Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: My First Mill

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,662

    Default My First Mill

    Well almost. My pre BP days. I bought this Sears Craftsman 18" X Y table back in 1992. I paid $222 shipped to my door.
    It wasn't the best but I needed to do some milling and thought this might be the answer. I found out pretty fast that you can't do much milling with it.
    Wood, plastic and soft materials like aluminum and brass if I was careful I could accomplish what I had to do. Steel, well with a good sharp end mill and cut of a few thou in depth and a slow feed I could get by until the MT2 and chuck drop out of the drill press spindle.

    A few months later I gout a BP and used this X Y for wood working and light stuff in my wood shop.
    It's been sitting around with hardly any use for years. Collecting dust, not rusty or anything just dusty and gummed up.
    I took it all apart and cleaned it yesterday. I had brief thoughts of stripping the cheap paint off of it and doing a little body work on the poor castings and putting a nice coat of paint on it. Also had thoughts of cleaning up the horribly rough dovetails but then decided that it's not going to give me any more accuracy on a drill press so I'm in the process of putting it back together.

    They really rip through these castings when they milled them out. Actually it almost acts as scarping to hold the oil.





    Notice the two gibbs. Stamped out of hot rolled sheet and blanchard ground on one side. I'm surprised the stay in place.
    When I get it all back together I'll set it on my surface plate and check it for height all the way around just out of curiosity.

    JL..............
    Last edited by JoeLee; 09-11-2019 at 02:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    San Antonio TX, USA
    Posts
    2,821

    Default

    looks similar to the cheapy HF X-Y vise I used on my drill press as a "mill" for a couple of years, my guessing is that the Chinese just copied the Craftsman one. Lots of flaws, many of which you identified, but also including lack of thrust bearings for the lead screws and a jaw that lifts so bad it's like a 1930's cartoon of a lady and a mouse. I fixed a bunch of those flaws, including making new jibs and it did serviceable if slow mill work. Still use it for accurate hole positioning on the DP using the HF calipers I added to each axis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,662

    Default

    I think this one was made in Taiwan at the time. Yes, no thrust bearings on either of the screws but given the shallow DOC and force that this would be subjected to you really don't need thrust bearings. You can't hog with it that's for sure.

    No chip shield either to cover the in-feed screw when you move the saddle back. They even tell you in the manual to cover it with something to keep chips off the screw.

    Surprisingly the screws are accurate and do read accurately to the dials in .001. That's all you would really need for accurate hole locating for drilling.
    Now that it's clean again it does move pretty smooth in all directions. I doubt that re-cutting the dove tails and making new gibbs would make it any smoother.
    After all I'm at the mercy of the drill presses rigidity and bearing accuracy.

    JL.................

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    San Antonio TX, USA
    Posts
    2,821

    Default

    I found that adding thrust bearings and new jibs made a huge difference in how much force was needed to get the table moving and how smoothly it did once it was moving. Well worth the effort. No dials of any use on mine, hence the digital calipers. Clearly a much less complete product than the Craftsman version, but it did only cost me $60 with a coupon!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,662

    Default


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,662

    Default

    The above pics are on the thought of counterboring the end brackets out for a thrust washer.
    For some reason I couldn't add text to that post.

    Anyway, the issue would be the bore through the brackets. The size that fits the shaft is only about 3/8" in length. The rest of the hole is like over size rough cast.
    I would end up counterboring most of the shaft hole away for the thrust bearing and washers.

    Which leads to completely boring the hole out oversize and making bronze sleeves.

    JL............

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •