I decided to break down and buy an X2 mill. There are several of these Mini Mills made by Sieg, distributed here in the US. Grizzly, Little Machine shop and Harbor Freight are among a few. The Harbor Freight is by far the least expensive. I caught it on sale for $539.00, it normally is 599. I then had a 20% off coupon and the final price was $481, shipping included.
It came UPS in a wooden crate:
It came mostly assembled with only the hand wheels to be added. However, it ships completely coated with Cosmoline grease. The first thing you have to do is tear it down and clean and oil everything. That was a big job. I used paint thinner to strip the grease, then a bath in WD-40, followed by a wipe down and light oiling.
I took some videos of this process but honestly there are some much better ones on YouTube.
Here is my first run video:
Of course I can never just leave well enough alone. I have much greater plans for this little Mill. It will be my next CNC project!
To begin with, the stock lead screw nut’s, on the X and Y axis have too much backlash to use for CNC. So, I ordered a set of Delrin Anti Backlash nuts from Fignoggle
Here are my videos on the install