DIY Riser Block for 6" x 26" Import Mills (Grizzly, Enco, Harbor Freight, etc.)

Tmate

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A lack of distance between the spindle and table appears to be a universal issue for owners of these popular import mills. I think I may have come up with a relatively easy to fabricate riser block to fix the problem.

McMaster-Carr carries a 6" dia. pipe flange (Pt.#68905K389) that is almost made to order for this riser block project. They are 6" in diameter, 3/4" thick, with a 3.10" x 1/4" flange on one side. They come with four 3/4" bolt holes, two of which will be used for dowel pins for alignment purposes. A third will be used for one of the hold-down bolts. Two 1/2" diameter holes will be drilled in each plate for the other two hold down bolts. Additional detail is included in the second image below.

They cost approximately $26.00 each, and with slight modification, will stack pancake style to whatever height you desire. The machine work necessary is:

Drill two 1/2" holes in each plate
Mill or face the flange off all but one plate
Bore the existing center hole in one plate to 3.10"
Cut to length two 3/4" dowel pins (drill rod or CR round)

I'm waiting for warm day to install it. There may be some minor dimension differences in these mills depending on name brand. It's a good idea to check dimensions on yours before going too far.
 

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Mitch Alsup

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The nose hieght problem is the main reason I went for a 8×30 (G0730) instead of the 6×26.
 

mattthemuppet2

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that's a really neat find! I got a couple of 6" diameter 4" tall things (pulleys?) off ebay a while back that I'm going to turn into a riser for my 6x26. Just waiting to finish my SB9 reassembly before I start :) Please post details of yours!
 

buddy3223

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I also plan to put a riser block on my 6x26. I am undecided whether to make it out of solid piece or go the route you describe. Your method is really inviting as it would be much easier to obtain the material. I am undecided how high I want to raise it. I really need to find out if both sides of the machine surfaces are flat with no raised areas. I have never removed the power head from unit, so I have no idea what is underneath. Thanks for the post I will be watching for details.
 

Tmate

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There are some pictures on line with the heads removed -- both the top of the base and the bottom of the head. There may be variations in dimensions from machine to machine, however. I'm going to wait until I get my head off before doing any final machining.

I've removed the head using my engine hoist a couple of times when I moved - of course I never took measurements. The angle of the boom complicates matters, plus my mill is now sitting in a corner. I'm building a small lift to straddle the machine and raise the head. It will use my cable puller and a couple of pulleys. When I am finished, I will put casters on the bottom and use it to lift heavy items from the floor to workbenches in my shop.

Below are a couple of shots of a mill head being removed, also a rough drawing of the lift, which will sit on the mill's bench and straddle the mill. The cable puller will attach to the side, with the cable going through the pulleys.
 

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Last edited:

higgite

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I’m not familiar with that mill, but curious (nosy?). I don’t see any obvious (to me) adjustments for head nod and tilt in the pics. Does it have such adjustments like the Bridgeports that I’ve seen, or will you need to shim the risers or make other adjustments to tram it?

Also, will the surface friction between the riser layers be enough to keep them from moving relative to each other during heavy cuts and such? Are you sacrificing rigidity for space or will it have an insignificant effect?

Tom
 

Tmate

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No forward & backward adjustment, but there is a side to side tilt adjustment. There will be thee 3/4" dowel pins going snugly through all the plates, in addition to the bolts. I may be sacrificing some rigidity for space, I won't know until I am finished. Others with riser blocks have reported no loss of rigidity. I would imagine a solid block would be more rigid, but would present machining difficulties for me. I have plenty of rigidity now, so I'll have to wait and see.
 

buddy3223

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Thanks Tmate for the pictures, that answers some of my questions. I will try to find what the dimensions will be. As far as a nod adjustment, my machine was only out a very minor amount and was corrected with a shim. I will be able to raise the power head with overhead lift.
 

mattthemuppet2

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here's another way to do it, with dimensions:

I'll be making mine so that the bolts go all the way through into the t-nuts in the base. I have 4 or 5ft of allthread (M10x1.??) so that I can reuse both the t-nuts and the acorn nuts at the top. The allthread will be captured by the riser so it will rotate with the head.
 

Tmate

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It was pointed out to me that I transposed two numbers in the part number i provided above, The part number shown in the drawing is the correct one: Pt.#68095K389
 
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