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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!


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About royce

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  1. My mini has about .007"-.008" of backlash when I change direction with the wheel. So what? All that means is that when I change directions I must consult my dial indicators as to where I am. And If the machine had only .001"of backlash, I would STILL have to consult those indicators. And if it had .0005" of backlash and I was doing really high precision work, I would STILL have to consult those indicators. So what is your point? As for the machine that had a full turn of backlash and the table moved while cutting, I again state that it was either a machine with a major defect or it was NOT PROPERLY SET-UP by the operator. A better argument than being adjustment free is required on this one, as there is no such thing. This thread is not about whether a big machine is better, because it is. This is about PERSPECTIVE and ABILITY. One without the other is quite useless. Together great things are possible.
  2. Joshua, you have been given some good advice and some fairly misguided comments as well. Let's try to put things in some perspective: 1) ALL machines have backlash...from the mini's to the masters. The amount is greater, typically, on the mini's. But, there have been many to come before you and this problem can not only be minimized, but dealt with fairly easily. The 'pro' working on a machine with automation may not realize that the computer is compensating for the machine's backlash. Also, DRO's (Digital Read Outs) or even well placed Dial Indicators will tell you exactly where you are on the table regardless of backlash. The readout doesn't know that the wheel has backlash...only that the table has or has not moved. An indicator that will give you fairly accurate readings to .001" can be had for the grand sum of about $10! 2) "If you want to see something really ugly just put a $ 400 slide on a $ 400 cheepy mill and try to make a decent cut." Well, I would have to modify that statement by adding the following: " And if you want to see a really beautiful cut on that $400 slide sitting on your $400 mill, then learn how to use that $400 mill properly and not impose $10,000/2,000 lb. techniques on the little fella". You do get what you pay for, including the results from YOUR Time & Effort. Anyone who thinks that these little mini's are NOT capable of accuracy to .001" or even .0005" if you put your time in, either has not really used one or did use one with a pre-disposed attitude to make it fail. Certainly they made no valid attempt to make the machine perform. Samller machines...less weight...less strength...lighter cuts....slower cuts. Are you in a big hurry? If not, don't worry about it. 3) If you don't happen to have a shop but you have a small space in your home for a mini, then why should you be discouraged or prevented from the joy of working on or creating your own stuff? Can you turn out a champion gun? Yes. But don't take my word for it...go to www.HomeGunsmith.com (formerly known as Roderus Custom) and see what has been and IS being done by others who have rejected the notion that only the best & most expensive machines can create anything worthwhile. In fact, the Internet is full of sites where you will find no less than amazing projects being built on these little mini's (mill & lathe). Ever hear the phrase 'It's not the tool, it's the craftsman"? If you want to 'grow your own' then don't be disuaded by egos, snobbery, and oft times ignorance. You can buy any mill you want, but if you aren't that good, the mill will NOT make up for it. And if you ARE that good, your work will show it...on any machine. Stay away from the combos, as they have not proven themselves reliable enough. If you do consider a mini, then swing towards the Harbor Freight model, as it uses an R8 spindle so tooling will be cheap & easy to find. I have the Harbor Freight Mini-Mill and the MicroLux 7x14 Mini-Lathe from MicroMark. I am completely satisfied with both. Would I like bigger machines? Yes. Do I have the space for them? No. Am I satisfied with my purchases? Competely. Do I have lot's of money left over? Yes. Dont be misled as to tooling....these little mini's will eat just as much 'tooling' money as the big boys!
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