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What are the must have tools for a vertical mill?

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  • What are the must have tools for a vertical mill?

    I just bought (having it delivered Wednesday) a Bridgeport mill. What would your recommendations be for the "must have" tools to get started. My mill has xyz DRO. I got a vise with it that needs to be repaired. No collets or anything came with it.


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  • #2
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest some end mills and drills and some collets to hold said cutting tools.

    You'll also need some indicators and probably some clamps.

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    • #3
      Look at you!

      "Oh, I envy you, Wesley Crusher. You're just at the beginning of the adventure. Go on. Get the water. Stay alive. They'll find you." (Jean-Luc Picard)

      You will of course need collets and endmills, you can find bulk varieties of used endmills of all sorts on E-bay for learning on and some can be like new you will just have to read the adds and go through them...

      a drill chuck and drills

      then you will absolutely need to fix your vise or get a good one new or used, you will need and quill mount dial indicator - mine cost me 12 bucks and works great even after going for a "ride" and 8 years of use, you will need some calipers at least, you will need an edge finder of some kind - that it a very basic start,

      then comes the scrotum table (rotary table - we call then scrotum tables where im from - don't know why just local slang around here)

      get the rough hang of it then stock up on beer and wine and knock yourself out, going to be a long whorey winter, might as well hunker down and make the best of it...

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      • #4
        Do I need end mill holders or will collets work fine?


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        • #5
          What do you have for a taper? is it R-8?

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          • #6
            Yes R8


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            • #7
              In a somewhat loose order of preference...

              Clamp set
              End mills
              Set of end mill holders (solids)--you can buy these and the end mills as you need them...
              Drill chuck
              Good selection of drill bits
              Edge finder
              Dial test indicator
              Indicol or similar for holding indicator--you'll end up with lots of different holders for indicators and still find that you don't have exactly what you need...
              Vise--two is better than one...
              Set of parallels--one for each vise...
              Collet holder set
              Good flycutter
              2" face mill
              3"-4" face mill
              5C Collet blocks--quick and dirty way to put hexes and flats on smaller shafts...
              Spin Indexer
              Boring head & boring tools
              Angle plate--multiple sizes as you can afford them...
              Rotary table--yup, you can even use a couple different sizes here...
              Tapping head

              This will get you started and you can fill in the gaps as you go...
              Keith
              __________________________
              Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by k2man View Post
                Do I need end mill holders or will collets work fine?
                For smaller end mills you can get away with collets but bigger stuff works best in solid holders--the solids won't slip or pull out. Ultimately you'll end up with a good selection of both and know when one is better than the other...
                Keith
                __________________________
                Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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                • #9
                  While this in not the best of stuff, it will definitely get you off to a start. http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=KN209-9020
                  Look on this site for enco codes and us a free shipping code. I got the R-8 keyless drill chuck from glycern and have been very happy with it.

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                  • #10
                    Get an ER collet holder and collet set. ER collets can grip a 1mm (0.040") range, so you can use the ER collets to hold both end mills and drill bits. I went ER32 because I have bench top tools, but I bet you could make use of ER40.

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                    • #11
                      Your mill has an "In Motion Quick Change" system in place now. Take it out and set it aside and acquire a selection of R8 accessories. The In Motion system is OK if you do a lot of production work requiring rapid tooling changeovers. But it eats up a lot of vertical space and leaves the business end of the cutting tool a long way away from the spindle bearings.




                      As seen in the second pic, the system requires a selection of special proprietary tool holders. If you get these with the mill it's something to start with. Otherwise, remove the big yellow adapter just like you would any other R8 tool and set it aside.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by k2man View Post
                        What would your recommendations be for the "must have" tools to get started. My mill has xyz DRO. I got a vise with it that needs to be repaired. No collets or anything came with it.
                        A gallon of way oil (See your oiling Atlas lathe thread for details).
                        Some way to hold the work, vise or clamp set.
                        Cutters and collets to hold them.
                        6" calipers and 1" micrometer. The micrometer is not "must have", but you'll want it for when you turn something on your lathe.
                        A piece of material to cut. If you pick a piece steel, make sure it's not hardened. Check that you can file it first.
                        Those are the "must haves" to get started.
                        A set of drills and a drill chuck will eventually be needed.
                        Fly cutters are handy and not overly expensive.
                        Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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                        • #13
                          The in motion quick change doesn't come with the mill, or the 9" extension on the base that is in the pictures. The previous owner is keeping these I'm getting no tools with the machine. I do have some basic stuff - calipers, a set of end mills, full sets of drill bits and a regular do it all master nothing shop full of stuff. So I'll get a set of end mill holders for sure, and a set of collets for whatever.

                          Thanks for all the suggestions- any others (and what they're used for) are still appreciated!


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                          • #14
                            Minimum would be
                            short set of R8 collets, you only need the standard ones to hold end mills and straight shank tooling
                            Vise, preferably a Kurt.
                            clamp set
                            set of parallels
                            pair of 1-2-3 blocks
                            drill chuck
                            Indicator to tram the head
                            Edge finder
                            V block set
                            If you happen to already have 5c collets then get the collet block set.

                            That will get you started.

                            Additional things you'll find you need as you get into some projects
                            boring head with boring bars
                            fly cutter, and some HHS blanks for it
                            angle block set
                            Weldon type end mill holders

                            Get signed up for the monthly sales flyers for MSC, Enco, Travers, etc. Make yourself a wish list and as you find things you'd like to have add them to the list, and as you buy them cross them off. Early on you'll find lots of things you need on sale.

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                            • #15
                              I hate working with crappy mill vises. Looks to me like you'll be getting a worn out old Bridgeport vise. I say ditch it and get a new one. However, not all vises are made equally! Kurt vises are the defacto standard for quality vises, but you pay for them! I have had good experiences with a brand "Parlec". They were made in Japan or Taiwan, IIRC, but were reasonably nice for the money (about 1/2 the cost of a Kurt). Unfortunately, a little googling shows that Parlec was bought out in 2010 by TE-CO. Looks like Enco has a TE-CO vise exactly like my Parlec. Might be a good vise to start with.

                              http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...PARTPG=INLMK32

                              Sometimes you can get 20% off or free shipping from Enco (and sometimes if you call, Enco will give you free shipping on freight items... but that may not be the case now that Enco is owned by MSC... )

                              Just because it's fun, here is my short list:

                              Good vise
                              Clamp set (this one may serve... IIRC, the Bridgeport is 5/8" t-slot... http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...PARTPG=INLMK32)
                              Set of R8 collets
                              Basic 2-flute and 4-flute centercutting endmills
                              Parallels
                              Edge finder (wiggler)
                              Dial indicator/ DTI for centering and tramming
                              Drill chuck with R8 stub



                              ...maybe even a co-ax indicator because I love mine but that is for down the road...
                              Last edited by Fasttrack; 09-06-2014, 04:08 PM.

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