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  #1  
Old 09-21-2016, 06:22 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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came across these mill's any advice?

hey guys so I came across something today however it seems cheap so idk but I know absolutely nothing about milling machine's so I was wondering if ya guys could give me any info on these one says "metalworking" but on both all the pics of stuff made with these is wood so I am wondering if they can cut metal?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-Mini-M...MAAOSwwpdW3ogZ

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-Mini-M...MAAOSw3xJVXEAc
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:27 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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sorry guys forget the first link I was looking at a few f them and linked the wrong one the first one only cuts very thin aluminum the second still doesn't say...ill find the other link must have closed it by accident but check out the second link
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:39 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I use an American made model (the one they copied) to slot guards. If you are careful and work slowly they are adequate for that. The one I have cost much more than that when I bought it 20 years ago so those look like a good deal as long s you realize there is almost noting else you can do with them aside from slotting guards as far as knife making is concerned ...


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Old 09-21-2016, 08:08 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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Thumbs down For Knives? They are all junk.

25mmx45mm travel?(1"x2") 2,000 rpm and no variable speed? No, none of these are good for steel. They are MINI mills and aren't good for much. Get a decent benchtop mill, but they cost more than you can afford Dave. Hundreds to thousands of dollars and then you get to buy all the collets, hold down sets and end mills, plus fly cutters, or simply put, all the accessories. They don't come with the milling machines Dave.

These are all toy maker stuff and like they say for wood and soft metals. Read the reviews. You aren't going to get a good mill for $150. Remember I said to work stainless you have to drill slow? You won't even be able to drill a hole in your 440C without melting the drill bit.

You already have a cross travel vise, just use a drill and drill out your slot first, then come back with an end mill and mill the slot out being very careful to not put much side pressure on your drill press spindle.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:13 AM
damon damon is offline
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keep looking!!!

this is too small for knife work, and falls way short on HP/torque.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:39 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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yeh all I was looking for was for slotting gaurds as I am just not accurate with a mill bit in a dremmel I always mess something up and yeh jim I do have a cross slide vise but my drill press is a small bench top and I have always heard putting ANY sideways pressure can destroy it ....then I cant mill or drill and be in a worse situation than now. but I don't think I want to get one that will just barely cut it because yeh now I may use it for slotting gaurds but I am sure if I had a good one I would end up doing more with it. so I was looking around and found a couple (they are a much more in cost) but I got some money saved up and could probilly borrow the rest. but if I am going to use that savings I want to be sure its a good one so the 2 links below are 2 I found on grizzly. I see some of the specs are slightly different but as I said I don't know anything about these things is there any NOTICABLE difference in these 2 for anything I would end up using it for??

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini...campaign=zPage

http://www.grizzly.com/products/4-x-...campaign=zPage

these 2 are about 100$ apart so obviously if there isn't much difference I would rather get the cheaper on there is also another that is another 100 above that but is vertical and horizontal is there anything (that I would do with knife making ) that I would need a horizontal one???
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:59 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Those are much better mills than the first ones you looked at but, in the end, slotting guards is about all the knife related milling you can do on any mill. A few guys make integral knives but you'd want a bigger mill than these to do that and integrals aren't worth the effort anyway. These mills could be used to slot liners for liner lock folders but you are thousands of dollars away from being ready to try that. Slotting guards is 95% of what you can do to a knife on a mill.

I have a large mill, much larger than these, and a small mill like the ones you saw before. I find it inconvenient to slot guards on the large mill. I have often thought of upgrading the small mill to one of the ones you are looking at now. They are small enough to do guards comfortably and large enough for the one or two rare things you might do to a knife. The more expensive of the two mills has an R8 taper which is preferable because of the large amount of cheap tooling that is available in that size.

Make no mistake, these are very small mills at only 150 lbs. The weight of a mill affects its rigidity and rigidity is everything in a mill. My mill weighs 700 lbs and its a small mill. These are good quality machines but they are small. But, they are just about right for very small, light cutting jobs like slotting guards. Don't overlook the fact that you will have to spend quite a lot of additional money buying tooling for any mill that you might get......


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 09-22-2016 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:37 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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ok ray so I guesss it will cut brass, alum, 416 stainless for gaurds. remember I said I was thinking frame handle for the big bear knife...it could mill out the frame piece right? another thing that poped in my head is a knife I did you could see half of the circle where the pins go in the bolster I thought of doing file work on the face of the bolster to hide it but if I had this I could use this to do that insead of a file (kinda like making lil lines like a fuller but small and just on the surface of a bolster) that would work?
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:42 AM
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It might do a frame depending on how patient you can be. The lines on the bolster should be no problem but I'm not sure that many people would find that attractive....


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Old 09-22-2016, 09:48 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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ok thanks have to think and make sure tthat there isn't some other tool or equipment that may be more usefull to spend this money on or maybe just wait for a lil bit
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:14 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'm not suggesting that you buy a mill, that's a lot of money just to slot a guard. But, if you are determined to buy one then what I mean to do is point you at the best value for the money from among the choices you presented. Don't overlook the used market now that you know more about what to look for ...


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Old 09-22-2016, 10:43 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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The $100 difference is a DRO.

If you want to know what that means it means digital readout. You want that, but Dave remember those accessories? Look below the mill as you will need to buy most of that stuff especially the R8 collets and the hold down clamp sets and add in end mills of various sizes. You can get some cheap 1-2-3 blocks and look at those vises, you will need a small to medium sized one, your drill press vise won't cut it unless you bought a good one for over $100. Does your vise lift up when you tighten it? If it does then it's no good for milling slots in a 1/4" piece of brass and stainless takes 3x as long to mill a slot as steel. Get some cheap parallels too. Those accessories are going to put you well over $1000 Dave.

That said, the Grizzly mill is a good value as far as I can see. It is cheaper than many others. That doesn't mean it's better though.

When I said use your cross slide table I mean you set it and drill out your slot close to the width it needs to be like if the slot is .100 you use a .093 drill bit or 1/8 then use a 7/64th. I use my drill press to do this. Drill the holes where they cut into the hole next to them, but not so close so the bit slides into the previous hole. After you have completed close to the finished length of the needed slot's dimensions then you take a 4 flute endmill smaller than the drill bit and drill down on the edges of the peaks left from the drilled holes. Now once you have the slot fairly straight you begin to lightly shave off the sides of the slot until you have the desired width and length. This process will not put undue pressure on your spindle. You will need some needle files to clean the round edges at the ends of the slot till the knife fits into the guard. 4 flute end mill not 2 flute, it will chatter. By the way use about 1,500 rpm speed for brass, actually 2000 is OK as well under 3/16. Remember the larger the hole the slower the bit, it's why real mills have 1-2500+ rpm settings. Stainless is always slow rpm as the bits will overheat. Like 500 rpm or slower for larger bits. Oh, don't try to drill with an end mill, it's made to cut sideways.

Sounds complicated, but I can do it in about 15 minutes start to finish and I haven't ruined my press yet. I also, though not a machinist, have run plenty of mills and lathes. Do you have a set of calipers, the kind that can read inside and outside and depth dimensions? You need them, but you can get some cheap ones, plus you need a decent small combination square to use to scribe your slot dimensions onto the brass guard. Do not try this with stainless without a real mill, it is just too hard and tough for a drill press.

Just trying to save you some grief Dave. I would suggest you study how to machine before buying a drill-mill. Is there a college near you where you can take a basic Machinist class? Seeing is better than a book.

You can buy a quality minimill if all you want it for is to mill slots, just don't waste your time with these cheap ones. The Proxxon mini mill comes with everything but the vise, but you can put spacers on the end of the guards to hold them up off the table. I have a Proxxon cross slide table for my drill press and there are others on Amazon cheaper with a little more travel, but not as high quality. The table alone is like $92 and the mill is $422, but as I said it comes with everything, so saves you money. Also make sure any others have hold downs. The Proxxon comes with two. There is another table for $52 and has hold downs, but isn't as hi-quality as the Proxxon, but probably good enough to mill slots in brass. Read the reviews.

Try The Little Machine Shop also. They have high quality mini mills as well. Check the specs though.http://littlemachineshop.com/products/products.php
Milling a knife isn't for the inexperienced and I have never tried other than square off the ricasso for a hidden tang or slots in brass, or just precise placements of holes, but I know how to square my table to the drill center.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:09 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is online now
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Oh Dave when you go to The Little Machine Shop look at the mill starter kits for each different mill you look at. Ask yourself the total price if you buy a mill. I would just stick to drilling out the slots and using a file and dremel to finish before spending that much on something I know little about. It is great that you want to save time and learn a new skill, but there is a steep learning curve and a lot of money just for slots in a guard?

Just a cross slide table is fine and since you have a cheap HF press, it's easier and cheaper to replace than buying a mill if you did screw it up. Just buy the cross slide table and three end mills. 1/16", 3/32" and 7/64" to start. You need a square to scribe a centerline and the dimensions of the slot and you can get those calipers, digital, for $20. If you do screw up the spindle, just take the motor and the pulleys and make a small 1x42 belt sander.LOL

Oh, there is a video on YouTube that shows you how to fix a bent spindle.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:30 AM
damon damon is offline
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keep in mind.... that half circle youre seeing could become worse as you file into it. use a punch with a slightly contoured face to "push" the metals of the pin, and bolster and fill in the gap. then you can refinish, or file work it.

if this is the look youre thinking of..... http://www.dushaneknives.com/1433.jpg
you have to use files. mill wont follow the contours the way youre thinking.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:12 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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thanks guys you deffinitly gave me enough to think about...I have never tried using my drill press and a end mill to cut sideways cause I was always told not to but jim you made a point cheaper to replce on of those so before I dump all that money I think I am going to order a few end mills and try and do it that way and if it works and I still want to spend this money on something I could probilly find a hardness tester for that price and I think that would help me fine tune the HT wich I have been doing a lil of anyway but that would tell me what is what consistanly and could only help with quality of the blades...as I said I am going to try a couple end mills in a drill press first and see how that works and take it from there
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