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PM-30MV for mcdanlj

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mcdanlj

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#1
It seems that several folks here post about their new mill and the thread goes on for years, so hey why not do it on purpose? I'm in the middle of doing some other work to my shop, so it will be a few weeks before I really get to do anything interesting with the mill. But here's the initial report.

You know you have good friends when they enthusiastically offer to help move ~600 lbs of mill (PM-30MV) and ~300 lbs of bandsaw (PM-712G) into a basement shop! :angel:

While the mill face plate, PM site, and PM manual all list the top RPM in the low range as 1500 RPM, I saw max 1300 RPM in the low range during the break-in. In the high range, I did hit the advertised 3000RPM, and PM said that there are different pulley sizes now. That's probably good; it means more torque in the low range which is kind of the point of the low range. Just something to be aware of; I think it's a positive thing. :encourage:

Runout is about a thou (I'd estimate 8 tenths) measured both against the inside of the spindle and against the body of a mitotoyo edge finder in a collet. (For grins, I also indicated against the outside of the spindle above the flats, and that though meaningless was also about a thou.) I think that's about what's expected for a chinese mill, and if you want better you get taiwanese mill with japanese bearings? (I measured with a cheap DI, but it has indicated closely with my mitotoyo DTI.)

The mill runs so quiet!

Tech support has returned multiple emails quickly. :applause 2:

I have only minor gripes or surprises, no buyer's regret so far. I'll share the gripes, not to disparage PM, but just as information for the next buyer who happens to read this. If price were no object I would have bought a Taiwanese 3Ø + VFD!

It's pretty clear that PM expects the chip shield to be removed in practice. They ran packing tape across it so it's covered with tape residue. :rolleyes: Not sure what solvent would dissolve the tape residue but not the plastic. Limonene maybe? Does anyone actually leave the shield in place? (I like all the youtubers who say "Do as I say, not as I do—leave the shield in place even though I took mine off!") Similarly, does anyone actually screw that pretty blue shield back over the motor and drawbar between tool changes and speed range changes?

I am not in a position to anchor into my shop floor. I bought PM's stand for this mill with leveler pads as they were advertised to eliminate the need for anchoring, but it was too narrow and tippy, and too low for my comfort. I set the mill on a 2'x4' tool chest for now as a temporary measure, but while it is not nearly as bad as the stand it still wobbles a bit when I raise or lower the head. I like having drawers for tooling right below the mill though! The bench I got puts the table 45.5" off the floor (it's 37" tall itself) which is a little too high. I think I need to remove the casters from this or more likely a narrower tool chest, and build a sturdy frame around it that holds the bench and the mill and integrates the leveler pads. I do regret buying the stand, though if I were bolting it to the floor and wanted a low table for making it easier to lift heavy objects, it would probably be fine. (If anyone in the Raleigh NC area regrets not buying the stand, let me know, I might have a deal for you!) I'll share my mill stand design in the appropriate part of the forum, it's hardly PM-specific.

I was somewhat surprised that when I bought the X power feed with the mill, it shipped with trapezoidal stop way keys that didn't fit in the keyway and needed to be cut down. But it turns out I had a tool handy that could do a good job of cutting the keys down! ;) It was also missing a few M8x12 mounting screws that I didn't find matches for in my spare part bins, so PM is sending them.

There is paint overspray on the Z ways bearing surface halfway up the column. I have a sneaking suspicion this is one of those "china vs. taiwan" quality control issues, to which I also attribute the dings in the edge of the table surface (I think only cosmetic) and some tiny pitting on the table surface and Y bearing ways (ditto). PM recommends steel wool or scotch brite red for removing the overspray. Since scotch brite red has aluminum oxide in it, steel wool sounds like the gentler option. It turns out gentler means taking a long time, though! Given how far I got in about 15-20 minutes, I expect it to take an hour to really clean off.

A couple days with WD-40 wasn't enough to get the yellow stain from the rust-preventative hard grease out of the paint or off the front scale; I think it's effectively permanent. I'm a little scared to ask what's in that grease, and glad I was wearing nitrile gloves while removing it. :p

Just funny: the manual that comes with it calls it a "variable speed lathe"! :cool:
 

shooter123456

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#3
It seems that several folks here post about their new mill and the thread goes on for years, so hey why not do it on purpose?
What starts as "I got a new thing!" becomes "Hey look what I did with my new thing!" and eventually "My new thing still works!" Its the natural progression.

Does anyone actually leave the shield in place? (I like all the youtubers who say "Do as I say, not as I do—leave the shield in place even though I took mine off!")
I found it wasn't possible to mill anything with the shield in place. You couldn't get an end mill to a workpiece without the shield running right into the vise. It was taken off before anything could be milled. I feel like it is a liability thing. If they put it on there and you take it off, then a chip flies into your eye and you try to sue PM, they can respond "He removed the safety features and used the machine in a way it wasn't meant to be used. His fault, not ours."

Similarly, does anyone actually screw that pretty blue shield back over the motor and drawbar between tool changes and speed range changes?
I think I put my machine in high speed range and left it there with the cover on. I didn't need to take the cover off to change tools though. Now I have an air cylinder blocking the way of it so it does not get used.

A couple days with WD-40 wasn't enough to get the yellow stain from the rust-preventative hard grease out of the paint or off the front scale; I think it's effectively permanent. I'm a little scared to ask what's in that grease, and glad I was wearing nitrile gloves while removing it. :p
That stuff was nasty... I tried WD-40, mineral spirits, and rubbing alcohol and it didn't budge. But it dissolved immediately with acetone, so that may be a way to go.

Congrats on the new machine though! I would love to see some pictures.
 

wrmiller

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#4
Although the mill was smaller (PM-25), I had good success with putting it on a 40" toolbox. For many of the reasons you mention. :)

My solution to the toolbox stability issue was that I made four little screw jacks and put them on the corners of the box. Much more stable.
 

mcdanlj

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#5
That stuff was nasty... I tried WD-40, mineral spirits, and rubbing alcohol and it didn't budge. But it dissolved immediately with acetone, so that may be a way to go.
Oh, I got the grease itself off by soaking with WD-40, some of it overnight. It's just that thte grease stained the paint and scale. (Here I was going to use this mill as a beautiful centerpiece on my thanksgiving table, and now the aesthetic is ruined! :p)

Congrats on the new machine though! I would love to see some pictures.
I had given up on the mill arriving any time soon and started a shop upfit that I expected to complete before the mill arrived. It was past time anyway for the upfit, so it was a good decision, but it means that the mill is in the middle of a mess I don't really want to post a picture of yet. I'll post when I have it mounted the way I want in a shop that's not in a mess of construction. :cower:

Although the mill was smaller (PM-25), I had good success with putting it on a 40" toolbox. For many of the reasons you mention. :)

My solution to the toolbox stability issue was that I made four little screw jacks and put them on the corners of the box. Much more stable.
The tool chest it is on right now is 46" wide and it's not working great; I don't think this particular chest is strong enough for very asymmetric loads, and it wiggles just cranking Z up and down. My plan is to put the 46" tool chest on rollers to my left as I face the mill, with the top available for work space, and then put a smaller tool chest under the mill in the rigid frame I designed with outrigger feet. Glad the screw jacks worked; that's basically what I'll have with the leveling feet that I bought from PM.

I think I could find a tool chest strong enough to mount the mill on directly, but it might cost more than the mill! :rolleyes:

I'm going to have more trouble with stability than a normal person because the reason I can't anchor the mill is that it's on a floating wood floor that is floating on a thin layer of rubber. Great for comfort, great for not breaking tools that drop, not so great for rock-firm stability.

This is my first experience with a mill this large, which is why I had poor intuition about what to order. That's why I wanted to share for the next inexperienced hobbyist.
 
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