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  • Shop built mill?

    Anyone have any info on a DIY shop built manual mill? I am talking a simple manual mill similar to the common round column mills but a Google search just seems to turn up links to CNC outfits. As far as cost I am not trying to get by cheap here and I fully realize it would be cheaper to just buy one but there is much more to it than that and costs are not much of a factor (within reason of course), it is just something I want to do and I am looking for ideas and suggestions before I undertake this project.

  • #2
    I have seen ideas for using a scrapped engine block as a basis for a machine where you want rigidity and accurately machined surfaces.

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    • #3
      there are the Gingery machines-
      http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp/djgbk/series/index.html

      pretty mickey mouse, if you ask me, but they are home made.

      I would think you need a mill to make a mill.
      And many of the parts involved are cheap to make 1000 of, but very hard to make one or two of. If you are Rong Fu, and you make 5000 mill drills a month, you can knock out the dovetails, and the quills, for pennies each.
      Making ONE, at home, is much more complicated.

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      • #4
        Here is an Aluminum homebuilt CNC. The manual version would be the same with handwheels and less expensive leadscrews.

        http://www.cnczone.com/forums/vertic...ill_build.html

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        • #5
          This is mine before the CNC drives were attached. I used it in manual mode for about a year. Note that there is much more to this design than can be discerned from the pictues. Also, it isn't quite complete in this photo as the drive motor isn't installed.

          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rp designs
            Here is an Aluminum homebuilt CNC. The manual version would be the same with handwheels and less expensive leadscrews.

            http://www.cnczone.com/forums/vertic...ill_build.html
            Wow, very impressive build. Reminds me a lot of 5Bears' machine: high-end precision ground ballscrews and linear rails.

            http://www.5bears.com/cnc24.htm

            Got a chuckle out of his comments about the X2 milling head he bought from Little Machine Shop:

            "After receiving and checking over the X2 head from LMS, it didn't exactly blow my skirt up. Eight tenths of run out in the taper. Add in a Tormach collet, holder and the total runout could be terrible depending on how it stacked."
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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            • #7
              I always thought this one by G. A. Ewen was a pretty clever build.
              http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...ine+block+mill

              Hope the link works.
              James
              Last edited by J. Randall; 12-13-2010, 12:01 AM.

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              • #8
                Thanks guys, The mill Evan built and that CNC project are sure impressive and I enjoyed seeing them but they are a bit more involved than what I had in mind. Still I very much appreciate seeing what can be done and it has given me ideas. That engine block machine is more in line with what I was thinking except for being a horizontal mill, that too has given me something to think about so maybe I can come up with something original. I have on hand quite a bit of bar ranging from 2 /12" up to 4" in 4' lengths, this is ground and polished bar and is fairly close tolerance. I have also a lot of other odds and ends of this type including large diameter heavy wall tubing, racks and gears, etc among other items. Looking at all this stuff I was wondering what I could do with it and the idea of building a mill is what I came up with. I would like to have found an example of a small vertical mill similar in design to the round column mills (I know round columns have their problems however they are simpler in design) but I am open to any ideas, that engine block is an example of innovative thinking and maybe could be used in a vertical design.


                Edit, I made a blunder there and accidentally posted in the wrong place and for some reason had the dickens of a time correcting the problem, sorry about the confusing postings!
                Last edited by radkins; 12-13-2010, 12:18 PM.

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                • #9
                  The aluminum CNC mill that R P posted from CNCZone is especially impressive when you read that he built it entirely by hand -- he didn't have a mill!
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                  • #10
                    Not to hijack, but...

                    Hmmmm, 840 views and not one wise-[guy] comment about the picture that is half showing on the wall above Evan's mill?

                    Shocking, coming from this crowd.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alanganes
                      Hmmmm, 840 views and not one wise-[guy] comment about the picture that is half showing on the wall above Evan's mill?

                      Shocking, coming from this crowd.

                      I seen that before even looking at the mill, Evan has good taste in legs not being a wise guy, just can appreciate that's all.

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                      • #12
                        There is a mill in the pic he posted?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alanganes
                          Hmmmm, 840 views and not one wise-[guy] comment about the picture that is half showing on the wall above Evan's mill?

                          Shocking, coming from this crowd.
                          Since I know Evan is into photography, I just assumed it was a picture of his loving wife whom he enjoys admiring while working with his machines.
                          VitŮŽria, Brazil

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                          • #14
                            It's a calendar from a local tool dealer. Nudity isn't pornographic, especially not in Germany and Europe in general.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Evan
                              It's a calendar from a local tool dealer. Nudity isn't pornographic, especially not in Germany and Europe in general.
                              Oh come on -- naked women sitting on machine tools is definitely porn.

                              The Mitutoyo calendar is a classic -- some of the most gorgeous women you've ever seen, most with not a stitch of clothing, and as Peter Neil pointed out, if you look closely, there's a Mitutoyo product hidden somewhere in every picture

                              I have to have our British model engineering friends bootleg the dang calendar to the 'States each year, since we're so PC.
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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