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I am going to buy a mill….Decisions, Decisions !!

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Kelvin Jouhar26/06/2022 09:49:23
6 forum posts
1 photos

I haven’t posted for a long time although I read the forum regularly. I have been building a Burrell 4” SCC traction engine from a kit supplied by Steam Traction World. I am no expert on engineering - I have a Chester Comet lathe (like an SC4) and now I am going to buy a mill. These are the candidates , which all look to me like the same machine, more or less.

Axminster SX2.7 - £2,200 - 3 year guarantee - will need to fit DRO later.

Warco WM16B with DRO - £2,170 - 1 yr guarantee.

Amadeal VM25LV with DRO - £1,730 - 1 yr guarantee.

Arc Euro Sieg SX2.7 - £1,740 -1 year guarantee - will need to fit DRO later.

The aftermarket DRO kits look to be about £425.

I am imagining that all these machines come from the same place in China, but maybe different importers handle them differently when they arrive here, or maybe have different things done before they are shipped. My reaction when someone is prepared to offer a 3-year guarantee is that they are more confident in the machine - on the other hand the Axminster IS more expensive to start with, and maybe that pays for the occasional problem…. Decisions…..Decisions…smiley

Edited By Kelvin Jouhar on 26/06/2022 09:50:29

Ian Parkin26/06/2022 10:01:39
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1035 forum posts
243 photos

I must say that when buying anything new guarentee periods don’t sway me

if the product arrives and works as makers intended then its ok …so 3 months should be adequate to find any problems

on a mill (or lathe) the only problems you are likely to have are the motor and drive boards in time

anything else is really the operator and unlikely to be covered by warentee

Tony Pratt 126/06/2022 10:08:14
2023 forum posts
12 photos

IF you are in the UK, consumer law protects you for more than 12 months whatever the guarantee or the retailer says.

Tony

JasonB26/06/2022 10:11:38
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Moderator
23042 forum posts
2769 photos
1 articles

The Amadeal is not the same as the other two which do both come out of the Sieg factory.

Supplier backup, knowledge and spares would be something to consider not just a guarentee, would a mostly woodworking based supplier have the same knowledge of the machines and engineering in general as one that only does enginnering tools and machines?

John ATTLEE26/06/2022 10:24:04
27 forum posts

Dear All,

In my, albeit limited experience, 3 axis DRO provides at least a 100% increase in productivity whether on a lathe or milling machine. I would have thought that the DRO would be more reliable if fitted by the factory or supplier.

John

John Haine26/06/2022 10:28:29
4715 forum posts
273 photos
Posted by Ian Parkin on 26/06/2022 10:01:39:

.....

if the product arrives and works as makers intended then its ok …so 3 months should be adequate to find any problems

.....

Well, after owning a MYFORD VMB for 3 years or so I discovered, when I got round to tramming the column, that one of the hold down bolts was held in the casting by paint.

Thor 🇳🇴26/06/2022 10:39:49
avatar
1658 forum posts
46 photos

Hi Kelvin,

I have an old milling machine that looks like the Amadeal VM25LV, different badge though. It has served me well for a decade. +1 for a DRO equipped machine.

Thor

Ron Laden26/06/2022 10:43:35
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2312 forum posts
452 photos

The additional 2 years guarantee with Axminster is costing almost 500 pounds if it were me I would go with the ARC SX2.7 and the saving would cover the DRO set.

Kelvin Jouhar26/06/2022 10:52:35
6 forum posts
1 photos

Thank you very much for all valuable input - I have some more thinking to do - Of course, any further suggestions are very welcome. Regards to all.

Vic26/06/2022 11:14:13
3089 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Kelvin Jouhar on 26/06/2022 09:49:23:

I haven’t posted for a long time although I read the forum regularly. I have been building a Burrell 4” SCC traction engine from a kit supplied by Steam Traction World. I am no expert on engineering - I have a Chester Comet lathe (like an SC4) and now I am going to buy a mill. These are the candidates , which all look to me like the same machine, more or less.

Axminster SX2.7 - £2,200 - 3 year guarantee - will need to fit DRO later.

Warco WM16B with DRO - £2,170 - 1 yr guarantee.

Amadeal VM25LV with DRO - £1,730 - 1 yr guarantee.

Arc Euro Sieg SX2.7 - £1,740 -1 year guarantee - will need to fit DRO later.

The aftermarket DRO kits look to be about £425.

I am imagining that all these machines come from the same place in China, but maybe different importers handle them differently when they arrive here, or maybe have different things done before they are shipped. My reaction when someone is prepared to offer a 3-year guarantee is that they are more confident in the machine - on the other hand the Axminster IS more expensive to start with, and maybe that pays for the occasional problem…. Decisions…..Decisions…smiley

Edited By Kelvin Jouhar on 26/06/2022 09:50:29

Given your list I’d find the extra couple of hundred beer tokens and buy my Warco VMC again. Having used several full sized millers I can’t contemplate using a machine with a head that moves up and down. The VMC was well over budget when I bought it but I’m so glad I spent the extra money. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Dave Halford26/06/2022 11:24:49
2091 forum posts
23 photos

Kelvin,

You imagine wrong smiley. Sieg seem to be more protected against inadvertent overload.

You have quoted the ARC Euro Sieg SX2.7L long table price so not a direct comparison

Nick Clarke 326/06/2022 16:34:59
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1475 forum posts
64 photos

When budgeting for a mill remember that tooling, cutters, vice(s), rotary table, collets, work-holding, parallels etc etc will all be additional costs.

Obviously you don't need to buy all of these at once, but in time you may find you have doubled the cost of the mill.

Kelvin Jouhar26/06/2022 19:16:55
6 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks for further replies and suggestions.

I guess I should also have included the Chester Champion 20VS at £1,550, in the mix. They can supply a custom DRO specifically for that mill for a further £483, although they don’t fit it. John Attlee’s point is well made, that the DRO might be more reliable if it was fitted professionally before purchase.

Peter Greene 🇨🇦26/06/2022 20:06:18
557 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Kelvin Jouhar on 26/06/2022 19:16:55:
John Attlee’s point is well made, that the DRO might be more reliable if it was fitted professionally before purchase.

Don't think that follows at all .... that a DRO slapped on at the factory or seller would be more reliable than one "lovingly installed" by the end user model engineer.

IanH27/06/2022 07:06:53
avatar
119 forum posts
67 photos

How about a Centec mill? My first milling machine was a Centec and I thought it was excellent - vertical and horizontal milling in one compact unit.

One of these is going to pop up in a week or two following the sad loss of a local model engineer. I will have more info and some photos in a week or two if you can hang on.

Ian

SillyOldDuffer27/06/2022 09:02:24
Moderator
8883 forum posts
1998 photos
Posted by Peter Greene 🇨🇦 on 26/06/2022 20:06:18:
Posted by Kelvin Jouhar on 26/06/2022 19:16:55:
John Attlee’s point is well made, that the DRO might be more reliable if it was fitted professionally before purchase.

Don't think that follows at all .... that a DRO slapped on at the factory or seller would be more reliable than one "lovingly installed" by the end user model engineer.

I'm sure it could happen, but is there any evidence that DRO's are routinely 'slapped on'? Anyone got a tale to tell?

Can't generalise about model engineer installations either. Quite likely folk buying new machines are beginners who don't have the tools and experience needed to fit a DRO yet. And fitting them can be awkward - much depends on the structure of the machine and what's in the mounting kit. Here the factory or retailer has a big advantage over newbies; sellers know what they're dealing with, have tools and support, understand what to buy, and what to avoid. (If they get it wrong, for example by fitting a scale on a lathe cross-side such that it blocks access to the carriage lock, other customers will have noticed!)

Even experienced Model Engineers might prefer to cut metal rather than enjoy fiddling with machinery, and people short of time often choose to save it by flashing the cash. We're all different!

Dave

John Hinkley27/06/2022 10:12:31
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1354 forum posts
430 photos

There's a Sieg SX2.7L, unused, for sale for £850 in the classifieds on the right. Pick up from Powys.

Use the spare cash for petrol money and a DRO set and probably a few tools as well.

Bob's yer Mother's brother!

Johm

(No connection to advertiser, by the way!)

 

Edited By John Hinkley on 27/06/2022 10:15:46

Ketan Swali27/06/2022 10:53:04
1431 forum posts
134 photos

Without going into detail, we find it difficult to agree with the SIEG factory DRO installation, and we find it difficult to deal with after sales issues arising from factory fitted DROs.

For this reason we prefer to sell machines without factory fitted DROs. We prefer to promote supply of magnetic scales from M-DRO. They have clear knowledge and understanding of the products they sell. If a person buys the kit from them, in our opinion they are best geared to offer correct support for these scales.

ARC provided M-DRO with the machines to help them make SIEG machine specific kits. Having just visited their site, I can see that they now have 2-axis kits on this page. At some point I believe that they will also be offering a 3-axis kit. If anyone wishes to find out further, they should ask M-DRO.

ARC suggests that if a person wants DROS, they should consider supply from M-DRO. We have no commission or financial interest in promoting their kits. The deal is made directly between the buyer and M-DRO, without any middle man, so M-DROs price is competitive too.

Ketan at ARC

Edited By Ketan Swali on 27/06/2022 10:53:45

Robin27/06/2022 11:31:34
avatar
582 forum posts

I think they are made by Rong Fu in Taiwan which is why you often see an RF suffix part number.

Look closely at bolt-on-goodies and ponder these questions...

Will that restrict travel?

Will it get in the way?

Ketan Swali27/06/2022 12:13:23
1431 forum posts
134 photos
Posted by Robin on 27/06/2022 11:31:34:

I think they are made by Rong Fu in Taiwan which is why you often see an RF suffix part number.

Look closely at bolt-on-goodies and ponder these questions...

Will that restrict travel?

Will it get in the way?

A little confused by your post Robin. Respectfully, all the machines mentioned in OPs post are produced by factories in Mainland China, rather than Rong Fu in Taiwan.

The Axminster and ARC SX2.7 are made by SIEG factory in Shanghai, and the Warco and Amadeal machines are different, and made by some others in another province.

Regarding the DROs, the buyer makes his or her own decision. Be it factory installed, kit from M-DRO or some other. We only make suggestions to guide people based on our experience in this industry.

Ketan at ARC

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