Harbor Freight 46199

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1911ly
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Harbor Freight 46199

Post by 1911ly » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:23 am

Here's my baby. It's a Harbor Freight 46199:
http://s1258.photobucket.com/user/w9amr ... f.jpg.html

I have spend a lot of time on her. I have added a Android displayed DRO setup that I built. Added a Aloris clone BXA wedge style tool post. R8 collet set for the mill. I really like everything except the .030 play in the Y axis lead screw. I would like to change that lead screw situation. Other then that, it's a fun machine. There is not a lot of info out there on it. I do have the manual. Any other fellow owners on the list?

Larry

Torch
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by Torch » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:30 am

You can download the manual here.

You may be able to reduce your play in the leadscrew by replacing the feed nut (205 on the diagram), assuming it is worn, or tightening the set screw (210), assuming the feed nut is shifting in the bracket (209). Otherwise, I think I read about someone fitting two nuts, adjusted against each other to minimize play but not so tight as to actually lock -- you need some play. You would need to make some sort of modification/addition/replacement to the bracket to accomodate the additional nut or cut the nut into two nuts and use a set screw on each half. Cutting the nut in two woukd increase the rate of wear. A fourth option would be to buy an inexpensive ball nut lead screw set on eBay and adapt it to your machine. (note that is just an example -- you would need to verify the appropriate length!)

1911ly
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by 1911ly » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:36 pm

Hi Torch

I found that manual quite a while back. It is better then the factory one. It has more pages. The factory manual does not have any info on the compound. I might have my Axis mixed up. It's the front to back. Not the side to side. I thought that was the Y? I am a noob, so feel free to educate me. I do want to learn what I can!

Part #210 is probably the issue. It is a sloppy fit on the lead screw. I am going to see if little machine shop has a replacement. If not I will retro fit something better if I have to. It is a left hand thread. I do have a lead screw I bought for my CNC router. It is a right hand thread. But having it gives me a few ideals on what i need to do to retro fit something.

FWIW this thing has no mileage on it. It sat since my brother bought it new. I think it has been crappy from day one. Most of the other axis are no worse them 3-4k on the play but this makes using the mill about impossible. It will grab the part and pull it in very violent. I have to be careful how i start my cuts for sure. I have this fatal attraction to this thing. I want to fix is and make it what I want to spending some time and a few bucks is OK.

Thanks So much for the help! And any more advice would be great. Be blessed

Torch
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by Torch » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:20 pm

There's some debate about axis naming conventions, with some adamant that the spindle axis is Z, be it on a lathe or a milling machine. The people who argue about such standards on forums tend to disdain 3-in-1 machines, which of course have two spindles at 90° to each other so I don't think there is an established convention that you must adhere to. Probably the purists would want you to rename your axis depending on which function you are using at the moment, but damned if I'm going to rewire my DRO each time I switch to satisfy their obsessions. :lol:

Personally, my machine is set up such that X is left-right, Y is in-out (cross-slide) and Z is the mill spindle.

Now, as for the milling problem, it sounds like you are trying to "climb mill" rather than "conventional mill". Climb milling is when the work is fed into the cutter such that the cutter pulls the work. Conventional milling is when the work is fed such that the cutting edge pushes against the work. As a rule of thumb, never, ever climb mill on that machine, no matter how much or how little backlash you have. Climb milling can result in a smoother finish, but requires a very sturdy and rigid machine as well as 0 backlash. Yours is insufficient.

Also, tighten the heck out of the column clamp before doing any milling, especially if your piece is between the column and the cutter. If the cutter kicks back with enough force to rotate the column, the cut suddenly gets very deep and things start flying around the shop. Violently. Don't Ask Me How I Know This (tm).

1911ly
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by 1911ly » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:37 pm

You are right, climb cutting is the big issue. I have been avoiding it like the plague. On the lead screw, I like the ideal of splitting the nut if I have to. I will first see if I can find a nut that is the right thread and make up a double nut arrangement. It's a square cut left hand thread. I'll see what I can find. Thanks for the tips. I'll see what I can do. All else fails new lead screw and ball nut will do it.

I have had the column lock come loose while milling. Lucky I have only broke a few bits and ruined a few pieces of work. I tighten the crap out of it now. I have thought about making a way to lock it more permanent.

Thanks for the tips. It helps a lot! It's very much appreciated.

Larry

Torch
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by Torch » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:52 am

Whenever possible, I try to set up for any side milling with the work on the right hand side of the spindle. That way, if the column does move, it rotates out of the work. Ok, I would have to re-index, but the work is not ruined and the mill is not shattered. However, that is not always possible (eg: slots) and I have not had a problem since I started really reefing the column lock down.

One fellow actually puts a length of pipe on the handle, but I have not had the nerve to apply that much force. Of course, maybe he's taking deeper cuts. I limit my depth of cut to perhaps 0.050" in softer metals and maybe half that in steel. Sharp tools help a lot too. I do most milling with the end of the mill, leaving 5 or 10 thou for a clean-up pass with the side on the final pass to depth.

I have done the opposite in certain situations, such as dovetails in steel (eg: tool holders for my QCTP). For those, I mill a slot wide enough for the dovetail cutter, then use the side of the cutter to create the dovetail, staying 5 thou above the finished depth until the final cleanup pass. With something like the dovetail cutter, or even milling a flat on an angled work piece, I will take some deeper cuts at the start, progressively shallower as more of the cutting surfaces are engaged. It's really about the total force applied. A deep cut with a small portion of the cutter may actually apply less reaction force than a shallow cut using a large portion of the cutter.

1911ly
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by 1911ly » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:35 pm

I tighten the crap out of the column lock. Even a few raps with the brass hammer. Purist look away.
Any cuts much over 15-20 tho and it's going to come loose. I will revisit the lock situation in the future.

The Y axis play is a "gotta to do it now" thing! It's bad. And I suspect it's that way from day one. I made some measurements. I come up with a 5/8's 10tpi square cut or acme thread I believe it is called. It's a left hand thread Does that sound reasonable? Findable??

Thanks Torch. I feel I am being a real pest here :-(


Larry

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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by Harold_V » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:51 pm

Larry,
I've followed this thread with interest. You're fortunate to have Torch leading you, as he's adept at such matters and has extraordary machining sense.

I'd like to make mention of one thing. Please accept this comment in the spirit in which it is offered.

You're making WAY too much of the backlash you speak of. Backlash is very common, although machines equipped with ball screws often have little or none. What that means is that it is far more important for you to learn to deal with the phenomenon than it is to attempt to eliminate the lash, which I think you'll come to discover is pretty much an impossibility.

Having operated machine tools for a living, I can tell you that learning to cope with backlash was critical to my success. Aside from my Graziano lathe, which has a spring loaded nut for the cross slide , I have NEVER operated a manual machine tool that had zero lash (and that includes operating a new EE Monarch). How much makes little difference, as you must understand how to work with lash, be it a thou or .090".

While there may be square threads used in machine tools, it's customary to use Acme. Left hand is very common, so the turn of the handle propels the slide in the desired direction.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

Torch
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by Torch » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:49 am

Harold_V wrote:Larry,
I've followed this thread with interest. You're fortunate to have Torch leading you, as he's adept at such matters and has extraordary machining sense.
:oops:

I don't have that machine, so I don't want to second guest what thread might have been used for the lead screw. I know the screws on mine are a strange bastard thread -- metric diameter but inch pitch. I suspect the original design was metric, fixing the diameter even though it has an inch pitch for threading.

In your case, where threading is not an available function, there would be no logical reason to supply an inch pitch, so measure carefully.

1911ly
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by 1911ly » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:25 am

I am not very versed in thread terminology. It would be called a Acme. I am learning. I am also probably over thinking this backlash. But it's something I thought that could be improved.

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steamin10
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by steamin10 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:21 am

Page 1256 in the Machinery's handbook, 21st edition starts the section on threads, standards and tables. While not important in many respects as purchased materials are done for you, I highly recommend anybody serious about machinery to have this book in their library. It is indispensable for me, its authority for mechanical things, base metals, and a general foundation of mechanical knowledge that is unequalled for the craftsman.

I have several copies of various ages, about 50 pages have changed over time, mostly about machine rolled threads standards, as production have demanded tweeking of the engineering. One copy, 21st addition, cost me $10 at a tool exchange (pawn shop) type store. Little money for so much information. The physics of metals and construction change little over time. So for us, the reference is nearly timeless.

As far as milling with an unstable feed, a table that jumps spells doom to any small bits being used. If you dont have a table lock that can be used as a drag brake on the motion, install one. Use a nylon ball or similar plastic slug to produce some stabilty in the motion. A cheep fix for a sloppy drive, and as Noted, they all have slop in them, or they dont work well. I use a school training Rockwell mill, and it loves to eat small cutters with its antics. when I order cutters, I feel you pain. Cutters, drills, and lathe bit stock should be considered consumable, and an adequate stock kept in supply for what projects you do.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
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BellyUpFish
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Re: Harbor Freight 46199

Post by BellyUpFish » Sun May 18, 2014 11:02 pm

What sort of mods were required to get the QCTP onto the 46199?

I just came across one for free and would like to learn to use a lathe on it.

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