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Mini Mill
myke pocock - 31/7/20 at 07:33 PM

I am looking to buy a small milling machine. Has anyone had any experience of any of these please? Sieg SX1LP, Osaki Mini Mill, Axminster SX1. Alternatively has anyone got one for sale. I am in Carlisle. Needs to be small (ish) though.

big_wasa - 31/7/20 at 07:41 PM

I bought a tiny one from machine mart and tried to take it back the same day. Unless itís for modelling donít go there.

PAULD - 31/7/20 at 08:40 PM

I bought one from spg tools five years ago, warco do a similar range. I bought it to do jobs on when I retired from my job as a model maker and have been surprised how good it is. Still not retired though! If you go this route get one with an R8 spindle, the tooling is much better.

MikeRJ - 1/8/20 at 07:30 PM

I have an older version of the Axminster mill, simply because someone was selling it locally for reasonable money. I've used quite a bit and it's generally ok if your expectations are realistic. As you'd expect from a small benchtop model you can only get quite light cuts so removing significant amount of metal can take a while. The main Z axis adjustment is pretty crude though typically you'll only use the quill once set up. The controls are on the side of the main unit which is a little inconvenient, the Seig looks nicer in this respect.

I don't know about the current model, but mine uses plastic gears as a drivetrain "fuse" so overloading the mill (too deep a cut etc.) can break them, though spares are cheap enough and there is (or used to be) a pulley conversion available.

If I were buying another I'd probably go for the next size up, I've reached the limits of the bed movement quite a few times which has meant extra work repositioning things for a second set of cuts plus the accuracy issues that brings. That said I think I've seen an extended bed conversion available for them.

Do you already have a lathe? If not that would be a priority purchase, you can mill on a lathe much more effectively than you can turn parts on a mill!

big_wasa - 1/8/20 at 07:54 PM

I picked up a warco copy of the Emco Fb2.

The drive train fuse ie the main gear was a £90 cock up

[Edited on 1/8/20 by big_wasa]

MikeRJ - 1/8/20 at 08:46 PM

Originally posted by big_wasa
I picked up a warco copy of the Emco Fb2.

The drive train fuse ie the main gear was a £90 cock up

[Edited on 1/8/20 by big_wasa]

That more like the size of machine I'd like. Does it still use plastic gears?

trextr7monkey - 2/8/20 at 12:34 AM

We had an Axminster at work ( in Carlisle!) it was the larger model costing about £1200 10 years ago. It was a useful machine and we made some decent stuff with it and used it to reduce Height of tool posts for lathes and to thin down cutters. It was also used for making Macintosh high back chairs where lots of mortises were required.
I would shy away from the smaller machines,I have a Chester 3 in 1 lathe mill drill which is compact but handy and nowhere as bad as described by their critics.

big_wasa - 2/8/20 at 05:27 AM

Yes the Fb2 uses a sacrificial nylon gear that acts as an overload protection.

Trouble is they donít make them any more. There is a guy in Germany making them at around 90 quid a pop.
Of coarse I could tool up and make my own and a dividing head would come in handy.

But you need to make one before you shear the teeth off and actually need it.

[Edited on 2/8/20 by big_wasa]