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I need a Mill for my home shop, I do not need a bridgeport size mill, a bench top Mill will suffice. I do not need a gigantic work envelope as mostly I will be making brackets, mounts and guards for my various motorcycle projects and repairs. I also do not have a ton of floor space. With that said, I have narrowed it down to (2) mills In Grizzly's line up

The First is the G0704, Gets good reviews, Huge support base for this model has what I am looking for and I was ready to order one until, I read the review for #2

#2 is the G0463, 3/4hp, R8 it is made by seig and is the x3. There very few differences between the 2, but the differences are in my opinion Major differences. This machine weighs about 100 lbs more which is a good thing and it has a partial belt drive system rather than all plastic gears, which should give more durability and less noise. The price difference is about $250.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mill-Drill/G0463

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Drill-Mill-with-Stand/G0704

If anyone has any experience, opinions regarding the (2) please let me know, as I am finding it to be a tough decision, I plan on ordering this week along with some additional tooling, If anyone knows of any "must Have" items regarding tooling please let me know as besides the vice and basics, I may miss something

Thanks in advance
 

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I need a Mill for my home shop, I do not need a bridgeport size mill, a bench top Mill will suffice. I do not need a gigantic work envelope as mostly I will be making brackets, mounts and guards for my various motorcycle projects and repairs. I also do not have a ton of floor space. With that said, I have narrowed it down to (2) mills In Grizzly's line up

The First is the G0704, Gets good reviews, Huge support base for this model has what I am looking for and I was ready to order one until, I read the review for #2

#2 is the G0463, 3/4hp, R8 it is made by seig and is the x3. There very few differences between the 2, but the differences are in my opinion Major differences. This machine weighs about 100 lbs more which is a good thing and it has a partial belt drive system rather than all plastic gears, which should give more durability and less noise. The price difference is about $250.

http://www.grizzly.c...ill-Drill/G0463

http://www.grizzly.c...ith-Stand/G0704

If anyone has any experience, opinions regarding the (2) please let me know, as I am finding it to be a tough decision, I plan on ordering this week along with some additional tooling, If anyone knows of any "must Have" items regarding tooling please let me know as besides the vice and basics, I may miss something

Thanks in advance
You'll be shocked how fast you use up the work envelope. I was running an RF31 for milling 1911 pistol slides and didn't think it was near enough- I believe that is bigger than the two you spec'd.

If you are dead set against a ysed Bridgeport I would get a used or new RF31. This would be it from Grizzly http://www.grizzly.com/products/category/480000

I sold one in awesome condition for $700 with a vise and some basic tooling when I upgraded.

Whatever you buy, get a DRO. I've had great luck with http://www.dropros.com/

Everyone resells the same brands. DROPros is the cheapest and have a great selection of scales. I made the mistake of buying a Grizzly DRO with the lathe they sold me. It is the same one DRO pros sells for 50% more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You'll be shocked how fast you use up the work envelope. I was running an RF31 for milling 1911 pistol slides and didn't think it was near enough- I believe that is bigger than the two you spec'd.

If you are dead set against a ysed Bridgeport I would get a used or new RF31. This would be it from Grizzly http://www.grizzly.c...category/480000

I sold one in awesome condition for $700 with a vise and some basic tooling when I upgraded.

Whatever you buy, get a DRO. I've had great luck with http://www.dropros.com/

Everyone resells the same brands. DROPros is the cheapest and have a great selection of scales. I made the mistake of buying a Grizzly DRO with the lathe they sold me. It is the same one DRO pros sells for 50% more.
SGT, Thank you for the advise, I am not against a Bridgeport, I Just do not have the space for one, I looked at The Rong Fu style which is sold by grizzly, I did like the 2hp, Belt driven etc, What I was not liking was the round column. I will look into it more though

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Drill-Mill-with-Stand-29-inch-x-8-inch-Table/G0705

I agree with you on the DRO however, I can always add that, I would much rather put money towards the mill itself and add to it as needed, This is for personal hobby use so I have to do it in increments.

As far as the Used market, Mills seem to fetch a good price, to the point when one factors in the time and money relocating it (most are out of state) it is just easier to get new. I did go look at some used units and they just looked beat and wanted 2 grand to boot.

I know I can use up the work envelope rather quickly, But I do have a friend that has a Bridgeport whom I could ask to do something large if needed, Thats why I narrowed it down to the smaller machines.
 

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The problem with those little mills is the weight. They are around half an rf31 or clone which is half a bridgeport. They are fancy drill presses. I doubt the sqaure coloumn matter much on them, and would imagine you need to relocate the tool when you move the head up or down anyway.

I know way more now then when I had my rf31. It was a fine mill but it really was the smallest usable size IMO.
 

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I am with jarhead on this one- I think he must be mistaking an RF-25 for an RF-31 though since my RF-31 clone has nearly 30 inches of table travel and that's WAY more than you need for a pistol slide!

"RF" is from the original Taiwanese manufacturer RongFu. the 45 is a big square column sucker, the 31 is a good larger bench mill, the 25 is very similar to the 31 but with a smaller work envelope. All are R8 spindles.

You can check out my RF-31 clone if you would like. I highly recommend that, and realisticallyu sooner or later you will want to do a CNC conversion, which is pretty easy on this mill. The downside is 5-7/8" of quill travel which means you have to reindex the head if you want to bore cylinders- at least on engine blocks for cars. THAT uses up pretty much all the work envelope!

The trrick I came up with to get around the round column was to stick a magnetic laser to the front cover, mark a plumb line on a distant wall, and after changing the head height, twist the upper until the laser comes back on the line. This can get you withion a thou or two no problem if you are careful.It's a lot faster than a DTI or concentricity gauge.,

For a DRO, you can get the crap LCD scales cheap, or a better, full function DRO from SHARS for cheaper than anywherte else. I have one of the SHARS mill/lathe DROS on my lathe and it's fantastic. I don't need it on my mill because that's CNC'd, I use a modified digital caliper as a spindle depth gauge for manual milling and tool offsetting.

I have owned a lot of Grizzly, my primary complaint is that the cast iron may not stay flat, which is a problem for a mill. The RongFu are excellent by comparison, and I think their tables are equivalent to Meehanite. Grizzly is basically HF with better support, manuals, and a buyer who cares what the factory is producing. But it still ain't RF. And my Lobo, isn't really RF either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now, I am getting confused again LOL, these mills are all in the general same price range, but all are very different. To be absolutely honest, I do not see myself doing large work. As I said, mostly motorcycle parts, For example, I made a set of rearsets, by hand without a mill and well, I want to re make those. I do understand that bigger is better however, I really like the square dovetailed column over the round due to the increased setup and constant re tramming. I do intend at some point to convert to CNC as I already use a CNC router set up. I thank you all for the advice, Now back to the decision process
 

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I am with jarhead on this one- I think he must be mistaking an RF-25 for an RF-31 though since my RF-31 clone has nearly 30 inches of table travel and that's WAY more than you need for a pistol slide!
Nope. 31. Height issues depending on the vice and chuck/collet and y axis was kinda short.
 

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Now, I am getting confused again LOL, these mills are all in the general same price range, but all are very different. To be absolutely honest, I do not see myself doing large work. As I said, mostly motorcycle parts, For example, I made a set of rearsets, by hand without a mill and well, I want to re make those. I do understand that bigger is better however, I really like the square dovetailed column over the round due to the increased setup and constant re tramming. I do intend at some point to convert to CNC as I already use a CNC router set up. I thank you all for the advice, Now back to the decision process
You don't tram when you change height. In fact, most guys agree you can't tram an RF31. You tram you bridgeport when you have the head on one side.

What happens if your x and y coordinates change when you go up and down. I would argue that a 400 pound mini mill with a sqaure column will have the same problem, plus more issues.
 

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You should not have to retram anything- on a round column mill, all you have to do is get the arc of swing back to the same place, and you only have to do that if you have to go beyond the spindle travel (5-7/8" Z on my machine) If you have enough table travel, you can simply drive past your vise and do a toolchange, but remember R8 takes more Z travel to do a toolchange than ER or MT toolholders. I think R8 in a proper endmill holder instead of a collet takes about as much vertical to drop as an MT-40, but I have not measured, The R8 has a very narrow taper and that means a lot of drop before you can start to swing out. Unless you pull the endmill first.
 

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Rong Fu is cheaper at ENCO

wait until they have 20% off and free shipping. You save big http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPAGE=31&PMKANO=396&PARTPG=INLMPA&PMCTLG=01

$1539 wo power downfeed and stand. I don't think you really need the downfeed on a machine that small. I only use it for boring on my bridgeport and when I port barrels and stuff. So not often.

Down the line you will want an X-axis powerfeed or you will be destroying tools as you mill
 

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You should not have to retram anything- on a round column mill, all you have to do is get the arc of swing back to the same place, and you only have to do that if you have to go beyond the spindle travel (5-7/8" Z on my machine) If you have enough table travel, you can simply drive past your vise and do a toolchange, but remember R8 takes more Z travel to do a toolchange than ER or MT toolholders. I think R8 in a proper endmill holder instead of a collet takes about as much vertical to drop as an MT-40, but I have not measured, The R8 has a very narrow taper and that means a lot of drop before you can start to swing out. Unless you pull the endmill first.
Good stuff here. It has been years so I forgot all of it.

Also- if you get end mill holders you can just use an allen key to hold them.
 

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Nope. 31. Height issues depending on the vice and chuck/collet and y axis was kinda short.
Y is 6-7/8" on a clone and I think it's more like 7+ on real RF since the genuine RF has a recess where the table can go close to the column and the clones don't if I recall correctly. I set my vise forward and have plenty of room for any pistol slide I've seen, the main shortcoming being if you want to mill something like the cocking serrations and the corner of your vise gets in the way, and in that case offseting the vise and moving the head to about 30 degrees from square will probably do it, but you've probably BTDT. I have O-ringed 2L DOHC engine blocks and milled cylinder heads with my RF-31 (clone) but yeah, in some cases it's tight. I had 6'10" ceiling height in my old garage though, so short of digging a pit in the floor there was no way a BP was going in there or I would have opted for a Series2.
 

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Y is 6-7/8" on a clone and I think it's more like 7+ on real RF since the genuine RF has a recess where the table can go close to the column and the clones don't if I recall correctly. I set my vise forward and have plenty of room for any pistol slide I've seen, the main shortcoming being if you want to mill something like the cocking serrations and the corner of your vise gets in the way, and in that case offseting the vise and moving the head to about 30 degrees from square will probably do it, but you've probably BTDT. I have O-ringed 2L DOHC engine blocks and milled cylinder heads with my RF-31 (clone) but yeah, in some cases it's tight. I had 6'10" ceiling height in my old garage though, so short of digging a pit in the floor there was no way a BP was going in there or I would have opted for a Series2.
I had the real one. I was a great machine. Came with a 5/8 alterback keyless chuck on an R8 shank I kept and still use.

I had it in my basement, which has 8' ceilings and a clear span. I sold it bc I put too many machines down there and space was at a premium. I often wish I kept it.
 

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http://littlemachine...gory=1387807683
I have this one
I bought it for doing 80% lowers but I also make brackets and other small parts for my race car
like said above get something bigger then you think you will need because you will find out quickly what ever you get is to small
I am always worried about running out of space on my full sized machine. Occasionally I will get some really weird set up at the end of its work envelope, but I manage.
 

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I am always worried about running out of space on my full sized machine. Occasionally I will get some really weird set up at the end of its work envelope, but I manage.
I have been meaning to dowel my table for exactly this reason but I never seem to get around to it.

You can buy a genuine RF-31 at Penn for less than $1200, FOB New Jersey, the thing will fit in most SUV's or small trucks, and the guy who owns Penn is a Veteran, if that means anything as far as where you want to spend your dollars. I have also bought a lot of stuff at ENCO, not knocking them, I have a PhaseIII rotary table from there, and as far as MSC goes, my lathe is a MSC 12x36. MSC is local.It hink Penn will be cheapest since you can dodge the sales tax and it's a good excuse for a day trip.

Don't forget to factor in shipping from Grizzly., They are pretty good on freight but I just spent $350 getting two maple tops delivered from their freight carrier.
 

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I have been meaning to dowel my table for exactly this reason but I never seem to get around to it.

You can buy a genuine RF-31 at Penn for less than $1200, FOB New Jersey, the thing will fit in most SUV's or small trucks, and the guy who owns Penn is a Veteran, if that means anything as far as where you want to spend your dollars. I have also bought a lot of stuff at ENCO, not knocking them, I have a PhaseIII rotary table from there, and as far as MSC goes, my lathe is a MSC 12x36. MSC is local.It hink Penn will be cheapest since you can dodge the sales tax and it's a good excuse for a day trip.

Don't forget to factor in shipping from Grizzly., They are pretty good on freight but I just spent $350 getting two maple tops delivered from their freight carrier.
Enco is the cheap version of MSC. UPS sends me updates from MSC when my ENCO orders ship. MSC is more geared towards industry. I buy my tooling there now.

I never dealt with Penn. they sound sqaured away
 
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