View Full Version : Harbor Freight 5890?

06-03-2006, 03:27 PM
I've been wanting to pick up a mini-mill for a while now. I went to Harbor Freight today to see if they had any on sale in their big sidewalk sale. They didn't, but instead they had a combination Mill Lathe, normally $700 on sale for $500 (their catalog won't let me link directly to it, but go to Harbor Freight USA (http://www.harborfreightusa.com/) & search for part #5890). I'm curious if anyone can offer me any advice? I think the mini mill would work for most of my needs, but the slightly larger mill would be nice, and I'd get a lathe to boot. It certainly seems like a better value, but since I know almost nothing about machining, I don't really know what my needs will be. Is there anything that that machine can't do? Will it be easy to add CNC down the road? Anything else I should consider?

One big concern I have is whether I'll even be able to set it up. It's shipping weight is almost 500 lbs, so can it be broken down into parts that are manageable for one person to move & setup? I can't afford a forklift to move it into my garage. I'm sure I can arrange an assistant, but it would be nice if I didn't have to have one.

Dutch Comstock
06-03-2006, 03:40 PM
Hi, If you have a use for a mill you also have enough need for a lathe. On these the best advice ir always to do the long wait and buy old used quality equipment but I don`t know your situation or the amount of room that you have available or even finances. You can move the mill with a refrigerator cart down stairs with one other person to help you.I have moved all of the very big stuff in my shop with one helper. Dutch

06-03-2006, 06:52 PM
the combo machine is fine for doing small stuff sometimes. if you need real machines then buy the full size stuff.

if they can load it for you then you can unload it with a chery picker


06-04-2006, 06:11 AM
i think it was on this site that i read those mini mills have to be taken apart and greased up because theres alot of slop and stickiness in the movement of them,they're not assembled at the factory very well,
it might not have been here,but i did read it somewhere
dave court

06-04-2006, 08:10 AM
none of the HF stuff is assembled very well
the slop of inacuracy you get in the new HF machines I kind of relate to bieng the same thing as buying a pre worn out machine


06-04-2006, 11:15 AM
Save your money!! I bought one six months ago for $100.00 ( i could not pass up the pirce!! ) and just sold it for $400.00. For small stuff were tolerance is not an issue maybe. But everything on this machine is manual no powerfeed at all!!! as fas as the construction of the machine just o.k. also these things are 300lbs.+ not easy to move around the shop!! just my 2c, Matt...............................

06-04-2006, 11:31 PM
Thanks for your advice everyone. I decided to pass on the 3-in-1 and go for their mini mill instead. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions once I get everything up & running.

06-08-2006, 06:04 PM
When I was buying all the equipment for my shop the guy that had most of it had a Smithy 1324 Granite. It's a 2 in 1 deal (made in China). I was skeptical about it but the price was too right so I grabbed it. For small stuff that tolerances don't have to be dead on perfect it's pretty good, but as I've always said if something does more than one thing, it won't do any of them great. Wait it out and get dedicated peices for each process, you'll be happier with the end results.