My first milling machine!

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joe0121
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by joe0121 » Wed May 07, 2014 9:39 am

Dont discount a Clausing mill. Much lighter (easier to move) than the bridgport but just as accurate.

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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Thu May 08, 2014 7:31 pm

Image

Got a heavy package in the mail today. :D
Kyle O.

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Baffled
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Baffled » Fri May 09, 2014 12:14 pm

It's all bright and shiny beautiful iron and steel right now. You'll plug along for weeks, maybe months, keeping it looking like it does right now. At some point, you'll surrender, and she'll start to stain. No big deal. Just don't ever let real rust take hold.

Look into gadgets and gew-gaws for Kurt vises. There are hundreds of them, most pretty cheap, yet useful. My favorites are simple vise jaw stops that clamp onto the upper lip of the vise and allows repeat mounting to an exact location. Look like this:

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And they get fancier:

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check out this site. all sorts of goodies.

http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/

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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Mon May 19, 2014 6:41 pm

Ok, so here are a few of the projects I've done on the mill sofar. Just a couple minor projects, but I could have not done these without the mill.

BBQ Grill intake slides.
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Assmebled
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Whole grill completed from raw material, total investment $200
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Put a sight rail on top of my 20gauge/9mm conversion, everything was centered, tapped, and just right. Whoever said get an edgefinder, THANKS! I also put a set screw in that holds the barrel insert.

Image

And yesterday, I made a jig ( I know its kind of shotty, but for one time use) for a bolt threading job for a buddy. The pic shows it hanging way out of the chuck, but that was just slid in there for the photo, not how I machined it. I had it tight in the chuck like like how a lathe dog goes.
Image
Kyle O.

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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Baffled » Wed May 21, 2014 9:53 am

Nice! Love the grill. Love your back yard too, looks very rural and peaceful.

You'll do nothing but find more and more tasks that you either put off before, or were simply unable to do, are within reach.

As for jigs and fixtures, to me there are two sorts... The first, less common, is a specialized piece of tooling that you know you'll use multiple times, and want to do a nice job of it. The second, like your bolt hold jig, is a one-off, "for function only" type of deal. I've got a box full of odd jigs and fixtures of that sort, half of which I can't even identify any more, but I can't toss them in the trash or recycle them, quite yet.

How's about a picture of the shop and the mill?

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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Wed May 21, 2014 8:19 pm

Image
My machine shop.
Kyle O.

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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Historian » Thu May 22, 2014 9:43 am

Dr.K wrote:Image
My machine shop.

Dr. K! All the Way!

A tool junkies wet dream.

Next a laser cutter, 3-D printer?

Thank you for inviting us into your 'sanctum sanctorum'.
Next meeting I will bring the Pilsner Urquell if the rest of
the cohort bring the subs and Doritos. :)

Most kind to show. Thanks.

Best.

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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Baffled » Thu May 22, 2014 10:14 am

Very nice, room to move and work.

Almost all of us have many of the old model engineering books written by the original Tubal Cain and others, the "Workshop Series". The majority of those guys were in the U.K. Lots of pictures of British shops, and they were almost all about 4' x 8', a garden shed at best, packed floor to roof with tooling hanging off the walls. Tight quarters, but that's what they had, and used.

Those old boys produced some incredible work on 3.5" Myford lathes and "Tom Sr" and home-made mill machines with MT2 spindles.

I've got a 40' x 60' hangar! And yet it too is packed with stuff, mostly family crap. They look at it as a free storage facility.

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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Thu May 22, 2014 7:53 pm

Image

My first shop was 10x12, the most advanced tools in it were a drill press and an air compressor.

Funny you mention the 40x60, cause that's what I'm sporting these days, lol!

I really lucked out on the property, bought it on a handshake! Stuff like that just rarely happens these days.

My 10 acres of paradise.
Image Just bought 10 more across the street. The road is the Arkansas/Louisiana state line.

I took this from a Cessna 150. Baffled, I'm a pilot also, just private ASEL, Tailwheel, and I've got 0.7 hours rotorcraft, hahaha.
Kyle O.

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CMV
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by CMV » Thu May 22, 2014 9:56 pm

The mill looks like it's going to tip over forward with that bigass vise :lol:

That's pretty much how my table looks when I have the Kurt on it but my table is closer to the handwheel so the vice hanging over it like your pic all but makes it inaccessible. I don't have a drill press either so rely on the mill for that too & lose too much Z axis with the larger vise. It's a knee mill, but a smaller one.

Next I really want a DRO & at least X axis power feed but don't want to spend the $ on either. I still have a Dillon 650 or 1050 on my list of stuff to buy higher than more tool stuff.

I like your shop.
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ken226
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by ken226 » Thu May 22, 2014 10:32 pm

Sounds like were in the same boat :)

I orderd a near identical version of the mill you bought! Mine should be on the truck any day now. I got the KBC 7x31, made in Taiwan, vertical mill: http://kbctoolsandmachinery.com/product/show/6-380-002

I recently upgraded from my 3 in 1 Smithy mill/drill/lathe to a Smithy 12x37 lathe, and finally saved up enough to order the standalone mill.

I'm interested in how you like the Harbor Freight mill, since mine will be basically the same machine.
02/07 FFL-SOT

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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Fri May 23, 2014 3:53 pm

ken226 wrote:Sounds like were in the same boat :)

I orderd a near identical version of the mill you bought! Mine should be on the truck any day now. I got the KBC 7x31, made in Taiwan, vertical mill: http://kbctoolsandmachinery.com/product/show/6-380-002

I recently upgraded from my 3 in 1 Smithy mill/drill/lathe to a Smithy 12x37 lathe, and finally saved up enough to order the standalone mill.

I'm interested in how you like the Harbor Freight mill, since mine will be basically the same machine.
Your mill is basically a knee mill. Mine is more or less a glorified drill press. I feel like it'll do the things I ask of it now just fine. It seems to be accurate and square, but I do want to get a full size mill sometime in the next few years.

This always was going to be a stepping stone for me.....I will get a big machine, and I'll be able to transfer over all the tooling, and more importantly all the experience I'll learn on this smaller machine. So far, so good!

I plan on doing my first 80% lower sometime in the next week.
Kyle O.

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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by AZGUNNER » Fri May 23, 2014 7:23 pm

I have been looking at a grizzly mill and lathe both with dro. Do you mind saying what you paid and where you got it. I have the bug bad, my shop is coming along nice have mig, tig, plasma, drill press , press, sand blast cabinet. Parts cleaner. I do not knos enough about mills and lathes to feel comfortable buying a used machine, so I would rather buy one new. I have been looking at the gunsmith series from grizzly on the lathe, and the smallest full size mill.

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CMV
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by CMV » Fri May 23, 2014 9:30 pm

Ken - that is very similar to my mill & also very similar to a Grizzly G3102.

For what it is, it's a nice machine. It's not a Series II Bridgeport and can't be expected to do the same work. For a home shop it's a nice machine for several reasons. Heavy enough to have some rigidity but light enough that you can easily move it around by yourself with an engine hoist, small footprint, 110 V (20A circuit is a MUST), one-shot oiler, all the basic controls & functions you'd expect on a knee mill. For example I can hog out an 80% AR lower with a 1/2" roughing endmill at .500 DOC fairly quick so it is a lot more capable than a smaller benchtop mill/drill. But in general, even though you have an R8 spindle, you're pretty much limited to the smaller end of the R8 tooling. You're not going to be running a 2.5"-3" facemill thru steel on it.

I can do a lot on my mill but sometimes have to compensate for lack of travel or just go a lot slower for lack of power & rigidity compared to full size machines. Mine was used but in great condition and was considerably less than $3k. The one you picked has a larger work envelope than mine or the similar Grizzly. More Z and more Y (cross travel) are things you're getting and will appreciate. Tough decision at $3k though because that gets you in used Bridgeport territory so it would be difficult to not just go all in at that point for me. I doubt you'll find a lot of home shop type projects that your machine isn't capable of though.
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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Fri May 23, 2014 9:31 pm

AZGUNNER wrote:I have been looking at a grizzly mill and lathe both with dro. Do you mind saying what you paid and where you got it. I have the bug bad, my shop is coming along nice have mig, tig, plasma, drill press , press, sand blast cabinet. Parts cleaner. I do not knos enough about mills and lathes to feel comfortable buying a used machine, so I would rather buy one new. I have been looking at the gunsmith series from grizzly on the lathe, and the smallest full size mill.
I got the g0709 strait from grizzly, I think it was around 5K shipped, I can't remember off the top of my head. I've had it for about 3 years now, and I have learned tons on it. It was worth every penny. It is accurate to .001 over 14" I have made some very nice silencers on it.

Currently, I have a chunk of inconel 718 in it, and have been carving away at that making a blast baffle for my current project. It is turning along without a problem at all. I have no comparison as it is my first and only lathe, but I have fell in love with machining, and have no regrets.
Kyle O.

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ken226
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by ken226 » Sat May 24, 2014 5:23 pm

Ah, my mistake. For some reason I had it in my mind that youd ordered the harbor freight 40939: http://www.harborfreight.com/vertical-m ... 40939.html
It looks alot like the one I ordered but for 1000.00 less, minus a few inches of travel on the x, y and z axis.

Now I just gotta sell my old Smithy 3 in 1 to help pay for the new KBC mill!


Very nice work though, your bolt knob fixture looks almost identical to my homemade bolt turning fixture. I'm looking forward to my KBC mill showing up. I've already ordered a bunch of R8 collets, end mill holders and a shars 2 inch R8 facing mill, a Grizzly 6 inch horiz/vert rotary table with tailstock and indexing plates. I've been wanting to try barrel fluting for a long time. With a 31 inch table, once I get the rotary indexer and tailstock mounted I should be able to flute barrels up to about 22 inches long. Maybe longer if i can make a steady rest to use instead of the tailstock!

Very nice lathe btw, i have a friend with the same machine and he loves it.
02/07 FFL-SOT

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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Historian » Mon May 26, 2014 10:02 am

Dr. K, you might find the following posting on using a milling machine
interesting. Especially on making one's own tramming holder.

Since I do not have a milling machine but a milling attachment***
to my Atlas 618 I have simulated the set up for making Vee-Bolck tool holder.

<< http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.p ... 61#msg9461 >>

I just added to my ER25 collet set a 'bag-assed' set of ER40* collets with a 2MT shank to hold a large
1" shank end mill safely in the head stock. The ER40 set will hold stock up to 1"+
for accurate turning. Especially holding a reamer, etc. **



* << http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0YyiWayJQlY/U ... G_1133.JPG >>

** << http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/at ... runout.jpg >>

*** << http://shdesigns.org/Craftsman-12x36/mill1.jpg >>

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Baffled
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Baffled » Tue May 27, 2014 4:18 pm

Dr. K, once you upgrade, that mill will perform duties as a stout drill press and 2nd operation mill. Or, you can sell it. But once you go knee, you'll never go back.
Next I really want a DRO & at least X axis power feed but don't want to spend the $ on either. I still have a Dillon 650 or 1050 on my list of stuff to buy higher than more tool stuff.
I CANNOT emphasize how freaking productive and nice a good DRO is. It changes how you do work. You no longer indicate a corner for a series of operations... you indicate the center. So much of what we do has symmetry across an imaginary line, usually the center, and by zeroing the DRO there, operations become (example) 0.750" and 1.000" left and right of center.

The best part, the vise combined with DRO... every time the vise is moved or reinstalled, I edge find the fixed jaw and that becomes absolute Y=0. Normally, you work in relative, where you can zero all day long, but absolute zero is fixed into the DRO, so let's say you stick a piece of 1" stock in there, you shift the DRO to absolute, move 0.500", switch back to relative, zero it, and you are on center in about 4 seconds. It's awesome. And of course you can totally ignore backlash and dials both.

Bolt circles is another huge benefit. You run a bolt circle calculation, it spits out a series of X,Y coordinates, you drill them in multiple parts, and they line up perfectly.

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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Baffled » Tue May 27, 2014 5:46 pm

I should have mentioned this earlier too, but because it's installed in my shop, and I use it so often, it's not in my thoughts much. But a VFD is an amazing addition to what starts as a step-pulley mill, which most small ones are.

My own started life as a 3 phase step pulley with two electric speeds, low and high, so I had like 12 speeds to choose from. It worked, but you're never at the speed you really want, and because swapping pulleys becomes tedious, you often simply accept what's there.

Most small mills come with a 1 or 1.5HP single phase capacitor start motor, 120V or 240V. Three phase motors are cheap compared to single phase; they are simpler, there's no start capacitor, and can be reversed instantly. You can dig up a 2 or even 3 HP 3P motor on eBay, or even new they aren't that expensive. Then you add a VFD to it. A VFD accepts 1 phase, turns it into DC, then outputs 3 phase power.

You can get a HP upgrade, too, like 1.5 to 3HP. You install the motor, hook up the VFD, then select a pulley set maybe in the middle range. Power on, BOOM! Instant dial-a-speed with gobs of torque even on the low end. Then, the best part, you start a cut at what you think is a good speed, and while cutting, adjust the speed and feed for best performance. It's amazing how often I found that what I thought was a good speed, wasn't, and I usually end up dialing the speed higher. So you can fine tune on the fly based upon sight, sound, and feel. And when you upgrade, you can move the VFD to the new machine.

I've been pretty verbose in this thread, sorry Dr. K! I love seeing new machines, they are fun to get going, and buying tooling and accessories is a trip, so we are living vicariously through you a bit.

Here is my own serialized VFD conversion... http://www.5bears.com/vfd.htm

Have fun with your shop. Thanks for sharing. :D

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Dr.K
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Re: My first milling machine!

Post by Dr.K » Tue May 27, 2014 7:06 pm

Please, no apologies!

I wouldn't have put it here had I not wanted good feedback from like minded people. By all means, spill your thoughts!

I'm learning a lot, and hope to continue. :D
Kyle O.

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