I'm shopping for a mini drill press. I do a lot of teenie weenie hole drilling and have been doing it with a big, clumsy rig. I need the finesse a mini would provide. I've looked on line and found Proxxon and Microlux to be the best choices. Neither one of the have the cross slide vice I need.
Nick Fennel, Indie mountie in Seattle
Susan Skoczen 10/31/11
You should check out jewelry suppliers such as Rio Grande, Otto Frei and Contenti.com for any and all small tools. They would be the best resource.
You might want to consider a miniature milling machine with a milling vise. It can also be used as a lathe and is small enough to be carried from job to job. http://www.sherline.com/mills.htm
Philip Brutz Mountmaker Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 E. Blvd. Cleveland OH 44106 (216)707-2617
I'd check with Micro Mark. They have been a great resource for those much needed micro tools.
Jamie Hascall 11/1/11
Hi Nick, I definitely concur with Phillip. You find lots of other uses for a small milling machine besides precision drilling. The Chinese ones from Grizzley and others seem like they could work pretty well. Littlemachineshop.com has one on special right now and they're pretty decent folks to deal with. There are also combo machines like Prazi and Emco small machines but they may not be as convenient for drilling as a dedicated mill or press. I'll see if anything else comes to mind. Good luck!
nick fennel 11/1/11
Thanks Jamie and Phillip, and Susan. I'd never considered a milling machine before. As I shopped, I thought about many projects that seemed to take forever when they need not have, given the right tool. I'm looking at the MicroLux mini miller.
Philip Brutz 11/2/11
If you can afford the extra cost and weight the http://www.micromark.com/MicroLux-High-Precision-Heavy-Duty-R8-Miniature-Milling-Machine,9616.html uses the standard R8 taper making it a lot easier to buy used collets and bit holders. But the http://www.micromark.com/MicroLux-Micro-Milling-Machine,9683.html would be easier to move from job to job.
nick fennel 11/2/11
Portability is key for me. Thanks.
Philip Brutz 11/2/11
Then the Micro-Mill looks like a nice choice for you and it use the morse #1 taper. There seems to be a good number used tools for it http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=morse+%23+1+taper&_sacat=See-All-Categories Let us know how it works out for you. I might need to get one for home shop.
For portability and function I think that MicroLux Mini will work well for you. I like the added capacity of the bigger mill and I agree with Philip on looking at the availability of tooling as that ends up being a major additional cost. For a little larger machine, this one is a nice compromise in cost and capacity, and also comes with a good set of collets. http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4223 I think the bigger one from MicroMark is probably the same machine but the R-8 spindle and some of the other features are a step up
For myself, I'd hate to lose the capacity that my Clausing 8520 mill has. It's been a great tool. Of course, it weighs in at close to 800 lbs. Not taking that one to an on-site job. http://www.lathes.co.uk/clausing%20vertical/index.html
Good luck, Jamie