View Full Version : The Rotex Vertical Mill- Do I have the only one?

10-09-2010, 03:45 PM
As you heard some months ago, I have a Rotex vertical milling machine on indeterminate loan. In some replies, I saw pictures and heard about the Rotex vertical milling head, often mounted on a horizontal Rotex milling machine.

But that's not what I have. I have a Rotex vertical milling machine. It's a knee and column, with a vertical milling head and no horizontal milling stuff whatsoever. And it IS from Rotex, says it on the side.

Has anyone EVER heard of or seen this? THe only reference to a vertical-only Rotex mill I have seen was on Lathes.Co.UK, and it was only a picture, with no mention of it in the text, and it was implied that Rotex only made horizontals and the vertical milling heads to go with them. Might this thing be rare?

The second question is one of tooling. The mill takes an unknown kind of collet (is it Double Taper)? that are tapered on both ends, sorta diamond shaped, and go up to 1/2 ''. Is there a good way to mount larger tooling? Or is changing the spindle to something else a possiblity?

Finally, I would like to ask if anybody has diagrams or knows the internal workings and assembly of the quill feed mechanism, as it will at some point need to be dismantled.

10-09-2010, 04:15 PM
Sounds like an interesting little machine :)

Send pictures to Tony (at lathes.co.uk) he will add them to his archive.


10-10-2010, 12:00 AM
Probably a good idea. He had a drawing (or maybe a very old photograph) but no information whatsoever, not even an acknowledgment of there being two types.

Added photographhttps://sites.google.com/site/ikrase/_/rsrc/1286685738215/home/IMGP1346.JPG

Note that there is no support at all for a horizontal spindle.

The way covers are my own design. Having a cheap source of neodynium magnets is really cool,.

10-10-2010, 02:22 AM
Well, I found ONE mention of it. No info, just a picture. On practical machinist. http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/has-there-ever-been-us-made-benchtop-vert-mill-195514/#post1267512

10-10-2010, 02:24 AM
Do you have a 3/4 or side view? I would be interested in seeing the main casting. Thanks.

10-10-2010, 02:38 AM
Awww! Aint that cute!

10-10-2010, 02:39 AM
That's a really nice size mill for a HSM. The table looks good and heavy in proportion and it looks well made. What size motor does it have?
It would be nice to be able to hold shanks larger than 1/2" but I would imagine that won't really be of any significant limitation. What's the quill OD" ?

10-10-2010, 02:50 AM
I can try, but there's a workbench and a wall and an acetylene cylinder and a tube bender on one side, and a cabinet and a wall on the other side, so it's not easy. The whole shop, containing a lathe and two mills, as well as an O/A rig, all bench space, and storage, fits into a two car garage and can be used just fine with both cars (one a minivan) in the garage. I'ts nice. Until I try to take pictures from odd angles.

The main casting is very blocky. Not much to it other than a base, a rectangular riser with knee dovetails on the front, and a taper down to the ram mounting holes at the top. "ROTEX" is cast into the side.

The motor is too small. I dunno the HP but it gets rather hot. Perhaps I need to work down the drive system, maybe something is sticky.

10-10-2010, 02:50 AM
The way covers are my own design. Having a cheap source of neodynium magnets is really cool,.

It seems cool until steel chips start building up turning them into little cactii.

10-10-2010, 06:55 AM
That is a nice looking mill :)

one tip: hang a plain light coloured cloth (e.g. dust sheet) behind the machine to give the photo an uncluttered background.

10-10-2010, 07:12 AM
Call Rotex for info on the mill.

Apparently, the made many things other than the punching machines they're mainly known for.

I have a Rotex, 12" press brake. A very heavy duty machine for it's size. I believe it's rated at 16ga mild steel. Rotex sent me literature on the brake.

10-10-2010, 01:47 PM
i guess it's worth a try.
The way I designed the way covers it's easy to brush off the swarf cacti.

10-10-2010, 08:02 PM
TM, I purchased one of there about a month ago off of ebay. The collet is a universal Y collet, and I have seen them on ebay as well. They are also made by someone in Ohio (I do not remember the company name) as they are used in some tapping heads.

Sorry but the only info I have was provided from a member of PM and it is for the horizontal only. It did give me the information on the table and knee that I was looking for.

The head looks very similar to the Rusnok head but I have not gone into it.

Unfortunately, I am doing things to get ready for winter now and have not had a chance to use it.

While it may be nice to use larger tools than 1/2 inch, I do not think that the motor or speed range would handle it.

I will try to get some 3/4 angle shots later this week and post them for others.


10-10-2010, 09:02 PM
I wonder if there's a way to slow it down. A mill that size really should have a slower speed. There are VFD's, I guess, but they are pretty expensive if I'm not incorrect.

I have sometimes considered upgrading the motor. It seems to get a bit hot.

10-10-2010, 09:59 PM
I would say a mill that size should have higher speeds. These things are not for hogging and I dont think I would use much past a 3/8ths end mill. That motor cant be more than 1/4hp.

Like mentioned in the exhaust fan thread there are VFDs for single phase motors but they motor type is limited and I doubt this has the right motor.

10-10-2010, 10:36 PM
It's a 1/3 HP motor, checked the nameplate.

Maybe it is 'not for hogging' but compared to my previous mill (Seig/Harbor Freight Micro Mill) it's a monster. I can push my 3/8 mill through all kinds of things. And for such things as drilling, I woften wish I could go down to 150 RPM. THing is NOT so tiny, it's about 2/3 bridgeport class.

I can of course change the motor.

10-11-2010, 10:33 AM
I really would not class it as 2/3 of a Bridgeport, probably 1/2 would be better. I think it is really designed for small precise work and not major metal removal.

I agree that 3/8 may be the upper limit in most materials but I think you could use 1/2 or larger in AL or other soft materials.

Having replaced a Bridgeport with the Rotex, I do miss the opertunity to use large mills but I was mostly using these for facing. I have ran the numbers and for some operations where removal is light and removal rates can exceed 80 fpm, the size of the mill can be somewhat larger than 3/8 or 1/2. Not alot but larger.

I have also thought of changing the motor but it would cost torque and possibly loose the capacity to use small drills and mills near their proper speed. So for me, the trade off is not great.

A vfd is not that expensive, depends on what you consider expensive, but then the motor will also need to be changed and then the wiring and make a control panel then....... It does add up at the end.