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By ian_in_the_midlands
#1197225
I have a small garage workshop which I use for both woodwork and metal work.
I have been trying to find space for a milling machine, but it just isn't going to fit.

One option may be to sell my old Clarke pillar drill, and replace it with something like this:
http://www.warco.co.uk/milling-machines ... chine.html
or
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-en ... ill-505109

Is this a good idea?
Does a mill make a good pillar drill?
What do I need to watch out for?

Thanks.
By graduate_owner
#1197250
I have both a floor standing pillar drill ( Axminster hobby) and a floor standing milling machine. The difference in rigidity is immense, as you would expect. If I need to drill something really accurately then it's obviously the mill I use. The tables allow me to position the work as necessary, there is no slop, and I have a very accurate depth stop. I intend to buy a ER collet chuck for it so that I can use woodworking router cutters too - Jacobs type chuck isn't up to the job and my milling chuck only takes threaded cutters.

The down side is the space above the table. By the time I have replaced the milling chuck with a Jacobs, and fitted a drill bit, the space left is very limited. Also it is a bit of a faff to have to change milling chuck to drilling chuck. A collet holder with a selection of collets will help here.

So, no easy answer, but I would go for the mill, especially over a Clarke drill. More rigid and more versatile since you can actually use it for milling ( wood and metal). There are issues regarding sawdust and metal working kit, but I live with that.

K
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By t8hants
#1197263
The company I used to work for had one of those Warco mill drills, it suffered horrendous abuse over the years, it wasn't new when the company bought it, but has proved bomb proof, its still going with another company, but I understand they are finally going to retire it.
If you are considering drilling holes larger than say about 14mm then these things handle rotabroach cutters with ease.
They are a good way to go because you won't have the throat height for long twist drills, but rotabroaches will only cut to a depth of about 30mm max although you can get longer ones.
If you are only planning smaller size drilling then you will have to check your heights when the chuck/drill/work piece/vice combination is taken into account.
I presume they both come with a Morse taper.
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By DTR
#1197359
I'm in agreement with graduate_owner and t8hants; if I could only own one I'd have the milling machine. I quite often use my mill for accurate drilling jobs, but it doesn't have as much capacity as my pillar drill. Sometimes I'll use my lathe as a drilling machine instead; it has a big drilling capacity in comparison, plus slow speed and loads of torque.
By ian_in_the_midlands
#1197435
Thanks for responses. The two concerns I have are both mentioned: sawdust causing problems and height restrictions. Sounds like both an inconvenience, but neither a show-stopper.
I will take a trip to Axminster to see what theirs looks like.
Then I have to work out how to move a 300Kg machine and get it up onto a table :shock:
By chaoticbob
#1197452
For metalworking the round column mills you are looking at have the disadvantage that they lose registration when the head is lifted or lowered. If that's a concern it might be worth looking at dovetail column machines (eg Warco's WM18) as well. These machines also have the 'advantage' of continuously variable speed, so no faffing with belt changes. The price for that (whatever the sellers say) is loss of low speed torque compared with a belt or gear head machine though. Depends on your priorities.
Rob.
By J-G
#1197473
I'd echo chaoticbob regarding the round column.

I have the Warco WM14 which I use for both wood & metal working and don't have any problem with sawdust or swarf - cleaning down after any job is no big deal, though I have removed the left-hand table end-cap to make brushing out the tee-slots easier. I only use oil as a coolant for metalwork so don't need to retain 'suds'.

I've never had any issue with loss of torque at low speed - but then I've rarely used it at less than 700rpm.

It is a faff changing from an ER Collet chuck (imperative!) to a Jacobs but it's also a pain swapping collets for differing drill sizes.

One other advantage of the dovetail column is the ability to tilt the head which (I presume) is not an option with a belt driven round column.
By MusicMan
#1197586
The one exception to the round-column problem is the Arboga drill-mill. It has a massive round column, which moves up and down as a whole, and is registered so as not to rotate. The motor is on the head inline with the spindle so tilting is no problem either.

That said, I've installed and used a Warco dovetail mill drill, the column mounted on a big rotary table to do the tilting. This was used in a musical instrument workshop (Cambridge Woodwind Foundation) to drill tone holes in musical instruments, which are sometimes at odd angle. It is a good machine.
By graduate_owner
#1197942
Mine is a Denford floor standing model with dovetailed rise and fall mechanism on the knee. No power feed, unfortunately. It weighs about half a ton and is powered by a 1 HP 3 phase motor. I originally bought it with the intention to use with router cutters on wood, but have yet to sort that out. It has been really useful for metalworking though. It doesn't get used regularly, but is almost indispensable on those occasions when it does get used. I wouldn't want to be without it now.

K
By woodfarmer
#1198005
for some time I have been looking for a mill, what I want it for mostly is to cut gears (straight toothed)

not sure a vertical mill could do it. maybe one with a swivelable head ?
By woodfarmer
#1198036
TFrench wrote:Wouldn't this setup be right for a vertical mill?:
https://goo.gl/images/tsbRoL


may well work.. Bridport must stronger and stiffer than the chinese type I can afford....:) but with care and maybe multiple cuts don't see why it shouldn't work. Many thanks
By MusicMan
#1198099
Yes, to cut spur gears on a vertical mill you need a rotary table with a horizontal axis. It need not be huge, something like this will do: https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/produ ... gKAqPD_BwE
though it may be better to have one with a Morse taper that can take a regular Jacobs chuck for holding the shaft of your gear. The gear cutting hob is mounted in the vertical spindle, the gear blank is held in the rotary table with the cutting centre aligned with the rotary table centre. Cuts are made parallel to the rotary table axis. Rotations between each cut are made on the rotary table, preferably with an indexing plate but you can do it by using the angular and vernier scales. You may well need more than one pass. Plenty of online info about gear cutting, which you should read before starting. It's not difficult, just tedious and needs concentration!

Keith
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By DTR
#1198112
MusicMan wrote:Yes, to cut spur gears on a vertical mill you need a rotary table with a horizontal axis. It need not be huge, something like this will do: https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/produ ... gKAqPD_BwE
though it may be better to have one with a Morse taper that can take a regular Jacobs chuck for holding the shaft of your gear. The gear cutting hob is mounted in the vertical spindle, the gear blank is held in the rotary table with the cutting centre aligned with the rotary table centre. Cuts are made parallel to the rotary table axis. Rotations between each cut are made on the rotary table, preferably with an indexing plate but you can do it by using the angular and vernier scales. You may well need more than one pass. Plenty of online info about gear cutting, which you should read before starting. It's not difficult, just tedious and needs concentration!

Keith


I would argue that it may be easier and more practical to use a dedicated dividing head rather than a rotary table, especially if space on the mill is limited. Commercial dividing heads can be expensive, but a simple indexer is relatively small and cheap:

http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue ... nd-Adaptor

Or a home-made alternative:

http://www.homews.co.uk/page132.html

One day I intend to build the latter, as I could never hope to fit a vertically-orientated rotary table on my tiny little mill :)