Which of these mills would you buy?

grover

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Hello, I am new to this forum. I worked for 42 years in the metal fab industry. First as a B Fitter,A Fitter and then A Layout (F+W) man, maybe 15 years. Then I transferred to the machine shop starting as Radial drill press operator (16" column) to get on first shift so I could see my daughter more than once a week (plus I got my foot in the door, it was a chess game, being a union official (not me) trumped skill and seniority!), CNC VTL, then I was trained by an older Yugoslavian machine shop manager on a 6"spindle horizontal manual bar (no DRO!). Veneer scale and a flashlight! Large rock crushing machinery being manufactured. Then another large bar w DRO, CNC lathe (large eccentric shafts), manual radial grinder, and finally settled in on CNC vertical machining centers. The company recently closed their doors. I served them well and they served my purposes well. I worked every bit of overtime. Once I worked 12 hours a day ,7 days a week for 65 days in a row. Paid cash for a new 4WD truck at the end of that little stint! I started when I was 23 in 1978 and they shut it down when I was 65.Kind of a lifetime...right? An earnings lifetime.
I was always able to use "my" machines to work on my government jobs of which I utilized to the fullest. Others ate their lunch, I took advantage of a tremendous opportunity. So much for that.....but you young guys (50 and under pay attention to your future because that's what it was at $30 an hour) So even then you could not go to work and that was it. I am 66 years old. Do the math.

I have a Central Machinery 12x36 lathe which I have setup but have really never used because it was easier to stay an hour over at work and use their tooling and make the mess and clean up there! Same thing with a milling machine. Anything I needed....get foreman's approval .....make a program....use their material and run it on my lunch hour. No more. Glad to not have to punch in every day but I have so many unfinished projects!

So I need/Want a mill. I most always ran ( last18 years) a CNC vertical machining center Cincinnati MAG .Siemens control.

Help me with advice. I am looking at product availability and customer service also. I am looking at the Grizzly.....G0761, G0755, and G0729.
As far as the G0729 I have new 1.5 hp DC Baldor motors and quality speed controllers with tachometer feedback so if I got tired of belt changes I could switch that out at a later date if it really bothered me.

Sorry to bend your ear with details about my machining history. I truly hope you younger guys make it to retirement age in this industry with the recent political changes.

Thanks for any advice!
 
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Dhal22

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As a plumbers helper the ONLY way to get any heavy equipment experience was to learn on your own during lunch. If there was equipment on a job, I ate my lunch in the driver's seat.
 

Dhal22

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Whoops, welcome to the forum.
 

markba633csi

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Hi Grover- I'm guessing you've had your fill of cnc and just want to do manual machining for a while?
Have you looked at the Precision Mathews line of machines?
There are a lot of older cncs available though if you have room.
-Mark
 

Winegrower

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The last thing I would do is buy one of these mills as there are real Bridgeports or clones available for less.
 

Aaron_W

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Of the three you listed I'd personally be leaning towards the G0729 as it is a knee mill. There are a few members who have similar mills. Those other mills are larger though, so you trade capacity for the knee.

I have a Clausing mill of a similar size to the G0729 and it is a nice machine for somebody who doesn't have the room for a Bridgeport. It is also much smaller / lighter weight which is both good and bad (good for moving and fitting into a space). I bought mine when the seller replaced it with a Bridgeport, he liked the little mill but wanted something bigger.

Assuming you are looking for something smaller than a Bridgeport and have a budget around $4000 based on those you listed.

There are three machines from Precision Matthews in that general size and cost, but made in Taiwan which is generally thought to be better quality than Chinese made.

PM-728VT

PM-833T

PM-833TV


Also agree with Winegrower, if you have the room you can often find decent used Bridgeport style mills for $2000-4000. So much depends on your project needs, space and budget
 

Mitch Alsup

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Is there a reason the 8×30 knee mills did not make your cut ? I have one and its great.
The 6×26 mills have a restricted space between the nose and the bed, and people often make a 4"-6" riser between column and head to address this issue. The 8×30 does not have this problem.
 

grover

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The last thing I would do is buy one of these mills as there are real Bridgeports or clones available for less.
I was searching on YouTube and saw the rebuild series by H+W Machine repair and it seems like most of these machines that could be had for $2000 or so would be beat to hell. $3000 to clean up the ways and who knows what else would be needed. At this point and for what I might be needing it for it seems like it would be too much of a project for me to handle right now. But I hear you.....Plus I have the DC motors with controllers that I could swap out the 3 phase motor for. That was my original plan until I watched the tear down videos and saw what I could be getting into. Plus I have found nothing near me.
 

grover

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Of the three you listed I'd personally be leaning towards the G0729 as it is a knee mill. There are a few members who have similar mills. Those other mills are larger though, so you trade capacity for the knee.

I have a Clausing mill of a similar size to the G0729 and it is a nice machine for somebody who doesn't have the room for a Bridgeport. It is also much smaller / lighter weight which is both good and bad (good for moving and fitting into a space). I bought mine when the seller replaced it with a Bridgeport, he liked the little mill but wanted something bigger.

Assuming you are looking for something smaller than a Bridgeport and have a budget around $4000 based on those you listed.

There are three machines from Precision Matthews in that general size and cost, but made in Taiwan which is generally thought to be better quality than Chinese made.

PM-728VT

PM-833T

PM-833TV


Also agree with Winegrower, if you have the room you can often find decent used Bridgeport style mills for $2000-4000. So much depends on your project needs, space and budget
Checked out the PM website and they look good. I have to browse around on their site some more. Why would the knee mill type be better. It seemed the others have similar capabilities. Knee mill table setup =more stability?
 
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