MULTIPURPOSE MACHINE - 5980
Ratings: (5 is best)
1 2 3 4 5
Review by Partners4Good on March 9th, 2010
I have to say I was disappointed with this machine even though is is a pretty sound machine. Looking at the larger and smaller machines with threading capabilities I made the mistake of not noticing this machine does not do threads. The units of measure on the adjustments are not in thousands, and every adjustment has a different equivalntcy so you have to use a calculator to figure out what you are going to get with each adjustment.
The mill head is so close to the deck you can't get your tool and your work both in place at the same time.
The unit didn't come with a single cutting tool. I hadn't used a lathe in over 25 years, and we never an "expert" back when I did use them. But it seems there needs to be a way to adjust the height of your cutting tool so it meets your work at the right spot, and there is no way to adjust the height, short of stacking shims (if you have then, and I didn't)under the cutting tool.
It is pretty nice that the mill has it's own motor and adjustable pullies/belt. There isn't a "chuck guard" safey system, and it reminded me real quick of the importance of NEVER leaving the chuck key in the head. Fortunately I was standing off to the side when I flipped it on and the chuck key went flying across the shop.
The manual that came with it, and the one at the HF web site, is really nothing more than an exploded view parts list. No instructions, just all the usual warning anyone with common sense would know about, including don't leave the key in the head, I was lacking some common sense there.
The unit is heavy, over 400 pounds, so have two men and boy available to help get it onto your work bench. In spite of it being well built for the most part the flimsy hinges on the top belt cover are only spot welded on, and one of them broke almost immediately.
I did end up taking it back to HF, and they didn't give me any hassle at all. I still need a lathe, and since the mill wasn't of any use to me I'll probably purchase their 8X12 lathe. It does do threads and I've see only good reviews of it.
Oh yea, one more thing. I paid $599 for it, and before I took it back, as I was researching lathes I found the same product at a different section of the HF web site for $499. Also don't be afraid to search for HF discount coupons. I found a lot of 20% off coupons and will use one to purchase the 8X12 and save $100.
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