The obvious follow-on to the lathes thread...
|not done it yet||21/07/2019 11:25:58|
|3576 forum posts|
A thread of what mills you have had and (perhaps) why you changed.
First was the CL500. Never really got on with it.
Non-descript Dore Westbury type, I think. Worked OK but was nowhere near sufficiently rigid. Sufficed for a couple of decades.
Raglan - super little mill. Not going to move it on in the foreseeable future. Only real downside for me is the size.
Centec 2B - bought for the all round ability. Vertical and horizontal. It won’t be going anywhere soon. It and the Raglan will see me out!
|8 forum posts|
A BCA Mk 3 if it qualifies as a mill. I have it because of space limitations and it is a joy to use. Downside it is limited to small work but it suits my projects.
|Tony Pratt 1||21/07/2019 12:20:23|
|932 forum posts|
Dore Westbury which I built myself & again way too flimsy, Myford VME knee/turret mill, nice size & well made. Worked on many different types in industry.
|241 forum posts|
My first and still the one I own today is my VMC knee mill, it was in a state when I bought it. It has no badges on it anywhere so I don't know if it's a Myford, warco or Chester varient but it has served me well.
I've since had several Dore Westbury machines which I restored before selling them on.
In the future I would like to replace the VMC with another but in better condition.
|Brian H||21/07/2019 13:14:51|
1294 forum posts
I was very lucky with my first mill; I worked at a company that had bought the mill to make the serrated steel plates that were used to set up the nozzles on the Harrier jump jet.
When the contract ended the machine was going to be dumped. I asked people in the toolroom who had used it for their opinions and all agreed that it was a good machine except that the DRO package did not work ( it wasn't needed for the Harrier job).
I asked the avionics dept foreman if he would have a look at what might be wrong and he returned 30 mins later to say that it was a faulty 3p resistor that had failed and he had replaced it.
Naturally I kept that to myself and offered £100 to take it off their hands as long as they delivered it to my home!
It weighed almost 5 tons and when I moved house it had to go as there was no room for it so it had to go.
I then bought a Graham Mill/drill which has been excellent since I fitted 2 axis DRO to it.
I'm now looking for either a small horizontal or an Omnimil 00 or a Centec with vertical head.
|3132 forum posts|
Astra L4 Horizontal, but also with non quill vertical head, bought as a project and totally refurbished.
Boxford VM30 (fitted with DRO) Horizontal PF
Bridgeport Series 1 long table (fitted with 4 axis DRO) all axis PF
Still have all of them.
|2332 forum posts|
I had a well used Omnimill but had to sell it as the removal company wanted too much to shift it to the new house. I’ve now got a Warco VMC which is nice enough. It was over budget at the time but I’m so glad I got a mill with a knee. I think I’d struggle without as all the mills I’ve used have had them. If money had been no object I’d probably have bought something like an Aciera. I was offered a Bridgeport in good condition years ago for not a lot of money but they take up far too much space.
|Colin Heseltine||21/07/2019 14:11:42|
|345 forum posts|
Many years ago (1973) I bought a Harrison L5 lathe, an Excel No. 2 surface grinder and an Excel Shaper from Cannock Tech. Swapped the shaper for a big Cincinnatti No. 2 Vertical Mill which my dad did a lot of work on. Eventually got sold when my father moved house.
I then bought one of the small Proxxon BF40E mills which I used for making dolls house furniture. I then added a Chester Super Lux, followed by a Cowells vertical mill, an Aciera F12 and a BCA Mk3 jig borer. Just swapped the Super Lux for a Gates PBM2000 (Bridgeport clone). So far I have found the PBM2000 very nice to use especially having the knee and powerfeed on X & Y and power drawbar. Will soon have a power feed on the knee.
Hopefully will be able to start using it all when retire at end of this month (69).
|25 forum posts|
Like many it seems, I have a VMC, mine is an older Warco version, which I’ve put a DRO on but I’d like to further upgrade to an inverter drive.
i also have a BCA Mk3 which I haven’t used for some time so am considering moving it on unless a job crops up it’s ideal for.
|Clive Foster||21/07/2019 15:18:40|
|1893 forum posts|
Another ex BCA owner here, actually Union badge, but same difference. First mill and far too small for my work. Hadn't realised just how much physically larger a mill has to be than a lathe for same classes of work.
Moved on to a pretty much unique Chester Lux square column bench mill. One off bought in to test the market having two speed belt drive and a European built VFD integrated into the head instead of the usual gear arrangement. Price-performance-market equation clearly didn't work so I got it for very reasonable price. Good machine once I chased the Chinee assembly issues so common in that era out. Fitted DRO. But table and work envelope too small and I got fed up peering round the big cast iron box head. Sold on to a guy who said he was still very happy with it when I ran into him last year.
Built new workshop on redundancy in 2004 and put a Varispeed Bridgeport in. Came with seized head which had to be refurbished and added a Sino 3 axis DRO set.
|Mick B1||21/07/2019 17:30:43|
|1242 forum posts|
I worked a few mills in the 70s - a biggish Varnamo vertical and a couple of Bridgeports. I still use a Bridgeport clone when I do volunteer work for the railway.
But I've never had one of my own. I use a vertical slide in my lathe, and so far I've been able to do everything I needed. I'd certainly like a mill, but it'll probably have to be a bench-sized one to fit the space and budget I have.
2522 forum posts
... First was the CL500. Never really got on with it.
Me too, not stable /rigid enough to do anything more than light milling cuts, now have a WM16 much better machine handles every thing I've given it to do.
|Clive Steer||21/07/2019 17:55:38|
|13 forum posts|
I started off with a BCA Mk3 which is now fully tooled and I still have. However needing a little more capacity but having limited space I bought a cheap Tom Senior off eBay. Big mistake as it needed quite a bit of work so moved it on. Bought a Boxford VM30 and fitted it with a Bridgeport M head to provide a Quill capability. Added VFD and DRO to make very nice and compact machine which is just right for the work I do.
|John Haine||21/07/2019 18:36:33|
|2698 forum posts|
First was an Amolco, made from an old head and a newer base (when they were available) - OK but not very rigid. Then inherited my father's Aciera F1 - a beautiful Swiss machine but rather worn and much too small. I sold that and invested the proceeds in a Myford VMB which gives good service. More recently bought a Denford Novamill for CNC which is also very nice though I had to make my own electronics package. Starting again I'd get a larger CNC mill.
|1018 forum posts|
First on was a Chester cobra combi machine, the mill is similar to a seig x1, good enough machine but rapidly outgrew it. Next came a Chester Model B Combi machine, regretted right from the off as it was not rigid enough and the mill was virtually useless.
After that I bought a Hyundai badged X2 clone, and also acquired a Warco ZX15 round column mill. Both did their job well but when the opportunity arose to purchase a fully tooled Ajax AJT4 turret mill, for less money that the tooling alone was worth, the small mills went. The Ajax is a big machine but is more than capable of everything I will need.
|Brian Wood||21/07/2019 18:55:23|
|2023 forum posts|
I made my Mk 2 Dore-Westbury which I still own, admittedly a light machine which now has variable speed drive, a big improvement. It get a lot of use.
A Tom Senior [Junior] horizontal mill, a lovely machine, which I use for gear cutting
And not listed as a category on it's own, an Elliott M 10 shaper
|Mick Henshall||21/07/2019 19:16:03|
|523 forum posts|
First an Adcock & Shipley horizontal made probably around the forties/fifties cost me £30 from a local firm still using it, and added a Warco WM14 a few years ago and fitted 2 axis dro,between them they do all I need
|338 forum posts|
Raglan vertical current
Tom senior M1 current
Shaftesbury jig borer light mill current
Also have an Elliot 10 m shaper
902 forum posts
Dore Westbury Mk1
Centec 2B with later quill
Also have a Boxford shaper.
|181 forum posts|
Centec 2B followed by a Boxford VM30. I think I will sell off the Boxford and go back to a shaper, since all the milling I have done for the last 4 years has been making stuff flat!
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