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View Full Version : IH VS lathemaster mill



outlaw paintbal
03-15-2006, 02:05 AM
Hey guys i was wanting to know what the differance in these two mills are that make up the 700$ differance?
http://www.lathemaster.com/HEAVYDUTYMILLINGMACHINE%207045FG.htm
to me all the specs look the same would some one please let me know what the IH mill has that im missing looking to order a mill before the end of the week and just want to make sure i choose the best mill.

WhiteTiger
03-15-2006, 02:53 AM
IH= 950 lb, 30x12 table travel. Lathemaster= 730 lb, 21 1/4x 7 1/2 travels.

220 lbs of cast iron difference, and a bigger work envelope. I suspect the IH has heavier main castings, as the table size shouldn't account for all of the 220 lb weight difference.

Yup, just had a look and the IH specifies ribbed column and base.


Tiger

Runner4404spd
03-15-2006, 09:04 AM
i was going to post a very similar thread about the IH and the wholesale tool model as i'm looking to pick one up in the near future. is there a difference in terms of functionality or is it just the envelope dimensions that are larger on the IH?

Randall
03-15-2006, 01:00 PM
Yes the larger work area and maybe a stiffer machine than what lathemaster offers. If you only plan to use manually I might lean toward Lathemaster and you dont need the longer travels. But if you think you might go cnc I would go toward IND Hobbies mill. I sure there are people here with more info to offer.
Randy

Runner4404spd
03-15-2006, 03:29 PM
well i just bought an Industrial hobbies model. since the sale ended yesterday i did the web order and they accepted the $2100 price. hopefully its as good as they claim and i will post first hand info on it when it arrives. i can't wait to use it. i will be converting my RF-25 model to cnc in the next few months and it will be nice to have another mill around to do the work on.

outlaw paintbal
03-15-2006, 06:32 PM
Thanks for the info guys......What is it about the Lathemaster that you think makes it a better machine? To me you would want a manaul machine to be just as siff as a cnc machine for cnc? I'm new to cnc so im sorry if i am asking dumb questions.Thanks for the help guys...

Randall
03-15-2006, 07:32 PM
Cost and maybe the Z axis lift is the only real benefit of the lathemaster over the indutrial hobbies.
Randy

JRouche
03-15-2006, 11:04 PM
What is it about the Lathemaster that you think makes it a better machine?


Dont think they are a better machine unless your budget describes so. Both similar in design. The IH has a larger working area, hardened gear set, other than that I think they are the same machine. Oh yeah, cept the color :) Both real nice rigs.... JRouche

MikeAber
03-16-2006, 10:47 AM
I would try to find someone with a lathemaster mill and make some comparisons with quill runout and the condition of the way surfaces.

I purchased my IH mill when they were $1700. The way surfaces X,Y, and Z are very rough and runout of the quill is about .020" in 1" travel. The table surface is not flat with dips and twists in the surface. The IH mill is a bigger machine in capability; however, it may not have a larger working envelope that is accurate.

The extra Z Axis column height and X Axis table length make the IH mill heavier. The extra height actually works against the rigidity of the head (longer lever) and the longer table works against the table staying flat under the mill head when the other end is hanging out there (longer lever again).


Unless the IH mill's quality has improved significantly, I wouldn't purchase this machine again. If the Lathemaster mill has similar characteristics I would save the $700.

This is no reflection on Aaron, his support has been excellent.

Mike

Randall
03-16-2006, 12:07 PM
Mike
I think the increase in price maybe related to better qaulity control but mine travels well o bumps or rough spots. I have not checked the flatness of the table.
Randy

ViperTX
03-16-2006, 12:12 PM
I suspect that MikeAbner's experience is probably still valid...just a guess....it would be nice to hear from some new IH owners.....a new shipment was due in early March....

Runner4404spd
03-16-2006, 03:12 PM
i will have mine next week and it should set up the week after that. i will be more than will to dimension and indicate anything that people want to see. you just have to let me know. bset bet is to make me a list and i'll see what i can do. i spoke with someone who works at IH and they told me that alot of people are using these for alot of higher end CNC, so i have a hard time believing the machine can be that sloppy and i sure their quality control is better now.

Zumba
03-16-2006, 09:17 PM
The IH mill has some fit and finish issues, most of which don't matter if you're converting it to CNC.

I'm currently sanding mine down, reapplying bondo, repainting it, and replacing some of the cheap hardware. Shouldn't cost more than 30 bucks.

ViperTX
03-16-2006, 11:54 PM
Zumba....oh, don't forget your labor.....Oh, and it does matter....CNC is a not a cure-all.....the only thing CNC does is remove some of the human element.....the basic machine function or lack of function is still there....

MikeAber
03-17-2006, 03:06 AM
[QUOTE=Mortgaged]
I'm really not pleased with the whole gear head/quill arrangement as my machine has a particularly sloppy quill that easily moves >.015" during it's travel. Tramming is almost irrelevant and I have to keep the quill retracted and use the hand crank when I really need to maintain accuracy (flatness).
QUOTE]

My IH Mill has the same problems with quill travel. Moving the quill down 1" creates more than .020" error in the Y axis. I was trying to drill and bore some holes with less than .001" error perpendicular to the surface and discovered this problem with the quill. Basically the quill is unusable for any precision drilling or boring.

Place a DTI in a collet in the quill and measure the run out up and down against a 1-2-3 or 2-4-6 block on the table then get ready to be sick. If you tram the mill head to the table then move the quill to another position the cutting tool is no longer parallel to the table.

Don't bother using the quill for your Z axis in a cnc conversion if your machine has this problem.

Would you guys check your machines to see if this is a common issue?
I sincerely hope these are two isolated cases of this problem. How about someone who corrected this issue on their machine?

BTW I have heard this is a problem with other brands of gear head mills besides the IH mill.

Quill operations are important for the things I do. I purchased my IH mill specifically for manual operations. I have 2 CNC machines for the CNC stuff.

Mike

Zumba
03-18-2006, 12:44 AM
Zumba....oh, don't forget your labor.....Oh, and it does matter....CNC is a not a cure-all.....the only thing CNC does is remove some of the human element.....the basic machine function or lack of function is still there....

Hey Viper,

Yeah, the labor is intensive and annoying. I certainly won't be getting another IH Mill.

The CNC conversion gets rid of the crappy lead screws and handwheels... especially that dreadfull column leadscrew that has about a foot of backlash.

Mike, unfortunately, I think the crappy quill mechansim is not isolated. The entire quill is best left LOCKED at all times. For procedures that require the quill, I think it's very difficult to beat a quality vertical mill. I recently purchased a Jet JTM-2 and it is a dream machine for me. It is so much nicer than the IH mill it's not even funny.

By the way, what kind of a wrench have you been using to loosen the drawbar on the IH mill? I've been using a box end wrench wedged against the splines. :rolleyes:

outlaw paintbal
03-18-2006, 01:37 AM
So has anyone used the square lathemaster mill......... good bad?????????? i was really looking hard at the IH but all this bad has sorta made me change my mind this mill will only be used by hand no cnc so it needs to work well out of the box

MikeAber
03-18-2006, 02:13 AM
By the way, what kind of a wrench have you been using to loosen the drawbar on the IH mill? I've been using a box end wrench wedged against the splines. :rolleyes:
I put the gears in the lowest speed setting to losen and tighten the collet.

I may repair my quill as I have access to a college machine shop with a precision rotary grinder. I may re-bore the mill head, install a sleeve and re-grind the quill. The lower gearbox seal is leaking and needs replacement anyway.

Another option is to locate another head and adapt it to my column.

I would rather repair the IH mill just for the satisfaction of doing it as I don't have room for a turret head mill anyway.

Mike

Runner4404spd
03-18-2006, 08:03 AM
is this quill problem an issue with all gear head mills? or is this specific to the IH model?

Runner4404spd
03-18-2006, 09:54 AM
the quill problem got me thinking...what if all the mills are like this. so i checked my current round column one as well. what i noticed is that it pulls the quill as well when extended. however i also noticed that when i relieve the tension from the spring, then this problem goes away. i don't know if the IH one uses a spring to retract the quill but if it does this could be the source of the quill problem.

MikeAber
03-18-2006, 11:36 AM
[[B]QUOTE=Runner4404spd]the quill problem got me thinking...what if all the mills are like this. so i checked my current round column one as well. what i noticed is that it pulls the quill as well when extended. however i also noticed that when i relieve the tension from the spring, then this problem goes away. i don't know if the IH one uses a spring to retract the quill but if it does this could be the source of the quill problem.[/QUOTE]

I believe you're right, I suspect all the gear head and belt driven bench top machines with this style quill will have this problem.

The problem doesn't go away; it appears to go away. As soon as you place a side load on the quill, deflection will take place. This is only an issue with an unlocked quill during drilling or boring operations. There is too much clearance, allowing the quill to flop around. This issue can be minimized by tightening the quill lock until you feel the spindle dragging; however, this isn’t a cure for the sloppy fit.

My Harbor Freight round column gear head mill had the same problem. I guess this is what happens when you compare these low-cost machines to turret head machines with precision-fit quills. In retrospect, I guess I’m expecting too much from a $1700 machine.

I'm sorry guys! I guess it's time for me to accept the fact that my needs have now exceeded the capability of my machine. Even if I cure this problem, I'll probably find something else wrong. Maybe I'll become an Engineer. :rolleyes:

Mike

wizard
03-18-2006, 02:00 PM
It is a pretty huge problem if the quil does nto fit into the housing correctly. What you want is a lapped fit.

The reality is that any of the methods described to "correct" the problem are only minor fix. What happens when you loosen things up is that you just allow the whole of the quil assembly to flop around in the housing. This kill the ability to get a good finish. Like wise if you clamp the quil you are likely only supporting it in one place. Then you end up with a spindle assembly pivioting around that clamp.

A loose quil is just plain bad for general machining. What is worst is if you need to use that quil to bore getting a straight bore with a nice finish becomes next to impossible.

I'm not sure if the manufactures are just sloppy here or if they are expecting people to make use of the Z travel. In the end I think things could be improved and at the same time made cheap if the quil motions where simply eliminated. Make use of the Z axis for all vertical movements instead. Hopefully this would allow for a stiff and square spindle retention.

Interestingly if you search around a bit you will find examples of guys modifying their X3 and similar mills in the manner described above. That is the units have the spindle/quil assembly wither replaced or modified to be fixed and all vertical motion is handled by the Z ways. This is likely the only good solution that is cost effective and works really well with CNC conversions.

Thanks
Dave




the quill problem got me thinking...what if all the mills are like this. so i checked my current round column one as well. what i noticed is that it pulls the quill as well when extended. however i also noticed that when i relieve the tension from the spring, then this problem goes away. i don't know if the IH one uses a spring to retract the quill but if it does this could be the source of the quill problem.

MikeAber
06-30-2006, 07:32 PM
I'm not sure if the manufactures are just sloppy here or if they are expecting people to make use of the Z travel. In the end I think things could be improved and at the same time made cheap if the quil motions where simply eliminated. Make use of the Z axis for all vertical movements instead. Hopefully this would allow for a stiff and square spindle retention.
Dave

This is what Tormach did on the PCNC1100. There is no quill, all Z axis movement takes place on the column dovetails.

MikeAber

Cruiser
07-01-2006, 10:21 AM
Hello guys, I feel like rambling a bit and posting my view on this "z" axis quill quandry ! I hope ya don't mind and don't blow too many holes in my theory's here. Let me start on what is available here, round column, and square column. the round column has a straighter axis to the quil because it can be clamped tighter and still move along the axis, but you can't do much with the rotational weekness hense the square column. Now you have a dovetail slide and it is only so long and can only be so tight and the weekness in the thin section will flex to some degree allowing the head to tip away at the top of the dovetail. I watched this while setting up my IH mill gib on the "z" with a block of wood between table and quill and moving axis up and down against the block. the only way i can see of ridding this motion is going to a "box" slide. I have been considering doing a conversion on this and have a possible design in mind that may do the job, but it would be a vey long time from now before i could get to it, my idea would not entail removing the doves but adding to them and making the box portion wider and added to the column. then it would be required to make a new sadle to replace the dove and mate the head to the box. this would bring the heavy gear box true to slide and the quil would be true to the axis within whatever spec's exist from the manufacturing. If the quil bore was off then it would be a whole added process to true it ..... so ...... cost ! Isn't that why we are buying these machines in the first place ? if i had the money i'd buy the machine with the fewest week links, and then the weekest link in the equation would be "ME" ! ! My IH mill isn't on line yet but it will be in the near future and i know it has some extremely strong capabilities compared to many of the other machines that i used to dream about having. Mine is going to be full cnc per Aaron Moss's system, In fact, take a look at his website and the pic of the new V-3 on the top left of the home page ...... that machine is the one sitting in my shop. I will add that I have experienced that Aaron is tops and one honorable person to the highest degree and does in fact go beyond what he is required to do for his customers, Way beyond ! He is at the top of my list ! If ya want guaranteed top level support and a very capable machine, then look at his system more closely. The value is there. In closing here i'll add that yesterday, Aaron saved my ignorant butt from an expensive mistake on my part and didn't have to ! and I know it ! Now that is "TOPS"
Have a nice day to you all