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Milling Machine advise

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Martin Faulkner20/04/2019 20:56:24
85 forum posts
32 photos

Hello all,

I am not a machinist by trade and may be presented with the chance to purchase a milling machine but not sure what direction to take. I have been searching the net and found a few Bridgeport machines that vary wildly in price then I have seen the Warco machines.

I am looking to use it to square up, drill out hole patterns, general milling and if possible, skim engine heads (4cyl).

What are peoples views on this? As this will be my only chance to purchase one, I would like to get something that will last. Cosmetic condition is not an issue as long as it has very little play in the machine.

Don't mind traveling for the right one, but north west is preffered.

Thank you in advance and have a good easter

Peter F20/04/2019 22:48:00
109 forum posts
23 photos

A big lump of iron will always make milling a more pleasurable experience, but people who are not mechanically competent can quickly become overwhelmed with constant maintenance on old industrial machines, they get bought by a company and their employees care and maintenance can vary greatly,

If you have the time to strip it down and rebuild it, this could result in a great machine and a good learning experience, but to quote a lathe for sale on ebay I saw a while ago 'my husband bought this, but it's just too complicated for him to restore' so that depends on your skills really, your budget? What condition you are looking for?

In my opinion if you have space, and you're willing to spend the time and effort getting it up to good usable Condition, a good quality bridgeport would be a much better investment that will last you a lifetime, but it depends on what your immediate goals are, restoring a machine can be full time project in itself

Plasma21/04/2019 06:59:21
350 forum posts
43 photos

Found this company recently, might be worth a look if you're after a very good Bridgeport.

If I had room for one I would buy the best I could to avoid wasting time repairing it.

Good luck in finding the right machine.


John Reese22/04/2019 03:30:26
818 forum posts

In my experience Bridgeport machines are over-priced, even for badly abused machines. There are many great Bridgeport clones coming out of Tiawan. I have a Sharp machine that even has hard chromed ways. It is every bit as good at a real Bridgeport. For a table-top machine I suggest the Rong Fu RF45. I have one that I am just beginning to use. I am in the process of mounting a DRO and plan to adapt a two speed motor to it. I like the fact that it is a geared head machine so I do not have to fiddle with belts.

Ian McVickers22/04/2019 06:38:53
160 forum posts
80 photos

I have one of the RF45 clones and its ok but not brilliant. In my opinion the geared head is what causes the problems. After being stripped down and having the cheap bearings replaced and a few simple repairs done to the gearbox it now runs better than it did when new but I don't think I would go for a fully geared head again.

Jon22/04/2019 15:49:17
989 forum posts
46 photos

I wouldnt waste your dosh on the RF45's from the various sources theyre well over £2k now, limited in speed and more importantly made to a price in asia. So in argument to the Bridgeport i would sooner have a good old machine than a junk new one.
You wont like the price of the parts either in 2010 £244 for transfer gearbox (Super Lux) for the elevation whole machine cost £910 in 2004 now well over £2300.
More alarming the secondhand prices of these are that of brand new only a few years back. So use machine, wear it out which wont take a lot and sell for price bought for.
In all fairness its brought the prices of Bridgies up for good reason as any other quality product that is now no longer made.

I would go for a Bridgeport or Korean made clone.

Martin Faulkner22/04/2019 19:36:26
85 forum posts
32 photos

I am not afraid of a bit of work to get a good machine. I purchased a boxford lathe from a fire damaged workshop and is now up and fully functional with a small amount of backlash that I need to address.

I would not take on a full project again due to time and the financial demand. Ideally I would like a good useable machine.

Not sure what others brands to really look out for. The ones I have been looking at are the bridgeport, krv, Harrison and warco.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to take a look at them

Thank you in advance everyone

Chris Evans 622/04/2019 22:41:52
1565 forum posts

I have a Bridgeport and it does all I need. I have in the past used an "XYZ" Bridgeport clone and never had any issues with it.

Bob Astill23/04/2019 14:18:10
70 forum posts
9 photos

I buy all my machines fro Madan Machine tools at Goole had 2 Bridgeports and 2 lathes from him now both from colleges done very little work and he delivered them and put them in the workshops cant fault the man well worth a look


Martin Faulkner23/04/2019 21:41:34
85 forum posts
32 photos

Seen a few xyz, was not sure on the quality but will add it to the list.

Bob astill, thank you for the link and checked him out. The mills seem to be a reasonably priced and will give him a call. Some stuff seems a little high priced on the welding side but I may be able to deal.

Thank you

Peter F23/04/2019 22:03:26
109 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by Martin Faulkner on 23/04/2019 21:41:34:

Seen a few xyz, was not sure on the quality but will add it to the list.

Bob astill, thank you for the link and checked him out. The mills seem to be a reasonably priced and will give him a call. Some stuff seems a little high priced on the welding side but I may be able to deal.

Thank you

I also bought my Mill from Maden, very easy guy to deal with, machine was on my driveway less than 24 hours after he recieved payment.

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