Milling machine help

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
#1
I've been looking at Small mills I believe I've narrowed it to 2 choices either a Precision Matthew's PM25MV or the Grizzly G0704 in all honesty I had never heard of the PM company until I started to search for a mill. Never had one and know very little about them. There are some things about the PM I like better than the Grizzly and vice versa. The biggest thing is the ability to put an aftermarket DRO onto the mill after the purchase. The PM looks a little easier to add it to than the Grizzly because the base is squared off rather than angled like the Grizzly. I like the way the column mounts better than the Grizzly also. I do like the fact that Grizzly has been around for a long time, comes with at least the R8 spindle and a chuck and the base cabinet all for about the same money. Does anyone have any experience with either of these machines? All input is welcome!!
 
#2
Didn't we just have this conversation last week with the question of milling machine or HT oven? I doubt there are many pro's here without the grizzly unit. It seems to be a standard fixture in just about every shop I have seen. I've never heard of the PM....not to say that it's a bad machine but for the same money you can have a tried, true, tested and quality machine that has become essentially the standard.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
#4
Didn't we just have this conversation last week with the question of milling machine or HT oven? I doubt there are many pro's here without the grizzly unit. It seems to be a standard fixture in just about every shop I have seen. I've never heard of the PM....not to say that it's a bad machine but for the same money you can have a tried, true, tested and quality machine that has become essentially the standard.
Yes we did, and its the reason that the Grizzly is on of my list of 2. Just a lot of money that I usually wouldn't have and since I know little to nothing about these machines I tend to overthink that's all.
 

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
#5
I have several milling machines but I don't have either of those two. I'm sure either of them would be fine for knife making without a Digital Read Out. I don't have any DRO's on any of my manual mills and I think putting one on either of those mills would be un-necessary for knife making. I'm the kind of guy that would rather work IN my shop than ON it. I'd rather be making knives with the mill right out of the box than figitting with mounting the DRO. Have fun, be safe.
 

springer82

Well-Known Member
#6
If you went to or ordered from Harbor Freight I'm sure you could pick up 2 digital or even analog travel indicators. (2"+ travel) One for X and one for Y. With that said,,, I agree with Mark. If you did it for a living then I could see a read out. Then you would want a little CNC!!! lol,,,,
 

Motor City Mike

Well-Known Member
#7
I don't have either of those but I do have a LMS mill.

I added a DRO and it wasn't too much of a pain.

I think each mill will present it's own unique set of challenges when installing a DRO.

For instance, one of the feet was in the way on mine. I needed to come up with a way to mount it so the travel would be straight and level. Not too hard but takes a bit of ingenuity.

Adding a DRO is the best decision I made. I wish I would have done it when I first got my mill.

With the exception of my TW-90, I had to modify all my equipment out of the box to get it to work the way I wanted.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
#8
I don't have either of those but I do have a LMS mill.

I added a DRO and it wasn't too much of a pain.

I think each mill will present it's own unique set of challenges when installing a DRO.

For instance, one of the feet was in the way on mine. I needed to come up with a way to mount it so the travel would be straight and level. Not too hard but takes a bit of ingenuity.

Adding a DRO is the best decision I made. I wish I would have done it when I first got my mill.

With the exception of my TW-90, I had to modify all my equipment out of the box to get it to work the way I wanted.
What DRO did you get??
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#9
More power to you guys if you like to run a mill with dials. I run my lathe without a DRO and it’s a PITA in comparison. It took me an evening to put 3-axis DRO on my mill, and I had to make some brackets to mount one axis. If a non-machinist schlub like me can do it then you know it’s simple.

I used the iGaging units. You can buy a kit or you can buy each axis based on the length of travel you need for that axis.

iGaging 12" Absolute Digital Readout DRO Stainless Steel Super High Accuracy w/Remote Reading https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KWCV5MI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_VTvXBbTJF7V9T
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#12
I have a question and this is coming from someone that only dreams of having a mill but how in the world would you get much precision without a DRO?
Well, it would require a real machinist to operate it. Accurate parts were made long before DROs. Each axis has a dial on the knob to translate angular rotation to linear movement. That isn’t the hard part- the difficulty comes in when you advance something in unequal increments and have to keep track of these additions amd subtractions to know where you are or how to get back to where you were.

Having said that- WITH the advent of DROs, total idiots like me can make good parts having no machinist background.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#14
You and me both! At least on a lathe you can stop 20 times and measure. I don’t have DRO on my lathe.

On a mill- I’d be useless without DRO and I admit it.
 

Motor City Mike

Well-Known Member
#15
What DRO did you get??
The iGaging that John linked to above.

They're relatively cheap and work great



I have a question and this is coming from someone that only dreams of having a mill but how in the world would you get much precision without a DRO?
The round vernier gauges on the handles of a mini mill all but useless IMO.

Mini mills also have a good deal of backlash that make it a PIA to hold any real accuracy.

What I used to do was set up multiple dial gauges. Talk about a pain! The DRO eliminated all that hassle.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
#16
Like other folks have said, I used my lathe and mill both a couple yr without a DRO, but when I finally broke down and put a DRO on the mill, it wasn't but a couple months before I added one to the lathe. Does a DRO make a mill or lathe more accurate? Nope, not at all, but it's easier to get that accuracy. Here's the $236 DRO I put on the Mill: https://goo.gl/HWtDaQ and the $200 DRO on the lathe: https://goo.gl/7hhkmD
 

Don Robinson

Well-Known Member
#17
I have a question and this is coming from someone that only dreams of having a mill but how in the world would you get much precision without a DRO?
Always approach your point from the same direction. The hand screws have slack in the nuts, so always make your approach by turning the hand wheel to the right. If you accidentally go past, back up several turns and come back turning the hand wheel to the right.

This should give you accuracy within 0.001".

Learn to use dial indicators. These are absolutely necessary.
 

Don Robinson

Well-Known Member
#18
I've been looking at Small mills I believe I've narrowed it to 2 choices either a Precision Matthew's PM25MV or the Grizzly G0704 in all honesty I had never heard of the PM company until I started to search for a mill. Never had one and know very little about them. There are some things about the PM I like better than the Grizzly and vice versa. The biggest thing is the ability to put an aftermarket DRO onto the mill after the purchase. The PM looks a little easier to add it to than the Grizzly because the base is squared off rather than angled like the Grizzly. I like the way the column mounts better than the Grizzly also. I do like the fact that Grizzly has been around for a long time, comes with at least the R8 spindle and a chuck and the base cabinet all for about the same money. Does anyone have any experience with either of these machines? All input is welcome!!
I've had Grizzly mills, both large and small. I highly recommend them for those trying to save money. Very accurate and reliable.

By all means, get an R8 spindle.
 

DanF

Well-Known Member
#19
I worked in a small textile mill straight out of the military back in the dark ages, the mills and lathes were all manual and everyone talked in thousandths, not tenths of.
I've had my mini mill a little over a year now and I keep eyeballing the dro's, but know it would take me forever to install it and learn to use it, but I still look forward to that day.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#20
I keep eyeballing the dro's, but know it would take me forever to install it and learn to use it, but I still look forward to that day.
Not at all. The fear of doing it is a hundred times worse than the actual job. I had the same concerns. It was not bad at all.

I can post pics of how I mounted my slides if you wish. That was the hardest part- figuring how to physically shoehorn the slides in there where they wouldn’t have, or cause, interference. Once I figured that out it was easy peasy. I also made some drip guards to keep oil/coolant/chips off the dro slides. I used scrap aluminum angle I had laying around.

Learning to use the DRO will take you about ten minutes. Installing it will make you keenly aware of how it works.
 
Top