Simple milling using a pillar drill - is it possible?

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I'm suprised but the lack of support from Proxxon. I thought they were a proper German company...

Clogs: Do you have an example you could share?
150's - 60's...there were quite a few diff manufacturers of beefed up pillar drills that can be used as a lightweight mill....and bench drill......
last time I viewed one it was around £300.....
not a bad price considering.....
because of the rise in home workshops small'ish machines are getting unaffordable.....
I'd like out for a naerok mill if it's anything like my pillar drill then it's a solid machine!
For all the above reasons, a pillar drill is designed to DRILL, not MILL
You also have the issue of how to hold the milling tool. End mills and slot drills will pull out of a standard chuck. If you use a horizontal mill cutter, the sideways forces on the drill bearings is magnified and you would need to run the drill at very low speeds.
I was very interested in this particular question a while ago and did a bunch of research into it. The two main problems are the sideways forces (most drill presses aren't designed to cope with these stresses), and keeping the chuck in the morse taper. I never pursued it - I decided at some point to buy a dedicated mill. I do have a very heavy cast iron pillar drill which I think could take the forces with light passes over the material, but I just concluded it was better to get a dedicated machine. Here are some of the videos I found where people had attempted it - and got it working:

Although pricey, I've got my eye on the Cowell's lathe and mill. Saving up my pennies...

Good luck,
I've tried 'light' milling with a small end mill in my pillar drill and it just doesn't work. The chuck just falls out of the taper instantly. To do any good there needs to be a drawbar down through the quill to hold the chuck in place - and then the drill chuck is unlikely to hold an end mill securely enough. And of course the drill would need a hollow quill.
Years ago I used a Strartrite EFI like the one in the picture which was a drill / mill. It had a 3 morse taper, drawbar, vertical power feed and a X-Y table. This was a very versatile machine, which is why they are sought after and command high prices. I was looking for one for ages, I managed to buy a new / old stock X-Y table but lost out, or couldn't afford, every machine I went after. And now I don't need one, so I have a X-Y table I need to get rid of.


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I use my Fobco 7/8 for light milling. When I say 'light', I really mean it.

Nothing harder than aluminium and cutters no bigger than 1/4".

Works fine but the depth of cut is pitiful.

I have a full size milling machine (a Parkson 2N) but I use the Fobco when I'm working on small items because the max speed of the Parkson is far too low for teeny cutters and I don't like running the vertical head attachment at full clip for extended periods.
I've been just looking at the tiny Proxxon milling machine. Does anyone have experience of this machine?
I have one which I use for model building, for which it is intended. I've fitted thrust bearings to the X-Y-Z shafts & replaced the spindle with an E11 collet chuck enabling use of small 1/4" or 6 mm router bits. I use it on wood aluminium & brass. The small wheels are no problem for me. Many accessories are available, inc. a dividing head. I have another small mill I built using a Makita trim router, which I use for bigger jobs.
...and then the drill chuck is unlikely to hold an end mill securely enough...

The reason for this is that the end mill is hardened and also the chuck jaws are hardened. The shank of a standard twist drill is soft.

I am not recommending this, but if you had to hold a hardened item in a drill chuck, a split collet made of soft material (steel or brass) between the two hard items will improve the grip.
Drill chucks aren’t designed to take side loads. If it’s mounted on a Jacobs taper it could easily come off, I’ve seen it happen.
The other issue regarding my pillar drill (BOSCH PBD40) is the speed range (200-2500) and am not sure if it's slow enough or have enough torque
A 4mm 4 flute endmill, cutting ali should be up around the 12-16000 rpm range :)
Although pricey, I've got my eye on the Cowell's lathe and mill. Saving up my pennies...

Good luck,
I have the Cowells 90ME with the end mill attachments and it works very well indeed but it's a watchmakers lathe and limited capacity.
I have seen a couple of 'home made mills' made from old drill presses in some farmers sheds (stout enough to do head milling for engines even)- apparently the original design was printed in an old Aussie magazine- but they didn't side load the drill itself- had a set of heavy bearings mounted to the original drill press table, and the chuck just drove a shaft through those)
It had to be a pillar drill, rather than a table drill, and preferably the type with the 'wind up' cog drive on the post- you made a new table (as the old one had the bearings on it lol) with the X and Y axis on it- and it was pretty much a 'one way' conversion....
But then us Aussies tend to do a lot of that kind of thing LOL (my first beam antenna rotator was made from an old car diff and a windscreen wiper motor)
Hi Dan
With a sled router, you can do just any milling job.
I made my first version with some linear bearings to make several raised panels for cabinets. My second version has a Z-axis for three-dimensional milling on my cutting boards.


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Pretty much my reasoning for not using things that need lateral pressure, grinding wheels, wire brushes etc in my drill drivers. I can't imagine the designers allowed for this eventuality when specifying the bearings, and designing the bearing housings. Best get the proper tool, maybe an angle grinder.
I tried a sanding drum in my Axminster pillar drill and within a very short time the chuck dropped out of it's taper. I did the same as a previous post said, and fitted a bearing below to support the sanding drum and reduce lateral forces but in the end I just bought an oscillating sander when on offer from Rutland tools. So I think milling metal is way out of the league of a drill. Luckily I have a mill, and space to put it. Half a ton of cast iron.

I have successfully milled aluminium with a router on my Woodrat - made a very clean and precise cut…

… this was unintended as it was the Woodrat that got machined! (Fortunately only a small bit by the dust extraction chute).

However, I think I would tackle a small milling of aluminium on the Woodrat - taking it very slowly - main challenge would be ensuring really secure workholding.