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Viceroy AEW

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Ian McVickers16/04/2019 10:19:39
180 forum posts
88 photos

Hi all,

I am thinking about replceing my Warco GH universal with a AEW Viceroy mill with a vertical head. Trying to decide if I can do without having a quill feed... but I was wondering how quiet these machine run if anyone has experience of them?



Phil Common16/04/2019 11:44:28
2 forum posts

Hi Ian,

Me mate Trevor has an AEW and has given up on it. Nicely made and so forth but the vertical head sits on the end of the horizontal spindle and as a result there is really no room between the vert spindle nose and the bed: like 4" no room. He's planning to pass his on and bought something much bigger.

They are probably a nice horizontal but no use as a vertical


Ian McVickers16/04/2019 14:17:37
180 forum posts
88 photos

Thanks Phil. Going by the photos and the info I could get on the web there is only 300mm max vertical height. So I suppose by the time a vice is fitted, boring head and part there wont be much left. All of my tooling is R8 as well so Ive been pricing up replacements and its getting expensive plus the work to sort out the electrics on the mill itself and a new dro. Might have to rethink this one and look for something different with a R8 spindle.

Alan Waddington 216/04/2019 16:28:29
503 forum posts
87 photos

Not had that particular mill, but have had several similar, Tom Senior etc, last one was a lovely universal Delta Hero,

Found them all frustrating due to lack of daylight, you run out of room very quickly.

Vertical heads are also pretty useless for drilling, as it’s hard to feel whats going on when cranking a handle.

And of course you can only drill vertical holes.

I wouldn’t consider a mill without a quill now, it just makes everything so much easier.


Ian McVickers22/04/2019 06:34:53
180 forum posts
88 photos

Been looking at bridgeports and have decided that's its going to be a major hassle getting one in to my workshop so back at looking at horizontal machine with a vertical head. Now I have seen a Bridgeport M head which could be fitted to a 1ES or similar with a bit of work on an adapter plate but it has a 2MT spindle which mean changing tooling but does anyone have experience with 2MT for milling? I realise that the cutter diameter is limited to 1/2" but I think the only tool I use with a bigger shank was a home made fly cutter so will it really be a problem? Just looking for some opinions/ideas here.

Nigel McBurney 122/04/2019 09:14:48
710 forum posts
3 photos

I had many years ago a Tom senior with the standard vertical head,no room under spindle,head has to be removed to use the horizontal spindle,and 2MT spindle ,this size of spindle and tooling is too light for general work,I moved onto a full size turret mill and a universal mill with 40 int spindles,I have now downsized my workshop and now just have an Elliot 00 Omnimill which has 3 mt vertical and horizontal spindles ,it is easy and quick to change from vert to horizontal just by swinging the whole vert head assembly to one sde,no lifting involved.and lots of space under the spindle. It was fitted with a 3000 rpm 3/4 hp single phase motor by a previous owner far too fast ,and even with a 1450 rpm motor bottom speed was too high for me at 200 rpm,too high for large slitting saws on tough materials,now improved with Newton tesla inverter pack with 1 1/2 hp motor(80mm frame) It has quill feed and head swivels.When using heavy cuts on steel I have made a quick fit steady plate to stiffen the vertical on my album.When milling always go for the larger spindle .The 3mt vert spindle allows the mill to be used a heavy duty drilling machine,though I dont use it as I have a 10 speed Meddings floor standing drill which is a very good machine.

Ian McVickers22/04/2019 09:43:29
180 forum posts
88 photos

Nigel, how is the Elliot mill for general milling and model work ? Is the overarm design pretty rigid?

Fatgadgi22/04/2019 09:45:11
161 forum posts
19 photos

I have an AEW vertical mill which I've kept busy for 20 years and I like it - it's a good machine and I've have done a lot of work on it.

It is accurate and robust for it's class and size, but it is a small mill, not a Bridgeport, with restricted daylight compared to a bigger machine. But it fits into the corner of my crowded workshop perfectly.

A quill feed would have been very nice, yes, but I have had to accept that it takes 60 seconds longer per hole if I want to drill on the same setting, and sometimes a long taper drill on a high part is too long to fit because of the taper adapter from 30INT to MT, so if I run out of room or have a lot of holes to drill, I pilot or spot and transfer to the drill. Driiling tiny holes would obviously not be a sensible thing to attempt, but larger than 1mm is possible with care.

My first mill was a new FE Mill/Drill which I sold within a year and bought the ex-school AEW. No regrets on that decision.

Cheers Will

Paul Kemp22/04/2019 11:05:39
489 forum posts
18 photos


I too have an Elliot 00 Omnimill. I have had it running for just over a year now, and I love it! I am currently building a 6" scale traction engine and it has done everything I have asked of it. The only job I haven't done on the cylinder block on it was boring it out for the liner and facing the end flanges and fly cutting the saddle and that is because I didn't have a boring head for it at the time and also had access to a Kearns HBM so it made more sense to use that for that job. I cut all my gears on it using the horizontal spindle, I did find the three table feeds a little limiting for that as even the slowest was a bit too fast but like Nigel I have it set up with VFD's so just engaged a faster speed on the spindle and then slowed it with the VFD to suit the cutter which gave an acceptable feed rate. The feed on mine is a shaft drive to the gearbox on the table with a single speed belt reduction off the main spindle gearbox input. Later ones have a seperate motor on the feed so if you stick a VFD on that you have infinitely variable feeds too.

I haven't found any real problem with rigidity on the vertical head, I regularly use a 2" 4 insert face cutter to hog off metal. The ability to swivel the head was invaluable when drilling the steam ports and the ability to swing the head in combination with extending or retracting it also means you can get the cutter over any part of the table. Having to re-tram the head when extending or retracting it can be a slight annoyance at first but now I can set it in a minute or two. 3MT in both spindles means tooling is interchangeable. When machining the TE cylinder I was able to set it up on the table saddle down, machine the top face with the vertical head, swap the face mill to the horizontal spindle and machine the valve chest face so at one setting I had 2 reference faces flat and square. As Nigel says you can also use MT shank drills and reamers - last weekend I drilled and reamed a 7/8" hole in my cross head without having to take it off the table and transfer to the radial arm drill.

It's old (almost as old as me) has a fair bit of backlash in the table nut and the slides could benefit from a pass with a scraper but it does everything I need and I won't be getting rid of it out of choice any time soon!


Clive Foster22/04/2019 11:17:23
2212 forum posts
73 photos

Worth remembering that the AEW and similar vertical mills are fundamentally small industrial types designed for a different style of work to Bridgeports and similar machines having quills with sensitive drilling capability.

Basically, on the shop floor, they were used like horizontal mills so great table to cutter depth and drilling capability are simply not needed. Oversimplifying the industrial advantage is primarily being able to cut to a square or defined angle corner. The disadvantage compared to horizontal mills is the inability to rapidly bury the operator in chips! A big horizontal wearing a slab or set of gang cutters run hard on piece work shifts metal at positively unreal rate.

Big basic industrial vertical mill do have significant workpiece depth capability but thats basically a byproduct of the size needed to handle large workpieces. The cutters are generally situ fairly short so you don't need huge movement to clear the job.

Some industrial types did have alternative vertical heads fitted with quills. Elliott / Victoria called theirs fine feed types. Usually tow or three inches of extra daylight compared to the standard vertical. Mostly found, as on the Elliot /Victoria range, on basic mills with relatively large table to spindle distance. Having played with the Elliott/Victoria 2 series the fine feed head is very good but the higher build of the machine is not an un-mixed blessing as compared to an Adcock Shipley. From an industrial point of view the Adcokc Shipley elevating head system can be a useful idea. But sensitive drilling is seriously not what its intended for.

Ian Richardson 612/07/2020 08:52:59
2 forum posts

Is there anybody out there with an AEW Viceroy Vertical Mill, i bought one just over a year ago its in beautiful condition looking as though its never been used much, last electrical test 2001 according to the stickers and the amount of old dried crud and oil i would say its been sat unused for years, according to the data plate one of the last made, only thing that sems to be missing is the drip trays that lock into the base (anybody got the measurements for them)?? I bought it for when i retire and lose the access to machines at work, i dont have the headroom in my garage for a Bridgeport or the money to buy one, the Viceroy was cheap and will cover most of what i want to do, then it will be favours from old collages. Ive stripped it all down and rebuilt it this last year only needing to replace one leadscrew thrust washer, swarf bellows and a replacement Vee belt, its now got to the stage that i need to sort out the electrics and buy an digital inverter, having no electrical knowledge means i havent a clue what to buy. I dont want to change the motors to single phase and would like to run everything (all 3 motors) from one source via the original control panel on the machine if thats possible?? So if theres any AEW Viceroy mill owners out there who have gone throught this process could you give me some advice / pointers. A friend at work suggested changing the x axis feed to those 240v electric units that are now very reasonably priced and much more controllable but i havent a clue how easy they are to adapt onto the machine (there seems to be one worm gear on the motor input shaft that will need changing one day which could be an expense job) so going to one of these drive units might be a cheaper option in the long run.

Hopefully somebody can give me advice on these issues


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