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jerrywmalcolm

mini drill/mill machine

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What do you need to know?

They tend to be very limited in use verses a full sized machine.

What are you going to,use it for?

Depending on where you live, that budget will buy you a worn full sized machine. If you do not need super accuracy that may be fine.

When you,say mini....I see table top sized machine, or are you thinking bench top machine

 

Bob

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I've thought about one because of my space limitations.  There are many times I could have used one to make a spacer or bushing.  For now I end up at a friends machine shop using his mill or lathe which I feel bad doing.  Full size machines are great if you have space, possible 3-phase electrical power, and a fork lift to move them into place.

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You do not need three phase power. You can use a VFD that will convert single phase to three phase.

 

If you look at some of the smaller ' full sized' machines. Some do not take up much more room than a bench model on a stand.

The earlier ' round ram' Bridgeport mills are just a little smaller that the more popular J- series machines and they gone for less money. You can still do quite a bit of work with them but just not as fast. There are some other older brands out there that are even smaller but still a full standing machine as well. Just be sure to get the best machine you can with them as there are not as many spare parts available for them out there

 

You may want to look at getting a lathe first as most of the smaller lathes can be mounted to a toolbox to make them portable ( portable as in move around in the garage) and the toolbox will store the accessories.

There are a number of the smaller lathes that with the right setup or right attachment can do some light milling.

 

If you want a tabletop or desktop mill then look at the MAXNC. They are remarkably capable for the size they are and can also give you the ability for doing small CNC work

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My 12x36 Craftsman doesn't take up very much space, and is pretty versatile. My only complaint is the 7/8" spindle hole. I once turned a 9" housing on it. I paid $300 for it years ago, and I've seen them listed for $500 and up.

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