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Risers for my MiniMill - what metal to choose?

cazclocker

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#1
I would like to mount my new LMS MiniMill on threaded risers. What I'm looking for is about 2" O.D., 1" thick metal. Basically like a hockey puck. My question is, would it make any difference what metal they're made of? Since I don't have stock of my own, I'm looking at various suppliers and I can find 6061 aluminum, general purpose low-carbon steel, 1045 carbon steel, gray cast iron, and 7075-T6 aluminum. All the above choices are available in the size I want. The cast iron is especially inexpensive - I live in Arizona so rust is a minimal issue with my shop. Whatever I choose, I'll have to drill & tap four pucks in the center for 3/8-16 threads.

Which of my choices would you folks choose for ease of drilling/tapping? Iron absorbs vibration pretty well, as I understand it. Since they would be used as risers, I don't know if the dampening effect would be significant - I really don't have a vibration problem to begin with.

Thanks in advance........
Doug Haeussler
 

Rbeckett

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#3
I was gonna say the same thing about just getting a few Hockey pucks and using the hard rubber for vibration isolation too. Otherwise if you are not having a vibration issue you could go ahead and use the aluminum pucks and drill and tap them. They will be about the easiest to machine and if you wanted to get really snazzy you could machine out a pocket and JB weld a hockey puck inside to dampen vibration too. It would be super easy to turn out the inside enough to drop a puck tight into the cavity and go to work. That could be a really nice looking set up too. Just thinkin out loud again with you wallet instead of my empty one I use all the time...

Bob
 

David Kirtley

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#4
Are they overrun with hockey pucks in Arizona?

What is wrong with with good old old fashioned wood? I went with a larger block laminated up from hardwood plywood that was about the size of my mill base. Lag screws all the way down into the table. Nice and stable. Not had any vibration issues that I am aware of except some harmonics when I am swinging a big 3 in fly cutter or the boring head on some frequencies. Then the whole table is moving.
 

Flammable_Solid

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#5
Are they overrun with hockey pucks in Arizona?

What is wrong with with good old old fashioned wood? I went with a larger block laminated up from hardwood plywood that was about the size of my mill base. Lag screws all the way down into the table. Nice and stable. Not had any vibration issues that I am aware of except some harmonics when I am swinging a big 3 in fly cutter or the boring head on some frequencies. Then the whole table is moving.
The lack of humidity out here destroys wood. Then we get a little bit of rain and it sucks it up like a sponge, making the problem worse.
 

Rick Leslie

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#6
My Atlas 12 inch lathe has been bolted to a plywood topped table for about 30 years now. It's far from ideal and vibrates pretty badly, but I'm too lazy to move it. Maybe one day...

Where does one find used hockey pucks? Any good sources?
 

David Kirtley

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#7
The lack of humidity out here destroys wood. Then we get a little bit of rain and it sucks it up like a sponge, making the problem worse.
Epoxy coatings :) :)

- - - Updated - - -

My Atlas 12 inch lathe has been bolted to a plywood topped table for about 30 years now. It's far from ideal and vibrates pretty badly, but I'm too lazy to move it. Maybe one day...

Where does one find used hockey pucks? Any good sources?
How much plywood? I have my mill sitting on 1-1/2 in. plywood riser on top of 2-1/2 in. thick of plywood tabletop with about 80lbs of patternmaker's vise bolted to it on top of 4x4 mortise and tenon trestle base. Lathe is on a matching table.

New pucks are about $2. Can't see hunting down used ones would be that much of a savings. http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12018858
 

Privateer

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#8
Read the reviews for that site selling hockey pucks, you'll have a few chuckles.

Terry
 

cazclocker

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#9
Hockey pucks! I shoulda thought of that when I described my idea as being "like hockey pucks"... :))

Thanks for the interesting idea...it certainly would work. Not what I was looking for, but it would work!
 

stevecmo

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#10
I used hockey pucks on both the lathe and mill and in my opinion they work great!

P1050684.JPG

P1050684.JPG
 

Privateer

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#11
Steve,

Would you mind taking another picture of your lathe arrangement? I'm curious to see the rest of it.

Terry
 

Hawkeye

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#12
When I had my X2 mini mill mounted on a workbench (it has it's own stand now), I raised it with two strips made by stacking several inches of leftover laminate flooring. The stuff is very solid and doesn't give at all.
 

cazclocker

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#13
Steve,

Would you mind taking another picture of your lathe arrangement? I'm curious to see the rest of it.

Terry
Hi Terry, I'm assuming you meant "milling machine arrangement". Unless you meant my lathe - which is a Rivett watchmaker's lathe.

I started by building a 2' x 2' bench, and drilled a large cookie sheet for the mounting bolts. I ended up using 1" steel spacers to hold the machine up. In the first photo, the reason you see eight spacers and not just four, is because four of them are 1" high and the other four are 1-1/2" high. I wasn't sure which set would hold the Y-axis handwheel up from the lip of the cookie sheet - I mean chip tray. It turned out that the 1" high ones were perfect.
I'm sure I'm just nitpicking, but I would prefer to have the whole under-surface of the machine's mounting tabs sitting on a solid riser - not just a portion of it. Yep, I'm stupidly anal!

IMG_0992.JPG IMG_0994.JPG IMG_0995.JPG IMG_0997.JPG

IMG_0992.JPG IMG_0994.JPG IMG_0995.JPG IMG_0997.JPG
 

hman

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#14
Nice setup!

I have something pretty similar for my HF mini-mill. Used an 18"x25" (plated steel) oil drip pan under the mill, no risers, with the mill's Y axis parallel to the 18" dimension. The Y handwheel is set just outside the lip of the pan.

I spread silicone adhesive on the bottom of the mill base before doing the final bolt-down, so that if I ever want to use major amounts of coolant, there won't be any leakage down the bolt holes.

This setup has served me very well for something like 5 or 6 years. The large pan is great for catching most or all of the swarf, no matter what I'm machining. As an added bonus, I've found that the extra area of the drip pan to the sides of the mill are great places to use a Sharpie to note down X, Y and Z position information for repeated cuts, etc. Once the part is done, a quick wipe with alcohol gives me a "clean slate."

PS - one thing that kind of concerns me about your riser system is the relatively small diameter of the riser tubes you used. I'd be worried that, if you tightened the bolts much beyond snug, you could deform the MDF(?) underneath your pan. True, the washers will help spread the load a bit, but they can deform, too. Guess I'm anal in the same way you are :)
 

stevecmo

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#16
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