Need a manual mill

Nov 23, 2011
I would appreciate some input on a new mill for my shop. I know the Bridgeport will come highly recommended, but I don’t want a clapped out machine I’ve got to put hours into in order to work with it. I’m in Tennessee, so not a lot of used machines around here. Your thoughts please...


Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
Pierce County, WA
There ARE a lot of used machines there, you gotta know where to look. Check all the used listings, remember some older folks may not use CL, etc. What you're looking for, what I've been looking for, is some family where the man died and the family have to clean out grandpa's shop. They don't know what it's worth and will sell it for pennies to get rid of it. Trust me, BTDT.

Check in Huntsville AL too, there are a lot of machinists and engineers there and I've seen most sold there. I have a feeling Cincinnati may be a good place to look too but I'm only guessing about it. I'm assuming these places aren't too far away.

If there's a place that warehouses used gear, check that out.

If you want much new CNC shit, then check out govliquidation and the others (it used to just be govliquidation but now they're a bunch of auction firms and that's just one of 'em --I'm still confused but at least I know how to buy shit!). I see ALL SORTS of machines come up for sale on there. Recently they had a Bridgeport radial mill, big ten foot tall fucker, sold for a little over the cost to move it. With liquidations, they can be anywhere, and so inspecting them can be a hassle. Especially if you can't get on post without jumping through hoops (they've made it MUCH more difficult to get on military bases in last several years).

Sirhrmechanic is a member on here, he's in a colony state, but he's also a master machinist. Lots of guys on here are. If you don't get many hits in this thread, try moving it to "bear pit". Good luck. And FWIW, I'd actually LOVE an old Bridgeport! They make upgrade kits for NC and even CNC IIRC. Not sure how much those go for.


Online Training Member
Dec 21, 2011

1) set up an account
2) put in the machine you are interested in
3) every time an auction you are interested in comes up you get an email
4) when you see a mill you like bid on it
5) when you win a bid pay for item/rigging/trucking
6) unload mill

If the budget supports it Acer is a nice mill I like them better than a Bridgeport. The Acers I have used have Ballscrew movement so are very smooth, precise, no backlash. They are made in Taiwan, but are not Chinese junk.
Likes: FishDr
Feb 21, 2018
I have an '80s Sharp FIrst HMV made in Taiwan. I don't think there's anything a Bridgeport would do that this one wouldn't. I'd probably shy away from newer Chinese stuff, but don't be afraid to look at older Taiwan made machines.
Sep 16, 2009
I have a Taiwanese made Precision Mathews PM935-TS, purchased new directly from PM.

Its a very nicely made machine, full featured head with nod, rotation and ram movement.

The ways are very well made, screws are butter smooth. .001 increments on the handwheels and .006 backlash.

Its a very well made mill.
Likes: Jarridmoore
Mar 6, 2017
blossburg pa 16912
#7 is a nice sight w/ a search feature in a radius of your home for used equipment coming up for public auction.
as far as new budget stuff, grizzly and the previously mentioned precision mathews.
Mar 12, 2008
If you are willing to travel search on it will scan craigslist in a specified radius has industrial plant closings/ surplus asset sales but you have to figure in both the buyers premium and rigging ( most companies associated won't let you remove your equipment without a 1 million dollar plus insurance policy , some require a specific rigging company)

Some of the best deals can not be found on the net, get to know the machine shop owners and any used machine dealers in your area, they often have something in the corner or have a buddy that is looking to sell.

The bigger the piece of equipment you can buy, often the cheaper it is as the hobby guys can't move them into their basements or don't want to pay someone to move heavy chunks of cast iron
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