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  • Horizonal mills

    I've never used a horizonal mill so would some one please enlighten me as to their advantages and dis-advantages as compared with an Asian mill/drill?

  • #2

    Horizontal mills are good for squareing stuff up, slotting, heavy form milling heavy drilling and boring.
    Can be used for edge holes ih a pinch.

    They are generally clumsey because you have to stand behind for visibility.

    For drilling you have to feed the whole table-slide assembly in out, in out.
    Try a small drill doing that.

    Most (some have double controls) mills have controls on the front so that presents a problem.

    For small y adjustments, you have to crank the whole knee up or down. If your cutting with a small mill, there is no feel.

    If you get a chance to pick one up, do it.
    It'll be good squaring, and boring your cylinders. They go cheap (industrial machines) at auctions cause everyone wants to run the CNC, or Bridgeports.

    I've seen two go for less than $200 lately.
    One was a cinncinatti and one a cleveland.
    They were both beat.
    The clevelands quality was not too great.
    I ended up running a couple jobs on it (former boss bought it).

    I don't know about Atlas mills.
    Hobbiest toys I think.



    • #3
      Atlas--hobbist? Good, for that's what I are!! How much are they selling for?


      • #4

        If you do go for a horizontal mill, it'll be a lot more useful if it comes with a vertical head (these usually bolt onto the column, and take their drive from the main horizontal milling spindle.

        Most horizontal mill owners know how useful these attachments are, to the point where loose vertical heads sell for more than the complete horizontal mill they fit.

        Most of the vertical heads don't have quill feeds - bit of a pain, you end up cranking the knee to feed the cutter deeper - Kap's right on that.

        Good thing about horizontal mills is their rigidity - they tend to be built like a brick outhouse.

        Another alternative may be to get hold of a Bridgeport head and bolt this to the overarm of a horizontal mill (Adcock & Shipley did this on some models). Almost the best of both worlds - a nice, robust and cheap horizontal mill with most of the versatility of a turret mill.

        All of the gear, no idea...


        • #5

          I've got to say I like them! Especially when you get a vertical head attachment to go with them. In fact the universal H/V type mill is to my mind the epitomy of economic design.

          Having said that the design I really like is the Swiss/German type with the traversing head - fixed table to give the Y function. The table in these designs can be 3 axis (swivel, tilt, and rotary) is rigidly fixed to the front column on a sub slide so that the table can be removed and replaced by a simple angle plate, quartering table, or even have the component clamped directly to the sub slide.

          Vertical heads can swivel, there are slotting attachments (also with swivelling capability) and a multitude of dinky punch and die tooling.

          A horizontal mill is the only setup man enough to cope with single form gear cutting, or free hobbing gear cutting techniques (given that you don't happen to have a purpose built gear cutter in the corner of the workshop.)

          Go to these sites to check out some of these neat mills:-

          Some of the set-ups possible with these machines are mind boggling. They are available in sizes to fit any workshop (some would even fit the average restroom!). Attachments are weighty enough to be rigid under load but light enough to be changed by hand.

          The down side of these machines are the cost ~ even well used second hand models (especially with a cabinet of extra's) will fetch premium price. The upside is that they are going to maintain there value, and even increase with time.

          I have an Aciera F3 ~ I hate to think what I paid for it, but it has just about every optional extra, and is, now 5 years on, worth more in real terms than I paid for it. It is deadly accurate - even to the point where you can remove the vertical head to measure a bore, replace it, and pick up where you left off. The stated accuracy is 0.0004" within its working 'cube' ~ mine is closer to half that and is 30+ years old.

          If anyone finds one of the listed mills, over there in the land of the Bridgeport, I can thoroughly recommend you to re-mortgage the house, put the wife on the street, sell the car/truck, infact do just about anything to get your hands on one of these superb mills.


          [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 01-29-2003).]

          [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 01-29-2003).]


          • #6

            I try to stay away from those hobby machines.
            Never satisfy me taking hose weany little cuts to get a job done.

            If, you have some patience, and never ran a real "Bluechipper" two ton horizontal mill, or Defiance Horizontal Boring Mill, or Devlieg, or Jones & Lamson turret lathe etc, etc, you'll love your Atlas.

            Those Deckel fp1, and fp2"s are nice with a horizontal, and vertical head.
            The travel is a little limited.
            The fp4 makes you walk around it all day.

            Don't know anything bout the others you listed.



            • #7
              Ragarsed Raglan;

              Enlighten me please. Please explain FREE CUTTING GEAR HOBBING. I've got a pretty good idea what you mean but from long experience I have learned not to assume that what I think I know is factual. And I've got quite a bit of experience cutting gears/splines both on hobs and gear shapers. Including when the boss hands me the drawing for an odd ball helical from a defunct machine tool builder that was cut with a special hob and they need a replacement NOW. Figuring out the damn feed gear ratios is always a royal PITA

              [This message has been edited by Spin Doctor (edited 01-29-2003).]
              Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


              • #8
                I love my horizontal mills. I have 2 brown and sharp #2 universal mills with swing around vertical heads that can rotate in any direction you want. A universal mill has a table that can swivel. I own a small custom gear shop and have fellows gear shapers to do most of my work, but i use these mills to cut helicals, worms, bevels, and any odd gears that can not be done on the shapers. One nice feature is that my mills have indexing heads that are driven by the table, this is how helicals, and worms are generated. as for the small mills,if the machine is a good tight machine, you will be able to cut slots , square blocks, cut keyways, slitting, cut steps, and a whole lot more once you get the idea of the machine. One thing for sure is if you want to rough cut material these machines are alot stronger than a knee mill, and this way you don't beat up your knee mill which can do other types of milling better including boring, and drilling.


                • #9
                  euah, but the FP-4 is a monster! Hog city! Chew it up and spit it out.

                  Ok, it's friggin' big - but they come in a lovely green color....


                  • #10

                    By 'free cutting' gear hobbing I mean that the gear to be cut is first roughed out to about half depth with a 'near form' cutter (this 'near form' could either be anything from at worst an 1/8th wide slitter, to a close relative from a single form B&S style cutter, but which may be the wrong number - say a #6 cutter when you really need a #3).

                    The component is then set up at the hobbing angle to the mill table, and by feeding in the component to the hob the hob will drive the gear around and allow the forming to take place.

                    To keep it all simple I rough cut the gear on my dividing head then disengage the DH drive to allow the component to spin (in my case the gear blank is usually held on a mandrel). The DH is set up on the quartering table to allow the hob angle to be dialled in after the roghing operation.

                    One bit to be aware of is that as the hob emerges from the component the drive will be 'lost' ~ to counter this you will need to either have a wider gear blank, and then removed the 'mashed' tooth form (which results as drive is lost), or my preferred route is to use a sacrificial short plate on the exit side of the gear.

                    I've used this method to produce motorcycle gears succesfully for some time now. My problem started when I could only get hold of a hob to cut the correct Stub form Involute gear (a 12/14DP form ~ it came from the motorcycle factory when it closed down!!!! Opps, did I say that?), but couldn't find a single tooth form cutter. I reasoned that the hob would generate a far truer tooth form than the B&S style cutter anyway so developed the system from there - I only learnt it was called 'free cutting' some years later!

                    Although the Aciera has a table drive attachment to drive a DH (for worm cutting), the requirement for the hob helix angle meant the drive would be out of alignment. The 12/14DP hob form needs (from memory!) a 1* 24.85' angle dialling in ~ this is achieved with the compound quartering table.

                    If you can rig the mill up with this set up give it a go! it sure saves a lot of time working out the drive ratio's for one off's



                    • #11
                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ragarsed Raglan:

                      I've used this method to produce motorcycle gears succesfully for some time now. My problem started when I could only get hold of a hob to cut the correct Stub form Involute gear (a 12/14DP form ~ it came from the motorcycle factory when it closed down!!!! Opps, did I say that?), but couldn't find a single tooth form cutter. RR
                      10/12 tooth form. That brings back memories.
                      Velocette by any chance??
                      Somewhere amongst all the rubbish from a previous life is a set of drawings for the Velocette and Norton racing ratios although the Norton just used a straight 10Dp at 20 PA.

                      Only problem I had with the Velo gears was that the dogs for 4th gear mated up with a reduced portion of the teeth on the sleeve gear, more of a stub, stub tooth &lt;g&gt;
                      The standard number of teeth on the gear and dogs were 24 IIRC but the racing set was 23.
                      No way you could cut these with a hob or single tooth cutter as you still needed the 24 teeth for the dogs.
                      Only way to do these was on a Maxicut or Fellows gear shaper.
                      One way to cheat was to cut 19 teeth on the mating gear onto what should have been an 18 tooth blank and running this with the standard 24 t sleeve gear. In effect gainig a 1/2 ratio.

                      John S.

                      Damn, didn't read the post correctly. RR said 12 /14 and not 10 /12.
                      I'll take another guess at Albion.
                      AKA Villiers, Greeves, Sun, and even the small Burman boxes.
                      Am I close??

                      [This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 01-30-2003).]

                      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                      • #12
                        John S,

                        Try a Bit Stuck Anywhere!

                        Unit 500cc B50/B44/B40/B25 genre. They use a 10DP constant mesh gear (4th) but then the intermediates are 12/14DP on a 1.768" ctrs!!

                        Quaife made some ultra close ratio gear sets for these back in the late '70's ~ there were only 3 sets of these made for the factory. They increased the layshaft nearside bearing diameter and altered a lot of the spline form. I had a quote for reproducing these gear sets off Quaife ~ read the quote ~ went out and bought the Aciera ~ it was cheaper, and now I have as many as I want!!

                        You wouldn't by any chance know Bob Newby? (lives round Market Harborough way) he races a 4 valve Manx Norton ~ I think he has the Schafleitner 6 speed box in his bike now; but he was looking for some Manx Norton gear parts a few years ago.

                        I remember looking at the Velocette box to see if I could 'pinch' some of their gears. I already use a modified Velocette crankpin for the big end in the BSA. My flywheels are one piece with the mainshafts, and machined to give an 82mm stroke inplace of the standard 90mm stroke (bore goes up to 88mm in place of 84mm to maintain 499cc). The Velo 'pin' is much stronger than the BSA item and gets rid of the taper/shoulder and nut fitting system.

                        Piston is an Alfa Romeo F3 item (modified), con rod is machined from Ti614, valves are Rousch Ford Mustang (Windsor block) Nascar items (in Ti ~ but with modified heads and stems!). Cams are either Ex factory BSA comp. shop or Megacycle over the counter items. The BSA ex factory cams have a beautiful vernier adjustment system ~ takes ages to get it right, but when its right its 'spot on'.

                        As I said It's a Bit Stuck Anywhere!


                        Edit note: whoops ...signed it twice!

                        [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 01-30-2003).]


                        • #13
                          This time i am serious! Most times my tongue is deep in cheek.

                          I wish RR john stevenson, and Kap would try writing for HSM a few times. you guys have a fine way of explaining thing- I can some times "see" what you are doing as I read.



                          • #14
                            RR, about the free cutting gear hobbing. That's pretty much what I thought you meant, but in my instance I think I'll stick with the Barber-Coleman. Most of our gear work now is intregal to the shaft.I've always liked that Fellows stub tooth system though. To bad they've bit the big one now too.
                            Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                            • #15
                              I have an Atlas that I bought about 15 years ago. I originally bought it to cut sterling silver stock for silversmithing, but It has proven to be one of the most useful tools in my shop. I don't have the space or muscle for a big machine. This is light enough so that two people can lift it.
                              The spindle has a 2 MT and accepts standard end-mill holders. I also have a 1" arbor which came with the machine.

                              I now work mostly with aluminum, brass, and plastic and use it for jobs which are difficult to do or set up on the vertical mill. I use it mostly with metal slitting cutters to cut bar stock, plate and extrusions to size, and with angle cutters to make small dovetails, slides and bevels. The automatic power feed makes it easy and convenient to use.

                              The downside is that parts and accessories are non existant or sell for high prices, so you must make your own. Mine was missing the belt guard, arbor support bracket and feed disengagement block. It also needs a new leadscrew and end bushings, and has too much play for climb milling (which their manual forbids). The 1/3 HP motor which came with the unit is a bit underpowered. The bed has only a single T-slot, which I augmented with some 1/4-20 threaded holes.