M head / r8 spindle swap
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  1. #1
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    Default M head / r8 spindle swap

    Converted my M Head mill to R8 spindle

    Anyone wanting any info on this I can help you.

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    Not knowing anything about the differences with the two spindles, wouldn't be easier to just swap the M head for a J head?

    Tom

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    True. But finding a function J head and all the parts to make it work , plus shipping, gets exspensive. I figured this was the easier faster way to have a R8 spindle. And this retains the simplistic step pulley design. Lightweight and easy to move the head around. Draw bars cheap and easy to find.

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    finding a J head in decent shape, just the head is $1500.00 minimum in these parts.

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    I spent $300 on my conversion. $150 for spindle used from Ebay. $125 on new bearings with new lock washer and nut. Plus a few hours on the lathe turning the spindle down and grinding new splines. Approximately $25 on inserts and grinding rocks. I found a piece of 4140 tubing to make the spacers out of. Modified the original bearing adjuster to fit the new spindle.
    I had a draw bar.
    Its pretty much a full day of work to make it fit but well worth the time involved!

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    Hello i too have 1 m heads and about 5 j heads and 1 cherrying head that i have to used yet and i too was looking into what to do with the M head really good shape and smaller and lighter lbs wise .

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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    I spent $300 on my conversion. $150 for spindle used from Ebay. $125 on new bearings with new lock washer and nut. Plus a few hours on the lathe turning the spindle down and grinding new splines. Approximately $25 on inserts and grinding rocks. I found a piece of 4140 tubing to make the spacers out of. Modified the original bearing adjuster to fit the new spindle.
    I had a draw bar.
    Its pretty much a full day of work to make it fit but well worth the time involved!
    So now what do you have? An M head with all of the disadvantages of the M head, 1/2 Hp motor and the ability to chuck up tools too big for that mill. Like me trying to drive a 3" face mill with a J head.

    Tom

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    True Tom but I have the great advantage of cheap plentiful tooling and a really light M head. The light head is so easy to adjust. I can swap the belt around to do just about anything I need to do. I rarely drill holes over 1". I use my fly cutter to bore out cylinders up to 5" diameter. I'm not trying to make a living running a business with this thing. Its for projects. I can make just about anything with this machine. It makes you a better machinist using a low hp machine. Anyone that has enough money to buy a big mill that has plenty of hp. And a VFD, rotary converter, 220/440 or 3 phase at someones disposal makes it even easier for them. Every situation is different. If I had $4000 to blow on electrical wiring I would run 220 to my shop and buy a vfd to run a larger mill, plus I would have to buy another mill that works as good as mine. Yes there is plenty of affordable mills out there but The logistics of it is a pain. This mill is great for what I wanna do. If I wanted to do big stuff I would just take my project to a local machine shop. There's no way to justify me buying a larger mill. Maybe a longer table but If I'm working on things that require drilling large holes or heavy machining on a regular basis then I would just need to open up a machine shop for profit.

    Jacob

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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    I spent $300 on my conversion. $150 for spindle used from Ebay. $125 on new bearings with new lock washer and nut. Plus a few hours on the lathe turning the spindle down and grinding new splines. Approximately $25 on inserts and grinding rocks. I found a piece of 4140 tubing to make the spacers out of. Modified the original bearing adjuster to fit the new spindle.
    I had a draw bar.
    Its pretty much a full day of work to make it fit but well worth the time involved!
    JacobC-
    You make it sound real easy. I applaud your efforts.
    This project sounds like it would make a great video
    or photo essay. I did not realize that a J spindle
    could be fitted to an M so easily (I know you did a
    lot of machine work to pull it off). I bet you found
    some thinner section bearings. I wish I had more
    motivation to explore an "out of the box" project
    like this. I just assumed there was not enough
    room in the quill. Glad I was wrong. I have an M
    head on my 8520 Clausing mill. I may someday investigate
    exactly what you did. Any bearing numbers and pics
    that you might have would be appreciated by this group.

    Thanks-
    --Doozer

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    Nice work. I am intrigued.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    Converted my M Head mill to R8 spindle

    Anyone wanting any info on this I can help you.
    I will take whatever info you can supply me.
    [email protected]

    Thanks in advance!

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    I too would like any information you have. [email protected]

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    Me too please. [email protected]

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    The "R" head was made for using R 8 collets. No extending quill. Some of the adapters are 5" plus for round rams. They did service .

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    Me too if you don't mind...

    Sent from my S61 using Tapatalk

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    I like an "R" head for particular mills which suspend the heads by the over arm and its location. The whole thing is upon vertical slides, like the "Nichols" or U.S.Burke #2. That way, the knee and tables' weight don't need ramped up or down. You get to that later.
    The fully functioning DRO's tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    Converted my M Head mill to R8 spindle

    Anyone wanting any info on this I can help you.
    This would be of great interest to me as I have an M head to assemble and have always thought there wasn't room for an R8 opening.

    [email protected]

    Thanks much!

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by amuller View Post
    This would be of great interest to me as I have an M head to assemble and have always thought there wasn't room for an R8 opening.

    [email protected]

    Thanks much!
    NOTE: email was wrong in the original post!

    It's corrected above.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    True Tom but I have the great advantage of cheap plentiful tooling and a really light M head. The light head is so easy to adjust. I can swap the belt around to do just about anything I need to do. I rarely drill holes over 1". I use my fly cutter to bore out cylinders up to 5" diameter. I'm not trying to make a living running a business with this thing. Its for projects. I can make just about anything with this machine. It makes you a better machinist using a low hp machine. Anyone that has enough money to buy a big mill that has plenty of hp. And a VFD, rotary converter, 220/440 or 3 phase at someones disposal makes it even easier for them. Every situation is different. If I had $4000 to blow on electrical wiring I would run 220 to my shop and buy a vfd to run a larger mill, plus I would have to buy another mill that works as good as mine. Yes there is plenty of affordable mills out there but The logistics of it is a pain. This mill is great for what I wanna do. If I wanted to do big stuff I would just take my project to a local machine shop. There's no way to justify me buying a larger mill. Maybe a longer table but If I'm working on things that require drilling large holes or heavy machining on a regular basis then I would just need to open up a machine shop for profit.

    Jacob
    Just curious which tooling you couldn't get or make for your M-Head that justified all the work to convert it to R8. I have the BS-7 M-Head and have found all the tooling I need for it with only a couple of exceptions where I needed to get creative. I have up to 3/4 end-mill holders for it. But I can drill using my 1 1/2" S&D bits in a collet all day long without it slipping. And I only have 3/4 HP DC motor driving it that plugs into a 110VAC outlet.

    I am glad you were successful with the conversion. Hope you have good luck with it in future.

    Best Regards,
    Bob


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