Convince me to dump my Stepcraft 840

I’ve had a StepCraft 840 for about 4 years and have made more expensive firewood than I care to admit.

I have not been able to get the machine to produce consistent results.

It takes tons of fiddling to get a successful project.

I deal with chatter almost every single project. Example new amana 1/4" em cutting oak, I have to cut 1/16" per pass and still get the chatter.

Anyway I considering buying the LongMill 30x30 but I’m reading the forums and see that people have the same issues here.

I like to do alot of 3D work and as you know those can take hours and hours to complete. Can the longmill in there that long without constant babysitting?


I don’t have chatter.

@Mwinn2021 Welcome to the forum Mike. I am a huge believer in the LongMill, but that said, I would never advise you to dump one machine for another without more information than you have posted so far.

From the little bit that I have read, it appears that the Stepcraft is a very robust machine. Since you have had the Stepcraft for 4 years, can you tell us what their support people have advised to eliminate the chatter? Have you asked for advice on the Stepcraft user forum?

A big cause of chatter is incorrect feeds and speeds. That will be true with the Mill, too. Have you played with your feeds and speeds, and if so, was there any improvement?

You mention long processing times. The LongMill is certainly capable of doing very large projects. Are you saying that you have had issues with the Stepcraft in those situations?

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Thanks for the reply.
Each time I have contacted support about the chatter/sloppy x/z axis I was instructed to make sure the machine was clean and to follow the alignment instructions/videos. Which I did. There are 4 adjustment screws much like the concentric screws on the longmill. They were bottoming out so I replaced them with shorter screws, problem solved…Nope
The issue is not with feeds and speeds, it is solely caused the slop in the x/z axis. The 840 uses bronze rollers on the aluminum rails. I believe that the rollers are worn out to the point that the adjusting screws cant compensate anymore.

Just as a side note, the support has been excellent, it’s just they cant seem to put their finger on my issue.

I am a 20 retired Army Warrant officer and am pretty good at following instructions and am a software developer for my day job.

I bought the machine as a hobby and to get me out of the house and into my shop. It is definitely not stress relief.

Thanks again for the reply.


@Mwinn2021 With that new information, I believe that I can confidently say that the LongMill will be a step up for you. As you will have read here and on the Sienci site, the wheels that support the gantries are delrin. They will and do wear over time. They are to be considered consumables. However, you can adjust them to take into account the normal wear on them and they are not difficult or expensive to replace.
On the subject of support, I don’t believe that you will find better after-sales support than from Sienci directly and from this forum.
Please post any other questions that you have before making up your mind. I am positive that someone here will be able to address them.