks like you've got a good one!

@DavidR8 I thought all of the RF mills have trapezoid nuts to adjust backlash. You could cut a slit in your nut then drill and tap for a pinch bolt, effectively converting it into a trapezoid nut. That's an old trick.