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Buying a Milling Vice/ Attachment for my 14 in Lathe... Need Advice on What tto Buy

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  • Buying a Milling Vice/ Attachment for my 14 in Lathe... Need Advice on What tto Buy

    Hello All,

    I'm setting up my 14 in. Logan (Mod. 6560) Lathe with some add on-attachments. I've looked at the cheaper (imported) milling attachments that range from $ 150.00 to $ 500.00.

    Currently, I'm bidding on a -- PalmGren 250 vise/ milling attachment. It's cast, lt looks like a older year vise, perhaps in 70's or 60's. It has a 4 inch or so wide jaw, tilt base, about a 7 in. travel with veneer knob. it's mounted on a -- 1 in thick or so horse shoe type foot. I've bid $ 155.00 for it, thinking... it might sell for around or under $ 200.00 bucks.

    *** Does anyone know the PalmGren Name, are they USA made or Not ? Are they a Ok -- Vise/ Milling Attachments or Not (quality wise) ?

    *** Does anyone know of a decent quality vise that's priced right and not junk. I'd pay $ 200.00 to $ 300.00 + bucks for a decent (used) vise or new one .. if available. I don't want a vise/ milling attachment that has junk jaws and not worth buying.

    Thanks' in Advance,


  • #2
    IMHO I'd get a real mill as it will do so much more so much faster. Late last year I found a nice J head Bridgeport 12 miles from home for $400. Deals are farther & fewer between but still there, just have to hunt harder.


    • #3
      For $300-500 I'd consider a used mill drill.


      • #4
        I've used milling attachments on two lathes (a 1920's 6" Atlas and a 1960's 11" Rockwell Delta) and done some acceptable work on them...but! They have all the rigidity of a Doggie Chew Toy, and you really have to get creative with your work holding. Other than those minor problems, they beat having to use a drill press and cold chisel.
        David Kaiser
        “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
        ― Robert A. Heinlein


        • #5
          I bought one of 250's a few years before I bought my mill/drill. It worked pretty well. I got the larger size which was almost too big for my 13" lathe.

          After I bought my mill/drill, I decided to keep the palmgren milling attachment around in case I needed to mill something simple while I had a job set up in the mill/drill.

          I found it to be pretty rough, not a precision vise. On the other hand it does what it was designed to do pretty well. I considered it money well spent (as it sits under the bench taking up space).



          • #6
            I have a (2) Atlas Mills, one is a MF-?, the other is a MFC Change-a-Matic that's set up as grinder. Both the mills are A Ok. I bought them when I bought my South Bend bench top lathe from a retired engineer. Unfortunately, they are over a thousand miles away & packed away in a storage shed.

            Recently, (I'm crazy) I've been looking around for a Bridgeport. I'm not cutting down the little Atlas mills, but they are light duty and toys in comparison to a Bridgeport. I just found a Series II in FL. it's a very nice machine with Acu-Rite. comes with (2) motors, 1 is 3 phase, the other is 1 phase. The mill is spotless and was used very little, it's priced @ $ 1,950.00 firm. However, No Vise, No Tooling and that hurts. So, another $ 750.00 or so for used tooling.

            I've been back & forth on buying the Bridgeport, it's another 5 1/2 hour trip one way to pick it up. I don't really need it that much, I'm doing some small jobs for myself.. that's it. So, I was thinking of buying a basic milling attachment and adding it onto my 14 inch lathe.

            Currently, I need to cut a 1/8 in. keyway in a bronze bushing. I plan on using a cut off tool or the like to cut in the 1/8 keyway. I could take the machined bushing to a local machine shop; they'd do it for practically nothing. However, No fun for me and I love to make things on a lathe. I'm retired and have lot's of time to do anything I want & when I want. if I bought the Series II Bridgeport... I'd need to invent things to do on it.

            However, I just bought a Vermeer Trencher that's been rode hard and put away... abused. It will take some work to it get back in operating condition, perhaps future work for the Bridgeport. I bought the Logan to make oversize bushings for the rod ends on the hyd. cylinders. It does run good, so it's not a lost cause to recondition it. The guy that owned it... never owned a grease gun. He must have been related to the folks that owned the Logan lathe; absolutely No Grease in the sprocket bearings. Also, I doubt if they added oil to the oil cups as well.. dry as a bone I bet.

            I'm coin flipping on buying the Bridgeport. I was talking to my best friend in PA tonight. He's a retired tool maker and has two Bridgeport's & (3) lathes, etc., etc. . He say's that his Bridgeport is his Number One Machine in his home shop. So, after I talked to him about the Series II.. the hook was set a little deeper. He warned me about the bearings in the spindle head, if it's noisy.. steer away from it.

            I almost forgot, I bought a import mill/ drill about 15 years ago. It was not what I expected (cheap & shaky) and sold it in a couple months later. I worked in a industrial product factory at night when I was going to a school during the day to be an airplane mechanic. I was working as a machine operator on name brand... USA machines and got spoiled. So, I'm sort of soured on the import stuff. Yes, I realize that some (JAP, German, England) of the import stuff is A Ok but I'm too old to figure it out at 66 YO.

            Last edited by HighFly27; 02-20-2015, 01:18 AM. Reason: mistakes


            • #7
              Originally posted by HighFly27 View Post
              *** Does anyone know the PalmGren Name, are they USA made or Not ?
              Are they a Ok -- Vise/ Milling Attachments or Not (quality wise) ?
              I have a few PalmGren tools, including their 250 Milling
              Attachment and an Angle Vise w/ Base.

              PalmGren started as a US company in 1919 - About PalmGren
              I don't know whether they continue to produce their products
              domestically, or outsource these in part or in whole.

              My tools date back to the sixties (or earlier). I looked for some
              indication of Country of Origin on the 250 Attachment without
              success - probably predates such concerns.

              I have not used my 250 Attachment, so am unable to speak to
              its suitability from first-hand experience. I CAN tell you that
              the 250 weighs 11 lbs. While it is not finished to ultra precision
              tolerances, my old version has a reasonable fit & finish.

              I notice online references to a 250V model. My casting only
              shows 250 - I do not know how/if the "V" model differs from
              a non-V.

              While an inexpensive vertical or horizontal mill trumps the 250
              attachment in several ways; space, price and perhaps other
              considerations might be in the 250's favour.

              I think $150ish used seems a bit high for what the 250 really is
              but PalmGren no longer appears to offer this attachment and
              perhaps scarcity is driving prices.



              • #8
                I have a 250 I used until I got my bench top mill.
                It is what it is, it does a fair job on small stuff. The biggest gripe I had was that on my little Logan 200, there isn't a lot of cross slide travel to play with to start with, so it was limited more by my lathe.
                After I got my G0704, i waited to buy a vice, I took the vice off of the dovetails on the 250, and still use it. It seems about the right size for that mill. So I wouldn't call the purchase a waste. I actually tried to sell mine back then for $150, and had no takers, now Im glad of that!
                "Never bring a caliper to a mic fight"


                • #9
                  I think the Palmgren mounts on the compound rest. If at all possible, find a milling attachment that mounts directly on the cross slide in place of the compound rest. In the best of circumstances, lack of rigidity is a serious problem with lathe milling attachments and putting it on the compound rest just adds to the ways it can flex.
                  Lathe milling attachments are okay for small work -- cutting keyways, making flats on shafts, light milling. For anything beyond that, I think you'll be frustrated. Even the most basic mill/drill will be a huge improvement.

                  That said, I have a lathe milling attachment I dig out about once every two years to do some odd little job. Sometimes it's just the thing.
                  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


                  • #10
                    The small Palmgren is the 250, and the large one is the 400. With lathe milling attachments, bigger is better.
                    I sold the small one for $140 on craig's list. I still have the 400 but don't use it. (No it is not for sale).
                    The photo shows a Craftsman 25 foot tape measure for scale.


                    • #11
                      Best thing to do with the lathe for milling is to scoot it over to the corner so you have room for a mill. And get a mill.

                      Used a USA made Palmgren 250 with a model 200 Logan.

                      Wet noodle, mostly due to the large number of interfaces when using the compound, especially. But you may WANT it for the 3rd dimension of movement.

                      Better to have the Logan t-slot crosslide, and bolt the attachment to as big a block as you can find... In fact, LOSE the mounting fork, and bolt direct to the block.

                      If you do that, it may be OK, although the depth positioning may be difficult..

                      The wet noodle was usable for minor stuff, but would let you down when you wanted anything real done.

                      Oh, yeah... that single bolt likes to let go and allow the vise to spin, with bad results. The 400 with 2 bolts is better, but may not fit even a large Logan.

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      • #12

                        Thanks for the Info. on the PalmGren 250 (PG 250).

                        The PG 250 is not for me, I already have a imported vise and never use it, it's just too flimsy and trouble. I was hoping the PG 250 was a better vise but still have a bid locked in @ $ 155.55 & $ 18.36 shipping. So, I might own it and may end up using it.. it will be ok for light work.

                        Wow, the PG 400 is a big vise but may be too large for my 14 in. lathe. It looks like a vise that I could adapt for use on my other machines, horizontal mill & radial arm drill. I'm going to email the seller on EBay and see if he has a better quality, HD vise for sale. If we can make a deal on a true... HD Machinist Vise... perhaps he'll cancel my bid for the PG 250.

                        Thanks again,

                        Last edited by HighFly27; 02-20-2015, 10:11 AM.


                        • #13
                          well put me in the you want a mill buy a mill group. as far as the milling attachment for a lathe been there done that never again. even my clausing 8520 is light years ahead of the milling attachment.


                          • #14
                            I saw a South Bend milling attachment at a swap meet. Pretty big one. Wound up bringing it home. It turned out to for a 13" lathe. Mine's14". I was able to design an adapter so it mounts on my cross slide. I doubt I have $40 into it. Keep looking.


                            • #15
                              Also look at Metal Lathe Accessories.

                              They have an attachment, and a transfer block, that are big and heavy, and have the mass to be a good usable attachment.

                              Downside..... its a kit, you machine the castings.

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan