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Lack of Quill on Milling Machine

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Brian H07/07/2019 10:35:26
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1285 forum posts
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I'm on the lookout for a (new to me) milling machine that can tackle both horizontal AND vertical work.

Apart from the Omnimill 00 and Centec machines most do not appear to have a quill for feeding a drill or endmill.

Would a tilting vice answer this problem?

Brian

Chris Evans 607/07/2019 10:41:20
1500 forum posts

I have used a variety of mills over the years and always found ones without a quill a PITA.

Vic07/07/2019 10:55:13
2323 forum posts
12 photos

Another to add to your list is the Alexander, this is a vertical/horizontal mill with a quill albeit with fairy small travel.

steamdave07/07/2019 10:58:05
417 forum posts
32 photos

Look for a Thiel, Alexander, Dekel or even an Aciera ram type mill.

Lots of info on Lathes.co.uk

Dave
The Emerald Isle (An ex-Thiel user)

old mart07/07/2019 11:29:15
777 forum posts
76 photos

The Tom Senior light vertical we are refurbishing has a quill with 2 1/2" travel as well as the knee movement. The same head is also fitted to some of their more advanced models which have a horizontal spindle as well. The downside of the quill, is that most of them only have MT2 spindles, although the horizontal spindle is BT30.

I am going to modify our quill to use R8, not exactly straightforward, but doable.

As already mentioned, the "lathes UK " site is the best place to research the many types of mills available to meet your requirements.

Nigel Graham 207/07/2019 11:47:01
436 forum posts

The Myford VMC has a quill - rack-and-pinion only, not fine-feed, which would necessitate using the knee. I have the impression quill-fitted mills are the majority.

'

Vic -

" albeit with fairy small travel "

You're lucky your workshop faerie-folk help you. Mine just delight in hiding things.

not done it yet07/07/2019 12:06:31
3545 forum posts
15 photos

IMO the quill is for drilling, not milling, unless access is difficult. Why increase the bearing loading and any machine errors (very considerably with the quill fully extended) by end-milling with an extended quill? Seems like a good way to reduce the life of any machine, so clearly (to me) is bad practice if used on a regular basis.

ER and Clarkson collet systems can, and do, certainly add considerable extra bearing loads when milling, without a quill extension on top of that. I always use the knee for height setting, if possible when milling.

A tilting vise could clearly be used for drilling at an angle, with a mill with no quill, although other means of work-holding are available to those that don’t have one. A tilting vice (or other fixing methods) could still be used even with a mill with quill - and especially necessary for those mills with a quill but without a tilting head!

In the absence of much prior consideration (of the possible alternatives), perhaps think of sine blocks, angle plates, tilting angle plates and simple packing pieces as alternatives to a tilting vise. After all, they are not need that often.

old mart07/07/2019 16:31:38
777 forum posts
76 photos

The tilting vise would be useful for small component milling, but adds quite a lot of flexibility and has its limitations.

Having a mill which has both spindles adds to the cost of tooling and you need to be sure that none of the special parts needed to utilise all the functions are missing when you make the purchase. Don't be fobbed off with statements like "you can easily get the part that's missing".

David George 107/07/2019 21:22:59
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966 forum posts
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I would get a Bridgeport if you have the room there are very few jobs that can't be done on on one.

David

Vic07/07/2019 22:00:05
2323 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 07/07/2019 11:47:01:

The Myford VMC has a quill - rack-and-pinion only, not fine-feed, which would necessitate using the knee. I have the impression quill-fitted mills are the majority.

'

Vic -

" albeit with fairy small travel "

You're lucky your workshop faerie-folk help you. Mine just delight in hiding things.

Yeah, I just noticed that, blinking predictive text and smell checkers! cheeky

Zan07/07/2019 23:55:12
128 forum posts
5 photos

That’s why I wouldn’t consider any miller without R8 tooling. It allows minimal overhang the amount with a chuck and the tool can be surprisingly big. The quill is for drilling, but it makes it easy to set the z axis. Lift the table to 90, drop the quill with tool onto a 10 thou shim onto the work plane, lock quill, drop table. Remove shim. All now zeroed. Not so easy without the quill. It is in constant use. Makes jig boring possible as well. Tp

 

For machine with a knee or without a quill check there is no droop of the knee ( slack/weather in the dovetail?) this is a common problem with well used machines. I had a friend with an elderly Bridgeport, when the knee was locked the table lifted 15 thou but it was fully and correctly fully adjusted. Still did nice work, although the knee was for position only, the  quill was for adding cuts  . Only possible with a fine down feed , not rack and pinion but with possibly a worm n wheel.

 

i had a nice Rishton mill great,accurate but no fine feed on the quill only the capstan, I  sold it because of this..shame  now I would now have converted it to cnc.....

Edited By Zan on 07/07/2019 23:58:58

Alan Waddington 208/07/2019 00:23:39
448 forum posts
86 photos

To those stating the quill is only for drilling, i would counter it also comes in very handy when boring, especially when power feed is employed.

not done it yet08/07/2019 07:07:37
3545 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by Alan Waddington 2 on 08/07/2019 00:23:39:

To those stating the quill is only for drilling, i would counter it also comes in very handy when boring, especially when power feed is employed.

And how do you think I bore on my mill with knee, but with no quill? Power feed to the knee is just as possible as fitting to the quill. I might even suggest that a powered knee is far more beneficial than powering the quill!

JasonB08/07/2019 07:20:47
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The quill certainly makes it easier on the arms as you are not winding up a heavy table or head if you have a lot of holes to drill, light plunge cuts to mill or even for light slotting.

Also allows a DRO equiped mill to be used for accurate drilling all in one op rather than having to mark out and transfer to a drill press.

Chris Evans 608/07/2019 08:09:28
1500 forum posts

Plus 1 for David George's comment. "Get a Bridgeport" if you have the room and budget. From a Bridgeport user.....

Brian H08/07/2019 14:09:58
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1285 forum posts
99 photos

Many thanks for your very helpful comments. I've had a look at Bridgeports but I don't quite have the height in the workshop for one and my reason for wanting a machine that will do horizontal as well is that I shall need to do some gearcutting in the not too distant future.

I missed out on a very cheap Centec overnight, even though it needed some work but at the price I would have kept my vertical as well. Must move faster next time!

There seems to be a number of machines with a vertical head, such as the Centec and Senior with no quill but I don't see the point in being able to swivel the head if you can only mill angled faces, and even then it is not easy to put a cut on, unless I'm misunderstanding the method of use.

Brian

Dave Halford08/07/2019 14:56:35
486 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Brian H on 08/07/2019 14:09:58:

I missed out on a very cheap Centec overnight, even though it needed some work but at the price I would have kept my vertical as well. Must move faster next time!

There seems to be a number of machines with a vertical head, such as the Centec and Senior with no quill but I don't see the point in being able to swivel the head if you can only mill angled faces, and even then it is not easy to put a cut on, unless I'm misunderstanding the method of use.

Brian, Not so sure what you missed out on.

The belt gearing is unnecessary unless it's got the wrong speed motor.

The shaft bearing plate is the wrong way round, the flats should be vertical so the gears have been messed with.

All the oilers have been replaced with grease nipples, only the vertical head had grease nipples.

Worth 150 but not worth a bidding war imho.

Heads with the quill go for around 300 more than the fixed version. >????

old mart08/07/2019 22:07:56
777 forum posts
76 photos

There is a Senior vertical head which fits on the horizontal spindle, it has no quill and is quite low which looses Z height. The models of head with a quill have their own separate motor and mount higher on the machine.

Alan Waddington 208/07/2019 23:11:36
448 forum posts
86 photos

More than one way to skin a cat.......which backs up my statement that a quill is NOT just for drilling wink 2

Posted by not done it yet on 08/07/2019 07:07:37:

Posted by Alan Waddington 2 on 08/07/2019 00:23:39:

To those stating the quill is only for drilling, i would counter it also comes in very handy when boring, especially when power feed is employed.

And how do you think I bore on my mill with knee, but with no quill? Power feed to the knee is just as possible as fitting to the quill. I might even suggest that a powered knee is far more beneficial than powering the quill!

ronan walsh09/07/2019 21:38:27
539 forum posts
32 photos

My Tom senior has a vertical head, a head without a quill and it was a pain to use. The vertical head was merely an add-on to update a machine that was outdated, a horizontal mill. Another issue to me was the huge lack of travel in the z-axis, about 4-5 inches between the cutter and the table top, maybe ok for very small work, but hopeless for anything else.

My solution was to graft a Bridgeport varispeed head onto the large cast iron overarm. Its transformed the machine completely, i have much more space under the head, can drill holes at an angle if i tip the head, its been a worthwhile project.

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