Subtractive- Desktop mill advice anyone?

From: jeffrey mcwhinney (
Date: Wed Aug 21 2002 - 21:38:26 EEST

First off, I've watched the additive/subtractive machining debate on this
list for the two or so years I've been a member. I suppose I feel there is
the field of RP which should involve whatever process (up to and including
an artist with fast hands). And then there are the individual subjects of
the technologies that gets you there. I was interested in additive when I
joined, believing it would easily transform my wildest CAD ideas into
reality (I'm talking little jewelry items). Well, I've tried the best
machines out there (thanks Bathsheba and Steve Adler for being truly Rapid),
and although the printers are remarkable in ability to duplicate small
features accurately, I have not gotten the surface finishes necessary for my
So... I'm trying a new tack. I am shopping for a mini CNC mill. This
approach is partly because I've finally accepted the reality of platinum and
3D printing costs (I'm going to make some rings from titanium, and my
business plan of one ring/one pattern was not viable-yet). Also, I realized
with some tweaking and tricky fixturing I could mill my current ideas. And,
I remembered that I am a machinist by trade and should probably stay close
to what I know best.
So... since I've been ignoring all correspondence on the subtractive
discussions till now, might I get some help from those involved with it in
tracking down the most affordable mill worth owning? It is going in my home
so must be 110v, reasonably small and capable of machining hard metals.
I thank all in advance, and also request any info on discussion groups/
websites geared towards this field (I've already found

Jeffrey McWhinney
McWhinney Designs

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