[4]

WTK so do I go bigger or better equipped?

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

chiroone

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
116
Likes
86
#1
I am in the market for a vertical mill. My budget will allow me to get a PM 727 fully equipped with the DRO all possible options as well as a full complement of tooling or, I can get a PM932 with just a stand, power X feed and a power head but then I’ll have to wait to add a DRO as well as some other tooling. Does anyone have any advice the best way to go? I’m also wondering if I should consider one of the grizzly machines of the same or similar size. Not sure who makes the best machine so I can keep it around 3K. If anyone has any other models or ideas, any help would be appreciated
 

kd4gij

Active User
Non-Donating Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
4,587
Likes
1,755
#2
With that budget I would look for a good used Bridge port..

BTW Hi neighbor
 

chiroone

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
116
Likes
86
#3
Greetings, thanks for the info, but Bridge Port out of the question, WAAAY too big, may need parts that are not available, may be worn out, too heavy too move and just over kill. I am just a hobbyist, I have been looking for older and smaller American machines, but no luck, so Asian iron seems to only choice
 

middle.road

Actively Learning...
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Messages
1,333
Likes
708
#4
If it were me and I just needed and wanted a benchtop mill I'd call Matt...
I believe his customer service speaks volumes.
Heck he even tried to help me with part on my auction bought Birmingham.
 

4ssss

Non-Supporting Member
Non-Donating Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
369
Likes
211
#5
Greetings, thanks for the info, but Bridge Port out of the question, WAAAY too big, may need parts that are not available, may be worn out, too heavy too move and just over kill. I am just a hobbyist, I have been looking for older and smaller American machines, but no luck, so Asian iron seems to only choice
Everybody starts out as a Hobbyist except us guys that worked the shop their whole life. When you drop 3K on a mill, you'll soon find that you should have bought the bigger Bridgeport. Hardinge took over Bridgeport and all parts are available for them.
 

wrmiller

Chief Tinkerer
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
3,367
Likes
1,354
#6
I am in the market for a vertical mill. My budget will allow me to get a PM 727 fully equipped with the DRO all possible options as well as a full complement of tooling or, I can get a PM932 with just a stand, power X feed and a power head but then I’ll have to wait to add a DRO as well as some other tooling. Does anyone have any advice the best way to go? I’m also wondering if I should consider one of the grizzly machines of the same or similar size. Not sure who makes the best machine so I can keep it around 3K. If anyone has any other models or ideas, any help would be appreciated
There are those of us who have no need/use for a old BP, but we're rare. ;)

The only suggestion I will make here is that you buy the highest quality machine you can afford first. Then save your pennies for the extras.

Buying a cheap(er) machine just to get a cheap DRO or power feed with the package means you ended up with a lower quality machine you may or may not regret in the future. Think Taiwan made if you can afford it. Just my $0.02 :D
 

Mitch Alsup

Non-Supporting Member
Non-Donating Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
225
Likes
162
#7
Buy the biggest heaviest machine that you have space for even if you have to sacrifice power 'this and that' or DROs. THis and that and DROs can be added later, strength and stiffness cannot.
 

T Bredehoft

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
2,537
Likes
1,963
#8
From my experience with Matt, both machines are of equal quality. Unless you need the (slightly) larger machine, go with the bells and whistles on the smaller one. In life (working life) I ran mills ranging from low end Indexes to 16 foot stroke planers, with a couple of Mazaks in between In Hobby Life, my PM25 is adequate.
 

Tim9

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
120
Likes
57
#9
The Rung Fu Clones are nice machines IMO. They have enough mass to do some decent cuts and weighing @ 750 lbs... They can be fairly easily moved when you break them down...IE... remove the head and table and now each chunk is about 200-250lbs The RF 45 is what I have and even though mine is old and has some wear... It still performs well.
I have the Top Tech DM 45 from Penn Tools. http://www.penntoolco.com/dm-45pf/
 

Asm109

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
183
Likes
203
#10
I don't know these machines at all so I will not comment on that. I second the idea to buy the biggest, heaviest machine that will fit in your space.
Avoiding chatter, having enough space to add a rotary table or indexer is priceless. Not having enough room on the machine is a project killer.
I have used mills with DROs and power feeds. Its nice and my boss appreciates that I can work faster with them. At home my mill has neither and it doesn't bother me to count turns, take the time to blue and make layouts on parts. Its an old school way of working and it seems fitting to me. Given my mill was manufactured the same year I was born and both of us are nearly ready to collect SS.
 

tjb

Terry
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
283
Likes
135
#11
I learned the hard way: "Buy it cheap, buy it twice. Buy it right, buy it once." And there are two ways to make the mistake of buying 'cheap'. One way is too low a capacity on a reasonably decent machine (new or used); the other is buying a heavier duty machine that is worn out.

I live on a farm, have built a few street rods, and have developed an interest in machining. In every instance - tractors, cars, machines, and tools of all sorts - in my experience, it's rare to enter into a new endeavor knowing what you'll want a year or two later (sometimes, a month or two later). It's just about a near certainty that as a novice you won't appreciate how much you'll want the extra size/weight/capacity/etc. once you've gained some experience. A little bit of practice and a normal learning curve, and you'll wish you went with the heavier duty option. Bells and whistles, like power feed, DRO, etc. can always be added.

Regards,
Terry
 

Ray C

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
5,215
Likes
1,393
#12
Both. Bigger/Heavier and Better Equipped to the extent possible -within the class of parts you intend to make.

+1 on the suggestions of Precision Matthews.
 

brino

Active User
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
3,394
Likes
3,408
#13
Given my mill was manufactured the same year I was born and both of us are nearly ready to collect SS.
I wish the cheques would start rolling in for my 1916 Cincinatti!
-brino
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top