stone to smooth mill table

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

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calgator
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Post by calgator » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:46 pm

In reference to protecting my mill table I created covers out of plexi-glass and glued a couple of guides that fit in the t-slots. I got the scrap from a local manufacturer and paid $4.00. I then trimmed the edge so they were snug with the vise. It’s just when I remove them and forget to put them back that I hit it with something.

Charles
The best times were behind one of Al's engines

CarlD
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Post by CarlD » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:00 pm

I always protect my mill table. I don't lay anything on them except the work, vise, rotary table, not tools PERIOD. It's not a workbench, it's a mill.
It's only ink and paper.

Jay, Idaho
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Post by Jay, Idaho » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:45 am

I keep a swivel base under my Kurt on the B'port all of the time, just handy for the kind of jobs that I most often do on the mill.
There are aluminum sheetmetal formed covers that cover the rest of the table, fitted very well up against the sides of the swivel base. They are reversed when I have only the vise on the table. It took a few minutes with a shear and brake to bend them up.
Not only do they protect the table surface but they sure keep a lot of chips and crap out of the T-slots.
My mill looks naked without the table covers.

Jay, Idaho

gmann109
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Post by gmann109 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:40 pm

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Last edited by gmann109 on Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

737mechanic
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Post by 737mechanic » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:23 pm

Here are the way covers I made for my little 6x26 mill. They are made from HDPE and started out 1/2 in. thick and I milled out .200 so there would be a lip to prevent things from sliding off, I then cut the inserts and screwed them to the bottom with countersuck screws and they sit down in the table groves real nice. Very easy and fast to make and will prevent the table from getting dinged up.

The only problem I found with milling them was they wanted to lift in the middle as the material was removed and it made uneven mill marks.
Attachments
lefthand.jpg
backside.jpg
righthand.jpg
waycovers.jpg

CarlD
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Post by CarlD » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:15 am

I guess those table protectors are nice but are a lot of trouble. What is wrong with using a workbench or roll around table to keep the tools on. Putting tools and stuff on the table just puts things in the way of chips and oil and who wants chips and oil on their mic's, calipers and other measuring tools not to mention having wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers, etc. laying right where your machining.

It's really a mistake to have anything but the work and what ever is used to hold the work and an oil can on the mill table, also it could be dangerous.

If your using the covers to keep the chips out of the slots I can understand that, but there should be no tools at all on the mill table.

You shouldn't even lay stuff on your lathe ways, PERIOD. I have a wood cover to put under the chuck when I replace them but I never use it to put tools on the lathe. I do put some tools on the headstock top such as chuck wrenches, soft face hammer, chip hooks, cheater bar and tool post wrench.
It's only ink and paper.

gmann109
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Post by gmann109 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:48 am

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Doug_Edwards
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Post by Doug_Edwards » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:23 am

Gents,

I have to selectively disagree that a file is best for removing dings in tables. If the ding is large, I'm not sure I would use a stone, but I also don't get large dings in my tools.

I have never worked in a tool room that someone used a file on a mill table. If there was any doubt, we ran a fine stone on the table. You can feel if there are any bumps. Other than that, the stone doesn't take any noticable material off the table, it slides across. I use a ouachita stone, and also carefully stone the bottom of the vise before I put it on. I have not yet even begun to take the machining marks off the bottom of my vise, it is 20 years old and has seen more than just hobby use.

We also stoned the mag chucks on surface grinders in every shop I worked in, and they are much softer than a mill table. You can stone the whole chuck, and not just a portion, but they still eventually wear in the center, and need to be resurfaced if used for close work. I use a fine ruby stone to stone mag chucks.

India stones in my opinion are too course.

I would not personally consider using abrasive paper, even if it was wrapped around a hard ground surface.

Just my $.02 worth.

Regards,

Doug
http://www.precisionlocomotivecastings.com/
Building a 70 ton Willamette in 1.6"
Building a 80 ton Climax in 1.6"

"Aim to improve!"
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calgator
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Post by calgator » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:13 am

you know I did not think I would get this many opinions when I asked the question :shock:

you thought I was asking who is the best...oh never mind or it will go on for ever :roll:

Thanks again for everyones thoughts though,

Charles
The best times were behind one of Al's engines

737mechanic
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Post by 737mechanic » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:22 am

I have the Machine Shop Milling Course by Darrell Holland, He has over 30 years experience and has worked on his person bridgeport for over 20 years. The way he does it is he takes a 124 block wraps 400 grit wet/dry paper and sprays the table down with wd40 and lightly runs it across his mill table. When he is doing this you can clearly see the original scrapping marks from bridgeport so I would have to say if Darrell Holland can do this for 20 years on the same bridgeport and not remove the original marks you would be fine doing it that way. I am sure the file method works just fine also and I would be fine using either method for myself.

gmann109
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Post by gmann109 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:43 am

737mechanic wrote:I have the Machine Shop Milling Course by Darrell Holland, He has over 30 years experience and has worked on his person bridgeport for over 20 years. The way he does it is he takes a 124 block wraps 400 grit wet/dry paper and sprays the table down with wd40 and lightly runs it across his mill table. When he is doing this you can clearly see the original scrapping marks from bridgeport so I would have to say if Darrell Holland can do this for 20 years on the same bridgeport and not remove the original marks you would be fine doing it that way. I am sure the file method works just fine also and I would be fine using either method for myself.
Even if he has that much experience, his method will eventually take material off. After a while, it will get uneven depending upon how many times he's done it. The original scraping marks will eventually disappear.

The best thing for a table is to avoid dropping things on it and cover it in some way. I cover mine mainly to keep the chips out of the slots. I remove the covers to move the vise over when I use my rotary table or need to clamp a larger item into the slots. That's another reason I like a 50" wide table.

With all due respect to any favorite methods set forth here, I keep sandpaper and files away from my table. I cleaned it up once when I got the machine and nothing has happened to cause an issue since.

There are different strokes for different folks.
Last edited by gmann109 on Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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ronm
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Post by ronm » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:15 pm

calgator wrote:you know I did not think I would get this many opinions when I asked the question :shock:

you thought I was asking who is the best...oh never mind or it will go on for ever :roll:

Thanks again for everyones thoughts though,

Charles
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that it's OK to do whatever you feel is right, 'cause if you ask, there will be opinions that run the full gamut of possibilities...that said, I'll offer my opinion on this-having more experience with Diesel blocks & heads than mill tables, I can say that a dull file will not remove anything other than high spots on a flat surface. You can find hickeys on a block deck pretty quick with a draw-filing technique. A sanding block will find them, but it will remove stuff wherever the opposite end touches, unlike a file. Not just sucking up to Harold because he's the moderator, or because I know some people who know Harold, either... :roll: but his method works.
Now, an opinion of my own, that can be dismantled at will-my old buddy, who had the auto machine shop here for 40 years, always put a sheet of newspaper between the vise & table on his mill-looked like a good idea to me, so that's what I do. Protects the table from scratches, it's cheap & easy...just tear excess paper away after the vise is bolted down. I'm sure there's a reason to not do it that will be pointed out, but it works for me, & it's sort of a tribute to Ralph-taught me more than any school class ever did...

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