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Thread: Home made horizontal milling machine.

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    [email protected] tonyfoale's Avatar
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    Home made horizontal milling machine.

    I started making mechanical things around 1960 when I was 16, it was electronic things before that. One of the tools that I made early on was a small horizontal milling machine. I remember using it on some jobs but for the life of me, nearly 60 years later, I can't remember why I made it. A vertical mill would have been more useful. such is the foolishness of youth I guess. I made wooden patterns and had the pieces cast at an iron foundry, most of the machining was done on my Myford lathe. The amount of stuff that has been made on Myfords across the world is staggering. A year or so later I bought a regular size horizontal machine at auction which I converted to a vertical machine by making a head from welded steel plate.

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-dyno-60s-2.jpg This is the only picture that I have of my workshop from the early 1960s.

    It was in a wooden box previously used by furniture shippers, and was very crowded. Unfortunately the little homemade mill is not visible, it was hiding behind the one converted to vertical. The subject of the photo was really an engine dynamometer that I built from a torque convertor, not the machine tools.
    I was living in Australia then but I moved to England in 1971. I was limited on what I could ship over but the little mill was small enough to take. I never did get it up and running in England, I had no use for it basically. Then in the late 1980s I moved to Spain and the little mill trailed along too. Until a few months ago it just languished on the floor of my workshop here, talking up space and getting covered in dust and anything else that fell on it.

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-machine-shop-04.jpg Here it is on the floor next to the filing cabinet.

    It stayed there until a few months ago when I got the idea that I could turn it into a small surface grinder, maybe not high precision but useful nonetheless. When I first got it up on a bench it looked in a pretty sorry state, rusty etc. I wasn't very hopeful. Here are a couple of photos as it was.

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-mill-50years-unused.jpg Home made horizontal milling machine.-mill-column-50years-unused.jpg

    However, it was actually in pretty good nick. What looked at first sight to be rust etc. just turned out to be decades worth of grime congealed on the protective grease that I covered it in back in 1971 in preparation for its long sea voyage. The following is a succession of photos during the new build up after cleaning. I think that the sequence shows the construction pretty well, without much explanation. Before assembly I thought that it would be a good idea to check everything for flatness and squareness so that with better machinery now I could correct any original errors. Much to my surprise there was nothing that needed re-machining.

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-01.jpg Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-02.jpg

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-03.jpg Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-05.jpg

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-07.jpg Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-08.jpg

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-09.jpg Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-11.jpg

    Finally mocked up to see how it might look as a surface grinder.

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-smallmillasm-13.jpg

    I haven't actually finished it off or tested it as a surface grinder because it occurred to me that if I swapped the head with my lathe tool post grinder, and added a spin indexer I could have a very capable Tool and Cutter grinder. I did that and it works a treat, but that will have to be the subject of another post. In the meantime here is a teaser.

    Home made horizontal milling machine.-tandc-grinder-15.jpg Home made horizontal milling machine.-tandc-grinder-08a.jpg

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    bigtrev8xl (12-20-2016), bvd1940 (12-24-2016), C-Bag (12-16-2016), Charron63 (11-30-2017), Frank S (12-16-2016), Jon (12-23-2016), JRock (04-06-2018), KustomsbyKent (01-11-2018), MeJasonT (01-12-2018), Okapi (12-24-2016), Paul Jones (12-16-2016), penca (12-25-2016), pennswoodsed (01-02-2017), PJs (12-16-2016), Redddog (09-16-2018), redearthbonsai (07-12-2018), rlm98253 (01-11-2018), Seedtick (12-23-2016), thoms_here (01-14-2017), Toolmaker51 (12-16-2016), Vyacheslav.Nevolya (12-19-2016)

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    C-Bag's Avatar
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    That unit caught my eye in your previous post and I wondered where it came from. I just assumed it was some old commercial benchtop unit of unknown origin. You read my mind as I was going to ask who made it. That's really cool you made it and hung on to it as you moved all over the world

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    Very nice build actually a superb build for your at the time stated age. And a great restoration of a machine you actually knew the detailed history of each and every part on the machine.
    As far as the usefulness of a horizontal mill goes I used to leave the Rt angle adapter on my J head Bridgeport for months on end until I finally got hold of a Cincinnati #5
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    Very nice build actually a superb build for your at the time stated age. And a great restoration of a machine you actually knew the detailed history of each and every part on the machine.
    As far as the usefulness of a horizontal mill goes I used to leave the Rt angle adapter on my J head Bridgeport for months on end until I finally got hold of a Cincinnati #5
    I'm thinking, it's more likely the Cinncy#5 got a-holt of you, Frank S. Once you walked by it, the affair was on.
    Sure has occurred to me, oft enough. Who are we to resist 10k pounds of iron?
    Real horizontals are where it's at for boring. Why?
    The part is always supported over the Y axis ways, not the sag beyond saddles of X. The engineering term is called 'Abbe'.
    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 12-16-2016 at 10:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfoale View Post
    I started making mechanical things around 1960 when I was 16, it was electronic things before that. One of the tools that I made early on was a small horizontal milling machine. I remember using it on some jobs but for the life of me, nearly 60 years later, I can't remember why I made it. A vertical mill would have been more useful. such is the foolishness of youth I guess. I made wooden patterns and had the pieces cast at an iron foundry, most of the machining was done on my Myford lathe. The amount of stuff that has been made on Myfords across the world is staggering. A year or so later I bought a regular size horizontal machine at auction which I converted to a vertical machine by making a head from welded steel plate....
    Like 17 years old!
    Tony, you are knocking us dead!
    I saddens me that so many younger minds will NEVER sense this kind of endeavor, investment, or satisfaction. Who decided vocations were no longer critical!
    Certain that those generating STEM education see the light.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolmaker51 View Post
    I'm thinking, it's more likely the Cinncy#5 got a-holt of you, Frank S. Once you walked by it, the affair was on.
    Sure has occurred to me, oft enough. Who are we to resist 10k pounds of iron?
    Real horizontals are where it's at for boring. Why?
    The part is always supported over the Y axis ways, not the sag beyond saddles of X. The engineering term is called 'Abbe'.
    Yep. that old machine had a few issues from abuse when I got it for the then scrap price of $35.00 per ton. But is still did what I needed which was to hang a gang of 8 6" diameter .500 slitting cutters on the arbor set the depth of cut the feed and the RPM at the begining of the clamping fixture loaded with 2x3x2 blocks of 12L14 flip on the coolant pumps the main motor engage the feed then go to lunch when we returned it was time to set the next loaded fixture or clamp a plate over it and flipped it over removed the now top plate and start the process over again
    A whole lot faster than many of the so called production CNC machine shops could do the job at the time I had a 30% higher profit margin @ a 25% lower cost to the customer than my nearest competitor due largely to my taking time to make up a couple of fixtures for many or the runs. I wish I still had that wore out old machine it made me a lot of money I do still have my 5000 lb Clereman drill press though but it sat outside for 3 years before I got back from Kuwait so it needs a lot of work that would not have been required if they had at least greased it down and tarped it
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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  12. #7
    [email protected] tonyfoale's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. As a newbie on this forum I was not sure what sort of posts were of interest to the rest of you. In the evenings when I sit down for an after dinner coffee, I pickup a laptop and start typing rather than watching some boring TV programme which my wife has on. I have been meaning to document some of this stuff for years and finding this forum has kicked me into action so I thank it for that. The other night I made a list of possible items to post about and it looks like I won't run out anytime soon.
    A question. Is it OK to post about non-mechanical things? For example I made a flow bench which is largely mechanical like other devices but some of these tools need electronics, either home-made or using devices like Arduinos, to enable them to work. Are forum members also interested in those details?
    Last edited by tonyfoale; 12-17-2016 at 04:39 AM. Reason: Windows shut me down for an update before I'd finished.

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    Tony you will find that when it comes to articles or in fact artifacts made by the human hands the 15,000+ members of these forums are just about the most eclectic group you will ever have the pleasure of finding concentrated in one place.
    The answer to your question would be electronics are absolutely a major contribution to the workings of homemade tools.
    You will also if you haven't already discovered that more often than not the end postings to many threads morph into some very interesting sometimes informative although once in a while controversial collections of information which otherwise might have remained unknown, but some will find useful in their endeavors, or which will create a spark of future creativity
    Last edited by Frank S; 12-17-2016 at 09:15 AM.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    I'll second what Frank said and say check out this ongoing adventure: Good advices for a newbie (threading tools lathe)

    It takes a little while but swiftly heads off into some deep electronics with Rendoman and PJs(the Wiz) as they hash out a audio plasma tweeter. There has been a ton of views but not a lot of comment outside of the primaries. You'll find that here there are a lot of folks lurking, but us usual suspects that have commented here plus some others are the ones most likely to comment. I have to say there has been a bump up in postings and interaction here recently. So who knows what else will change. I am not as adept at electronics as others here but is definitely interested and would love to see the flow bench and some Arduino projects to name a few.
    Carry on.

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    eliminating errant double post
    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 12-17-2016 at 05:40 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
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