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Rongfu 45 not what they used to be??

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Fc911c

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#1
Hi

Just received this mill on Monday and not sure what to think. I bought one of these mills about 10 years ago cnced it and then sold it a few years later. I don’t remember the quality being like this, the castings are quite porous, also the ways are very roughly machined. It also seems like the head does not travel down far enough. The table is not machined flat as can be seen by photo. The table x axis is very good but the Y direction has ruts in multiple areas and has a one a half thou difference from end to end.

The machine was loaded with grit and machine dust, a lot more than I remember and way more than other machines I bought in the past few years including Chinese machines. I also noticed that no were on the mill does it say maid in Taiwan. Could this be a fake or clone. I will not mention where I purchased it from yet, but I will say it’s a major company. I also emailed Rongfu for there input, I hope to get a reply.

I cleaned all the screws nuts ways and adjusted gibs. The x axis moves pretty freely but the Y feels stiff even with gib on the loose side and screw turning freely. Could this be the rough machined ways causing this?

I’m still checking out the machine to see what else might be wrong but so far I’m seeing a many issues.

I would appreciate any input on what you guys may think. I would think that the table would have to be ground under warranty at the very least or at worst returned.

Thanks for any help advise.
 

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Ray C

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#2
Some things seem very unusual for sure. The ways seem to have heavy milling marks with scraping on top. -Does not seem right at all. If memory serves, RongFu was one of the first companies to mass produce the square column mill and they were always made in Taiwan -and always cost a good bit more than other common brands. Does it actually say RongFu on it somewhere or, is it conveniently misspelled as RungFu -thus making it a counterfeit. I hope you've contacted the seller.


Ray
 

Bob Korves

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#3
But wait. I see hand scraping! ;)

A race to the bottom...
 

MarkM

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Very disapointing to see this. This machine is one I felt I could buy and trust the quality to be there. I know some of there machinery is being made in China, some in Taiwan, and some made in China and assembled in Taiwan. China can make some good stuff too. I hope they step up to the plate. Especially Since your a return customer
 

Fc911c

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Hi Ray,

Thanks for responding, what I have noticed is that the tag on head says Rong Fu industry co, not Rong Fu Industrial Co. I think there might some deception here. I sent an email to MSC about poor quality but will wait to mention If it’s a real Rong Fu.

Other than the poor grind on table and the sloppy machining of the ways it’s pretty accurate. I was really disappointed to see the poor quality on what is supposed to be the Cadillac of mill drills. This might me a case of buyer beware as they gave me a really good price $3000 with tax and delivery it was hard to pass up. I did confirm that it was a Rong Fu in writing before I placed order. If I don’t get satisfaction I will let the Bank handle it, I have more than enough documentation.

The real problem with the machine is that it’s very hard to move the Y axis. I loosened the gib and removed the screw and the y axis still has a lot of drag, so it has to be the ruff machining. I could live with the some of the issues but not having smooth travel is not going to cut it. My feeling is they tried to hide the porous castings with ruff machining and made matters worse.
 

Fc911c

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#6
Mark I hear what your saying I’ve looked at machines costing less made in China and the quality was much better. Looks like it’s going back one way or the other.
 

MarkM

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Hopefuly it s a one off and your satisfied in the end so you"ll be a third time customer down the rd! May take some time.
 

mksj

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I think it is a legit current production Rong Fu RF-45 (built in September of 2017), but more than likely it is now being manufactured from a different source. I wouldn't be surprised if they are now made in mainland China. I always notice things like over spray, poorly finished castings, rough finished parts, grit, etc. as telltale signs typically encountered with lower priced Chinese products. The fit an finish looks like something I would get at Harbor Freight. At that price I seriously would look at returning it if possible, I wouldn't even consider trying to repair it. Not a lot on the Rong Fu site as far as RF-45 pictures, description and where they are made. An older YouTube video of a RF-45 shows numerous difference between yours and what was offered a few years ago. I do recall when Enco was going out of business these were being offered in the $2400 range for the single motor speed model. If you can return it, maybe look at the PM-833T as a comparative machine which is better built, or possibly the PM-835S as an alternative.

One thing to keep in mind when ordering online (and I have seen this from others ordering from MSC), is that the pictures do not reflect the product, often the vendor may be different, the descriptions do not match the product, and/or products are now made in a different country then listed.
 

Fc911c

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Well so far I haven’t received an answer to my concerns from MSC I’ll give it one more day before I take any action. I did some closer inspection today and I think another part of the problem might be the lack of frosting on mating surfaces. I did some light stone on the y ways and cleaned everything up and the saddle was moving more freely dry. Soon as put on the way oil it actually got worse like there was suction. Is this normal or a product of two smooth surfaces sliding together? There’s no flaking on the V surfaces on base or saddle or the gib.

Does anyone know what is going on?

Thanks
 

Cadillac

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Wow for 3k I’d return that thing ain’t worth scrap. Those surfaces are all milled and looks to be to fast. Those scrape marks are not for surfacing. It’s just a illusion. If anything it’s flaking for oil retention but those tools marks will do better for that.:oops:
I would bet your problem with with your axis is from milling the casting and they’ve released stress. No way a crappy casting gets milled and not gonna move. If they would of actually scraped it you wouldn’t be here.
For that kind of money it would be sent back. Why give yourself a headache and all that work.
 

Fc911c

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Mksj I agree with what you say. I am leaning towards returning it but so far no reply to my emails. It’s to bad they machined it that way because other than that it appears that everything else is actually quite good. the gearbox is very quiet even at 2500rpm. Tram is with in a thou, spindle has zero run out.

I did originally set out to get a PM 940 but no stock till maybe October and needed something sooner. I also considered the 833t but after taxes and shipping I didn’t feel spending a grand more for a lighter machine was worth it to me.
 

Fc911c

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#12
Hi Cadillac

3k is a lot but where can you get a 45 mill for less these days with taxes and delivered I looked around. I agree that it’s not scraped far from it and MSC should be ashamed for sending me this, and then on top of it ignoring my concerns. If they don’t make it right I will file a dispute with the bank, I haven’t lost one yet .
 

Fc911c

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Mksj the only difference I see is that it’s the power down feed model, other wise there the same.
 

MarkM

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Is There a possibility some cosmoline may have intruded along your leadscrew.
 

Fc911c

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Mark I completely disassembled and cleaned everything, all the screws, nuts, gibs and ways on the table and apron. I wanted to make sure to rule those things out. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

mksj

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#18
If you look at the video there are small but significant differences. I do not have a full photo set, but you will notice that the breather tube is different yours has over spray, same for the oil level site window. Also seems that the mechanism for inclination is different. A whole slew of minor difference, but it all adds up to a different production facility and much worse QC. If it is still made in Taiwan I would be shocked, I would ask for a return based on the porosity of the castings and the poor machining of the table. I just wouldn't spend that kind of money for that level of quality. I understand the cost balances of the equation, my last mill was a Optimum BF-30 at a similar price (they now run 5K) made in China under German supervision. The overall finish and casting where far better, but had numerous QC issues, some very serious. I learned my lesson on that one and eventually got rid of it. I bought a Taiwanese knee mill (Acra LCM) and a Taiwanese lathe (1340GT), the difference is not subtle. Weight is not the only equation in the mix, but I understand that often there is a hard budget ceiling. In either case I trust the machines from PM, and that you get service, a commodity that is the exception to the rule these days. I can also feel your frustration and expectation for the RF-45, it should have been a better made machine. So goes the world down the toilet.
 

Fc911c

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#19
Thanks Mksj good advise. Well who ever they sell it to next and you know they will, a least it will be clean. Or maybe I could get 50% off junk sale.
 

Cadillac

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If they don’t have a place of origin it’s not even China quality. At least the stuff they may be proud of has a China sticker on it:rolleyes:
I would think being on the eastern coast you’d have access to the old iron that won’t disappoint. Getting half a machine for twice the price with three times the headaches doesn’t sound like a good deal to me??good luck though!
 

Fc911c

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#21
There’s nothing on the machine itself only on the crate it came in. I just sent another email after previous ones have been ignored demanding that the machine be picked up and returned.

Btw I’m not interested in old Iron or some else’s worn out machine .:rolleyes:
 

Fc911c

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Update: I guess it took the threat of getting the bank involved to get a response. They sent a RA and will be picking up the machine.

I’m not sure where I go from here as I want to stay with a 45 style mill. I plan on converting to CNC so a knee mill isn’t an option.
 

mksj

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#23
Glad you were able to get that resolved and were able to return the mill. If you are planning on doing a CNC conversion, then you may be better off looking at the PM932/940, as there are a number of people that have converted these and they seem to do well once converted. Most have tossed the gear drive, replaced the spindle bearings, etc. so as long as the bones are good it doesn't pay to dump more money into something fancier. Might also start looking for an inverter/vector motor if you go that route, the Marathon Blackmax or Bluemax 2 or 3 Hp are good options, I use the Baldor IDNM on my lathe it is rated to 6000 RPM with full Hp. At one point I was looking at the Tormach mills, but do not have the need and the spend factor to go CNC. You can do some pretty phenomenal milling with them, even with a smaller home brew setup.
 

Fc911c

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Hi MKSJ

It would be nice to get a Tormach and be done, it’s just way out of my price range also. I have no problem with the 940 which was my original idea I just wanted something sooner and not 6 months from now.

The search goes on and a whole week wasted on a machine that never should have left the factory.
 

mksj

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#25
The PM-940 would have been a great candidate if in stock. Might check with QMT if they have a scratch and dent or something that is not listed on their website that would be suitable to CNC. The 833T would be another $500 over the RF45 ($3500 with shipping), but you do get longer travel excursions (vs the RF45), scraped ways and a way oiler system that is already built into the machine. So would just need to add an electronic pump. May be worth a call to QMT. As far as other similar mills (RF45 clones), it is a bit of a crap shoot, might dig through some of the posts on other clones and their experiences, example below.
https://www.cnczone.com/forums/rf-45-clone-mill/
https://en.industryarena.com/forum/benchtop-machines--164
 

Fc911c

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#26
I did look at the 833t, although it has a lot of nice features and looks well made, I didn’t like the smaller table in the y direction and only 3 T slots. That’s how they get some of the extra travel in the y having the smaller table. I could be wrong but it doesn’t look like it has the heft of the Rongfu. There also seems to be very little information on 833t.
Maybe if I seen it in person it would look different. the single phase motor was another negative. Another cost consideration with a PM Mill is I live in Pa so tax also adds to the cost. So now my money is tied up so I can’t do anything right away.

Yeah that’s my concearn with other companies I could end up with something worse. That’s why I thought going the Rongfu route would safe at least I would get a good machine, boy how wrong I was. I still think something fishy is going on with the mill from MSC. I never got an answer from Rongfu.
 

MarkM

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#27
I plan on doing the same as the o.p. I Know they are put down but have you considered a round column mill. I have been looking for a few years and financially They are hard to beat amd can be set to run accurate.. Take a look at some of the videos from Paul cnc. Very impressive. The head issue. Take a look at cuppa joe s video the wrong fu. A parallel shaft with a linear bearing to not only fix the head alignment but adds a fair bit of rigidity. Much better rpm s and a belt drive. I Battle it every day. Hard thing to do looking at pictures and other peoples experience. Plus there are plenty of parts out there when you crash.
 

Fc911c

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#28
Hi

no I haven’t, I know the price is appealing but just not something I’m interested in. Btw I’m still I still have the mill because I waited home two days and no one ever came to pick It up. MSC has the worst customer service I’ve ever seen, amazing. Just something to keep in mind if your thinking about buying a machine from MSC. The bank is handling it now.
 
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petertha

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#29
Sorry, late to your post. I have a '98 RF-45 made in Taiwan sold under the King name. I can take some comparative pictures of certain areas if you like. For sure some of the castings are not machined as pretty as they could be & its rough around the edges as all the mills & lathes of that era/country were. It does sound like a bag of hammers when its running as everyone experiences, but accuracy wise I'm pretty happy with it. It is not a heavy duty hogger. Where it counts, my dovetails & sliding surfaces are finished pretty good. I don't have the power down feed like yours, this feature came later. My down feed dial graduations were a cruel joke, but that was known beforehand & I replaced with an independent digital system. The X & Y lead screws are actually quite accurate, I installed Newall DRO on it some years ago & corroborate the dial readings. I've made lots of tweaks & improvements along the way but never a teardown. I agree, its hard to find a mill of this particular size/weight/capability that's good. But I think I would get a PM if I had to do it again. I have heard through a local prior King/Taiwan distributer that the original factory is no more, or has been replaced by something different so it may well be this is representative of the new offerings.
 

Fc911c

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#30
Hi thanks for your insight. If you cold it would be nice to compare the machined surfaces on yours. Your probably right about the older mills being made at a different factory, it’s pretty apparent to me. The reason I went with the Rongfu was if you look at the castings especially the square column, all the other brands including the PM machines are not made as rigid. The column base plate is much larger and has 5 bolts vs 4. It’s ashamed they took a good design and ruined it with poor quality control.
 
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