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Thread: Legacy or Ornamental Mills

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,097

    Legacy or Ornamental Mills

    Just wondering if any of you have experience or actually own an ornamental mill or a legacy mill.
    Here is an explanation of it/advertisement.
    http://www.woodworkersworkshop.co.uk/legacy.htm

    First of all, wondering how you found it to be:
    1. User friendly?
    2. Useful?
    3. The type of tool purchased and then using valuable floor space?
    4. More expensive as additional tooling wasn't discussed?
    5. Other advice/suggestions as deemed necessary.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Decatur, Illinois
    Posts
    177
    jonathon, i bought the 1200 legacy mill several years ago. you can go to their site and look at pics of pieces that owners have sent to that site:
    http://www.legacywoodworking.com/
    look under 'showcase' for some interesting work. here's one of my favorites that combines turning with the ornamental mill. http://legacywoodworking.com/gallery...fm?project=464

    also, there is a legacy blog at:
    http://groups.google.com/group/Legac...l-Mills/topics

    not a lot of traffic at that blog but a few owners who can share modifications to their machines that make them more useful. also there is a new model that is less expensive and takes up less floor space called the revo. it uses the basic idea of the other units but mounts the work piece to the side of the rails.

    i haven't used my machine much but intend to return to it. i'm just caught in the vortex of turning right now. but to answer some of your questions. my unit does take up floor space as it is over 6' long. i would say the machine is user friendly and extremely versatile. i did all of my mortises for a large workbench on the legacy and easily. here's a shot of those being machined and ready for assembly:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    of course the legacy's real potential is to combine the rotation of the workpiece with translation of the router...and timed with various gear sets...here's a trial candle holder i did using that ability:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    i will say that i think their machines are priced very high. if you had a source for their extruded aluminum rails and the determination you could fabricate something similar for much less $$. for instance, you could buy a powermatic 3520 for about the same price as my 1200. there are additional attachments you would probably want for the basic machine that are also pretty expensive. you can check this out at their site but owners have been very creative in bypassing many of these attachments and improving the machine.

    if i can be of more help, please ask.
    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...Steven Wright.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    Posts
    2,524
    Some folks seem to enjoy theirs.

    I had a 1000EX with nearly all the bells and whistles. It seemed like a good idea at the time I bought it. In retrospect it was a waste of money for me. I did manage to turn out a few things but I spent an awful lot of time screwing around with setup and making test cuts. I don't think it was rigid enough for work holding because even with brand new, honed bits, I got a lot of tear out on turned stuff.

    I really didn't find it accurate enough to do multiples of turnings and even multiple starts on ropes and barley twists were rather poorly aligned no matter what I tried to do to make it work right.

    One of the biggest things to sour me on it was the customer service after the sale. Or rather the lack of it. Before I bought it, I spoke to them on the phone. They couldn't have been more pleasant and seemed ready to help in any way. After I bought it, I made a couple of calls trying to get some issues with it straightened out. Then the same guys acted as if I was bothering them. I saw one of the guys at a local woodworking show shortly after I bought the thing. He asked me if I was interested in buying one. I said, "I already bought one a few weeks ago." He all but said, "Go away, kid. You bother me."

    I sold the mill and I'm glad I have the space back.

    Of course your mileage may vary.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kutztown PA
    Posts
    252
    Jonathan, I have had my EX1000 for about seven years now. It has it plus and minus points, and I will try to give them all.

    On the plus side, it does some very interesting things that are not really easy to do with a regular lathe. Spirals and flutes are two of them. Well, fluting on a regular lathe is easy enough if you build a jig for it, but spiraling is a bit more to do. It does a good job of repeating a cut if you have it set up properly. It is a machine that will make things round easily for those who are not turners and do not want to be turners.

    On the minus side, it is sort of a contraption. That is, there are a multitude of adjustments that need to be made for various operations. Accuracy is not always good, even though it is repeatable. That is, you cannot work to very tight tolerances without a lot of effort, but you can get the same thing over and over again.

    The machine is often sold with the implication that the owner will be making millions of spirals for various pieces. I've made a few, but the biggest use I have had for it is its indexing capabilities and its long bed. When I bought mine it was for a specific job which required some very close reproduction of shapes, plus an indexed octagonal taper. My Poolewood lathe did not have the length of the indexing capability. So I bought the Legacy in anticipation of doing that job and many others. There have been a number of jobs since then, but I am not using the thing to anywhere near its capacity or its potential. Every time I think about selling it, a job comes along that I could probably do another way, but that the Legacy makes easier.

    As far as customer service goes, I am fairly, uhhh, direct when people give me the brush off, so I have not had any trouble with that. I do think they charge way too much for some of their stuff, but since they have no competition, they can get away with it. If someone were to come up with a similar machine that could compete at a similar price, they would probably drop their prices dramatically.

    So, if you are looking for a good used machine without a lot of hours on it, perhaps we could talk. I have a long bed and indexing on my Robust lathe now, and I sure could use some shop space.

    Bill
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,097
    Clark, Dave, and Bill, thank you very much for your information. I have found something that will do the spirals at a cheaper cost. Do any of you have experience or have seen this in action?

    http://jrbealltool.com/lathewiz.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Decatur, Illinois
    Posts
    177
    jonathan, had not found this system even though i've visited the beall site several times. it must be pretty new?? i've found their products to be good quality...i have their buffing system and several chuck taps.

    i like the idea of a timing belt to link the gears. one of the complaints from legacy owners is the gear tooth to gear tooth contact allowing a small amount of backlash into the system. that requires resetting the router past the origin of the first cut and then approaching the start of the next (deeper) cut from the original direction.

    i wonder why they don't post some video of the system on their site? it would be good to see it in action before committing $400+.
    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...Steven Wright.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    As far as the extruded aluminum rail- 8020 company makes stuff real similar to what Clark's picture reveals. I have used their stuff in industrial applications for fixtureing and machine construction. it's a decent all around "tinker toy" set.

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