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Looks great.
I did about same my mill improved the torque and for slow speed i can add center pulley. The center pulley is as large fit and i move the belt up one step for low speed give greater belt rap on small pulley increases the torque and same lowering the speed to 120 rpm.

Dave
100_0507.JPG
Mill with center pulley.jpg


I recommend these guys: conon motor
A bit more expensive than eBay, but they offer good support and the manual that comes with the VFD is reasonably easy to understand.

My PD is mid-80s Taiwanese. I was able to dispense with the intermediate pulley. I replaced it with a belt tensioner.

View attachment 126325
View attachment 126326
Sorry for the thread drift!
 
Thanks for everyone's continued input - much appreciated.

How is hunt going finding the right mill for your line of work

Dave, I'm still looking - have received some quotes on new machines, but decided to follow advice from the Forum and also look into second hand units - not so easy living in South Africa... I will probably bite the bullet in a week or two if I don't find a decent second-hand unit.

Hi Hennie, in RSA there are many Bridgeport mills to be had at very reasonable prices.

Mikelkie -
Maybe in Gauteng, but there's a dearth of such machines in Bloemfontein... And even in Gauteng, all those that I recently looked at were seriously worn, with cracked or chipped tables, busted bearings, and lots of play in all components. If one had the time one could conceivably re-do the whole machine, but I would prefer to get one that's in reasonably (accurate) working condition... and of course having dealt with some of our second-hand machine dealers, I don't have ANY faith in being told the truth about any machine that they are trying to sell, so it will probably have to be a private purchase. I am, though, still looking, so if you do know of a good quality unit please drop me a PM.

So back to the King of Tools, I'm curious to learn what lathe is possessed to you inevitably have get around the inevtiable boring and turning and screwcutting.
Returning to milling, I have 2 conventioal vertical slides which interchange on my 2 lathes and a sprcialist one with an integral divising and graduating facility and like BaronJ have a rise and fall motor/grinding spindle on one of my grinders

Norman, not sure why a lathe is now thrown into the mix, and/or if the question was aimed at me? Anyway, as the OP, I have the following generic Chinese made lathe bought about 2 years ago, that I'm quite happy with:

4422.jpg


I certainly would not like to be milling on my lathe, although it would be possible to do so in a manner... anyway, I'm not looking for a "workaround" solution, and would prefer to buy either a new machine that would be capable of the required accuracy and milling performance, or a good quality used machine that can still meet these requirements.

Hennie
 
The China drill press can never take torque.

If VDF or DC motor you limited to torque at hight speed.

Great job Lots torque at low speed.
Good place for your post there is lot belt drive mills that have same problem as see my last post.

Dave

I recommend these guys: conon motor
A bit more expensive than eBay, but they offer good support and the manual that comes with the VFD is reasonably easy to understand.

My PD is mid-80s Taiwanese. I was able to dispense with the intermediate pulley. I replaced it with a belt tensioner.

View attachment 126325
View attachment 126326
Sorry for the thread drift!
 
All my Bridgeport's was purchased over a 4 hour drive in LA or SF.
So good luck on finding it local.

Dave

Thanks for everyone's continued input - much appreciated.



Dave, I'm still looking - have received some quotes on new machines, but decided to follow advice from the Forum and also look into second hand units - not so easy living in South Africa... I will probably bite the bullet in a week or two if I don't find a decent second-hand unit.



Mikelkie -
Maybe in Gauteng, but there's a dearth of such machines in Bloemfontein... And even in Gauteng, all those that I recently looked at were seriously worn, with cracked or chipped tables, busted bearings, and lots of play in all components. If one had the time one could conceivably re-do the whole machine, but I would prefer to get one that's in reasonably (accurate) working condition... and of course having dealt with some of our second-hand machine dealers, I don't have ANY faith in being told the truth about any machine that they are trying to sell, so it will probably have to be a private purchase. I am, though, still looking, so if you do know of a good quality unit please drop me a PM.



Norman, not sure why a lathe is now thrown into the mix, and/or if the question was aimed at me? Anyway, as the OP, I have the following generic Chinese made lathe bought about 2 years ago, that I'm quite happy with:

View attachment 126344

I certainly would not like to be milling on my lathe, although it would be possible to do so in a manner... anyway, I'm not looking for a "workaround" solution, and would prefer to buy either a new machine that would be capable of the required accuracy and milling performance, or a good quality used machine that can still meet these requirements.

Hennie
 
For stability and precision you want to hold mills in a collet. For speed of handling you may use a drill chuck at the penalty of stability and some precision. A problem with the three jaw chuck - in addition to the already mentioned questionable holding power - is that if the mill slips the shank will be damaged. And a damaged shank will always damage a drill chuck and more seriously will damage your expensive collets. Therefore a golden workshop rule is to always rework shanks that are damaged and certainly before putting them in collets or drill chucks.
 
Where I live having a little shed or workshop is acceptable but things like Bridgeports are the fastest way of losing property values and more importantly- friendships.

In the cold and harsh world of reality, the average house price is about £250,0) and recently house prices have risen in value by 10.8%.


That is a lot of Bridgeports- if one is prepared to lose hard earned money:D
 
Where I live having a little shed or workshop is acceptable but things like Bridgeports are the fastest way of losing property values and more importantly- friendships.

This is an interesting statement - do you care to elaborate?
Not being an accountant, I cannot see how even a noisy milling machine would affect one's property value. After all, after you have sold the house you will be moving out with your machines, and any "lost" value would be immediately corrected... Creating unhappiness with the neighbours is of course a different matter IF they live very close to you, but that is also not the case with me.
 
This is an interesting statement - do you care to elaborate?
Not being an accountant, I cannot see how even a noisy milling machine would affect one's property value. After all, after you have sold the house you will be moving out with your machines, and any "lost" value would be immediately corrected... Creating unhappiness with the neighbours is of course a different matter IF they live very close to you, but that is also not the case with me.
In USA, this would not happen, at least not leagally as we have noise ordinances (laws) that one cannot make noise from 8:00AM to 10:00 PM. Besides, a mill reallly is not thta noisy anyway. The loudest thing I have in my shop is my lathe and one cannot hear it if one stands in front of the garage door outside. Owning a mill in my place would probably RAISE the property prices.

Whoops, that is, you cannot make noise OUTSIDE 8AM to 10PM. During this time period you can make reasonable noise. Most noise that we would make would be small compared to why the laws were made which mostly come from kids parties or kids seeking attention with their music so loud it shakes the neighbors windows and the cat and dog hide where their ears won't be destroyed and you cannot sleep but need to get up early for your work.
 
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For stability and precision you want to hold mills in a collet. For speed of handling you may use a drill chuck at the penalty of stability and some precision. A problem with the three jaw chuck - in addition to the already mentioned questionable holding power - is that if the mill slips the shank will be damaged. And a damaged shank will always damage a drill chuck and more seriously will damage your expensive collets. Therefore a golden workshop rule is to always rework shanks that are damaged and certainly before putting them in collets or drill chucks.
Absolutely. If you have no choice, however, it is completly do-able as I have done it a couple times. One must be careful and go slowly or you get a crappy part and have all the other problems people speak of.
 
This is an interesting statement - do you care to elaborate?
Not being an accountant, I cannot see how even a noisy milling machine would affect one's property value. After all, after you have sold the house you will be moving out with your machines, and any "lost" value would be immediately corrected... Creating unhappiness with the neighbours is of course a different matter IF they live very close to you, but that is also not the case with me.
and others
Well No. The propertyn is too valuable to sell:p
The story is Shavian or merely Masonic but George Bernard Shaw;s Pygmalian sort of tells the story of I was like Elirags to riches aided by a friendly freemason or or in my case - though I could only gues- were masons.
I was like the heroine in the story a snotty nosed urchin who didn't sell flowers but grew and sold spinach.
The most important thing in my life was- when I became a mason, I ytied to do somethubng much the same. I'm a Grand Patron of the Charity and it is meet and proper that I have.

So hpuse valies? Well I said a quarter of a million punds was averahe and had- accorfing to the Nationwide Building Society who does mortgages risen by 10.8%. So the houses across the little road are HALF the National Average__. and far beyond where I was born but after the ;pss of my eife, I hssve 'sold up' houses all over Europe and a, left with a house which is twkice or thrice the National Average- plus the obligatory amost 11%. Or laughingly, to my kids as I am getting on good terms whwith the Grim Reaper.

But- But in a few minutes my next Quorn kit is scheduled to arrive

Fraternal Greetings to my bretheren and best wishes to those who are not


Norman
 
A drill chuck was not designed for side load.

Dave

For stability and precision you want to hold mills in a collet. For speed of handling you may use a drill chuck at the penalty of stability and some precision. A problem with the three jaw chuck - in addition to the already mentioned questionable holding power - is that if the mill slips the shank will be damaged. And a damaged shank will always damage a drill chuck and more seriously will damage your expensive collets. Therefore a golden workshop rule is to always rework shanks that are damaged and certainly before putting them in collets or drill chucks.
 
Looks great.
I did about same my mill improved the torque and for slow speed i can add center pulley. The center pulley is as large fit and i move the belt up one step for low speed give greater belt rap on small pulley increases the torque and same lowering the speed to 120 rpm.

DaveView attachment 126345View attachment 126346
Big Red! I have one of those, converted to variable speed with a treadmill motor, and a different but comparable home-made fine-feed and quill DRO as I can see in your pictures. But my unit has been sitting unused for the last two or three years - I found a good price on a 2J Bridgeport and have found it so much more capable that I have simply never used the mill drill except as a shelf. I thought I would hold onto it to be a second-op mill or to serve as a semi-precision drill station, but it hasn't happened yet ...
 
I have mine for retirement
The Bridgeport is just to big to fit in garage with the wife's car.
But Big Red is just size as takes little space and 2 people to move.
Right now I working on Horizontal milling attachment that has a reduction too..

Any photos of Yours ?

Dave

Big Red! I have one of those, converted to variable speed with a treadmill motor, and a different but comparable home-made fine-feed and quill DRO as I can see in your pictures. But my unit has been sitting unused for the last two or three years - I found a good price on a 2J Bridgeport and have found it so much more capable that I have simply never used the mill drill except as a shelf. I thought I would hold onto it to be a second-op mill or to serve as a semi-precision drill station, but it hasn't happened yet ...
 
Any photos of Yours ?

Sure! I don't have many on my computer, but here are a few. The first picture shows the overall mill (though you can't see the treadmill motor at the back, nor the motor controls mounted in the head on the left); the second picture shows the quill "DRO" (aka cheap HF digital caliper), and the third picture shows the way I did the fine feed.

The fourth picture will probably seem odd ... but it was one of the most important modifications I made to the Big Red. The head is secured to the column with a clamp, with the idea that the head can rotate on the column in order to extend its reach. Unfortunately, no matter how much I tensioned the clamping bolts, I found that the head sometimes rotated unintentionally due to medium-to-heavy cutting forces - which inevitably ruined the setup if not the part. I wound up drilling through the head and into the column and tapping the column, so that I could put a bolt through on each side to secure it where it could not rotate. I can still remove these bolts to rotate the head if needed (I think I needed to do that once in all the years I used the mill), but otherwise these two little bolts provide a lot of peace of mind.
 

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One best thing I did Big Red is use a tang and draw bar for milling holder. It has 1/4" hole for draw bar.
So just i just a 3/8" NC and drill and tap a 1/4" NC the ground a tang threat in milling holder.
Happy days no more milling holder turning in mill.

Dave

Big Red! I have one of those, converted to variable speed with a treadmill motor, and a different but comparable home-made fine-feed and quill DRO as I can see in your pictures. But my unit has been sitting unused for the last two or three years - I found a good price on a 2J Bridgeport and have found it so much more capable that I have simply never used the mill drill except as a shelf. I thought I would hold onto it to be a second-op mill or to serve as a semi-precision drill station, but it hasn't happened yet ...
 
Did yours not come with a draw bar from the factory? Mine did - an odd shaped one to be sure, since it has to be inserted from the bottom of the quill rather than from the top, but definitely a draw bar is needed. I have never felt the need for a tang - with the draw bar and the Morse taper, the concern I have had a few times is that the tooling gets TOO tight and requires supreme effort to release. Never ever had any tooling spin on me ...

Here's a picture of the draw bar from my unit:
 

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Looks great 👍
Mine looks used today.

I did upgrade to a 3/4 HP motor and reverse for tapping.

Good news Big Red is still made today and you find all parts.

Dave

I am use all thread for the draw bar HF was to cheap to supply one

Sure! I don't have many on my computer, but here are a few. The first picture shows the overall mill (though you can't see the treadmill motor at the back, nor the motor controls mounted in the head on the left); the second picture shows the quill "DRO" (aka cheap HF digital caliper), and the third picture shows the way I did the fine feed.

The fourth picture will probably seem odd ... but it was one of the most important modifications I made to the Big Red. The head is secured to the column with a clamp, with the idea that the head can rotate on the column in order to extend its reach. Unfortunately, no matter how much I tensioned the clamping bolts, I found that the head sometimes rotated unintentionally due to medium-to-heavy cutting forces - which inevitably ruined the setup if not the part. I wound up drilling through the head and into the column and tapping the column, so that I could put a bolt through on each side to secure it where it could not rotate. I can still remove these bolts to rotate the head if needed (I think I needed to do that once in all the years I used the mill), but otherwise these two little bolts provide a lot of peace of mind.
 
Yes, I had cleaned up the machine when I took those pictures. It definitely looks a wee bit more used at the moment - even though it has been sitting unused for two or three years!
 
It is great small mill but come simi finish.
But China with very low cost labor it is great set a day worker to do just cut.

I suprises no one has no made upgrade kit

Today there no mill of that size sold in America, either a mini mill or a the large bench.

Dave

Yes, I had cleaned up the machine when I took those pictures. It definitely looks a wee bit more used at the moment - even though it has been sitting unused for two or three years!
 
I have a very similar "mill-drill" (Neither one nor the other, but a compromise). And it too has been modified to take an extra locking bolt to prevent rotation.
But I have changed the original bolts for new high-tensile, and have no problem with rotation any more. Dynamically, I try and set-up so all milling forces/reactions are not developing torque on the head, but are directed towards the mill column. But that isn't always possible. Due to a very tight corner, the head is always at an angle to the carriage travel anyway, so I can only minimise the torque, not eliminate it. I hesitate to use the extra tapping as a locking bolt, as I don't want to damage the column, and the original location is wrong for me anyway. I have to raise and lower the head sometimes for drilling, or changing from milling to drilling, or chuck to bed of carriage. So judicious and careful lighter cuts and feed ensure I don't generate the torque that would cause slip of the head on the column anyway. When slip did happen, I found it was many tiny incremental movements, not a single slip. So you can't detect it happening. But a dab of typists correction fluid on the column/head that cracked at the first slippage showed me what was going wrong, and why the cut wasn't as the scale on the feed.
These are NOT industrial quality tools - cost but a small fraction of a decent tool, so respect the tool you can afford, for what it can do, and don't expect "industrial" cutting speeds and feeds. Even though mine has a 1.5Hp. Motor, and FWD-REV control, I always tap by hand rotation so I can "feel" the cut. - Avoids broken taps, especially on a complicated job, or casting. (Easy to release the motor belt tension, to free the quill).
I like the machine, despite its shortcomings.
Don't blame the tool, just learn to live within its limitations, until you need or can afford better. This is a Hobby, to be enjoyed for as long as possible, not a business where speed and time are money.
Different folks, especially blokes!
Nuff sed.
K2
 

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