New small mill

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New small mill

Post by clarnibass » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:40 am


My mill just died... It's not actually a separate mill, but a milling column and head for my lathe (Emco).
It was always a little crowded to work on the lathe because of it... so I'm thinking of getting a mill.

I don't use it much. Maybe once a month, but I really need it maybe a few times a year (I use it for my work, it's not just a hobby).
I mostly work on brass, German silver, occasionally plastic. I don't mill much steel, but there is one thing I need to do sometimes which requires milling tool steel (O1 and W1), with a 3/4" diameter dovetail cutter. I don't mind taking many very small cuts.

I used to have a Sherline which is way too small.
I can't get a Bridgeport or anything even close to that, too big and heavy.
I'm limited to about 300kg, preferably under 200kg, and it needs to be pretty small.

It seems that European companies like Klippefeld and Ceriani stopped making mills. Wabeco is the only option left and it gets a lot of excellent but also some pretty bad reviews.
Other than that, locally there is Sieg and Holzman. It looks like Sieg is an actual manufacturer. I used to have a Sieg lathe and it was a nightmare. I was happy to get rid of it. Even after all of the work, some design issues made it annoying.
Not sure who makes the Holzman machines. They seem different from Sieg, but it doesn't look like Holzman is an actual manufacturer.
I also found a local importer of Rong Fu Taiwanese mills... but a few recent reviews I found suggest they might not be Taiwanese anymore, or at least not as good as they used to be. I don't know their price yet either.

Used local options are extremely limited. Usually Bridgeport and larger mills, with some of the smallest and cheapest mills (like Sieg).
I don't want to buy a "project" no matter what I buy. I don't mind a few hours to make it work, but my Sieg requires 30-40 hours to make it even close to dent from new... The Emco need a lot of work too, but at least it was good after all of that.
Making more space for a larger mill is not an option at all.

Locally Chinese mills seem to cost about double their cost in the UK or Germany. The Wabeco is also more expensive here than in Germany, but not by that much (I think about 35%).

So not sure what to do... any suggestions? Anyone who's been in a similar situation?

Thank you

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Re: New small mill

Post by earlgo » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:16 am

Your location isn't shown so I have no idea what cities are within driving distance, but there is a shop in Euclid Ohio that deals in used equipment. It is HGR Industrial Surplus.
HGR Industrial Surplus
20001 Euclid Ave. Euclid, OH 44117-1480
Phone: (216) 486-4567 - Fax: (216) 486-4779
Toll Free: (866) 447-7117 (US & Canada Only)
Here is a listing of their milling machines: ... st_chance= Of special interest are the VARIO mills in pages 4 and 5. They are new and unused and really nice.
Just a FYI.
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

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Re: New small mill

Post by whateg0 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:52 am

I'm guessing since OP is talking about kg and all the European companies, Ohio is probably a bit of a drive. Location would be helpful, though, in providing some options. That might help identify some local industries where used machines might be found.


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Re: New small mill

Post by jcfx » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:14 pm

I'm guessing you have a one of the Maximat lathe / mill machines.
What died on your Emco mill ?

Finding a small / medium sized mill is going to be tough, like you said no one in the US or EU manufactures them anymore
and what's out there is all made in China with varying degrees of quality control, probably from one or two factories
with different badges and paint for the respective resellers.
I went thru this looking for a larger mill since the work I'm doing was getting larger and the Emco mill wasn't
cutting it ( no pun intended ). I also wanted something new that I would be able to get parts for it when the need arises.
I settled on a PM932, probably larger than what you're looking for, Precision Matthews also has smaller machines like their
PM-25, PM 727. Grizzly's equivalents would be G0704 and G0795 respectively.


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Re: New small mill

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:17 pm

clarnibass wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:40 am
My mill just died...Locally Chinese mills seem to cost about double their cost in the UK or Germany. The Wabeco is also more expensive here than in Germany, but not by that much (I think about 35%).
Where is "here?"
I'm a caterwauling curmudgeon. What's your excuse? ☻

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Re: New small mill

Post by clarnibass » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:44 pm


I'm in Israel and can't order from abroad. What I wrote pretty much sums up the options, except the very occasional decent small mill used, but I haven't seen something that would fit for about a year (I check sometimes just to see).

I'll probably repair the milling head and might sell it. I want the separate mill mainly because I work a lot on the lathe and it's annoying to have the mill head there, reaching things, blocking my view, etc.

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Re: New small mill

Post by 12L14 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:49 pm

If it is maximat, then You can try so called "milling attachment".
But I wouldn't bother with one if your lathe is from unimat or compact series.
Tool&die maker since yesterday ;)

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Re: New small mill

Post by spro » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:24 am

Tool and cutter grinders aren't always huge. They have a pedestal and fixture to hold the grinding head but it all has to be perfect. If you find an imperfect one-scrap yard, it may be the right structure.

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Bill Shields
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Re: New small mill

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:57 pm

Find a used Deckel FP1

They are around in IS...I have seen them in production shops...sitting in corners covered in dust..waiting for a rebirth.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Re: New small mill

Post by pete » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:51 pm

Emco maximat sized rear mounted mills were pretty well made even with there having a round column since they have that anti rotation key so you don't lose your spindle C/L when moving the head. But your lathe and mill got into Israel somehow so there has to be a way to import equipment.Bills more than correct in finding a good used Deckel, but even the FP1 size would fall well outside your size and weight limits. If I had a Klippfeld, Ceriani, Wabeco sized budget I'd do a whole lot of research here in the mills & jig borer section and start hunting all over Europe and the U.K. as well as getting in touch with Israeli customs about the process of importing a used mill. It usually just takes a bit of time and leg work and many can't be bothered.

There's dozens of used equipment dealers all over Europe, but I only know of this one in the U.K. that seems to specialize in the better quality and condition machines. There prices also reflect that. Air freight isn't out of the question if you make the effort to get multiple freight quotes. I've personally gotten prices over double what they should be so it pays to shop around. The larger and better known fast freight company's like Fed Ex, DHL etc are always the highest priced. If you decide to go that route any freight company will need the crates X,Y,Z dimensions, an accurate weight and the items physical location and destination address before they can provide an accurate quote. My experience with a Sieg C6 lathe was the same as yours. I have read but have no hands on experience that there SX3 & SX4 sized mills are ok. Again from personal experience the X2 sized machines leave a lot to be desired so I wouldn't recommend one of those. With any of the smaller Chinese made mills I'd fully expect to spend multiple hrs either scraping or shimming to get the rear column and head correctly squared to the table. Fwiw I spent almost 2 years looking at multiple mills and upgrading my budget limit to get as close as possible to what I really wanted. It was a bit larger and more expensive than I really thought I needed. In hind sight I'm now more than happy I ended up with the machine I did. I'd still swap it for a top condition with all the options Deckel. :-)

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