Mini Mill & Lathes

Sieg X2 Mini Mill

I’ve been looking for this and can’t find any info online for companies selling mini mills or lathes in South Africa, except oddly enough my posts on this blog. I can find plenty of the big machines but they’re too big and expensive and overkill for what I’m looking for. I’ve noticed that a few of the hits for this site have come from people searching for CNC machines, mini mills and lathes so I guessed that perhaps by writing a post about them and what I’m looking for someone might be able to point me in the direction of a local supplier.

Firstly I guess I should point out that this is a pipe dream, I won’t have the space to set one up till I move into our new place (in a few months time), I’m not sure if I’ll have the money (I now have a house bond to pay) and I’m not sure if I would get approval from the wife to buy an extremely expensive, noisy machine that allows me to turn metals, plastic and other stuff into shavings while probably injuring my self. But those are all minor obstacles and they don’t prevent me from dreaming of one day having a workshop filled with awesome machines.

I’m looking for what is often called a “mini mill” essentially its a small version of the big mills used to machine metal into all kinds of wonderful shapes. My ideal machine would be a table top machine that allowed me to machine metals such as?aluminium, brass, certain types of plastics etc. It’s ok if it couldn’t machine the really hard metals or anything big, I’m not going to be using it to make car engines or parts for the space shuttle replacement but rather it will be used to make small parts for things like hobby engines and parts, parts for things like paint ball or air soft guns, little robotics projects other similar things. While precision is always important its unlikely I’ll need anything machined to extreme tolerances and I’m unlikely to make anything that will be spinning at high rpm’s or anything.

I also would love a small lathe that can turn metals, similar to the mill this would also be used to make small parts things like screw threads, gears etc (I know these kinds of things are hard to do, but I would like to at least give it a try). Again this is for garage/hobby use, I’m not starting up a business machining stuff for people I just want to be able to make those weirdly shaped metal parts that my various crazy project may require.

I’m not looking for a CNC machine as they’re alot easier to build your self and would be a “project” that I could use the mill and lathe for.

While this is all a pipe dream at the moment, I would love to know where in South Africa I could buy these kinds of things and how much they would cost. That way I can determine how much of a “pipe dream” this would really be… if anyone reading this knows where in South Africa I can find that info please leave a comment.