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Usefull mod to HF mini-mill.. well usefull to me anyway

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  • Usefull mod to HF mini-mill.. well usefull to me anyway

    I know this is a v ery minor thing on this forum, as most are full time machinist who also do home machining, but some others may find it interesting. I am used to using a Bridgeport Mill for years at work. I got a Mini-Mill from HF. The Mini-mill used a nut and draw bar setup which I did not like to start with. So I ordered The Little Tools Shop's one piece drawbar. Like this

    One of the tools I had for the Bridgeport was a collet wrench/brass
    hammer combo...

    Problem is, it is a 3/4" socket. The Draw bar was not. So here's what I did in less than 2 hours.

    I took a 3/4' socket and used a boring bar and a lathe and turned the inside to a larger diameter

    Then I turned down the draw bar like this

    I did the turning to where it would be a press fit. I used a little bit of Red Locktite and lined op the shoulders, then used a press to mate them...

    You noticed I turned it up high enough to leave the shoulder at the bottom of the drawbar. I had to mill the inside of the scoket to increase the depth to allow it to go over the original head to reach the 3/4 nut. Here a photo of it finished in the mill...

    and in use. Really makes it alot easier.

  • #2
    Looks good. And if it works, then it has paid off. Good job. rock-

    [This message has been edited by rockrat (edited 07-09-2005).]
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


    • #3
      Looks good.

      I got tired of the stock drawbar myself...but I just welded the nut to the shaft to make it one piece.

      Those hammers look handy.

      Have you made a spindle lock yet?



      • #4
        A spindle lock seems a good thing to do to the typical mill drill. Do you have any particulars?


        • #5
          Tank, I like the idea. You might see it on mine pretty soon! Someone mentioned the spindle lock. Be careful unless you make an entire new unit.

          I removed the face of mine to see how much room I had to mount a dro (cheap digital caliper)

          At that time I notice if you use the existing bolt it doesn't have a lot of threads left if you try to put too many washers next to the housing as I had to do. I'm thinking on remaking the spindle lock. If I do that, I'll likely use a "T" bar type handle.


          edited 2d paragraph to make more sense!

          [This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 07-09-2005).]
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          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


          • #6
            No have not made spindle lock yet. I put the 3/4 nut on the bottom where I'd still have the original nut there, if for some reason I need it. Don't really know why I would tho... I learned to really like the hammer. Victor Tool has the hammer for less than $17.00. Right now everything is on hold. Early week before last, while stepping into my work shop, I heard a snap and the next then I remember is seeing the floor of my shop as my face hit it. I tore a tendon in my right knee and I had to have surgery last Thursday.I have to stay in my recliner it with my leg elevated for a few more days. Gets very boring setting here,…but the pain killers are good… When it rains it pours....

            [This message has been edited by tankdriver (edited 07-09-2005).]

            [This message has been edited by tankdriver (edited 07-09-2005).]

            [This message has been edited by tankdriver (edited 07-09-2005).]


            • #7
              Wouldn't it have been easier to modify the socket on the hammer, rather than modify the machine?
              Or beter yet, just make a new hammer with a correct socket and piece of brass.
              Nice work, just not the way I would have gone.
              David from jax

              Have gun, will travel.
              A serious accident is one that money can't fix.


              • #8
                Good job on the hammer/wrench. I used to have a ring spanner for the draw bar until I forgot it one day and started the machine up, now I have an open ended spanner which just falls off. Just a thought anyway.


                • #9
                  Well the HF Mini-Mill uses a drawbar that has a nut to tighten it down. So you have to hold the bar with one wrench, then tighten a nut below the wrench you're holding the draw bar with, So I ordered the 1 peice draw bar. The hammer I already owned. The socket on it is a 12 point so I either could have made a insert, or cut off the old one and weld a proper size one on. I like the way I did it better. And Thanks for the compliment.


                  • #10
                    For what it's worth, I wrapped a foot of lead sheet around the open end of a combination wrench - the closed end fits my RF-30 mill/drill draw bar. To release the bar, a gentle tap with the lead wrapped end does the trick.