This is a Harbor Freight geared head drill/mill, model #42827. Apparently they don't carry that exact model anymore, as I couldn't find it on their website.

Anyway, it's a 120V single-phase motor, 1.5 HP, with an R8 spindle taper. It has six speeds of 95, 175, 310, 450, 850, and 1500 RPM. All the speed changes are geared (no belts to change), which makes it quick to change speeds. The spindle has a 5" stroke, with 17 3/4" max between spindle and table. The manual lists the X travel as 19 13/16" and Y travel as 6 13/16", with table dimensions of 27 1/2" x 9 1/2".

It's a round-column mill, which means you lose X-Y registration when you move the head, so you have to plan ahead a bit sometimes, or else get good at using an edge finder (for those who don't know, it's about a $5 tool that allows you to locate the edge of a workpiece in relation to the spindle to about 0.001" accuracy). This really only comes into play when you change from drilling (chuck + jobber length bit) to milling (end mill in a collet), which is a large vertical height change. If you're working to scribed lines anyway (most work of lower tolerances), the loss of registration won't matter to you.

I purchased the mill in late 2007 as my first mill, and I've used it for hobby-level work since then. I've kept it up, so it's in excellent condition.

All the original flaking is present on the ways (note: the presence of flaking does not imply scraped ways: this is decoratively-applied flaking over a milled and lightly ground surface). There has been some rust on the column, on the table surface (since taken care of by scraping: more on that later), and on the front face of the table and saddle, but there is no rust on the way bearing surfaces, and no rust to where it would affect the accuracy of the machine.

When I got the machine the table was not particularly flat (about 0.003" deviation, possibly from not allowing the castings to age long enough, or from careless grinding at the factory). I have since partially scraped the table to take care of the worst of the high spots.

Here's a close-up. I did not make any attempt to scrape the entire surface perfectly, so you can see some areas with the original ground finish. If I recall correctly, I stopped once everything was within 0.001" of flat. The parallelism and perpendicularity of the ways were good from the factory (within 0.001" over the length of travel, again if I remember correctly), so I made no modification to them.


Here's a picture of the spindle taper bore. Pretty good shape, a few marks here and there, but nothing that will affect accuracy.


This is the other modification I made to the machine, a quill axis DRO (otherwise known as a cheap Chinese calipers). Cheap or not, they work fine and read to 0.0005" (+0.001" accuracy if I remember correctly). The display is sideways, but that's never bothered me. (No they were not zeroed at the quill stop when I took this photo, if you're wondering why they're reading 1 inch when the quill is extended 3 inches.) Feed them SR44 batteries and battery life is fine; feed them alkaline LR44s instead and you'll only get a couple hours each. (Many calipers and micrometers are that way, so if you have battery life problems with your digital measuring tools check to see if you're using the proper silver-oxide batteries).

Known Issues:
The quill downfeed has a lot of vertical backlash and stick/slip action. With the DRO this isn't a big deal, but without it it was virtually impossible to take a controlled depth of cut. The only place where it manifests now is plunge-cutting with a center-cutting end mill, where you have to kind of drag the lock as you feed to keep it from hogging in. Takes a little bit of practice. If you can remove most of the material with a drill bit, that helps a lot.

The motor had an issue a long time ago where it would make an angry growling noise and draw a lot more current. It was a highly intermittent problem, so difficult to diagnose. I've been all inside the head, and can confirm that there's nothing wrong with the gearing or the spindle bearings. I suspect it was just a sticky centrifugal switch leaving the start winding on, but I never confirmed that. The problem hasn't happened in more than a year, so I suspect it won't give you trouble.

The set screw that engages collet keyways has a habit of gradually unscrewing itself. A drop of threadlocker would fix it in place, and it's not that hard to get to (not like the one in a Bridgeport). Some people remove these screws on purpose: the taper fit is what provides drive to the tool, so it isn't really a necessary feature.

The lock that engages the quill fine feed is a taper/friction lock, and it will slip under load if it isn't tight enough. Don't use the graduations on the fine feed handwheel, use the DRO instead, and you might also consider drilling a hole for a tommy bar or a permanent handle on the slick plastic of the engagement knob, so you can really cinch it down without needing to struggle with it.

General lack of rigidity. More of an inherent attribute than an "issue", but it's definitely no Bridgeport. Expect to keep cuts in steel to 0.020" or less, 0.010" or less for good finishing work. With aluminum you can cut about 0.050" with a 1/2" end mill, maintaining a reasonable feed rate. Not that you can't cut deeper, it's just slow and gives a poor finish. Fly cutting really depends on the rate of feed, but in aluminum, make a roughing pass 0.010" to 0.020" on a 2" to 3" fly cutter (and keep the feed slowish), and go about 0.005" for a finish pass. It's also worth noting that what isn't particularly rigid for a mill is very respectable for a drill press, and this machine, with its ample horsepower and low speed ranges, will drill holes 1" diameter in low carbon steel all day long.

Transport: The mill weighs 733 lbs, if I'm remembering correctly (it's in that vicinity, at least), and the cabinet plus whatever tooling you come away with should total less than an extra 100 pounds. It's not that difficult (maybe an hour of work at most) to take off the head and table, and I have a 2 ton engine hoist for loading, so if need be I could probably fit this into the trunk and back seat of an average 4-door sedan. Trucks and vans should be fine. I do have a trailer, and could deliver to a place that's no more than, say, an hour each way from the Indianapolis area (46268). I'd rather not prepare it for shipping; knowing what I got back when I was quoting for my Bridgeport, I can almost certainly say that it's not going to be worth the cost to send it freight to anywhere.

Accessories: The mill comes with the stand it's sitting on (I can unbolt for transport, or even take the head and table off if necessary), and the following are available either with the mill or separately:
The manual is included. It doesn't give a lot in terms of useful instruction, but it does have some useful parts diagrams. (Despite what it says in the manual, do not *ever* grease the ways of a machine tool, unless you really hate the owner of that tool.)


Drawbars and the head wrench obviously go with the mill. I believe the threads are 7/16"-20 and 3/8"-20. The collets all take the standard 7/16"-20; the R8 adapter on the drill chuck is the only one that takes the smaller thread. That chuck is a 0-1/2" Jacobs chuck (#34-33), JT33 taper back, almost brand new. I hate to sell it so soon after I bought it, but the Bridgeport came with a ball bearing super chuck, and I don't have any other equipment that doesn't also have a good chuck with it already. The chuck in particular is available separately, and separately from the arbor it's on, since that arbor isn't a standard thread (it came with the machine and had a crappy $5 import chuck on it). Also: Four R8 collets (3/8", 1/2", 5/8", and 3/4", which should cover pretty much all the standard shanks for end mills in the range that's useful to this machine), drawbar wrenches and some random wrenches that came with the machine, and a 1/2" roughing end mill. The end of that rougher is pretty well dulled, but the sides still cut fine, so it's useful in limited circumstances.

That milled aluminum wrench deserves mention. This machine doesn't have a spindle brake, so I made that (first project on the mill) to hold the splines without marring so I could loosen the drawbar. A good first project for the new owner would be to make a better one, because that one is pretty crappy. It's a simple job, just not one I'd ever gotten around to.


More assorted tooling, not necessarily with the mill but available for sale too. We have an R8 to JT2, 3/4" straight to JT2, 1" straight with 1/2" hole to JT3 (not JT33; JT3 is larger and fits 1/2" Jacobs super chucks), 3MT to what I think is JT5, and 3MT to JT3.

Also, some large drill bits. I know there's a 1" and a 3/4", but I'm not sure what the smallest size is just from looking at the picture. Maybe 11/16". A few smaller ones (I have a lot more well-used drill bits in smaller sizes: I typically quit using them when they no longer make clean accurate holes, which is well before they quit making holes period), a 3/4" 4 flute end mill, some spotting and center drills, and a 1/2"-13 tap. All of the cutting tools are somewhat dull, chipped, or something. They aren't new, put it that way, and there's a reason I quit using them, but to my knowledge they will all still cut, at least good enough to get someone started. I could probably scrounge up a nearly-complete set of worn drill bits--good for someone just starting out, or for someone who knows how to sharpen them. Established machinists will probably have a good set of their own, and probably also have a collection of dull ones, if they're as resistant to throwing things away as I am.


One 4-inch rotary table, heavily modified. (See this thread.) I'll include the original gear and worm, as well as that jig that's bolted to it. All that machining was done on the drill/mill, and on this rotary table no less, so it is possible to whittle away at a big chunk of steel with this machine. (A36, so you wouldn't expect an excellent surface finish with any machine.) Be warned: I have reason to believe this table has an error in concentricity of up to 0.007", so check it before you use it for critical work. You might consider taking a shallow flycut across the surface to make it concentric and perpendicular to the center it's turning on.


I'll include the vises for completeness, but as of right now I don't plan to sell either (unless I get a good deal on a 6" Kurt or something). Both (maybe I should say "either", because I need a vise for myself!) are available for persuasive enough offers, though. I have a Harbor Freight 6" and a Bridgeport 3 1/2". The 6" was what I'd used on the drill/mill for years, and it's a pretty good vise for that use. It was about $100 at HF when I bought it. I don't think they carry those anymore either.

I can also provide a quart of Vactra and some water-based coolant concentrate with the mill. That will save the new owner having to buy a full gallon of either.

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I'd like to get about $1000 total for all of the stuff I have listed, but I'm not sure if that's reasonable to expect. Feel free to respond with questions or any offers for part or all of it. If your offer is low I may not take it, but you won't offend me or anything.