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Comments on Taig/Sherline Mini Milling Machines?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by blkcloud, Jan 9, 2010.

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  1. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    I have ran a machine shop for 30 years, I have bridgeports, index, Cinn, and the like, honestly, form the ones i have seen and been around I would take my money and stick it up a wild hogs ass before I would buy any, lots of them have plastic gears, rough machining on the ways, jump and shake when you take a cut.. with the economy like it is now, you can buy a good used bridgeport for a song and will never wear it out.. it just like a trap gun, even if you were going to shoot it only twice a year you wouldnt buy a cheap chinese single shot with a plastic stock would you?
     
  2. cunninmp

    cunninmp Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
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    639
    I have to agree with "blkcloud".
    If you want a toy, then maybe.
    I have both a Bridgeport style mill and a 14 x 48 engine lathe.
    Both have digital readouts. Plenty of horsepower to do anything
    from micro parts to tool steel.
    As he said, used mills and lathes are dirt cheap right now.
    You can even find phase converters really inexpensive.
    Get a rotary unit and your'e good to go.
    I'm retired now, but had a Tool & Die Shop for 15 years
    and a BSME from Stanford.
    Maybe if you told us what you want to make we could be more helpful.
    From the looks of blkclouds post, we have over 75 years
    of combined experience. Take advantage of it.

    Mike Cunningham

    Groveland, CA ATA Vet
     
  3. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,398
    For what you pay for one of those hobby project machines you can buy a Bridgeport. I seen them for less then 1,000 same with the lathes, buy a Southbend, there is more parts and attachments on Ebay then any other make.
     
  4. Coyote 270

    Coyote 270 Member

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    Jun 26, 2009
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    579
    Interesting post, I am thinking about getting into stock duplicating and finishing. Are there any decent duplicating machines out there that will last and not cost a whole years income?
     
  5. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
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    Location:
    Ojai CA
    Ditto,, on everything said above, and with giant exclaimation points!!!. In machine tools, bigger is better. That being said, if you are just going to futts around and make a pin or or something simple then the Taig is far superior to the Sherline. I had a Sherline lathe/mill once and believe me it would not do anything twice. But the problem with any of them is, you just can't do any meaningful work with them, they are just too small and too limited, in capacity, power and rigidity.

    If a machine tool won't repeat, it is usless. end of story. That's why everyone is telling you to just buy a used Bridgeport. It might take up a little more space in your garage, but unless it is total junk it will be useable, and if you decide to get rid of it you will be able to quickly and probably get what you paid for it back out. Also you can do work as small as you can do on the smaller machines with a BP, but you can't do work as big as a BP on the smaller machines.

    The small hobby machines are yours forever, or you give them away. There is a real good reason for this, They are basically junk! Now,,Levin Lathes are this small too but they are well made, and they are very useable for miniture parts, but you won't find one for $300, more like $3000. Same size as Sherline, similarity ends there.

    Oh, I should mention, I am the designer of the Omniturn CNC lathe, and I have some idea from where I speak. Not trying to beat my own drum here, just well schooled and highly opinionated.

    Randy
     
  6. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
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    3,751
    Location:
    Terre Haute Indiana
    I have an Enco 14x40 lathe. Not fancy but it will hold and repeat within a couple of tenths (.0002"). I would buy it again for $2500.

    I also have an Rong-Fu mill/drill. It is gear drive and has a tilting head. It is a 2 h.p machine and is great for light milling. It will repeat. It has a power table feed. I am thinking of adding a digital read out. I spent around $1500 on it. It takes up a lot less space than a Bridgeport.

    Both of these are made in China.

    Jim Skeel
     
  7. Trapshooter

    Trapshooter Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    1,239
    Skip the mini machines. You will get tired of how long it takes to machine a part on them. Then no one wants them, so ya will probably give it away. You can't go wrong with a Bridgeport mill and Southbend lathe. Every Tool & die shop in the country has them. There is glut of them now due to CNC and the lack of a economy. So you can buy them cheap. Jim Skeel, I agree that ENCO are good lathes at lest in the beginning. What does happen is the bearings wear out quickly and the cast iron warps. So there goes your accuracy. Todd
     
  8. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    My Enco lathe is 10 years old. I use it a fair amount. I made a lot of Skeels Wheels cart parts and quite a few risers for P/W bases with it. The only part that I have had to replace is the F/R switch.

    Jim Skeel
     
  9. KRK32

    KRK32 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
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    Location:
    TROY OHIO
    I bought a central machinery harbor freight lathe/Mill at a garage sale. I couldn't hold a .020 tolerance well i took a few lessons from the scraper at work. Hes 75 and has scraped every minster OBI press for the last 50 years and rebuilt most of the machines in the shop. He showed me how to scrape ways and remove slop till it acts like its on glass. After alot of elbow grease i have a machine that can hold thousands easy and tenths if you have the patience. I got a deal on my machine but if i was going to pay good money for one i would go for a good bridgeport with a DRO and or a good lathe. Kirk
     
  10. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    While I have a Bridgeport.. I didn't start there.. You'd be amazed what one can do with a small horizontal mill.. with a add on vertical head.. and a 4 jaw chuck to fit the horizontal drive.. Putting a tool holder on the table.. and maybe making a center rest in the overarm.. You can do turning work.. boring work.. milling work.. slotting and groving work.. It's just about endless.. A small horizontal mill.. of good quality can be bought for pennies..as they are out of style for the most part.. cutters are expensive new..but last a long time..
     
  11. OldRemFan

    OldRemFan Member

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    If you are doing small stuff, or just tinkering and want a small quality lathe, mill, or lathe/mill combination you might want to consider looking for a good used Emco. Don't confuse these with the Enco, two entirely different things. They were made in Austria, and are a very high quality machine. If the owner knows what they have, it will not be given to you unless you are a very good friend. Of course, if anyone out there has one to give away, please contact me, I am interested.
     
  12. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    I'll second the EMCO.. while quite compact.. they have enough power to easily get most small.. gunsmithing work done.. I do perfer a larger table and the ability to raise the head higher.. (when I cut a Wilson ramp..I have to stand the frame up..and I use Kwik change tooling which eats up more space)...

    If you get a Southbend.. get the Toolmaker 10" with the 1 3/8" hole in the headstock..and a 5 C collet setup... You'll be glad you did..
     
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