Attributes of a good bench mill stand?

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sfsteel

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I just ordered a PM-30MV, and I plan to build a stand for it. I'm considering some different designs/materials, and was hoping to get input on what you guys like/dislike about your current mill stands.

I had a Smithy 1324 prior to this mill, and I really disliked the stand it came with. Particularly, it had a lot of thin sheet metal that rattled and vibrated like an acoustic instrument. The PM-30MV is not a huge machine, so I feel like this will be a factor again. I've seen people use wood, metal, and concrete for the materials.

Some features I'm considering:
I'd like to be able to move the stand/mill if needed.
My shop is far from flat, so leveling feet will be required
I'm over 6' 5", so ideally the stand is tall. Somehow will need to battle weight distribution

Do you have any tips or considerations that I should take into account?

Thanks!
 

Cactus Farmer

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Make it ridged! And heavy isn't bad either. Square tubing will work with a good plan first. Pencil drawings are easier to fix than welded up metal. I've seen feet that had the leveling screws included in them. I've made feet by using 2-3" solid an inch or so thick. Get some 1/4" neoprene gasket scraps and turn a 1/8" cup in the biscuit. Leave a small lip to retain the neoprene. Turn it over and make a half round 1/2" diameter and 1/4-3/16 deep. Round the heads of your feet screws to match. glue the rubber into the the cup. Nothing is critical. They are just feet and they will anchor the machine well with little noise. Mine are made with local scraps. I live in oilfield country so metal drops and scrap rubber is easily obtained. I cut the rubber with homemade hole cutters. I dislike buying what I can make for pennies.
 

Silverbullet

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The one I built for mine I used the box tubing and added casters . But I also added outriggers off each corner with adjustable feet to level and make it sturdy. I used some tubing with a nut welded on the bottom I made my adjuster long cause my back don't bend to good. Half inch all thread I used large knobs on top to adjust , small bulls eye levels double taped to the corners are quick reference to level it up. The top of the table I used a piece of 1/4" steel plate but I welded cross members under where the mounts are heavy angle no bending with 2x2x 1/4" iron. I also built a drawer and enclosed the bottom with aluminum diamond plate thin stuff.
 
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umahunter

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Here's one I just built for my pm932m it's 2x2 3/16 wall on the sides has a couple 2x3 1/4 wall on top with 2x2 sides and has 2x2 1/4 inch wall on the bottom so I could tap hols for 1/2 leveling feet I went this route cause I wanted it taller than the factory base and I'm also gonna add drawers underneath eventually it also has a 3x3 12 04 14 gauge pan can't remember I got a remnant for a good price at a local shop

20171216_181030.jpg
 
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umahunter

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Yea my last table was to small so I wanted to hopefully catch more chips and it's great to have plenty of space to put stuff
 

jwmelvin

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Hopefully it's okay for me to add to this thread. I'm considering how to situate my mill (PM-30MV) and I bought a HF 26x22 roller cabinet, planning to use it for mill tooling. I was thinking to build a frame in which the cabinet sits; the issue I can see is that it will put the mill a few inches higher than I would like (PM's stand is 28" while mine would be 38"). I think I'm prepared to deal with that but shaving a couple inches would help (I'm 5'9").

I am considering sitting the mill on a frame on top of the cabinet, without raising the cabinet up (the frame would put the load on the edges where the cabinet is supported). I know the cabinet can support 1000 lb. of contents, so it seems the weight of the mill may be reasonably tolerable for it. I'm still inclined to build a stand, for increased rigidity, though.

Any thoughts?

Here is the assembly I have in mind:
stand_assembly.png
And here is the bare frame (I would add shear stiffening, as gussets, diagonal braces, or a panel):
stand_frame.png
 

jwmelvin

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I decided I didn’t want to invest my time in a plan I wasn’t sure about so I bought a ~$80 stand from a local recycler. They are heavy steel and I have several different sizes from him. This one is about as high as The milk would have sat on the tool cabinet but I can lower it if I decide that’s necessary, and the tool chest can remain independent.
c4abdce0bdd3e3879cb72e27c49c1a4a.jpg
 
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