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Astra L4 Mill

Drive train

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Jim Cahill02/07/2017 11:11:42
13 forum posts

I have an Astra L4 Milling machine. The previous owner fitted a variable speed motor because the original drive arrangement was apparently unserviceable and incomplete. I would like to get my hands on a photograph or technical manual showing the original arrangement.

Thor02/07/2017 14:47:25
951 forum posts
22 photos

Hi Jim,

It seems you can buy a manual from,

I assume you have checked out their Astra page, and Neil F.'s Astra page.


Edited By Thor on 02/07/2017 14:47:41

Jim Cahill03/07/2017 11:32:28
13 forum posts

Hello Thor,

Thanks for the links. Neil F's page is informative. His is a later model than mine, but the drive arrangements are likely to be similar.

All the best.

Jim Cahill

C J11/10/2017 00:35:25
66 forum posts
62 photos

Hi Jim,

My L4 came with the original 0.6 hp 3 phase motor and a four step pulley so I changed the connections on the motor from star to delta and bought a variable drive to run it off 240 volts. I also inserted a pipe in place of the switch to give the motor a better flow of cooling air.





Jim Cahill12/10/2017 15:11:27
13 forum posts

Thanks for the info C.J.

The speed control is really a necessity for horizontal milling of steel. I recently finished fitting a triple pulley set to the Astra. It was from a cheap pillar drill. The previous owner of my machine had fitted a washing machine motor with a home made basic variable speed capability. The motor did not produce sufficient torque with the pulley arrangement he had. The additional reduction and choice of ranges provided by the new pulley set has made a world of difference. I can now actually remove metal with the Astra.

I was using the Astra before lunch for drilling some holes in a Quorn component. I had overlooked the holes prior to assembly which made the job a bit tight, but I got away with it.


C J13/10/2017 01:15:13
66 forum posts
62 photos

I am also using MT2 collets directly in the drive head to gain some much needed workspace hight, and in order tighten or loosen the drawbar nut I filed two flats on the edge of the shaft and straightened out a 46mm water pump spanner with which to hold it, you can just see one flat in the first image.

C J13/10/2017 01:19:41
66 forum posts
62 photos



Jim Cahill15/10/2017 14:47:16
13 forum posts

Headroom is always a problem. I have the luxury of a good sized horizontal mill as well as the Astra, but even there I have sometimes turned the vertical head on its side with the job mounted vertically in order to have enough space. One of the good features of the Cincinnati is that it has controls at the side as well as at the front. That allows me to take the head off altogether and mount the tool directly in the horizontal arbor. This latter arrangement provides more power to the cutter, increases rigidity, and allows me to watch progress. I have done the same thing with the Astra, but watching the cut is not so easy.

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