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chris.trotter

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#1
Hey y'all, just wanted to say thanks for this forum! I've used it extensively over the last year or two to answer questions about getting started in a hobby machine shop. Last January I picked up a (very, very, very) old SB 9" (22Y), and just last night I picked up a mill (Sieg SX2P).

For what it's worth, I've wanted a mill for many many years. I had originally wanted a full-size knee mill, but after consideration (and prayer), I came to the realization that I had mentally fallen down the rabbit hole of 'the perfect solution or bust'. The following factors accompany a "real" mill:
- Providing 220v power in my garage and all that entails
- Finding a mill in 220v 3-phase (95% of them locally available are 575v)
- Providing a VFD/converter
- Budgeting 3-5k for something not a wreck
- Paying for moving costs
- Making space in my small garage
- Larger mill = larger tooling = higher costs

I decided that making chips today was better than waiting another 10 years for the above to happen (we are on a kinda tight budget for this sort of thing). It would be a 5-7k fee just to get in the door of a real mill - this little guy was $1300, and came with a bunch of tooling/supplies.

In-pieces mill-drill - so tiny!
Gotta be honest, lol, after looking at knee mills for 5 years, seeing this thing in person shocked me. But, for the tasks that I will be doing, it should be a perfect stepping stone!! Hope to use this to learn all the basics and have some fun. :D
Feb2018-Mill_is_home.JPG

Lathe being set in place
lathe-setup.JPG

Over the next year, I'm looking to learn basic milling operations, get some basic metrology tooling (scraping is in my future, the SB's cross-slide is rather sticky/loose), and start learning how to combine lathe and mill operations.

Looking forward to contributing and asking questions! :encourage:
 

Boswell

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#2
Welcome to forum Chris. It sounds like you already know how helpful everyone is. Keep the pictures coming as you put your mill back together and make some chips.
 

chris.trotter

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#4
Thanks guys, I'll start a build thread when that happens. Is this the correct forum for that kinda thing?

Need to get me some shim stock and fabricate a tramming arm thingy.

The first project will be the t-nut for my inbound Bostar AXA QTCP!! :D
 

RandyM

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#6
Thanks guys, I'll start a build thread when that happens. Is this the correct forum for that kinda thing?

Need to get me some shim stock and fabricate a tramming arm thingy.

The first project will be the t-nut for my inbound Bostar AXA QTCP!! :D
Hi Chris, It is preferred that you post your build thread in the South Bend section for all to see. Thanks.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#7
Congratulations with your machines and welcome to this very special group of people.
 

Silverbullet

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#9
Welcome to the site , any questions we will try to answer , help is here. Good luck with a great rewarding hobby.
 

ch2co

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#10
Welcome to the forum Chris! You've started out in a very respectable manner for this site, namely Lots of Pictures! :distracted:
Back abut 4 years ago, I picked up a used 10x22 lathe because I thought it would be something I might use. The fellow
that sold it to me loaded my van up with essentially everything in his garage shop that would fit. One of the items was
a little milling machine much like yours which I thought I'd put in the corner and maybe try do do something with after
awhile. Turns out that the mini mill has become my favorite tool and it would be hard not to have it. I was originally
thinking that a milling attachment for the lathe would do, but have come to really love the little critter. Keep us in the loop
as to what you're doing and don't be afraid to ask a stupid question, there ain't no such thing here , so ask away!
 

Bob Korves

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#15
We all start out clueless. On a wonderful forum like H-M, we do not need to stay that way... Ask whatever you want.
 

chris.trotter

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#16
Thanks guys, this is gonna be awesome. First chips!

I took some time to at least get the x-axis travel not all woggly, threw in a crappy lathe toolbit shim to bring it ~0.002-3 from one end of the table to the other - good enough to get started!

Then I discovered what my real first project is going to be - cutting some t-nuts to properly fit this little vise! You can see my very unorthodox clamping setup below... And apparently I haven't the faintest idea how to use a clamping set - and the set that came with the mill has t-nuts and bolts wayyy to large for the t-slots in the mill table. I also have no idea how to clamp stuff in general. Going off of YouTube memories, that's the best I came up with, but I would imagine clamping on ground surfaces is a no-no. Did not see any other way to clamp it, however!

Grabbed some lathe cutoff stock (1" mild steel), used a t-nut as a parallel, and went to town with the biggest endmill this came with (6mm). I very very gingerly took the facing cut, probably only 2-3 thou, but it cut like butter! Then I cut a light (5 thou) simulated slot for funzies.

Some things for me to address - the y-axis is still off - about 6-8 thou front to back, so you can feel that in the facing cut - not jagged, but just enough ridge for your fingernail to bump over.

Anyways - this was totally worth springing for, so glad to have this door open to me! \o/

Feb2018-FirstChips1.JPG Feb2018-FirstChips2.JPG
 

Boswell

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#17
I wonder if you should use a round pin into the holes on the side of the vice as a place to clamp? Also recommend you look for a YouTube Video on clamping. I think that the way you use those clamping sets is to use the step block at one end of the clamping bar and part to be clamped under the other end, then the stud/nut pulls down to the T-Nut between the two.
 

chris.trotter

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#18
Also recommend you look for a YouTube Video on clamping. I think that the way you use those clamping sets is to use the step block at one end of the clamping bar and part to be clamped under the other end, then the stud/nut pulls down to the T-Nut between the two.
Yeeaap. I'm a newbie. :) It's on my immediate learning list. This method certainly did work, though!
 

rock_breaker

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#20
Hi Chris,
You have joined an outstanding group of machinist and as has been said will answer questions or help fellow machinists in their hobby. As a beginner I can testify to that statement many times over.
Welcome!
Ray
 

HarryJM

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#21
Welcome aboard as this is a very helpful group as I have found out with one or two of my posts!
 

Moper361

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#26
Welcome Chris ,you will find plenty of good info here and I will say the guys on here have been more than helpful with questions and advise I asked for in the past and it's appreciated .Some of these guys most likely have forgotten more knowledge than what I have stored in my thick head .its a great place to get ideas for future projects .The list of items I plan building or changing has grown and keeps growing to the point were there just pipe dreams now as I'd never in 2 lifetimes be able to complete them all let alone one lifetime that's getting shorter quickly by the day for me
 
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