View Full Version : Cincinatti 2MH saga

03-27-2012, 03:36 PM
This is going to be one of those long running machine tool soap operas except the "soap" is various combinations of Purple power, WD40 and diesel fuel.

About six weeks ago I bought a Cincinnati horizontal. I have been meaning to post a thread about it and I finally got my pictures organized enough to do it. I might be useful for someone thinking about one of these old machines to see what kind of work is involved. I already have one mill in this class, a Kearney and Trecker 2CH, but it has some mechanical and possibly some alignment issues. I got the Cincinnati because I thought Iíd be able to give it a quick cleaning, hook it up and have it running in a couple of weeks Ė Ha!! Jokes on me. Six weeks on, Iím still taking things apart and Iím not going in for a full reconditioning project Ė not even painting it - just cleaning. I had no idea how much filth would accumulate over the years.

Itís a 2MH plain (non-swiveling table) built in late 1941. This model was not Cinciís top of the line, like a Dial Type. Itís more of an entry level machine. It weighs about 4,000 lbs and has a 5HP motor with 15 spindle speeds from 22-1200 RPM and 12 feeds from 2-30 IPM. Spindle reverse is done electrically through a built in drum switch on the left side of the column and the feeds have an independent geared reverse. Since itís not an advanced mill for the time it doesnít have a fully enclosed knee with a circulating oil pump. The feed gearing, leadscrews and ways on the knee are lubed via a pair of one shot oilers. One is in the saddle and one is in the right side of the knee. The used oil runs out the bottom and ends up in the coolant sump.

It came out of a school shop being closed down. It has a vertical head and a standard lead gearbox with change gears used to drive a dividing head or rotab synchronized with the table. It turned out that the vertical head is something Cincinnati called universal milling attachment and can be used along with a universal DH to mill spirals on a plain mill. It is driven by the main horizontal spindle and has the all the driver pieces. I also got one arbor and two drop brackets one A and one B style. The B style is missing the bushing so I have at least one future project. Horizontal spindle is 50 taper and vertical head is 40.

Mechanically itís in pretty good shape all things (70+years old) considered, but it seems like it was never cleaned. It was amazingly filthy, to the point that it must have interfered with function. You couldnít run a T nut through any of the slots on the table, especially the one where I found an eight inch half round file buried under oily dirt. The other thing about all that dirt is that it had a nasty smell, bad enough to burn my sinuses. All that ancient oil and grease had gone rancid. I didnít know that petroleum could go rancid, but I do now. The worst was the grease in the vertical head Ė I havenít gotten around to cleaning it yet but I keep it bagged up to contain the funk.

Here it is before I brought it home. If you look behind the vertical head you can see a bench mounted lathe. Itís a nice little 10Ē Sheldon that had been crashed - It looked sad so I gave it new home. Iíve got to stop adapting stray machine tools.


Open wide. I took the doors out to fit the table through because I still thought I would be up and running without a complete tear down. The tarp is covering the K&T mill column and you can see its knee up on blocks behind the orange bucket.

03-27-2012, 10:36 PM
Nice toy, and thanks for posting the pics. Please keep going with both the pics and story.

I suspect you are going to find that many of the larger horizontals prove to be projects that can get pretty deep rather quickly. Coolant and lubrication sumps, pumps, gearboxes, and multiple motors with the associated wiring do tend to complicate things a bit, but also make the machine an absolute pleasure to run. If you want a simple and easy clean, plug, and play try a standard turret mill without integrated coolant and lube sumps, pumps, and/or power feeds. Those Cincinattis are nice machines, though personally I do prefer the K&Ts. Dont get discouraged, both will be up and running before you know it.

03-28-2012, 02:47 AM
What about bearings, working surfaces etc?
If these are worn, you will face a hefty bill...

I am by no means a machine expert but bringing my ML 7 lathe to as new conditions plus some upgrades was quite a heroic undertaking consuming hundreds of hours of work.
Much needed to be replaced, much needed to be scrapped...

Though I am very pleased with the result.

03-28-2012, 04:55 PM
A lot of work used to be done using animal lard as lube so I imagine that combined with all the other stuff it collected over the years could make for a real smell mess. OTOH, it looks like a good score for condition...the cleanup is something you should only undertake once.

03-28-2012, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. This is not my first project so I've already done the "easy" mill - a South Bend Vertical. Looks like a skinny BP but lacks both the nod and the swivel joint at the top of the column. I started looking for a mill with more grunt when I tried to use this 1,500 lb machine to hog off some steel. Thing was shakin' all over and it still took hours of cranking. I almost sprung for a power feed but then saw an add in CL for the K&T. Hmmm I could get power feed for one axis on a nice, but kind of light mill or a whole 'nother mill with power feed on all three axises - Sign me up!

I haven't run either one yet in an actual milling operation, but the K&T is much more advanced. Stuff like separate independent power take offs for the standard feed and the rapids so that the table can be moved while the spindle is disengaged. It seems to be a cut above the 2MH, but that's about what you would expect comparing entry level vs. top of the line.

The Cinci has clearly seen some use, but I'm not sure exactly what condition it's in. I can see some wear on the sliding surfaces, but everything feels pretty tight. Not the most accurate assessment ever. Right now, I don't have the time or the skills to do a full on reconditioning, so I'm going to put it back together and use it. One reason I grabbed that Sheldon is to use it as a training project to learn how to scrape for alignment. Once I've developed the skills on the smaller machine then I might feel like I'm able to tackle a bigger project like one of these mills. Or I might come to my senses and take up golf or something.

03-29-2012, 01:19 PM
Unloading this guy was interesting. One of the threads here had a post about a drop bed trailer. I found one at Sunbelt rentals, but they called it a scissors lift trailer. For the most part I liked it because I didnít have to haul 4,000 lbs up a ramp with a 1000 lb winch and I was able to drop the bed right into the doorway. I do have some small reservations about it. First it was small and had a frame around the bed so working around it meant climbing over the frame a lot. Second the trailer is heavy for its size and only had two wheels so no safety margin Ė a blow out would be really bad.

Getting ready. Here Iíve got the trailer bed dropped in the doorway and now Iím going to jack the mill up high enough to put a pair of 4X6s underneath. I got that Port O Power knock off on impulse and it has become an indispensible part of my ďriggingĒ kit. It can be used as toe jack Ė it only needs 2 inches clearance and to push things at odd angles where a bottle jack wonít work.

Bolting on the skids. I like to bolt long timbers to the base as skids to give me a longer flat surface to make a better rolling base. Also makes it easier to turn the machine and helps to ride over joints.

Starting to roll. The four timbers on the floor were level with the trailer bed. That way I didnít have deal with the 4í transition down to the floor.

This is how I pushed it off the trailer. I have moved other heavy machines, but this is the biggest by about 1,500 lbs. That extra mass makes a big difference; I couldnít move it over the diamond plate by hand so I went to plan B. Each stroke moved the machine about 1/16Ē so it was a long sloooww job.

03-29-2012, 01:23 PM
And through the magic of time lapse photography - Six hours later itís off and in the door.

Couple days later it's off the timbers and ready to clean

03-29-2012, 03:03 PM
Nice job moving it. Looking forward to the nitty gritty part.

There is a big 3LV (supposedly Hercules brand) near me for cheap, but moving it scared me, so I brought home a 2200 lb Stanko instead.. it was enough trouble :rolleyes:

daryl bane
03-29-2012, 04:43 PM
I'm no expert, but when a see a old machine like that, with ALL of its handles, and tags and original hardware, I think that you got a really nice machine.

03-30-2012, 12:44 PM
At this point I still thought I could give it a quick cleaning and be making chips in a couple of weeks. So the first thing I did was drain the spindle gearbox sump. These old machines usually hold several gallons of oil, so I get my five gallon bucket, pull the cap and let Ďer rip. And out it came - dirty and rusty colored as expected, but then it stopped after only about a gallon. Hmmm.

Well on the next step - Rinse cycle number one. Kearney and Trecker recommends a periodic cleaning of their machines by filling it with kerosene and running it for 5-10 minutes. I figured this would work OK for a Cincinnati. It took about 3 Ĺ gallons of diesel fuel, which is pretty close to kerosene but cheaper. I hooked up the motor and it started right up. I hadnít seen it under power before so having the motor start was a good sign. Ran it for 10 minutes checked out all the speeds and feeds and everything worked Ė awesome. Shut it down and waited a bit for everything to settle and drained it. Only got back about two gallons. Definite Hmmm. Then I looked down at the base and saw a nice puddle of oil, clean diesel oil. Damn! Looked around and found streams of oil coming out from the bracket that houses the main input drive shaft. OK, Big Problem number one Ė didnít really expect a perfect 70 year old machine did we? Looks like Iím going to have to replace the gasket under the bracket. Before I can get the bracket off I have to remove the pulley which is held on by a collar with a set screw. So after trying just about everything to pull the collar off the shaft I finally thought to try turning it. This is how I learned that a collar with what looks like the usual set screw over a key can actually be a lock nut with a shoe. Here it is with the pulley off.

Pulley and lock nut.

The pulley bracket is held in place by four bolts and two very tight taper pins. I finally had to resort to drilling and tapping two 5/16Ē holes in the flange to use jacking screws to push it off. You can see the pin and the bolt at the top and some remnants of the gasket hanging off.

Then I pulled the motor and its controls. The motor is OK, but the controls Ė not so much. First of all the stop/start buttons are way down on the right side, so no Estop. Second the contactor wonít work for me, it is only rated for 3HP at 240V and it has a 440V coil anyway. The best part is the "wiring" : First there is the way someone jumped the overload relay with 12Ga wire. Then there is that nice white wire hanging out of the box all stripped and ready to play. The other end was stripped too. Somebody was depending way too much on good luck. Did I mention this came from a school? With 440V power? OK now I found Big Problem #2 - all the electricals except the motor will have to be replaced.

03-31-2012, 10:38 PM
I might have mentioned how filthy this mill was. Well here is what I found in the main gearbox when I pulled the input shaft.

And this is what the coolant sump looked like after I drained the liquid. Itís supposed to be oil, but I say liquid because it was about half water.

Vertical head. I really loved that liquefying grease.

The inside of the knee

03-31-2012, 10:42 PM
Knee again from underneath.

The top with the ram off.

This is what the saddle looked like underneath the table.

And one last dirty pic of the saddle and its parts. That oil block was buried a half inch deep in oily rusty swarf.

Dr Stan
03-31-2012, 10:58 PM
I believe you'll have a very good machine once you have it cleaned up. Since it was in a school shop it probably does not have that many hours on it and given the year (1941) its probably war surplus.

I prefer the mechanical Cincinnati over the hydo versions as I've had the hydros get so hot you could not touch the back of the machine. When I was at Columbus-McKinnon we used a Cinci hydro to cut a long recessed spur gear (the two ends of the part were larger than the OD of the gear) that took right @ 16 hours to set up and cut one piece. Since the machine would get so hot first shift started the mill and I would begin set up when I came in on 2nd. This was to allow the machine to expand from the heat other wise part of the gear teeth would be on center and others would be off center due to the change in the size of the machine.

04-01-2012, 12:40 AM
Nice job moving it. Looking forward to the nitty gritty part.

There is a big 3LV (supposedly Hercules brand) near me for cheap, but moving it scared me, so I brought home a 2200 lb Stanko instead.. it was enough trouble :rolleyes:

Hey I saw that mill too, and started out to FL to get it. But then I thought, even if I could get it home, how would I ever get it in my shop? So I got a BP in you area, New Smyrna. Got it off my trailer, stood it up and rolled it in my shop alone. Took about 4 hours.

04-02-2012, 12:31 PM
I believe you'll have a very good machine once you have it cleaned up. Since it was in a school shop it probably does not have that many hours on it and given the year (1941) its probably war surplus.

Oh, no doubt - One of the tags is a US gov property tag, and another is from a surplus seller.

It's looking like you are also right about it being a good machine. Not to get too far ahead of the story, but under all the crud I'm finding surprisingly little wear. I don't have the equipment to do an accurate assessment, but making do with what I have, I am finding the ways to be pretty straight. I put a good straight edge on the top ways of the saddle and eyeballed the back light leaking through underneath(I know - not the best method, but I'm not scraping it). Looks really good, much better than I expected. Most of the old scraping is gone and it's got some very light scoring, but at least it's not all hollow or bowed. Hopefully the alignment is still pretty good too.

I prefer the mechanical Cincinnati over the hydo versions as I've had the hydros get so hot you could not touch the back of the machine.

That was normal?

04-02-2012, 01:07 PM
... here is what I found in the main gearbox when I pulled the input shaft...

And this is what the coolant sump looked like after I drained the liquid. Itís supposed to be oil, but I say liquid because it was about half water.

Goodness, that looks vile. I'm sure it smells awful.

How are you cleaning the machine? Kerosene, paper towels and elbow-grease?

04-02-2012, 02:41 PM
Goodness, that looks vile. I'm sure it smells awful.

How are you cleaning the machine? Kerosene, paper towels and elbow-grease?

Smell: Once I got the worst of the dirt off and vert head and its grease covered - not too bad. Kind of oily.

As for how - All of the above.
Tools include five in one tool, razor scraper, wire brush, files, assortment of dental picks(more like finger-grease for those), scotch bright pads, stainless steel dish scrubbers and lots of paper towels and rags.

Cleaning agents - Initially I use a water based cleaner called Krud Kutter - it actually does loosen dried oil. Then combinations of WD40, diesel oil or paint thinner.

Then the heavyweight cleaners - Zep purple power - will clean down to bare metal, including paint, if you soak the part for a couple of days. No elbow grease required. Followed up by Evaporust soak if any rust is present.

My shop is inside the house so I try to keep the solvents and dust down a bit if I can. I avoid any high speed equipment like a wire wheel on an angle grinder. I am assuming that the paint is old and that there are probably some nasties even in the dirt. I don't want to get that stuff airborne in a fine dust.

My favorite tools are the razor scraper and the dental picks. The razor scraper is great for removing dried oil, paint and even rust from any machined surface. The dental picks are really handy for any nook or hard to reach crevasse. They are what I reach for to clear screw heads (lots of slotted fillister head screws here) before I even think about a screwdriver.

Edit: And gloves - how could I forget gloves? I bought one of those Costco mega packs of nitril gloves last summer and I just bought another two weeks ago. I often put on two pairs at a time because my hands were still getting black through nicks in the gloves.

04-03-2012, 11:25 AM
Every time I pulled something off I ended up glad I did because there was always some huge mess of nasty stuff to clean. So somewhere along the line I gave up on the idea of a quick turnaround, and just went ahead and pulled all the major parts. I plan on leaving the knee on but Iíve pulled the main pulley bracket, ram, table, saddle and both oilers. They had inlet screens that were clogged but Iím hoping the oil distribution lines arenít. I also found that every single gasket is shot. None of them are oil tight or are so brittle that they break up when you remove them.

Here goes the ram.

Table gib

Table going

And the saddle

04-15-2012, 09:35 AM
I've been busy on a little side project so not much progress recently. What I have been doing is the boring part - soaking parts in Zep then soaking parts in Evaporust, repeat...... Not a lot of action there. Although I have to say it is kind of fun to have formerly rusty, black sludge covered parts come out nice and shiny.

While I was pulling the table and saddle a couple of issues turned up.

The first was due to a ham-fisted installation of the lead screw. The clumsy bastard didn't line up the keyway on the leadscrew and drove the lead screw threads into the driving key with quite a bit of misplaced enthusiasm. They also bent over the first half turn of the thread. I didn't see this at first (covered by the table), but I couldn't thread the lead screw through the nut. I got the table off with the lead screw still in and spent about an hour carefully filing this out.


Close up - you can see the thread rolled over above the key shaped dent.

The other issue also seems to be due to misplaced over-enthusiastic installation. This is the left hand lead screw bracket. It was mostly, if not completely broken already and it came apart when I tried to remove it. It's held on by two bolts and two locating pins. The dowel pins were both bent slightly. My guess is that someone couldn't get the table bracket to go on so instead of trying to figure it out they just hammered it on.


The left side bracket doesn't take any side loading, it seems designed to just carry and locate the left end of the lead screw. The right side bracket has two opposing thrust bearings for thrust loads both ways. Since it's not heavily loaded I'm going to glue it up. I've got the pieces stuck together with red Locktight and next I'm going to glue a patch plate on top. I think I may need to open up the dowel pin holes to fit the table.


04-22-2012, 09:09 AM
At long last I'm starting to put things back together. Started with the saddle so I could get it out of the way.

Table drive parts before assembly - nice contrast with the other dirty picture above. That Zep stuff really works.


Somewhere I mentioned trying to estimate the wear by laying a thin straight edge over the ways. Based on that I thought it looked pretty good. Well now that I have a camel back I decided to print the ways just to see what I had before I put it back on the machine.



That tells a much different story than the rough and ready test. Oh well, it's still going back together. There is no way I am going to try to scrape this mill right now - maybe later, but now I want to get it running. I still think it's usable as is.

05-01-2012, 05:19 PM
You always learn something new when you take on one of these projects. One new lesson learned is about taper pins. Sometimes, like with the knob on the knee oiler, the taper pins have a rounded end that sits proud of the part itís pinning on. I found Ė the hard way Ė that it is a really good idea to cut the rounded part flush before trying to drive it out. It may have already been slightly mushroomed, but in any case, hitting the end mushroomed it to the point that it wouldnít move at all. With all the hammering I bent the shaft and made the packing leak. The original packing was lead wire stuffed tightly between two washers Ė probably would have held oil for another 70 years if I hadnít hammered at it. I ended up putting the pump on the mill and drilled out the pin. Straightened the shaft and replaced the packing with an O ring. I donít want to say how many hours this took or how many times I had to take that damn thing apart, put it back together only to have it still leaking. Itís all in fun right? Except when itís frustrating as hell and itís your own fault.

The other thing I learned is that my hands are too big to fit in the knee which made reconnecting the oiler way too much fun to describe here. But I did learn that cutting down a wrench so that it has enough swing to actually tighten the fitting is well worth the cost of a new wrench.

Once I had the oiler in I could reinstall the knee elevating screw and the cross feed bracket. The elevating screw was pretty straightforward Ė just thread it up until it engages the inside of the gear. Line up the key with the keyway, turn them together and in it goes.

Iím going to go into the cross bracket in a bit more detail. Here are the parts ready to go. The round part next to the lead screw bearings is the bearing retainer nut sitting on top of the outer bearing cup. It doesnít show well here, but the outside is threaded with slots cut for the locking set screw.

The retaining nut threads into the knee and presses the two taper roller bearings between the cup you can see at the back of the hole and the lose outer cup.

The end of the lead screw has two keyways which fit the keys inside the driving gear at the back of the knee.

To get the whole thing together you bolt the cross feed bracket on and then thread the lead screw in past the end of the bracket. Line up the keys and push it home. When I was moving the saddle back and forth I could really feel the stick-slip. It would be pretty hard to get moving, but once going it slid really smoothly and was almost hard to stop. Once the bearing is seated against the inner cup I carefully drove the outer cup home and then threaded on the retaining nut until it bottomed out. Then backed if off just enough so that the set screw would engage one of the slots and lock it in.

Here it is Ė got the cross feed (top) and elevating feed leavers on as well.

05-22-2012, 05:56 PM
I got the table cleaned up and installed. This wasn't too complicated a job. I marked the table power feed to show where the key was and that made mating the feed screw keyway very nicely with no big dents in the lead screw thread. Then the table goes on from the left, add the gib and the crank handles and here you go.


The right side bracket has a pair of opposing thrust bearings with the bearing lash taken up by another of those tricky shoe nuts that don't look like nuts. The lead screw is always acting against this side of the table no matter if it's going left or right.


Now the motor is all cleaned and wired and ready to stuff in the hatch. That was a heavy lift. They really and truly don't make motors like they used to.


Next up - get it all wired up.

05-23-2012, 11:51 AM
I'm jealous when I see the kitchen sink and dishwasher in the background. I always wanted second appliances like that for cleaning parts. Assuming you're not working in the kitchen.

Looks like a rewarding project and I enjoyed the pictures. Would make a good magazine article?

05-23-2012, 05:40 PM
It never occurred to me to use the dishwasher to wash parts. Hmmm..... I wonder about rust though, I'll have to try it on a sacrificial chunk of metal and see what happens. I was planning on removing the dishwasher, but I'm definitely keeping the sink and about half the counter top.

I'm blessed with a rarity in this area - a walk out basement. This is where the previous owners of the house lived while they "finished" the rest of it. When we moved in we had too much junk to fit in the rest of the house so this became the attic. It's really hard to get rid of old Stuff, but when it's a choice between leaving a milling machine out in the rain or throw out the Stuff - Well somehow I found the strength to dump the Stuff. I'm still a pack rat, but now my Stuff is heavier and tends to clank and smell of old oil.

05-30-2012, 11:55 AM
When I got the mill the wire went out to the switch, back to the box in one conduit and then out to the motor through a second. The internal conduit runs between the control box and the drum switch and motor were routed under the motor and were just shy of dipping into the coolant sump. When I put it back I thought it would be wise to route the conduit over the motor so it would stay out of the cutting oil.

This what happened when I tried that. Changing the routing made it so that the box could not be mounted quite straight - only two of the original three standoffs fit.

Much worse is the interface with the two runs going out to the mill - very ugly. Not to be too OCD, but sloppy wiring is not OK. Also I don't remember the whole rule, but I seem to recall that too much wire stuffed into one conduit run is a no-no.

Here is the second try. Box outside

and inside. Much better.

05-30-2012, 11:58 AM
All done. I thought I would mount the start/stop switch on the T-slot on the front of the table.

I added a Jbox inside the mill under the drum switch compartment so I could run the wire from the starter/overload to the switch and then directly to the motor.

Drum switch wired up and ready to mount.

06-01-2012, 04:54 PM
This is not about the mill exactly but a necessary side track. I already have an RPC, but it only has a three HP motor so it's a bit under sized for this application. When I built it, I didn't know about motor starters and overloads so it has manual controls. Someday I'm going to I'm going to screw up and let the magic smoke out of the motor. Definitely time for an upgrade.

From testing out the mill I know that it's motor seems to be easy starting. It fired up repeatedly using just the 3HP RPC. I also happened to have a couple of nice 5HP 3phase motors one even had 8 feet of heavy duty power cord already wired up.

Bench testing - working on balancing the voltage between L1/L3 and L2/L3 Where L3=wild or generated leg. After this, I spent a couple of hours trying different caps and finally ended up pretty much here anyway.

Boxed up and almost done I still have to put some covers on and a plug in the big knock out in the top. I went with plugs instead of hard wiring so I can move it around when I want. Nice benefit is not having to pick up this box and a 5HP motor at the same time. Yellow plug on the left is the idler motor, one to the right is the mill.

Once I thought about it I realized I hadn't done the overload relay (the black thing in the middle) quite right. I put it between the contactor and the power strip. It has all the incoming power on the two single phase legs going through it, but nothing from the third leg. I really need to put it on all three legs of the outgoing motor circuit to the left. I also need to add it into the control circuit so it will actually work. That smallish white wire on the left is the line from the control circuit to neutral. It needs to go through the Aux contactor in the overload and then out. Wired correctly an overload to the idler motor will cause the main contactor to open and shut it down.

I was hoping to get the mill running so I could post some action pics. Chips flying! Yay! Happy ending! Not so much. All because I really needed new glasses three years ago and a bad assumtion.

Once I got the RPC all wired up I plugged it in and tried to test it. No-go. Would not start. Darn. Checked the wiring again - got voltage between both hot legs and both ground and neutral. I figured something must be wrong with the control circuit (bad assumption). Checked Starter circuit continuity - correct. Plugged it back in hit start - nothing. Darn!! Popped the cover checked voltage again got readings between starter circuit and both ground and neutral. Thatís OK but it still won't start. This went on for something like two hours, but to bring this long sorry story to a merciful quick end, it finally registered on my poor tired brain that the voltage to neutral was reading about 98V, which is odd because my house always reads about 121-125V.

Pulled the cover off the receptacle and found the clamp screw to the neutral line way off center and clamped to the side of the connector. This left the wire waving around in the middle of the fitting conducting a whole lot of nothing. I could see it very clearly - now - but when I wired it three years ago with my old glasses - not so good.

06-01-2012, 05:55 PM
great mill and project....keep the pics coming!

06-01-2012, 07:15 PM
Can't tell from the photos..... Don't forget to install a bleeder resistor on each of the run caps.

06-03-2012, 10:41 AM

I'm not quite done with the mill. I want to figure out exactly where I'm going to put it before I fill the coolant sump with cutting oil. Don't want the oil sloshing around when I move it around. Since I can't work steel yet it's a good thing I have this little project in the queue. I need a precision square for scraping and I don't want to pay for one new. Some time ago someone (sorry don't remember who) had posted a thread about cutting up a big angle plate and using the three surface method to scraped it in.

Here is the set up. I'm using a woodworking blade, it may not be optimal for metalworking but the price is right. Yet another good idea I got while spending way too much time here. For reference the angle plate is 12" on the long side.

And here is the action shot. Much easier to take a pic when you have power feed. Blade is 18 tooth 6" diam. Cut was made with RPM at 120 and feed at about 3 1/2 IMP. Yes I know timid for this machine - but the weak point of this is the blade.

Next up I got to figure out where I want the mill to go and get the coolant system working. Then get this thing back together so I can do vertical milling.

06-03-2012, 11:38 AM
Isn't it great to finally see some results? :D Great job!

I am somewhat surprised that woodworking blade survived at all.


06-03-2012, 02:25 PM
I am somewhat surprised that woodworking blade survived at all.


Well... It is a bit worse for the wear. Before this run I had tried a pass with twice the feed rate. When the blade encountered the corner of the work it stopped and spun in the arbor. Once I backed it off I found one tooth bent at a 45 Deg angle. I probably should have stopped, but I was not in a stopping mood, so I bent it back with a crescent wrench and hand fed the table until it was fully engaged and tried again at half the speed. Was kind of noisy, but it sawed it's way through about 7/8" thick cast iron in one pass.

06-19-2012, 06:50 PM
So, six months later I'm getting somewhere.


Shop supervisor (otherwise know as The Ginger Terror) inspecting the works.

Even though the table was doing the lifting this was not easy - this thing weighs about 180 lbs. Nice paw prints on the table and that circle of shame - not my doing.

On at last!

Not really a lot of daylight there - only about 11" under the chuck. Have to start learning to think sideways. I don't know if I really need to keep it tied to the overarm for routine use. That head seems pretty stout by itself.

06-20-2012, 10:01 AM
The overarm provides rigidity. I would leave it in place and learn to work around it.

06-20-2012, 12:17 PM
I have come to the perspective that a lot of these old, big-iron, universal heads were designed primarily for helical milling. They are able to compensate for the lack of swivel on the table/knee. Hence the lack of daylight comparative to all the other travels. Just my theory.

BTW - the beginning of this thread ruined my appetite for breakfast this morning :)

07-17-2012, 06:49 PM
I know I am digging up an old thread there. But I have recently became interested in these beasts! How is it doing now? Any new updates?

07-18-2012, 02:16 AM
Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations getting the beast disassembled, cleaned, repaired, reassembled, and finally operational. I really enjoyed both your pics and running commentary. Frank

07-18-2012, 08:10 AM
Thanks guys. The machine is really fun to use.

I'm still down there on the learning curve. And still cleaning/derusting/painting parts to the accessories that came with it. 10" universal dividing head and a spiral milling attachment with change gears. Seems like that dividing head has more parts than your average turret mill.

I'll pass on one bit of advice that more experienced hands give - You can't go by feel like you can with a lighter manual mill. You have to do the feed/speed and chipload calcs. These mills are very rigid and powerful and they will try to do whatever you set them to do. If you overdo it something might go bang. Could be a cutter or could be the feed gears in the knee. On the other hand you don't want go too light either because you'll rub the cutters dull pretty quickly. Since I'm new to it I always sit down and do the math before I start the mill.

I haven't made any drastic mistakes, just a couple of small ones. One example - A couple of weeks ago I was using and end mill to trim some stock and made two small errors. First didn't tighten the head swivel nuts enough and second set the head up so it swung down when the force of the cut moved it due to first mistake. Took a nice divot out of my vice before I noticed.

07-18-2012, 08:39 AM
Does that spiral milling attachment let you mill helical gears? Sorry for the noob question. And if it does, how does it get power? (I have a fascination with this big iron :D


07-18-2012, 01:21 PM
Does that spiral milling attachment let you mill helical gears? Sorry for the noob question. And if it does, how does it get power? (I have a fascination with this big iron :D


Exactly - along with a Universal DH. The "universal" designation for a DH means there is a second input shaft that is geared to it's spindle. That shaft is connected to the spiral milling attachment (basically a gearbox) which in turn is driven by the table lead screw. As the table advances the DH is rotated at a ratio determined by gear train. Some mills have a second power take off that can be used to drive either a DH or Rotab without turning the table lead screw.

I wish more people were seriously interested in these kinds of machines. They really were the best manual mills made, and they're going for scrap prices. Means price/performance ratio is off the chart. Just have to do a lot of work to get there. So far, the only thing I think this kind of machine isn't really good at is being a drill press, but then again that's what Bridgeports are for.

No problem with newbe questions Since A)I'm only slightly less newbe and B) that's one of the reasons for HSM forum. I mean if it weren't for us newbes this place would be just 15 grumpy old machinist bickering about 1/2 of 0.0000054.

07-18-2012, 02:02 PM
Thank you for answering that for me!!! I wish I could find stuff like this around me. I'm sure they used to be around here. But all of the steel mills have pretty much shut down. So I am sure a bunch went for scrap :( But do you suppose you could post a picture on how that attaches?