Author Topic: Another homemade milling machine  (Read 770 times)

Offline shipto

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Another homemade milling machine
« on: March 12, 2017, 04:31:44 PM »
Since I have allowed this to get in the way of other stuff I should be doing I thought I would start the thread.
I have wanted a mill for a long time and despite following searches for one close to to me I havent been able to find one thats the right size, the right money or combination of those.
pic 1) Is a bit of 150mm X 100mm x 5mm wall box section that was left over from a one off job at work which I have held onto for years with bits for my origional idea for knee slide welded on.
pic 2) It needs some holes for mounting it on the lathe for facing etc. These will probably be no use other than increasing the rigidity after it has been machined so I will just put some caps over them.
pic 3) I want to be able to move the head up and down to allow drilling operations so this pad will have the dovetail for that bolted to it. If all goes to plan I will be able to get rid of the terrible drill press I have.
pic 4) Finally for now the discussed (in the design shop) bit to allow future use as a horizontal mill and a extra clamping hole.
Turns out this life c**p is just one big distraction from death but a good one. For the love of god dont give yourself time to think.
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Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 06:45:35 PM »
So first post was all pics taken at work and after I had finished trying to work out if I needed anything else on it I took it home and mounted it on my lathe so I could face of the bits that matter flat pic 1 and 2.
Another item I have been hoarding was aquired when our company brought out a failing competitor many years ago (missed out on a arbour press which was chucked while I was in between factories  :doh: ) Anyway it was a old solid cast iron bender capable of bending probably 8mm X 100mm flat with a big enough tube to pull it round. I used it a few times but it needed a permanent solid base and it wasnt useful enough to warrant the space. Now it may seem like sacrilege but I cut it up for this project and pic 3 shows a bit of it being turned into a dovetail guide for the head of the mill while pic 4 shows it in place.
As you can see the bandsaw at work struggled a little to cut it up but the mark will have no effect on the operation of the mill.
Not sure if theres a better way to check but pics 5 and 6 tell me its not bad at all for straightness.
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Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 04:12:01 PM »
After much tedious machining with my lathe during which time I often thought really need a mill to do this  :doh: I have 3 of the bits for the knee slide sorted out the pic shows them in place but not yet fixed I am still mulling over how to ensure they are fixed on straight.
Turns out this life c**p is just one big distraction from death but a good one. For the love of god dont give yourself time to think.
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Offline ieezitin

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 04:57:36 PM »
Interesting... Very nice work, you will be rewarded well when its finished..

Anthony.
If you cant fix it, get another hobby.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 08:44:16 PM »
After much tedious machining with my lathe during which time I often thought really need a mill to do this  :doh: I have 3 of the bits for the knee slide sorted out the pic shows them in place but not yet fixed I am still mulling over how to ensure they are fixed on straight.

Are you trying to attach them by welding and have them come out straight/flat enough to use as ways?  I hate to sound like a doubter, but that's not likely to happen without some work post-welding.  Bolting, maybe... but not welding.

Maybe you should build a lathe.  It is said that's the only machine tool that can replicate itself.  :bang:

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 09:30:43 PM »
No the slides are all cast iron so will be bolted onto the steel

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Offline sparky961

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 10:04:37 PM »
Ah, yes you did mention that above.  My apologies.

For measuring flatness/parallelism, the best would be to set it up on a large surface plate, but you may not have access to that.

Can you set up an indicator to run on one side to check the alignment to the other?  If it isn't aligned, then you're probably going to need shim stock and tapping things around with a small plastic hammer to get it aligned.  Once you get it where you want it, you should drill for dowel pins (tapered, usually) to enable disassembly/reassembly and to make sure they stay where you put them.

Or, using a smaller surface plate (or other surface flat enough by your own standards) you can print it and scrape it flat.

There are a few ideas here, but I'm just kinda throwing them out there because I can't quite visualize exactly how you need to align things.

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 04:32:36 AM »
Parralel between the head slides and the knee slides is my biggest concern if flatness became a issue I could sort that by skimming it as I did with the mounting points as above.

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Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 05:40:08 AM »
Ok I think I have it I am going to hold off doing anything with knee slides and get head slide finished and lapped in. Then once that's running nicely I can clock against the side of the upright which should get me straight enough. I can then use the top slide to set up the knee.
What could go wrong :)

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Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 05:17:16 PM »
Might be jumping the gun but my lovely wife brought me the collet set for it.
I actually want the one with a 80mm chuck but they had sold out of those so got me the 100mm for the same price.
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Offline awemawson

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 05:29:12 PM »
Wohay ..... keep that woman  :thumbup:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 05:49:47 PM »
Wohay ..... keep that woman  :thumbup:
:lol: she going nowhere for some strange reason she seems to love me  :loco:
Turns out this life c**p is just one big distraction from death but a good one. For the love of god dont give yourself time to think.
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Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2017, 06:21:59 PM »
Yet another job that needs milling  :doh:
I have almost done the head saddle but I need to mill out a recess to fit the rack that will let me use it as a drill.
The rack and pinion are from a drilling machine that went kaput at work and this is part of the bits I salvaged from it. Sometime pays to be a hoarder especially when you can hoard stuff at work  :lol:
I am going to have to think very carefully about my next steps because I would like a 3 speed milling head which will require sourcing or making 6 gears and if I am going to make them I will probably make a temporary head so I can use it to make them.
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Offline sparky961

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2017, 09:39:39 PM »
That lapping plate video from Tom Lipton you mentioned in another thread had him using a carbide tipped circular saw blade on cast iron.  I admit I was cringing a bit, but if that's all you have then have at 'er.

I recall one of my first "milling" projects, which was to "mill" out a slot in aluminum using a Dremel tool, cylindrical burr, and router base.  Very slow, but it did work.  I bet if you stuck a 1/8" carbide end mill into a rotary tool and took small depth cuts using a straight edge on either side as a guide you'd have it done pretty quickly.

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #14 on: Today at 06:00:43 AM »
I dont need to resort to that sparky I can manage on my lathe it just seems ironic how many milling operations I am having to do with my lathe to make the mill and I havent even started the knee yet.
Turns out this life c**p is just one big distraction from death but a good one. For the love of god dont give yourself time to think.
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