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I think I got a deal! - Enco RF-30 Mill/Drill

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vintagehotrods, May 24, 2008.

  1. vintagehotrods
    Joined:
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    Posts:
    1,964
    Location:
    formerly Crooks, South Dakota and now Prescott, AZ

    vintagehotrods Member

    Last Tuesday night my wife brought home the latest local Shoppers News for me and I found this Enco RF-30 Mill/Drill advertised for $500! I called the owner and we blasted over to see it right away. It looked like it hadn't been used too much but it needed a good cleaning and derusting. I bought it on the spot. Today my good buddy Terry and I hauled it home and unloaded it in my shop. It came with the stand, several R-8 collets, a 1/2" drill chuck, a 3" fly cutter and a 6" vise. I've been looking for one of these for awhile and I think I lucked out finding this one for $500. I need some good instruction and reference material to learn the proper way to use it from the experienced machinists on the HAMB. I also have a small Grizzley 9" X 19" lathe that I have been using, but I could use some instruction and reference material on lathe operation too. Any information on this little mill and it's shortcomings are welcome, and also any suggestions for improving it too. I know I'll be able to do a better job drilling more accurately on this rather than my regular drill press.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  2. fab32
    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Posts:
    13,886
    Location:
    Bay City, Mi. USA

    fab32
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As far as I'm concerned a mill and a lathe are just as essential to a well rounded car guys shop as hand tools a welder and torches. Once you get the feel of the mill you'll wonder how you ever got by without it. Good score
  3. JohnEvans
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
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    4,826
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ

    JohnEvans Member

    Better than nothing by far. But if you really going to get into metal working it will just not do it, you will get a bad case of Bridgeport wants. LOL. Started with one of those 30 years ago and like I said beats the shit out of files and grinders. Nice part is it uses Bridgeport R-8 style collets so if you buy tooling you can transfer it to a serious mill. It does not like interupted cuts and the head wants to walk/turn on the collum. Light cuts and you will do fine. Now if you don't have one look for a lathe 10X24 or bigger with a quick change. Unless you never plan on cutting a thread stay away from a lathe that you have to change gears around unless it is only a few hundred bucks. I use both the lathe and mill damm near daily. I recently got a second lathe that has almost a 20" swing to go with my 12" . I agree with Fab32 if you have anything more than basic hand tools you need a lathe and mill. When milling don't run to high a speed real easy to burn up your mills.
  4. vintagehotrods
    Joined:
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    Location:
    formerly Crooks, South Dakota and now Prescott, AZ

    vintagehotrods Member

    I already have the Bridgeport wants but not the Bridgeport budget. About 4 years ago I was at a IRS tax auction and there was the smallest, neatest Bridgeport mill I had ever seen. It sold for $1700 without tooling and looked to be in excellent shape. I bid it up to that price but I still regret not going higher. I figured my wife would kill me if I spent $2000+ (I had already bought an air compressor and would need the tooling too) at that auction so I chickened out. I have never seen another one like it but I usually see the bigger ones that need 3 phase power and look well used for much more money so I figured this little one will suit my limited knowledge and needs for one now. I do need a better knowledge of how to use one properly and would like to learn what I can on this one because I do have access to a larger one that a good friend has for making the tooling/fixtures to run on his CNC machine centers for his business. I would like to learn the basics before I attempt to use (or break!!) his equipment. I'm looking for some good books on the subject that will get me started without to much strain on my old brain!!
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  5. JohnEvans
    Joined:
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    JohnEvans Member

    Well I had a "Huskey" for awhile ,was a true knee mill but the top /drive system was like yours. Had a little project modifying some 39 Packard rods and none of my equip would do it the easy way. So after that went out and got a older Bridgeport with a later variable speed head. And after it got here went crazy and fitted it out with power table and knee and a angle head also. It came with a boring head and rotory table with a 6" chuck mounted. Now have 2 boring heads and 3 rotory tables !!! Feast or famine for sure. Then traded the Huskey mill off for a Enco 18X40 lathe big sucker!!. My Bridgeport has a small table 9X32 but for everything I've done so far thats big enough. Don't worry about the 3 phase deal a $150 static converter will work great if you have 20 amps or so of 220 available. Try to find a old high school metal shop text ,that will get you the basic info to get you started. Still have mine from 61. Also a "Machinery's Handbook" is nice to have.
  6. Kerry
    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
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    Location:
    Inman, Kansas

    Kerry Member
    1. Early Hemi Tech
    2. Vagabonds
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    4. FED

    I got a very similar one last spring. Opens up a whole new vista on projects. I don't know what I did without it. Congrats!
  7. 36-3window
    Joined:
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    in my own little world

    36-3window Member

    i believe they were about $1100 new , so you got a good deal.
  8. Adriatic Machine
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Posts:
    123
    Location:
    Long Island

    Adriatic Machine Member

    if your gonna run steel, take light cuts. that style post won't absorb much vibration like the solid base models. in this economy you should have no trouble finding deals on accesories and stuff so keep your eyes open. i just scored a babied bridgeport j series with a boatload of tooling for $2,500. i suggest getting your hands on a machinist's handbook, infinite knowledge. good luck!
  9. liduno
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
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    1
    Location:
    florida

    liduno Member

  10. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
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    4,751
    Location:
    Near the BEACH! Howell NJ.

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT Member

    You wouldn't happen to have any Torque Thrusts would you? :D
  11. Richard D
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
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    12,246
    Location:
    Texas City, Texas Between Houston & Galveston

    Richard D Member

    I gave mine away, because I found a Millrite for $750. True knee mill, a little smaller than a Bridgeport, made in the USA. I have seen people make those turn out good work, however. Biggest problem is you are limited by the quill travel; if you move the head on the column, you have to re-indicate everything in. Practice on it until you can get the real thing. Get a subscription to Home Shop Machinist and Machinist's Workshop. They also have a forum. Practical Machinist.com is great, but they tend to frown on mill-drills; just like around here, as far as muscle cars. Still lots to be learned there.
  12. vintagehotrods
    Joined:
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    Location:
    formerly Crooks, South Dakota and now Prescott, AZ

    vintagehotrods Member

    That's me!! (but I do like driving them just as much as building stuff, too) Unfortunately I will have to add this to the long list of addictions I have already (see below). I would always rather build everything myself, why pay someone else to screw something up when I can do it myself! :D:D

    I have that shelf full and a set of fully polshed T-70's that I used run on my roadster, but I have had the wire wheel infatuation for a while too. Here is a great website on American Torque Thrust wheels you might not know about.

    http://www.torquethrustcentral.com/

    Thanks to everyone on their advice on vertical mills. I always keep my eyes open for finding better equipment (at a good price!) and I need to learn all I can about them.

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