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Thread: Mini mill power feed

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools

    Mini mill power feed

    Here's a power feed that I made for my mini mill which was in my price range. The driving force is a Dodge Ram wiper motor. The motor plate on the left is pushed on guide pins to the right where the hex adapter on the motor shaft enters a deep socket on the right which is coupled to the table lead screw. The plate is pulled back to the left to disengage the drive and it's held in place by a ball detent at each position. This picture was taken before I finalized the control and wiring.

    Mini mill power feed-power-feeder-finished.jpg

    On a typical two speed wiper motor there are 3 brushes, the common brush, a low speed brush and a high speed brush. If the common brush is isolated from the case so that it isn't automatically connected to the power supply, then power may be applied between the low speed and high speed brushes, resulting in a third (and fastest) speed. I used a 6 position, 3 deck rotary switch so that I apply 12vdc power and polarity to appropriate brushes and I now have 3 switch selectable speeds in each direction, as well as a master switch to kill primary power to the 12vdc power supply that drives the motor. I added limit switches which disconnect motor power when the travel end is reached but still allow me to reverse in the opposite direction.

    There's a brass shear pin which couples the hex adapter to the motor just in case, but I suspect that the plastic gears in the wiper motor actually protect the shear pin.

    My surface finishes have improved, my fatigue levels are reduced and this was definitely a project worth doing.
    45 Best Harbor Freight Tool Modifications

    Last edited by Crusty; 06-03-2019 at 08:09 AM.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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

    Altair (06-02-2019), bgerens (06-03-2019), Jon (06-03-2019), Miloslav (06-03-2019)

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    Thanks Crusty! We've added your Mill Power Feed to our Milling category,
    as well as to your builder page: Crusty's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:



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    Supporting Member Radioman's Avatar
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    Radioman's Tools
    I’m sorry but you’re going to have to help me out on what type of mill you’re power feeding? I read your post twice and studied the photo and still couldn’t figure out weather you were milling corn cobs or lumber.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    It's a corncob lumber miller.
    If you don't recognize mini-mill and power feed as common machining vernacular then this topic likely isn't aligned with your interests. I've often wished that there was a better name for milling machines which didn't have that built in ambiguity but metal machining has its own unique "dialect" by necessity.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    kiwiles's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    It's a corncob lumber miller.
    If you don't recognize mini-mill and power feed as common machining vernacular then this topic likely isn't aligned with your interests. I've often wished that there was a better name for milling machines which didn't have that built in ambiguity but metal machining has its own unique "dialect" by necessity.
    I did the same thing to an American arbour router copy lathe 30 or 40 years ago. This was for timber, and allowed fluting and spirals to be done, the router could be engaged or disengaged at will and was pulled by a cable. An indexing plate at the drive end, could be coupled to a mix of driving gears, which could also be changed. The router was fixed to a plate above the work piece centered, which turned. The backside of the plate run on 2 tube bearings, and the front side had a screw follower which could be adjusted in height, and followed along a pattern Using different bits at there appropriate place on the pattern, meant that a huge variety of turnings could be made. By the time I finished making my simple power up grade, it had changed it from a plaything, to a quite sophisticated machine . It is the only machine in my shop I regretted selling
    Bill Hinten gives plans for a timber version in his book Router Magic


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