I have just brought a milling machine. I am into Minis so my main intention is to face mill heads and blocks for people and maybe some other little jobs to maybe recover some of the cost of the mill, nothing major tho.
I hope to get a radial table so I can lighten conrods and maybe even flywheels.
I am sure this questions been asked a thousand times before on here. What else is a Milling machine capable of? What kind of things have people managed to make with them?
I really am an amature as this is my first heavy tool.
Any advice will be appreciated. References to links would also be appreciated.
I think you'll be surprised how many times in the years to come that you'll see a way to take care of some task by using the mill. Drilling , milling , boring or even using it as a lathe by sticking something in a collet & positioning a tool bit in a vice. You know what they say "if the only thing you own is a hammer then every thing looks like a nail"
Have a look through this French Gent's site. Though the text is in french, the pictures are generally self explanatory; the lateral thinking and production he has done on a horizontal mill are very interesting.
Hope this is of use.
ERA, wow that guys stuff is amazing to a new guy. Thanks for posting a link to his site.
Michael, I just bought my mill and lathe not long ago as well ( 3 months) . I believe it's the same mill as yours, RF45 clone. If your asking about what you could build right now to start and get a feel for your new machine I would start by making some tooling for it, that's what I did and still am.
I've never had a mill or lathe before, These are some of my first projects on the RF45. They are in order of which I built first to last. I went by Ishimura's site for a few with some changes and last one just bits and pieces of stuff I've read on the net. Once you get started it's really easy and addictive. Hope that's what you wanted for info as well.
I'm not volunteering myself to translate all of this, but if there's any part
Originally Posted by Engine Room Artificer
of that site that someone needs in English, then just cut 'n' paste the
text and post it on this thread, and I'll do my best to put it in English,
though as this site is mainly of American membership, I must warn that
I'm only able to translate technical terms/words into British English
(Assuming there are differeces in American English) as I'm from London.
As they say, two peoples divided by a common language.
Re running machine tools, I am only going to give you one bit of advice. Remember that it is only a machine and better you let something crash than lose a hand trying to catch it. ALWAYS let it come to a complete stop before you slide a finger along the surface to feel the finish or whatever.
I used to offer help for science fair projects before I concluded it was an excercise in futility. A standard question from parents was "Will he be operating dangerous machinery?" The answer was "Damned right. This is the most dangerous place he has ever been in. The best way to avoid injury is to realize it is the most dangerous place he has ever been in and behave accordingly."
I have a LOT of respect for tools and my environment when using them. I do my best to think a couple of steps ahead. I have done a fair bit of DIY stuff and have never had an accident so it seems to be working so far.
With my new mill my objective is to keep my hands off the job and on the knobs.
thanks for your responses.
I was in the same boat about a year ago. Last year I bought my frist mill and lathe, and was thinking the same thing. What can be done with this stuff? Now one year later. I can't begin to tell you ,what I've made. these machines are so handy. I just wish I would of bought them years ago.
good luck Daye
So true! I've been seriously into machining for about five years now, and by now I can't quite remember life before lathe and mill. I'm constantly "discovering" new things to do, new ways to work, and, best of all, new tools I MUST HAVE!
I think you'll be surprised how many times in the years to come that you'll see a way to take care of some task by using the mill.
In part, to help "set" my memory and keep my work improving, I post some of my machining adventures on my web site, Home Shop Tech - around 150 articles so far. Do stop by for a visit.
Help us help you Michael, the type and size of mill you have will have a large effect on the many different things you can do with it.
You may have noticed that the "French Gent" has a horizontal mill, which lends itself nicely to the fly cutting he is doing on his large weldments. That doesn't work as well on a lighter vertical mill.
Your mention of heads and blocks, even on a Mini, indicate larger parts.
Tell us about your mill and you'll get a lot more thoughts on the matter.
Better yet, post photos.
Have a look here at what a master did when he needed a Horizontal Boring Mill, he could see it in his milling machine. Set Up To Bore Apron
Utilizing a horizontal as a "T-mill" would be ideal for turning flywheels that are too big to fit in a smaller lathe.
Some more thoughts on many different machines, especially post # 13, "Here is a a shot of decking a Buick 455 block., on a Bridgeport!!! Pics of Setups???
heres some photos of my Mill
it is sadly Chinese and only cost a couple of grand but I will go easy on it and let my imagination do most of the hard work.
It has 500mm of cross travel and 450mm from the spindle to the table.
My first plans are to get a good face Mill and a digital depth guage.
Its laid over in the pic so I can move it a little safer.
Originally Posted by ClintonH
that homemade boring head is very nice indeed.
Originally Posted by Engine Room Artificer
I tip my hate to a French friend. his work is so refined yet within reach for a home machinist.
I would cross the street to avoid a "train" enthusiast but I could look at his site all day. Kudos indeed.
Here is an easy way to temporarly convert a Sheldon horizontal mill to hob a 32 tooth acme worm gear for a South Bend lathe dia indicator.
On the Mini (A real Mini not that lardy BMW)
Originally Posted by michael3fingers
Pocketing pistons after you have increased the compression ratio.
Re surfacing brake discs
Slotting brake discs
rebuilding gear linkages
Oil filter take off flanges for oil coolers
A mill is a precise drill - that means boring out carb jets SU etc..
Originally Posted by derekm
I really need a rotary table though dont I?
I seen a set up for replacing throttle shaft bushes on here too.