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Need some input / Milwaukee horizontal mill

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  • Need some input / Milwaukee horizontal mill


    I'm new to machining ( but been into various mechanical hobbies for 25+ years )I purchased my 1st lathe ( an Atlas/Craftsman 12x36) about a year ago and been having a blast making small items I need and learning new skills.

    I've been wanting a mill and have been doing a ton of reading and looking. I wasn't planning on buying anything for a while because I don't know enough. The BP style vertical mill's look like what I probably want.

    A horizontal mill (Milwaukee) ended on ebay a while ago with no bids. This mill is located only about 10 miles from me and I'm going to take a look at it next week.

    Ok.. on to my questions.

    I think I understand a lot about the functions and possible things I can do with a vertical mill. Can these same things be done with a horizontal ?

    Can some of you give me some input on this piece of equipment that I've linked below.


  • #2
    If you need to do long keys a horz. mill is the way to go, you can key a 20' shaft all they way easy.

    thay are nice for gears and splines too.


    • #3
      For a home shop, I'd wait and get a vertical mill. Horizontals are good for some things, but are no way as versatile as a vertical. You might just want to do some rotary table work or drill a precision hole pattern someday, both durn near impossible on a horizontal mill.


      • #4
        get the mill and use it until you get a verticle. you can still do lots of work but pete has a good point...jim


        • #5

          that looks like a nice machine. the 220 single phase conversion doesn't look too bad (although i noticed they didn't include a close-up of it). also, i'd put the weight closer to the 2000# end (maybe a little bit more). i picked up an old Brown & Sharpe horizontal mill, and the weight was almost 4000#. it is a double over-arm though, not a single.

          i haven't had a chance to fire up the B&S yet (i got it in the spring and was doing outdoor projects all summer). a vertical mill may be a bit more versatile, but you can do almost anything with the horizontal mill. if you notice in the photos the dovetail vertical ways extend up to the top of the mill. this means the table can be raised so you can use a vertically mounted rotary table and one of the cutter holders to drill holes horizontally the same as a vertical mill can drill vertically. several of these holders are shown resting on the mill table. of course you would be moving the table in and out to drill the holes (instead of moving the spindle up and down on a vertical mill). if you need a mill to drill tons of holes, the vertical would definitely have an advantage.

          i also saw they were asking $600 (and the reserve was even higher). i've seen decent Bridgeports for under $1500 (heck, there were two i found within a week last fall for $500). i think these folks will have a tough time getting even $600 for that mill. my old B&S was only $200, and it came with the vertical milling head attachment and a few cutters and arbors.

          good luck and if you can get the price down i think it would be a very decent machine.

          andy b.

          ps- i could've had a K&T #10 (i believe) for $1500 last year. it came with a 2HP vertical head attachment, over 500# of cutters and accessories, and weighed in at close to 7000#. when they started the main 10HP motor the ground rumbled for a second, and then the machine was so smooth and quiet i thought it was turned off. literally.
          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


          • #6

            Go ahead and get the mill, you will be glad that you did.You can always sell it when you no longer need it. The only limitation is the difficulty in drilling and boring holes,as the spindle is fixed, but this can be accomplished by careful use of the "Y" axis feed. I started in the trade on horizontals and the first mill I bought was an old cone drive Fox horizontal hand mill. It paid for itself the 1st week I had it. That made the wife happy and thus she did not complain when I bought my Clausing verticle mill. That was to replace the drill press head I had added to the Fox for doing small stuff.

            You did not state what size mill it was but on average they are heavy, 4000 plus. You can always add a verticle head at a later date with an adapter on the overarms, or find and buy one that was made to bolt on to the mill. With the mills' independant power feeds you can feed and cut in more than one direction at the same time (best reserved for after you learn the mill well) With a add on verticle head on the overarms you can place 2 cutters to work at the same time (a rarely needed option, but nice to be able to do if required) and best of all, you can take bigger and heavier cuts than you would want to on a Bridgeport type mill. I now have 3 horizontals, the Fox, an old B&S cone drive #2 universal and a K&T 2H. these are complemented by a Millrite verticle and a verticle Shizuko CNC mill. I just recently sold the little Clausing. I would not mind having a K&T 2H verticle but, some other things would have to go first. Like the 2 older mills and at least one turret lathe, or else I will be the one to go.


            • #7
              Dunno about that "pass on horizontal" advice.

              You can always put a vertical head on the overarm of a horizontal. People commonly make "benchports" and the like by putting Bridgeport heads on a horizontal mill.

              It's tough to put a horizontal "head" on a vertical turret type mill and get the same sort of major metal munching capability that you get with the horizontal.

              Even my little bitty 5 x 20 table Lewis does some serious work. The major limitation it has is a chatter issue due to smaller overarm.

              Next project is a better outboard overarm support. I never have figured out how the P.O. used the one I got with it. I think there is a piece missing...

              I hardly ever put its vertical head on, its a pain to do, a pain to tram, and has no quill. It's just as easy in many cases to put the work on an angle plate and an end mill in the horizontal spindle. Then there isn't as much hassle, although visibilit is obviously reduced.

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan


              • #8
                That K&T was made in the 1920's or before, weighs closer to 3500 lbs, top speed about 350 RPM, and has about 22" table travel. Where I'm located, in Kentucky, I probably couldn't give it away, there are just too many newer machines around at less money.


                • #9
                  I've got a small Bridgeport and an old horizontal mill that's about that size, and I use both - so my advice is to get it if the price is good even if you intend to get a Bridgeport later. It sounds like the seller will load it on a car trailer for you, that is a real plus. It has power feeds, another plus. Best of all, it has some tooling.

                  This book is well worth having if you get it.

                  As other have said, you will be able to take heavy cuts on this machine that a Bridgeport couldn't touch. Setup of some jobs is actually easier on a horizontal mill too. I've got my horizontal mill set up for splining axle shafts right now, and it was a much easier setup than it would have been on my Bridgeport - plus I can use the power table feed and trip dog to get the lengths of the splines exactly equal.

                  I think you will want to bargain on the price though. $600 seems kind of high to me.


                  • #10
                    Just looked at the link. The tooling in the photo looks to be a B&S Taper, probably a #10 or larger. This tooling is out there but you have to look for it and it is not aleays on eBay when you need it.


                    • #11
                      I like it. And being a K&T it's gonna be stout, as a horizontal should be.

                      If it could be had, now that the auction is over, for 550 to 600 bucks I would buy it (specially if local).

                      It really depends on room in your shop. Let's see, you buy it now, use it for a while, learning a great deal in the process, then adapt a Bridgeport M-head to the overarm for $250.00 now you have a small Vert mill.

                      But the space issue comes here. You WILL want a full sized vert. mill later. Will you have to sell this horz. mill for the room, if so I would pass cause you are gonna have as much fun selling it as this guy. But if you can lettum run side by side, buy it. JRouche
                      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



                      • #12
                        All, Thank you very very much for the input. I plan on taking a look at this machine this weekend and will go ahead and pick it up if I can get it in the $400-$600 range. Room isn't a problem at all since I've got 2-900 sf shops on my property, just not enough equipment to fill it up.( I know.. I'm spoiled).. below are a few pic's.

                        Thanks again! Mark

                        [This message has been edited by 67chevelle (edited 12-03-2004).]


                        • #13
                          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 67chevelle:
                          All, Room isn't a problem at all since I've got 2-900 sf shops on my property, just not enough equipment to fill it up.( I know.. I'm spoiled).. below are a few pic's.
                          Oh man yer runnin outta ROOM! Whadda ya gonna do? I hate hate-ya now!

                          I like that driveway, almost looks like a local airport here. JRouche

                          My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



                          • #14
                            i can still see the floors and walls in your shop. you have WAY too much free space in there.

                            you can easily fit that horizontal mill (and a vertical mill, and a big shaper, and a turret lathe, and a surface grinder, and a large blasting cabinet, and....).

                            the shop looks great. you will enjoy filling 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


                            • #15
                              That is a nice looking mill. One thing that would steer me off it is no power on the Y axis, makes boring and drilling harder. I would also check it for what the taper is. If it is B&S then your limiting tooling avaiability. On the up side this machine will do work for you and help you along the learning curve. Look at it this way, if it costs you $600 and you use it and learn a lot and are better prepared to buy your next mill then throw the this mill away, you've just paid $600 for an education and that is not real expensive in todays terms. Any salvage value in the machine is reduction of educational expense. Most times you can break even on the sale of machines and come out all right. I can also assure you that once you buy this machine others cheaper and beter will come out of the woodwork. I started out with an atlas lathe withour knowing anything about what I was doing and learned a lot with that little machine. I sold it for a $80 profit and moved on to a logan, and now 2 Sheldons. Each time I learn a bit, gain some more tooling, and hopefully move on to better machines. Its just like the car deals. Ya keep buying and selling, do the swap meets, and getting into better cars through networking and working to better the one ya have. I did notice that you have a flex plate on that engine in the picture instead of a flywheel, What up with that?
                              no neat sig line