View Full Version : Childs horizontal mill

10-16-2005, 06:39 PM
I recently aquired a Childs horizontal mill; the name is ironic because the mill is about childs' size. The table is 2 1/2" X 10", with a single 'T' slot that's about 5/16" wide. The machine is mounted on a cabinet that's about 15" X 16" X 36" high. As the base is made from 1/4" plate, it's quite heavy. The motor is in the cabinet, with 2 jackshafts w/step pulleys to drive the spindle. Spindle has a #1 M.T., with an overarm and outboard bearing like most horizontal mills. It also included a #1 M.T. -> 1/2" milling adaptor for woodruff key cutters, etc. The main spindle is 5/8" diameter, with a bunch of spacers and a nut to hold whatever cutters you want to use.

My question is: given that I have a B'Port w/DROs and a pretty complete set of tooling, what might I use this thing for? Does it justify the space it takes up?

10-16-2005, 06:54 PM
it will do many things a bridgeport wont.
a horizontal; attachment for a bridgeport is very expensive,even second hand .........then it's not up to much.
horizontal cutters are cheap on ebay too.
Keep it .

is it one of these..

all the best..mark

btw ..........little mills like that sell for a lot on ebay because of there appeal to model engineers for their sheds etc

[This message has been edited by aboard_epsilon (edited 10-16-2005).]

[This message has been edited by aboard_epsilon (edited 10-16-2005).]

10-16-2005, 08:46 PM
Yes, my unit looks like the picture you posted, I assume from Tony's UK Lathes site..?? His description of the Childs Mill was of a somewhat larger outfit than mine.

Although I can see it being somewhat easier to do certain things w/ this mill, such as using a slitting saw, it seems like the B'Port will work for most of those purposes. The P.O. used it in some gunsmith work, such as slitting ramrod ends and barrel laps. I even have his fixture for the latter. Several slitting saw blades and a few Woodruff key cutters were included.

Guess I'll keep it around for a while.


10-16-2005, 11:35 PM
keep it as a nice little machine to do quick secondary operations on without having to tear down whatever's set up on the bridgeport.

if that doesn't sound like a good idea, just remember that this here college student always accepts donations to his own garage shop...

J Tiers
10-16-2005, 11:46 PM
The only downfall of small mills like that (or the Lewis I have) is travel and daylight, plus possibly too high an arbor speed.

Travel and daylight (max space under the arbor) you are stuck with, speed you may be able to adjust with pulley sizes.

Most of those small mills spin the arbor at 100 to 150 rpm minimum. Most people feel that's fine, but as one who must be the only one working ugly materials, I find 35 RPM to be a fine minimum. With smaller cutters, faster is OK. I can take a 4" cutter no problem, so that puts me in teh "zone" for nasty stuff like 4140 prehardened, etc (what I made my extra arbors from).

I think you will like it. If not, you should be able to move it on for a good price.

Oh, yeah, they rarely have power feed, get used to cranking!

That one looks pretty stout for its size. That's good. You can always make an overarm support if it chatters too much.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 10-16-2005).]

10-17-2005, 07:56 AM
If I put this mill to use to amount to anything, I'll probably change the motor. I have a 1/2 Hp DC motor laying around, and I know where to get a controller. That'll solve the speed problem, plus eliminate the need for changing belts. I put one of those on my wife's wood lathe and it works GREAT!

J Tiers
10-17-2005, 09:10 AM

When you slow a motor, the torque stays nearly the same, but the RPM obviously drop. The net is that the power output to the load drops also.

For low speeds you still need a belt or gear change unless you are satisfied with a great deal less power at low speeds.

I have a 1/4 HP motor on a somewhat bigger mill, and have NEVER stalled it. All my speed limits have been to avoid burning up cutters.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 10-17-2005).]

10-17-2005, 10:24 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by J Tiers:

Travel and daylight (max space under the arbor) you are stuck with, [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 10-16-2005).]</font>

glad you explained - learn something new everyday. imo that is the biggest constraint on a mill. of course everyone's projects are different, but get that MT3 1" drill in an R8 adapter with a big workpiece and you'll be thankfull for the 'daylight' a full size mill gives you

J Tiers
10-17-2005, 01:27 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mcgyver:
glad you explained - learn something new everyday. imo that is the biggest constraint on a mill. of course everyone's projects are different, but get that MT3 1" drill in an R8 adapter with a big workpiece and you'll be thankfull for the 'daylight' a full size mill gives you</font>

Well, to cap your semi-sarcasm with an ironic truth...... for a (small) horizontal mill, your example of the 1" drill either MT3 or R8 is "not applicable" so the point is moot in any case.........

10-17-2005, 02:19 PM
That's a pretty cool little mill!

I'd love to stumble across one of them.

10-17-2005, 08:44 PM
Are you certain that it has a MT1 taper? I don't have my notes handy, but I believe mine has a Jarno #4 Taper. Looks similar to a MT1, but it's not.

Mine is a box full of parts waiting to be put together. It will probably end up with a MT 1 or 2 taper when it's done.

Is your's on a massive steel cabinet full of nothing but pulleys? The cabinet and pulleys far outweigh the mill.....

And finally, does any one remember anything about these mills? Seems likely that they were somehow related to Burke Mills, as they were both from Conneaut Ohio and the model is "0000" which seems similar to the way Burke labelled their mills.

10-17-2005, 10:12 PM
I just grabbed a #1 -&gt; #2 M.T. sleeve and checked:

You are correct, it is NOT a #1 M.T. on the spindle, but it sure looks like it. Thanks for the tip on that!

You're also correct about the cabinet & pulleys far outweighing the mill itself. I'd bet that the whole outfit weighs 200# and the mill alone less than 50#.

I know that the power falls off when you slow a motor below rated speed, I have that situation on my B'Port with VFD. However, it works OK for me, as I never really need to use the rated power, and my machine is only 1Hp to begin with. (has the "pancake" motor) My wife's wood lathe works fine also, as she never tries to hog the thing.

It sure is a cute little thing, I hope I can find a use for it. Had an Atlas shaper some time ago and sold it w/o seriously trying to put it to work. Figured most anything it could do could be done as easily as on the B'Port.

J Tiers
10-17-2005, 10:47 PM
You may find the small mill will respond differently because horizontal mills do like to work. Far different from a similar sized vertical mill.

They aren't just for dusting off a couple thous with a 1/8 wide cutter, even though that is all I usually see on them in pics.

I find my Lewis is mostly chatter limited, not power limited, but it has back gears, and a large pulley ratio besides. So at low speed, I have 1/4 HP and a lot of torque.

Mine does serious work...... I did put overarm supports on, but then the overarm is only about 1 5/16 diameter. That mill of yours has a cast overarm, which ought to be considerably stouter.

10-18-2005, 07:04 AM
Any pics? I'm curious about whether your cabinet looks like mine.

10-18-2005, 09:26 AM
I have no pics, sorry, but here's a Word Picture:

The cabinet is about 15" X 16" X 36" high. The top is recessed about 1 1/2" below the top of the outside edge, sort of like a coolant tray, but it isn't really meant for that, as coolant would run through the small hole down into the lower part. The 1/4" plate is bent and rounded at the corners, not square and welded. There's a large door on the RH side that allows access to the pulleys & belts, with the motor hanging on a hinge at the bottom. There's a lever to raise the motor to facilitate belt changes, but the belt tension depends on the weight of the motor. Didn't look at the nameplate, but the motor appears to be maybe 1/2 Hp. The switch is mounted through a hole in the front, and looks like a standard light switch. There are brackets inside the bottom cabinet corners with holes for bolting it down. Of course, with the weight, it hardly needs to be fastened.

The drive is motor w/step pulley to intermediate shaft, another set of step pulleys to the upper jackshaft, and a pair of 'V' belts from the upper shaft to the spindle.

The mill itself looks exactly like the picture above, but it has no base w/coolant/chip trough, it just sits on the cabinet.

10-18-2005, 09:54 AM
I like it!

10-19-2005, 09:41 PM
It sounds like we have the same model. The top plate is 3/8" thick! The motor base plate casting has Childs & Co. Mfg. cast into the bottom. Mine arrived with a 1/2 hp craftsman motor.