Baileigh VM-1054-3 Vertical Mill: My Personal Review & Experience

Quick Summary:

Price: $30,499.00

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Pros:

  • Extremely accurate cutting
  • Can cut just about any material
  • Can be adjusted to any speed between 80-3800 rpm
  • Long lasting machine
  • Limited corrosion over time

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Constantly out of stock

As a machinist with over a decade of experience in a variety of industrial settings, I’ve had my fair share of hands-on time with numerous milling machines. About six months ago, my workshop invested in the Baileigh VM-1054-3, and I’ve been using it extensively ever since. Here, I’ll share my personal experiences, highlighting how it fits into our daily operations, its benefits, and a few minor quirks that come with it.

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Day-to-Day Use

One of the most immediate benefits I noticed with the VM-1054-3 was its table size and the surface treatment. The 10″ x 54″ workspace is ample for most of the jobs we handle, which include creating parts for automotive and aerospace applications. The hardened and polished surface treated with Turcite® B really does make a difference in the smoothness of operations and in maintaining the integrity of the table itself. I’ve worked on machines where the table surface deteriorates over time, which can affect precision. So far, this hasn’t been a concern with the VM-1054-3.

Speed and Precision

The variable speed control is another standout feature, thanks to the Yaskawa® inverter. Being able to adjust speeds between 80 and 3800 rpm easily allows us to tailor the cutting conditions precisely to the material we’re working with, whether it’s aluminum, steel, or exotic alloys. The NT 40 taper spindle also lives up to its promise of stronger and tighter performance. It’s robust and handles larger tools effortlessly, which is crucial for some of the high-torque operations we perform.

The digital readout (DRO) from Mitutoyo® is incredibly precise, which is crucial in our line of work where even a thousandth of an inch can make a difference. This accuracy has not only improved our product quality but also enhanced our operational efficiency by reducing the time spent on measuring and re-measuring workpieces.

Additional Features

The flood coolant system, air draw bar, and central lubrication system are more than just convenience features; they significantly contribute to machine maintenance and operational efficiency. The coolant system does an excellent job at managing heat during extended milling sessions, which is essential for tool longevity and surface finish. Meanwhile, the air draw bar makes tool changes quick and effortless, which is a huge time saver, especially during complex, multi-tool operations.

Buying from Beaver Industrial Supply

When I bought the Baileigh VM-1054-3 from Beaver Industrial Supply, the process was pretty straightforward and positive. The staff knew their stuff and were helpful in answering my questions, making sure I felt confident about what I was getting into.

The pricing was decent and they sorted out the delivery without any hitches, which was a relief. They also checked in after the setup to make sure everything was running smoothly, which was a nice touch. Overall, dealing with Beaver Industrial felt like they were on top of things, which made the whole experience pretty hassle-free.

Use Cases

Based on my experience, I would recommend the Baileigh VM-1054-3 to any professional shop that requires a reliable, versatile, and precise milling machine. It’s particularly suited for shops engaged in medium to high-volume production where both the quality of the cut and the operational efficiency are paramount. Its robust construction and design make it ideal for tackling a wide range of materials and applications, from prototype development to production parts in the automotive or aerospace sectors.

More on the Baileigh VM-1054-3 Vertical Mill

In the world of precision machining, having the right equipment can significantly enhance productivity and quality. The Baileigh VM-1054-3 vertical mill represents a significant step forward in this regard, offering a combination of robust features and advanced technology. Manufactured in Taiwan, this machine is built to deliver high performance and reliability. Here, we delve deep into the capabilities, features, and overall performance of the VM-1054-3, making it easier for potential buyers to understand what makes this vertical mill a worthy investment.

Table and Construction Quality

The Baileigh VM-1054-3 boasts a generously sized table measuring 10 inches by 54 inches. It’s not just the size that’s impressive; the table is hardened, ground, polished, and coated with Turcite® B. This treatment ensures longevity, resistance to wear, and helps in minimizing corrosion, thus maintaining a smooth surface for precise operations over many years.

Further enhancing its robustness, the VM-1054-3 features a stronger base and frame, providing exceptional rigidity. This rigidity is crucial for maintaining accuracy during intensive milling operations and when working with tough materials.

Drive and Motor

The heart of any milling machine is its motor, and the VM-1054-3 comes equipped with a 3 horsepower motor. It operates a variable speed mechanism powered by a Yaskawa® inverter, allowing speed adjustments anywhere between 80 and 3800 rpm. This flexibility in speed adjustment is pivotal for optimizing cutting conditions according to different materials and tooling requirements.

Spindle and Performance

The VM-1054-3 uses an NT 40 taper spindle, which enhances performance due to its strength and ability to maintain tight tolerances over extended periods of usage. The spindle itself measures 3.93 inches in diameter and provides multiple feed rates per revolution—.0015, .003, .005—making it versatile for various cutting depths and conditions.

Additionally, the spindle head is capable of swiveling 45 degrees front and rear and 90 degrees right and left, which provides additional flexibility in machining angles, crucial for complex part geometries.

Axis Travel and Readout

Travel distance is an essential factor for any mill. The VM-1054-3 offers a travel of 32.25 inches on the X-axis, 15.75 inches on the Y-axis, and 16 inches on the Z-axis. These dimensions ensure ample working space for various sizes of workpieces.

Moreover, the mill includes a two-axis digital readout from Mitutoyo® that boasts an accuracy up to 1/10 of a thousandth of an inch, enhancing precision in milling operations. This accuracy is not only beneficial for achieving exact dimensions but also reduces waste due to errors.

Additional Features

Baileigh Industrial has equipped the VM-1054-3 with several additional features that enhance its usability and maintenance. These include:

  • Flood Coolant System: Helps in heat management by cooling the cutting area, thus extending tool life and improving cut quality.
  • Air Draw Bar: Simplifies the process of changing tooling, saving time and effort.
  • Central Lubrication System: Automatically lubricates important components, reducing wear and maintenance frequency.

Environmental and Safety Considerations

It’s worth noting that this model is labeled under California’s Proposition 65 for containing elements known to cause cancer and reproductive harm. Potential users should consider this when setting up their workspace and adhering to safety guidelines.

Final Thoughts

No machine is without its quirks. For instance, the weight and size of the VM-1054-3 mean that it requires a considerable amount of shop space, and it’s not easily moved once installed. Also, while the overall design is user-friendly, newcomers to such a sophisticated mill might face a bit of a learning curve.

In conclusion, the Baileigh VM-1054-3 has proven to be a solid addition to our shop. It strikes a good balance between high-end features and practical, everyday utility. For any shop considering a new vertical mill, the VM-1054-3 offers a compelling blend of performance and reliability that can help take manufacturing capabilities to the next level.

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