Grizzly G8689 Mini Milling Machine

Precise drilling device

I don’t do enough serious fabrication work to spend thousands of dollars on a real milling machine, but for about $500 this provides much more precision and versatility than a drill press. The handle on the right moves the table from side to side. The handle in front moves the table in and out. Both are calibrated in 1/1000 of an inch. Add a couple of small vises (I bought mine from McMaster-Carr) and you can position holes exactly where they should be, or make slots and more intricately shaped cutouts using an appropriate bit while moving the table. The speed control is a simple knob, like a lamp dimmer, enabling me to reduce the speed conveniently when drilling plastics.

The Grizzly catalogue has other similar tools in what I would describe as the intermediate category: Not quite professional level, but more upscale than Home Depot.

-- KK 04/18/06

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