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DIY milling attachment for lathe

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  • DIY milling attachment for lathe

    As i do not have the cash, the room and enough work for a real mill I started to make my own milling attachment for the meuser lathe.

    first made a adaptor for the headstock to fit SK 40 toolholders.
    SK 40 becouse I had a chance to get a set of 8 toolholders and a nice set of collets for it for 100 euro.


    Made a 90 degrees support for the cross table out of 0,6 inch steel plate.
    hope this will not bend or flex, it turned out to be a little heavy 65 pound.
    The cross table is a other 85 pound,
    No way that I am going to lift that by hand to mount on the cross slide.
    So need a block and tackle to get it in place, but all that weight will be a nice
    vibration damper.


    The top half of the cross table mock up, this will give me a usable travel of the table of a bit over 10x 15 inch, not a lot but it will do.


    The DRO scale for the z axis movement.


    Now have to mount it on the cross slide and see how far i´m off the exact 90 degrees.
    I measured it with a digital angle finder and that showed 90 degrees but it is onley up till 0,1 degrees.
    If I´m off as little as 0,005 I just mill the table to 90 degrees, if it is a lot more than I will have to bring the adaptorplate to a shop for milling.
    spinningwheels is online now Report Post

  • #2
    I would add one or two bracings between the plates to get it more solid, so it doesn't start to sing.
    Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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    • #3
      I had a similar thought as I have a small table assembly from an Atlas mill just sitting around. My plan was to add the table to a separate "carriage" off the bed rather than use the lathe carriage. I could run the lathe carriage out to the tailstock then just set the mill table on the bed with a locking foot to handle knee (Z) movement. The table already has X and Y and even a provision for power feed on the X. But for sure I'd need a way for easy on and off and perhaps a bed jack. I don't know what it weighs but it's more than I'd want to heave around.

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      • #4
        I have 1 bracing in the middle now, hope that it is enough as it is rather close to a exact 90 degrees now.
        When I need to weld in 2 more bracings, I think it will bend becouse of the heat.

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        • #5
          Hi spinningwheels
          I think it will bend becouse of the heat.
          Then minimize the heat. Tack the brace a little at a time. Run a 1/2" bead on the vertical and horizontal edges of the brace. Allow to cool
          and repeat.
          Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by spinningwheels View Post

            Now have to mount it on the cross slide and see how far i´m off the exact 90 degrees.
            I measured it with a digital angle finder and that showed 90 degrees but it is onley up till 0,1 degrees.
            If I´m off as little as 0,005 I just mill the table to 90 degrees, if it is a lot more than I will have to bring the adaptorplate to a shop for milling.
            spinningwheels is online now Report Post
            You can't mill the table to make up for the angle-plate adapter being out of square. If you do, your axis of movement will be off so when you crank it up/down you'll be moving towards/away from the tool at the same time.

            What you can do though, is build the plate, assemble both axes on it and then fix the table to your saddle, dial it inthen use the lathe to mill the bottom of the plate. Better yet, buy a used angle-plate. It would already be square and very likely a lot stronger and stiffer.
            Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

            Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
            Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
            Monarch 10EE 1942

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            • #7
              This set-up is exactly what I did for my 14x40 lathe, it's almost identical! I had a heavy 6"x9" angle plate that someone else had welded up from 3/4" steel and milled true, I got it with a "grab bag" of tooling I bought at a shop closing auction. I then bought a small milling table (VERY similar to the one here) and used the parts from that to do almost exactly what the OP is doing. It worked really well and allowed me to do a heck of a lot of things I could never have done before buying my mill(s), first a HF mini-mill then a Bridgeport clone so my attachment is now gathering dust. The biggest problem I had with it was setup due to the vertical table, it seemed I needed at least three hands for even simple setups! Another problem was when making heavy cuts with larger end mills, rigidity became somewhat of a problem due to to the weight (or lack of) of the complete mill/cross slide assembly and leverage vs cross slide anchoring points but this was only rarely a real problem. After a while I became accustomed to using this setup and found I could do almost anything I needed within size limits, the point is what the OP is doing can work quite well!

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              • #8
                Thanks Radkins, I had my douths if it would work as I had onley seen these thing for smaller lathe´s the angle plaat is as large as the base of the cross table 12x14 inch.
                A half decent older mill is a lot of money overhere 3500 in usd and more, Think (hope) that this setup is stronger than the cheap chinees toys.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Peter. View Post
                  You can't mill the table to make up for the angle-plate adapter being out of square. If you do, your axis of movement will be off so when you crank it up/down you'll be moving towards/away from the tool at the same time.

                  What you can do though, is build the plate, assemble both axes on it and then fix the table to your saddle, dial it inthen use the lathe to mill the bottom of the plate. Better yet, buy a used angle-plate. It would already be square and very likely a lot stronger and stiffer.
                  You beat me to it, Peter - what's easy is to put a fly-cutter in the lathe spindle and true up the angle plate so it's perpendicular to the lathe axis and parallel with the cross-slide movement, then an indicator in the spindle allows you to "tram" the angle plate and (assuming the XY table ways are parallel with its surface) flip the XY table so it's "upside down" on the angle plate and machine the mounting points/feet parallel with the angle to be sure all's square and parallel.

                  I do pretty much the same but use an angle plate with an adaptor plate that lets me fit my lathe's topslide to use for the "Y" (actually vertical) axis, giving me about 5.5" by 10.5" of travel, enough for smaller parts, and the topslide can swivel on a copy of the cross-slide spigot through +/- 45* if needed, as there are a pair of 90* arc-shaped Tee slots in the adaptor - the overhang does limit rigidity and thus the cuts I can take but it does what I need It does help that the top of my Holbrook's cross-slide is ground parallel and Tee slotted for use as a boring table, those with plain / curved tops are a bit problematic?
                  Into the topslide's Tee slot goes a Tee-nut bar to which I can bolt a machine vice, a Tee slotted table, a 6" rotary table (to which I can bolt a vice or...) or whatever, some Ingenuity required! Light cuts too, if there's hardware putting the cutting forces cantilevered out quite a way from the angle plate and reducing rigidity...

                  For quick keyways etc I cheat and use the QCTP holders as work clamps and their height adjusters to add on the cut - very very floppy on long workpieces though
                  Last edited by Hopefuldave; 03-23-2014, 09:31 PM.
                  Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men.

                  Holbrook Model C Number 13 lathe, Testa 2U universal mill, bikes and tools

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