I'm looking for a mill to machine aluminum parts. I'm new to this, but I have the opportunity to purchase either a 1) Taig CR2019ER with a Arcsin stepper controller (24V power) or 2) a 2003 Shoptask Eldorado Bridgemill 3-in-1 mill. The Shoptask obviously comes with a lathe (which I will probably never use). The only thing I will be doing is flat milling 6061 aluminum. I know the Shoptask is a beast (900+ lbs) but don't know if that equates to a better machine/durability?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure why you're looking at the Shoptask. Three-in-one machines are great for people who want a mill, drill, and lathe but don't have the space for all three and have plenty of time to switch between one and the other. But if all you want is a mill, then it seems like shopping for a single-purpose mill would make more sense.
The CNC-ready Taig is pretty simple to convert into a CNC machine -just screw on the motors, hook it up to the controller and computer, and you're up and running. I'm not sure that's true for the Shoptask. If you get the CNC system from Shoptask, it would add several thousand dollars to the bill, at least (their stronger 4-axis system sells for $4495.)
Whether you get the Taig really should depend on how big your parts are, and how quickly you need to cut them. The Taig has a fast (10,000 RPM) spindle. It's great for cutting aluminum with small tools. The Shoptask spindle, while able to handle larger tooling, only goes to 1500 RPM, which will be a limitation.
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