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Quality issues with a SIEG SX2.7 mini mill

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SillyOldDuffer21/02/2019 16:32:41
4122 forum posts
831 photos
Posted by Anna 1 on 20/02/2019 20:39:04:

Ok. Dave. S.O.D.

Tell me where do I buy the Precision Mathews equivalent 9/35 mill, which is made in Taiwan, here in the Uk. As far as I can see nobody is importing Taiwanese machines. Which would be a good half way house in terms of quality

I have a similar lathe to you which is now ok with some work. My super major mill however, which is Chinese garbage which cost me over £3500 with dro was money down the drain. the Test sheet was work of fiction.( and it had nothing to do with the distorting casting red herrings etc.) If I just wanted to put a few electronic components in a box a drilling machine would do.

A recent poster has just paid £3650 for the vario super major which was clearly badly machined and not fit for purpose, for the most part all his posting got for his query, was criticism of his measuring technique, most unfair. I would be quite upset with the response he got. He deserves better.






Even though there are many of them in the UK part of the problem buying a better new machine is finding a supplier. They are often deliberately low-profile. However, on the web, Chester has a department selling better machines to industry and education. They might be worth a call.

You may already know that this level of purchase is unlikely to be an ordinary consumer transaction. Websites and catalogues don't give prices and negotiations normally begin by calling for a quote or requesting advice. Then you have grown-up conversations with sales and technical staff. Unfortunately for us many of these firms will only deal with organisations. It's because their experience shows most casual callers are time-wasters, not deliberately but private individuals out of their depth financially who are unable to cope with commercial 'Terms and Conditions'. One way to get past that obstacle is to declare your budget immediately, a 5 figure sum proves you're serious and opens most doors! Buck and Hickman are worth a look - they are 'retail' and they stock some better machines and give prices on their website.

Demand for high and mid-range manual machines is very low compared with that for CNC and it may be no-one stocks what you want in the UK. It might be necessary to get an importer like Mid Bucks Machine Tools to source the machine for you, or you could find an exporter in Taiwan. It will cost a bob or two and there will be paperwork!

It's certainly achievable though, quite a few Model Engineers live in countries without a machine tool retailer they can buy from locally. They jump through hoops buying hobby machines, let alone posher ones. More than one of the UK suppliers acts as an exporter in these cases.

Buying a new machine tool that ticks all your boxes will be expensive, £3500 is nowhere near enough to buy a certified milling machine new! Almost all the forum members who own quality kit bought it second-hand, and that may be your best bet too.




Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 21/02/2019 16:35:24

Anna 121/02/2019 17:07:27
72 forum posts
3 photos

Dave, thank you for your reply.

The machine I was looking at Precision Mathews (9/35 VS mill) is circa 6200 dollars + additions and I suspect that would translate to circa £6200 sterling as machinery seems to be more expensive here. It is the only small machine I know where the head nods in the X and Y axis, it is a scaled down Bridgeport lookalike. with similar features. Not cheap but a good halfway house compared with the prices of the premium makers. Having written that I do not know that any of the premium brands still make small manual machines. I will investigate your suggestions ,

Thank you.


martin perman21/02/2019 17:37:41
1550 forum posts
66 photos
Posted by HOWARDT on 21/02/2019 15:42:14:

Our hobby machines, I use a Sieg SC3 lathe and a SX2P which I bought three years ago, new. Both machines have been partially stripped for one reason or another more than once, and some improvements (as far as I am concerned) made in that time. But other than checking tailstock alignment, I haven't bothered with any other accuracy checks. Once you start chasing microns as a hobby machinist you would be better to walk away and find another hobby, you will never be satisfied. The drawings from LSBC or whoever have no tolerances, so if two bits fit together and look about right then that is it, What ever we produce is a kit of parts which with varying degrees of hand fitting may produce a finished working assembly. Alright in the past model engineers probably got a few of the more accurate parts produced on the side at work but they also had less accurate machines with no DRO, but any of these where probably time served indentured engineers. Work with what you have and strive to achieve the fits required by thoughtful processes.

In the late 70's I found myself finishing my engineering apprenticeship and at my new bench as a machine tool fitter, having learnt the theory and the basics I was about to learn the proper stuff, I was let alone on some jobs on the understanding that if I had a problem I was to call for assistance, I worked on Multi spindle lathes, single spindle turret lathes, Index's usually and as time passed I began to shadow other fitters working on centerless grinders, external and internal grinders, one of the makes of machine was UVA internal grinders and we had approx fifty of them in the factory, these machines ground the internal bores of Diesel fuel injectors and were maintained by a couple of fitters who new their stuff, I was left in their care to learn about the machines and they showed me how to chase microns, they mounted a TDI on the nose of a grinding spindle set it to zero and got me to place my hand on the spindle and after a while the TDI dial started to move, this exercise was to show what I was going to be working against as when a operator said he had a two micron bump in a bore, we had had to find and sort it and the fitters wanted me to see how difficult it was likely to be.

Martin P

SillyOldDuffer21/02/2019 18:35:21
4122 forum posts
831 photos
Posted by Anna 1 on 21/02/2019 17:07:27:


The machine I was looking at Precision Mathews (9/35 VS mill) is circa 6200 dollars + additions...

Not cheap but a good halfway house compared with the prices of the premium makers. ...


Hi Anna,

Not come across Precision Matthews in the USA before, but reading their website reminds me of Optimum in Germany. Optimum machines are typical Far Eastern except they claim German inspection standards have been applied.

Bit more expensive than usual and there have been posts discussing whether or not they are worth the extra money. My feeling is they are much the same machines as usual, but have been selected and mildly fettled upwards within a price. Trouble with fitting machines rather than making them throughout with precision technique in the first place is labour costs are so high you don't get much fettling for your money. If a cheap machine needs fitting, better to do it yourself, but of course not everyone wants to do that or accepts it's anything other than a d****d con-trick.

Precision Matthews warranty makes an interesting read. It includes: 'Warranty covers parts only, service is not covered under the warranty. The customer is responsible to perform their own repair work, or they can choose to hire someone at their expense. Again, warranty does not cover labor or service, any warranty is for parts only. To obtain warranty repair parts, please contact us, and we will instruct you to send the part that you think is defective to us for inspection. If we determine that the part is defective, the defective part will be repaired or replaced at no charge to you.' This is poor stuff compared with the warranty provided by a UK supplier!

If you've not come across Optimum already, may be worth a look. If so order quickly in case "It Who Must Not Be Named" goes pear-shaped, only 906 hours to go...


JasonB21/02/2019 18:41:14
15171 forum posts
1548 photos

Dave although PM do the Weiss machines they also have a better range which is what Anna is looking at. Their "Blue Machining" group is handy for any users of the Weiss (Warco etc) type machines.

SillyOldDuffer21/02/2019 19:43:54
4122 forum posts
831 photos
Posted by JasonB on 21/02/2019 18:41:14:

Dave although PM do the Weiss machines they also have a better range which is what Anna is looking at. Their "Blue Machining" group is handy for any users of the Weiss (Warco etc) type machines.

Thanks Jason - I missed that completely!

Anna 122/02/2019 10:04:30
72 forum posts
3 photos

Hello Jason.

Thanks for that, not heard of the "Blue machining" group sounds interesting,

Thank you


sent this earlier but it didn't appear so might end up as double post

JasonB22/02/2019 10:49:01
15171 forum posts
1548 photos

This is the link to it, could risk some "interesting" results if you use Google

Anna 122/02/2019 11:28:39
72 forum posts
3 photos


Many thanks


Neil Wyatt22/02/2019 11:33:50
15823 forum posts
672 photos
73 articles

Probably a high point to end this thread.

It's drifted along way from Piotr's issues and the temperature has been rather high at times.

If anyone tries these more 'upscale' machines it will be interesting to see their thoughts in a new thread.


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