Author Topic: Milling on a mini lathe  (Read 13182 times)

Offline ian_in_the_midlands

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Milling on a mini lathe
« on: November 15, 2014, 03:52:54 PM »
I have got to the stage in my poppin engine build where I need to start thinking about how I am going to make the standard. I need to mill out the material (aluminium) somehow.
I do not have a milling machine, nor do I have the space for one, so I think I need to do it on my Sieg C3 mini lathe.
My options appear to be:

1) Buy the sieg milling attachment. http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Machines-Accessories/Lathes/Model-C3-Mini-Lathe/C3-Super-C3-Accessories
My concerns with this option is the very limited Y axis movement dictated by the mounting position of the slide. It is also expensive.

or 2) buy an angle bracket and vice, and make small modification to lathe to turn the compound slide sideways. See halfway down page: http://www.varmintal.com/alath.htm. This could be mounted in the middle of the cross slide to give me more Y axis movement.

or 3) Buy a milling attachment designed for the myford and modify my cross slide for it to fit. Something like this: http://www.rdgtools.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?WD=milling%20slide&PN=VERTICAL%2dSLIDE%2dFOR%2dSUPER7%2d%2d%2dML7%2d%2dML%2d10%2d093272%2ehtml#SID=482
I like the idea of having T-slots but can it can be made to fit? It is also cheaper and I suspect better made than the sieg milling attachment. It again could be mounted in the middle of the cross slide to give me more Y axis movement.

There is also the 4th option: Cut out bulk with hacksaw and then file, but this is probably well beyond my skill level and I would like to avoid this if possible.

What would people recommend? Has anyone done this before? How did you get on?
Thanks.

Offline DavidA

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 04:25:00 PM »
The vertical slide seems to be the best way if it will do the job (you may need to do it in more than one stage) and using this devise will give three axis movement.

I suspect if you bought it you will find lots of use for it.

It was how hobbyists managed before milling machines became affordable.

Dave

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 06:00:45 PM »
Ian.
I think my, Scottish Lad, may have a spare attachment. As he now has a mini mill.

I've texted him, to have a look, here......  :thumbup:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline stirling lad

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 08:00:15 PM »
Sorry guys   I sold it a while back...I mounted mine on the cross slide ,, bang on halfway along as that allows more travel and i had it so it dropped over the edge,,I also took a little knick out the bottom face so i had the option of mounting it on the disc where the topslide normally fixes down onto,, that allowed me to angle the vertical slide but i was only held down by one bolt, It always seemed solidly fixed down enough,,The hex key in the photo was for a carriage lock which was a must have i found otherwise i would have to keep locking the gibs really tight,,ive got other photos i can send or post here if you want them,, one photo has the dimensions of the ml7 slide base too.
 
I know this is'nt how your supposed to use these but it's just how i got that little extra out of it..

..mike..

Offline ian_in_the_midlands

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 05:00:38 AM »
Thanks for replies.
The first photo showing the attachment in the middle is what I has in mind.
Is that the slide intended for the mini lathe?

I have already made a lock for the carriage. I find I need this for facing.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 12:54:20 PM »
The old fashioned way was to add nothing more exotic than  a block of metal which could be peppered with all sorts holes and taps to hold things to be held for milling and drilling.

You might be surprised but I came across 3 of the 'Greats in Model Engineering who used such a thing. One was Martin Cleeve, author of Screwcutting in the Lathe, the Next was George Thomas, author of the Model Engineers Workshop Manual and Workshop Techniques and the Professor Dennis Chaddock author of the Quorn book.

Regards

Norman

Offline DavidA

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 02:18:10 PM »
quaint,  but it only gave you two axis.

Dave.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 02:39:15 PM »
Quaint- possibly but think that 'Cleeve' actually added the 3rd dimension with home made blocks. All in early copies of Engineering in Miniature!

Of course, the other method was to use fabricated tool posts mounted direct onto the saddle. Both front and rear ones and take the top slide off and use screwed to the block- as a vertical slide. It's only the ability to think at 90 degrees- or the 4th part of a circle. Oops, me apron is showing!

The other bit of Quaint engineering( your comment) was to mount the work in the tool holder.

Cheers

Norman

I was following old George Thomas- or actually Dr Bill Bennett, BDS( Dunelm) who wrote about Jim Bachelors addition to the Universal Pillar Tool and how Jim had grafted his to his Myford. I have a UPT but grafted a cheap and nasty 30quid effort of a drilling machine ( ex Aldi) onto my Myford. The vice - or vise came in the box.

Canny for 30. My vertical slide- or one of them is on me fabricated Stent T&C!

Quaint- maybe. Works- definitely.

Regards

N




Offline DavidA

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 03:10:31 PM »
I never said it wouldn't work. And if it's all you have then,  way to go.

But think of all the time you lose adjusting things.

And we are in the twenty first century.

Harold Hall presented a milling attachment for the small lathe. And I was most of the way through making it when I realised just how limited the x,y practical traverse would be.  So I bit the bullet and bought a small mill.
The vertical slide is a sort of half way house. An old friend of mine (now deceased) did all the milling work for his 5" guage Britannia using the slide.

Dave.

But I do still have a nice spindle to thank Harold for.

Offline stirling lad

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 01:10:21 PM »
yes ian, that is the slide thats made for the mini lathe..

..mike.

Offline ian_in_the_midlands

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2014, 05:01:27 PM »
Has anyone any experience of mounting a slide like this on the Sieg S3 lathe.
They look a lot more useful than the tiny slides sold for the 7x lathes, and do not cost much more.
Warco sell them as a mini lathe milling attachment, but sell the smaller versions too.

Are these a useful upgrade, or too big to be practical on such a small lathe?

I would anticipate drilling new mounting holes to put the slide in the middle of the cross slide as per stirling lad's picture.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2014, 03:08:10 AM »
Ian, sorry but you actually have your vertical slide already. What you haven't got is the bit of metal  that I mentioned.

All that you need to do is remove the top slide on your lathe( which becomes redundant) and  fasten it to that 'bit of metal t'wer that size'

I have a weeny little top slide that came from miniature Ajax lathe from between the wars and it fits onto a rather ridiculously  expensive radius turning attachment that goes on my Clarkson  tool and cutter grinder- which used to be ridiculously expensive. I bought the whole panjandrum for 100 which would slideways grind a vertical slide- if I hadn't a useless vertical slide that has been on n number of lathes- and a milling machine and tool and cutter grinder.

If you follow the 'logic' I have an even cleverer vertical slide that is attached to a grinding spindle that came off a home made tool and cutter grinder and goes on my bigger lathe.

Hint- you'll soon realise that bits of tooling are quite capable of other uses.

Regards


Norman

Offline ian_in_the_midlands

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2014, 08:21:54 AM »
Hi Norman,
What I think you are describing is my option 2, but using a block of metal rather than an angle plate. Am I right?
My issue with this is the cross slide on the 7x mini lathe is poor.
Wouldn't the slide I pictured in my last message be far more rigid?

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2014, 09:05:32 AM »
Not sure, Ian!   If I was you( waiting for something better- and saving up) I'd get a chunk of nice solid steel block which could be peppered with holes, taps and whatever and bolt the top slide to the other face. I hang my head in shame, but I have two angle doo-dahs but both came from scrap things.

 Save your pennies.
 
I've a lot of very peculiar odds and sods- including wonderous things called 'Childrens Drawings sets' and felt tipped markers and a myriad of stuff- for a pound. Usual disclaimers with admissions of insanity :loco:

Just out of curiosity- an afterthought. Have you Googled  'Gadgetbuilder.com?'  Mr Moran has a lot of things for the small lathe there.

Regards

Norman

Offline nrml

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2014, 01:45:59 PM »
Hi Ian,
Oddly enough, I have been researching this too recently and here are my opinions for whatever they are worth. Forgive me if I am stating the obvious.

1. The cheapest option is using your existing top slide but if your mini lathe is anything like mine, the build quality of the top slide and the amount of backlash in the screw would make an already difficult operation (milling on a machine with lots of limitations) even more infuriating.

2. The option with least limitations on workholding is the ARC offering along with their sub table. However, it is the most expensive option and I am not convinced you would get your money back if you flogged it on ebay when you get a milling machine eventually.

3.The warco option you showed earlier looks more versatile than the basic mini lathe vertical slides on offer, but it isn't very cheap either especially if you add the 40 it will cost for the vice. However, you can split the slide and vice and dispose of them separately possibly recouping a bit more.

4. The bracket mounted or tool post vertical slides sold by most of the usual suppliers like RDG, Warco and Chronos etc etc don't appear rigid enough to me.

I would go for the warco option because it will probably be the easiest to dispose off if you find that you don't like it. However, if money is not the limiting factor and if you'd rather keep the slide than dispose off it when you don't use it anymore, the ARC offering  would make more sense.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2014, 03:43:39 PM »
Hi Ian,
Oddly enough, I have been researching this too recently and here are my opinions for whatever they are worth. Forgive me if I am stating the obvious.

1. The cheapest option is using your existing top slide but if your mini lathe is anything like mine, the build quality of the top slide and the amount of backlash in the screw would make an already difficult operation (milling on a machine with lots of limitations) even more infuriating.






It is a bit Quixotic to tolerate the top slide as a top slide but not as vertical slide.

So even more Quixotically, you should move the bought out vertical slide as as top slide.

Pardon, eh?

Gone onto the 500mg Naproxens- twice a day.

Norman

Offline ian_in_the_midlands

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2014, 05:06:07 PM »
That is about the conclusion I have came to nrml.
The arc slide, with the additional table is too much.
The Warco option looks more versatile with the T-slots, but I am surprised that I can find no pictures so maybe there is a problem with fitting.
I saw them at the Warwick show a few weeks ago. I wish I had taken more notice.

Offline nrml

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2014, 05:08:54 PM »
It is a bit Quixotic to tolerate the top slide as a top slide but not as vertical slide.

So even more Quixotically, you should move the bought out vertical slide as as top slide.

Pardon, eh?

Gone onto the 500mg Naproxens- twice a day.

Norman


I don't use the top slide as a slide. I've tightened the gib screws to make it as immobile as possible for exactly this reason. It is simply a mount for the tool post. I intend to ditch it altogether in favour of a tool post to fit straight on to the cross slide when I get time to bodge it.

I am afraid I don't quite get what you mean by ''So even more Quixotically, you should move the bought out vertical slide as as top slide''.

Offline nrml

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2014, 05:15:03 PM »
That is about the conclusion I have came to nrml.
The arc slide, with the additional table is too much.
The Warco option looks more versatile with the T-slots, but I am surprised that I can find no pictures so maybe there is a problem with fitting.
I saw them at the Warwick show a few weeks ago. I wish I had taken more notice.

Why don't you ask Warco what the distance between the centers of the two mounting bolt holes are? If that is right, it shouldn't anything major doing to make it fit.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2014, 07:09:31 PM »
Ah yes, if I recall Cervantes wrote of the faithful Sancho Panza who was the servant of Don Quixote thus

'Patience fleas, the night is long' A fitting remark(?) for a would be machine tool reconditioner. :wack:

Regards

Norman

Offline stirling lad

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2014, 11:00:00 PM »
 :mmmm? 500mg Naproxens,,,??
I'll need to get some of them so I can get Quixoticalled too!!!  :med:

..Mike.



Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2014, 02:57:12 AM »
Ah yes, Stirling Lad. Stirling? Got a date to see the Kelpies in Falkirk .  Saw them from the road. Fantastic welding!

Heading for the Bhutt and Bhein a bit north of you. Pain killers and those new constant speed cameras on the A9 permitting!

Slange




Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2014, 03:17:44 AM »

I'm trying to sort my library out. Really it is a rather large USB stick.

Came across a comment by someone who was born like me in 1930. Guy called Rex Tingey and he did construction notes on how to build a vertical slide - on a Unimat. Only needs scaling up a bit. It's still on the 'net as a freebie on the Unimat site.

Again, I was looking at my very dog eared copy of the Amateurs Lathe and there were construction notes for a fabricated 4 way tool holder. Can't be bad- it was from Lawrence Sparey! Again, I was recalling making a Stent in the Dark Ages. It's got a quite exotic vertical vertical slide but the feed screw is a bit of 3/8th  BSF studding with 20 TPI and most people can do their 5 times table. Or could.

I made mine from a bit of marking out table- which cost 3 quid.

Offline stirling lad

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2014, 05:55:28 AM »
 

the Kelpies are well worth a detour, but drive carefully its getting slippery up here now

Ian I found I could fasten down the minilathe  vertical slide really quite solidly,, but i did,nt have much faith in the jaws as you dont have anything like the screw on a vice to apply pressure,, you just hold them against the work piece and tighten then back against the slide not the piece, so its only your hand pressure squeezing the jaws together against the work piece thats holding it there ,,, no doubt theres some other mystical dark force involved in holding it there too,, but you know what i mean,,,

...mike..


Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Milling on a mini lathe
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2014, 06:09:20 AM »
Mike - Aberfoyle but not until Easter

cheers  :beer::beer:
N