I want to get a small bench top mill ,I see so many differant styles ,grizzly. harbor freight, smithy, ect . Tell me what I need to know and what I should stay away from , If you got a good unit tell me. I want to spend around a $ 1000.00 and I want to use it for making small steam toys. help anew be out.
How small is small? You could get an X1 with the extended base and table. Tweak it a bit and it offers outstanding performance for it's size. Even with the upgrades I made, it is no comparison to the X3 (but the X3 is probably 3x the size, so I can't fault anything there).
... You could get an X1 with the extended base and table. Tweak it a bit and it offers outstanding performance for it's size.
Yes, that's what I did. (i.e. X1 w/extended table & base)
However, I felt the lead screws need ball bearings in them so it was an extra bit to install some deep groove skate bearings. The axes works nice now.
Most of my mill work is round or square so a long narrow (X2) table was not desirable.
(gotta have table room to clamp the part down)
Light weight, low price and accuracy (added DRO) was more important to me than max cu-in of mat'l removal.
A small & sharp cutter gets me there (with some patience).
Oh that's right, you do need to install thrust bearings on the axes. Or deep groove like what you did. This makes a big difference
I was quite amazed that there were no ball or thrust bearings at all on the X1 when I converted mine to CNC, and the other end of the leadscrews are just dangling in mid air!
It is a good little mill for the money (even in the UK!) but unless you're really, really patient, the very shallow depths of cut it can handle will really get to you. I am already looking to upgrade as 25 passes to cut 0.5" deep really is too tedious for me!
How small is small,? well Im looking at bench top mills , but I dont want to get something to small that I turn around seel and get a bigger one next year. I had looked at x2 but thought it looked cheep. It seem that most of you guys are happy with them. thanks for letting me know that they are all built by sieg. I was looking at a grizzly #g1005z or g3358. But you think a X2 will work thats what I want to know. thanks to all that replied.
If you upgrade the motor, the depth of cut increases quite a bit. I could do .25" with a conservative feed when I upgraded my X1's motor.
I suggest buying the biggest mill you can get according to your living situation and budget. I got the X1 at first, but a year later sold it and bought an X3. Would have been better off buying the X3 from the start