I'm looking to find a milling attachment

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malofix

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I'm looking to find a milling attachment for my newly acquired hobby lathe. It is a chinese export lathe that i couldnt find much about it. I'm trying to get together what i need to build model engines and honestly i'm disheartened that a mill is also needed. I'm new to lathes so i dont know which milling attachments would fit this mini lathe. Most of experienced lathe users doesnt like or recommend cheap stuff and they are right but well some of us has to get by with cheap stuff and i'm fine with it so the cheaper the milling attachment the better. I also would like to know if i need those angled carriages? Thanks.

Edit: Can i use this on my lathe?
 
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SmithDoor

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You slots in your cross side so a angle plate and a slide.
Some will use the compound not best.
I would find slide to fit the angle plate.

Dave

I'm looking to find a milling attachment for my newly acquired hobby lathe. It is a chinese export lathe that i couldnt find much about it. I'm trying to get together what i need to build model engines and honestly i'm disheartened that a mill is also needed. I'm new to lathes so i dont what which milling attachments would fit this mini lathe. Most of experienced lathe users doesnt like or recommend cheap stuff and they are right but well some of us has to get by with cheap stuff and i'm fine with it so the cheaper the milling attachment the better. I also would like to know if i need those angled carriages? Thanks.
 

malofix

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You slots in your cross side so a angle plate and a slide.
Some will use the compound not best.
I would find slide to fit the angle plate.

Dave
Thanks for quick response Dave. I'm like an absolute beginner so can you make it more easy for me to understand? This is an angle plate i suppose, then i could fit it to my carriage as is the case with my tool post? To hold working pieces by bolting it to angled plate or using a milling slide ? Or do i need to change my whole carriage(thats what it is called i guess) ? I would appreciate any link from amazon to products recommended.
 
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SmithDoor

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Try www.shars.com
Search for angle plate and look for fits your lathe cross-slide.
Then for a slide that fits the angle plate this can be found with a vise typical will say for drill press

From the web site on lathe it will be on small side around 3 or 4" .

Dave

Thanks for quick response Dave. I'm like an absolute beginner so can you make it more easy for me to understand? This is an angle plate i suppose, then i could fit it to my carriage as is the case with my tool post? To hold working pieces by bolting it to angled plate or using a milling slide ? Or do i need to change my whole carriage(thats what it is called i guess) ? I would appreciate any link from amazon to products recommended.
 

SmithDoor

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Thanks for quick response Dave. I'm like an absolute beginner so can you make it more easy for me to understand? This is an angle plate i suppose, then i could fit it to my carriage as is the case with my tool post? To hold working pieces by bolting it to angled plate or using a milling slide ? Or do i need to change my whole carriage(thats what it is called i guess) ? I would appreciate any link from amazon to products recommended.
Can you weld?

Dave
 

dazz

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Hi
You need something like this:
cheap e-bay lathe milling attachment

There will be those that tell you that such a cheap crappy device won't be rigid enough to hold a soggy noodle, and they'd be right, but if it is a tool that lets you achieve your objectives, then it is the right tool for you.

You can actually achieve quite a few milling type operations with just a standard lathe. See the following examples:

Optimal turner's magic ball in a cube

Microscope to computer monitor arm adapter posting #25

so a lathe is not restricted to making cylindrical surfaces.
 

MRA

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Depends what you want to make - but a lot of folks 40+ years ago would have had no access to a miller, and might have got quite a long way (rather slowly) with drills, hacksaws and files. Here's the (old version, which I like) of the book which tells you how to do it in a lathe. There are loads, and loads, of home-made (because that's how they had to do it) dodges in this little book, it's really interesting.


Perhaps like me you'll end up making tools, instead of making engines. But that's OK, and one day I might make progress with the engine :)
 

Mike Ginn

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A vertical slide ideally with a detachable vice is great for extending the lathe. There are loads available - almost all Chinese. Try to get one with holes which match the T slots. Angle plates are good BUT it can be difficult to set up parts on the plate. I also find a Keats angle plate very useful. You also need a good set of T bolts which you can make. I buy T slot steel and silver solder studs of various lengths. This method places less stress on the actual slots. There is a good book - Milling Operations in the Lathe which you would find useful - try Amazon.
Mike
 

malofix

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Hi
You need something like this:
cheap e-bay lathe milling attachment
Can i directly bolt this to the slots on the carriage ?

Depends what you want to make - but a lot of folks 40+ years ago would have had no access to a miller, and might have got quite a long way (rather slowly) with drills, hacksaws and files. Here's the (old version, which I like) of the book which tells you how to do it in a lathe. There are loads, and loads, of home-made (because that's how they had to do it) dodges in this little book, it's really interesting.


Perhaps like me you'll end up making tools, instead of making engines. But that's OK, and one day I might make progress with the engine :)
can i make engines even without a milling attachment? If so can you direct me to a few examples. Also is there an option to buy this book as pdf or e-book?
 

Gordon

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You would probably do just as well with a cross slide vise to use on the drill press. Not ideal but probably as good as an attachment on the lathe. Both are going to be limited to very light cuts and are not going to be super precision. If you do not have a drill press yet that probably should be your next purchase before a milling attachment.
 

MRA

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can i make engines even without a milling attachment? If so can you direct me to a few examples. Also is there an option to buy this book as pdf or e-book?
You can perform cutting operations with a drill (for chain-drilling holes), hacksaw, and a couple of files - if you are patient, and not attempting something requiring a lot of precision. You'll learn a lot as you make scrap along the way!

As regards the e-book - I think this is one of those moments where I realise the world has moved on while I wasn't looking. The book I recommended is by Edgar Westbury - you can google for it, or try Abebooks or Amazon (used) which are probably the same thing these days. The other book recommended in this thread is one of those little orange books which are part of a series, and I think are still in-print.

Using an x-y vice on a pillar drill can certainly work for very light cuts. I like to make my life hard, so here is a thread I put up about what might happen if someone is too bloody-minded to buy a cheap Chinese hobby miller.


But the spindle on my drill was way too floppy, despite it being a big machine - hence all the mods. I think I had more luck milling in the lathe, so I might advise you to pursue that first (but yes, you need a pillar drill!).
 

ajoeiam

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I'm looking to find a milling attachment for my newly acquired hobby lathe. It is a chinese export lathe that i couldnt find much about it. I'm trying to get together what i need to build model engines and honestly i'm disheartened that a mill is also needed. I'm new to lathes so i dont know which milling attachments would fit this mini lathe. Most of experienced lathe users doesnt like or recommend cheap stuff and they are right but well some of us has to get by with cheap stuff and i'm fine with it so the cheaper the milling attachment the better. I also would like to know if i need those angled carriages? Thanks.

Edit: Can i use this on my lathe?
Dunno what your definition of cheap is - - - but - - - - not knowing what you're doing compounded with not so reliable tools can sometimes be a not very good solution.
Have you thought of trying to find a 'buddy' or some organization (some clubs - - - -others on here much more knowledgeable than I in this area!!!) where you could 'help' and learn and maybe get some tool time use as well?

I'm not just talking down to you but I'm also thinking of your safety!!
Metalworking in any of its guises can be quite dangerous and I've come far too close to serious dangers too many times to keep quiet.
If you considered a regular Bridgeport style mill - - - - you may have to tramp around to lots of shops but you might also find one that someone is will to sell cheap - - - - likely because its wore and likely more than a little tired but at least that combination is relatively fixable and with a dro (real cheap out of China these days) might even still be quite usable!

If you're somewhat space limited - - - consider something like a 1/2 TEU shipping container.
its 20' long and if you paint it nice it should be classifiable as a 'shed' but check your local regulatory busybodies before purchasing.
Low funds is an all too common problem - - - - getting around it really isn't easy but if you have the will AND time it is interesting what can fall into your lap!

HTH
 

ShopShoe

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malofix,

Can you post a picture of your lathe with somehing that shows the size? A view of just the headstock, a section of bed, and the saddle and toolpost assembly could help us help you.

In questions about acquiring tools and supplies, it is sometimes also useful if you edit your profile so that we can see where in the world you are located. (Something like "USA" or "UK" is probably useful enough if you want to protect your privacy.)

--

I would agree that a drill press (pillar drill) is useful to have, and some of the small ones availabe at low cost can be OK if you are doing small projects. However, using a drill press to mill has a couple of major caveats:

1. The chuck on a drill press is usually only mounted on a taper and can come loose with the side forces of milling. A mill has the chuck secured with a drawbar so it can't come adrift. I tried the cross-slide vice with end mill in the drill press in the distant past and have a scar on my hand from doing so. In addition, the chuck that comes with a drill is often pretty "wobbly" and the press's bearngs may be not up to fighting side forces very well either.

2. A cross-slide vice is sometimes useful and some of them used to be relatively inexpensive, but they may not be up to the precision of true milling. I have one, and I have used it for special projects, but it's mostly just useful for locating points for drilling holes. ( I can add that cleaning up and adjusting that vice made a good project early in my machining life: Made gibs, deburred ways and edges, replaced shaft bearings with brass and bronze sleeves, and relieved edges of ways and mounting ears for more squareness.)

--

My first (and so far still present) lathe was one of the 7x mini-lathes and I ordered the millig attachment along with it. I did use the milling attachment for a while with success. In my case, the milling attachment mounted to the cross-slide instead of the compound slide, which had to be removed. It used the same bolt holes as the compound swivel assembly. Use of a different milling attachment could have been done with an angle plate. The end mills were accomodated by removing the lathe chuck and putting the end mills in collets in the spindle taper (3MT.) You can see that changing from lathe to mill functions is somewhat involved. The capacity of the milling attachment on that lathe is very small compared to the smaller milling machines.

--

BTW, I started my machining with a floor drill press, bought the lathe, then got one of the 4x6 bandsaws, then got the mill. Getting pieces to rough size is a time bottleneck best mechanized.

Pardon the long post, but we're glad to see someone else jsut starting their shop adventures.

Good Luck,

--ShopShoe
 

danallen

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It's not the answer you're looking for but I would stay away from the milling attachment and try and find a stand alone mill. Even a round column mill/drill would be far ahead of a trying to mill in a lathe.
 

CFLBob

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can i make engines even without a milling attachment? If so can you direct me to a few examples. Also is there an option to buy this book as pdf or e-book?
There are simple engines you can build with just a lathe and a drill press. That probably means with a hand drill if you're good.

The first engine I made was a wobbler steam engine from Little Machine Shop, which can be done with just those two. I used a milling machine, since I have one, but it doesn't have to be.
Oscillating Steam Engine Material Kit 2594 - LittleMachineShop.com
or
If you want the instructions. Starting from absolute zero, like I was, the DVD instructions were good to have.

You'll have to do some accurate layout work to locate the holes in the baseplate and know how to drill counterbores, but it can be done.

Finally, a milling machine has a rotating cutter and a table underneath it that you can move the work to cut off different parts. If you put a milling cutter (end mill or whatever) in your lathe chuck, and the work piece on the cross slide it's a milling machine. I cut some flats on 1/4" brass rod that way before I had the milling machine.
 

malofix

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You would probably do just as well with a cross slide vise to use on the drill press. Not ideal but probably as good as an attachment on the lathe. Both are going to be limited to very light cuts and are not going to be super precision. If you do not have a drill press yet that probably should be your next purchase before a milling attachment.
I've yet to buy a drill press and i might consider this combination.

You can perform cutting operations with a drill (for chain-drilling holes), hacksaw, and a couple of files - if you are patient, and not attempting something requiring a lot of precision. You'll learn a lot as you make scrap along the way!

As regards the e-book - I think this is one of those moments where I realise the world has moved on while I wasn't looking. The book I recommended is by Edgar Westbury - you can google for it, or try Abebooks or Amazon (used) which are probably the same thing these days. The other book recommended in this thread is one of those little orange books which are part of a series, and I think are still in-print.

Using an x-y vice on a pillar drill can certainly work for very light cuts. I like to make my life hard, so here is a thread I put up about what might happen if someone is too bloody-minded to buy a cheap Chinese hobby miller.


But the spindle on my drill was way too floppy, despite it being a big machine - hence all the mods. I think I had more luck milling in the lathe, so I might advise you to pursue that first (but yes, you need a pillar drill!).
I don't mind spending some time on manual work if i can get to building engines.

malofix,

Can you post a picture of your lathe with somehing that shows the size? A view of just the headstock, a section of bed, and the saddle and toolpost assembly could help us help you.

In questions about acquiring tools and supplies, it is sometimes also useful if you edit your profile so that we can see where in the world you are located. (Something like "USA" or "UK" is probably useful enough if you want to protect your privacy.)

--

I would agree that a drill press (pillar drill) is useful to have, and some of the small ones availabe at low cost can be OK if you are doing small projects. However, using a drill press to mill has a couple of major caveats:

1. The chuck on a drill press is usually only mounted on a taper and can come loose with the side forces of milling. A mill has the chuck secured with a drawbar so it can't come adrift. I tried the cross-slide vice with end mill in the drill press in the distant past and have a scar on my hand from doing so. In addition, the chuck that comes with a drill is often pretty "wobbly" and the press's bearngs may be not up to fighting side forces very well either.

2. A cross-slide vice is sometimes useful and some of them used to be relatively inexpensive, but they may not be up to the precision of true milling. I have one, and I have used it for special projects, but it's mostly just useful for locating points for drilling holes. ( I can add that cleaning up and adjusting that vice made a good project early in my machining life: Made gibs, deburred ways and edges, replaced shaft bearings with brass and bronze sleeves, and relieved edges of ways and mounting ears for more squareness.)

--

My first (and so far still present) lathe was one of the 7x mini-lathes and I ordered the millig attachment along with it. I did use the milling attachment for a while with success. In my case, the milling attachment mounted to the cross-slide instead of the compound slide, which had to be removed. It used the same bolt holes as the compound swivel assembly. Use of a different milling attachment could have been done with an angle plate. The end mills were accomodated by removing the lathe chuck and putting the end mills in collets in the spindle taper (3MT.) You can see that changing from lathe to mill functions is somewhat involved. The capacity of the milling attachment on that lathe is very small compared to the smaller milling machines.

--

BTW, I started my machining with a floor drill press, bought the lathe, then got one of the 4x6 bandsaws, then got the mill. Getting pieces to rough size is a time bottleneck best mechanized.

Pardon the long post, but we're glad to see someone else jsut starting their shop adventures.

Good Luck,

--ShopShoe
I would love to have a milling machine but i doubt there is much of them around for 300$, my remaining budget. From what i see my options are:
1)Buy a millling attachment
2)Buy a drill press and a milling vice
3)Buy a milling machine if there is any for 300$

my carriage is about 140mm x 86mm
tool post is 36mm x 36mm x 53mm
i'll post the pictures late.
 

BOHICAMAN1

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I'm looking to find a milling attachment for my newly acquired hobby lathe. It is a chinese export lathe that i couldnt find much about it. I'm trying to get together what i need to build model engines and honestly i'm disheartened that a mill is also needed. I'm new to lathes so i dont know which milling attachments would fit this mini lathe. Most of experienced lathe users doesnt like or recommend cheap stuff and they are right but well some of us has to get by with cheap stuff and i'm fine with it so the cheaper the milling attachment the better. I also would like to know if i need those angled carriages? Thanks.

Edit: Can i use this on my lathe?
I'm looking to find a milling attachment for my newly acquired hobby lathe. It is a chinese export lathe that i couldnt find much about it. I'm trying to get together what i need to build model engines and honestly i'm disheartened that a mill is also needed. I'm new to lathes so i dont know which milling attachments would fit this mini lathe. Most of experienced lathe users doesnt like or recommend cheap stuff and they are right but well some of us has to get by with cheap stuff and i'm fine with it so the cheaper the milling attachment the better. I also would like to know if i need those angled carriages? Thanks.

Edit: Can i use this on my lathe?
As a beginner, you may want to watch some of the below listed videos on Youtube by Joe Piezinski before tackling using your lathe or a mill. From your comments it sounds like you need to learn quite a bit before going for it! Good luck!

 

SmithDoor

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I agree

My father shop only has a lathe and drill press with a milling attachment.
It work great for keyway.
But other types milling not as good as real mill.

The mill also is great drill press too.

Dave

It's not the answer you're looking for but I would stay away from the milling attachment and try and find a stand alone mill. Even a round column mill/drill would be far ahead of a trying to mill in a lathe.
 

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