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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 01:49 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..

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    did someone say SPAM.

    Thanks mods for removing
    Last edited by emu26; 05-06-2011 at 04:42 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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    So we have a few contenders who might make the mill. this mob http://www.realbull-machine.com/real...asp?ProID=1686 or possibly these guys http://agritractor.en.made-in-china....e-XJ9512-.html

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    Is it a grizzly? Looks very much like a sieg X2 clone..


    http://www.machines4u.com.au/view/ad...INE-FM13/5162/

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    So many clones you could make a Star Wars movie out of them

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    That Real Bull mill (which is a machine that would not sell very well in Texas due to it's unfortunate name) looks like another Sieg X2 clone. Sieg makes most of the clones out there, they slap whoever's label on them and ship 'em out the door.

    Sieg Factory Tour

    Edit, looks like the Real Bull is a different animal than the Sieg, thanks for the link Brad. Now we have clones of clones, but it looks like they have improved some things (like having wheels on both ends of the table and a cleaner appearance.

    Just compared specs of the XJ9512 and the LMS version of the SX2, and the SX2 has more travel in the z-axis (235mm vs 180mm). I would get the x2/sx2 over the XJ9512 simply for the extra travel and the fact that there are many more options out there for the X2 clones. Z-axis travel is important since often a vice is necessary or useful and every bit of extra travel helps.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    That Real Bull mill (which is a machine that would not sell very well in Texas due to it's unfortunate name) looks like another Sieg X2 clone. Sieg makes most of the clones out there, they slap whoever's label on them and ship 'em out the door.

    Sieg Factory Tour

    Edit, looks like the Real Bull is a different animal than the Sieg, thanks for the link Brad. Now we have clones of clones, but it looks like they have improved some things (like having wheels on both ends of the table and a cleaner appearance.
    Interesting little tour. I like the photo with the caption "stuffing and testing circuit boards" . How do they get any produced if the keep stuffing them

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    Hey Emu, maybe you should get one of these http://www.mini-lathe.com/mini_mill/reviews/U1/U1.htm. or the Sieg U2

    I can see heatsink fins being cut very easily using the horizontal spindle and circular cutter
    Last edited by brad72; 05-09-2011 at 10:57 PM.

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    Definitely not a Sieg, different motor controls, different base, different travel, different motor.

    That said, it is quite feasible that different components from each have originated in the same factory.

    Brad, i think it is RealBull, not agritractor. If you click the "about us" tab of the real bull tab you put up or the one I did in post #50 then they very candidly give a company break down. I get the impression Agritractor looks like a reseller.

    Huffy, the x2 and the sx2 are very different beasts. Same factory, same size but different build quality, different motor, plastic gears versus belt drive etc. You're right about the extra travel, that is what turned me off the Proxxon, that and the cost

    Brad, too true about the clones, there are so many similarities across most of the brands even if they don't originate at the same factory. I guess though it is too be expected given the country of origin of most of them. Did someone say Magicshine?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    Hey Emu, maybe you should wait for one of these http://www.mini-lathe.com/mini_mill/reviews/U1/U1.htm.

    I can see heatsink fins being cut very easily using the horizontal spindle and circular cutter
    yes I saw one of those, online that is not in the flesh, last week. I think I'll stick with what we spoke about last week though, just got an email back and things are looking OK. Just have to advise the CFO first. Hmm, what will I cook her for dinner tonight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Just have to advise the CFO first. Hmm, what will I cook her for dinner tonight?
    But doesn't just having sex get what you want

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Huffy, the x2 and the sx2 are very different beasts. Same factory, same size but different build quality, different motor, plastic gears versus belt drive etc.
    True, that is why I threw in the X2 as a comparison for the Real Bull machine, since it more closely matches on features of the machine listed in the Ebay link, though for the price it would be better to get the SX2 or even X3, at least for myself being in the US.

    The real problem in deciding between x2 clones is that there are so many different types of the same mill. For example, I said that I would get the X2/SX2 over the Real Bull based on z-axis capacity, however after looking at the official Sieg specs they are the same as the Real Bull (180mm), whereas the Grizzly G8689 advertises 7.5" (190.5mm) and the HF 44991 lists 8 18" (206.4 mm), and the LMS "High Torque" SX2 clone is even more (235mm). The table length also varies considerably. I'd guess that the same variations apply to the SX2 as the X2 in terms of x and z capacities.

    Are these mills selling at a premium in Australia due to a lack of distributors or is it because of extra import duties? For example, given the same $850 AU that the Real Bull mill on Ebay costs, here in the US I could get an SX2 with a $100 to spare, a Grizzly G0463 (X3) for $100 more, or even an 44991 (X2) from Harbor Freight for $400, with a ballscrew kit from CNC fusion ($579) for around the same cost.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    But doesn't just having sex get what you want
    It probably would if they were one in the same person

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    True, that is why I threw in the X2 as a comparison for the Real Bull machine, since it more closely matches on features of the machine listed in the Ebay link, though for the price it would be better to get the SX2 or even X3, at least for myself being in the US.

    The real problem in deciding between x2 clones is that there are so many different types of the same mill. For example, I said that I would get the X2/SX2 over the Real Bull based on z-axis capacity, however after looking at the official Sieg specs they are the same as the Real Bull (180mm), whereas the Grizzly G8689 advertises 7.5" (190.5mm) and the HF 44991 lists 8 18" (206.4 mm), and the LMS "High Torque" SX2 clone is even more (235mm). The table length also varies considerably. I'd guess that the same variations apply to the SX2 as the X2 in terms of x and z capacities.

    Are these mills selling at a premium in Australia due to a lack of distributors or is it because of extra import duties? For example, given the same $850 AU that the Real Bull mill on Ebay costs, here in the US I could get an SX2 with a $100 to spare, a Grizzly G0463 (X3) for $100 more, or even an 44991 (X2) from Harbor Freight for $400, with a ballscrew kit from CNC fusion ($579) for around the same cost.
    I have a SX2 as some people know. the difference between the sx2 and x2 are
    SX2
    Brushless 500watt motor
    Belt drive
    Varible speed

    X2 has a 350 watt motor
    Plastic gear driven
    2 Speed gear box, although i think some have the varible speed instead

    The SX2 is much quieter than the X2 because of the brushless motor, and the plastic gears on the X2 are easily broken when the cutter digs into the work and jams!

    Also the X axis 180mm travel is incorrect, the measuring strip on the front is 180mm but it doesn't span the hole length of the table. The strip is also a bit longer than 180mm..of the top of my head i think its 230mm.

    If i had the space i would have an X3 and then there's the cost! its double what the SX2 cost me. But i did now someone selling one for £500 when i bought my SX2 for £465.

    Personally i dont like the ability to tilt the head in a mini mill, it's a ball ache to have to keep tramming the head. And i believe it makes the mill less rigid.
    If you need to cut something at an angle, use a tilting vice, rather than tilting the mill head.

    Can anybody get hold of these end mills? this is the only place I've seen them in the UK but dont want a hole set.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/8-HSS-4-flute-...15d0f5fe4d6a79

    http://www.axminster.co.uk/milling-m...ept208257_pg1/

    Emu, dont forgot that it really is worth putting the DRO on at least the X and Y, it makes life so much easier and things more accurate.
    Have you tried these guys
    http://www.machines4u.com.au/view/ad...Machine/11000/
    http://www.machines4u.com.au/view/ad...l-Drill/10842/
    Dont know how far they are from you, or if they ship..
    edit looks like they are a listing site, as there is a location for each item..
    Last edited by Goldigger; 05-10-2011 at 12:45 AM.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    Are these mills selling at a premium in Australia due to a lack of distributors or is it because of extra import duties? For example, given the same $850 AU that the Real Bull mill on Ebay costs, here in the US I could get an SX2 with a $100 to spare, a Grizzly G0463 (X3) for $100 more, or even an 44991 (X2) from Harbor Freight for $400, with a ballscrew kit from CNC fusion ($579) for around the same cost.
    Huffy there are a number of factors that push up the price here, duties and gst are 2, freight is a third, but there is also greed.

    Your $900 sherline kit sells for close to $2400 here, guess what that one is?

    Duty here adds about 5%. GST adds another 10% onto the new total.

    Freight can vary as much as a length of string can. I have been quoted as much as 550GBP for a mill to be shipped from he UK, 48euro for a proxxon to be shipped from Germany, $200US for a sherline to here. The best I've got is $55US by sea for a mill from china (although aliexpress has free shipping, just not prepared to take the chance on that one)

    Single distributors can jack up the price, I think that's the case with the sherline but they are compounded by the fact the distributor doesn't appear to sell direct but adds in another layer of profit making via retailers. Funny thing is Sherline US won't sell direct to me because of their local distributor. When I politely explained the situation here meant that Sherline wouldn't get my sale they were more than happy to direct me to a US retailer that sold metric 240v versions, go figure. Sieg have two local distributors and their price varies by about 10% but neither of them sell the SX2 and neither were interested in even quoting a special order. I'd rather stay away from the plastic gears of the X2.

    I don't think it helps that we are the lucky country. Lucky to be resource rich, lucky to be well educated, lucky to be surrounded by countries prepared to buy our natural resources. Lucky enough to have them all sell back those natural resources in the form of manufactured product, which is really unlucky for our local manufacturing sector which is now but a shadow of its former self. Guess what no local competition does to prices?

    Very frustrating, but I have learnt a lot over the last couple of weeks

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    That is bad news Emu, I can understand the taxes, etc, but not the gouging by the sherline distributor or the lack of interest by Sherline in addressing that, since it can only hurt them when people look elsewhere.

    You may also want to check cnczone.com and see if there are any other folks in Australia that are looking for the SX2, or better have found one.

    You will probably be happy with whatever sieg clone you get. I am partial to the X3, having seen all the X2's deficiencies that GoldDigger mentioned 1st hand - including the most frustrating which was the lack of rigidity in the column. The plastic gears are a simple fix with a belt drive kit which can be hacked together or bought as a kit. The X2 is not a POS, it just needs some work, IMHO the SX2 is an evolution of the same basic mill to address some problems with the X2, but I would not turn my back on an X2 deal if it were considerably cheaper. I'd also not think twice about the x3 over the sx2 if the price difference was not great.

    One further bit of advice, if you intend on converting the mill to CNC, you don't need to drop hundreds on a DRO since mach3 handles that for you when properly calibrated. Also if you do go the CNC route, I would ditch the ACME screws and get some ballscrews and helical couplers which helps with the backlash.

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    Thanks for the links Goldigger.

    I haven't seen the Titans before either and surprise surprise one pops up on ebay today as well, oh and its the same price as the link you gave.

    Oh, and by sheer coincidence, it looks almost identical to that brand new "real bull" machine that just happened to be listed for the first time in the last couple of days. Small world hey.

    Huffy, thanks for the advice.
    Last edited by emu26; 05-10-2011 at 04:07 AM.

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    I've heard of people making supports for the head, which are permantly fixed so you cannot tilt the head. This has added more rigidty to the head.
    Also some people fill the column up with sand..extra weight = more rigidity..
    Some reading here for the X2 and SX2..
    http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/...%20SX2/SX2.htm
    http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/...s/features.htm

  67. #67
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    One other thing to note is often with chinese stuff things arn't setup correctly.
    If you do get a X2 or SX2 be prepared to have to shim the spindle housing as sometimes the spindles are not inline..
    For example if you used a spotting drill bit and started a hole, then put a longer drill bit in and went to drill the hole you started. You would notice that the drill bit doesnt line up with the hole started.
    This is because the head is normally tilting down rather than inline with the table..
    Hope that makes sense.
    Here's the how to http://homemodelenginemachinist.com/...p?topic=6007.0 it does look daunting at first, but really is a easy job.
    If you get a X2/SX2 normally they come in bits and you have to assemble them, so its something to do while you assemble it..

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    Other mods for he X2/SX2 here..scroll down the page
    http://www.hossmachine.info/Shop_Info.html

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    Excellent finds Jay regarding modding the Siegs and their clones. Looks like with a little care you can get a very accurate little machine.

    So how far away are you from whacking on some stepper motors, ball screw and cnc'ing your little beast. I have a company I use in Aus with very good steppers and driver boards.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    Excellent finds Jay regarding modding the Siegs and their clones. Looks like with a little care you can get a very accurate little machine.

    So how far away are you from whacking on some stepper motors, ball screw and cnc'ing your little beast. I have a company I use in Aus with very good steppers and driver boards.
    Id love to turn it into CNC but not sure what parts i need..
    This place in the UK seem to do everything. thing,http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/index.php

    Do you know what id need of there brad?

    Cheers

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    Small world Jay as they sell the exact same steppers drives and psu units that i use.

    To get accuracy for the slides I would use ball screws. This is just measuring what you have now and finding what is the closest fit.

    For your mill you might use the following parts
    3 x High Speed MOT-124 Stepper Motors (125 oz-in)
    1 x 3 Axis Stepper Motor Driver KTA-263
    1 x 150W 24VDC Power Supply
    1 x Parallel Port Interface KTA-205

    I have chosen larger steppers as they have a better holding torque and can handle more load. The thing with steppers is that once they have lost a steps, that motor/axis will be out by x steps for the rest of that program until it has been re-zeroed to the home position. But in saying that, if you control the acceleration, speed and deceleration they can be incredibly accurate.


    The parallel port interface plugs into your pc that has the cad program loaded onto it. Most of the cnc programs are freeware so no problems there.

    The only parts you would need to make are the stepper motor brackets and couplings to the ball screws.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    Small world Jay as they sell the exact same steppers drives and psu units that i use.

    To get accuracy for the slides I would use ball screws. This is just measuring what you have now and finding what is the closest fit.

    For your mill you might use the following parts
    3 x High Speed MOT-124 Stepper Motors (125 oz-in)
    1 x 3 Axis Stepper Motor Driver KTA-263
    1 x 150W 24VDC Power Supply
    1 x Parallel Port Interface KTA-205

    I have chosen larger steppers as they have a better holding torque and can handle more load. The thing with steppers is that once they have lost a steps, that motor/axis will be out by x steps for the rest of that program until it has been re-zeroed to the home position. But in saying that, if you control the acceleration, speed and deceleration they can be incredibly accurate.


    The parallel port interface plugs into your pc that has the cad program loaded onto it. Most of the cnc programs are freeware so no problems there.

    The only parts you would need to make are the stepper motor brackets and couplings to the ball screws.

    Hope that helps a bit.
    Cheers Brad..

    3 x High Speed MOT-124 Stepper Motors (125 oz-in)
    1 x 3 Axis Stepper Motor Driver KTA-263
    1 x 150W 24VDC Power Supply
    1 x Parallel Port Interface KTA-205
    Hows this look?

    http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/s...ml?cPath=45_81
    http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/c....html?cPath=64
    http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/p....html?cPath=46

    Hows that look?
    Dont think i need the parallel port interface as the axis controller has usb above
    Nor sure which ball screws i should get, any ideas?

    edit..I need to measure the ones i have already..

    Cheers
    Last edited by Goldigger; 05-11-2011 at 02:34 AM.

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    they don't look too bad at all . I did a quick google search. For ball screws for your mill check out this link and click on the mechanical work in the last paragraphhttp://biobug.org/machine-shop/mill/.

    check out this link as well http://www.cncfusion.com/minimill1.html
    Last edited by brad72; 05-11-2011 at 04:03 AM.

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    Hi GD. I'd suggest checking out the Gecko G540. It is a solid driver that can handle up to 48V which is plenty for the X2. It has excellent support and is simple to use - also you can't kill this thing (I have tried):

    http://www.geckodrive.com/g540-p-39.html

    CNCFusion has IMHO the best kits for conversion, but they are pricy, I think that hossmachine also sells a raw build it yourself kit and supplies screws (edit - looks like Hoss stopped selling kits):

    http://www.cncfusion.com/minimill1.html

    Note that not all ballscrews are the same - ground is considered better (and more expensive) than rolled screws. Finally the following link should pretty much answer most of your questions:

    http://crevicereamer.com/Page_11.html

  75. #75
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    will you boys slow down and let me buy a mill before you have me day dreaming over upgrading to cnc

    OK, so I clearly I know even less about cnc than I did about mills a couple of months back, I have learnt a lot since then, but I thought I should let you know that there are a plethora of people selling nema step motors and even full kits on fleabay

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    Yep, and there is something for every budget, though I have found that price is sometimes inversely proportional to frustration.

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    He you go Emu. this is the Aussie seller of the steppers etc. http://www.oceancontrols.com.au/CNC-002.html

    I have been using their motors for years in automation projects but not as cheap as fleabay

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    A quick thanks to emu, Goldigger and kan3 for putting up with my PMs.

    I made a decision and pressed the pay now button on one of these this morning and it should be with me on the 20th I’ll let you know if it turns out to be good, bad or ugly.
    http://www.warco.co.uk/WM-14-Variabl...F32488C0.aspx#

    If anyone has plans on filling their mill columns to add mass then I think this stuff will work well as I have used it in my large hollow speaker stands and they now weigh a ton.

    http://www.atacama-audio.co.uk/atabites.htm

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    Excellent Yeti. looks like a great little mill but can you wait till the 20th. Bet you feel like a kid waiting for Father Christmas to arrive

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    I'll be interested to see how you find it Yeti..

    I spent an hour tweaking mine, squared a piece of ali for another light..got a really nice finish on it as a result of my tweaking.
    I managed to get about 2/3rds of the back lash out of the Y axis thought i could do the same to the X axis but the hand wheel fitting is different..
    On the Y axis, lock the table and undo the two nuts holding the hand wheel on to the acme screw.
    Push against the hand wheel and turn it to undo, you will create a gap between the back of the hand wheel and the rotating measuring indicator. wind the hand wheel in and take out all the gap then do the nuts up. you'll need to turn the first nut out quarter of a turn then lock the second one against it.

    I'm probably going to make a steel plate to stiffen up the column, I'll also probably loose the big washer that sits in between the column and the big nut. Aparently they are concave (hollow in the middle) so cant see that being much use.
    Last edited by Goldigger; 05-11-2011 at 03:59 PM.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    I'll be interested to see how you find it Yeti..

    I spent an hour tweaking mine, squared a piece of ali for another light..got a really nice finish on it as a result of my tweaking.
    I managed to get about 2/3rds of the back lash out of the Y axis thought i could do the same to the X axis but the handle is different..
    On the Y axis, lock the table and undo the two nuts holding the handle on to the ball screw.
    Is this on the SX2 or do you have one of the Warco units as well? I ask because I was unaware the SX2 came with ball screws

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Is this on the SX2 or do you have one of the Warco units as well? I ask because I was unaware the SX2 came with ball screws
    Sorry meant acme screw, pretty sure thats what the original ones are on the SX2.
    Might even be called a lead screw..who knows. anyway that big threaded rod that makes the table move when you turn it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    Sorry meant acme screw, pretty sure thats what the original ones are on the SX2.
    Might even be called a lead screw..who knows. anyway that big threaded rod that makes the table move when you turn it
    They're Acme lead screws As far as I know the warco mill come with anti back lash adjustable split nuts, just not very good ones. If I have to I'll try and make some brass or bronze ones on the lathe.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty
    They're Acme lead screws As far as I know the warco mill come with anti back lash adjustable split nuts, just not very good ones. If I have to I'll try and make some brass or bronze ones on the lathe.
    You can even make them out of delrin
    http://www.fignoggle.com/machines/x2...hNutAcetal.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    You can even make them out of delrin
    http://www.fignoggle.com/machines/x2...hNutAcetal.htm
    I love machining out of Acetal. So fast, so clean, no brass swarf to get embedded in my fingers

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    Having read 1-9 on here http://www.fignoggle.com/library/backlash.htm about backlash and lead screw accuracy, its enough To put you off cnc-ing your own mill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    Having read 1-9 on here http://www.fignoggle.com/library/backlash.htm about backlash and lead screw accuracy, its enough To put you off cnc-ing your own mill.
    That can be a problem. An accurate ball screw can cost big $$$$, for my mill the cost would be about $3000 for the axis's. However you can almost eliminate all the backlash by making new 1/2 nuts from leaded bronze that can be adjusted against each other to give the correct pro-load on the lead screw. Having a lathe in the shed makes this job far easier

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    Bloody hell we are making lights not parts for the space shuttle .

    I can see the tinkering gene being satisfied by diy cnc upgradeing a manual mill .
    its in the journey .

    certainly not an option I would want to follow I have lost far too many brain cells to learn
    cad./cam .even if I got the machine sorted out

    but good luck and I will enjoy reading about the trip

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    I'm hoping Goldigger goes first so I can learn from his mistakes.

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    I'll have to price it up first, before i make the decision..
    It might just be easier to keep it manual for the time being, but would be nice to not have to mess about with the rotary table when i need to cut round holes..Just machine one side at a time..job done

    But then again, i want to build a space ship

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    I'm hoping Goldigger goes first so I can learn from his mistakes.
    Hey i dont make mistakes

    ....


    If i do i dont tell anyone

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    Hey i dont make mistakes

    ....


    If i do i dont tell anyone
    Sorry, that was meant to read "lessons" not mistakes.


    At the risk of jinxing myself, the CFO just said yes

  93. #93
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    I got the quote back today from zapp automation for the CNC conversion
    Not to bad either.. just need to add ball screws and nuts..
    1 x SY85STH118-6004B Nema 34 Stepper motor £71.42
    1 x PCPPS-3 £20.00
    2 x PM542 Microstepping Driver £85.90
    1 x 2M880N Microstepping Driver £75.00
    2 x SY60STH88-3008 Nema 23 stepper motor £50.50

    Sub-Total: £302.82
    Shipping: £0.00 VAT (20%): £60.56
    Total: £363.38

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    Having read 1-9 on here http://www.fignoggle.com/library/backlash.htm about backlash and lead screw accuracy, its enough To put you off cnc-ing your own mill.
    still, at least I understand what all you peeps are on about now.

    I'm off to go sharpen my axe..

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    I got the quote back today from zapp automation for the CNC conversion
    Not to bad either.. just need to add ball screws and nuts..
    1 x SY85STH118-6004B Nema 34 Stepper motor £71.42
    1 x PCPPS-3 £20.00
    2 x PM542 Microstepping Driver £85.90
    1 x 2M880N Microstepping Driver £75.00
    2 x SY60STH88-3008 Nema 23 stepper motor £50.50

    Sub-Total: £302.82
    Shipping: £0.00 VAT (20%): £60.56
    Total: £363.38
    You could always build your own now that you have a mill to build one with.

    I actually started building my own (manaually operated only thank you) and got quite far into the project but you have to have a mill to build a mill so gave up. I may continue with it in the future.

    Looks easy enough http://www.cnczone.com/forums/vertic...ill_build.html

  96. #96
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    Nice find Yetti. I think you have found my next project

    I use those linear slides in alot of my automation equipment. http://www.automation4less.com/linearh.htm. Being hardened, ground and sealed they are excellent as long as you lubricate the reciprocating ball bearing ever now and then.

    The hardest part will be finding alloy of that size over in aus so it might be more practical to make them out of steel with a nice lattice to brace it.

  97. #97
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  98. #98
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    Here's a good thread on how to allign the spindle to the column and cnc conversion on the X2
    http://www.homemodelenginemachinist....&topic=10517.0

  99. #99
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    OK, so without giving too much away I have a question for you all.

    You have an opportunity to buy direct from a chinese manufacturer at a greatly reduced price. This is from an enquiry that you have initiated through a genuine manufacturers website, I believe it to be genuine because it is linked from countless other forum pages and the same website returns on several different wed search engines.

    Your intitial enquiry is answered promptly and you are directed to their "international sales consultant" with whom you have exchanged about a dozen emails asking numerous questions on the topic. Everything appears above board. They are clear from the start that payment is by T/T to their bank account and the goods will ship with in x days of them receiving payment. I have no feeling of "this is a scam" and no concerns other than I have never bought anything internationally without the protection of either paypal or my cc company. Question is what is a T/T payment, is it just another term for direct deposit or electronic transfer?

    Do you go ahead and take a risk knowing that you have either just snared a great buy or made a sizable donation to the Chinese economy without any recourse should the goods not show up? It is not a case of this price is too good to be true but more a case of this price is what I would be paying if I lived elsewhere in the world.

    Insurance is included in the total invoice cost but organised by the sender.

    The shipping company, including all the details given to me by the seller, appear to be genuine and they do have an office based here.

    The company is a fairly well known name in this field and I would hope has a reputation it would like to preserve.

    Thoughts please?

  100. #100
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    T/T payment is telegraphic transfer or simply wire tranfer...dont be put off by the fact its chinese, after all where was my mill manufactured? China..

    Here's something i found on google on the subject..not that the L/C part matters here

    T/T means telegraphic transfer, or simply wire transfer. It's the simplest and easiest payment method to use.

    T/T payment in advance is usually used when the sample and small quantity shipments are transported by air. The reason why is that the documents like air waybill, commercial invoice and packing list will be sent to you along with the shipment by the same plane. As soon as the shipment arrives, you can clear the customs and pick up the goods with the documents. As it's acknowledged, T/T payment in advance presents risk to the importer if the supplier is not an honest one.

    The L/C payment procedure is usually as follows:

    a. You (the importer) applies to open the L/C to us (the seller) through a bank who can open the L/C in your country.
    b. The opening bank will inform The Bank of China that the L/C has been opened.
    c. The Bank of China will inform us that the L/C has been established.
    d. We'll check all the terms and conditions listed in the L/C. If all terms and conditions are acceptable, we'll arrange the shipment within the time specified in the L/C.
    e. After the goods are loaded onto the ship without any damage, the captain will issue the clean bill of lading to us.
    f. We will submit the clean bill of lading and other relevant documents to The Bank of China to gather the payment. Only with clean bill of lading can you claim the ownership of the goods.
    g. The Bank of China will send the clean bill of lading and relevant documents to your bank (the opening bank).
    h. The opening bank will inform you that all documents are received.
    i. You will go to the bank to make the payment to get the clean bill of lading and relevan documents.
    j. With all of these documents, you can clear the import Customs and pick up the goods after the goods arrive on the destination sea port.

    L/C is used for the larger quantity order shipped by sea.

    The typical L/C scenario takes 14-21 days to complete.

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