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Gloat!! Update on the little (Lewis) mill

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  • Gloat!! Update on the little (Lewis) mill

    A big thanks to Dan Craig for trusting me with the little mill, also thanks to J Tiers for identifying the mill and info about the Yahoo group. Will have to check that out.

    The mill is now home, and in pieces, in the process of cleaning it up. One small accident on the way, broke one piece of cast that supports the drive pulley. Don't know if I will braze it or just make a new piece.

    A ton of dirt and grime on it. Everything was black, have found one brass handle and one chrome belt guard, time will tell if there is any more purdy stuff.

    The spindle does have a #3 morse taper in the nose. One back gear has a tooth broken out. That gear was made of phenolic (sp) so plan to make a new one of aluminum after everything is back together and the dust has settled. Also found some scoring on the spindle bearing surfaces but about 80% OK so will just polish and run as is.

    Will provide pictures when I start painting the little bugger. Still haven't decided what color it will be but it won't be green, grey or red, Probably blue tan or cream. Any suggestions?

    J Tiers I would sure like more detailed pictures of the overarm support that is on your mill, I will have to make one for this mill and will be working from scratch. Also would love to have dimensions for the arbor that is on your mill.

    Lo and behold SWMBO, who thinks that my shop is an evil waste of time unless I'm making something for her, conceded that the little mill was a cute little bugger

    GUNS Don't kill people
    Drivers using cell phones do.

  • #2
    "Lo and behold SWMBO, who thinks that my shop is an evil waste of time unless I'm making something for her, conceded that the little mill was a cute little bugger"

    Yeah, that's what my wife said when she saw my Unimat that I got a couple of years ago. Watch out! Don't let her try making something!
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


    • #3
      Hey, My wife runs my turret lathe. and likes doing things in the shop.

      The tame Wolf !


      • #4
        My wife has her own shop at work. Just got a milling machine a little while ago too. She can play there if she wants.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #5
          Wanted: Single woman that enjoys machines, cars and the hard life in the country. Send pictures of machines.


          • #6
            Ken, stop reading my singles ad.


            This Old Shed
            EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


            • #7
              By overarm support do you mean the X-braced auxiliary support, or the part on the end of the arm (arbor support)?

              I thought you had the arbor support with that.

              As far as the arbors, I have three, one (1") came with, the other two I made. Got a favorite you are most interested in?? Or two?

              Edit: I see you didn't get an arbor support, I went and looked at the old thread.

              Pics of the support. There is an oil hole for the bushing, visible in the 4th pic below. Bushing is for a 1/2" journal, which is what I have on the arbors.

              Lest you think it is only for small stuff and light work..... Here is a slabbing cutter that has been at work. I actually use the X-brace supports with that, but they get in the way of a pic.

              I was smoothing a piece of CRS (looks like a big scrap of key) to cut out a depth stop for the Clausing DP, that's why there is a square hole visible.

              [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 03-16-2006).]

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan


              • #8
                Green w/ envy!! Looked like there was a Fine machine under all that crust.

                wish I had been closer & faster!


                • #9

                  J Tiers. Thanks for the pictures I sure appreciate the time that you are taking to help this old guy out. Yes it was the arbor support that I was interested in (sorry about the terminology), will have to manufacture a new one. Your pictures will help a lot.

                  I guess that I'm most interested in the 1" arbor that came with your unit. That will be the first one that I make, any others should just fall into place after that.

                  After lifting and taking the little mill apart I was convinced that it would do reasonably heavy work,just not big work, glad to see that I was right. Still have a long way to go before it is ready to do anything, have to make one of my famous heavier than the mill stands for it, and then will have to copy your "X" support.

                  Time is kinda critical around here, have to fix fence and windmills, and then there will be a little time to work on it before I have to start with haying. Then we are planning a trip later this summer and fall to north eastern Canada but hope to have the mill well along before we leave. Retirement is a bitch, can't keep up with all of the fun stuff.

                  Uute. I'm glad that you wern't any faster. when all cleaned up it will be a very useful
                  addition to my shop.

                  GUNS Don't kill people
                  Drivers using cell phones do.


                  • #10
                    Points of difference possibly affecting the type of work include the phenolic gear you mentioned, (which one?), also yours surely has bronze bearings.

                    I have all steel gears, noisy, but a bit stronger. Mine should have tapered rollers. (I've not had my spindle out, but it is set up as it should be for tapered rollers.)

                    Those features might affect the work a bit. For certain types of cutter, such as plain milling cutters, there can be a substantial shock loading as the teeth hit when starting a cut. That isn't good for anything, but might be worse for some phenolic gears.

                    The bronze plain bearings may not take a higher cutting force at slower speeds as well, although they may take shock as well or better than rolling element bearings.

                    Bronze bearings won't like high speeds quite as well, if for instance you put end mills in a holder and turn work 90 deg for "vertical mill" operations. (I have a vertical head, but rarely take the time and effort to put it on, a real hassle it is.)

                    I'll do some pics of the arbors. The 1" is actually my least favorite, it has less usable length, and more runout than what I made, and does not work with the ejector cap.

                    btw: the high helix slabbing cutter actually puts less strain on the machine than a plain milling cutter of far less width. And you get done faster....


                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan


                    • #11

                      J Tiers
                      Yes this mill has bronze bushings. Was surprised, expected to see Timken's when I took it apart.

                      Can't tell you exactly which gear the phenolic is. It is the smaller gear that was locked to a larger steel gear on the secondary side of the back gears. I took the assembly off of the mill in the dark, while in Long Beach Calif. then stored everything in boxes in the motor home for the trip home. After I reassemble everything I'll be able to describe it better.

                      I don't plan to ever use a vertical head with this mill. One I don't have one and also I do have a crappy ( new but Chinese) mill drill to use for vertical stuff.

                      Thanks for the tip about the high helix cutters. It makes sense when you think about it. If everything is just right you could have contact with the work piece all the time. Not as much shock load to contend with.

                      I have a good idea of what the arbors look like (saw your previous post pictures of mill stand) just thought that dimensions would be nice to have when I start to make one or two. I'm concerned that if I make them too long there would be too much flex in the set up.

                      GUNS Don't kill people
                      Drivers using cell phones do.


                      • #12
                        OK Can do dims, will check.

                        There isn't much point in super long arbors, as you don't have cross-feed to cover the area anyhow if it is really long. Also then it's harder to make an outboard support (The X deal) because the overarm sticks out so far, and you need more spacers.

                        The gear that takes the most abuse would be the one that drives the bull gear, since all spindle banging impacts it.

                        The small input shaft one off the pulley would have only an attenuated version of the banging, but that gear would make the most sense as phenolic, since it is the highest speed/noisiest. Phenolic for the bull gear pinion might quiet the ringing of the gears.

                        Are the bearings tapered with a pull-in nut to take up wear? Or are they just sleeves?

                        Lewis had options for bronze or roller bearings, but I don't know how the bronze were set up.

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan


                        • #13
                          Interesting to learn about that little mill.

                          Once again, I'm glad to have found a good home for it and can't wait to see it looking good (or better) as new.


                          • #14
                            Ok. I promised pics. We discussed privately emailing them, but I thought they had applicability to other mills also, at least as idea or starting point fodder.

                            I have seen some complicated "plans" that use several parts including a pre-made MT portion, all in order to avoid turning a morse taper.

                            These are made from the solid. I think the other deal is trouble, a hassle, inaccurate, and silly. Turning a taper is not that hard. Doing it all in same setup between centers is the most accurate. These run out no more than a couple thou, and most of that is from having cut only one keyway. The 1 1/4" is the best, I cut two keyways on it, opposite across a diameter, since two sizes seem to exist standardly.

                            The 7/8 arbor.

                            Made from 1" CRS round stock. MT3 taper. The collar is 1.75 diameter, and was shrunk onto the arbor, against a small shoulder. It is used to push the arbor out of the taper using a "nose protector" similar to what goes with a collet closer. keyway is 1/8".

                            The 1" arbor.

                            I got this with the nachine, and need to extend the arbor length a bit, probably. There is a lot of dead area at the taper end. Material is unknown. keyway is 1/4"

                            The 1 1/4" arbor

                            Collar on this one is integral. Turned from 1 1/2dia 4140 prehardened material. Keyways are 3/16" and 5/16"

                            All nuts were made for the arbors. The 1" originally was round, with a tommy bar hole. I decided it needed flats.
                            Threads vary, I went for 7/8-9 on that one, the 1" I think is 8tpi, and I forget what the 1 1/4" is, I used a finer thread as you can see.

                            All have the same drawbar thread, which I would have to check, I think it is a 1/2-13. The bearing journal is 1/2" diameter, to fit the bushing in the overarm support.

                            Note that due to limited compound movement, I left a cylindrical area on the tapers to fill up the needed length. I made the new ones to fit with same drawbar that came with the 1" arbor.

                            ADDED NOTE:
                            I better mention for "calibration" purposes that my machine has the spindle nose sticking out 1.5 inches from the face of the column. You should adjust your length to suit your "stickout" factor, which may be different from mine.

                            These things were kits, and different builders had different ideas, different skills, and made different changes to the basic design.

                            ANOTHER NOTE:
                            I cut the keyways after finishing the arbor turning. I think it would have been better to finish grind the arbors AFTER the keyway was cut, to straighten them.

                            I also left a straight area at the taper end between the collar and the taper. This was my "error margin".

                            When turning, be mighty careful. With the shallow taper, it is very easy to get it too deep into the taper and have a problem of interference with the collar before the taper seats. That happens when taking off the last little bit to fit..... I didn't actually do that, but I did cut them a bit deeper than I had set out to per the sketch I made up beforehand.

                            The straight area also lets you re-grind or re-cut the taper at least once if it ever gets bunged up or galled from spinning.

                            [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 03-19-2006).]

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan