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yellow_cad
10-31-2012, 06:43 PM
I was a machinist for many years so can usually figure out how to get something done but I'm always looking to get bang for the buck in expanding the capabilities of what I have. In my retired, hobby capacity, I have a 8x18 lathe/mill combo. A vendor has a sale on a milling attachment normally used to give the lathe an axis of movement. I'm wondering if the milling attachment wouldn't come in handy to expand the capabilities of the lathe/mill combo especially since the combo is a limited mill anyway. Does anyone have any experience using one of these attachments on a lathe/mill combo? Thanks for any thoughts. Jim

The Artful Bodger
10-31-2012, 06:58 PM
Jim, I have no experience of a lathe/mill combo but I do have a lathe and I have a milling attachment which has a horizontal pivot so that the workpiece can be tilted. I believe this type of milling attachment would add another axis of movement to your lathe/mill combo.

browne92
10-31-2012, 11:44 PM
Jim, I have no experience of a lathe/mill combo but I do have a lathe and I have a milling attachment which has a horizontal pivot so that the workpiece can be tilted. I believe this type of milling attachment would add another axis of movement to your lathe/mill combo.

Bodger, when you say "horizontal pivot", do you mean it will lean back (top pivots back towards the tailstock)? Is this a homebuilt attachment? I'd be curious to see a picture of it. Sounds useful.

The Artful Bodger
11-01-2012, 12:53 AM
Browne92, I think many, maybe most, milling attachments have the pivot I mean. Here is one without it..
http://taig.com.au/images/6-1220.jpg

...and here is one with the pivot..
http://www.statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/MLA5andS4382-1.jpg
...this one has a vertical pivot too.

yellow_cad
11-01-2012, 01:38 AM
That does look useful.

Mike Amick
11-01-2012, 01:40 AM
I really like my 3-in-1 but .. as you note the mill is the weak spot. My main frustration is/was
getting the work to the right height to work on it. If that attachment turns the lathe into a mill
and lets you adjust the distance to the work with your X axes .. then I can only think that it
would be a good thing.

It bugged me so much that I bought a big ol knee mill .. so I don't use the mill on the 3_in_1
any more .. but I do use its lathe. I outfitted it with infinite variable speed .. and .. a DRO ..
here is a pic if your curious.

http://www.mikeamick.com/misc/2000.jpg

Fasttrack
11-01-2012, 01:40 AM
I've seen guys do something like this before to extend the capacity of their little mill. However, you will run out of vertical real estate pretty fast. Typically, the combo machines only have 12" or so between the table and the quill. If you add another X-Y table in there, you're probably down to 8" or so. Then you add a drill chuck and a drill and ... pfft no more room for the work piece!

(To clarify, I assume you are talking about adding something like an x-y table on top of the existing table/carriage)

uncle pete
11-01-2012, 01:48 PM
There's no doubt overall rigidity will suffer just like it does while using a milling attachment on any lathes cross slide. I'm not sure just how useful it could be for work done with the mill itself. But there are the jobs that show up while working on the ends of longer work where those milling attachments can and do work better than a vertical mill. For the majority of us that don't have any type of horizontal boring equipment. Using the lathe headstock to drive the tooling, and one of those milling attachments, they can still have a use for some jobs even if you already have a vertical mill.

Pete

yellow_cad
11-01-2012, 04:15 PM
Browne92, I think many, maybe most, milling attachments have the pivot I mean. Here is one without it..
http://taig.com.au/images/6-1220.jpg

...and here is one with the pivot..
http://www.statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/MLA5andS4382-1.jpg
...this one has a vertical pivot too.

What is the make of this attachment in the bottom photo? It looks to be great for light milling of some difficult angle. Jim

The Artful Bodger
11-01-2012, 05:06 PM
Sorry I dont know the make of the milling attachment, but there is one like it available here..
http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Myford_Lathe_Compatible_Acessories.html

yellow_cad
11-01-2012, 05:21 PM
Sorry I dont know the make of the milling attachment, but there is one like it available here..
http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Myford_Lathe_Compatible_Acessories.html

I see you're in Christchurch. I emigrated to NZ in the 1970s and in Christchurch worked R&D for Atlas something (making electric stoves), PD something (large injection mold shop), and a big job shop in Christchurch (can't remember the name). A wage freeze was on at the time so you had to change jobs to get a raise.

Anyway, found the lathe milling attachment as a kit. Real nice guy producing these kits. He welcomes calls with questions. Here is the site: http://www.statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/index.html