View Full Version : Home made Mill

11-11-2004, 05:04 PM
Home made Mill
Does anyone know anything about this?? Is this a kit? Made from plans??
The main body is flat plate welded together. # 58B chuck on it. The speed
change works very well. The Z travel not great. the X travel I think has been
replaced with a chain?? I have had this, maybe 20 years or so, pushed back
in a corner of my basement covered with a tarp. It runs smooth and quietly.
I don’t remember who I got from, just that they were using it as a mill. .
I had planed to make it more useful. Z is rack and pinion.
Any knowledge, information, opinions, thoughts, enlightenment.



Al Flipo
11-11-2004, 05:34 PM
Give it a decent burial.

11-11-2004, 06:03 PM
I have a problem with throwing things away. You would have to have
that sickness to appreciate it. I have considered organ donor for it. Just don’t
know what.

11-11-2004, 06:12 PM
It has some nice ball bearings, pulleys, motor, drum switch, heck, don't have to throw it away, just recycle it, the steel can go back to the scrap metal bins, or you can keep it as is, and try using it.

11-11-2004, 06:24 PM
Heck, I like it. That's what it's all about. No dough but lots of know. Make a nice drill press. I really like the angle iron "Tee" slots. JRouche

11-11-2004, 06:40 PM
You could put a import mill table on it. I'm sure you could find some use for it... even if it's just knocking off rust with a face mill before moving to your "good mill". Plus if you chuck it today.. tomorrow you'll need it for sure. Least that's how it works with me.


11-11-2004, 06:55 PM
I can remeber a time when I could not afford a mill or drill press and would have been damn glad to have that fine piece of machinery.

Mike Burdick
11-11-2004, 06:57 PM
I think it's VERY clever and I have great respect for the person who made it!

Thanks for posting and showing the pictures.


11-11-2004, 08:06 PM
have to agree with you gundog, pretty creative


G.A. Ewen
11-11-2004, 10:36 PM
I would guess that it is scratch built. Is the table a casting or weldment? From the first photo it looks like a piece of chanel iron.

11-11-2004, 11:48 PM
Casting I think. I have never taken it apart. It has a very neat and quick way
to change the speed. I don’t know what the inside spindle size is if any, the 58B
is a 1.5 X 8 but I have not looked yet. I think the “Z” is on a rack & pinion.
It is broken, lose, moves in jumps. ?? The “X” would be not hard get to work.
I got no idea how to make the “Z” column to move better. Other then that it
would be a nice bench mill.

J Tiers
11-11-2004, 11:59 PM
Just the chuck would sell on Ebone for well over $100 given the right buyers. Lots of the Atlas lathe crowd seem to "know" that they gotta have one.

I kinda like the gizmo. I agree, given room, I'd use it for nasty jobs, rough drill-press (if you free up the Z) or maybe as a facing mill to flycut or otherwise remove rusty surfaces. Good for roughing stuff the chips of which you'd hate to get all over a good mill.

And I agree, it's kinda cool in its own way. I'd look at it that you have it, no cost but space, and if you have the space, it may well come in handy.

My self, I'd probably have to move it onward, since I DON'T have room.

11-12-2004, 12:41 AM
I love it!

I love that kind of ingenueity, my dad made a compressor from junk and he and my grandfather made a wrought iron railing twister from an old Saginaw transmission....kinda reminds me of that thing.....spawned from necessity and/or modest funds

If you do throw it out, let me know where your neighborhood is and what day the trash goes out.


Mike Burdick
11-12-2004, 12:58 AM

The more I look at the thing the more I like it. It appears like it is rigid enough and if those welds were ground down and the minor imperfections filled in with some body putty it would look pretty nice. It also is very simple which is what I like! I’d bet a drawbar could be installed with a R8 collet holder pretty easily.

What you ought to do is draw up a set of plans from it and send it to HMS. I think that making one like that would be a fun project to do and it wouldn’t cost much either. Too bad you don’t know who built it. If you do an article for HMS I guess you could call it a ” tribute to the unknown machinist”!

11-12-2004, 12:59 AM
That thing looks dangerous! You could get hurt using that! You better give it to me!

Dr. Rob
11-12-2004, 01:37 AM
Neat! Great stuff- Really cool. Somebody put an awful lot of work and ingenuity into that. Do what you can to fix the movements; maybe it'll turn out to be a good machine. It sure didn't get to be the way it is by accident. Hate to say it, but that looks as though it would actually be pretty solid. Is the welded structure filled with sand or concrete? And how does the spindle get spun- Is it with a key or splined?

11-12-2004, 01:42 AM
"necessity is the mother of invention".Somebody spent a fair bit of time and ingenuity making that mill.If you can't use it yourself,donate it to a young kid starting out or something.
It sure beats a file! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

11-12-2004, 09:26 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Dr. Rob:
Neat! Great stuff- Really cool. Somebody put an awful lot of work and ingenuity into that. Do what you can to fix the movements; maybe it'll turn out to be a good machine. It sure didn't get to be the way it is by accident. Hate to say it, but that looks as though it would actually be pretty solid. Is the welded structure filled with sand or concrete? And how does the spindle get spun- Is it with a key or splined?</font>

Spindle is keyed. pulley just floats on it. No it is not filled with anything, but that might be a
good idea

11-13-2004, 11:22 PM
Nice Boat Anchor,

11-13-2004, 11:23 PM
Nice Boat Anchor,

11-13-2004, 11:46 PM
I think it probably would bear to be cleaned up a little. Work on this and that.

COnsidering the talks on the chinese mills/lathes lately it is as good as any of the new ones so I have been told. Especially if the motor does not erupt with smoke and flame..

I'd run it as a drill press as good as far as it goes. If you can do better don't throw it out, someone else with less could use more.

It is better than a hand drill and file for sure. Looks like weldament, and a fine job of engineering, could be better, but could be much worse too.


11-14-2004, 03:45 AM
If it were mine:Grind welds,general inspect clean.Turn it into a dedicated mortissing(wood)machine.If it won't do for that....think about possibly knocking it over on its side and maybe a pocket boring machine or knock table off and replace with ? to utilize?..............yeah I'd be hacking on it for something or other.

11-14-2004, 05:10 AM
Why grind the welds? Will it work better?

Jerald Ware
11-14-2004, 08:11 AM
Neat unit and well made. It woould be a shame to scrap it so if you have no room, amybe advertise it?

I like the speed changing design. I have to do something similar this winter to a Sears floor model drill press to get rid of those small belts-Jerald

Bill Cook
11-14-2004, 09:47 AM
Looks portable. Could be "tossed" in the back of a truck,
and brought to the job.

Bill Cook

11-14-2004, 05:45 PM
Evan,.........just might.

11-14-2004, 07:23 PM
Funny, you all praise it, but bash the HF stuff.

11-14-2004, 08:43 PM
Somebody spent a lot of time building himself a milling machine because he had the desire to do it.

Harbor Freight sells low priced, low quality machinery because they have the desire to get your money.

11-16-2004, 09:30 PM
Looks like something made from "David Gengerly" plans, his idea was to build a machine shop from scrap and junk. Still see some of those plans on E Bay.

Is that really a mill, or a drill press with a X Y table? We all know you can't hold endmills in a chuck. Anyway looks better than the chinese bondo filled junk.

11-19-2004, 02:01 AM
Not a Gingery machine that I know of, maybe from PM plans, or real home brew! Times were tough during the depression. Self reliance became imbedded in many.

Speaking of Gingery, may be a good place to look for ideas to fix Z axis.

Looks like it wud beat my mill, cuz i ain't got one. considering building something like that.

11-19-2004, 08:38 AM
I was eyeballing the ones in the HSM magazine cause they use a motorblock.

Weight dampens vibration. The reason the 3hp index milling machine (shop) can outperform my 2hp bridgeport (home) is it weighs more. My machine will chatter and cut rough at higher speeds, but that is 100 times faster than the last machine would (*tabletop)

Recently someone on here was talking of filling thier english wheel frame with shot to dampen the noise and vibration a 2x4 tubing frame makes.. I paid attention since my ew frame does that.. humms quivers and generally does not do as well, as fast, or smooth as a heavier one would..

I am no knocking the HF machines, just my experience with them was not good. There has been a bunch of recent talk of the other chinese brands also.. I am lucky enough to have room to have some big toys now.. BUT, I remember having tools under the bed then a 10x20 building w/benchtop toys. I know where I came from using a hacksaw and dreaming of a bandsaw.
I got about a dozen I'beams laying on the ground thinking about the future.. First I expand the "womans house" then.. I get to take care of my addiction.. I mean shop needs..

Anything smoother and faster than a file is better than a file. If you have not filed a part out you have not learned paitience yet. I filed a keyway in a sprocket just the other day.. yep.. them fingers are still sore..


11-19-2004, 10:38 AM
he he David....

I internally splined a hardened sprocket to fit a larger countershaft with a abrasive hacksaw blade.

that sprocket is still rinning in my wiifes old dirt bike.

your roof will be ok. good luck.

J Tiers
11-19-2004, 01:50 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
Funny, you all praise it, but bash the HF stuff.</font>

Yeah, but he ain't buying it, he HAS it. We are talking over "toss it" vs "use it".

Much different issue.

I doubt any of us would recommend BUYing that thing, given an alternative.......

11-24-2004, 04:39 PM
Thanks for your insight, wisdom, knowledge, suggestions.

So........ I looked at it a little closer, remember I have only had this for a little
over 20 years. Yea, I know too many projects.
I removed the chuck, It was 1.5” by 8tpi. the spindle is made for #2MT collet.
I tightened a few bolts and the “Z” works a lot better.... what can I say?
So many tools so little time.

I liked the idea of using it to roughing out scruffy stuff.
Filled with sand or shot to dampen the noise and vibration, Oh that is a great idea.
I think that I will Donate it to a local starting out or something.
I have been looking for someone in my location that has some of the same interests.
I remember having less.
I will draw it up one of these days and post or something for anyone interested.

Thanks again for your input.

11-24-2004, 08:08 PM
I like the little machine, I know a guy with a drill press that is made from a hand drill, he would love something like that.