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Thread: One foot in the machine shop.

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Thanks oldred, I had seen the head drop problem mentioned but did not understand. I am thinking a pulley rigged to the mast would leave it movable, or maybe a separate mast and counterweight attached to a rolling/locking base. Thanks for the info on the motor. If milling pays and I need a bigger mill I will go there. I've noticed some guys run short of outside projects and the shop becomes the project.

    In my work I often need some part not available off the shelf. I have 4 kinds of welding available to make larger projects. It's the small bits I'm hoping the mill helps with.

    I was an offset printing press operator for years. Had a supervisor the stuck his nose in everything and wore an unsecured tie. There Is No Justice.
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 01-09-2020 at 12:05 PM.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    That weight system is only as elaborate as you want to make it, I simply made a couple of small brackets to mount 2 1/2" pulleys from a local hardware. One goes on top of the mast slightly protruding over the front and the other is mounted on the mast stiffener that had I added previously but it only needs to allow the cable to travel over the mast and down behind the mill, basically the cable attaches to the top of the milling head then goes up and over the top of the mill through both pulleys then down the back side with the free hanging weight attached. Just add weight until the pull on the feed handle feels about the same as it does with the torsion system when it's all the way down then it should be just about right, of course weight can be added or deleted to adjust.

    One set-up I saw that was similar to mine (he came to look at mine when working on his) was a really neat mod, he wanted his new mill to look neat so he used basically the same set-up I have but he made simple covers to go over the pulleys and cable and the weight is contained in a metal box he welded together for this rig to contain some lead weights. He painted the whole thing to match his mill and with that neatly welded and matched metal box sliding up and down the back of the mill it looks as if it could have come from the factory that way.
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  3. #23
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    One more thing just in case you might be wondering about some of the gadgets sold by LMS, that table powerfeed is total JUNK and that's capitalized because that thing deserves it! When I bought this little mill it had that piece of junk attached to it but the roll pin that locks the drive to the worm gear was removed, I soon found out why. With this thing fully attached and functional the feed handle becomes useless and table travel is totally dependent on the motor drive which even in high speed is woefully slow if you need to traverse the table which is normally quite often. Then in operation speed can be erratic and it tends to start out with a lurch instead of entering a cut smoothly so it has to be started well ahead of the cut and even then there are no guarantees, obviously this leads to frustration at best and broken tooling at worst. I fiddled around with that thing for a day or so then in frustration I removed it and tossed the whole apparatus in the garbage!

    After cooling off from my mad spell however I retrieved it and salvaged that little DC motor and power supply and it now resides happily in my greenhouse where it's duty is to open and close ventilation panels.
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  4. #24
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    I got rid of the NOISY!!!!!! gear drive and went with the upgraded belt drive that Little Machine Shop sells. GREAT addition. Quiet and easy to install and use. Still uses the 90VDC variable speed motor that came with the mill. I have been using this mill for over 8 years for small jobs and it is good.....for the price. Picked mine up for under $400 waaay back when the DID accept 25% coupons on SALE prices! Picked mine up right at the store 4 blocks from my house.

    Have fun!

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    Picked mine up right at the store 4 blocks from my house.

    You have a Harbor Freight only 4 blocks from your house?????


    I couldn't imagine such a thing as having one that close to me! I mean how would I get anything done and how would I be able to save money to pay bills and buy groceries? What a nightmare!


    Joking aside I love the place, I learned what was good and what wasn't and while some things are junk some others are real bargains. I bought my lathe there, a 14x40 heavy lathe that is EXACTLY the same machine as the Enco 14x40 and the Precision Mathews YCL14x40 along with a couple of others under different brand names. All the others were perilously close to $7,000 with the cheapest being the Enco $5,999, HF was in the process of phasing out the sale of machines that big and they now no longer have them. The thing was on clearance and they let me use a 25% coupon plus shipping to the store for pick-up (it took 6 days) is free so after paying Tn sales tax I walked out with a receipt totaling $2,647! A guy in line there was talking to his buddy and I heard him laughing at me for spending that much at HF but now 12 years later the joke is on him. The only problem I have had with that lathe is a broken control handle and that was caused by my backing into it with my truck so I can't blame the lathe.

    Yep some folks laugh at us buying from HF, but let'em laugh I love the place!
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  6. #26
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    I believe these lathes come with nylon gears, ditch them and check out little machineshop for steel ones,that alone will save you more than a few headaches right there. Ebco got bought out so try catalogs from Grizzly, Travers Tool and MSC Manhattan Supply Corp. They are free. In this day and age most shops have gone over to carbide tooling. I still grind my own from unground tool bits. %5 cobalt and 10% cobalt and some M2 for finishing. Prices have skyrocketed on all machine tooling and a greater number of the stuff is of course made In China. Stick with Starret,Brown and Sharp or Mitutoyo which is made in Japan. Your lubricating oils like spindle oil, way oil used on the milling table,and gearbox oil don't get just a quart. When I needed was oil, gearbox oil I went to a texaco dealer in town. Take a list of what you need and use the manufacturer suggestions and they should be able to convert yourlist into something that texaco either has on hand or get it for you. I like to keep my gear box clean and there is always some crap from the machining process in the gear box when they made your machine. I usually flush the crap and use a magnetic pickup to get any cast iron out of the gear box and flush it out with kerosene. get the good kerosene from lowe's,Home Depot it has been deoderized so you don't stink up your shop, its called K1 Kerosene. I bought 5 gallon pails of way oil and gearbox oil. I saved the orange jugs the pumice hand cleaner comes in and filled them up and marked them as to their contents. At the time they were about $50 for 5 gallons. If you decide to start saving jugs save the washing detergent ones. The pumice one's I have took a long time to rinse out and you don't want pumice in your lubricating oil. For cutting oil I use the old black stuff that you can get again at Lowe's or Home Depot. Comes in gallon jugs.And get some oilers. Hand operated and aren't expensive. Frank

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by samari46 View Post
    I believe these lathes come with nylon gears, ditch them and check out little machineshop for steel ones,that alone will save you more than a few headaches right there. Ebco got bought out so try catalogs from Grizzly, Travers Tool and MSC Manhattan Supply Corp. They are free. In this day and age most shops have gone over to carbide tooling. I still grind my own from unground tool bits. %5 cobalt and 10% cobalt and some M2 for finishing. Prices have skyrocketed on all machine tooling and a greater number of the stuff is of course made In China. Stick with Starret,Brown and Sharp or Mitutoyo which is made in Japan. Your lubricating oils like spindle oil, way oil used on the milling table,and gearbox oil don't get just a quart. When I needed was oil, gearbox oil I went to a texaco dealer in town. Take a list of what you need and use the manufacturer suggestions and they should be able to convert yourlist into something that texaco either has on hand or get it for you. I like to keep my gear box clean and there is always some crap from the machining process in the gear box when they made your machine. I usually flush the crap and use a magnetic pickup to get any cast iron out of the gear box and flush it out with kerosene. get the good kerosene from lowe's,Home Depot it has been deoderized so you don't stink up your shop, its called K1 Kerosene. I bought 5 gallon pails of way oil and gearbox oil. I saved the orange jugs the pumice hand cleaner comes in and filled them up and marked them as to their contents. At the time they were about $50 for 5 gallons. If you decide to start saving jugs save the washing detergent ones. The pumice one's I have took a long time to rinse out and you don't want pumice in your lubricating oil. For cutting oil I use the old black stuff that you can get again at Lowe's or Home Depot. Comes in gallon jugs.And get some oilers. Hand operated and aren't expensive. Frank
    Mostly good advice about the lathes but a couple of points here, the OP was talking about the very popular little mill so there are no gear boxes and the kit replaces the open plastic drive gears with a belt.

    On the common and well known small lathes I have to take exception with replacing that plastic gear with metal (didn't know anyone even sold a metal one?), that plastic gear is plastic for a reason and if it breaks it should be replaced with another plastic one. All the other gears are metal so they didn't use that one plastic gear to "cheap-out" it's there as sort of a "fuse" and is meant as a sacrificial part to prevent major damage in case of a crash! These gears are not expensive, they're easy to find and easy to change but replace that gear with a metal one and the next crash could trash the lathe instead of that inexpensive easy to replace plastic gear, that's why it's plastic. That may seem to us to be a poor design for limiting damage but that's the way they chose to do it, sure beats doing nothing at all!
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  8. #28
    Since it looks like it takes an R8 collet, get some collet sets. Using end mills in a drill chuck will frustrate you to no end. My HF mill is an older version with MT2 taper, so I found a drawbar friendly MT2 to ER20 collet holder and I just use the ER collets. It improves the machine 1000%.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    I have a set of collets coming. I degreased the machine this morning and started setting it up. The drill chuck has .006" runout using a .500" pin in the chuck so I'll wait for the collets to adjust the mast. The upgrade metal gear set for this mill still retains 2 plastic gears as a safety and the 2 speed belt drive is not currently available so I'll run as is for now. Apparently my motor does not have the low end torque of the upgrade one so the mill needs a low speed.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The drill chuck run out can sometimes be adjusted out. First you need to know what spindle it has. threaded or Jacobs taper on the chuck. The threaded is what it is just not a good way to make changes there. The Jacobs Taper can sometimes be seated a little more and it trues up.

    When we rebuilt the bigger jacobs chucks ( 1/8"-3/4" and bigger) the last step was to lap the jaws in to true parallel and concentric. This added a few thousandths on the lower end size but the chucks gripped much better.

    Another thing to check is the square of the drill chuck insert it in spindle with pin 4-5" long and indicate up and down along the pin

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilNsc View Post
    Using end mills in a drill chuck will frustrate you to no end.

    Actually most times it's much worse than frustration, using end mills in a drill chuck is a recipe for disaster and possible personal injury! Side loading a drill chuck mounted with a Jacobs taper will almost certainly cause the chuck to fall off during milling operations, usually sooner rather than later, and even if it's threaded onto the arbor held by a draw bar (most R8 arbors with a drill chuck are Jacobs taper for that chuck) it's still a very bad idea. Fortunately the OP won't have this problem to contend with as I see he has a set of collets coming.
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  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    I only have pin gauges. What would be a good source for a precision pin 4-5 inches long?
    Thanks!

    After I find out if the chuck is cocked or the jaws are uneven I might try lapping the jaws.
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 01-11-2020 at 06:34 PM.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Paso View Post
    I'll wait for the collets to adjust the mast.

    the 2 speed belt drive is not currently available so I'll run as is for now.

    When that belt drive becomes available it's a very nice upgrade if for nothing else just the noise reduction alone makes it worth it. However it is of course much more than that and does things like eliminate any backlash that might develop in the spindle due to sloppy gears (new gears are usually very tight however) but the nicest thing is how smooth it makes that little mill run, that's the best part of all!


    While aligning that mast there's something I have done that's a real eye-opener, set your dial indicator to indicate the top of the mast itself then push against the top of the mast with just your finger, just for giggles and grins use your little finger, and notice how much it will deflect under such light pressure. It will move a LOT when pushing back on it even with just moderate finger pressure but it will even move side to side using the same pressure. It really is that flexible but fortunately it's fairly easy to fix and costs very little even if you have to buy a piece of metal to fix it with. This is the first fix I would suggest to someone since it can and will cause a lot of headaches not to mention dulled end mills due to chatter, the head drop problem is just an annoyance that a person can live with but chatter is something else again. But like I said already fixing this is usually cheap and easy.
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A piece of ground drill rod will show it. A piece of brass rod to lap

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    I keep my eyes open for tools which have cobalt in them or are desiginated m42(which is cobalt).
    There are metals which are not entirely happy with carbide.
    I am in amazement at what a versatile machinist carries around in their head about materials and feeds/speed.
    Last edited by kywoodwrkr; 01-12-2020 at 03:49 PM. Reason: An Oh Duuh moment! They both start with C.

  16. #36
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    The collets came today. I put a .5 gauge pin in the 1/2" collet and read .002" runout. Put the gauge on the inside of the spindle and got .002" in the same spot.

    Is .002" runout in the spindle something I should bring up with harbor freight? Something I can live with? Something I can fix? A new spindle is $75. Thanks!
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  17. #37
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    Depends on how tight you want to work. >002 run out means at best a .500 end mill will cut .504 ( maybe a little more due to length). Another thing to look at is end play on the spindle. Most spindles have a means of setting end play and this also will affect run out. They adjust the outer race to the inner and set the end play and also the tapered bearings alignment

  18. #38
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    The upper and lower bearings are sealed ball and end play is taken up with spacers. I'll see what end play is tomorrow.

    If I replace the spindle I should probably order the belt drive and pull the counter shaft gears while I'm in there.

    Meanwhile I've got some HSS end mills and aluminum coming tomorrow.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  19. #39
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Get some good tweezers too

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    Get some good tweezers too
    I've got the tweezers and the 5 inch Magnifier Light on the next bench too.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

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