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Thread: Drill to Mill

  1. #1
    jrbass62's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
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    Question Drill to Mill

    I've seen a couple post about this. I got an amazing deal on a Clausing 20" drill press that I want to convert to a mill, Any help on this one?? Thanks..

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  2. #2

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    Jul 2013
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    Red face

    You would be limited on the mill bits you could use everything would have to be light as the spindles in a drill press aren't built for X-Y movement or the bearings will suffer, then of course you will need to add an X-Y table. The Z movement seems to be by a handle at the back which is ok but you would need to make sure each time that the table hasn't moved left or right on the column.

    These things can be overcome to some extent but you may quickly find that you'll need a bit more accuracy depending on what work you do also the opposite applies most people don't use Milling machines as drill presses because most of the time you want a quick hole putting somewhere and mills don't do quick!

    Rudy Kouhoupt has a video on Youtube that may help a bit.

    Hope this helps a bit as I've said keep it light and don't expect super accuracy and you'll be fine and lastly don't use the drill chuck to hold milling bits...

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  3. #3
    Supporting Member astroracer's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    Does your 20" Clausing use a draw bar? Or is the drill chuck just held in with a taper? If there is no draw bar, using the drill press as a mill is a dangerous proposition. The chuck arrangement in a "drill press" is held in by upward pressure during the drilling operation. Using that same chuck as a side milling tool will remove that "upward" pressure. This will allow the tapered shank of the chuck to drop out of the spindle at any time. ANY kind of chatter will cause the taper to loosen and the chuck to drop out. Not to mention the spindle bearings and tolerancing are not designed for the side loads and accuracy required by a real mill.
    I can't recommend doing this with a drill press. You would be better to sell it and pick up a "mill/drill" machine if you want to do some milling.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to astroracer For This Useful Post:

    C-Bag (Jan 10, 2016), kbalch (Jan 10, 2016)

  5. #4
    Supporting Member C-Bag's Avatar
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    C-Bag's Tools
    I'm totally with astroracer on this one. You would end up spending more than if you just bought a drill/mill. I picked up a Rf30 for $450 off CL and it's far heavier that the Clausing for milling. I would say you have half the duo you need as you need a drill press and a mill. If you look in any shop they have both as there's many a time where I don't want to have to do a big setup to just drill something on the mill or I've got the mill setup for one step of a process and need the drill press for another step.

    Keep the Clausing and start shopping for a benchtop mill IMHO.

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  6. The Following User Says Thank You to C-Bag For This Useful Post:

    Paul Jones (Jan 10, 2016)

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