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Milling In The lathe

Miling

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Paul Bollen02/11/2010 21:04:52
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Hi
 
I have been model engineering for just over a year, and need to do some milling, currently, i canot afford a milling machine, and have read that i can do it in my Axminster Micro lathe.
 
What do i need to get me milling, i have read that i need a end mill,
 
wil collets be required or can i put the cutter straight into my 3 jaw chuck
 
Hope you can help
 
Paul
Mogens Kilde02/11/2010 21:35:27
60 forum posts
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Hello Paul
 
I have been making all of my miling work on my lathe for years, and have never been using anything but the 3 jaw chuck to hold my end mills.
 
When milling in the lathe you can only make very light cuts, like 0,3 mm at each run.
 
All my models have been made with work from my lathe, you can see my models at :
 
 
 
Regards
Mogens
 
ady03/11/2010 01:25:29
612 forum posts
50 photos
good stiffness is essential.
 
I bent the t-nut on my milling slide trying to get decent stiffness and had to cut a much beefier version which fits snug in the cross slide.
Any backlash on your cross slide will be obvious when you mill any kind of slot.
 
So it might take a while to sort out, but it's well worth the effort.
 
An Axminster Micro lathe might struggle, depending on how ambitious the job is, some milling  is better done under high torque high stiffness conditions, less heat.
Aluminium for example is a nightmare at high speed, and a doddle at low speed munching rates.
JasonB03/11/2010 08:00:22
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For the best results a collet holder of some sort should be used as it should be more concentric than a 3-jaw but if your lathe chuck is accurate then you could get away with that for the time being.
 
Yes you will need a milling cutter, either end mill, slot drill or 3 flute FC-3 type cutter, I would go with the last option as these disposable cutters are quite reasonably priced and are also end cutting unlike most endmills so you can plunge cut with them.
 
You will also need a way to hold the work and move it vertically so either a vertical slide or have a look at Morgens site, from his articles in ME he has quite a few jigs for holding work while milling.
 
Personally I find aluminium works better at speed but you must lubricate with something like parrafin or the hot metal welds itself to the cutters tips
 
Jason
ady03/11/2010 10:36:32
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The 3-jaw chuck being referred to will probbly be a beefy one with a scroll lock operated by a chuck key.
 
The two-tommy-bars chucks on smaller lathes are completely  useless for milling.
 
(I do the same kind of thing, but with a 4 inch chuck.)

Edited By ady on 03/11/2010 10:44:40

JasonB03/11/2010 11:42:53
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Posted by ady on 03/11/2010 10:36:32:
The 3-jaw chuck being referred to will probbly be a beefy one with a scroll lock operated by a chuck key.
 
The two-tommy-bars chucks on smaller lathes are completely  useless for milling.
 
(I do the same kind of thing, but with a 4 inch chuck.)

Edited By ady on 03/11/2010 10:44:40

 I wouldn't say they were completely useless, I have a Stuart 10V that was made on a Unimat 3 and that had a two pin chuck which I held milling cutters with.
 
Anyway the lateh Paul has uses the usual chuck key.
 
Jason
Wolfie03/11/2010 12:37:03
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I also have an Axminster Micro which I'm planning to mill in. Some small experimentation with an end mill has been successful so far but I don't yet have a vertical slide and that does make life difficult.
Gordon W03/11/2010 15:15:41
2011 forum posts
Milling will be slow, but will work, provided you have enough movement on the cross slide for the length you need to mill. For a vertical slide I am trying the top slide bolted to an angle plate, bolted to the cross slide. This only to get accurate measurements on height. Don't forget fly-cutters also.

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