First off, I've been lurking here a while now reading through the archives and must say it's a pleasure to see such an informative and helpful bunch in one place. I hope to be around to soak up as much knowledge as possible from you all and maybe even contribute a little myself, lol.
My first newby question is this, is there any major benefit to running end mills in holders instead of collets with an R8 spindle?
I'm asking because I've just purchases one of the large H-F mill drills and am now in the process of setting it up and getting tooling together for it.(I know they're not really well thought of but after several years of reading everything I could find and comparing costs/benefits/drawbacks this seems to be the best thing to learn on for me, besides, if I have to send my money overseas I prefer to send as little as possible, lol).
A little about me by way of intoduction. I've spent my whole life as a mechanic of one form or another. Started in a junk yard when I was 14 pulling parts for customers (worked cash free for the experience and any parts I needed to build my first car up). Joined the U.S. Army after high school and worked structural repair on helicopters. After getting out of the Army worked aviation for several years, B-1 bomber construction at the Rockwell/NAAO plant in Columbus Ohio building nacelles for 5 years, then job shopped around for a couple of years, finally worked at TWA in Kansas City till I got laid off there and switched to working on heavy trucks (got tired of moving all over the country, lol).
My real life has always been motorcycles. Have built or helped build several show winning riders. I don't believe in "two wheeled sculpture" that's never ridden, just seems wrong to me . That's what leads to my need to machine metal. While working aviation I always had access to incredible machine shops and machinists, and could make or get made anything I could dream up.
Since then though I've been suffering withdrawl and decided finally to do something about it. Last year I bought a couple of Atlas lathes, took them apart, cleaned them up and took the best parts from the two and built myself one good one. Roller 10" with quick change gearbox and power cross feed, no measurable wear on the bed at all, and after carefull setup it cuts true to .0005 over 12", good enough for the girls I run with .
Now I've got a mill that I'm pretty sure will do what I need once I get it all cleaned up and set up.
I saved the bed, tail stock, and headstock that are left over from the lathe project (12") and plan to use them in the future for indexing fixture or flywheel truing stand, or anything else I can think of, lol.
Also, does anyone have any specific recommendations as to best sources of tooling for quality and price. I'm running on a severely limited budget (who isn't) and want to get the best deals possible without spending money on worthless crap. I do know that a lot of the import stuff is worthless and don't want to throw away a dollar to save a dime. This mill drill is the first import tool I've ever bought but there was no domestic choice available to compete with it.
I must say that H-F was very easy to work with, the manager of the store cut me a very good price (even lower than their best advertised special in years), and even let us "haul away" three 8 foot sticks of 1" cold rolled that had been setting against the wall behind the store for a while. Good to deal with, she was!
I see that this board doesn't allow indented paragraphs, lol.
[This message has been edited by WhizzbangK.C (edited 01-14-2004).]