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Coolant on my bridgy, a quick afternoon projcet

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  • Coolant on my bridgy, a quick afternoon projcet

    Well then......

    I needed some coolant for a drilling project that I was working on here a while back. It consisted of drilling a bizillion holes on a plate for a dividing head. And I thought that it would be nice to have a bit of flood coolant to keep the drill working properly.

    Here is what I came up with. At first it was cobbled together to get by, just like everything. But after the main project was finished it spun off this smaller project.

    First I dug around the house and found some 3/4" copper waterline. This looked like a good start so I kept digging. Eventually I found enough copper to make up a run behind the mill table.

    After running the table back and forth a few times to see what type of clearance I would have, it became apparent that I would have to run some of the copper under the back of the table. So off to the hardware store for a few street 90's and 3 - 3/4" copper to 3/4" npt.

    The street elbows will couple inside themselves to eliminate space. This freed up just the right amount of area to run the pipe. And with the three 90's together, I was able to make a nice slope on the long pipe that runs the length of the y axis.

    And for those who want to do this job, here is a tip. Once the copper 3/4" npt to 3/4" tube fittings are in the table they will conduct heat from the copper to the mill table. So, assemble the parts together and mark them where they sit. Allow for an extra 1/8 to 1/4 turn on the fittings that thread into the table.

    Remove the parts and solder up the first 3 - 4 junctions that come off of the table. This will let you solder nice and easy without pumping a bunch of heat into your mill table.

    Assemble and finish the soldering. As noted above, I put a pit of a slope in the long tube that runs the length of the Y axis.

    Click for larger photo.

    At the other end, leave yourself some room for the drain to make it into the bucket.

    As for the pump....

    I bought a little "clear water pump" at Harbor Freight a while back for about $9.00 on sale. This little pump has done nothing since. So, I decided to see how it would fair for a coolant pump. Coolant is just water mixed with oil right? It seems like it should work fine. might even lube the pump and get a bit more life out of it. Who knows.

    So, I dug out one of my million kitty litter buckets (saved after use) and drilled a few holes in the lid. The two holes are for the coolant and the third is drilled near the edge with a slit from it to the edge, for the power cord. I decided that the power cord would not make it through a small hole because the plug is bigger than the cord. I didnt want to lop off the plug and reattach, so the slit from the hole to the edge of the lid allows me to bend part of the lid down and slide in the cord.

    Now, the key to making the pump run is that the fluid must be clean (to some extent) of chips. I needed to filter out the chips from the coolant. I found a tall tin can and drilled about 40 holes in it. The holes are about 0.05" in dia. The pump is placed in the can and the can is in the bucket. This lets fluid in to the pump and keeps all the big chips out. A small piece of metal bolted to the side keeps the can in place inside the bucket.

    A bit of flexible tube and I am happy.

    One note, I had to sit the bucket up on a chunk of wood because the HF pump would only push the fluid to a head height of 3'. I am working on a bracket to attach the bucket to the end of the mill. This will put it up high enough to give me a bit more pressure without forcing me to change pumps.

    Lastly, I was at a fish store the other day and they have pumps that will lift fluid up 4' and more. They were about $20.00 so that may be a future option. These pumps also have a replaceable impeller. When you dun chewed up the original, head to the fish store and for $5.00 get a new impeller!

    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  • #2
    Nice work, now you can make a big mess and get covered in coolant when the drill chips fling it at you and everywhere else

    Buy a cheap air pump for a fish tank and a air stone and set it to run in your coolant, it will help keep it from going rancid as quick.


    • #3
      Very Neat.

      I notice that like most mills the vise hangs over the bed so any coolant landing on the vise then land on the floor.

      I run all my mills with trays on them with return holes that line up with the 'T' slots.

      It keeps the coolant in the container and keeps the chips out to a large extent.


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


      • #4
        Nice Job.

        Not ragging on your set up, I would have installed a couple of unions right after the facing elbows. Doing so would allow the removal of the section of tubing along the back of the table should the line ever become clogged, or you need "just that little bit more" travel in "Y". Unless I am missing something, the picture shows your set up to be pretty much a "cut apart to take apart" from the table.

        Again, I am not slamming your work, just something I would have done differently.
        Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.


        • #5
          good stuff ill hafta look into that myself


          • #6
            What vintage is that coolant?

            Nice setup,how come you didn't use the sump?Too much scum for your effluent ...errrh afluent tastes?
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              Dam I look fat!

              I didnt use the sump cuz it is hard to drain and keep clean. Also this way I only use about a gallon or so in coolant. Easy to remove coolant etc.

              As for the permanent nature of the setup. At work, we never had a problem with clogging in the return. So I thought that I would chance it. Also, the unions would (honest!) make the distance from the table to the electronics box less than zero. I didnt want a crash. As it sits, one can run the table anywhere and it will clear.

              I had thought about drilling the mill table toward the floor, just behind where the npt pipe hooks in now. This would dump the coolant in a pattern similar to what I have now. The material is there, the room and clearance is there, I just didnt have the balls.... yet. If I ever have to pull the setup, I will make a change. Then a union can be installed and removal would be easy.

              I like the air pump idea. Might give it a go.

              As for the vintage, about an August 13th, 2006. A good day if you ask me.

              ERBenoit - no harm here, good ideas are always welcome. You are correct in the abillity to remove the setup. Currently I would have to make a cut somewhere. But we will see how it pans out.


              Last edited by rockrat; 09-14-2006, 10:03 PM.
              Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.