[4]

Homemade vertical mill drill

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
I would skip the XY table completely and go with linear rails. Make your own table!
I've been looking into this.

The setup on my vertical column is pretty sweet, there's lots of stuff online but how to engineer it is the question.

John
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
I pulled the trigger on a couple of linear rails and a ballscrew with mounting hardware. The thought is to make the X axis just like my column, have a heavy piece of steel machined flat with a protrusion in the center for locating the rails. Mount a carriage on top of that to hold the Y axis. I looked up the specs for this stuff, IKO LWL12-BCS and it looks like it should be strong enough to handle the forces I'll be putting on it and since they use it for making really precise machinery I should have a fair chance of exceeding the tolerances of the cheap X/Y tables;)

Cheers,

John

lwl12bcs.jpgballscres.jpeg
 

mattthemuppet2

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
1,745
nice! I'll be watching with interest :) Might be worth thinking about how you could fit some steppers/ servos on the end of the ball screws - you're already halfway to a CNC mill.
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
nice! I'll be watching with interest :) Might be worth thinking about how you could fit some steppers/ servos on the end of the ball screws - you're already halfway to a CNC mill.
That's exactly what I was thinking, I already have a stepper motor and controller on my electronics workbench....
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
I’ve been reading and scratching my head on how construct a base and I came across epoxy/granite. Seems like an ideal solution for this project. I can weld up a skeleton for the base from steel, then “pour” my cast base around it. The column won’t actually be welded or bonded to the base, just slipped over a post and bolted down. I’m looking at a “T” shaped frame with the C channel facing up and my column mount welded to the bottom of the “T”. Then a 1/2” plate welded to the top of the C channel that’s drilled for the linear rails and stands proud of the epoxy/granite base. I’ll post pictures when I get the base mocked up but this approach should let me dial in the geometry, then add rigidity and mass once I’m happy with the basic structure.
 

MontanaLon

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
32
So I was perusing the classifieds and I came across a Benchmaster horizontal mill. The price is affordable but who really wants a horizontal mill?

But it got me to thinking. The base of it would be nearly ideal for a vertical mill. Yeah, I know, they made them in both horiz. and vert. but holy baby Jesus the prices I saw on the very few of those I could find were about what I could get a full size mill for. And the heads alone were not that much cheaper.

So now I am very interested in how you will go about making a head for this?

I'm even looking at building up a mold form for both a base and a head. Of course I don't have the means to cast it in iron or anything else but the thinking is there. I've even played with the idea of making the vertical head out of thick wall tube. A couple of welds, couple of bearings and I will likely have enough in it to have bought a real milling machine.
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
So I was perusing the classifieds and I came across a Benchmaster horizontal mill. The price is affordable but who really wants a horizontal mill?

But it got me to thinking. The base of it would be nearly ideal for a vertical mill. Yeah, I know, they made them in both horiz. and vert. but holy baby Jesus the prices I saw on the very few of those I could find were about what I could get a full size mill for. And the heads alone were not that much cheaper.

So now I am very interested in how you will go about making a head for this?

I'm even looking at building up a mold form for both a base and a head. Of course I don't have the means to cast it in iron or anything else but the thinking is there. I've even played with the idea of making the vertical head out of thick wall tube. A couple of welds, couple of bearings and I will likely have enough in it to have bought a real milling machine.
Teknomotor

 

Attachments

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
So I was perusing the classifieds and I came across a Benchmaster horizontal mill. The price is affordable but who really wants a horizontal mill?
I'd go for a decent horizontal if you can get one cheap. I can already think of a few things I would use one for on this project....

John
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
It's not super powerful but the speed should be great for small bits and I already had a spare VFD.

I'm even looking at building up a mold form for both a base and a head. Of course I don't have the means to cast it in iron or anything else but the thinking is there.
Here's my first test making epoxygranite with some West System and blasting material from Tractor Supply. It's surprisingly heavy and tough.

firsttest.jpeg
 

Attachments

MontanaLon

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
32
I'm not sure what the black diamond media is chemically but it only weighs 92 pounds per cubic foot. Iron is about 5 times as heavy. I wonder what sort of metal powders you could get ahold of to use as the aggregate in that to make it heavier? I know magnetite and hematite are about 250# per cubic foot but not sure where you could buy it in useful quantities.
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
I'm not sure what the black diamond media is chemically but it only weighs 92 pounds per cubic foot. Iron is about 5 times as heavy. I wonder what sort of metal powders you could get ahold of to use as the aggregate in that to make it heavier? I know magnetite and hematite are about 250# per cubic foot but not sure where you could buy it in useful quantities.
I really wasn't planning on using just that for a mix, it's just what I had on hand. I'm pretty sure what I have is coal slag, they also have iron silicate, garnet, glass and aluminum oxide. Most people use decomposed granite, sand, and several other items to make a mix where most of the voids are filled with stone rather than epoxy. A solid chunk of rock and plastic is probably going to be heavier than a cast iron shell regardless.

I'm getting to the point now where I really need milling capability to move ahead so I'm thinking to get one of those cheap XY tables as an interim step. I've done lots of long-term projects and have learned that sometimes you need to make compromises that can be fixed at a later stage in order to keep moving ahead. If I can get to the point where I'm making chips with just the steel frame I can start to figure out what I'll really need to do to improve tolerances. And, I'll need to buy some better measuring tools as well

Cheers,

John
 

mattthemuppet2

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
1,745
those XY tables do work - I used one on my drill press as a "mill" for a couple of years - but they can be pretty frustrating. As long as you can take light cuts and lock everything down that you can, it'll work. One big improvement is to add thrust bearings to the handles, reduces the cranking effort considerably.
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
those XY tables do work - I used one on my drill press as a "mill" for a couple of years - but they can be pretty frustrating. As long as you can take light cuts and lock everything down that you can, it'll work. One big improvement is to add thrust bearings to the handles, reduces the cranking effort considerably.
I've been working on a modern design with ballscrews and linear slides that would be suitable for CNC. One of the challenges I have is I live a long way from anywhere, when I get back to San Jose, (where I'm from) I know of at least three surplus places that should have all the stuff I need for a good price. In the mean time I want to get something manual that I can do a few parts on (don't need to be super accurate).

I'll take the table apart and make improvements before I mount it to try and minimize frustration. If you know what you're getting into it's easier to adjust your expectations. I'll still be under $400 which I feel is a reasonable price for a tool like the one I'm building. If something comes along that's better I can re-purpose this one as a tool grinder or something else.

Cheers,

John
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
I've been intimidated by CAD software since the 1980's when AutoDesk was across the street from the A/V company I worked for. Mostly the programs had too steep a learning curve and cost too much.

Well, I downloaded FreeCad to my Ubuntu workstation and started trying to figure it out since it will be good to have some drawings of what I'm trying to accomplish. In less than an hour I had a basic design of my machine base, I know it won't impress any seasoned CAD operators but I'm pretty happy with just being able to do it.

Here's the steel frame.
base_frame1.png

And here it is with the cast stone slab.
base-1.png

So now I can at least explain with pictures what I'm trying to do.

Cheers,

John
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
Well, here is the xy table. Just like I expected....

table 0.jpeg

And torn down....

table1.jpeg

I'm definitely ordering some new lead screws from McMaster Carr.

Cheers,

John
 

DiscoDan

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
368
I hope it works for what you want. I do have a suggestion before you replace the lead screw. For that Burke table I am working on I ordered a new nut from McMaster Carr and it fit the old screw nice and tight. So maybe try a new nut first.
 

matthewsx

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
73
I hope it works for what you want. I do have a suggestion before you replace the lead screw. For that Burke table I am working on I ordered a new nut from McMaster Carr and it fit the old screw nice and tight. So maybe try a new nut first.
That's a good thought. I had a friend over last night who used to own a machine shop and he couldn't figure out what pitch the ones I have are. I can get 3' ea. left & right handed standard 1/2' 10 for ~$20 so I might as well order them. Turning and finishing the ends should be easy on my lathe.

Thanks,

John
 

rwm

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,599
That's a good thought. I had a friend over last night who used to own a machine shop and he couldn't figure out what pitch the ones I have are. I can get 3' ea. left & right handed standard 1/2' 10 for ~$20 so I might as well order them. Turning and finishing the ends should be easy on my lathe.

Thanks,

John
Wouldn't they be metric?
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top