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[4]

Picked up an RF-30/HF T2119 today

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Steevo

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#1
I bought this Taiwan made mill/drill today for $600. It is an older HF unit. The book calls it an RF-30, and in the docs, HF is still referred to as Harbor Freight Salvage Company. I am not sure when they changed that name, but I seem to recall it being a while ago, maybe ten years?
i-KTJzpLM-L.jpg

i-ZTnrJ3m-L.jpg
i-dnvWhGG-L.jpg

It came with the base and tray:
i-SCJHb2c-M.jpg

And it also came with a cheap rotary table, cheap mill vise and a set of cheap end mills.
i-4TC8Kth-L.jpg

All in all, I think it was worth the $600 I paid for it.

I picked up a large arbor press from the same guy. Cheap import, but a big one.
 
S

sasquatch

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#2
Correct me if i'm wrong, but think that mill is from taiwan???

There are a number of these machines around and seem to be ok, the owners seem happy with them over the years.

Only problem with these was the horrible translation in the manual, trying to figure it out was impossible at times.
 

Steevo

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mnmh link=topic=2109.msg13485#msg13485 date=1304814328 said:
Sasquatch,

Steevo stated it was made in Taiwan so yes you are correct. It looks to be in very nice shape for a mill of that vintage.

Ed
Yeah, and that third picture gave it away, too . . . ;)

I had read here and elsewhere that the Taiwan made units were mostly Rong-Foo knockoffs, but better quality than the current Chinese ones, which are probably knock-offs of the Taiwan ones.
I was glad to find one made in Taiwan, semi-local, and for a reasonable price.
 
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Pacer

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#4
Steevo,

I dont know if you saw my ad down in the for sale section, I had an Enco mill drill (For $600 also ;D - I sold it) Take a look at it and see if it looks familiar - hah!, its the exact same one, even my little "Complex Machine" booklet is exactly the same - and, made in Taiwan. As I told in my ad, I got mine new in '96, so likely yours in from that general time period. It came with that little vise you got, a rather cheesy face mill and a drill chuck. IIRC I paid $1000-1100, with a free frt deal.

Have seen some trash talk about "round column mill drills" and how they lose reference if you got to raise the column - of course you do! but you can quickly figure work-arounds and that thing will turn out some work, very robust. I used mine a long time, but of coarse a knee mill IS better, and I eventually was able to get a Bridgeport 'clone'
 

pdentrem

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#5
A decent buy, local dealers are putting out used BP for about 1500 plus delivery cost. DRO versions are slightly higher.

A friend of mine has the same unit as well. Does OK within it limits. The BP at work will do the same job in about half the time but 4000 lbs vs 600 lbs is the BP's advantage.
 

Steevo

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#6
I will learn on the Taiwan mill, and then someday decide whether I have justification to buy and transport a 4000# machine, add a phase converter, etc. A BP for $1500 is a good deal, but the rest of the costs and transportation issues, it is not even slightly practical for me at this point.
 

pdentrem

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#7
Yes, the 4000# problem is major for home/garage use. The RU30 does good work as I made the new compound slide and retracting screwcutting tool holder on this machine.
 

tylerjp34

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#8
Howdy, I just picked up one of these machines. Mine is a 1989. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions of where I could possible find a stand/base for this Mill. I can make one, but I'm trying to see if there is a pre-built option out there.

Thank you,
T
 

AlanR

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#9
Howdy, I just picked up one of these machines. Mine is a 1989. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions of where I could possible find a stand/base for this Mill. I can make one, but I'm trying to see if there is a pre-built option out there.

Thank you,
T
Wholesale Tool has one, actually a couple.

I bought this one http://www.wttool.com/index/page/product/product_id/14834/product_name/RF-S+Cabinet+Stand

Grizzly and Jet sell exactly the same one with branding for about $100 more.

WT has another one, cheaper but it's not as tall.

I could have made one, I've got plenty of heavy 2" by 3" steel tubing kicking around and I weld. I went ahead and bought this because I couldn't find a good way to get or make a nice tray and I run mist coolant.

A caution though, if you buy one from WT make sure to tell them to double box it (the factory box inside another box with peanuts surrounding the factory box). The factory box has no packing at all and UPS did a number on mine. Wholesale Tool made it good though.
 

intjonmiller

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#10
Sorry to hijack and resurrect this ancient thread, but this seems like as good a place as any for my question. My brother inherited an early 90s version of this mill when my father decided to part with all of his equipment and just do woodcarving when he has time to do anything. I got the surface grinder. Other brother got the lathe. None of us have room for all 3. :)

Anyway, the brother with the mill hasn't done any research on the subject and I'm anxious to put it to use. I want to buy a mill vise for it (most likely Shars as this is all hobby stuff), but I'm trying to figure out what size. Would the 4" be a good fit? I know it is for the Grizzly G0704 (there's a great YouTube video that shows how perfectly it fits), and it seems like it would be good here, but the mill is one hour each direction from my home and I'm anxious to get started. Did I mention that already?

This is the one I'm looking at:

http://www.shars.com/products/toolh...ecision-milling-machine-vise-with-swivel-base

It's less than $5 more to get it with the swivel base, even though I don't currently expect to use it much. Probably adds a little to the shipping as well, but still worth it to grab it now. But the 5" vise is less than $20 more, so if there's any chance that would fit then I might as well upgrade.

Thanks!
 

Ben Nevis

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#11
I bought an Enco rf30 back in the early '90s. I have a Shars 440v vise on mine, which works for me. A 5" would be fine, if you want the extra capacity, some even use a 6", but seems overkill to me. The vise you are looking at is rated in thousands, whereas the 440v or 550v are rated in tenths. Although a bit more money, it sure is nice to be able to put a piece in the vice and not have to worry about if it is as straight or square as it could be.

A modification I consider mandatory is to add a DRO to the Z axis. The quill has enough slop that as soon as you release the lock, you lose your position, making the dial virtually useless. A vernier caliper or Igage will work fine.

Another improvement I highly recommend is to add a 3 ph motor and VFD. Mere words cannot describe the improvement of being able to adjust the speed at the turn of a knob compared to having to open the belt cover, loosen the tension, move the belts to the required pulleys, tighten every thing back up, and close the cover.

Another thing that has aggravated me to no end is having to wrench on the drawbar, bang it loose, and unscrew it to change collets. Having no spindle lock makes it even worse... An impact wrench makes it easier, but still a pain.

Fortunately there is a solution to this problem, see my post : Power drawbar for RF30 in the Enco, Jet forum.
 

intjonmiller

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#12
The 6" Kurt will fit? That surprises me. There's an Accupro Gold 6" currently listed on my local classifieds for $250. Says new, never used. The seller is out of town but responded to my message. I could have it on the 20th when he returns. Hmmm...


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intjonmiller

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#13
Also thanks for the info about your experience. I'm well aware of the benefits of the VFD, and I'll probably try to talk my brother into doing that upgrade for himself. And a DRO is invaluable on any tool.


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Ben Nevis

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#14
I forgot to mention that a lot of useful info on the rf 30 can be found at:
ricksparber.org
 

intjonmiller

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#15
One more question: What size are the t-slots? I was just at his house a couple nights ago and got other measurements, but it didn't occur to me to check those. Hoping they happen to be the same as my surface grinder so I could get away with only buying one clamping set.
 

intjonmiller

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#17
No doubt that would be plenty, but would a 6" actually be in the way? I don't expect to remove it more than once a year, and I hate not having capacity for something if I know that I could have if only...

The 6" on the local classifieds is not much more than the Shars 5" after shipping. Though with the Shars I can get a swivel base for next to nothing more. I actually sat down this morning to go ahead and order the Shars 5" and then got to the shipping section. I wasn't expecting it to be THAT much to ship it. Now I'm questioning the whole plan all over again.

Thanks for your input!
 

s csollak

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#20
it is from harbor freight but you got a great deal !

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C-Bag

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#21
I have an Enco RF-30 made in Taiwan in '88. Well used and abused, but has pretty much been able to do everything I've wanted to do.

And this after reading many threads of those who bag on the round column and those who love it enough to keep it. The keepers all had tips for getting around the problems of clearance that would make you change height. The best was to get a complete set of R8's so I don't have to use a drill chuck which eats up a lot of height variance. I also notice that almost nobody used their swivel base, so when I upgraded for the huge 6" Palmgren vise that came with the mill I just got the 5" Shars without the swivel and never missed the swivel so far. And the smaller vise just seems to work better for me. Looking back if I could have found a nice vise like a used 5" Kurt I think it would have been worth it. I think 6" would cause more logistical probs for me.

Besides cleaning, lubing, adjusting and fixing past owners repair fails, the best investement was the igaging 3axis DRO. I would love to go the VFD/3ph motor and the other mod's would probably want to address the wear in the Y dovetail before that.
 
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