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Horizontal Milling

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Steve35508/12/2021 10:33:27
215 forum posts
150 photos

Hi again

I have this Burke no 4 mill, still in the car, but I’m picking up a block and tackle tonight to help move it, as was suggested.

Unfortunately I know close to zero about horizontal milling. For the lathe and the vertical mill, there is excellent educational material on YouTube, from Blondiehacks and similar. So I know about tailstock alignment and tramming a mill now, and speeds and feeds et cetera.

Does anybody know of a decent educational resource for setting up and using a horizontal mill? There are quite a few videos on YouTube, but they all seem to be specific operations on the horizontal mill, rather than how to set one up and a basic intro to using it.

Thanks

Steve

Baz08/12/2021 10:57:45
705 forum posts
2 photos

Horizontal mills are a bit out of fashion nowadays so not much gets written about them, what you want are books on old machining processes and set ups , there is a book dealer who deals in these sort of books but due to silly rules on this site I don’t know if I can mention his name. I will send it to you in a PM

SillyOldDuffer08/12/2021 11:23:59
Moderator
8469 forum posts
1885 photos

Horizontal mills are excellent at what they do, but what they do is limited. Vertical mills can tackle a much wider range of jobs.

Horizontal mills were good for production work, typically where a channel or face is run along a workpiece. They're stiffer than verticals, allowing lots power to be put into the job, including gang-milling, where more than one cutter is mounted on the spindle to make more complex forms. In production, common for a line of horizontal mills to each apply a particular cut, so no time was wasted resetting work-holding or cutters.

Vertical mills can do everything a horizontal mill can, but take longer. However, verticals gain versatility in exchange for speed which makes them far more suitable for general purpose work. Depends on the type of work you do but I'd much rather have a vertical than a horizontal. If I had space for a horizontal, I'd rarely use it.

Dave

not done it yet08/12/2021 11:49:45
6719 forum posts
20 photos

First rule seems to be to never tighten (or loosen) the arbor nut unless the arbor is supported at both ends. The rest is basically similar to any other metal cutting operation. Don’t try climb milling either - or it likely will climb!

Nicholas Farr08/12/2021 12:27:13
avatar
3310 forum posts
1524 photos

Hi Steve355, there was a fair bit of info about horizontal milling in parts 27, 28 and 29 of Newnes Complete Engineer, which was sold in weekly parts from the end of 1939 and into 1940 with a total of 40 parts. You can find individual and complete sets and bound volumes on ebay for instance. Newnes Complete Engineer They can be found elsewhere also. Just to add, the milling practice is from page 417 to 456 of volume 1, each weekly issue had about 16 pages of each volume of four volumes in all.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 08/12/2021 12:38:13

Jeff Dayman08/12/2021 12:40:20
2221 forum posts
47 photos

Mr Pete in the USA has a few horizontal milling videos on his Clausing mill. Link to one below. There are a few others in the USA doing videos on using old machines but unlike them, Mr Pete actually knows what he's doing - he used to be a machine shop teacher.

https://youtu.be/G8rVFmQF7Ck

Robin08/12/2021 14:28:45
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538 forum posts

I am a big fan of Lyle Peterson, it's like a history trip. Horizontal mill looks to be the mutts' nuts for gear cutting, also magical when you want to work on the top side of something tall.

Oldiron08/12/2021 15:25:04
960 forum posts
40 photos
Posted by Robin on 08/12/2021 14:28:45:

I am a big fan of Lyle Peterson, it's like a history trip. Horizontal mill looks to be the mutts' nuts for gear cutting, also magical when you want to work on the top side of something tall.

I also follow mrpete on Youtube. He is quite a character. He does rant on a bit. smiley

One thing that annoys me about him is that he never puts stuff down he has to throw it.

And as far as I can see most stuff he buys he classes as rubbish. I would love some of the items he trashes.

Seems like he cannot be bothered with anything most times. LOL Typical ornery old man. Bit like me I suppose.

regards

Thor 🇳🇴08/12/2021 16:03:06
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1598 forum posts
45 photos

Hi Steve,

There is a bit about horizontal milling and milling machines here and cutters here.

Thor

Nigel McBurney 108/12/2021 17:07:48
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999 forum posts
3 photos

The american book "Practical treatise on milling and milling machines" published by the Brown and Sharp Mfg co is an excellent book with lots of photos showing set ups and milling methods, I bought mine from a well known internet book seller, reasonable price get a copy published between 1940 and 1950. Brown and Sharp were the earliest major manufacturer of milling machines and invented the universal milling machine in the 1870s plus dividing heads and gear cutters,At one time Brown and Sharp had a manufacturing facilty in the uk ,my old foreman had worked there and the book was issued to some employees,he loaned me his copy some 60 years ago and I could never find one until the advent of online s/h book shops, I also have the book on milling by Cincinatti machine tools but I find the B & S book is far better.

IanT08/12/2021 19:46:49
1984 forum posts
211 photos

Yes, the B&S book is very good reference Steve - my edition is from 1941.

Also "Running a Miling Machine" by Fred Colvin is quite useful (reprinted by Lindsay Publications). Both are aimed at 'industrial' users but you can always skip over the bits that don't apply to your needs.

However, I'd suggest that as a starter, you read a few articles published in Practical and Popular Mechanics magazines back in the 40's & '50s. They were sponsored by the Atlas Press Company and were really promotional items for their 'benchtop' MF horizonal mill. They are very useful for the basics and I think you would find them useful. As the happy owner of an old MF Horizonal mill, of course it's no coincidence that I have these scanned as PDFs. If you PM me (with your email) - you could probably have them too!

My two pennies about 'mills' - if you only have the space for one mill - then a vertical type makes good sense.

However, if you already have a horizontal mill, then the obvious thing to get (or make) is a vertical quill for it and then you have the best of both worlds. I've got two horizontals, the little MF and a far heavier Victoria H0. Both have vertical heads, in fact my MF has two. They are both 'knee' machines and are pretty rigid in use.

As already mentioned, not too many folk use horizontals these days, so they don't tend to be appreciated that much but they can be very useful tools - you just need a slightly different mind set.

Regards,

IanT

Example below - end milling a part held in an ER32 block

Fixture Plate 1

not done it yet09/12/2021 08:46:17
6719 forum posts
20 photos

My two pennies about 'mills' - if you only have the space for one mill - then a vertical type makes good sense.

Agreed, Ian, unless one can find one of the very good combination machines in good order. Harrison, Omnimill, Tom Senior and Centec immediately come to mind. Sharp made a hobby-sized one too, I believe? Plenty of heavier commercial machines on offer.

Fitting and removing vertical heads can be quite physical but don’t usually take long.

The pinnacle would be a universal example, I suppose. Nevertheless, Steve’s little(?) mill will still provide a good insight to the possibilities…

IanT09/12/2021 09:29:20
1984 forum posts
211 photos

Not a really problem with the smaller MF machine NDIY but the Victoria's head is very heavy. Holding it in place whilst locating the holding bolts was quite a struggle for one person - even the 'younger' me.

The solution was a MT3 taper with a square steel plate on the end. For stability, this was screwed to a larger ply board. When inserted in the head's MT3 spindle (and the spindle bolt done up) the table can be raised until it supports the weight of the head. The head can then be unbolted and lowered by the table. Mounting is the reverse process. The head can then be slid on and off the table without too much effort. A very simple idea but it makes the process so much easier (and safer) especailly once you get on a bit.

Regards,

IanT

Andrew Johnston09/12/2021 10:01:53
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6574 forum posts
701 photos
Posted by IanT on 08/12/2021 19:46:49:
.....not too many folk use horizontals these days, so they don't tend to be appreciated that much but they can be very useful tools......

Agreed. Mine was an impulse buy, but it has turned out to be very useful; for spur gear cutting:

6DP Main Gear

Flycutting:

cylinder_flange_me.jpg

Helical gears:

helical_gear_cutting.jpg

And shifting metal:

slab_milling_1.jpg

I have a vertical head, but it's now too heavy for me to lift, so I need a plan B.

Andrew

DiogenesII09/12/2021 10:13:40
517 forum posts
202 photos

Both of the 'milling treatises' mentioned, and some runs of the journals, are available to read or download through the internet archive;

Internet Archive

..'milling' and 'Brown Sharp' will get you started as search terms..

Does your 4 have the original parts and (especially) geared motor fitted? ..I was wondering whether Tony Griffiths might like some pictures - his 'Burke' pages are a bit thin and the 4 doesn't feature at all, tho' seems to be the most commonly-seen model...

Robin09/12/2021 10:39:06
avatar
538 forum posts

I can't put up a picture of mine, it's not fair. The poor dear has a severe case of backlash with complications caused by. "poorly conceived bolt-on goodies". She is not at her best for picture taking. Vast amounts of clutter have already been pruned away, relocated, replaced, reworked, adapted. Maybe next year...

Trevor Drabble09/12/2021 12:44:00
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280 forum posts
5 photos

Steve , Sent you a PM . Trevor.

Pete Rimmer09/12/2021 13:22:17
1219 forum posts
63 photos

Another good book that can be found as a downloadable pdf is "A treatise on milling and milling machines" By the Cincinatti Tool Company.

Archive.org link

This is of recent interest to me as I have just bought a FN22 which has horizontal spindle, two vertical heads, slotting head, fixed table, 3-way moving table and indexing attachment.  It's a bit scruffy but it's undergoing a full restoration as we speak.

Pete.

Edited By Pete Rimmer on 09/12/2021 13:32:44

Steve35510/12/2021 07:49:21
215 forum posts
150 photos
Posted by DiogenesII on 09/12/2021 10:13:40:

Both of the 'milling treatises' mentioned, and some runs of the journals, are available to read or download through the internet archive;

Internet Archive

..'milling' and 'Brown Sharp' will get you started as search terms..

Does your 4 have the original parts and (especially) geared motor fitted? ..I was wondering whether Tony Griffiths might like some pictures - his 'Burke' pages are a bit thin and the 4 doesn't feature at all, tho' seems to be the most commonly-seen model...


Hi, no, it doesn’t seem to have an original motor or stand. Clearly it has been modified at some point. There was one which sold on eBay yesterday which looked in a more original condition. Shame, but many of these machines have been modified in some way. But I agree that lathes.co.uk could do with better info on it.

Steve35510/12/2021 07:50:41
215 forum posts
150 photos

Hi all, thanks for all the excellent responses. Plenty of reading choice for me!

Steve

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