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Thread: Toy or Tool?

  1. #1
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    Toy or Tool?

    Impressed with the quality and uniformity of cuts made here by the Proxxom Micromot table saw I went searching and found they make a range of "model making" tools including this little mill. Taking off VAT (I live in Australia) that comes to less than $250Aus, that's about $200 cheaper than its available here and about $400 cheaper than sieg x2 mill locally.

    Obviously it's a baby but does appear to be big enough to have milled even my biggest light.

    My question is does anyone have experience with these? Is it a tool or more of a toy, or am I the one being the tool?

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    Check out this site for some more in Emu http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1276532.

    Also check out CNC Zone http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner...roxxon_mf.html

    Seems that most guys convert them to CNC which is a really easy job given that the stepper motor kits and drivers are so cheap these days and the serial card PC software to run the mill is Freeware.

    Looks like a pretty neat machine. For aluminium they say start around 10,000rpm spindle speed with a 3mm cutter, which is a large as this machine will take, use some kero as cutting fluid and move at cut at about 1.6mm/sec for a 1.5mm deep cut. This will give you some idea how long a housing will take to knock up.

    They certainly have some accessories available for the little beasty. For the price, hell, it's nearly as cheap as a Dremil kit. I might get one just for the fun of it and hey, if I CNC it I could make RC helicopter and car parts, or do fancy engraving since the spindle goes up to 20,000 rpm.

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    Awww, it's sweet!

    It actually looks like quite a good find. I assume it can work with aluminium (it seems to be working ona small aluminium billet in the image), and if so looks like it could be extremely useful - not to mention fun.

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    I had also being reading about last week them and I'm as curious as you are. Are they strong enough to handle what we need?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfj197
    Awww, it's sweet!

    It actually looks like quite a good find. I assume it can work with aluminium (it seems to be working ona small aluminium billet in the image), and if so looks like it could be extremely useful - not to mention fun.
    Yes, it can work with aluminium but very slow. That's why I bought Proxxon BFW 40/e + BFB 2000 + KT 150. Unfortunately, there's not good way to convert my kit to CNC.

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    I don't know that I would ever move to cnc but it does look easy and relatively cheap with the MF. Nice links Brad, got to love the first post, the guy used his one to make a bigger one
    Itess that combo you referred to looks good but do you think it is as accurate? I like that it takes bigger cutters and has more room but the using bigger cutters also means using a slow speed doesn't it? It's a bit more too, about $490Aus plus postage, a little harder to convince the CFO. What does the motor controller actually control, just the speed of it or depth as well?

    Brad, did you see the engraving attachment you can get for it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Brad, did you see the engraving attachment you can get for it?
    Yep, those guys thought of everything.

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    Well found!

    That's very attractively priced alright. Might even be able to justify that to the CFO.
    Brisbane, AU

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Itess that combo you referred to looks good but do you think it is as accurate? I like that it takes bigger cutters and has more room but the using bigger cutters also means using a slow speed doesn't it? It's a bit more too, about $490Aus plus postage, a little harder to convince the CFO. What does the motor controller actually control, just the speed of it or depth as well?
    What do you mean by "accurate"? KT 150 has backlash of course, but you can adjust it, BFB 2000 has Z-axis with 0.1mm scale. To work with these backlashes you must get used to it but it's doable. Motor controller controls only speed of the motor. Yes, BFW motor is slower than MF. it has 6000 RPM max.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Impressed with the quality and uniformity of cuts made here by the Proxxom Micromot table saw I went searching and found they make a range of "model making" tools including this little mill. Taking off VAT (I live in Australia) that comes to less than $250Aus, that's about $200 cheaper than its available here and about $400 cheaper than sieg x2 mill locally.

    Obviously it's a baby but does appear to be big enough to have milled even my biggest light.

    My question is does anyone have experience with these? Is it a tool or more of a toy, or am I the one being the tool?
    With the mills tooling and clamps can cost as much as the unit itself it seems.
    Small mills can do the job. It is just slow work.
    Troutie had a little mill and switched over to a larger one.
    You see the same thing with the lathe guys.
    So if you are looking to make extremely accurate light bodies and possibly putting a few hours into each one, then the little mill will get the job done.

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    Emu,
    here in the UK ebay is full of those little Proxxon mills and the usual reason given by the sellers is that they are just too small. The reason that I know this is because I was looking into getting one.

    After looking into it further I have decided against getting one.

    Apart from the fact that they are very expensive in the UK, i think they are just too small( I like small as I use a Taig micro lathe) but there is small and there is bloody tiny!

    If you can get one at a nice price then it might "come in handy" but fitting a rotary table for example that is big enough for light building will be a no-go. Unfortunately the next size up in the Proxxon mill range, the FF230 or FF500 is a huge price increase but is a lot more useful.

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    Regarding a nice price, the link emu26 gave is for a company in Germany that has it for a very nice price indeed (including tax) and will ship to the UK for €9.95. That makes the total price including delivery, using today's exchange rate, the grand sum of £188.49. Is it really too small to work the lights yetibetty? It looks like the dimensions would cope?

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    Wow, 9.95 to the UK. I'm holding out hope that they will post down under. Have sent an email and am awaiting a reply.

    Thanks for the feedback yetti, that was my concern. Certain there is enough x y movement for even the biggest light I have built but your comments about the rotary table are fair.

    They do have the next size up for about $650 euro (from memory) which is again about $200 cheaper than I can find elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Wow, 9.95 to the UK. I'm holding out hope that they will post down [B][/under. Have sent an email and am awaiting a reply.

    Thanks for the feedback yetti, that was my concern. Certain there is enough x y movement for even the biggest light I have built but your comments about the rotary table are fair.

    They do have the next size up for about $650 euro (from memory) which is again about $200 cheaper than I can find elsewhere.
    If you convert it to cnc you wouldn't need a rotary table..
    I've not checked out your link, but I saw the proxon mill when I got my sx2, personally I think there to small..

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfj197
    Is it really too small to work the lights yetibetty? It looks like the dimensions would cope?
    Just make very small lights The things that will be limiting are the max collet size(think of Dremel for comparison) and the 100 W motor. When looking at table size and the X, Y & Z travel remember to allow room for a vice or clamps to hold your work or the tiny rotary table they sell.

    If after calculating that, you find that it is big enough then for that price you can't go wrong.
    Last edited by yetibetty; 02-18-2011 at 03:46 PM.

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    If you don't count the computer/monitor, my Taig was a little under $2,000 for everything including some tooling and a 4" toolmakers vise. With a 5/16" endmill I can slot at about 16IPM with a 1.25mm DOC dry in 6061. For the same price you could buy yourself a manual mill that will easily triple that DOC.

  17. #17
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    Damn
    For the time being we have no possibility to send our goods to your country.

    We ask for your understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Damn
    For the time being we have no possibility to send our goods to your country.

    We ask for your understanding.
    Maybe better for you in the long run.
    Look for used mills in your area or get a small table saw.
    That mill would have been underpowered and slow.

  19. #19
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    I've got the compound saw that I use to do the finning and would probably keep using that because it is just so damn quick. The mill would allow me to fin areas the saw can't get into and also clean out more of the insides of the light bodies to drop more weight. I know if I keep using my drill press for that it won't be long for this world because of the side forces applied to it that it's not designed for. That and the fact it just isn't very accurate.

    anyway, for those interested in giving these a try sieborshop is only a couple of euro more and it looks like they will ship outside of the EU

    As for the Taigs, $2000 is just so far out of my league its not funny. I do regulalry trawl for 2nd hand ones here and they just don't turn up. There is place in Adelaide that regularly lists Sieg X2 mills and mini lathes both as auction items and buy now on ebay. The auction often go for as much as the buy now and the buy now price is well over $600 just for the machine, no tools at all.

    Anyway, back to the daydreaming

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    If you can pickup a manual x2 I'd think you'd be really happy with it. Cutting depth is similar to the taig and it's easily the most popular mill for cnc conversions.

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    Just a heads up for anyone States side, Harbour Frieght have a sale on a 7" x 10" lathe at the moment, now $500US. Not sure how that compares to your local fleabay

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    Ok, I know, if its too good to be true it probably is.....but I just thought I would check here in case someone has had experience with these guys. It looks like its a similar set up to amazon but based on asia's "alibaba" which I know from a mates personal experience is busy handing out your email addresses. Anyway, has anyone purchased from aliexpress.

    This price on a Sieg SX2 is the best I have seen and they claim free shipping to Aus

    I know, I can live in hope though can't I?

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    Personally I would be careful buying from Alibaba or Aliexpress, although they do claim to refund your money if you are scammed. It may take a long time. Although 550USD is very nice compared to the 800AUD which Hare & Forbes are selling it for, but you do get 12 month warranty from them. Remember you have about $500 of accessories which you should buy; clamps, rotary table, endmills, collet.

    BTW I have successfully brought a couple of bike frames from Alibaba, but I also have a friend who was scammed trying to buy a complete bike. Just be careful, anything thats too good to be true usually is.

    On a side note, not to hijack the thread, I am actually looking to buy a mill myself. Is the X3 ($1750AUD) worth the increase in price to the X2 (~$800AUD)? I plan on converting either to CNC once I have gotten the hang of using them.

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    Looks pretty good. As long as you pay via credit card or paypal so you are covered by buyers protection you should be fine.

    Check out this link http://www.wholesaleforum.com/discus...57/index2.html. There main advice is not to use escrow for paying for the item but the guys on this site say to stay away completely http://www.slatedroid.com/topic/815-forget-aliexpress/.

    I guess if the price is worth the hassle of a payment dispute if the mill doesn't arrive then maybe worth it
    Last edited by brad72; 04-28-2011 at 02:49 AM.

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    Lach, the machine on H&F for $825 is not an SX2 but an X2. The big difference is the 500w brushless motor and from the reviews I have read, better quality build. The SX 2 doesn't appear to be available here from either of the two "proper" distributors here and on the siegind forums they haven't asnwered the question about where we can buy them.

    Micromark stateside has the SX 2 for $695US and the SX 0 for $430 obviously cheaper for us with the exchange rates but then you have to have it shipped here, and then there is the problem of them being imperial, not metric and 110v not 240v, although that is an easy fix with a transformer.

    Axminster have them both but they quoted me 550 pound to ship it here

    I've been looking high and low for a while now but I can't find a single seller from HK, Singapore, Korea etc that looks legitimate and sells them. None of the listed distributors for any of the asian countries even has them listed on their websites. Most frustrating.


    Anyway, I'm not sure about the value of the x3 over the x2 or the sx 2, I haven't looked at it because it is way out of my budget.

    Brad, thanks for the links. Interesting to see they say stay away from escrow, that sounded like a great safe guard over and above paypal and your own cc levels of protection.

    Any other takers with experience, good or bad, with aliexpress?

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    Hey Emu, what about this one on fleabay and located in brissy http://cgi.ebay.com.au/x2-seig-milli...#ht_680wt_1140

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    Thanks Brad, I think that's a new listing as I haven't seen that one.

    It's an x2, not an sx 2 so has the plastic gears as opposed to the brushless belt drive version. Also not sure about cost of postage for that to Sydney but ozmestore quotes $85 from SA so probably about the same.

    I'm "dealing" with axminster at the moment, trying to work out how to get it VAT free even though I want them to ship it to me via my mates head office in Germany, frieght to there is only 75 pound. He imports containers of gear on an almost monthly basis and has offered to throw it into one of his containers for me. I'd have to pay GST at this end because of the total shipment cost but that's ok, as long as I don't have to also pay the VAT.

    I'll get there eventually

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Anyway, I'm not sure about the value of the x3 over the x2 or the sx 2, I haven't looked at it because it is way out of my budget.
    Hi, I own both the x2 and x3 and have to say that hands down the x3 is a better mill. The weight sucks when I had to move the x3, but it helps with rigidity which means accuracy and just better in most ways. The biggest drawback to the x2 is the column which rotates, and seemed like a feature- until the head has to be trammed because it was bumped. If you do go for an x2, there are some really worthwhile mods aside from CNC - they are the belt drive kit (check littlemachineshop.com) and stiffening the column - I would suggest perma-fixing it so it cannot rotate and filling it with something heavy to give it more mass. littlemachineshop in the US also sells a high-torque x2 mill which looks really good too, but costs more than the generic x2. CNC-wise, the kits from cncfusion.com are great to get up and going, and there are plans to roll your own at hossmachine.info - he has taken the x2 to an extreme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    littlemachineshop in the US also sells a high-torque x2 mill which looks really good too, but costs more than the generic x2.
    It's the sx2

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    Quote Originally Posted by kan3
    It's the sx2
    Thanks, I was not familiar with the sx2, though lms calls it their "HiTorque Mini Mill" - I should have put that together from the info several posts up. The "HiTorque Mini Mill" costs more than my x3 though, and still more than I paid for my x2 and belt drive kit combined - though they have improved the electronics too. I bought both my mills on sale at Harbor Freight which no longer sells the x3, but has the x2 on sale for $400 which is a steal. The sx2 looks like a very nice mill, but it appears to use the same chassis as the x2 with the rotating column (which can be fixed in place several ways if it causes problems).

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    The prices on the clones tend to range quite a bit even for stuff like the bf20/30 etc. It's similar to the sx3 vs x3 in that it's just a few upgrades to the base mill model.

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    You have to be very careful about what you are looking at. Alot of the clones are sold under the shop name then with letters sx0 OR sx2 OR sx3 but the s often only refers to Sieg and not Super, as in high torque, belt drive versions.
    Occasionally they also have the wrong picture

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    ... and if we just ...

    The latest addition in my shop (being run by my youngest son).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Toy or Tool?-new-mill.jpg  


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    that is just cruel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker
    The latest addition in my shop (being run by my youngest son).
    Should be subtitled:
    "That's not a mill... this is a mill"

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    Should be subtitled:
    "That's not a mill... this is a mill"
    It's not size that counts, its what you do with it..

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    bet he can't stick it under the bed when he's finished with it though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    bet he can't stick it under the bed when he's finished with it though!
    HaHa, too true! Sum***** weighs ~1000kg. Quite the struggle to get it in place in the shop. Got a couple of vises, collet set, and loads of cutters with it. Now I need to find a deal on a boring head and rotary table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker
    HaHa, too true! Sum***** weighs ~1000kg. Quite the struggle to get it in place in the shop. Got a couple of vises, collet set, and loads of cutters with it. Now I need to find a deal on a boring head and rotary table.
    I imagine it doesn't shake around much though? Mass has it's benefits

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    Vancbiker, are you gonna CNC that baby? It is really nice to be able to walk away from the mill (not too far) while it does it's thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    Vancbiker, are you gonna CNC that baby? It is really nice to be able to walk away from the mill (not too far) while it does it's thing.
    Doubt it. I have access to CNCs at the job. Might look into it in a few years when I retire and won't have access anymore.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker
    Doubt it. I have access to CNCs at the job. Might look into it in a few years when I retire and won't have access anymore.
    Hang on a second. Are you telling us that beast is for private use in your own workshop and not at your place of work?

    (Hmm, do I really want the answer to that question?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    I imagine it doesn't shake around much though? Mass has it's benefits
    you'd be amazed at how much a knee mill will shake when you are making heavy cuts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Hang on a second. Are you telling us that beast is for private use in your own workshop and not at your place of work?

    (Hmm, do I really want the answer to that question?)
    Not to hurt any feelings.... but yes it is in my shop behind the house.



    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    you'd be amazed at how much a knee mill will shake when you are making heavy cuts.
    All machines have limits. They just get higher usually as the machine gets larger..

  45. #45
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    did someone say SPAM.

    Thanks mods for removing
    Last edited by emu26; 05-06-2011 at 05:42 AM.

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    Thanks Brad, have added the first one to the watch list.

    Second one is interesting but pick up from victoria might be a problem.

    Thanks for keeping an eye out

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    Has anyone heard of "Real Bull" before? These are a new listing to ebay and for a change I can do local pick up.

    OK, I know I have seen them before but not under that name and I have looked at so many mills of late that I can't remember what it actually is. Any suggestions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Has anyone heard of "Real Bull" before? These are a new listing to ebay and for a change I can do local pick up.

    OK, I know I have seen them before but not under that name and I have looked at so many mills of late that I can't remember what it actually is. Any suggestions?
    It is a grizzly mill or one of it's clones I think. The previous model to the one in your link is an XJ9510 which you can search for in google. The model you are looking at is the XJ9512 which I think just has a slightly bigger motor

  50. #50
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    Thanks Brad.

    That means we have now found out who makes the Grizzly Mills, look what a quick google search turned up which means we also now know who makes the Warco mills, which may be of interest to some

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