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Horizontal mill arbor

Horizontal Mill Arbors

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Steve35505/12/2021 09:32:52
196 forum posts
139 photos

Hi again

My wife does not need all that gardening stuff in the shed, so when I saw an old Burke horizontal mill for sale, at a good price and with tons of tooling, a stand and a motor, I decided to go for it. The Zyto and Dore Westbury are now both working fairly well so I need a new toy to fix up.

It’s still in the car, but I got the arbor out this morning, having cleaned up the cutters that came with it.

I was surprised to find the arbor had no key slot, despite most of the cutters clearly wanting one. Is this normal? Is friction enough to hold such cutters?

Or will I need to mill a slot in the arbor/get another one? Apparently it’s a Browne & Sharp #9 taper.

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Andrew Johnston05/12/2021 09:46:50
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6407 forum posts
682 photos

Posted by Steve355 on 05/12/2021 09:32:52:

I was surprised to find the arbor had no key slot.......

No keyway is fairly common on arbors for smaller horizontal mills. Friction should be enough to hold the cutter for the width and depth of cut that can be taken. I suspect that B&S tapers are rare in the UK, so hang on to what you've got. All the arbors for my horizontal mill have keyways. But it's a heavier, more powerful, mill capable of taking large cuts.

Andrew

SillyOldDuffer05/12/2021 09:56:36
Moderator
7924 forum posts
1725 photos

Yes, normal.

Opinion varies. Some like the positive drive provided by the keyway for maximum metal removal, but things break when there's a crash. Others prefer to rely on friction, which is enough for most purposes and is less likely to damage anything when a cut goes wrong.

What sort of hobbyist needs to maximise metal removal rate? I suspect bad-tempered gorillas with a headache! I prefer to work within what I and my machines are capable of, which is slower than what professionals must do to earn a crust.

Dave

Baz05/12/2021 09:57:45
643 forum posts
2 photos

Some have a keyway some don’t, I have a small horizontal mill with a plain arbor and never had any problems. To be honest I doubt you will have enough horsepower available to need to key a cutter, I certainly haven’t.

colin hawes05/12/2021 11:14:16
553 forum posts
18 photos

I have used horizontal mills for many toolmaking years and have never needed keyways even on quite heavy powerful machines but on hard working heavy production work they are used to maintain accuracy with gangs of cutters and to make it possible to unscrew the arbor nut after heavy use I have seen a case hardened arbor nut "explode" under heavy industrial use due to lack of a key tightening a cutter gang. That takes a LOT more power than us model makers are ever likely to see. If the at least one spacer needs to have a keyway to make it possible to use a key with thin cutters Colin

HOWARDT05/12/2021 13:30:19
837 forum posts
39 photos

I wouldn’t use a key in anything less than 6mm wide. With thin cutters, particularly slitting saws there can be the danger of the cutter shattering if keyed, rather than slipping between the collars. Also narrow cutters have a tendency to deform or shear through the key making it difficult to remove.

not done it yet05/12/2021 15:27:10
6520 forum posts
20 photos

Even if you thought it needed a slot - DON’T!

That arbor was ground straight as a precision piece of kit. Cutting a slot would very likely end up with an arbor which is not quite straight!

Nigel Graham 205/12/2021 18:53:04
1898 forum posts
26 photos

I've just looked up the lathes.co description, but it's limited only to the smallest in the American manufacturer's range, designated the '0' and slightly large '1'. The number being that embossed on the casting, with the name.

Nevertheless the text suggests all these machines were small, and fitted with lever-action manual feed, via rack and pinion. Such machines, including the lower ones in the English-made Denbigh'H' series, were designed for semi-skilled production tasks like cutting slots and spanner-flats, on small components.

So the lack of a keyway may have been intended to give some protection against an operator - probably on very tedious piece-work - over-loading the cutter on a stub-arbor that has no outer suppport. An arbor with keyway would be more for the controlled conditions of a machine with self-acting feed, set to give the appropriate tooth-load.

Milling-cutters are all given keyways so they can be used on suitable machines, but that does not mean they always need a key.

The skill in using this machine will be in sensitivity with the feed-lever - and especially on a small machine with ma nual rack-feed, always up-cut the work (i.e. feed against the tooth's direction, never with it).

Steve35505/12/2021 23:33:45
196 forum posts
139 photos

Thanks all for the replies. That’s great, I won’t need to source a different arbor, and I won’t try to mill a keyway into it!

All I need to do now is work out how to get the mill out of the car.

cheers

Steve

john fletcher 106/12/2021 09:18:13
754 forum posts

Steve 555, our Mens Shed (Mates) has several horizontal milling cutters for sale, all never been used but slightly tarnish. I'll send you a PM with my details. John

not done it yet06/12/2021 13:45:59
6520 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Steve 555
 
All I need to do now is work out how to get the mill out of the car.

__———————————————————————————————
 

No real problem, particularly if it will pass the boot lid while stood on its base.

Slide it along on a suitable board/plank and tip the board when balanced over the boot ledge, lower the end of the board/planks and slide the machine down to the floor.

That is how I move my lathes in and out of my car. They weigh about 3 1/2 cwt (with ancillaries) but I can remove quite a few bits. Less than a hundredweight should be easy.

Edited By not done it yet on 06/12/2021 13:49:15

Steve35506/12/2021 18:18:10
196 forum posts
139 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 06/12/2021 13:45:59:
Posted by Steve 555
All I need to do now is work out how to get the mill out of the car.

__———————————————————————————————

No real problem, particularly if it will pass the boot lid while stood on its base.

Slide it along on a suitable board/plank and tip the board when balanced over the boot ledge, lower the end of the board/planks and slide the machine down to the floor.

That is how I move my lathes in and out of my car. They weigh about 3 1/2 cwt (with ancillaries) but I can remove quite a few bits. Less than a hundredweight should be easy.

Edited By not done it yet on 06/12/2021 13:49:15

Excellent idea, thanks. There is no boot lip which makes it easy. Then it goes on the sack truck to the shed. Getting the mill on the stand may be tricky, but that can be managed I think.

Nigel Graham 206/12/2021 18:32:31
1898 forum posts
26 photos

I've dealt with similar machine- moves by carefully dismantling the machine while it stands on the workshop floor.

It still leaves some very heavy lumps but does help, and is also tied in with cleaning and servicing the machine generally.

if you can practically and safely do so in your workshop, arranging some form of lifting-tackle is worthwhile. I used some scaffold tubes and fittings to make a frame from which I could suspend blocks-and-tackle.

Don't struggle with it alone if you can find help.

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