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Dore-Westbury Mill

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DMB14/06/2021 20:53:25
1150 forum posts
1 photos

I have recently acquired a MK1, which seems to be in fairly good condition, just needing re-wire with NVR + E-stop and general clean, oil and grease.

I thought that while dismantled, I would measure certain parts and weigh all, as I recall someone recently querying how heavy. Here goes; Bed + column support castings together, 44lb/19Kg, with column and T casting on top, combined weight 58lb/26Kg. Base of bed to top of column support casting, 11.5"/30cm. Total length of column under the T casting 14.75"/37.5cm. Y function cross slide incl leadscrew gear weighs 17lb/8.5Kg. X function/table incl. leadscrew gear is 32lb/15Kg and measures 16.25"/41cm x 5.5"/14cm. 1/4hp motor + support bracket and belt tensioning gear, 17lb/11Kg. I have apparently not recorded weight of the vertical spindle assembly, will come back on that.

Seems to be a very good design of amateur bench mill, just a pity that height adjustment via the column looses registration, much like my Fobco Star bench drill and many or all others.



Edited By DMB on 14/06/2021 20:57:17

Brian Wood15/06/2021 18:40:42
2435 forum posts
37 photos

Hello John,

There is a really simple fix for loss of position when having to raise/lower the column during cutting operations.

Buy yourself one of those laser board pointers, the green is a good strong colour, and park it up on top of the mill aimed at some distant vertical edge in your workshop. Any error will be utterly trivial over a long distance, far better I think than struggling with other mechanical methods..

And another simple tip, this time for tramming the head, is to use a lathe faceplate on the nose of the spindle brought down flat to the table. Cheap, quick and in my view a whole lot easier than messing about with rotated dial test indicators or twin versions of them on frames.

Enjoy your new toy. I've had nearly 30 years of use out of mine since building it, and it has worked hard at times.



old mart15/06/2021 19:07:26
3310 forum posts
203 photos

I fitted a laser on the side of the museum's drill mill, it reflects off a window about 9 feet and back to a white target next to the laser. It is accurate to 0.002" and could be better if I got hold of a laser with a better focussed beam.

DMB15/06/2021 20:16:12
1150 forum posts
1 photos

Brian and old mart, thank you for your suggestions which I'll follow in due course.

This mill came from a recently deceased life long friend who said many years ago that I should save my pennies and buy what I need and get on with model engineering. You can spend your life making tools to make more tools and not get the ME - ing done. I therefore think that he bought, rather than made his mill. Very good workmanship by unknown builder but my pal was a capable model maker and won a medal for his loco at one ME exhibition. He would have been able to build the DW to a high standard.

I have so far made a drip tray and sat the mill on blocks of wood for extra column adjustment and as vibration absorption. Also rewired with red/green pushbutton NVR +E-stop. Next roundtoits likely to be laser positioning for the head alignment and DRO, might even push the boat out and have an all singing etc, type that collects all the data on one screen with hole positioning etc. I have the very basic individual DROs on my other mill. Dont plan to do CNC, it's rather beyond my education level, I struggle with 'puters and not much time left on this planet to learn, it will bite into modelmaking time!


not done it yet15/06/2021 20:56:52
6251 forum posts
20 photos

A good set up by old mart but a couple of suggestions for anyone who takes up the laser method.

Most of these laser pointers can be focus-improved with a suitable collimating lens in front of the device. A reflective metal mirror would be better than reflection from a glass mirror - no aberration due to reflection at surface and silvering, or both surfaces of a window pane. Even a prism, using total internal reflection, might be a useful ploy.

old mart15/06/2021 21:09:25
3310 forum posts
203 photos

I will have to see if there is any improvement to be made in the laser, actually one of those sights that can be fitted to airguns. I have a small spirit level with a built in laser which has a much finer focus which could be used. Despite only reflecting off a window, the return beam is very easy to see.

Brian Wood16/06/2021 09:09:43
2435 forum posts
37 photos

Hello again John,

Picking up on your plans for a DRO on the DW mill. I agree with you on the thinking behind going for a version that displays PCDs, it is one of the most useful features even if you don't expect to use it very often.

Nice to hear your have been able to acquire a decent and well made piece of kit



Mike Crossfield16/06/2021 10:43:34
263 forum posts
36 photos


+1 for the DRO. I’ve made several improvement to my Mk 1 DW, but one of the most useful was the addition of the DRO. Space is a bit limited on the DW, but if you go for compact magnetic scales, they can be fitted quite neatly without losing any travel. Some photos in my album if you’re interested.

Enjoy your new toy.


DMB16/06/2021 20:04:00
1150 forum posts
1 photos

Brian and Mike, thank you both for your replies. Mike, I will look in your album later.

I now have details of the vertical head - it weighs 35lb/16Kg. Made an old man puff a bit, holding it up and getting it in alignment to enter the T casting. Phew, hot in workshop today. The support arm which slides in the T casting, is 8 3/4"/22cm from the motor bracket end to under the head casting. I have taken certain measurements for my future use, e.g., base to top of column support casting is11.5"/30cm and the column is 14 3/4" /37.5cm, so if I want to raise the column and head to max. Safe height, allowing say 2" of column within its support casting, I need only measure the exposed part of the column to know if it's safe. Would only go to min. of 2" for drilling or light milling cuts.

I make the total weight 144lb/95.5Kg incl. a small 4 jaw chuck and not incl. a few locking handles. Someone on here recently guessed 1.5cwt, so not far out.

I hav made a drip tray to catch most swarf but joints not leak proof since I don't plan to swamp the work with floods of coolant. I cut a thin steel sheet to fit mill base close to the back plus several inches in front of the front of the base. It is long enough to cover the bench at either end of the table travel. I measured 35mm in from all sides and drew bend lines along all 4 sides, a line from where they cross, out to the corners of the sheet. These corner lines were cut with tin snips to allow approximately 30° bends. Cut corners bent over and hammered flat. Coat of paint, jobbie done! I'll see how I get on b4 I bore a big hole in the bench and tray to lower the column any further. Bending easy as sheet is thin was clamped with a g clamp each end to hold 2 very thick section steel bars with middle in bench vice and used a rubber mallet.


old mart17/06/2021 18:19:12
3310 forum posts
203 photos

_igp2799.jpgHere are a couple of pictures of the laser, from ebay, which comes with a variety of mounts, and a useful remote switch which is shown fitted. The bit of white paint on the end is the target for the reflection. There is no optical adjustment, but after I cleaned both sides of the end glass, the focus is as good as the other laser that I was thinking of using.



Edited By old mart on 17/06/2021 18:24:38

brian jones 1113/08/2021 12:20:35
276 forum posts
53 photos

Im a bit afraid to ask this question as Im not well school on vertical mills But my DW is a treasure possession and when I asked about end mill and mentioned a 1/2 jacobs chuck I was suitable chastised by 100 lashes of a rhino whip and told to get a proper set of er 25 collets £120

I noticed I had a Myford thread on the spindle and as I had bought and eventually fitted a new 125mm chuck - bit of grief there reported alsewhere Myford nose job.

I now had a repurposed 4" Burnard chuck properly screwed up tight to the DW spindle.

As I had not seen any other references to using a chuck on a mill this way I thought I must be committing some kind of awful sin here

In my simple way it seems to work fine, but I never had any formal training on a mill

Any advice on my usage here


Tony Pratt 113/08/2021 12:31:17
1637 forum posts
8 photos

It's not something I would do as the cutter is likely not to run true & may work it's way out of the 3 jaw chuck under cutting conditions? Having said that if you are happy go for it.


brian jones 1113/08/2021 12:42:32
276 forum posts
53 photos

I should say that although my chuck is 70 yrs old it is in good condition and seems to run true enough for my needs

But your point was strongly made about the jacobs chuck - and quite rightly so.

Maybe I should use a chuck stop (spider) so the end mill cant slip inwards

Its certainly something i shall bear in mind only serious use will show up the deficiencies

Pete.13/08/2021 12:56:38
620 forum posts
102 photos

Hardened Jaws don't grip end mills very well, you could maybe try soft Jaws, but still a bad idea in my opinion.

I wouldn't want all that weight on the spindle anyway, but that's just me, treasured possession?

Just get a collet chuck, if you decide it's not for you, you'll have no problems selling it with the machine.

Ady113/08/2021 13:09:19
4661 forum posts
709 photos

Get cheap collets to hold the cutters and use solid carbide cutters about 6mm to buzz through the work at high spindle speeds


JasonB13/08/2021 13:14:54
21284 forum posts
2416 photos
1 articles

It's often more a case of the cutter pulling out of the chuck rather than riding up into it particularly if using a lot of the side of the cutter as the helix pulls it down. Although true the jaws may still have worn over 70yrs and become slightly "bellmouthed" so won't grip well along their whole length.

I've done it a couple of times in the past when milling on the lathe but would not do it now that I'm wiser as I have better ways to hold cutters.

brian jones 1113/08/2021 13:18:05
276 forum posts
53 photos

This is Auntie Doreen we are talking about, max speed 1650

What you are talking about is 3000 rpm + for MS

brian jones 1113/08/2021 13:22:16
276 forum posts
53 photos

OK JB I hadnt thought of bell mouth

I will check on this

I presumably could re grind the jaws in situ, or maybe use a Covid cutter to skim out the jaws parallel (i realise this is not as easy as it sounds)

"helix pulling the cutter out"

I hadnt thought of that, it would explain why i ended up with a deeper cut than when I started on one job

Edited By brian jones 11 on 13/08/2021 13:27:04

brian jones 1113/08/2021 13:23:54
276 forum posts
53 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 13/08/2021 13:09:19:

Get cheap collets to hold the cutters and use solid carbide cutters about 6mm to buzz through the work at high spindle speeds



Edited By brian jones 11 on 13/08/2021 13:24:47

brian jones 1113/08/2021 17:16:26
276 forum posts
53 photos

FWIW screw threads are surprisingly inefficient clamps


eg take a screw (bottle) jack, tests were don in the 1850s to determine how much force was transmitted to the load, for a given torque

bottom line you can lose NN %

just for fun , no cheating with google

What do you think the percentage might be off the top of your head


OBTW thanx for the wisdom, I am suitably humbled for my precocity = stupid boy Pike

Edited By brian jones 11 on 13/08/2021 17:19:45

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