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need help choosing a mill

Posted by sfax39 (My Page) on
Tue, May 10, 05 at 19:14

I am looking to purchase a mill for home gunsmithing and would like some advice on choosing the right one from the pros. I don't have $10K to spend but would be willing to spend more to get the right mill. It will be set up in my garage. I have read that 3-in-one lathe/press/mill setups are versatile but mediocre at best in all three functions. Also, I have read that bench top mills would work but I dont know of their limitations and accuracy. I would rather hear advice from metalworkers.


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RE: need help choosing a mill

Most of the bench top 'mill-drill' type machines have a large drawback in head position not being repeatable if moved for any reason, and they do not have a knee action. Clearance from tool to work gets very tight with a vice, holding a jig, holding the work.
A smaller floor model can be found for around $5k, and will do almost everything you need. Milling octagon barrel flats is about the only thing you need a realy big mill for.


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RE: need help choosing a mill

There are interesting 3/4 size floor knee mills that run on single phase 220 current. Most homes don't have 3 phase, which limits what kind of equipment you can run. Yes, there are converters... I guess you have to decide if the added expense of a converter is worth it. But if you look around you might be able to get a used Bridgeport or similar mill in good condition for about $3000. If you're lucky, it will come with some tooling, which isn't cheap to buy new.

You could check out KBC for lower end mills.

I also wouldn't recommend one of those combo mill/drill/lathes. Not for anything where you want to hold a close tolerance.


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