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Milling Machines - Myford vs Sieg

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Mike Donnerstag23/10/2019 08:52:36
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99 forum posts
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I am looking into purchasing a milling machine and noticed a Myford VMB machine for sale. However, other than the information given on lathes.co.uk I can't find much information on the machine. Does anyone have a manual for the Myford VMB in a form that could be emailed? Alternatively, does anyone know the capabilities in terms of maximum drill size, etc., for the VMB?

Also, I would be very interested to hear any views on how it might compare to a new Sieg SX3 as they are similarly priced. Obviously the variable speed on the Sieg is an advantage in terms of convenience, but does it have the low-end torque of a belt-drive speed-change machine such as the Myford VMB? Is the electronic speed control of the Sieg something that may be a weak point in the future?

Many thanks in advance,

Mike

Trevor Drabble29/10/2019 18:54:18
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204 forum posts
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Mike ,

I am sure I've got a hard copy of the manual . I am not computer literate , but will try to take pics of it with my Amazon Fire tablet so I can email them to you if you would care to send me a PM with your email details .

Trevor.

Paul Lousick29/10/2019 21:51:02
1188 forum posts
498 photos

I used to have a Sieg SX3 and it was a great mill and did a lot of heavy work. The variable speed was very handy but it did not have a lot of low end torque. The electronic speed control did fail and had to be replaced. (not cheap). The column did flex slightly under heavy loads.

I now have an RF-45 mill. A bit bigger and more rigid. It has a geared head for changing speed.

Paul.

Alan Wood 430/10/2019 07:33:59
128 forum posts
4 photos

I have a VMB in the blue colour scheme that I bought from Howard at myford-lathes.com. It had a 3 phase motor and I fitted a CL300 single phase to 3 phase speed controller. This works very well.

The VMB is an old but sturdy design with good XYZ limits It has a R8 taper and you can get all manner of tooling to suit. I generally use an ER25 collet sleeve as standard.

I have fitted basic Chinese scales to XY and Z with a simple readout display.

It is lovely reliable machine and if you can get one that is clean and not too expensive it will serve you well. I have to say that it now sits along side a Tormach CNC but they are mutually beneficial and complimentary in what they get asked to do.

There are some more details on my blog www.altrish.co.uk. If you want some more help send me a PM otherwise message via the blog email.

Kind regards

Alan

Mike Donnerstag30/10/2019 20:17:55
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99 forum posts
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Thanks for your replies.

Paul: Did you find out why the speed controller failed? I understand it can fail if the emergency stop switch is always used to stop the motor instead of the normal stop.

Alan: I understand the VMB came with a 370W (1/2HP) motor. Do you know the power of the three phase motor installed on your machine? I'm wondering whether this is a hindrance compared to a machine like the Sieg, and whether it could or should be upgraded considering the rest of the machine.

Paul Lousick30/10/2019 21:52:33
1188 forum posts
498 photos

Mike,

I used the normal button to stop the motor. I am not an electronics expert but did a basic check of connections, switches, etc. but could not repair the controller. The mill was also fitted with a power feed on the table which also failed. This was caused by oil & coolant getting into the limit switches and was fixed.

Paul.

Alan Wood 431/10/2019 03:50:35
128 forum posts
4 photos

Hi Mike

This is where I apologise on the basis that I am currently in NZ on holiday so I can't easily get to the serial plate to give you the info on the motor ......

The motor was the standard fit by Myford and when I talked with Newton Tesla on the controller needed they knew the item in question. I believe it was the 1/2 HP version and I have never managed to stall it so it has some grunt. Although it has a belt drive from the motor to the spindle I have never changed the belt position, having used the NT speed controller for all activity. Once again I am red faced in not being able to give you the specifics at this time.

I will be back home in a few weeks so I can update you then. One of my close friends is house sitting so I could get him to fill in the details if you are keen. You could also ring Howard at myford-lathes and tell him I sent you (01225 812155 or 07753 610420).

Looking around I can see the one you might be considering and this is in green livery suggesting an earlier model. Tony's site (lathes.co.uk) gives a run down of the differences.

I have no experience of Sieg products having only read comments on the forum and elsewhere so I cannot objectively compare the two options you are considering.

Sorry that is all a bit woolly but hope it might help.

Kind regards

Alan

Clive India31/10/2019 08:13:17
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188 forum posts

I have a single phase blue VMB with powered X axis, Allendale DRO and with original variable speed.

I have standardised on ER32 all round and I like the R8 taper.

Works very well for me - just 2 shortcomings....

No powered Z axis - a pain for long movements. I use a small re-chargeable screwdriver powering a socket instead of winding forever, but really needs the addition of a small motor. Not too difficult if you have the time.

There is also no column lock.

I have not looked at Sieg, but they may have those two features.

Alan Wood 431/10/2019 08:30:45
128 forum posts
4 photos

I agree with Clive on all points. I also have a socket and cheap battery electric driver to make big movements on the Z axis.

Alan

Mike Donnerstag04/11/2019 15:28:14
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99 forum posts
9 photos

I think I should have headed this post 'Which Mill/Drill for Under £2000?'.

I can see the benefit of having a variable speed control, as on the Sieg, though its reliability worries me. Has anyone else had problems with the motor control boards?

JasonB04/11/2019 15:44:40
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Moderator
16431 forum posts
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You may get a more balanced idea if you also ask who has not had problems with the boards.

My Sieg X3 has only needed one set of motor brushes in 12years and the variable speed lathe (Warco) one set of brushes and a speed control pot in 14years. all about £5 each

Sieg SX2.7 running fine in just over the two years it's been in the workshop and the Sieg KX3 Ok but only had that since Feb.

Vic04/11/2019 23:22:57
2298 forum posts
11 photos

A friend of mine gave up buying new boards for his mill and bought a belt change machine instead. That was a few years back, hopefully things have improved since then. Having said that a mate has had three new motors on his Record Power Wood Lathe and is currently waiting for a new speed controller... luckily it’s still under warranty. As soon as it’s working again he’s selling it.

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