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Old 03-28-2019, 09:08 PM
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New To Me Milling/Drilling Machine



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Just wondering if anyone is familiar with this Duracraft MD-100 mill? I always use my uncle's shop with a nice mill and lathe,, welder and full shop but he let me know he found this as I wanted a nice drill press/mill for work at home. He said it works great and comes with a few extras but most of all about the same price as a used drill press

Has anybody used this? I know it's nothing fancy but I am super excited to go look at and pick it up tomorrow. I'm wondering does it take collets or what as my uncle couldn't tell without popping the hood and getting into it more. If anyone has any knowledge and can give me some idea of value I would appreciate it. Even though he is selling it cheap to me I would like to do a few things for him to counter the favor.

Thank you
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:50 PM
Rick H.
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I have never seen or used a Duracraft drill/mill before seeing your picture. I have to be honest since you asked, but that machine is in need of some serious TLC. Did your uncle have it long? My guess is that it probably has a tapered shaft for the drill chuck to seat into. I doubt it would use collets, but I could be wrong. Its real purpose in life is for drilling holes and not for milling. The spindle in no way looks as if it were meant for handling side forces one encounters when milling. I would also look real close at the table "ways" and see what kind of shape they are in. IMHO it is a drill press, not a mill. Round column drill/mills were quite popular at one time, but they were never meant for serious milling as they flexed too much. good luck with it.

Rick H.

P.S. It looks as if that machine sat by a grinding machine. If so that means it caught all sorts of particles from grinding operations. Those particles will raise havoc with the table ways and can wear them out quick. If you do in fact take that machine from your uncle I would take the table apart and give it a very good cleaning and see what condition the ways are in.

Last edited by Rick H.; 03-28-2019 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:52 PM
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I'd like to have one of those!

But it looks like a drill press with a precision table, not built for sideways milling.
Look at the size of the post the head is mounted to and the distance from the post to the spindle, it probably won't work well milling with more than fairly small endmills.
And does it have a precise depth adjustment?

Edit: And as I look at it again, that is just a drill press with a milling table bolted to it. Probably won't take collets, no precision depth adjustment, would flex with medium end mills.

Last edited by Randy99CL; 03-28-2019 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:29 AM
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It is my uncle's neighbor thats why my uncle wasn't sure of whether it used collets. The reason he thought I would be interested in it is I was looking for a good drill press and this would be able to do that and a little more. The milling I would mainly do would be on stocks, most metal work I would do on my uncles mill.
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:36 AM
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Looks like a version of the Rong-fu 20, 25 or 30 to me. Taiwanese or Chinese manufacture, sold under many brand names. Proceeding on that assumption (and it is just an assumption)

1) Yes, it is a milling machine built for side loads, not just a drill press. The quill will be supported by opposed taper roller bearings. No, it won't be as rigid or move as much metal as a Bridgeport, but it wont be useless either. I have a RF30 and it chews through mild and stainless steel just fine, what's a few extra passes to the hobbyist anyway? HSS roughing endmills of around 1/2" diameter are my choice for moving bulk material, maybe 1/8" plunge depth if cutting full cutter width.

2) It likely has a #2 or #3 Morse taper with provision for a drawbar. So you can put collets directly in the quill, but buying an ER collet chuck and ER collets has several advantages and thats what I would recommend.

3) The small handwheel on the front top is the precision depth adjustment. There should be a knob on the hub of the 3-spoke depth lever which engages/disengages the fine depth control by moving a taper into engagement.

4) It's reasonable to be concerned about condition, but I can't see how anyone would make judgements based on that one photo. It could be worn out, it could be absolutely fine and it would take a hands-on inspection to tell for sure.

My RF30 was made in 1984. I've stripped it fully down, new bearings, new belts, added a cheap DRO, trammed the column, reassembled and it'll do everything I need it to - just slower than a 'real' milling machine. I think the biggest limitation you may have for stock work is the size of that table - mine has a much bigger table than that and I use nearly the full travel when cutting barrel channels.

Last edited by PaulNZ; 03-29-2019 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:13 AM
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Paul, that sure does look like about the same machine. I will see what condition it is in this morning but if my uncle said it is well worth what he is asking then I believe it. My current drill press is to small to be able to fit a decent adjustable table on the platform and have room with the bigger chuck and bit and then whatever material you use. I was looking at buying a big bench top or a standing unit but had thought a mill/drill would work even better when doing some stock Inletting, trigger work or other projects. The great thing is for what I have to pay I couldn't buy a cheap free standing drill or a adjustable table for. If I was looking to buy a dedicated mill I would buy a bigger Bridgeport or something else like I am use to using. This one for little projects will save me from haveing to drive 20 minutes each way to get over to my uncles. We will see in an hour or so.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:16 PM
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I have a Smithy 3 in 1 machine and it has about the same limitations that machine will probably have- round column, not as solid as a Bridgeport style machine, and a fairly small table. However, if you're patient and have some experience with a mill which it seems you do, it will work fine for small projects. I am always amazed at what I can accomplish with mine with a bit of careful set up- but it can be frustrating at times also. At least for the right price it will make a terrific drill press. I hope it comes with some tooling- that is where the real expense is in owning one of these...

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Old 03-29-2019, 01:03 PM
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LxWe went over and checked it out, pretty dirty but everything works great and very tight. Spindle runs super smooth and all cranks work well with the dials in good shape. A couple of the round ball ends are missing but no big deal on that. It is already set up to take the R8 collets and there are 4 or 5 of them included.. The guy only used it as a drill press and didn't even know it had the collets or what they were, were In a can with some hold downs etc. $200 so I don't think I could complain.
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Last edited by grg; 03-29-2019 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:31 PM
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You stole it. Should be a great machine at scrap metal price.....
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:03 PM
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Can't go wrong at that price. You can probably download an owner's manual for the Grizzly version of your mill if you like. I'd also get into the machine far enough to see if the bearings could do with cleaning out and regreasing, and do an overall clean, adjust and relube.
One thing - check the graduations on the dials are accurate. Mine were for X and Y axes, but way out on the fine depth adjustment. That's the kind of thing you want to find out before it matters.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:32 PM
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Thanks guys I think it's going to be a good unit. I will definately look at the Grizzly manuals and try to find the match for it. We also did spend about an hour today running all the cranks in and out for the table, head etc and everything is amazingly smooth and tight. My uncle did show me how he cleans his and we discussed pulling apart a lot of the easy stuff to see what the innards look like. One thing they did that I like is they put on a long extension out the top for the tool bar so you can get at it without taking off the hood all the time when you want to change cutters or collets.

Just another thing is I appreciate your patience with me on terminology. I am a real hack when it comes to the mill and lathe and so I probably dont call things by their right name. That's also how I do my work, I just look at what I want then I look at what equipment is in front of me and figure a way to get it done. When I can ask my uncle it quite often saves time but I usually get done what I need.

We are going to go through and figure out what would be the best cutters and attachments I need to get for what I want to do. If you have some favorites that do the bulk of your work please let me know. I know I tend to use a lot of the same equipment to do the bulk of my work. One of the first things I want is a decent vice, can't spend a lot of money right now but can't get much work done on here without one. Been watching Craigslist as a few months ago I passed up on a couple that were very inexpensive for what they were. I'll just keep watching. Thanks again.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:42 AM
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My vote for most useful cutters would be 3 or 4 flute HSS roughing endmills (the serrated ones), centre cutting if possible, about 1/2" diameter. The toothed profile makes a big difference and the chips are much nicer to deal with than from normal endmills - though you'll need some of them too when you need a flat finish on the side of the cut. Conventional wisdom says you wont want carbide endmills with a mill drill, it doesn't have the necessary rigidity to use them properly.

The tool I probably use most of all is my Starrett double ended edge/centre finder. Relatively cheap and highly recommended. The cheap edge finders I've had aren't ground true, but the Starrett is good.

As far as vises go I've been very happy with my Vertex brand 5" in the anglock style. Taiwanese Vertex seems to be good, accurately made gear.

Just my experiences, hope it helps.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:44 AM
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Paul that's exactly the info I need. I wonder if a thread talking about this would help others? Anyway if anyone else has their favorites I would love to here. Since I am kind of a hack at this a good description like you did Paul really helps. Thanks again.

While I am thinking about it, a couple of cutters I need but don't really know where to look for them are, edit, just looked on Amazon and found some.
1" ball type cutter to mill the bottom side of aluminum stock.
Ball cutters go mill for aluminum larger than 1" to match receiver size such as model 52, 37, m12 target rifles. I need to measured my H&R M12.
These are cutters my uncle doesn't have. My machine may not end up doing a good enough job but I can do them on his mill.
Where do you like to buy your cutters that is reasonable? I know my uncle buys through McMasters a lot. Also where do you buy your Vertex brand vice?

Thanks again
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Last edited by grg; 03-30-2019 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:43 AM
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Grizzly used to have a pretty good selection of tooling suitable for that class of machine and the work you intend.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:25 AM
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MSC sells more tooling than you can shake a stick at: https://www.mscdirect.com/FlyerView?...alogs/big-book
The listing for ball end mills starts at the bottom of page 460 of the referenced catalog.

Later,
Johnny
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