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View Full Version : Quick-Step Mill or homebrew alternative?



Sun God
09-25-2012, 08:21 AM
I am interested in purchasing a Quick-Step mill, as it seems a lot of the milling I need to do is secondary operations on turned parts. Combining the milling with adding a dividing head to the lathe spindle.

I'm not so interested, however, in the price. Close to $1000 for the mill, and quadrant plate, is a big investment for something there is almost no on the ground reviewing of. Which of course got me thinking about homebrewing.

Less than $300 gets me a vertical milling slide, and an ER16 headstock from a Taig mill. Then all I need to do is power it, and I have the same (or better) functionality for less than half the price. Where I get stuck is a motor for it. All the motors of a handy size I can think of are RC brushless DC motors. The rub being, they are generally high RPM low torque motors. Do you guys have any suggestions for a motor to suit this application?

Or, approaching half the cost of the Quick-Step, am I better off to save my workshop time and spring for the pre-produced product? Does anyone here have first hand experience with the Quick-Step? Or, setting up their lathe spindle for dividing?

ammcoman2
09-25-2012, 09:22 AM
When I bought my Myford lathe one of the accessories was a Potts drilling jig. I recently put it to use by adding a Dentist drill motor (remember those old round belt drills that rattled your brain). Added a speed control and I also have an ER16/MT1 spindle for it.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g189/ammcoman2/P5210002.jpg

I think your plan to use a Taig headstock is a good one as you will be able to run it at higher revs than I can on this plain bearing (white metal) unit. For a motor a trim router may be one possibilty along with a speed controller.

Geoff

DICKEYBIRD
09-25-2012, 10:01 AM
I've always wanted to make one of these: http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/24891-Threading-with-a-treadmill?highlight=threadmill It could be rotated 90 deg. & do drill ops as well.

More brilliance from the mind of Doc Nickel. He's not posted in a while. Hope all's OK wid 'im.

Frank Ford
09-25-2012, 11:17 AM
Or, approaching half the cost of the Quick-Step, am I better off to save my workshop time and spring for the pre-produced product? Does anyone here have first hand experience with the Quick-Step? Or, setting up their lathe spindle for dividing?

I have a Quick-Step, and it's a fine little item. Mounted on the tool post, it does nice light duty milling for fluting, keyways, etc. I made my own indexing setup for the lathe - if you follow this article through to the end, you'll actually see two variants:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/Projects/LatheIndexRing/latheindexring.html

I must admit that most of the time I use my regular dividing head on the mill, including making the indexing rig for the lathe, but for some jobs, the Quick-Step has been just the item because I don't have to take the work off the lathe, and it takes so little time to set up.

Sun God
09-25-2012, 11:39 AM
Ammcoman, reading about the Potts was actually what got me started on the live tooling on a manual lathe train of thought. Great to see one in use!

Frank, huge fan of your site. Yes, I had already seen your article in my fruitless search for people actually using the QS. I actually have more an indirect indexing system in mind; mount a gear on outside end of spindle near outboard spider, with disengageable worm drive, hooked up to indexing plates off eBay. My main concern there is, how tolerable the backlash in the worm and wheel will be in terms of rotational accuracy. But appreciate your input regardless.

I do lots of gunsmithing, so being able to work on a barrel I have just threaded and chambered, or crowned, to add secondary features like extractor grooves, sight and magazine tube dovetails, etc, seems like a huge time benefit over transferring work to the mill only to have to re-dial in.