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Micro Mills?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by backbencher, Dec 24, 2012.

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  1. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    I'm likely to have some time on my hands over the next year, & I've always been interested in home machining. Unfortunately, I'll have a postal delivery weight limit, so I can't even get a mini-mill. However, I figured an inexpensive micro-mill would allow me to learn my way around a milling machine. Would this be a good place to start?

    http://www.amazon.com/Proxxon-37110-Micro-Mill-MF/dp/B0017PTAHG

    Farmers Fight!

    backbencher
     
  2. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I think you would be very limited in what you could do with this machine. Minimum speed is 5000 rpm which rules out much work on steel.
    Check out Grizzly Tools. They have a showroom in Springfield, MO which is not too far unless you are in South Texas.
     
  3. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I think you would be very limited in what you could do with this machine. Minimum speed is 5000 rpm which rules out much work on steel.
    Check out Grizzly Tools. They have a showroom in Springfield, MO which is not too far unless you are in South Texas.
     
  4. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    The lightest Grizzly mill I've seen is their mini-mill, w/ a shipping weight of 100 lbs - way over my postal weight limit. I'm looking to learn how to do things, not turn out product. Is there a better micro-mill to learn on? Or is what one learns on a micro-mill not applicable to larger mills?
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Go here and read all about micro-mills:

    http://www.mini-lathe.com/

    I have a Harbor Freight micro-lathe, and it does everything a big lathe does, the same way.
    Just not on very big parts is all!
    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-x-10-inch-precision-mini-lathe-93212.html

    I do use it a lot making or modifying reloading stuff, as well as making small parts for gunsmith work.

    I'm still wondering what part of Texas you live in that doesn't have some method of shipping heavy items besides the post office though?

    rc
     
  6. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    "I'm still wondering what part of Texas you live in that doesn't have some method of shipping heavy items besides the post office though?"

    "I'm likely to have some time on my hands over the next year...I'll have a postal delivery weight limit"

    ; ) Thanks for the suggestions. I bought a Northern Tool/Harbor Freight 3 in 1 mini-machine for my brother some years back & that was the last time I looked @ small mills & lathes.
     
  7. ghitch75

    ghitch75 Member

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  8. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    I don't know how much one can learn about mills with that Proxxon model. The collets won't even accept an edge finder or center finder. You won't be able to use a fly cutter, either. All it can do is very small machining and precision drilling (point-to-point).
    You still haven't said why you can't have something a little heavier shipped to you. Live in an apartment?
     
  9. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    beag, Thanks for the review of the Proxxon - I take it the small Sherline's can do such things?
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Homeless guy with an electrical outlet at the park bench light pole?? :confused:

    Anyway he has been MIA since before Christmas.

    Maybe he got a Bridgeport mill delivered by a pack mule somehow and is too busy making thngs now? :D

    rc
     
  11. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    rc, the only problem w/ that is less charitable cities have arrested homeless folks for stealing electricity - by charging their telephones. I doubt the cops would be more sympathetic if I plugged in a mill - made in the US thought it might be. I do have my eye on something big enough to be a Bridgeport, but will have to acquire a garage 1st. In the meantime, I'd like to learn - if it's worthwhile to learn on such a tiny machine. Seemingly it might be more useful to buy a micro lathe 1st?
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Hey!
    You are back!!

    Hope you understand I was just joking around with you! :D

    But you still never told us why there is a 100 pound weight limit in any part of Texas, not self-imposed by you sticking with USPS only?

    What if you needed a new Ice Box from Monkey Ward, or wood stove from Sears & Sawbuck??

    Or a new flywheel for your 1926 John Deere D tractor from Waterloo, Iowa?

    How would you get it there??



    I'd hate to steer you wrong.
    But I bought a Chinese micro-lathe.

    I also bought a decent cross-feed milling table for my pretty decent floor stand drill press.
    And it works fairly decent for light duty milling.
    But it is certainly not a real milling machine by a very large stretch of the imagination!
    And I wouldn't try to mill dovetail sight slots in a $350 1911 slide with it!

    It just seems there are a lot more things I need to center-drill, or turn down to size, or chuck up & polish, or shape round & tapered, or chase the threads on with a thread chaser file.
    Then there is to mill square slots, and long grooves, and cross-slots, and stuff.

    (The micro lathe doesn't cut thread so hot, unless you can read Chinese instructions to set up the gear sets right??
    I can't!)


    I once was a Tool & Die machinist, and had access to a whole shop full of machine tools.
    But I probably made or repaired more parts on a lathe in a month then I made on a mill in three years.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  13. VVelox

    VVelox Member

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    ghitch75, what sort of parts?

    Generally from what I've read on most metal working forums is those are a bit to light to really to fine work given the give in them.
     
  14. VVelox

    VVelox Member

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  15. ghitch75

    ghitch75 Member

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    firing pins,pins,hammers,triggers,ejectors,guide rods,ect.....small parts
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    #1 Rule of gunsmith machining:

    Round parts (Firing pins, straight headed Pins, Tapered pins, Screws, Guide rods, Reloading dies, Bullet seating stems, Rifle barrel Threads & Chambers, etc) are made on a lathe.

    Weird shaped parts like Hammers, Triggers, Ejectors, etc.) are made with a hacksaw and files.
    Until you can afford a big bad mill +, $5-$10 grand worth of tooling for it, you won't be making much of anything for guns on it.
    And maybe a surface grinder with a magnetic chuck.
    Oh, and learn how to heat treat the hammers and triggers and other parts you make too.


    Two of the best old-time gunsmiths I have worked with in my life never owned a milling machine until they were almost too old to learn how to use it!

    They sure as heck owned a Lathe, and lot of really good files & stones, and gas torches, and belt grinders though!!
    Thats what they made a living with!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  17. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I would love to have one of those lathes RC, I imagine thats a right handy little setup.
     
  18. ghitch75

    ghitch75 Member

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    i can't cut finished pieces with the little mill......but rough cuts then finish with files and oh my god a Dremel....might not be the right way but it works for me.....
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  20. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    rcmodel, I'm not aware of any delivery weight limit in Texas - but yes, I was aware you were joking. Thanks for the instructions - now, did your gunsmith friends not make gun parts on mini-mills b/c they were unaffordable @ the time, or b/c mini-mills are useless to make small gun parts?

    VV, you know Ruger's already built one of those, right?
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Sir.
    You are confusing me even further then I am usually confused.

    In your post #4 you said:
    I think all of us assumed from that you were unable to have a machine weighing over 100 pounds shipped to wherever it is you live in Texas.

    And several of us questioned why that might be??
    But we never got an answer from you so far as I know.

    Then in post #16, I told you everything I know about gunsmith machine tools and what gunsmiths actually use to make a living with most of the time.

    I said they all had a lathe, but not all of them had a milling machine.
    Chinese mini-milling machines & lathes are a fairly recent innovation in machine tools in the USA.

    Then you ask:
    Old gunsmiths I knew didn't have Chinese Mini-Mills or Chinese Mini-lathes, because China hadn't taken over the cheap U.S. machine tool market at that time.
    And there were no such things as cheap Chinese mini-tools.

    So I just don't know what else to tell you I haven't already told you??

    Cause thats everything I know about it.

    rc
     
  22. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    rc, You've been quite helpful. I think many in this thread are confusing the present with the future. I do not intend to buy a mill @ this moment. At this moment I am living in Texas. In the future, I hope to buy a very small mill that I can get through the mail.

    What I was getting @ w/ my gunsmith question - you indicated that back in the day, gunsmiths used a hacksaw to make small gun parts - what is left unanswered, are the inexpensive Chinese mini-mills & American micro-mills useful to make small gun parts today? Or are we all really better off w/ a hacksaw & files?
     
  23. VVelox

    VVelox Member

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    backbencher, yeah. I want one with a 10 round mag though. That and so far it has been a interesting project to research. :)
     
  24. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    VV, might look for an old one of these - http://www.tromix.com/

    Apparently Tromix used to make a .44" Rem Mag AR, not sure what the mag capacity was.
     
  25. Romeo 33 Delta

    Romeo 33 Delta Member

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    I'm a happy Sherline user as well. Both their lathe and milling machine.
     
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