Author Topic: Another homemade milling machine  (Read 7685 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.
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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.
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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: March 25, 2017, 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.

rather than new post I will put what little I have been able to do today on this one. Been making the wife some shelving for her greenhouse or STAGING as the know-it-all-father-in-law once told me its called but anyway I was going to use m3 bolts to fix the rack in but then thought why bother just make it fit in tight and it cant move anywhere so thats what I did.
Tomorrows task is to make a hole in the saddle to let the pinion mate with the rack in the right place.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 03:57:28 PM by shipto »
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Offline vintageandclassicrepairs

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2017, 05:36:34 PM »
Hi Shipto,
Have you thought about using a VFD and 3phase motor rather than going to all the trouble making a gearbox and then only having three speeds ?
Another option would be variable pulleys ala Daf variomatic ? also used on most modern mopeds
you would need to be able to control the movement of the pulleys rather than the centrifugal(?) mechanism used on them
I have seen old motorcycle gearboxes used to provide usually four gears on "Mad Mod" machines  :scratch:

John

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2017, 06:30:35 PM »
A vfd would be nice but probably too expensive for me at the moment and to be honest I hadnt even considered the variomatic option I may look at that  :coffee:
However it wouldnt be just 3 speeds as my plan is to have a 4 or 5 speed stepped pulley running a quill which would then go to the 3 speed gearbox allowing up to 15 speeds. It will most likely have to have a temporary head setup to start as whatever I decide to do will be too difficult to do with the lathe and thus it will have to make its own final head setup.
I did think for a short while about using a 150w dc motor I have which came off a micro lathe but I think power would be a issue with that.
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Offline mexican jon

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2017, 07:53:12 PM »
A vfd would be nice but probably too expensive for me at the moment

I'll happily send you a brand new (ABB Part # ACS55-01E-02A2-2) 0.37KW / 1/2HP rated VFD if you got a motor to suit or even if you can get a motor easily  :beer: (I've got 1 or 2 from an old job)

I believe that anyone who is mad enough to build there own mill  :loco: deserves a little help  :thumbup:

People say you only live once ! I say thank F@*K can't afford to do it twice.

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2017, 09:28:25 PM »
A vfd would be nice but probably too expensive for me at the moment

I'll happily send you a brand new (ABB Part # ACS55-01E-02A2-2) 0.37KW / 1/2HP rated VFD if you got a motor to suit or even if you can get a motor easily  :beer: (I've got 1 or 2 from an old job)

I believe that anyone who is mad enough to build there own mill  :loco: deserves a little help  :thumbup:
:nrocks: sent a pm Jon thank you  :nrocks:
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Offline mexican jon

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2017, 09:58:45 PM »
Replied to your PM  :clap:
People say you only live once ! I say thank F@*K can't afford to do it twice.

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2017, 02:54:43 PM »
Due to the limitations of my milling fixture on my lathe I couldn't mill out the opening for the pinion so in a blatent misuse of handtools I cut it out with the jigsaw. I have made the shaft for it and put some nasty bits of metal to hold it in place. The reason for them being so long is that they will provide a shoulder for aligning the shaft I did think about cleaning them up but it would have been a vanity operation because once the spindle housing is on they will be hidden.
Ignore the other misuse of tools the tap wrench was handy to turn it and it runs up and down reasonably well, bit of a tight spot but its probably better than most drilling machines out there and given time it should wear in nicely which will do given that it will only be used like this for drilling. During milling operations it will be locked up and the knee will provide the adjustment up and down.
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Offline sparky961

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2017, 04:34:16 PM »
Misuse, or ingenuity?  I'll argue for the latter.  It always takes more skill to get things done with only the tools at hand.

It's an interesting project and thread.  I look forward to seeing it progress.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2017, 04:39:25 PM »
In the tradition of the early English tool makers, make the first one, then use it to help make the next - that as a progression, should be an improvement.

'tis has ever been thus  :clap:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2017, 05:24:20 PM »
I have made a bit of progress. keep having to stop myself messing with the slide and reminding myself just how sloppy most drilling machines are but anyway I made a start on the fixtures for the head first off I worked out where the studs go and put them in along with the mounting plates for the rest of the head.
These two plates will form the basis of everything else relating to the head. I have drilled and tapped for the adjusters which I have circled in red and as you can see I have plenty of adjustment to get the head lined up left to right \ | / if everything goes anywhere near right I wont need anywhere near as much adjustment as I have available.
I also took a pic of the X,Y table which seeing as this was done before I started the body I should have pictured before but anyway it has the base from a cheapo XY table that has been discussed on these forums before but I did some work on it and changed the screw to a 1mm pitch and it seems pretty good now. The other axis is bits from the very first lathe I had a clarke 300?? I will go into that in a bit more detail later in the thread.
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Offline shipto

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Re: Another homemade milling machine
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2017, 03:39:07 PM »
got the bit together for the head drilled holes in them and used a bit of 12mm threaded bar to hold everything in place while I welded it all up. Just need to clean it all up tomorrow and maybe get the riffler on the corners because I forgot to leave room for a weld when I drilled the mounting holes.
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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