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Booth
08-04-2006, 09:55 PM
Hello,

I am new to the forum and looking for a little bit of help. I purchased this small machine recently but I have no idea of the make or model. The motor has a stamp of 1988 and it is certainly the original motor. The machine weighs about 225 lbs, has a 6x25" table with 6x15" of XY travel and approximately 14" of Z travel. It has 6 speeds via gearbox and the head
tilts +/- 90 degrees. If anyone knows who made it I would really appreciate the help.

Thanks,

Booth

PS - Sorry for the dark picture.

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m95/booth_53/milling_side_small.jpg

JCHannum
08-04-2006, 10:26 PM
It sure looks like an EMCO;

http://www.lathes.co.uk/emcomiller/

It is a good machine, and it is surprising that it has no nameplates, it is something to be proud of.

john hobdeclipe
08-04-2006, 10:48 PM
Yeah, it has that EMCO look about it. I suppose it could be a clone, but 1988 sort of predates the Asian invasion.

There are a couple of electric motor experts who contribute here often.. Perhaps they could point out some little details that indicate whether the motor is Asian or European. Or you could open it up and look at the switch. There should be something written on it...brand or logo...that may give it away.

I recently bought an EMCO Mentor 10 lathe, and there is no doubt about it's country of origin when you get into the electrics.

Booth
08-04-2006, 11:10 PM
Jim,

You nailed it on the head. Thanks very much, you saved me some trouble. After reading that excellent article I was able to ascertain that it is the FB2. It seems like a nice machine that has hardly been used. The bed is pretty clean with only a few scratchs and the bearings and ways seem pretty tight.

Another question. The head and column were disassembled off the base and some oil slowly drained out the side as it lay. Any idea what weight/type of oil I should use in the gearbox?

Thanks again

Booth

Milacron of PM
08-04-2006, 11:43 PM
It sure looks like an EMCO;

http://www.lathes.co.uk/emcomiller/

It is a good machine, and it is surprising that it has no nameplates, it is something to be proud of.

While Emco makes some nice machines, I don't know that I would go quite so far as to label this one of that ilk. They are ok for very light work, but that compact head seems to suffer from 'too much crammed in one place' syndrome. Quill travel is limited and they are prone to gear train trouble. Plus the usual tramming issues with a round column.

Still, if the price is right and treated with care, could be a pleasant machine to use for many years.

smagovic
08-05-2006, 05:58 AM
Industrial Hobbies site has a whole treaty on what oil to use to keep the performance and longevity of the mill. See:www.industrialhobbies.com/. Vic Smagovic

Mortimerex
08-05-2006, 11:06 PM
While Emco makes some nice machines, I don't know that I would go quite so far as to label this one of that ilk. They are ok for very light work, but that compact head seems to suffer from 'too much crammed in one place' syndrome. Quill travel is limited and they are prone to gear train trouble. Plus the usual tramming issues with a round column.

Still, if the price is right and treated with care, could be a pleasant machine to use for many years.


Whats tramming issue with a round columns?

I have a new (3 months old bottom of the line enco mini-mill 19.75"x7"x5" travel 2hp r8, 12speed pully job). Its got a round column and so far it works same as some bridgeports I used at work. Course I haven't done any real super hog milling but even though I much prefer acetal or nylon for making prototypes, the several steel items I've machined caused no problems. Um, I did notice on these minimills that you got to lock down the axis you aren't cutting on, ie lock y and z then mill on x. Do that and it can make parts like right on about +-.002 in 6". Of course I use an accurite DRO and a heavy drill vice. The vice most of these mini mills come with are worthless. I couldn't get mine set to maintain accurace of even +- .1" !! Borrowed one of my dads 6" large drill press vice and it works +-0.002" in 6". Just ordered a 200# machinists 8" milling vice, thats gonna suck taking it on and off but it should be even more accurate. I hope.

Anyway, whats tramming? I know a tram is some sort of electric bus the fruitcakes in California have but don't know what thats got to do with round column mills. :p

lazlo
08-05-2006, 11:15 PM
Whats tramming issue with a round columns?

Anyway, whats tramming?

LOL! :)

Tramming is adjusting the head on a mill so that the spindle is perpendicular to the table. If the head is "out of tram" the endmill will cut at a compound angle to the workpiece, and you'll leave nastly overlapping patterns in parallel cuts.

The only problem with tramming a round column is if there's no means for adjustment other than unbolting the column and shimming it, like you have to do for the Chinese Mill/Drills.

Most turret mills have a ball joint on the head which rotates left/right, and this makes tramming a lot easier, but it really has nothing to do with whether the Z-axis uses a round column or box ways -- in fact, this Emco Round-Column mill has the same ball-joint, so tramming should be easy. Mills that don't have the "nod head," including many Bridgeport mills, can't be trammed in the y-axis direction without shimming the head ram.

I think what Don may have meant as an issue with round-column mills is that they lose their workpiece reference when you raise and lower the head, since there's usually no positive lock mechanism to keep the head from rotating.

Mortimerex
08-05-2006, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the explanation.

My mill I don't think the head will tilt to the sides. It will swing out like a drill press but the quill stays parallel to the column. I guess it would make it easier to mill some convoluted parts but I dunno if its worth it even then. Better to just get CNC for making convoluted parts. Or just use a good angle vice, not the junk so-called angle vice that comes with most import mill/drills tho.

Ok, so the "tramming" is when you raise the mill head (instead of raising the knee since cheapo mini-mills have a rack and not a knee) using the rack and the whole mill head swings side to side as you crank it up or down? That makes trams sound sorta like roller coasters tho. Are they really that bad?

Anyway, I got 2 edge finders -one for running and a battery-light one for finding edges when its not running. That plus my 3 axis DRO makes re locating easy. But the only time I have to crank the z-rack is when I switch from drilling to boring or milling as they each have a different height(milling, drilling, boring) . Though I'm definitely gonna get a knee mill next time I win a lottery, and use the mill/drill for drilling at which its a beast. I finally got my first design almost close enough to built to decide if I really want to patent it or not so if it works may make enough off that to pay for my machines and maybe get some better ones. I think the mini-mills are fine for prototyping and I plan to eventually convert my current one to a CNC drill machine even after I get a full up knee mill.

lazlo
08-06-2006, 02:00 AM
It will swing out like a drill press but the quill stays parallel to the column.
...
Ok, so the "tramming" is when you raise the mill head (instead of raising the knee since cheapo mini-mills have a rack and not a knee) using the rack and the whole mill head swings side to side as you crank it up or down?

No, that's my point: the round column mills still maintain their tram when you move the head up and down on the round column for the reason you indicate: the quill remains parallel to the column. The only thing you lose is the reference point on the workpiece.

So the round column has nothing to do with tram. It is a nuisance in that you "lose center" and have to relocate the workpiece when you move the head up and down, but there are a lot of ways to reduce that pain -- laser pointers, column locks or pins, ...

What I used to do when working on a round column mill is to put a cylindrical square on the table when I needed to move the head up or down, indicate the quill off the cylindrical square, move the head, and then re-indicate on the cylindrical square. I could be back on alignment in less than a minute, including fussing with the column bolts, which tend to pull the head around when you tighten them.

But you're right -- working on a knee mill is a lot more convenient.

Mortimerex
08-06-2006, 08:07 AM
Hey, thats a great idea! -the square block reference sounds like it may save a minute or so each time you crank the rack, likely placed on the backmost t-slot of my table since I have my vice set up in the center.

speedsport
08-06-2006, 09:15 AM
Hey, if all you had before was a clapped out 1/2hp drill press and you ain't rollin' in dough you have every right to be proud of this machine, some people linda think if it's not the very best machine on the planet you should be ashamed of owning it, BS!

Milacron of PM
08-06-2006, 10:07 AM
, some people linda think if it's not the very best machine on the planet you should be ashamed of owning it, BS! Being in the business a long time, I've met a gazillion machinists in my day, don't know anyone like that...do you ?

Wirecutter
08-06-2006, 11:49 AM
D Thomas -
Not having met that many machinists, it's still been my observation that the pride comes from being able to make good parts with a less-than-perfect machine. The shame would be (at least in my case) owning a beautiful Hardinge HLVH toolroom lathe (in perfect condition, of course) yet not being able to make a decent part. (Yet another reason that, even though I could afford one with another mortgage or two on the house, I could never justify it.)

In other words, some really bad machines just can't make good parts, but a really good machinist knows his machine and how to work around its shortcomings.

IMHO, YMMV, usual disclaimers.

-Mark

Milacron of PM
08-06-2006, 12:07 PM
D Thomas -
Not having met that many machinists, it's still been my observation that the pride comes from being able to make good parts with a less-than-perfect machine.
-Mark I can understand that. As long as one is not tense due to machine erratic behavior or cussing at their machine and enjoying the process, the enjoyment and pride in the finished parts is what matters.

Booth
08-06-2006, 12:33 PM
Thanks to all, I appreciate the advice. I think that some of my tramming issues may be alleviated by the keyway with adjustable gib that runs the vertical column. I am hoping that this will do.

Booth

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m95/booth_53/vertical_key.jpg

speedsport
08-06-2006, 01:13 PM
As a matter of fact I DO know people who believe that only the very best (insert product here) is worth owning, be it a car, motorbike, lathe, cigar, whatever. Gotta have the fastest motorbike when they are very slow riders, gotta have the very best lathe when they barely know how to turn it on. Sad but true.

Milacron of PM
08-06-2006, 01:22 PM
As a matter of fact I DO know people who believe that only the very best (insert product here) is worth owning, be it a car, motorbike, lathe, cigar, whatever. Gotta have the fastest motorbike when they are very slow riders, gotta have the very best lathe when they barely know how to turn it on. Sad but true.

I know one or two people like that as well with regards to motorcycles and cigars, but honestly know no one like that with regards to machine tools...you must move in rarified circles ;)

I know a guy who sells Felder woodworking machinery and have heard tales of doctors buying the ultimate Felder multi machine and never using it...selling it back to them years later or trading up for an even better one. So from that I presume there are some hobbiest out there with "the very best" machine tools that they don't really know how to use. But even they wouldn't likely go so far as to think others with lesser machines should be "ashamed" to own same.

Optics Curmudgeon
08-06-2006, 01:22 PM
Stuck behind a BMW last week on a windy road, guy stands on the brake on each turn, going 20 mph slower than I normally go on that road (in my pickup). Ultimate driving machine? What we need is more ultimate drivers instead.

lazlo
08-06-2006, 03:05 PM
Thanks to all, I appreciate the advice. I think that some of my tramming issues may be alleviated by the keyway with adjustable gib that runs the vertical column. I am hoping that this will do.

Actually, it looks like your mill has the column locking gib I was mentioning earlier, so you won't have problems losing workpiece reference when you raise/lower the head.

You also have the x-axis ball joint, so tramming will be easy.

I've never seen one of those Emco mills before -- that's a neat little machine. You can see the resemblance when the Asians copied it in the round column mill/drills, just like they cloned the Emco Compact 8 as the 9x20 lathe.

lazlo
08-06-2006, 03:13 PM
I know one or two people like that as well with regards to motorcycles and cigars, but honestly know no one like that with regards to machine tools...you must move in rarified circles ;)

Hmmm, there's a large contingent of Deckel owners who are pretty critical of any mill that's not a Deckel. Do you know any of those guys? :D

What's Wrong with Hardinge Mills? (http://www.practicalmachinist.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/12/422.html#000016)


Clock, bottom line, you need that Hauser, Linley or a Deckel FP1...stop trying to cheap out.. ;)

Milacron of PM
08-06-2006, 03:35 PM
Lazlo, there is a HUGE difference between critizing a machine and critizing the person who owns it for owning it. It amazes me that so many folks take machine critizism so "personal"...like they gave birth to the darn thing or something. And my comment to "clock" was tongue in cheek and you know it.

Below is the original statement from speedsport

Hey, if all you had before was a clapped out 1/2hp drill press and you ain't rollin' in dough you have every right to be proud of this machine, some people linda think if it's not the very best machine on the planet you should be ashamed of owning it, BS!

gzig5
08-07-2006, 12:31 PM
Booth,

I have the older (FB1?) four speed version of that mill. It won't hog like a BP, but it is a nice mill for my purposes with a lot of Z travel and the head will stay centered as long as your gib is adjusted and you use the lock. You want to lock the Z axis anytime you are drilling or milling or it will chatter. You can use it to adjust your cutting depth, but then be sure to lock it. As far as tramming, I have a problem with mine that you probably won't. The head, column and base of mine are not original to the base frame and x-y table. The column leans towards the front enough to give .005" variation on a five inch diameter tram circle. I have shimmed the base, but it is not quite there yet and I have some more work to do.

I think you will be happy with yours.

Greg

gzig5
08-07-2006, 12:34 PM
Booth,

you have a PM.

lazlo
08-07-2006, 01:52 PM
The column leans towards the front enough to give .005" variation on a five inch diameter tram circle. I have shimmed the base, but it is not quite there yet and I have some more work to do.

One thing I found when tramming my round-column mill is to make sure the two mating surfaces were spotlessly clean.
Any piece of dirt or swarf that gets caught in there will drive you crazy while you're trying to tram the head.

I also like to use a precision brass shim stock assortment, since you can pick a single shim and not have to worry about whether the stack of multiple shims is lined-up correctly. The shim stock is always on sale at Enco -- it's pretty cheap.

ASparky
08-07-2006, 08:19 PM
My mill has all of the above mentioned problems. No head adjust, round column with no key - sigh.

For shims (on other projects - cant remember what I used on the mill) I used bits from a poket knife like tool that is supposed to be used to set spark plug gaps, drilled out the rivet and got all these lovely accurate shims. Scored ten for $5 at a "going out of business" sale.

lazlo
08-08-2006, 08:41 PM
For shims (on other projects - cant remember what I used on the mill) I used bits from a poket knife like tool that is supposed to be used to set spark plug gaps, drilled out the rivet and got all these lovely accurate shims.

I've done that too :)

Just make sure to remove the beer-can shims the Chinese put in there when they "trammed" it at the factory. When I first heard that story, I thought it was just an urban legend, but when I trammed my Mill/Drill, sure enough -- I found sliced-up Budweiser cans! :)

I think I'd rather be in the drinking department than the shimming department. Or maybe it's the same department, which would explain why the tram was so bad "out of the box." :D