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  • What do I need with a newly purchased milling machine.

    Yes, a dumb question to those of you who have a mill or worked with them in the past. I am very new to owning a mill (it hasn't even arrived yet), and I need to know what "accesories" I will need. I have requested that the business I am purchasing the mill from order in a complete set of collets---they have told me that this machine has an M2 spindle taper, and that it needs M2 collets to work with it. I'm not certain that I need all of the different sizes, but a complete set of these collets is only $114.00. I know that I will need a milling vice ---I will probably buy a very simple one for my "learning" phase. I see that they are available with an angularly adjustable base, but I don't know if I need that because the head and column on this machine will tilt. What holds the collets in place?--do I need a through the spindle drawbar? What do you suggest for cutters?--I have a 1" dia. end mill that I bought when I was experimenting with milling in my lathe. I don't want to buy a vast assortment of cutters that I may never use, but are there 2 or 3 basic types/sizes of cutters that you would recomend to a novice? I did buy a book today by Arnold Throp, "Vertical Milling in the Home Workshop" but I didn't find it to be all that helpfull. What else do I need besides a vice, collets, and cutters. I know that eventually a dividing head might be nice, but I'm not ready for that yet. I do have a good angle plate that I bought when I got my lathe. I am assuming that I can use this milling machine to drill holes---I have a chuck with a tapered shank that fits into the tailstock of my lathe, and the literature with my lathe says that it has an MT2 taper in the tailstock, so I think that I will be able to use it in my mill. Any and all help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.--I just read through the literature (see the link) and it appears that this mill comes with its own chuck.---Brian
    http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/pictu...8&NTITEM=CT129
    Last edited by brian Rupnow; 06-13-2008, 10:13 PM.
    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    A set of screw machine length drill bits is a good idea,especially with the limited Z height.

    The drill chucks that come with the machines usually aren't very precise so a good quality keyless chuck is a good idea.

    I have a Seig x2 and a 4" mill vice is about as big a vise as it will stand.With the vise a set of parrallels is a must,also a set of clamping studs and tee-nuts to fit your table slots.

    Depending on what you want to make a small rotary table is nice to have.

    One word of advice,don't skimp on endmills,stick to the better quality brands like Niagra,Melling,OSG,Excello,Putnam etc.You can get away with Asian drills,but western endmills are tops.

    A good edge finder will come in handy,so will a few spotting drills.

    Well that's just a few items on a long list,expect the weight of the tooling to exceed the mill.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

    Comment


    • #3
      A nice grinder to keep the tools sharp. A cutoff saw to size your stock. An account with a metal supplier. A camera so you can show off your stuff, and lastly, projects!

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're just learning, you may want to start with "quality import" endmills until you get the hang of milling. You're going to whack a few endmills during the learning process, and it's less traumatic if it's a $10 no-name instead of a $25 Weldon. But basically I agree with wierdscience; when you get to the point where you're not trashing them on a regular basis, name-brand endmills are worth the money.
        ----------
        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by brian Rupnow
          What holds the collets in place?--do I need a through the spindle drawbar?
          The mill will have the drawbar. You don't need all the collet sizes, just the ones which fit the shanks of your cutters. Half inch diameter shanks are about the max you'll be able to use, so a 1/2" collet is what you'll use most of the time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Brian, Asking a question that open ended you could get all kinds of answers based on what the individual that responds to your post does with his or her mill.
            I would start out basic and work your way up, like maybe a 2 and 4 flute assortment of end mills 1/4'', 3/8'', 1/2'' maybe 3/16'' and 5/16'' if budget allows.
            It looks like one of your first projects could be making some T Slot nuts.
            Depending on what you plan to build ; steam engines etc. you might think about a boring head, a fly cutter, some paralells to go with the vice, the list could go on and on.
            I don't know about your area but I like to buy used stuff (older and better than new) and it usualy comes with some interesting stories.

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Indicator

              You may want to get a dial or test indicator, and a holder to put in the spindle to tram in the head.
              http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/p...t_Bracket_USA_
              http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/p...t_Bracket_USA_
              http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/p...der_WT_Import_
              Mike
              Brandon MI
              2003 MINI Cooper S JCW#249
              1971 Opel GT
              1985 Ford 3910LP

              Comment


              • #8
                doc

                LittleMachineShop has a document under "Learning Center" on their main page. There you will find a document about mini mill tooling. You have a bigger machine but the document may still help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To use a mill, you need things that fall generally under one of three categories......

                  1) cutter tooling and toolholders....

                  An MT2 collet can hold a 1/2" diameter end mill, so shanks of 1/2" are good. You might only need collets (see below) of 1/2", 3/8" and possibly a smaller one. (note that end mills have a SHANK size AND a size for the cutting part. Should be obvious which I am referring to below)

                  Among end mills, a 'corncob" roughing cutter of each size you plan to use is good..... for sizes of regular cutters 1/2" , 3/8", and 3/16" will get you a long way, at least one roughing and a couple regular, probably a 2 flute and a 4 flute for regulars. Get 2 of each, you'll break some.

                  A fly cutter is nice, sometimes. However, you CAN flatten surfaces with more passes of a large end mill.

                  When you discover why you want a boring head, you can get one.. Meanwhile you can bore just fine on a lathe for many things.

                  A drill chuck is nice, essential in case you have no drill press..... otherwise skip it for now.

                  About those collets....... you can use them, but in general I prefer end mill holders..... Cost about same as 2 collets, but hold the cutter VERY solidly, at the cost of a couple inches of "daylight" between spindle and table.

                  A 1/2" and a 3/8" will hold most any usual end mill, as most end mills you will want are available in those shank sizes.

                  2) Workholding.......

                  A suitable clamping kit for your t-slot size.........

                  A milling vise is convenient, and solves a lot of hassles clamping, but can get pricey. You don't HAVE to have it, but it sure is nice to.

                  3) measuring......

                  The stuff you use with your lathe is suitable for mills, with the addition of something to hold a dial test indicator (DTI) for mill tramming..... and of course a DTI or dial indicator, if you don't have one.

                  General ideas...........

                  Stay away from most chinese collets and holders etc.... in fact most tooling is better not from china...... try to get at least a "Bison" brand (Polish), they are worth the extra money.

                  Chinese DTIs are acceptable, and you won't feel so bad if you break one. Having a $350 indicator go bad is rather more irritating than a $20 one...... I know.....
                  Last edited by J Tiers; 06-14-2008, 01:22 AM.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by brian Rupnow

                    Yes, a dumb question to those of you who have a mill or worked with them in the past. I am very new to owning a mill (it hasn't even arrived yet), and I need to know what "accesories" I will need.
                    You have stated that you are brand new to milling, this being the case, then, DO NOT RUSH OUT AND BUY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU REALLY NEED IT!

                    When you know what you need to use, buy it then and only then. By buying it before you know what you want or need, is the easiest way to empty your pockets that I know of.
                    By all means, rush out and buy all these tooling recommendations, but you might never use some of them, as your needs will be different to others.

                    By buying as required, you will then get an appreciation of the tooling that you eventually do buy.

                    regards radish

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Check the drawbar thread coming with the mill and get the collets with the correct thread. My sieg mill came with a metric and the MT2 collets came with 3/8 whit thread so a quick excercise in drawbar machining.
                      I would also suggest a selection of clamping widgets etc as holding things with the limited height is a pain.
                      Peter
                      I have tools I don't know how to use!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I started with a good sturdy vise and 1 indexable face mill. Worked for me for almost a year until I figured out what I was doing and missing. Some end mills and a few parallel blocks to bring the cutting surface of the work above the vise jaws would be a nice addition.

                        Cheers, Bob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For basics: This stuff you will use a LOT, so it pays to get quality.

                          A clamp set with T-nuts sized to fit the table slots.

                          A vise, of a size appropriate to the size of the mill...and to your ability to lift the thing, and to the size of work you plan to do.

                          3 collets: 3/16, 3/8, and 1/2. They will hold virtually all the end mills you'll ever use. As somebody else said, get good collets.

                          A drill chuck, either with a Morse #2 shank or a 1/2" straight shank to fit the 1/2" collet. Either will work. You may have a difficult time finding a Morse taper drill shank that accepts a drawbar. Strictly speaking you can get by without a drawbar on a drill chuck shank, but personally, to eliminate all risk of spinning the shank in the socket and damaging it, I'd want a drawbar. Or get the 1/2" straight shank.

                          A set of number- and fractional-size drills. Screw machine length is nice, but so are the jobber length. To start out, I'd probably get the jobber length, then add a set of screw machine length drills later. Get good drills.

                          End mills: a few. As I said earlier, starting off you'll have a tendency to trash them (or at least I did), so perhaps get a "quality import" set of basic sizes to learn with. Once you get the hang of it and can appreciate the difference in quality, go for Niagara or Putnam or any of the other name brands.
                          ----------
                          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                          Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                          Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                          There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                          Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So----This morning I went hog wild---Went up to Busy Bee and bought #1---A milling vice. Not an expensive one at $46.00, but a sturdy, well made unit. #2--Two MT2 collets, a 3/8" and a 1/2"---that will fit the full range of cutters I purchased. #3 A variety of 4 flute end mills (the type which are also capable of a plunge cut) I got 1/8", 1/4", 1/2", and a 5/8".---I also have a 1" that I had purchased with the lathe 3 months ago. The shanks will fit one or the other of the collets I purchased. #4 --A set of fly cutters with 1/2" shanks. I bought two carbide tools for the two largest flycutters, and a peice of HSS for the smallest size flycutter. #5--four lengths of 1/2" square HSS which I will use as parallels. #6-A fancy schmansey Laser edge finder, #7-A rotary table/indexing head, #7--A tailstock mount to use with the indexing head, and #8---The humungous carbide flycutter (3" diameter, which I will never use)???--They threw that in free because one of the carbides had fallen off and someone had returned it. I tried to buy a boring head, but they didn't have one in stock and had to order it. This set me back a total of about $650.00, the largest ticket item being the rotary/indexing head. On one hand, I'm a bit horrified at the money I spent, on the other hand, that only represents about 2 days of engineering work, and better I should get it now while I'm still working and can write most of it off, than when I retire and have no money coming in. Damn-Thats a terrible picture I took. I am a lousy photographer!!!
                            Brian Rupnow

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mill tools of use

                              Brian...One item that you may find useful is a "wiggler set" from Starrett or General tool. The set has a center finder, edge finder, and hole centering bit. It is not that expensive a set and will be very handy, especially the center finder. It is just a pointer with a ball on the upper end, that allows you to center the tip true to the spindle. This is essential when picking up center punch marks on plates or pannels. Best of luck with your new baby
                              Jim (KB4IVH)

                              Only fools abuse their tools.

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