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GunsOfNavarone

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#1
So, I really want to buy new but, if I could pick this up for say $700 (I have no idea how much play there is in price) that would give 2k in tooling and such...
it's a Central Machinery, runs on 120v and has (I'm told) a 12" by 30" x/y...
I'm looking at it tomorrow, any pointers/thoughs?I
Thanks much!

https://denver.craigslist.org/tls/d/mill-drill/6657989596.html
 

hman

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#2
I have a similar machine (Grizzly).

Doesn't look bad in the photos. But the table surface is not shown, so you might want to give it the eagle eye. Also check the full X and Y axis travel (manual cranks), with the table locks barely tightened. Looseness in the middle of travel, with tightness at the ends would indicate worn ways. The X axis power feed is a newer version of the one I have. Check operation in both directions and over the speed range, also the operation of the automatic stops. The vise is probably OK, but may turn out to be a bit large for the table. I once bought a 6" vise, sold it and bought a 5" one.

Check that the switch operates properly, both forward and reverse. Being wired for 110 volts means LOTS of current being switched, and it's sometimes hard on the contacts. Minor point - there's no cover for the belt box. Check that the spindle speed chart is stuck on the lower cover, or else that it's in the manual. Loosen the belt drive and try rotating the spindle by hand. Look for undue looseness, tightness, or noises. Tighten the Z axis lock and try shaking the chuck. Any rattles or looseness would be bad news.

Hope it works out for you!
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#3
Hman, you have already hit on something...he says there is some play in the table. I have not looked at it yet, I thought MAYBE it could be backlash adjustment. Being that you called it, perhaps it's worn out, if so, could I get a replacement table from Grizzly? Is it no longer worth it? I can hold out, but something great already passed me by, but I'm hoping to save money on something used but good so I can spend more on tooling. The lathe is already killing me for the same reason!
Thanks for the valuable input!
 

hman

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#4
Looseness of the table might just mean that the gib(s) need to be adjusted. It's not necessarily a problem. Lightly tightening the table locks simulates gib adjustment when you go for the inspection. It's more important that the "tightness" of the table be constant from end to end.

As for backlash, there are a couple things you can do to fix it. The "best" answer (IMHO) is to install a DRO and have the gibs adjusted properly. I've always hated squinting at dials and trying to correct for even small amounts of backlash.

Don't count on a Grizzly table fitting a Central Machinery mill. And everything I've heard about Harbor Freight's parts/help/support has been pretty poor. Check the mill out thoroughly. If it's a lemon, just walk away.
 

T Bredehoft

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#5
Those endmills in the last picture are larger than that machine will comfortably handle. If sharp, they'll cut, but won't be able to use their potential.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#6
Ok...that wasn't a good purchase. There is another one, a Jet JDM-15, LOOKS like he is also flexible on price, though I'm not thrilled with a round column unit. Compared to what I'm looking at, the price is pretty similar...if he takes $1500 or so...is it worth it? I have really only researched Grizzly or Precision Matthews. Also, it says it's less than 6 months old...it does LOOK new.
JET JDM-15
 
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mikey

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#7
You can buy a brand new PM 25MV with stand and warranty for about the same price. No question in my mind that I would go with that before the Jet-15. They are very near the same size but the PM 25 is a superior machine in my opinion.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#8
Very good points Mikey....I agree.
 

C-Bag

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#9
Hman and Mikey both nailed it, but there are so many details like what it's going to be used for. And do you want to pay less and fix more? I suffer TAS(tool acqusisiton syndrom) but have limited funds and limited space so it keeps TAS at bay somewhat. I also didn't start off doing super critical work so bought cheap and fixed or adjusted as needed. TAS also envolves price creep as the Jet and PM show.

I ended up with a well worn Enco RF-30 for $400. If it doesn't come with it the first thing I bought after a decent set of end mills was X power unit and the cheapest was almost $300. You already get you'll need more in tooling than the cost of the mill. One of the few bonuses was I had really bad drag on both ends of travel on the X & Y and once I pulled the lead screws and cleaned them almost all that drag went away. So there are so many details it takes a while to figure them all out.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#10
C-bag I could easily just buy a new unit, and I still might. I’m just hoping to come across a good used mill & have more $$ for tooling, vices etc...the best machine isn’t worth anything if you don’t have supporting tools. I am very limited on space and is my BIGGEST concern.
 

C-Bag

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#11
Yup, me too. And the thing I often forget about is Z space. I constantly cruise CL and like right now there is a really nice Millrite in there for $1500 with some tooling and VFD. Great deal, but not only is the weight a major concern as far as moving. But also its too tall to fit in my garage so once again logistics curtail TAS.
 

hman

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#12
TAS! Yup ... got it bad. But I've had to forcefully suppress it for several months, as I unpack/arrange/organize two shops' worth of tools and supplies to my new 50x30 shop. But I can still drool!
 

C-Bag

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#13
50x30!!!!!! Oh I'd be in deep yogurt. My 19x20 two car shop would need a shoe horn to get anything else in it. Everything has to be on castors so I can reconfigure to get anything done. It is getting old but at this stage of the game it's just too much $$$ for more space.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#14
I want to have a new garage door installed, but I fear they will ask me to move some of my tools/machines so they can get better access....Dear Lord! Could you imagine?!?!
 

C-Bag

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#15
Ain't no thang when everything is on castors like mine. I had to move a bunch of stuff when we had a new electrical panel put in right next to the corner of the garage next to the door. It does end up being more like Tetris though, moving and wedging. My biggest problem is I have a steep driveway into the garage so heavy stuff is dangerous if I have to go out there. That also limits things.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#16
What about this monster?? I think a knee mill is too much but seems like a great deal..
Knee mill
 

Chipper5783

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#17
That CMV1 is actually quite a small mill. Strictly speaking it is similar in size to the bench mills + stand discussed above, except you don't need a stand for it. Sure it is going to be heavier - but it's not like you are going to be carrying it around (whether 300# or 3000# - you still have to figure out a means of lifting it). The power is likely a little fussy, but not anything that many folks here have had to sort out.

Go check it out, it has a lot more capability than the other ones that you have looked at (if it works).
 

poplarhouse

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#18
Another thought: if you buy used from an individual, you have no warranty. If it's really cheap, that might not be an issue. I considered it, pouring over CL day after day, but finally decided I didn't have the expertise to completely evauluate the condition of a machine in someone's garage with them looking on. Incidentally, Just had an email from PM telling me my 932M is on the truck and heading this way.
 

C-Bag

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#19
Everybody's experience is different, but my experience with warranty has been spotty at best. It has never worked out that it was still in force to save me anything. IMHO the first thing to go has been customer service being outsourced to poor helpless people overseas. And that's if you can navigate the first hurdle, the phone tree. My first concern is if someone still makes the parts. It's been a godsend that Grizzley seems to have parts for my various HF machine tools
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#20
That is the big appeal to Grizzly, many mods, many parts available. I did deal with warranty parts with Grizzly this week, they are awesome to deal with!
 

C-Bag

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#21
If they have the parts they are quick. They seem very organized so I can research the part online and order. Stuff has gotten here quick. I did get a poorly machined hub for my new/used tool grinder. But I treated like all the other PAC/RIM stuff, a kit and a project.
 

poplarhouse

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#22
Everybody's experience is different, but my experience with warranty has been spotty at best.
With some luck, I won't have an experience to make a comparison! The mill I just bought is from Quality Machine and the warranty is 3 years. The people I talk to are in Pittsburgh, and I don't think they outsource anything except the manufacture of their products. I bought a rotary table from Grizzly, but had no problems to call about. I have heard some terrible stories about their CS, although my ordering experience (I picked it up on the way to Branson) was good. The new mill is on the dock waiting for me to pick it up Monday, so here's hoping all is ok.
 

C-Bag

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#23
My observation by reviews is warranty is most needed from shipping damage. So good on you that you can pick it up.

Then next is bad QC. So it would seem if something is going to go wrong it's within a short time of being received. That's why it's always good to use it right away.

It's ALWAYS good to hear about good customer service and positive results. My first experience with Grizzley was trying to get a replacement arbor for a used table saw I'd gotten off CL. It had been discontinued so no joy. But literally everything off that saw has been repurposed so live and learn.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#24
With some luck, I won't have an experience to make a comparison! The mill I just bought is from Quality Machine and the warranty is 3 years. The people I talk to are in Pittsburgh, and I don't think they outsource anything except the manufacture of their products. I bought a rotary table from Grizzly, but had no problems to call about. I have heard some terrible stories about their CS, although my ordering experience (I picked it up on the way to Branson) was good. The new mill is on the dock waiting for me to pick it up Monday, so here's hoping all is ok.
I am very curious your thoughts on Quality Machine....just the name screams quality! but I am looking for a mill and new ideas are always appreciate.
 

poplarhouse

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#25
I am very curious your thoughts on Quality Machine....just the name screams quality! but I am looking for a mill and new ideas are always appreciate.
I only know what I read in the papers. I went nuts comparing the zillions of models Grizzly sells, but nothing really had all the features I wanted. QM has fewer models and I was able to narrow it down to the 932 or 940, at abouty the same price for a Grizzly with accessories. I opted for the smaller of the two, saved a thousand bucks and hope unloading it from my pickup by myself will be more manageable. This video helped me decide, but in the end, the combination of features I wanted (about 8X32, x motor drive, the 5" spindle travel, square column, DRO, steel gears, etc.) decided me. I'll let you know more after I get it plugged in.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#26
Ahh...yes. PRECISION MATTHEWS. That I'm familiar with. I was considering the PM25 or PM 727. I had a situation with them on Amazon that made me question their ethics. I was literally ordering that night until they did what they did.
 

poplarhouse

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Ahh...yes. PRECISION MATTHEWS. That I'm familiar with. I was considering the PM25 or PM 727. I had a situation with them on Amazon that made me question their ethics. I was literally ordering that night until they did what they did.
I remember you mentioning it. I noticed that Grizzly is set up as a seller on Amazon and Walmart, too, but you don't get free shipping. In fact, some of the accessories are more expensive because minimum shipping is $9.99. Stuff like that, it's probably better to order directly from the company. I've seen it with listings from Banggood and Grandin Road, too. They have to pay a percentage of sales to the big guys, so they have to recover it from the customer.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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#28
What about this monster?? I think a knee mill is too much but seems like a great deal..
Knee mill
talked to that guy....the machine is HUGE! 2500 LBS! TABLE IS 43" BY 13" , sounds like the motor controller would need replacing as it is DOS only. I would assume the stepper motors would need replacing...I think they are servos right now. Needs the VFD for speed control/3 phase conversion. Probably too much for the limited time I have...He says they were made here in Colorado....pretty cool.
 

Superburban

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#29
talked to that guy....the machine is HUGE! 2500 LBS! TABLE IS 43" BY 13" , sounds like the motor controller would need replacing as it is DOS only. I would assume the stepper motors would need replacing...I think they are servos right now. Needs the VFD for speed control/3 phase conversion. Probably too much for the limited time I have...He says they were made here in Colorado....pretty cool.
You do not want that. Without any dials/ knobs, it cannot be used manually. Even if it had working computer controller, it would be of limited use to a home hobbyist. I made the mistake of buying a tracer mill, thinking I could use it manually, not!!
 

C-Bag

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You do not want that. Without any dials/ knobs, it cannot be used manually. Even if it had working computer controller, it would be of limited use to a home hobbyist. I made the mistake of buying a tracer mill, thinking I could use it manually, not!!
I was going to throw a similar reply but being a noob don't feel like I have the creds. Personally I am phobic of any kind of electrical probs. Mechanical I can handle. But the thought of messing with an obsolete CNC machine that can't be used manually just screams full stop!
 
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