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Milling on a Lathe with a Vertical Slide

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William Harvey 109/05/2021 10:20:17
25 forum posts

OK too much choice.

Chronos HSS End Mills - what is the threaded piece at the end for? I just want a straight shank to fit in the 3 jaw chuck?

Drill Service Horley Standard End Mill Cutters - which type do I get, too many unknown abreviations!!

William Harvey 109/05/2021 10:24:38
25 forum posts

Or Arc EuroTrade do HSS Tin Coated?

SillyOldDuffer09/05/2021 11:01:52
Moderator
7229 forum posts
1593 photos
Posted by William Harvey 1 on 09/05/2021 10:24:38:

Or Arc EuroTrade do HSS Tin Coated?

I have some ArcEuro cutters and they're good value.

My advice is not to worry too much. Any cutter will do provided it's in good nick. Just avoid very cheap.

What's unpredictable is whether or not milling on a lathe will allow decent cuts to be taken. Rubbing murders edged tools by causing rapid wear, and lathes set up to mill are at a severe disadvantage. Lack of power and especially rigidity force the operator to take light cuts, which are likely to rub. Although expensive cutters thus misused will last longer than cheap ones, it could be false economy. Save money by ruining cheap tools rather than expensive ones?

Best to understand milling on a lathe has multiple restrictions, including the possibility cutters won't last long. The advantage of milling on a lathe is it can be faster and more accurate than doing the same job with a file, but apart from that it's third-rate all round. Useful up to a point, but no further. Works reasonably on small objects but I found it so frustrating and limiting in practice I immediately started saving for a mill. Milling machines are truly wonderful in comparison because all the lathe imposed restrictions vanish.

The old guys often milled on their lathes and much good work was done. But it was only because most didn't have the space or money for a proper milling machine. It wasn't because lathe milling is a first-class way of munching metal.

Please let us know how you get on. Much depends on what you're doing and Mick's experience is more positive than mine.

Dave

Martin Connelly09/05/2021 11:18:56
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1757 forum posts
189 photos

Threaded cutters are for use in Clarkson, Vertex or similar tool holding systems but can be used in plain collets such as R8 or ER. If you don't need the threaded type they usually cost more than a plain shank because of the need to form the thread.

Unless you plan on making some threaded tool holders to hold onto the cutters best get plain shanks to save some money.

Carbide is very brittle and for someone starting out and using a lathe will probably not be good value as they can be snapped very easily and the edges chipped with ease. Your best bet will probably be plain high speed steel (HSS) and three flutes to start with.

Martin C

Edited By Martin Connelly on 09/05/2021 11:22:34

Dr. MC Black09/05/2021 11:32:00
228 forum posts
1 photos

I inherited a lot of Milling cutters in various sizes, both Imperial and Metric, some with threaded shanks and some plain.

I hold them all in collets and they do the job.

Sometimes, "bundles" of milling cutters are offered on Ebay; it's a gamble as to whether they will be in usable condition but, bear in mind the cost of new from a reputable supplier and set your maximum price.

You could be lucky!

Andy Carlson09/05/2021 12:15:06
365 forum posts
129 photos

FWIW the two I bought most recently were

SDFC3-10.00-S 10.00 HSCo Multi-Purpose Cutter Short
SDFC3-6.00-S 6.00 HSCo Multi-Purpose Cutter Short

They have 3 flutes and mostly plain shanks with a small cutout (but a collet etc will make no use of the cutout)

So far I've used the 10mm one several times on both aluminium and steel. The 6mm one has not been in action yet.

I went for the short ones because they stick out less... which may or may not help with rigidity a bit. On the other hand if you want to cut with the sides of the cutter then it is a disadvantage.

Dr. MC Black09/05/2021 12:53:05
228 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Andy Carlson on 09/05/2021 12:15:06:

FWIW the two I bought most recently were

SDFC3-10.00-S 10.00 HSCo Multi-Purpose Cutter Short
SDFC3-6.00-S 6.00 HSCo Multi-Purpose Cutter Short

Where did you buy these,please?

Clicking on them had no effect.

MC

Andy Carlson09/05/2021 16:01:12
365 forum posts
129 photos
Posted by Dr. MC Black on 09/05/2021 12:53:05:
Posted by Andy Carlson on 09/05/2021 12:15:06:

FWIW the two I bought most recently were

SDFC3-10.00-S 10.00 HSCo Multi-Purpose Cutter Short
SDFC3-6.00-S 6.00 HSCo Multi-Purpose Cutter Short

Where did you buy these,please?

Clicking on them had no effect.

MC

Drill Service, Horley.

Sorry, I just copy/pasted from my order confirmation email. I didn't think to try to make anything clickable.

This is the page with all of the sizes on...

https://www.drill-service.co.uk/products/milling-cutters/standard-length-milling-cutters/sdfc3-hss-3-flute-slot-drill/

William Harvey 110/05/2021 21:13:10
25 forum posts
Posted by Bo'sun on 02/05/2021 09:14:13:

Good morning William,

Warco have a small milling slide that fits in the tool post which might suit your needs. But be mindful that it won't be overly rigid. They also have a base plate for the WM240/250 that takes a larger milling slide. It may be possible to adapt it to fit the WM180 cross slide.

I've had perfectly acceptable results from the milling slide on my WM250, it's just a nuisance to set up, and even more of a nuisance when you revert back to turning, only to find you still have another milling operation to complete. Also, compared to a milling machine, workpiece visibility can be a little restricted.

I’ve been in touch with Warco and they said they will be getting a Vertical Slide especially for the WM180.

in the mean time, when the need arises I’ll probably make up an adaptor plate (as shown in Steve Jordan’s video on YouTube) and bolt on a Angle Plate to attach work pieces to.

William Harvey 110/05/2021 21:21:32
25 forum posts
Posted by IanT on 01/05/2021 22:44:28:

I don't know the WM180 Bill but I started off milling in the lathe and still do so for some things when it suits my needs. What would I recommend?

Well for a start the most rigid set-up you can achieve, which in my book means forgetting swivelling slides - nice idea but rarely essential. My heavy (Chinese) vertical slide attaches to my S7 cross-slide (via an adaptor plate) and if there is any give, it's in the cross-slide - not the slide. For some items that don't need vertical adjustment once set-up, a simple angel plate will often be sufficient. I have a very nice solid 'V' angle plate that I use. The work can be set to the required height by packing, screw-jacks or sometimes just by eye.

The other thing you will need is a secure way to hold the cutter. The cheapest option is a single-size collet-holder but I'd get an ER chuck and use that. Mine are ER32 and they get used a lot for work-holding too.

So if you don't have the money, space or real need for a mill, then there is usually a way to do the work on the lathe. It might not be as quick or as convenient but for some folk that's not a problem in practice.

Regards,

IanT

Milling NS Frames 2 - mar 11.jpg

Sentinel slot drill setup - 230115.jpg

Ian,

I will be opting for the simple approach using Angle plate DIY clamps and a home made adaptor plate, but if I do decide to get a vertical slide, I am struggling to find one the size you were referring to and they all seem to come with an angle plate fitted, which I won’t need. Any details in the one you had?

IanT10/05/2021 23:33:47
1831 forum posts
177 photos

Hello William,

I've had a look for my vertical slide but cannot see anything exactly the same. I guess the Chinese factories tend to do one-off production runs and maybe this particular version has now been superceded.

My table is 6.5" x 4" and has a vertical travel of about 3". It is very heavy. It also has vertical slots and came with vice 'jaws' that ran in them (and which always slip when tightened). However the slots do work OK to hold a small vice. The nearest I can find are the 5" x 4" slides that Arc Euro & Warco sell - although they are now about twice the price that I paid if I recall correctly. I remember lugging it back from a show but not the vendor I'm afraid.

Here's another photo - It's being used on my EW to hold a Taig ER16 milling head - something I sometimes still do in the winter, when I'm staying inside.

Regards,

IanT

EW with Taig - 101113.jpg

Andy Carlson11/05/2021 07:57:35
365 forum posts
129 photos

An interesting repurposing of your IT training plaque there Ian!

How is your milling 'stack' secured to the dovetail lathe bed?

IanT11/05/2021 08:50:30
1831 forum posts
177 photos

Hi Andy,

I cut a length of bar with a matching angle in the Myford and cut it in half for gib pieces. It's very easy to do with a faceplate and some hex bar - just fly-cutting, no special cutter required.

Gib Strip 5 - Oct 2012

One piece is simply bolted to the bottom edge of the raising block but the other piece has slotted holes to allow some movement. Two small clamps on the side of the block tighten the sliding gib inwards and when everything is snugged up it's very solid.

Taig milling head 1.jpg

The set-up works fine for light milling of small parts and is just as easy/quick to set-up as the EW's vertical slide.

Regards,

IanT

Andy Carlson11/05/2021 17:16:34
365 forum posts
129 photos
Posted by IanT on 11/05/2021 08:50:30:

Hi Andy,

I cut a length of bar with a matching angle in the Myford and cut it in half for gib pieces. It's very easy to do with a faceplate and some hex bar - just fly-cutting, no special cutter required.

Thanks Ian. I like the hex bar setup. I must get hold of some larger sized hex so that I can try that one myself.

My Faircut lathe has a 60 degree dovetail bed with an unmachined slot in the middle so I'm always looking for good ways to attach stuff. My Cowells also has a 60 degree dovetail... but at least that one has a machined 'T' in the middle.

IanT12/05/2021 08:35:54
1831 forum posts
177 photos

Large steel hex? - Car boot sale and very old/broken Wolf drill stand for 50p (it was the upright bit)

Regards,

IanT

David George 113/05/2021 08:51:38
avatar
1572 forum posts
482 photos

Hi William here is a picture of my vertical slide in operation. It is mounted on to my M Type Drummond/Myford lathe and I am flycuting the top of a casting. I had to make an adapter plate to bolt to the cross slide which has a set of holes in to match the slide.

20170316_134324.jpg

If you are interested it is for sale as I have a mill now and I don't look like using it anymore. Send a PM if you are interested.

David

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