Author Topic: Longer column for mini mill...?  (Read 14180 times)

Offline rvt

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Longer column for mini mill...?
« on: March 28, 2011, 07:08:03 AM »
Hi,

I've got this mini mill: http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Machines-Accessories/Milling-Machines/Model-X0-Micro-Mill

Very small! I'm wondering whether anyone has any thoughts on making a longer/taller collum for this? Would I perhaps need extra support at the base? Any significant problems with doing something like this?

Many thanks for your thoughts!
Rich
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 11:09:20 AM by rvt »

Offline Bill Stupak

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Re: Longer collum for my mini mill...?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 09:03:02 AM »
Here is what I did to mine           http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=8481.0    Probably not what you had in mind, but it might give you some ideas.

Bill

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 11:13:10 AM »
Thanks Bill. That's a nicely documented project too. It gives me some ideas on how to support the base should I get anything done, although my set up is a bit different as the column is a bar.

I can take some photos of my actual base/column if it helps, rather than just the stock image off the site.

Offline Bill Stupak

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 11:41:19 AM »
Yes I see (I didn't view the link when I posted). One way to extend your type would be to just find a longer column of the same dia. Of course I'm sure you realize a longer column would flex quite a bit. A brace of some sort would help there. When you lower the milling head to its lowest usable position how much of the column is showing? If it is a fair amount you might be able fab a new mounting bracket and shift the bottom of the column to a higher position relative to the table.

Bill

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 12:50:49 PM »
Yes I see (I didn't view the link when I posted). One way to extend your type would be to just find a longer column of the same dia. Of course I'm sure you realize a longer column would flex quite a bit. A brace of some sort would help there. When you lower the milling head to its lowest usable position how much of the column is showing? If it is a fair amount you might be able fab a new mounting bracket and shift the bottom of the column to a higher position relative to the table.

Bill
Thanks for your help. A longer column is basically what I was thinking of, but I was just wondering if anyone else had done this and how to go about it. I measured what you suggested, and I've got around 100mm of free column above, this with the table in place and taking into account a small end mill and a thin work piece. The point behind this is that I can't get a rotary table + chuck in there with enough space to work (even the smallest barely fits at all). I'm not sure how I'd go about shifting the buttom of the column to a higher position yet,  I'll have to give it some thought.

The column as it is 360mm, excluding the part that is in the base, 30mm ED. Realistically I think we need to get this to atleast ~500mm. I'm not sure what the two holes by the column are for, but perhaps they could be used for some sort of bracket.

Bill, do you know if you can buy columns like this anywhere? I assumed I would have to have one made specially.

Many thanks,
Richard

Offline John Rudd

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 01:43:28 PM »
Thanks for your help. A longer column is basically what I was thinking of, but I was just wondering if anyone else had done this and how to go about it. I measured what you suggested, and I've got around 100mm of free column above, this with the table in place and taking into account a small end mill and a thin work piece. The point behind this is that I can't get a rotary table + chuck in there with enough space to work (even the smallest barely fits at all). I'm not sure how I'd go about shifting the buttom of the column to a higher position yet,  I'll have to give it some thought.

The column as it is 360mm, excluding the part that is in the base, 30mm ED. Realistically I think we need to get this to atleast ~500mm. I'm not sure what the two holes by the column are for, but perhaps they could be used for some sort of bracket.

Bill, do you know if you can buy columns like this anywhere? I assumed I would have to have one made specially.

Many thanks,
Richard

I would have thought the 2 holes were for bolting the base down onto a bench?

As for the column,it would need to be a ground finish I suspect..
How about a chromed leg from a pair of motor cycle forks of suitable diameter?
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Rob.Wilson

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 01:48:38 PM »
Hi Richard

I was looking at getting one of those drills ,,,,,,,,,,,, what are they like are they worth the money ?

what diameter is the column ?


Rob

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 02:45:30 PM »
Hi Richard

I was looking at getting one of those drills ,,,,,,,,,,,, what are they like are they worth the money ?

what diameter is the column ?


Rob

Hi Rob,

They're good for the money I think. This is essentially why I bought mine, because I needed a small mill quickly and this one was in the price range where I could buy right away. So I'd only recommend it if price is the main factor, or physical workshop space, other than that, it doesn't really have any advantages "IMO". I've had a bit of trouble with mine, the motor went, which although was fixed promptly (great customer service from AET), it's also had problems with the DRO being completely erratic (soon to be replaced hopefully). I don't find the micro feed particularly great either, the worm seems to just not connect well most of the time. Also, when I change the belt to run at higher speeds, the vibrations are a little too high, and I'm not sure if this is what contributed to the motor going in the end. So not to be overly negative, as it does the job okay, but you get what you pay for in many respects - not exactly brilliant build quality, and you're limited to a very small system.

Hope that helps,
Rich

p.s. column diameter = 30mm.

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 02:52:28 PM »
I would have thought the 2 holes were for bolting the base down onto a bench?

As for the column,it would need to be a ground finish I suspect..
How about a chromed leg from a pair of motor cycle forks of suitable diameter?

Arh yes, that would be right. I haven't bolted it down simply because of worktop space at the moment, and it generally being stable enough.

"chromed leg from a pair of motor cycle forks of suitable diameter"

Hadn't thought of that. I no nothing about bikes though, so no idea what sort of length these would be. Would the column on my base likely be solid chrome?

Also, does anyone recognise the fitting underneath the column? I thought I had something that would unlock it, but doesn't seem I have the right tool, or atleast not one that would fit in place..

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 02:54:30 PM »
I measured the bottom of the column this time, when the mill is at it's lowest usable point with the table in place. I've got about 120mm below. How about a ~50-60mm rod that is turned down to 30mm after bottom/unused section, to held support it?

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 03:02:06 PM »
Thanks for the info Rich  :thumbup:

I just need something for drilling  weee holes

I have some 30mm chrome hydraulic rod , i can cut you a length off for you if you want a bit .

Rob   

Offline Andy

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 03:49:11 PM »
Hi Rich. The fitting under the column that you mention looks like it needs a C spanner. Something that you could maybe make up. I hacked a pair of them out of steel bar for use on my lathe. Some people fabricate them. Doesn't need to look pretty. On this particular setup you could also use a bit of flat bar with two projections sticking out. To be used key style.

The fitting looks similar to the locknuts that Seig etc use on the spindles of their 7x lathes.
From probably the smallest, dampest and most untidy workshop in Bradford, West Yorks, England, if not the world..

Offline John Rudd

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2011, 04:23:48 PM »
Thanks for the info Rich  :thumbup:


I have some 30mm chrome hydraulic rod , i can cut you a length off for you if you want a bit .

Rob   

There ya go sorted.....
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Offline HS93

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2011, 06:48:45 PM »
I have one off them rob had it about two years, I do a lot of small brass drilling (modelmaking) etc and it is far better than the drill I Had befor I get a lot longer life out of small drills.for the price I paid ( arc is by far the cheapest for speck) it is great value, plus it has enough weight not to roam about without being fixed.

peter
I am usless at metalwork, Oh and cannot spell either . failure

Offline saw

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 05:29:54 AM »
I like you models very beautifull  :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Offline Bill Stupak

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 09:23:47 AM »
I measured the bottom of the column this time, when the mill is at it's lowest usable point with the table in place. I've got about 120mm below. How about a ~50-60mm rod that is turned down to 30mm after bottom/unused section, to held support it?

Another way would be to find a slab of steel or CI 140mm high (the amount you want to extend the column) wide and long enough to give you a steady base and not interfere with the table. Bore a hole to accept the old column, counter bore the bottom to allow for the spanner nut and solidly mount the new base to the old. This would give you the height you need and not take away any rigidity.

Bill

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2011, 11:38:58 AM »
Cheers Peter ,,,,,,,,,,,,, i will have a look at one at the Harrogate show  :dremel:


Those boat/ship parts are cracking ,  :bow: :bow: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:   will we see the rest of the craft some day  :poke: :)


Rob

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2011, 01:11:26 PM »
Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions!
Thanks for the info Rich  :thumbup:

I just need something for drilling  weee holes

I have some 30mm chrome hydraulic rod , i can cut you a length off for you if you want a bit .

Rob   

Hi Rob,

That's very kind of you! I need to work out all my options before I commit to anything yet, otherwise I'd snatch your hand off ;-). But thank you. Do you have a larger lathe where you could potentiall turn down the the end that goes into the base? It also has a thread by the looks of it. I'd pay you with money or whatever takes your fancy if you could be of any help.

I think with the base, we're looking at 20-20" minimum, do you have that much ?

Many thanks,
Richard
Hi Rich. The fitting under the column that you mention looks like it needs a C spanner. Something that you could maybe make up. I hacked a pair of them out of steel bar for use on my lathe. Some people fabricate them. Doesn't need to look pretty. On this particular setup you could also use a bit of flat bar with two projections sticking out. To be used key style.

The fitting looks similar to the locknuts that Seig etc use on the spindles of their 7x lathes.
Thanks Andy. That's the fitting I thought it was, I have a C spanner like you say that fits to the spindle on my small lathe. It's just impossible to get it on there, with the positioning of the base... so it might have to be a home made job, which I don't think I'll be very competent at. Is there a 'verticle' C spanner of some sorts...? Can't find anything different...

Many thanks again,
Richard

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2011, 02:03:48 PM »
Hi Rich

No problem  :thumbup:   and yes i can reduce the end and screw cut it for you  :dremel:


Rob

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Offline David Morrow

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2011, 01:32:19 AM »
You may well be finished your mill column extension project but in case anyone else is considering this, here's what I did. I have a two Sherline mills - one manual and one CNC; much smaller than what you have but the concept I used may be of help. I used 8020 aluminum extrusion and am extremely happy with the results. I also drew up a new base for the CNC mill and had it water jet cut from 1" steel. Scroll down this page and you'll see both projects :

http://www.ldrider.ca/cnc/cnc-index.htm

You can buy short lengths of 8020 very cheap on Ebay; one of the vendors that's often there sells end cuts.

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2012, 06:51:52 AM »
Hello all... Long time! Well, I've struggled in and out w/o having a rotary table, but I'd really like to get this done now just to make life easier.

Could anyone make me a column as per my original post? I was in contact with Rob originally but he stopped responding to messages... nothing personal, I wouldn't have expected anyone to go out of there way to help me. But if someone could, it would be appreciated, as a larger mill really is way out of budget :(

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2012, 12:13:15 PM »
I was in contact with Rob originally but he stopped responding to messages

 :scratch: i sent you two PMs and got no replies ,then you disappeared  and now your back one year and six months  later    :coffee:

Offline rvt

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Re: Longer column for mini mill...?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2012, 12:17:33 PM »
I was in contact with Rob originally but he stopped responding to messages

 :scratch: i sent you two PMs and got no replies ,then you disappeared  and now your back one year and six months  later    :coffee:

Rob, confusing. Perhaps there was something up with the messaging system at the time ? You were my "only hope" for the solution so to speak, so I wouldn't have just stopped messaging... I sent a couple your way, and followed up a couple of weeks later with no reply. Perhaps my browser was at fault, I dunno... sorry if it appeared I'd just ignored you, I'm just not like that so apologies for whatever technical problem caused this :(