By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Boring on a light mill

Advice on depth of cut etc

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
ChrisB12/04/2019 12:03:05
476 forum posts
180 photos

Hello everyone, I have a question regarding boring on a small milling machine, I have a WM18.

Before buying a proper boring head (there are many different types, sizes and prices!) I thought I'll mock up something simple just to gauge the machine's limitations etc. I used a fly-cutter body I already had and machined a 12mm dia boring bar using a ground drill bit for the cutting edge.

It seemed to work fine on light cuts of say1mm off the diameter, but when I tried to up the depth of cut to 2mm off the diameter I could see the mill head sort of moving - just a little bit but that cant be right no?

I was boring a hole approx 18mm diameter, 40mm deep at about 250rpm, material not sure what exactly but it was a 46mm diameter 8.8HT

The tool seemed rigid enough with no nasty chattering etc, and it cuts ok, after a couple of passes the cutting edge is still sharp. Any advice is welcome, thanks.


Ian S C12/04/2019 12:20:31
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Just keep to light cuts, even .25 mm to .5 mm is OK, it just takes time. Patience is what is needed. I'v often wondered if I could do a better job boring cylinders for my hot air engines on the mill, rather than on the lathe as I do now.

Ian S C

David George 112/04/2019 12:30:13
1195 forum posts
409 photos

Hi Chris I have a similar Chester mill and have no problem boring just bought bog standard boring head no problems.



ChrisB12/04/2019 12:35:16
476 forum posts
180 photos

Is that a 2" head David? and what speed do you run it at?

David George 112/04/2019 12:55:18
1195 forum posts
409 photos

Yes it's a 2" and it depends on what material and diamiter I am boring small hole faster maybe 750 rpm and 6inch diamiter 150 rpm. Also brass and ally faster than hard steel. A good strong boring bar is essential if it comes with a set of boring bars they will need grinding with a green grit or diamond wheel. I make bars for different jobs.


JasonB12/04/2019 13:03:23
17856 forum posts
1954 photos
1 articles

On My X3 with a 2" head I seldom take more that 0.050" ( 1.3mm) off diameter which is one turn of the dial.

I would say 2mm is getting a bit much and the HT bolt won't have helped, I'd be running faster than you but with boring heads it is often the balance that will govern your speed not what the book says..

ChrisB12/04/2019 13:34:13
476 forum posts
180 photos

I see, I was doing it all wrong then, will try a higher speed and less depth of cut (which is a hit and miss with my current set up!) What sort of boring head do you reccomend?

I have seen this: **LINK** which will need a replacement arbour

and this: **LINK** which should be a direct fit on my mill. Are these any good or there are better options?

John Haine12/04/2019 13:48:30
3013 forum posts
160 photos

The first would be much preferred if you can get it, but the arbor (which is not a leafy glade) may not be easily replaceable. I have a small Arrand boring head and one of the generic 2" jobbies, the Arrand is a joy to use but the big one decidedly hit and miss on getting an accurate feed.

Douglas Johnston12/04/2019 15:46:20
684 forum posts
32 photos

When using a boring head in the mill is it better to provide the downward feed with the head locked and using the quill or the quill locked and using the head feed. I have used both methods in the past with success but have often wondered which way is best from an accuracy point of view.


SillyOldDuffer12/04/2019 16:11:54
5633 forum posts
1157 photos

Posted by ChrisB on 12/04/2019 13:34:13:


and this: **LINK** which should be a direct fit on my mill. Are these any good or there are better options?

Chris's link took me to a ordinary looking boring head about twice the size of the one I use on my WM18 but otherwise typical of the breed. I noticed though it's described as a 'Rough Boring Head', a term I don't understand. Is it just that it's hefty enough to take roughing cuts, or - can't imagine why not - it somehow can't produce a good finish?

I bought a smaller head thinking it would take up less space. No doubt it isn't as rigid as a 3" head which can also bore bigger holes as well. Am I missing something about small vs big boring heads?


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 12/04/2019 16:15:09

ChrisB12/04/2019 17:36:00
476 forum posts
180 photos

This is what I'm using at the moment - no control whatsoever on fine adjustment just guess work, but for the current project it's fine.




But I want a proper one for better control - the one in the last link is quite big true, not sure it's fit for a WM18, price is good...not sure about the quality tho!

PS: sorry for the inverted images!

Bazyle12/04/2019 17:39:44
5141 forum posts
199 photos

Boring is just turning inside out with a less rigid machine.

What sort of lathe does your mill head look like if it were all turned on its side? Perhaps a 3in lathe with a ridiculous 8in centre height. How rigid is that?
If you were turning mystery metal or 8.8 bolt in this 'lathe' would your first cut be 40thou ? I'd be starting at 10thou or less to see how it performed.

JasonB12/04/2019 18:24:13
17856 forum posts
1954 photos
1 articles

Tool looks blunt in the last photo, also make sure the back edge does not rub on the holes sidewall.

ChrisB13/04/2019 10:45:52
476 forum posts
180 photos

Thanks Bazyle, you're reasoning is obviously right, should have thought of that silly me!

Jason , true the bit looks blunt in the photo, but in reality it is sharp...ish, the bit is a 3.9mm drill bit so it's a bit small. The thing with boring at small increments is it going to take a very long time without having the hole predrilled with a close enough dia drill.

JasonB13/04/2019 11:26:48
17856 forum posts
1954 photos
1 articles

Chris if that is the shank of a 3.9mm drill then they are not as hard as the business end and will soon lose the edge, just think of how easily a drill shank is chewed up if it spins in a chuck. If you are going to regrind old tools then ctr drills or end mill shanks will be fully hard all the way along.

ChrisB13/04/2019 13:19:38
476 forum posts
180 photos

I noticed that, the first try was a common twist drill...which as you say was pretty useless, so I used a stub drill, the hacksaw and file slips off it so I think it's "ok". Bored the hole from 12 to 22mm without issues.

Will see if I can find some larger drills to reduce the "boring" time!

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest