Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

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shild
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Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by shild » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:06 pm

I know that doing wooden parts on your metal lathe or mill/drill isn't the best for it, but do you guys who build the 1800's early 1900's stuff do it anyway? Maybe it's not too bad if you wipe the machine down and grease it afterwards?

rkcarguy
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:12 pm

I wipe down before, and after. The "before" gets rid of all the grease and oil that might trap and hold sawdust, then it doesn't stick as much. Then afterwards, vacuum and wipe it up, and oil/grease again.

shild
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by shild » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:35 pm

rkcarguy wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:12 pm
I wipe down before, and after. The "before" gets rid of all the grease and oil that might trap and hold sawdust, then it doesn't stick as much. Then afterwards, vacuum and wipe it up, and oil/grease again.
Nice! What do you run for a mill if I may ask?

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Greg_Lewis » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:15 pm

No way. In fact, the machine tools are in a small inner room apart from the woodworking tools. When working wood, the machine room door stays closed. Two reasons:

1. As above, sawdust gets everywhere. Even if you wipe down I find a fine, almost imperceptible, dust in the main shop after woodworking. I don't want that getting into the machine tools.

2. The spindle speeds just aren't right for wood. I have been able to do everything I need with my table saw, planer, router, and other common woodworking tools. (And there is a router attachment for the Dremel for really small stuff.) Years ago when I was playing with HO trains I made a small table saw just a little larger than a microwave oven that uses a slitting saw blade and has a piece of angle iron for a fence that's controlled by small roller chain and lead screws front and back. With this I can rip stripwood to ±.003.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:29 pm

I've done it. Machine tools are just infinitely better-made woodworking tools.

I saw a video of some well-known company using a Bridgeport exclusively for woodwork. Beats the snot out of a router and makes you realize what a cheap, inferior tool a router is.
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DianneB
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by DianneB » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:41 pm

I have done wood in my mini-mill and the only problem I had was burning milling tools. Don't know why they burned.

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Harlock
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Harlock » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:04 am

Yes, all the time in the mill. It produces beautiful parts. As when I am cutting metal that makes powder or fine chips (brass) I hold a shop vac nozzle up to the cutter and catch 90% of it. The rest is cleaned up in less than a minute. I find working with oak and poplar that they do not make anything fine enough to become a problem for machine tools, and the smallest particles are the first to find the vacuum anyhow.

I use it to mill slots, grooves and even do some routing. Working with oak is like one step down from aluminum. Very strong stuff and machines beautifully.

Typically I am working with a 'sandwich' where the part is held between two scrap pieces so that when the cutter hits the start and the end it doesn't grab and rip fibers out creating a rough edge. If you do it this way you get beautiful pieces.

I usually run at top speed, which for my benchtop mill is 2400 RPM. Between the mill running and the vacuum it is quite loud, so I always wear hearing protection when working with wood. (in addition to safety glasses, which are always on when the mill is on for any use!)

Shown here are end buffers, bolsters and other supports for a 3" scale passenger car frame. You can see the sandwich techniques in the vice.

As for the lathe, no. I used a wood lathe in wood shop in Jr. High, that was the last time. I have no need to turn table legs or candlesticks. can't think of anything in wood I would need to turn in the lathe for this hobby.

I have a large bench top square column mill. (Precision Matthews PM932M, which is a nicer RF-45 clone)

Someone mentioned they saw a video on a company using bridgeports solely for woodwork. I believe one of the original uses marketed for bridgeports was for wood. Just use a good shop vac held right up to the cutter you'll have no wood dust issues. I've been considering making an adjustable mount for my vacuum tube so I don't have to hold it anymore. Right now left hand holds vacuum right hand cranks the wheel, when I'm not using the power feed.

Best,

-Mike
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Milling slots in a queen post.
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Milling radiuses on a buffer beam. With sandwich pieces to prevent tearing.
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Milling deep slots on a truck buffer. You can see the sandwich of cheaper Alder here.
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Finished truck buffers.
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display of finished parts.
Last edited by Harlock on Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Harlock
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Harlock » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:07 am

DianneB wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:41 pm
I have done wood in my mini-mill and the only problem I had was burning milling tools. Don't know why they burned.
Too much heat buildup. You should have no scorch marks on your tools or your material. It would indicate a dull cutter, sap in green, cheap wood such as pine or feeding too fast or rubbing. Since you can't use coolant you have to be pretty careful.
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Harold_V
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Harold_V » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:40 am

I've used my lathe and mill for woodworking, as I have almost no wood working equipment. I've yet to find a reason not to. I don't worry excessively about the resulting dust and wood chips---they're not nearly as hard on things as metal contaminants. Aside from the mess (wood makes a horrible mess), I recommend it highly. I've made some very nice looking patterns for castings, to say nothing of rebuilding drawer slides on old furniture. It's hard to beat the precision of metal working tools.

Sharp tools with ample clearance is a requirement----and I use my built in vacuum cleaner to pick up the majority of the resulting waste, right as it comes off the cutter.

H
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:15 am

It's all about the mess.

Just clean up your mess afterward.

http://www.pbase.com/visual_first/image/130558798
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TURNING WOOD on METAL LATHE.JPG

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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by BClemens » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:56 am

Pattern-making on CNC mill.... do it all the time.....

BC
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Rwilliams
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Rwilliams » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:33 pm

I have been using metal working tools for wood parts for many years. Never had a problem and just kept things clean. No worse doing wood on a lathe compared to doing metal on a lathe and then using emery cloth to polish up the surface. I find the resulting chips and dust really soak up the excess oil and upon cleaning, the machine tools look better than ever. Just be sure to oil up the surfaces when you are done and do not look back. The Bridgeport is already well worn and wood will never hurt what is already worn out. I consider the Bridgeport nothing more than a overhead router on steroids that has never let me down in time of need. A sharp carbide cutter at top speed usually gives me some great finishes.

I have seen pattern making shops where a Bridgeport was dedicated to the making of all sorts of patterns on a daily basis.

I have used the Bridgeport to make some incredible accurate wood joints that never could have been done with a table saw or a router.

We use our drill presses for wood and metal or even plastic all the time and never think twice. Why should our other machine tools be any different?

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