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Hobby mill advice

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Dan Reavey04/06/2021 12:30:52
19 forum posts
5 photos

Hi

This has probably been asked quite a few times but I’m after a decent hobby mill

for my single garage workshop (currently fitting out).

It’s for general DIY but I also have three motorcycles (2 classic) so something with

a bit of torque would be useful.

Space is limited and something like the Clarke CMD10 is an ideal size but I’d worry about the plastic gears.

Maximum size would be something like a Sieg SX1LP. Also has fixed column

and belt drive.

I’d like to be able to drill steel up to about 1cm thick but most of the time it would be fairly light use.

Maybe too many limiting factors with space vs requirements but any any help appreciated.

Paul Lousick04/06/2021 13:06:36
1837 forum posts
659 photos

Hi Dan,

There are lots of posts and advice about selecting a milling m/c. Do a search in the box above.

Paul.

old mart04/06/2021 13:11:31
3310 forum posts
203 photos

Welcome, Dan, you should take a look at the Warco, ARC or Chester links on this website. ARC helpfully show the space taken up by their machines, which is good if you have a limited room in the workshop. If buying new and there is a choice, go for an R8 spindle fitting.

Edited By old mart on 04/06/2021 13:12:58

John Haine04/06/2021 13:12:56
4086 forum posts
241 photos

It's the drill diameter that takes the torque not thickness! I'd guess the SX1LP would be your best bet, a better motor option than the Clarke which is basically the same machine but with smaller table and (IMHO) lower quality.

Arc Eurotrade are the go-to supplier for Sieg in my view. The table on the SX1LP is small enough, but I think you'd find that the CMD10 version is much too small for motorbike parts. People seem pretty happy with the X1 type mills on the whole, look for Mike's Workshop on Google, he has done a lot with it and describes a lot of mods and accessories.

Dan Reavey04/06/2021 13:48:36
19 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by old mart on 04/06/2021 13:11:31:

Welcome, Dan, you should take a look at the Warco, ARC or Chester links on this website. ARC helpfully show the space taken up by their machines, which is good if you have a limited room in the workshop. If buying new and there is a choice, go for an R8 spindle fitting.

Edited By old mart on 04/06/2021 13:12:58

Thanks. It’s sold out but the Warco WM12 looks promising. Gear drive but powerful motor.

Don’t know much about spindle fittings and difference between them.

Journeyman04/06/2021 14:08:17
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1015 forum posts
190 photos

You could have a look at my website - Milling Machines Getting Started - I wrote this to save keep repeating it here!

John

JasonB04/06/2021 14:42:08
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Moderator
21284 forum posts
2416 photos
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Be aware that some companies state input wattage and others output so that powerful motor may not actually be as powerful as it first looks

not done it yet04/06/2021 14:58:34
6251 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by JasonB on 04/06/2021 14:42:08:

Be aware that some companies state input wattage and others output so that powerful motor may not actually be as powerful as it first looks

Just as JB.

Many get conned into comparing apples with oranges. This happens with all sorts of equipment these days. Lathes, mills, band saws, compressors (air displacement and delivery). Even generators (kW and kVA are not the same). Do read the specs carefully and ask about anything you are not completely sure of.

With any variable speed motor, that power will only apply for one speed - all others will be less.

The Arc motor power quoted is output, btw.

Edited By not done it yet on 04/06/2021 15:00:30

old mart04/06/2021 15:38:45
3310 forum posts
203 photos

Having a machine that has a mechanical gear reduction, belts and pulleys or gears has an advantage over a machine with only speed control via the motor. With drilling, for instance, the larger the drill the slower speed needed, but also more torque to turn it. Slowing an electric motor to half its nominal speed looses 50% of its power and slower than that its much less. This is where the gearing comes into its own, even if it takes more time to set up.

Dan Reavey04/06/2021 15:47:03
19 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Journeyman on 04/06/2021 14:08:17:

You could have a look at my website - Milling Machines Getting Started - I wrote this to save keep repeating it here!

John

Thanks. Useful info yes

Bazyle04/06/2021 19:55:01
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5988 forum posts
220 photos

Some advice here worth reading.

Ian Johnson 104/06/2021 23:59:12
360 forum posts
101 photos

The sieg sx1lp is the upgraded version of my sx1, and I am always pleasantly surprised at how it survives my abuse! It is a sturdy little machine, mine has the pointless tilting column, never used it, so the fixed base is a bonus.

I have made motor cycle parts on it and probably oversized parts too, but I did upgrade to the larger 400mm long table which is now standard on the sx1lp

So yes the sx1lp is a good choice, considering your space limitations.

IanJ

Ron Laden05/06/2021 05:27:52
avatar
2233 forum posts
443 photos

If considering a Sieg machine and you can find another £200 over the price of the Sieg SX1LP I can recommend the SX2P.

Table size and machine footprint is the same but the SX2 is a R8 spindle, 500 watt output against the 250 watt for the SX1 and a heavier column.

I am only speaking from my experience with the SX2 which overall I have to say has been very good. Its done all I have asked of it and more, some of which I thought would really test it but used sensibly with the right tooling its always coped well. Reliability has been 100% and for its size as a small hobby mill I really can't fault it.

 

 

 

Edited By Ron Laden on 05/06/2021 05:43:03

Nigel Graham 205/06/2021 09:50:20
1661 forum posts
20 photos

Don't forget the point about milling-machine footprints. They are greedy for space.

The width they occupy is roughly twice the table length, as a starting-point - more accurately it is [full table length + travel], disposed symmetrically about the column's centre-line. Then you need add the projections due to the handles (or power feed), and also consider access to operate the machine comfortably and to reach anything stored beyond it.

Dan Reavey05/06/2021 09:51:36
19 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Ian Johnson 1 on 04/06/2021 23:59:12:

The sieg sx1lp is the upgraded version of my sx1, and I am always pleasantly surprised at how it survives my abuse! It is a sturdy little machine, mine has the pointless tilting column, never used it, so the fixed base is a bonus.

I have made motor cycle parts on it and probably oversized parts too, but I did upgrade to the larger 400mm long table which is now standard on the sx1lp

So yes the sx1lp is a good choice, considering your space limitations.

IanJ

 

Thanks. The tilting column is why I’m not considering the Clarke CMD300. Not sure if it needs aligning even if not using the angle.

Also the ‘L’ is a bit confusing in the model numbers.

I think the SX1LP would do fine. The last drill was a really old bench mounted pillar one (40’s or 50’s) with a huge wall mounted washing machine motor. Used it for thirty years at my previous house. Plenty of power and the drill would turn in the chuck if working hard.

Had to sell due to moving and space hence looking at what’s available now. Will need to read up a bit more on the spindle type but it’ll be used mostly for drilling.

Edited By Dan Reavey on 05/06/2021 10:07:38

Edited By Dan Reavey on 05/06/2021 10:08:11

Dan Reavey05/06/2021 10:20:34
19 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 05/06/2021 09:50:20:

Don't forget the point about milling-machine footprints. They are greedy for space.

The width they occupy is roughly twice the table length, as a starting-point - more accurately it is [full table length + travel], disposed symmetrically about the column's centre-line. Then you need add the projections due to the handles (or power feed), and also consider access to operate the machine comfortably and to reach anything stored beyond it.

Thanks. Good points. Height also so can’t install under a wall mounted cabinet.

I have a raised area, 143cm x 110cm at the back of my garage. I’ll probably make a bench 600mm deep from 3x2.

Most of the time, the milling part won’t be used but even so, there needs to be room around it for drilling large pieces.

not done it yet05/06/2021 10:37:39
6251 forum posts
20 photos

You likely need a floor mounted pillar drill for drilling ‘large’ pieces. A small mill will only drill so far from the column and the height restriction can also be a limiting factor. But depends on what you call large, I suppose...

Dan Reavey05/06/2021 10:59:18
19 forum posts
5 photos

Yes, possibly a floor mounted drill. Saw one briefly in MachineMart the other day. Looked good value.

My old pillar drill:

20170603_125002.jpg

Dan Reavey05/06/2021 13:25:18
19 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 05/06/2021 10:37:39:

You likely need a floor mounted pillar drill for drilling ‘large’ pieces. A small mill will only drill so far from the column and the height restriction can also be a limiting factor. But depends on what you call large, I suppose...

Thanks. Beginning to think I’d do better with a pillar drill. It’s what I've always used and could offer most stuff up to it.

Easier to position too.

My local MachineMart has one:

**LINK**

not done it yet05/06/2021 18:52:42
6251 forum posts
20 photos

The chuck to column on that machine is only 162mm, so not exactly over-large but may be enough for your ‘larger’ items. The vertical axis is clearly much less restrained.🙂 Again, check for the real motor output, but it may well be adequately powered. You cannot mill (safely) on a drilling machine, of course.

Personally, I’m not too keen on machinemart/clarke products, but that is my opinion - I would rather pay that sort of money for a good second hand machine.

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