View Full Version : Is this mill head strong enough.

dr pepper
05-24-2010, 10:30 AM
I'm thinking of purchasing a cheap mill, I dont want to spend a lot at this point.
This is a trident model C horizontal with a HSM type vertical head added, There might well be issues with strength or mass of the new vertical head.
Comments appreciated on whether this machine would be of any use, or what I can do to make usefull improvements, the reinforcing bar accross the top obviously needs making tidy as it looks a bit of a mess, and it might tell a tale that chattering was a problem.
A set of step pulleys would also work well, maybe with one in the centre like on the warco mill.
The asking price is 150 quid.
The toilet seat is an optional extra.

Willmac your inbox is full I couldnt reply to your message.


05-24-2010, 03:30 PM
It looks usable to me.
I'd want to know if the original overarm, arbors and parts to run it in horizontal mode are included.
What collets does the vertical head take?

dr pepper
05-24-2010, 03:43 PM
First reply is reassuring.
The machine comes with the original overam support, shaft, 1" arbor, drawbar and a couple of cutters, all the parts for horzontal.
The taper in the horiz is MT2 and the taper in the Vert is MT3 (no collet holder supplied), the vert has a drawbar, but as yet I havent found out what thread it is, but I've just found out that the vertical head has a taper roller bearing at the bottom and a deep groove ball bearing at the top with a couple of pre-loading nuts, sounds reasonable.
The table has traverse power feed on X and Y and machining power feed on X.
So far I'm thinking drive the 150 miles with the cash and have a look.

05-24-2010, 03:48 PM
Based on the above, I think I would.
That's what, US$350 ?
If that turned up in my nighborhood for that money, I'd probably buy it, and I don't need another mill.

dr pepper
05-24-2010, 04:03 PM
Well I think it'd be worth the trip then.
If there isnt any nastys like worn out ways or screws I'll probably haul it back here.
I dont need a super duty machine and I dont have the justification either, with a little tidy up this might do the job.
The horizontal has a substantial head with a 3hp motor, so allthough some jobs require a vertical this machine does have promise.
The only bad thing is the wiring, a mess, but thats no issue for a leccy, first thing I'd do is gut the wiring and replace it and bin the lightswitches.
I got some more snaps of the drive and table:


05-24-2010, 08:17 PM
I like the look of the y-axis rack handle. My Centec has a nice x-axis rack, but with the y-axis you've got a slotter buit in. Just fix up a chuck holder for the horizontal spindle, mount the gear, fix a cutter to the table and of you go, feeding horizontally.

I like it.

Oh, you were on about the vertical bits, were you ? You can always upgrade that yourself, if your sig-line's anything to go by. The bearing configuration sounds good. The mounting doesn't look great, but if you avoid twisting the mounting rod in the overarm brackets, ie avoid side profiling while feeding along the x-axis, you should get away with light duty work.

What I suspect will annoy you in the long run is the lack of a convenient vertical feed. You could get round that by making the knee feed more accessible, using some kind of bevel gear arrangement to bring a handle out horizontally.

05-24-2010, 09:22 PM
Head and shoulders above the typical round column chink mill.

05-25-2010, 02:11 AM
those racks are weird, how do they work does the leadscrew pull out or is there a halfnut for it or something?

Looks kinda nice.. Won't be moving any steel in any hurry with that, but should be ok for occassional/small uses, decent in aluminum and wood.

05-25-2010, 05:02 AM
We've got a couple of machines like that, albeit without the Vert head and use them daily. they are quite effective little mills. Mind you I can't call them a pleasure to use, but I'd have one over nothing any day. We use them for a specific light milling, high number production runs. We mill mostly Nickel Silver and also do crosshatch diamond patterns in Mother of Pearl

dr pepper
05-25-2010, 10:13 AM
Yes I believe these type of machines are/were favoured for production runs, the handles are ratchets, you sort of jerk the handle to get feed, not exactly brilliant by the sound of it, but the popularity of these machines states they must be effective, one of my concerns was wear on the slides if used as production machines this is likely.
There is a ratchet device on the Z axis, but the handle is missing, adjustment is also on the lower handwheel which I can see being a pain having to kneel down to lift and lower the table, I have a parvalux geared motor which I was considering adapting to the Z axis to make operation a little better, and I could use the machine for drilling larger holes, once I get the speed combination pulleys sorted, as my pillar drill only has a fixed chuck.
The overam would benefit from a keyway or a better locking system wouldnt it.
I have another option, a herbert 0v, an altogether better machine but its a box of bits and the owner has welded up damage on the table, and the Z axis leadscrew and nut is screwed, which puts me off considerably.
This is the herbert, the owner wants 200 quid:

05-25-2010, 10:25 AM
I had a mill with lever feed. I think you are going to break end mills trying to cut anything with that type feed. I managed to hollow out a groove under my mill's table,and make a screw feed for it.

I do not at all agree that this mill is "head and shoulders than a Chinese round column mill". I had a mill drill for a few years,and it performed a LOT better than that mill is going to. I advise not buying it,unless you are content with working on it rather than doing work with it.

Mark McGrath
05-25-2010, 11:33 AM
I would not touch it.The vertical head looks a right mess and rack fed tables are for production.There is no means of feeding a set amount in either axis only stop to stop.Without seeing something in the vertical spindle you have no idea how good it is.
To me it looks a piece of crap.Remember on top of the 150 asking price you need another 50 for fuel to go get it.
I`m sure for 200 you could do a lot better than that.The Herbert ) could be worth looking at.I`ve a feeling EVGuru who posts here has one.


dr pepper
05-25-2010, 11:53 AM
Well I posted to ask for your comments and certainly got them.
The mill has a screw type feed on Z and on Y as well as the rack feed, you can see the handles and leadscrews in the pics, I think theres also a screw feed on the X but you cant see that.
My issue with the feeds is that the Z screw handwheel is down near the floor, the rack being further up.
And actually I dont have issues with working on it, so long as time spent gives results, most of my home shop is either made adapted or repaired.
Comments on the vertical head are valid.
One of the reasons for the viewing is to try a sample cut in a block.

Mark McGrath
05-25-2010, 03:28 PM
The difference with the Herbert and the first one is that the Herbert has a vertical head designed and built by a company that were the biggest machine tool company in the world at one time.The Herbert head is firmly located to the column of the machine.The other one has a home designed head which looks rather nice until you notice it`s had a stiffener added to stop the pull of the belt pulling the head back.

John Stevenson
05-25-2010, 07:19 PM
The toilet seat would make a sht hot picture frame for the Mother in Law.

05-25-2010, 09:51 PM
The toilet seat would make a sht hot picture frame for the Mother in Law.

That is your most brilliant idea yet i believe.

It's perfect, if she comes to visit, you can put on your welding helmet and lift the lid. When she leaves, no worries about the eyes burning out.

dr pepper
05-26-2010, 03:50 PM
Yes siree bob.