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Straight rod for setting drill press table and cross-slide vise perpendicularity

fciron

Stainless
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
Is there a purpose to this cnc positioned hole drilling machine?

Sounds like you’re a long way down a rabbit hole already and I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve with these upgrades.

I stand by my earlier advice about squaring by tramming, but now I’m curious what work you envision doing with this machine.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Is there a purpose to this cnc positioned hole drilling machine?

Sounds like you’re a long way down a rabbit hole already and I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve with these upgrades.

I stand by my earlier advice about squaring by tramming, but now I’m curious what work you envision doing with this machine.

First, it's not CNC positioned, it's manually positioned using handwheels. The DRO is used to ensure accurate positioning of the cross slide relative to the drill. Typically, the first hole's position is less important than subsequent holes; relative hole positioning is what matters most to me.

As far as purpose goes, my first avocation is precision rifle and, by extension, making precision ammo. Making precision ammo means using various precision tools in order to accomplish the task. I enjoy inventing and innovating said tools. So far, I've been able to constrain my imagination to assembling dimensional stock with screws, rods and holes, that may change of course, then I have to sell a mill price tag to my domestic CFO.

As far as rabbit holes go, every step I've taken so far with this DP has met and exceeded my expectations. The cost has been minimal, additions can be reversed, etc. Let's call it a rabbit hole with a soft landing. My time investment has turned into a priceless learning experience, what to do, what not to do, and never being apprehensive about asking questions of those who know more.

I've taken the tramming advice; received the spindle square gage today, will check it out tomorrow.
 

M. Moore

Titanium
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Location
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
Here's a bit of advice, don't ever mention Harbour Freight tools on this website.
In order to know why then you must read the sticky "machinery discussion guidelines" at the top of this forum section and at the top of all forum sections.

You can definitely ask about tramming your drill press and it is a good question and you have had some good answers. One solution to tramming that I read about on the PM was to use a large ball bearing outer race as a precision surface for tramming. Drop that on your mill or drill and run the indicator on the surface, it is round and makes it easy to tram anything. I got a 10" diameter one from the dumpster at a local motor rebuild shop, free is good.

I am unsure how you are going to achieve a decent result tramming when the quill is slopping around in the housing. I am also hoping you know that when you drill a hole with a twist drill the hole is not round, straight or the size marked on the drill.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
The first thing that comes to mind is that you are, as pops used to say "trying to make chicken soup from chicken shit in a rusty hubcap hoping to come up with something that tastes like moms home cooking". Those drill presses are really pretty good for spinning a countersink while you hand debur holes in the backside of something that doesn't really matter.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
You might buy a bargain set of 123 blocks then with a fairly straight rod held in your drill press chuck bring the rod to touch the side of the 123 block, with the block flat on the table...

You may need to shim the straight in tram..and then adjust the right and left tilt/tram.
Getting .005 and less on the 3" length is pretty good.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
You might buy a bargain set of 123 blocks then with a fairly straight rod held in your drill press chuck bring the rod to touch the side of the 123 block, with the block flat on the table...

You may need to shim the straight in tram..and then adjust the right and left tilt/tram.
Getting .005 and less on the 3" length is pretty good.

Ironically I ordered a 1-2-3 block today, lol.

I used the spindle tramming square today; using the table's front-to-back set screw I was able to get the table within half a thou over 4.25", same for the left-to-right. The spindle tramming square has to be the best $99 I've spent in a long time, thanks to those who recommended it.

The straight rod with a square was a bit of an enigma. On the trammed table, the square showed daylight at the bottom of the rod, on both sides of the rod :eek:. Makes me think the square ain't that square, or the rod is tapered. I'll revisit at a later time, going with what the spindle square indicated.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
I am unsure how you are going to achieve a decent result tramming when the quill is slopping around in the housing. I am also hoping you know that when you drill a hole with a twist drill the hole is not round, straight or the size marked on the drill.

Point well taken on the degree of precision I'll ever achieve with this setup. That said, I've found the results I get are better than the dimensional material stock I have access to at the hardware stores. Lately I've been buying stock with my calipers in hand, then sorting them to find at least two with close to the same dimensions. This is especially true of rod diameter, differences from rod to rod, and even positions on a rod.

It's good enough for prototypes and one-off things I fiddle with, for now.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
The first thing that comes to mind is that you are, as pops used to say "trying to make chicken soup from chicken shit in a rusty hubcap hoping to come up with something that tastes like moms home cooking". Those drill presses are really pretty good for spinning a countersink while you hand debur holes in the backside of something that doesn't really matter.

Fair enough. What do you recommend I replace it with, and roughly what might it cost me?
 

Rex TX

Titanium
Joined
Sep 20, 2004
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
My hardened rod is a shock absorber rod - Chromed and ground
I use a cylinder square with it - piston pin from a big diesel.
Put a light behind the gap and it's good enough for my 20" DP
 

fciron

Stainless
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
It can be hard to get the square set correctly against small rounds.

Have you spun that tramming tool 180 to check your work?

If your chuck is crooked you could be tramming to the jaws of the chuck or other error and not to the spindle of the machine. This could explain the gaps you’re seeing with the square. You can also see this by rotating the chuck while keeping the square in place and seeing if the gap moves.

Oh, and the machine you seem to be trying to build is a jig bore. Maybe you can try to sell one of those to SWMBO.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
What part of Washington are you in?

I would think a worn out milling machine would be 10 times the machine one could possibly ever make that drill press into.
I have seen some serviceable with some tooling for 2k to the sky is the limit.
Here is one that looks nice in pics.

I just have a hard time saying precision rifle work and HF drill press in the same sentence. I won't say you can't do your work that way but it is an uphill battle with no end in my opinion. If you want do precision work you will find it much easier with precision tools. Most anything you could want for an old Bridgeport can be bought to repair it. Now that said, a Bridgeport is not the best thing out there, it is way better than what you started out talking about, you shouldn't have to lose any money on one if you buy a nice one.

00909_cebMycyaImOz_0pO0CI_600x450.jpg00i0i_e44MMVn0Wqnz_0CI0pO_600x450.jpg00c0c_gDVxP3EIqI3z_0CI0pO_600x450.jpg

1956 Bridgeport J-Head milling machine 9” X 42”. The motor is 1 HP 3-phase, but comes with a 3-phase converter so you can use household 20 amp 220.

I bought this for reasons unknown. I restored it as a 2-year project, and then have never really used it. I had this machine soda blasted and professionally painted at Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, Montana.


I am scaling back my metal shop and this is no longer needed.

These units are selling unrestored for anywhere from $3,500.00 to $5,000.00. With the complete restoration, I believe $3,250.00 is very fair. You won’t find used Bridgeports (which are the standard in the industry) in this good condition.


All parts are available and power feed, etc., can be added. It has a brand-new set of collets, clamping vice (nice, new).

The machine weighs about 2500 pounds. I can load it into your trailer or a freight company rig. No charge to load, but packing and freight is extra. This may fall under class 85 to ship.

1956 Bridgeport J-Head milling machine - tools - by owner - sale

1956 Bridgeport J-Head milling machine 9” X 42”. The motor is 1 HP 3-phase, but comes with a 3-phase converter so you can use household 20 amp 220.

I bought this for reasons unknown. I restored it as a 2-year project, and then have never really used it. I had this machine soda blasted and professionally painted at Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, Montana.


I am scaling back my metal shop and this is no longer needed.

These units are selling unrestored for anywhere from $3,500.00 to $5,000.00. With the complete restoration, I believe $3,250.00 is very fair. You won’t find used Bridgeports (which are the standard in the industry) in this good condition.
 

neanderthal mach

Cast Iron
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
princeton b.c.
Unless I missed it you haven't mentioned what drill press you have and maybe that's better to keep quiet about. But fwiw I can fully relate to that OCD and learning a lot just from trying. But if this is something like a consumer grade of DP? Maybe what I had to learn the hard way will help because there's built in unsolvable limitations in what there even capable of. It's that chicken shit/soup situation kustomiser aptly described. I think it's helpful to expand on what others have already said to explain why there tables are just one of the built in problems your going to have that can't be easily solved. Use that new tramming tool with its shaft in the chuck and indicators set up in line running towards the column. Then just apply maybe 20 lbs of hand pressure pressing down on the outside end of the table facing you and you'll instantly see what I mean. I've read and have no reason to doubt it takes at least 150 lbs of down feed pressure to drill a 1/2" hole in mild steel with a brand new sharp drill. If anything that might be a low ball number. So any changes in part fixture, it's position on the table or part weight and that drill size/down feed pressure throw even the best tram settings out the window. There's a bit less but still further deflections in the head and the usual thin walled hollow column. Unbalanced side-side weight bends the table out of tram in whatever that direction is as well.

So it's a road of quickly diminishing returns I've already been down no matter how much money, time and effort you throw at it. I had a light weight 250 lb floor model 16" DP with a X,Y table I once thought was ok for what it was. It's keyed chuck very surprisingly even ran pretty close to an Albrecht for run out. Everything seemed to be at least usable except there were unexplained issues until I finally learned enough to check it under those variable weights and those down feed pressures just like I described. It's real easy to see .050"- a whole lot more of table deflection under even those light hand applied pressures. Any sub 1/2 ton or more commercial level DP without a knee is physically incapable of drilling even somewhat straight holes no matter how perfectly it's trammed. That's a static alignment that can't and doesn't factor in any of the real world user applied forces from just using the machine to drill simple holes. So those consumer grade D/P's are maybe good enough to do fairly low grade and less precise wood working tasks or maybe some light + - .050" fab work at best. The day I got my Bridgeport clone was the same day my D/P got sold. It's literally impossible to get even milling machine accuracy on any light weight D/P by adding an X,Y table even though it then sort of remotely resembles one. Since you asked and if you expect better, then what your needing is at the minimum an industrial level radial drill press or maybe a lot more versatile might be a knee mill that can also do a hell of a lot more. $3k-$5k for something half decent and used unless you got really lucky. A mill is also a full blown money pit for tooling. And as already pointed out by others, jobber type drills are a fairly cheap roughing tool since they can't drill straight, round or on size with even the best Moore, B&S, SIP etc jig borer driving them. To do better than what any usual drill is capable of as a cutting tool your then into single point boring.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
I hear ya neanderthal, no matter how many ways from Sunday a DP is squared, once the downforce hits, it's out of tram. Maybe a house jack under the table...just kidding.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
What part of Washington are you in?

SW Washington, near Portland, OR.

I looked around quite a bit before I started down this road. It came down to: very expensive production machines, cheap crap, and older machines covered in cobwebs at estate sales where the seller knows nothing.

I did find what I thought was a very nice one, more mill than drill, but when I pressed on the drill side I got "well the bearings are shot...".

I'll look over your list. I have half a residential garage so space is a constraint.
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
SW Washington, near Portland, OR.

I looked around quite a bit before I started down this road. It came down to: very expensive production machines, cheap crap, and older machines covered in cobwebs at estate sales where the seller knows nothing.

I did find what I thought was a very nice one, more mill than drill, but when I pressed on the drill side I got "well the bearings are shot...".

I'll look over your list. I have half a residential garage so space is a constraint.

There's a 10HP Birmingham knee mill near me for $5,000. You said you're into gunsmithing. Maybe make some nice hex barrels for cannons? :D
 

Superbowl

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
You are fooling yourself with this project. However most guys do that too when starting out. The sooner you get a real machine the less time and money you will waste trying to make a Mercedes from a Yugo. A BP can do decent work if you take an older one and put some effort into restoring it. A second choice for the space challenged is the older Clausing mills but you pay top dollar for them, kind of like the premium you pay for a 28 gauge over a 12 gauge shotgun. Keep in mind that even a 2,100 lb. BP is a light duty noodle for serious steel milling. A 1,000 lb Clausing is even worse. All the money and time you have in your Horror Freight dp can never be recovered when selling and will frustrate you forever when expecting precision. Forget about what the wife thinks. Mine is sure me having over 10,000 lbs. of machines in the garage is a sign of lunacy.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
You are fooling yourself with this project. However most guys do that too when starting out. The sooner you get a real machine the less time and money you will waste trying to make a Mercedes from a Yugo. A BP can do decent work if you take an older one and put some effort into restoring it. A second choice for the space challenged is the older Clausing mills but you pay top dollar for them, kind of like the premium you pay for a 28 gauge over a 12 gauge shotgun. Keep in mind that even a 2,100 lb. BP is a light duty noodle for serious steel milling. A 1,000 lb Clausing is even worse. All the money and time you have in your Horror Freight dp can never be recovered when selling and will frustrate you forever when expecting precision. Forget about what the wife thinks. Mine is sure me having over 10,000 lbs. of machines in the garage is a sign of lunacy.

I probably would not sell the DP, even if I bought a real machine. I fiddle around with wood projects from time to time where the DP is plenty machine. Never seen a finch complain about a free, out-of-square birdhouse :D
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
I have read one of the cheapest and easy to find precision shafts is the round rod in a printer that the head rides on. More precise then many here could measure at home.
Bill D
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
What part of Washington are you in?

I would think a worn out milling machine would be 10 times the machine one could possibly ever make that drill press into.
I have seen some serviceable with some tooling for 2k to the sky is the limit.
Here is one that looks nice in pics.

I just have a hard time saying precision rifle work and HF drill press in the same sentence. I won't say you can't do your work that way but it is an uphill battle with no end in my opinion. If you want do precision work you will find it much easier with precision tools. Most anything you could want for an old Bridgeport can be bought to repair it. Now that said, a Bridgeport is not the best thing out there, it is way better than what you started out talking about, you shouldn't have to lose any money on one if you buy a nice one.

View attachment 344254View attachment 344255View attachment 344256

1956 Bridgeport J-Head milling machine 9” X 42”. The motor is 1 HP 3-phase, but comes with a 3-phase converter so you can use household 20 amp 220.

I bought this for reasons unknown. I restored it as a 2-year project, and then have never really used it. I had this machine soda blasted and professionally painted at Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, Montana.


I am scaling back my metal shop and this is no longer needed.

These units are selling unrestored for anywhere from $3,500.00 to $5,000.00. With the complete restoration, I believe $3,250.00 is very fair. You won’t find used Bridgeports (which are the standard in the industry) in this good condition.


All parts are available and power feed, etc., can be added. It has a brand-new set of collets, clamping vice (nice, new).

The machine weighs about 2500 pounds. I can load it into your trailer or a freight company rig. No charge to load, but packing and freight is extra. This may fall under class 85 to ship.

1956 Bridgeport J-Head milling machine - tools - by owner - sale

1956 Bridgeport J-Head milling machine 9” X 42”. The motor is 1 HP 3-phase, but comes with a 3-phase converter so you can use household 20 amp 220.

I bought this for reasons unknown. I restored it as a 2-year project, and then have never really used it. I had this machine soda blasted and professionally painted at Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, Montana.


I am scaling back my metal shop and this is no longer needed.

These units are selling unrestored for anywhere from $3,500.00 to $5,000.00. With the complete restoration, I believe $3,250.00 is very fair. You won’t find used Bridgeports (which are the standard in the industry) in this good condition.

My word, that is one exquisite machine!

I need to recalibrate myself to what's possible.
 








 
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