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I Forge Iron

Any info on this?

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I might have the opportunity to purchase a benchtop mill but I have not found one for sale anywhere that will give me an idea of price so wanted to see if anyone knew about this one

expectations are light work mostly in AL and mild steel for spacers etc and motorcycle stuff I do for fun




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That's a nice little mill---and appears to be a combination horizontal with a vertical head mounted on it.  In theory, there should be a bit more junk to properly operate in the horizontal mode---some sort of overarm system to hold the H shaft in place.  Looking closer--it looks like the H goodies might be there in the pile.

Vice on it is junk---but might get you by briefly.  Vice below is a drill press vice and would likely not work well for any milling.  As TP said, make sure that it either has all the collets you need if it's a bit unusual or that it uses R8 collets (the universal standard for machines in this size range).  Collets are probably still available if this one is a bit unusual but the cost can add up quickly.  It wouldn't be a deal breaker but would affect pricing.  Doesn't look like R8 but they make R8 collet to DA (double angle) collet holders so it might actually be set up that way (makes tooling quicker to change and is a common "upgrade")

At a anything less than a grand, I'd probably jump on that in my area.  2 grand is likely high unless there is more to it than can be seen.  I've seen similar listed from anywhere ranging $ 600 or so to $ 2K or so so there is too much variation to give much help on the price.  A very similar one with just the horizontal and no vertical head (and a little better machine) was recently listed at $ 600 in my area and didn't fly out the door.  

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This is forever old, so not sure how useful it'll be. The first mill pictured in this thread is a Hardinge horizontal milling machine with a Rusnok bertical milling attachment. That Hardinge is not a benchtop mill by any measure. You're looking at 800 pounds of cast iron when counting the base. 

The second mill pictured is an Atlas horizontal milling machine, with a Rusnok vertical milling attachment. This mill can be called a bench top model and is highly sought after with guys who want their machine shop in the basement.   

The Hardinge could be used in industry and was built for it. The Atlas I'm not real sure about. Although I will say I would happily buy either one if given the opportunity. 

I've found Atlas mills for as low as $100 dollars and as much as $2400. The Hardinge machines are top of the line and rarely go for less than a grand around here.  

Rusnok was, so far as I know, a builder of attachments. They didn't build milling machines as far as I can recall. But if any of this has been enlightening, I highly recommend you research it yourself more thoroughly than accepting what my not so stellar memory provides as facts.

Rusnok vertical milling attachments are high quality. But neither machine pictured is a Rusnok vertical milling machine. The pictured machines are two different horizontal milling machines, of widely disparate build quality, and valued for different reasons by different folk. 

One seemingly obvious difference being that the Atlas machine has die cast Zamak gears in it's power feed transmission, while everything in the Hardinge is cast iron. This fact steers many away from an Atlas machine, for fear that the gears will crumble under heavy use. My opinion is that if they've lasted this long, the Zamak is probably of no real concern.

The most widely available benchtop vertical milling machines are probably those sold by Grizzly. A person would be money ahead buying one of those over a used machine for the same cost. The tooling is easy to find, and the machines are plug and play.

But the machine asked about by the OP is a high quality machine that I think has the potential of lasting your lifetime. But, there's also a possibility that it may be hiding some serious and irreparable damage inside, that would cost more than two new ones to fix right...with no warranty to fall back on.

Just for milling a little aluminum from time to time, I'd buy something new, and smaller. And that advice is worth every penny it cost ya. 

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