Copyright 2011. figNoggle Designs.

7x10, 7x12, 7x14 Mini-Lathe Information

Website Links
Post a link to your website or view other hobby and machine and metalworking websites for free.

Rent Mill & Lathe DVDs at Smartflix | Great aluminum & steel prices at OnlineMetals

Enco 20" 1PH Square Column Geared Head Mill Drill (aka Rong-Fu 45 Mill Clone) - First Impressions, Pick-up, and Disassembly

Well, it finally came on sale - the Enco version of the Rong-Fu 45 mill. In June's HotDeals catalog, Enco prominantly displayed this mill advertising not only the sale, but that free shipping was included!

This was too good a deal to pass up.

We'd been looking at the other versions of the RF45 mill sold by catalogs such as Wholesale Tool, Penn Tool Co., Grizzly, and the bigger version of this one sold by Industrial Hobbies. Without getting into too much detail as to our decision-making process, we called up Enco.

The specs according to Enco are the following:

Machine Type: Mill drill combination
Table Length (Inch): 32-1/4
Table Width (Inch): 9-1/2
Longitudinal Travel (Inch): 21-5/8
Cross Travel (Inch): 7-1/2
Horsepower: 1-1/2
Voltage: 220/110 Pre-wired 220V
Phase: 1

Model #325-5184

At the time we called, the mill was backordered scheduled for a July 19 arrival. The sales person we spoke to asked if we would like to place an order. In turn, we wanted to make sure that the credit card wouldn't be processed prior to delivery. Unfortunately, both times we called the sales people mentioned that the card would be charged at the time the order was placed. This was a bummer. So we held off, waiting for the last date that the mill would be on sale with the free delivery. The monthly HotDeals catalogs' pricing expires around 30 days after the month that the deals are advertised. Therefore, the May Hot Deals catalog had prices good until the end of June.

As May and June came and went, we kept checking online to see if the mill had come in. Sometime the second week of July (before July 19), the website showed the mill was in stock. We went ahead and proceeded to go on the website to place the order. As we were checking out, we noticed that there was now shipping charges which brought the mill stand package (sales price of $1649.95) to close to $2000. We picked up the phone and called in the order and found out that the mill's free shipping deal had indeed expired. We brought to their attention that we attempted to place an order back in May and June, but were informed of the credit card charge timing issue. A few minutes later, the sales person at Enco, presumably to speak with their supervisor, OK'd the free shipping. What a relief! This now brought the mill price to just under $1800 delivered.

A week later, and truck delivered from Atlanta, Georgia via Yellow Freight, we received a call from Yellow stating that the mill had arrived.

A few weeks prior to the purchase of the RF45, we had purchased a Grizzly-branded Sieg X3 mill (which was also on sale). To make the heavy lifting easier, we had purchased a 2-ton folding engine hoist via Craigslist. So we took two SUVs and the engine hoist, rope and other miscellaneous tools in preparation to disassemble the mill and bring it back to the shop.

rf45 on pallet

After a quick visual inspection of the box and crate and finding nothing alarming, we signed off on the bill of lading.

Here are some of the stampings on the crate:

rf45 crate weight

Interesting.. the Enco's website mentioned a crate weight of 750 lbs. which translates to 340kg. But the net and gross weights are stamped as 270kg / 320kg (595 lbs. / 705 lbs. respectively). As we had mentioned before, the vendor specs have a lot to be desired if you want accurate numbers. We'll have to measure the weight at a later time.

rf45 crate roc

Made in China, delivered to the Atlanta Enco warehouse.

We then proceeded to take the crate apart in preparation for disassembly. Note the little wooden box just under the right hand side of the table: it the accessories container.

rf45 on pallet

Funny, this mill for some reason looks smaller than imagined. It does, however, have the same sized table as the round column RF-40. It must the mass of the step-pulley head that gives it a larger appearance than this compact geared head.

Next up is the removal of the head. The head's only secured with three bolts, so little wrenching was necessary.

We proceeded to lift the head away from the column and it was now hanging in mid air:

rf 45 head on hoist

We used the lifting strap as the main support and some additional rope to control the fore/aft movements.

The head was easily rolled to the SUV's trunk. We also decided to remove the column since it wouldn't fit inside the trunk. No engine hoist used here. Just three guys and some elbow grease. Originally, we were going to remove the table as well, but had some difficulty removing the locking pin on the left-hand side handle. Instead we left the table on the base. As it turned out, while heavy, it was manageable.

rf45 table base

We're making progress! What's nice about the disassembly was that there are only 3 major pieces to assemble/disassemble.

After a short drive back to the shop, we began re-assembling the unit but not until after assembling the stand.


Looking for mini-mill help and how-tos? How about lathe help and how-tos?

We're prototyping a benchtop CNC vertical mill using the DigiSpeed-XL interface card for Mach, Dart Controls and KB Electronics KBIC/KBMM 90VDC motor controllers, 1.5HP treadmill motor from Surplus Center and a R8-spindle head from the X2 mini-mill - not to mention Gecko servo drives and an entirely closed-loop system. Come take a look!

CNC 8x12 Lathe
Check out our newest developments like the CNC/DRO 8x12/8x14 lathe using Gecko drives, break-out board, NEMA 34 step motors, DRO and more!

Sieg X3 and Super X3 Grizzly G0463 Info
T-Mobile MDA / Cingular 8125 / HTC Wizard Hacks, Tweaks, Tips, Tricks and More!

Metal Working FAQ.NET
Your source for metalworking and machining, tips, tricks, and more. Over 50 content wiki sites!