HF Mill Drill…

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  • #48584
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    This is primarily for David, but please dive in if you want to contribute…

    David:

    I’ve been reading alot about the Harbor Freight Drill Mill that you own and I have a few questions.

    1) I keep seeing that most people who own this machine have bought a belt conversion kit to reduce the noise. While this tends to reduce the tourqe, overall it seems to be a worth while trade off. Those that opted to keep the gears, got a metal gear upgrade kit to replace the plastic ones that come in the machine. What is your opinion of this and if you did any of these mods, could you give a link to the after-market sources?

    2) Another mod seems to be a gas system to reduce “head drop” (I think I know what this means). Any ideas?

    3) I know that I need the R8 collet holder but aside from that, what are the additional tools needed to get up and running with this machine?

    4) Most everyone talks about tweeking the adjustments when setting it up. What do they mean by this?

    As usual, your experience and advise are greatly appreciated!
    tmac

    #53465
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    People buy a small bench mill like this, put in a 5/8 diameter end mill, try to hog out a piece of tool steel and wonder why gears break and things begin to slip. It is a great high precision small mill made to take small cutters 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 inch diameter end mills. It does a fine job when used properly. It is not a Bridgeport nor does it claim to be. The reason the plastic gears break is because people try to push the machine past what it was designed to do. You wouldn’t think of putting a piece of 1″ diameter bar stock into your Levin and attempting to peal off a 1/8 inch cut with a .006/rev feed rate. The machine isn’t designed for it. You could easily do this with a 15″ engine lathe but a 15″ engine lathe has a 7 1/2 horsepower motor and weighs over 4500 pounds. If you decide later to modify the Harbor Freight mill the upgrade kits will stil be available. Just get the mill first and then get the accessories as you need them.
    david

    #53466
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @david pierce wrote:

    Tom,
    People buy a small bench mill like this, put in a 5/8 diameter end mill, try to hog out a piece of tool steel and wonder why gears break and things begin to slip. It is a great high precision small mill made to take small cutters 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 inch diameter end mills. It does a fine job when used properly. It is not a Bridgeport nor does it claim to be. The reason the plastic gears break is because people try to push the machine past what it was designed to do. You wouldn’t think of putting a piece of 1″ diameter bar stock into your Levin and attempting to peal off a 1/8 inch cut with a .006/rev feed rate. The machine isn’t designed for it. You could easily do this with a 15″ engine lathe but a 15″ engine lathe has a 7 1/2 horsepower motor and weighs over 4500 pounds. If you decide later to modify the Harbor Freight mill the upgrade kits will stil be available. Just get the mill first and then get the accessories as you need them.
    david

    david:

    Great advise.

    Thanks!
    tmac

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tmac1956HF Mill Drill…