Thoughts on South Bend milling attachments? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I'm in agreement with the consensus here that a milling attachment is a poor substitute for an actual mill. However, there are times, admittedly few and far between, when a milling attachment can perform machining tasks which a mill can't handle.

    Here are a couple of cases in point:

    1) I needed to do some machining on the end of my arbor press spindle. The part was too long to fit in the mill (obviously) but fit handily in the lathe, using the milling attachment. As a bonus, it was a simple matter to rotate the attachment 90 degrees for drilling & tapping a setscrew hole, without changing the height setting (see 1st and 2nd pictures.)

    2) I needed to drill and tap a couple of holes in a custom engine stand that I was modifying. Granted, I could have laid them out and drilled & tapped by hand, but I wanted the locations to be accurate. I considered clamping to the drill press table, but my drill press is a bench model with insufficient clearance. Clamping in the milling attachment worked great (see 3rd pic,) though I must admit it's a two dollar setup to do a ten cent job.

    Paula

    sdc11317.jpgsdc11320.jpgsdc14672.jpg

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  3. #22
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    If my lathe looked that nice, I would make excuses to use it every chance I got.

    Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    I must admit it's a two dollar setup to do a ten cent job.

    Paula

    sdc14672.jpg
    Nice quote!
    Looking at your last pic I was curious how you attached the milling attachment to your saddle. You must have a few tapped holes to choose from? Special plate? Surprised to see the opening where your compound goes on.

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 220swift View Post
    If my lathe looked that nice, I would make excuses to use it every chance I got.

    Hal
    Thanks, Hal! I do let it get messy once in a while... I need to make a clutch pulley, and I'm putting it off because it needs to be made from cast iron, and I know it's going to be a pain keeping it relatively clean for the duration.

    Paula

    Paula

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin T
    ...Looking at your last pic I was curious how you attached the milling attachment to your saddle. You must have a few tapped holes to choose from? Special plate? Surprised to see the opening where your compound goes on.
    Hi Kevin,

    After completing the MLA-23 T-slotted cross slide, I had the old duckbill cross slide just laying around. One day it occurred to me that I could make a base for the milling attachment out of it. The idea came from Andy Lofquist, who sells a casting to make just such a base for his milling attachment. With the T-slot cross slide, it gives you a total of four places to mount the attachment on the slide. I felt a little guilty cutting up a usable SB cross slide, but I got over it.

    Paula

    base.jpg

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    Paula I can see why your not looking forward to working with cast iron.
    I upgraded my lathe to a inch/metric gear box on my 10EE.
    I had to make room for the extra gears. I used a magnetic drill and finished up with a 4" hand grinder. I ended up dirtier than a coal miner.
    I had everything covered, but it was still a mess to clean up.
    Cast iron dust everywhere.

    Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by 220swift View Post
    Paula I can see why your not looking forward to working with cast iron.
    I upgraded my lathe to a inch/metric gear box on my 10EE.
    I had to make room for the extra gears. I used a magnetic drill and finished up with a 4" hand grinder. I ended up dirtier than a coal miner.
    I had everything covered, but it was still a mess to clean up.
    Cast iron dust everywhere.

    Hal
    The last cast iron part I worked on...chuck back I turned down from a way too big import pre-threaded blank. I attacked it with deep cuts and a negative rake holder with a positive rake carbide insert in it and it was not too messy. Previous attempts on other chuck backs filled my work area with grit and dust! The .075 deep longitudinal cuts was the secret sauce for me. I probably got lucky but there is a way! I turned down a 10 inch dia 1 inch thick flange to ~ 6 inches IIRC (I need to check the pictures again)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    After completing the MLA-23 T-slotted cross slide, I had the old duckbill cross slide just laying around. One day it occurred to me that I could make a base for the milling attachment out of it. The idea came from Andy Lofquist, who sells a casting to make just such a base for his milling attachment. With the T-slot cross slide, it gives you a total of four places to mount the attachment on the slide. I felt a little guilty cutting up a usable SB cross slide, but I got over it.
    Glad your posting more again. You should keep that up. You make me want to do better work.

    I've read a bunch of your stuff over the years, but I didn't catch it all. I had to look up MLA-23, and then the cross slide. Really good stuff.

    The MLA-23 thread for those interested:
    Machining the MLA-23 Toolpost

    A basic kit to machine it, I believe:
    MLA Toolpost (MLA-23)

    The machining cross slide thread:
    Machining A T-Slotted Cross Slide

    Your cross slide caught my eye with the gib adjusting screws. I really like that. The cross slide on my turret lathe was that way. I have since converted to an engine lathe, TA type, But I'm actually thinking of going back to it for the bulk of my work. I like the length and weight, plus with the gib adjusters you can really get it rigid. Plus I could set up dial indicators anywhere I wanted very easily.

    I had it set up with a turret tool post, but have been planning to build a base for the qctp I use. More on the "to do" list.

    What it looked like:

    49.jpg 50.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasgunsmith View Post
    ..."Glad your posting more again. You should keep that up. You make me want to do better work.

    I've read a bunch of your stuff over the years, but I didn't catch it all."...
    Ditto! It's inspiring to see experience and craftsmanship at play because it is so inspiring.


    RE Cast Iron Mess:

    I turned down this (center part) chuck back from 10" to 6" to fit the big ole 4 jaw that came with my lathe out of Pearl Harbor. (Checks Date of post!

    image001.jpg

    I learned to try and protect the lathe on cast iron with a cardboard fencing and a live vacuum nozzle.(must have seen one of you guys do it)

    image018.jpg

    The secret sauce for me and this material was a .075 deep pass at I forget what feed rate but mostly good chips with a negative rake tool holder and I think I used a positive rake insert but cannot tell from the pics. The pics actually look like a neutral or negative rake insert and would have been carbide. But there is a way...

    image013.jpg

    Coming through the end of the workpiece was generating large rings @ DOC!

    image020.jpg

  12. #30
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    Thanks for the replies!

    Yes, I gave the number (MLA-23) for the toolpost when I meant to write S4382, which is the MLA number for the T-slot cross slide. The T-slot cross slide really is a nice accessory to have, especially if you want to do more than just cylindrical turning. It enables you to make some creative, "weird" setups.

    On machining cast iron... I agree with the advice of using a shop vac, specially if using the power feed. Just hold the crevice tool near the cutting tool and suck up the evil, carbonaceous chips as they are made! I've had the best results with HSS tool bits on cast iron -- seems to give a better finish than carbide, though the cutting edge may need periodic touching up.

    Paula


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