Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.


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    Member James123456789's Avatar
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    Default Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

    I want to get into machining and I was wondering if a Taig Mini Mill CNC would be a good beginner machine? Also are there any other CNCs that size or price that are a good option? Thank you

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    Default Re: Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

    Hey James, here are the questions that I considered and recommend anyone new ask themselves before buying a machine:

    -Do you have a specific hobby or type of part that you're wanting to make?
    -Is this to be a hobby or a something you want to make money from?
    -How much space do you have?
    -What kind of timeframe do you have?
    -What skills are you trying to learn?

    In choosing a machine, the type of part (size, material, tolerances) you want to make is going to have the biggest influence on your decision. If this is going to be just a hobby, you'll have less financial pressure to get a reliable machine, but you may still find yourself frustrated or outgrowing your machine if you get something that's not quite appropriate for the parts you want to make. Also, if space is a concern when you choose your machine, don't forget to count on space for tooling, max machine travels, controller, coolant, etc. It starts to add up quickly, and even a small machine like a Taig will quickly outgrow a small space.

    The next thing you may want to really consider is what type of skills you'd like to learn. CNC machining involves general machining knowledge, fixturing, tooling, 3D modeling, and toolpath creation. Most of those skills can be learned (perhaps better) on manual machines. Depending on your goals, timeframe, and budget, taking machining and CNC classes at a local tech school or buying a manual mill and converting it to CNC can be good ways to learn skills and not pick up bad habits - especially before you buy a machine that you may outgrow.

    For me, my intro to machining was learning on my then employer's Taig mini mill. I used it over the course of 4 or 5 years to create hundreds of parts out of plastic and aluminum, and it was very handy to have something to make small prototypes in a short amount of time. At that point, I knew I wanted a machine of my own at home to support my hobbies, make prototypes, and perhaps do a side job here and there. I began saving towards a machine and started researching options. I went back to school for my Master's degree and decided to take a couple of machining courses to help give me learn more about machining in general. At a new job, my employer had a Bridgeport manual mill and a small Levil CNC mill that I ended up rebuilding. The manual mill and CNC skills I had picked up proved extremely valuable to my employer. At this point, I planned out the space for a new mill. I considered Tormach, Novakon, and converting a Grizzly and decided to go with the Novakon Pulsar. To do it again, I would have saved up more and gone with something a smidge bigger like the Novakon Torus or Tormach 1100MX, but I am overall happy with my Pulsar. I had considered getting a Taig or smaller machine like the Tormach 440, but I knew I would outgrow it and be frustrated by the smaller envelope and lack of rigidity.

    I hope this helps your decision!

    Micah



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    Default Re: Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

    Some good advice in the previous post.The skills you acquire may be a useful and enjoyable thing for both your hobby or for your professional life.A slightly different consideration that I think you need to keep in mind is that a machine from a known and respected maker will be a very saleable asset.So that if you decide that machining isn't really for you ,it will retain most of it's value and appeal to the marketplace.Conversely, if you find yourself really absorbed by the process of machining and the things it allows you to do,it will guide you towards the features you want from your next machine and it's inherent value will be a portion of the price of the next machine.Of course it might be that like lots of us you might want to keep the original machine around for odd jobs and out of sentiment.



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    Default Re: Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

    Thanks for the help. My decision is a little more clear now.



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    Default Re: Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

    What burbingus and routalot said is good advice. I started with a Manual Sieg X3 from Harbor Freight which is a variant of the mill that Grizzly sells. After a couple of years I built a power feed for the X axis and then went full CNC. I learned a lot along the way.

    Good luck
    John



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    Default Re: Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

    Quote Originally Posted by James123456789 View Post
    I want to get into machining and I was wondering if a Taig Mini Mill CNC would be a good beginner machine?
    It's a bit like asking if a Chevy Sonic is good tansportation, good for commuting, not much good for hauling lumber
    The design hasn't changed much over the years suggesting it works well within it's design parameters. Translation: it's light duty.
    The large model travels 5.5" in Y axis, pretty good for a small machine.
    The table is narrow: I have a converted Sieg X2 and clamping work to the narrow table is a pain, mostly I work with a vise. A tooling plate may help.
    10,000 rpm spindle? Nice.
    Many youtube videos of Taigs cutting, gives an idea of what's possible.

    Also are there any other CNCs that size or price that are a good option?
    For mills I'm not aware of much comparable in size and price. The Sieg Kx series for a bit more $ but not sure if there's a US distributor.
    The Tormach 440 for much more $.
    There are conversion kits for mill/drills like these:
    https://www.automationtechnologiesin...5mv-x2-x3-kit/
    but converting a mll/drill will have limitations like a slow spindle, so next you're adding more mods, it's a bit of a rabbit hole.

    When budgeting remember tools and accessories, they add up quick.
    Best of luck whatever you decide to do.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.

Is the Taig Mini Mill a smart purchase for a beginner.