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Thread: My Bridgeport (Tex) Kneeless Mill

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

    Cool My Bridgeport (Tex) Kneeless Mill

    This was my milling machine for a while before I bought an actual milling machine. While it worked, it suffered from the same problem that all other drill press conversions suffer from - they're too light and consequently rattle and vibrate too much to do accurate work. I did use it some on aluminum with acceptable results but these days it's relegated to drilling.

    I started with a Wun Hung Lo drill press, shortened the spindle shaft and then grafted it onto an ER-20 straight shank collet chuck. I replaced the spindle bearings, installed a fine downfeed made from a garage door opener kit, converted a scissors jack into a table support to stop table deflection, added a cheap XY table and started making chips. These days it's been retrofitted with an XY drill press vise and it works well as a precision drilling station.

    It was a fun project at the very least and it's actually still useful, though not much to look at.

    My Bridgeport (Tex) Kneeless Mill-milll-1.jpg My Bridgeport (Tex) Kneeless Mill-milll-2.jpg My Bridgeport (Tex) Kneeless Mill-test-cut.jpg
    45 Best Harbor Freight Tool Modifications

    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Crusty For This Useful Post:

    baja (08-09-2019), blkadder (08-08-2019), Jon (08-15-2019), Philip Davies (08-09-2019), Seedtick (08-08-2019)

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    Supporting Member bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    bruce.desertrat's Tools
    500+ Homemade Tool Plans

    The conversions I've seen usually remove the table, shorten the post and attach the XY table to the base to help deal with the flimsiness issue. (can you tell I"ve been considering it? Is that last pic something made with it?
    Forge Build Guide


  4. #3
    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    Yup that was the first test on a lathe scrap. I didn't have any endmills then so I used a carbide router bit. Not too bad considering and it certainly was a jump in quality from my usual Fred Flintstone ways.

    Unless you can find one of those old drill presses that were made by the Sherman Tank Company you probably won't be satisfied with the conversion because the import drill presses are too light and shake too much when milling. The head casting, though robust looking, is too wiggly. Seriously, save your money and sanity for a mini-mill. If you're determined to go ahead anyway, I've got several unneeded ER-20 straight shank collet chucks (.500" diameter, 6" long shanks) and I'll sell you one cheaper than you can find it anywhere else.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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




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    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Philip Davies's Tools
    I think one of my drill presses is made by Hu Flung Dung, but while I wasn’t using it for anything precise, it took me a long time to realize that the table support bracket was significantly warped, by at least 3 degrees. I made a broad flat wedge to counteract the imbalance.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    I always chuck up a piece of " drill rod and then use a machinist square on the table against the rod to calibrate my table to my spindle. Some of the import drill presses I've seen have been way out of square.


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    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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