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Those "other " mills

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  • Those "other " mills

    I have always liked vertical mills, and sort of felt that horizontal mills were lower tech, less versatile designs than most certical mills, but I'm currently reading Running a Milling Machine by Fred H. Colvin and am impressed with some of the work that can be done on a horizontal mill if set up and tooled right. How many guys out there use both, or a horizontal only? It seems like with the right patience, almost anything should be possible on a horizontal.

    There's also mention in the book of a B&S Omniversal mill that looks quite useful, but I've never heard of one before. Anyone here have one or know about them?

    I also just finished the old Southbend How To Run a Lathe. Reading these old books is quite interesting. I'm sure we covered a lot of the stuff that's presented back in my high school metal shop classes, but it seems at 41 I'm more willing to slow down and really try to absorb the material. When I was 17, I had no patience and just wanted to get to twisting the dials.

    I'm learning patience. I have no choice. I can't seem to get an electrician to get me a timely qoute and still haven't found the right BP, so patience is a top priority right now. There just isn't any 220 available to run that Hardinge in the garage. Books are a good way to pass the time while I'm waiting for my shop to move to the next step.


    Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.
    Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

  • #2
    Hi John,

    Don't have either, gotta mill on my lathe, so that's hoizontal! : )

    Should be able to do anything on a Horz mill you cound do on a Vert, but I always think about how much tougher it would be to do setups on an angle plate vs the table.

    Gravitys goin' the wrong way!

    Just my tilted thinking.


    PS The Amateur's Lathe by L. H. Sparey is even better than the SB book. IMHO

    [This message has been edited by uute (edited 12-06-2003).]


    • #3
      I have a 10X44 vertical knee mill. I also bought a Cincinatti horizontial mill not long ago, {they are really going cheap right now} and I bought a Bridgeport jhead, head. I am going to put the jhead on the big Cincinatti and it should make a great machine. A friend did this to a Van Norman and it is sweet!


      • #4
        Michael is right, horizontal mills go for pretty low prices. Some are in good condition, but some can be pretty wll thrashed.
        They are kind of in the same class as the larger shapers. They will remove a large amount of metal, but can be slow and are time consuming to set up. Cutters are typically more expensive than end mills, and a wider range would be necessary to take advantage of all the horizontal mill's benefits. They are also large, heavy and require large motors to operate.
        The Omniversal mill was quite a machine by the looks of it, enough handwheels, levers , locks and adjustments to keep you busy for a day before you even started to make a cut.
        I find the back corners of antique stores another good place to dig up old literature. Old catalogs usually go cheap, and have lots of information. Lindsay Books is another good source.
        Jim H.


        • #5

          i would like to find a *smaller* horizontal mill myself. it seems like i have spent the past couple of months learning about gears and would like to make a few. i have a cincinnati vertical mill and a chinese mill/drill [junque], but as mentioned above, a horizontal is 'made for' doing this. probably the budget and space are gonna preclude this, but i am 'looking' some.

          this is a pastime that manages to continually teach me how little i really know.

          aside: 'Roland' is probably the finest piece of music there is along with 'lawyers, guns, and money'. long story behind this. email off list and i will tell you. good story. worth the effort.

          have a good weekend.
          ........i dremel. therefore i am..........................


          • #6
            Below are some photos showing how simple tooling can be used on a horizontal milling machine.








            I scaned these from an old photo album so they are not the best quality.

            [This message has been edited by G.A. Ewen (edited 12-06-2003).]
            To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison


            • #7
              George, I do like that engine block mill. It shows what can be done with some imagination and initiative.
              Question, What operation were you preparing to perform with the cannon?
              Jim H.


              • #8
                The cannon is the end results of the above milling operations. The last two photos are of a small drillpress casting that I made some changes to. It would have been a difficult piece to mount on a vertical mill.
                To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison


                • #9
                  Yep,I have used many a flycutter type tool in a horizonal mill,even used them as a half-a-- horizonal boring mill.

                  I got two one Kearny and Trecker and a #4 Cinncinatti,the best to get are the universal type with seperate motors for each spindle,I have set up to cut with both at the same time.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    I have a horizontal in my shop, use it for some applications such as recently re-milling the teeth on a long rack - 30 degree angle off horiz one side, 90 deg straight on the other. Love it for deep slot cutting, but man what a set-up. Seems to do 3/4 + deep slots well. Got all my cutters by just scrounging at the big companies, and picking them up as they retired old machines and had no use for the cutters. must have 200 all said, and many a gear cutter.

                    I have an industrial job I do where I cut a 5/32 slot x 3 inch deep. There is no freaking way I want to do this on a Bridgie if I do not have to - with a slitting saw. I have fixtured this job up in a Kurt with special jaws, and man it runs just great..... Three passes, 12 minutes.

                    2 inch drilled hole in 4 x 4 x 1 aluminum. Pre-drill on the Bridgie, then set up the Horiz tooled up, feed it in slow. Could use a 4 jaw suppose, but this does the trick for me.

                    I love the "slab cutting".

                    I was trained on Horiz mill, thus know how versatile they can be, and where they will kick a Bridgie out the window. Worked them for one and 1/2 years + straight time, and probably four years total. Problem is, there are less and less applications where this is true, especially now with CNC added to my mix....BUT my horizontal keeps its place..

                    My machine sits mostly dormant though, many bridgeports in my shop. However, for that job a Bridgie can't do, the Horiz makes me proud that I have kept it.
                    CCBW, MAH


                    • #11
                      i picked up an old B&S Omniversal a month or so ago. if you want to see some pics, let me know and i can send them to you. mine is serial #16 and the y-axis drive is not installed. in fact, the castings are there to put all the controls, but nothing is machined out. it needs to be cleaned up but it looks like it should be an interesting contraption once i power it up.

                      andy b.
                      The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


                      • #12
                        Looking around, I saw something about a Burke #4 on an email list. There are pics of one in the metalworking dropbox from 2001.

                        For a small "benchtop" type horizontal it looks pretty beefy. I am guessing about a 2" or 2 1/2" dia overarm. Table has lots of slots, and the pics show a motor with gearbox, table drive takeoff, etc.

                        I now covet one.

                        Its not a universal, but for a small horizontal mill it looks primo.


                        • #13
                          JC hit the nail on the head with his post.
                          They are getting to be a bit of a dinosoar like the shaper but unlike the shaper they use expensive tooling.
                          Good side is that much of it can be found very cheap as not many of these machines survive in industry anymore.
                          They lend themselves to production runs of special shapes. Lathe beds are a classic example, all those flats and vee's are milled in in one pass with a set of preground cutters ganged up on the one spindle.
                          I make quick change toolholders for the oil industry, much like a lathe tool holder the main slot is 7/8" wide by 7/8" deep. The old Victoria cuts this in one pass.

                          There are many combined machines out there that carry both horizontal spindles and vertical, some even have the omniversal type beds on them, Theil and Deckel spring to mind.
                          In the right hands these are very good machines but like a 3 in 1 lathe setup times increase with complexability [ is that really a word ? ]

                          John S.

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


                          • #14
                            How about both? Here's a pic of a Jet vertical/horizontal mill that I just plunked down some $$$ for. (its not even home yet)

                            Note the 30 taper horizontal spindle in the column. The table doesn't swivel like a universal, but I guess I can live with that unless I decide to build John S's Eee-lec-tronic gear hobber



                            • #15
                              Yesterday when I turned on my lathe the motor threw sparks and caught fire. Today bought new motor but it has a 7/8" shaft and the old one had 3/4". The only 'V' belt pully that I can find with a 7/8" hole is for 1/2" belts and the lathe uses 5/8" belts. Enter the Horizontal Mill ......


                              To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison