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The HobbyMat BFE65

Removing tools from the quill

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Sam Stones24/06/2010 07:24:58
851 forum posts
321 photos
The BFE 65 mill in question came attached to the lathe I borrowed as an aid to completing the building of my skeleton clock. I need to remove the milling cutter collet head and replace it with a Jacob's style drill chuck.
Usually, there is either a slot which is revealed when the quill is full extended, and so that a taper drift can be inserted through the side. Conversely, a rod can usually be inserted from the top of the machine, and a swift tap is enough to free the device.
Can someone please tell me how to remove these #1 Morse-taper tools from this machine?

Jim Whetren24/06/2010 10:03:20
50 forum posts
1 photos
Hello Sam,
It's the second method, remove the large hexagon plug on top of the head and use a piece of 6mm rod.
Sam Stones24/06/2010 10:40:33
851 forum posts
321 photos
Hi Jim,
Many thanks for your prompt reply.
This afternoon (Australian Eastern Time) when I removed the large hex plug (which I at first presumed revealed an opening for adding gearbox oil), there was an Allen screw head sitting there. This travels down and up with the quill movement.
I wasn't game to remove this screw (you may notice that I've had a run of issues with the HobbyMat lathe which is also on loan).
I'd certainly appreciate more comment please.
Thanks again.
Peter Tucker24/06/2010 19:35:11
183 forum posts
Hi Sam,
I don't know the machine you have but milling heads are usualy held in with a draw bar (just a long bolt ) running down inside the spindle and threded into the small end of the morse taper. You will need to remove this before you can change the chuck.
Best of luck.
Jim Whetren24/06/2010 19:56:30
50 forum posts
1 photos
Hello Sam,
As you have a milling chuck installed, it is most certainly secured with a draw bar. You will have noticed that the quill splines move down through the driving splines, hence the drawbar can only have a small head, in your case the Allen screw.
As it is unlikely to house a very long Allen screw, my guess is that the draw bar is threaded into the collet chuck at one end and the Allen screw is fastened at the other.
I would remove the Allen screw which may bring the draw bar with it, or if the screw seperates, put it back loose and hit it with a soft drift to release the taper, then remove again and pull the the chuck out bringing the draw bar with it. If you run out of room, at least you can then grip the bar to unscrew it.
If I were going to put it all back, I would permenantly fix the Allen screw and make it a hex headed draw bar.
The gearbox doesn't use oil, the gears etc are packed in grease.
I hope this is of some help, and if I can further assist, please ask.
Sam Stones24/06/2010 22:52:01
851 forum posts
321 photos
Thank you Jim,
Now I've really got egg on my face!
How could I not have realised that there would be a draw bar holding the milling collet head? The number of times I've clobbered the draw bar on much bigger machines than the HobbyMat. But then that was back in the early 50's when I was a scrawny apprentice, and had to stand on a box to reach the top-slide hand-wheels of the shaper and the surface grinder.
Mind you, I haven't come across a system with a screwed plug covering the hole. There's so much I have to learn about this machine. Refer to my other queries.
If the HobbyMat were mine, perhaps I wouldn't be so nervous.
Thanks again
Sam Stones24/06/2010 22:56:33
851 forum posts
321 photos
AND Peter, thank you for your reply too.
Sam Stones28/06/2010 07:19:28
851 forum posts
321 photos

After much soaking (four days) with penetrating oil, and then several swift blows onto the centre of the Allen-screw end of the draw bar (almost fully engaged into the thread), I finally persuaded the milling cutter collet head to let go.

Then I discovered that there is no tang slot anyway, and wonder if the Morse taper will safely grip the drill chuck while drilling. I have visions of seeing the drill and drill chuck drop down and begin walking around my workpiece before I’ve had time to hit the big red button.
Would those of you who use/own a HobbyMat mill BFE 65, care to comment please?

Many thanks,


Roger Woollett28/06/2010 09:32:47
127 forum posts
4 photos
I have a BFE65 mill and have not had a problem. Mine has an MT1 taper - I have been told some have MT2.
Make sure the bore and the taper are clean then whack the drill chuck up into the spindle. I do not use a hammer or any other tool. To remove I put a rod down the drawbar hole and use a sharp blow with a hammer - it sometimes takes quite a whack to free the chuck.
I only use up to 10mm drills. The most likely problem is when the drill emerges from the bottom of the hole, especially with brass. I nearly always support the workpiece on a scrap of MDF which helps in this respect.
Roger Woollett
Terryd28/06/2010 11:34:56
1936 forum posts
179 photos
a Morse taper provides a very powerful hold for drilling purposes.  I don't think it will just 'fall out' if properly fitted.  I've mentioned a few things to watch out for below.  I hope that I'm not appearing to lecture or teach my 'granny to suck eggs'.
On most pedestal and bench drills a simple MT is the only thing holding a chuck or drill with no drawbar.  I personally have used jobbers drills up to 1 1/2 inches diameter, drilling Carbon steel, in the toolroom, on a large Radial Arm drilling machine using only MTs to secure the drill, again no drawbar (but with a motorised downfeed).
However you must ensure that the tapers, both male and female are completely clean (no embedded chips etc) and they must be free from any trace of oil or grease.   I see that you have used penetrating oil, all traces of this must be removed use a degreaser and then alcohol or similar, I usually use acetone solvent then methylated spirits (UK name, not sure of other names).  In the close tolerances of a MT even a tiny drop of oil will be spread around the joint completely when you fit the tapers.  This will usually cause the 'grip' of the taper to decrease or fail. 
To ensure the taper grips I was always taught to insert the drill with just a little upward force then press the drill while static onto a block of softwood to 'lock' the taper into position, be firm rather than forceful, no need for excessive force.
The main problem with drilling (apart from blunt drills ) is on breakout of through holes; when enlarging a slightly undersized existing hole; and on thin materials.  As the drill breaks out at the end of the hole the flutes can act as a very fast screw thread and try to screw itself down thus grabbing suddenly.   This can be avoided in several ways, by having a fixed downfeed for example so that the breakout is controlled or by having a sacrificial piece of material clamped with and below the workpiece, so effectively you are drilling a blind hole.  When trying to enlarge slightly an existing hole the same can occur so it needs very careful control of the downfeed to prevent the screwing effect if there is no alternative.  Holes in thin sheet should be punched rather than drilled but if you have to, use a small pilot drill and enlarge it using a 'conecut' or stepped drill.
Others may disagree or have other advice, but I've never had a problem with MTs in the last 45 years or so.
Good luck and work well, not hard,

Edited By Terryd on 28/06/2010 11:35:32

Sam Stones29/06/2010 00:27:54
851 forum posts
321 photos

Roger, Jim, Peter and Terry - Thanks to you all.

Having just passed the three-quarter century mark, talking the same language is quite encouraging. I trust that my apparent lack of knowledge and your responses become useful to others too. So if there’s any thoughts about granny’s eggs, please ignore them. We are never too old to learn.
AND, finishing my skeleton clock is looking a real possibility.

Once again, as a rather Nervous Nellie, (I’m repeating myself), it’s because the machinery does not belong to me, that I feel bound to proceed with caution. Additionally, I have to drill a few more relatively tiny holes into the engraver’s brass scrolled plates of the skeleton clock, and the thoughts of damaging these hand fretted, filed and polished items gives me the Willies. With due respect to all the Willies!

Also, since selling up my workshop and all that went with it, I’m very limited in materials (drifts and other `knocking-out’ devices).

With respect to the BFE 65 MT1 (#1 Morse taper) lock-up, when I saw how small the thread was on the end of the draw bar, it concerned me that too much thumping might strip it. Making a new one on the HobbyMat lathe with its rather limited screw-cutting facilities, is not a sensible option for me.

I suspect that the mill `chuck’ had not been used for some considerable time and, judging from the rust (or some other substance) around the MT1 stem, the need for penetrating oil turned out to be more than necessary.

Thanks to your insights, cleanliness was my (now obvious) problem since the drill chuck I inserted would not stay in place, even with a swift upward jerk.
There’s a pun in there!
Having used several sizes from MT2 upwards, getting an MT1 hole clean with a cloth on the end of my #1 podgy digit is a bit of a challenge. Only joking.

In closing, you have also brought back memories of locking-tapers and coefficients of friction.

Keep up the good work.


Sam Stones29/06/2010 07:42:55
851 forum posts
321 photos

I've just remembered one other concern I’ve had with drilling through-holes in (especially) thin brass etc, and which certainly reflects upon what has been said by the good gentlemen above.

With regards to the quill and the engaging pinion, there often seems to be more than enough clearance between these two for the quill to drop a short distance just at the point of break-through.

With small delicate drilling work such as on my clock, there is sometimes a fine balance between the actual weight of the quill acting on the drill tip, and the (extra) amount of downwards force needed to carry out the drilling process. That is of course unless the quill is itself spring loaded upwards, and not the shaft carrying the pinion as it was on an Asian mill/drill which I was glad to see disappearing out the door  a few years ago.



Edited By Sam Stones on 29/06/2010 07:45:02

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