Homemade manual milling machine project

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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ZipSnipe
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Homemade manual milling machine project

Post by ZipSnipe » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:36 pm

Well I thought I,d share with you guys my manual milling machine project. It started off with an x & y table, then I took 2x2 steel tubing for the base, fabricated some 1/2 L- brackets then the column is 2 X 3 steel. Now my major under taking is the steel ways as I prefer to have dovetail. Any ideas where I can find these would be great. heres a pic Image

torker
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Post by torker » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:34 am

Wondering what kind of power you will be running for the spindle drive?
Any more info...like what you plan on milling etc?
If you are going with a smaller motor setup for very light work then the 2X3 tubing may be alright but for most average work it will be awful light IMO.
My mill/drill has a heavy wall round column that is filled with cement and has a solid piece of 3" diameter 4140 going right through it and it is bolted to the base to further stiffen it up.
Sometimes even this isn't stiff enough for milling tough steel.
Depending on the travel and head weight you may want to consider industrial planer blades for your dovetail components.
I was going to use them for a knee setup on a small horizontal mill setup I want to build. I've since figured it would be better to get a big cross slide from a scrapped out lathe. Another thing you may want to consider.
Big ol' cross and top slides can go pretty cheap on Ebay.
Russ

ZipSnipe
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Post by ZipSnipe » Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:18 am

Well, I,m really just building this to see if I can do it. I,ll probably just mill aluminum with it. The motor I,m just gonna use a cheap 1/2 horse AC. I,m planning on buying a lathe here by the middle of May. This mill that I,m building is just for practice as I realize that I,m going to need a Bridgeport type milling machine. Also at the end of May I,ll be taking some classes here at the local college in basic machining and CNC. I hope by next year to be running a fabrication shop and I was thinking of building hobby machines and CNC machines. Also I,ll be getting the Bridgeport as soon as I sell off some land I own and move into a bigger shop.

magic9r
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Post by magic9r » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:45 pm

You've already got one set of ways in your X-Y table, you could use half of one of these for your Y movement,
Regards,
Nick

magic9r
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Post by magic9r » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:47 pm

Meant Z movement but you get the idea :wink:

ZipSnipe
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Post by ZipSnipe » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:08 pm

Yeah I,ve been given that some thought, I found a smaller xy table that I can probably buy fairly cheap however let me ask any of you guys this, I also found a THK ball screw with a mounting plate, its a about 20" long, no handle, It looked like it was the z axis to a cnc gantry mill, you think I could use that or would it not be ridgid enough?

ZipSnipe
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Post by ZipSnipe » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:46 pm

Like this one http://cgi.ebay.com/THK-Integral-Slide- ... dZViewItem
THK Integral Slide Rail with Accessories

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TrotFox
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Post by TrotFox » Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:07 pm

Zip,

You'll have to keep those ball guides and screw perfectly clean if you want them to last. Almost everything I work with here at work uses the type of setup you have pictured there. It works very well until someone doesn't re-lube it correctly during an annual PM. After that we have a devil of a time getting the thing to run right again. Any dust or grit that gets in there can stop a ball or scratch a race and it's out of business.

I work in a class 1 cleanroom where there is practically NO DUST. Broken silicon causes most of the grit but wear of the balls and guides can cause issues as well.

Just an FYI!

Trot, the semiconducting, fox...

ZipSnipe
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Post by ZipSnipe » Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:14 pm

Thanx Trot, I actually stumbled upon a compound table that just has one axiz and looks like it will be perfect. As soon as I get it I,ll post some pics

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JimGlass
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Post by JimGlass » Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:49 am

Here is a mill I made using linear ball bearings and Thompson shafting for ways. Very smooth running but lacked rigidity because the shafts were supported by the ends.

Image
The project was great experience particularly the CNC portion.

I almost built another mill using dovetails.
Image
Then discovered I could buy a mill like this for $1500. It already has ballscrews, stepper motors and the machine itself. Built a CNC control similar to the home built mill. Have a little over $2500 in it. Should pay for itself in a couple of weeks.

Not sure what happened to the pics but here is a link. Hoooo, now they appear :?
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v30/jglass/?start=0
Jim
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So much to learn and so little time.

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ZipSnipe
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Post by ZipSnipe » Tue May 23, 2006 9:23 pm

Just thought I,d update ya on the progress

Today drilled over 30 holes ( really 60 if ya count the pilot holes), For the mounting brackets I,m using steel plates , 1/2" and 1 " blocks, out of all those holes I drilled , I screwed 2 up and had to redrill 4 more holes becuz of it not to mention it messed up my nice symetrical bolt pattern.
Also the metal block that I got are no where near being square so the only way I could square them up was with a precision square and angle grinder. Transferring hole lesson, TRIPLE CHECK YOUR MEASUREMENTS!!!

1 1/2 DC motor and controller hopefully being shipped as you read this.

Pulleys and belt ordered from McMaster( even through one of them needs to be bored out, good job for my 9x20 lathe thats sitting in the shop collecting dust).

Can,t wait until all the pieces come in.

Question? Would I do this again? ...ummm.. I don,t think so, by the time I,m done my budget will be well over the price of one of those import mini mills(which I,m using a mini mill head R-8), my time into building this so far 32 to 35 hours SOLID. But it has been like therapy for me , just love it. I bet some of the machinsts that do this for a living look at us hobbyist machinist wannabees and say WHAT THE HELL?

Sorry no pics until Thursday(My pain in the ass... umm I mean wife took my camera on her little vacation to go see her parents in the Philippines) but as soon as I get it in my hands I,ll snap some pics, I know there some guys out there that are thinking about building a mill, just don,t think your going to build one cheaper that buying one. More to come.....

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JimGlass
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Post by JimGlass » Wed May 24, 2006 7:15 am

To have a machine that is rigid enough to mill metals the ways need to be either box type or dovetail. Something I learned from expererience.
Jim
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

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