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- Which Milling Machine Should I Buy? -

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Which milling machine should I buy?
That's a bit like asking me which car you should choose. It depends upon so many different factors, but here are some suggestions.

Many of the more common milling machines below are often to be found advertised here. Technical data on how to use a vertical milling machine in the home workshop can be found here. Less-common examples can be found listed under milling machines on the Archive Page

Note: "Universal" Milling machines. The word "universal can be applied in two ways:
1) - a pure
horizontal milling machine where the table can be pivoted on its vertical axis thus making it a "Universal"
2) - a miller that has both horizontal and vertical capacity. These machines can be found in several forms including a conventional knee-type horizontal miller with a "bolt-on" head driven either by its own motor or through the horizontal spindle, like a
Centec in its various forms, or the rather different Deckel FP1  with no in-and-out table travel (the head moves instead) combined with a "knee" able to be fitted with a range of tables including ones than can be swung, tilted and pivoted. However, even more complex types have been made - usually heavy industrial models - including the remarkable Belgium-made S.B.C.A and Brown & Sharp Omniversal

Precision Miniature Vertical Milling Machines.

Although few models are available in this specialist class, they do include the following - some hard to find - and expensive:
Aciera F1 
Aciera F2
Ames (USA)
BCA
Cowells
Derbyshire Micromill (USA)
Dixi
Leinen Micro-precision FM1
Nora 
Pratt & Whitney (USA)
Precise (USA)
Rawyler
Servo (USA)
Stevens 

Also very useful, though limited in capacity, are the original Wolf Jahn "jig borer" and its decedents the Leinen BFL, Ultra, Excel, Sigma and BCA

Ordinary Small to Medium-sized Vertical and Universal Millers - and small Jig Borers:

Surprisingly useful, the ubiquitous Taiwanese Mill/Drills by Alpine, Warco, Sealey, Warco, Whitecote, Excel, Ajax, Naerok and other dealers have been imported for more than 30 years and are surprisingly effective: - see Pinnacle, Sealey and especially Naerok for typical examples

...... the following "Medium-sized" milling machines, suitable for the home workshop, have sold on the British and other markets in reasonable numbers - and so are not too hard to find.

Bench and Lighter Floor-standing Vertical and Universal Milling Machines
Alpine
Amolco
Arboga
Astra
Ames Triplex (USA)
Atlas (USA)
Barker (USA)
Beaver Model A
Benchmaster Duro (USA)
Blank & Buxton (USA)
Burke (USA) - many different models
Centec
Centex (USA)
Craftsman (USA)
Dore Westbury
Downham (Elliott) Miniature Jig Borer
Elgin (USA)
Elliott 00 Omnimil
Emco
Goodell-Pratt (USA)
Hardinge (USA) - check links at top of page for different models
Hogbo
Leinen
Linley USA (Jig Borer)
Mikron
Naerok
Nutools
Pinnacle
Portmac
Rishton
Rusnok (USA)
Sealey
Senior E-Type
Sharp
Schaublin 11AB
Schaublin12 and Schaublin12 here
More on Schaublin millers here

Medium-sized Vertical and Universal Milling Machines Suitable for Smaller Workshops
One of the most versatile "Universal" types is the
Deckel FP - this design also being made in various forms by other makers, most listed on the Deckel page. Another excellent choice is the Elliott 00 Omnimil, a machine that spans the smaller to medium-size renage. Compact yet highly versatile with a wide range of movements.

Others - common and not so common -  include the smaller industrial models by::
Adcock & Shipley
AEW
Aciera F3 Universal
Alexander Master Toolmaker Universal
Archdale
Armor (USA)
Beaver
Boxford
Centec Universal  (the 2B not the 2A
Christen
Clausing (USA)
CVA
Deckel FP1 universal
Denbigh
Elliott Omnimil Universal
Fray (USA)
Hardinge (USA) - check links at top of page for different models
Harrison
Hayes
Maho
Marlow
Meddings
Metba universal
Mikron Universal
Millrite (USA)
Milnes
Myford
Oerlikon/
Pallas
Portmac
Prvomajska and Macmon Universal
Rockwell Delta (USA)
Senior
Schaublin Universal
Senior
Sheldon (USA)
Taylormiller
Vernon (USA)
Werner

One way of locating a machine (and often being presented with a choice) is to place a "Wanted" advertisement on the sales and wanted pages

Keep the wording simple and non too-specific, you never know what might turn up. Don't ask for one in perfect condition - a well-used one might be inaccurate but have masses of valuable accessories included. Buy the complete outfit, save the accessories, throw the remainder into the local canal - and keep looking. Something along the following lines, tailored to your requirements, can be effective

Wanted: small vertical milling machine. Any model considered, in any condition. Please phone: *************

For the coverage, the costs are modest: 42 including VAT per advert for up to 150 words and - the great advantage - a display duration of 6 months and the facility to have the words changed later - any number of times you like - free of charge. For example, if you find what you are looking for you can change the advertisement to ask for accessories, or even something completely different.
To place a "Wanted" advertisement it's best to phone: 01298-871633.

Technical data on how to use a vertical milling machine and get the best out of it in the home