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New Mill

AMA30LV

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Steve G30/01/2014 12:16:12
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24 forum posts
8 photos

Hello fellow machinists,

My first post after lurking for a year or more.

I have just had my mill, an AMA30LV, delivered and look forward to using it. The mill will be primarily used for motorcycle restoration projects, manufacturing parts and tools. I am always looking for a tool or a jig to ream, fit or extract parts so hopefully this will help. Miniature steam engines, V12 merlins and space vehicles will come later (sic).

l chose the MT3 size tool holder and the 30 size mill based on much reading on this site and I say thanks to all those un-named who have given me much to think about. I will also take delivery in March of a 280 sized Lathe, but still need to read some more posts to ensure I make a good decision on which one.

I note that most of my purchases will come from an Asian origin but as has been said, we would not have half of the home machinists today if these were not an option, based on cost of course.

So I am about to unpack, lift, clean, position and set up, any advise before switching on would be much appreciated. I have not seen any reviews or other peculiarities with this model, if anyone knows or has one, any info would be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Steve

cimg2438 (800x600) (2).jpg

magpie30/01/2014 17:44:25
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463 forum posts
80 photos

Hi Steve, welcome to the grumpy old gits forum. Congrats on the new mill which looks to be the same mill as my Chester Champion 20V . All I did with my mill when I first bought it, was give it a good clean up, plug it in and start milling. I bought it about 3 years ago together with a Chester DB10VS and (although I should not tempt fate) I have had no problems with either. Apart from the essentials like a decent vice, and cutting tools, the first thing I bought was an ER32 collet chuck and a set of collets. I have since added DRO's to X & Y and a fan to the top of the motor housing. I also replaced the rather poor little spindle locking knob with an indexing lever from Arc Euro. I hope you have the same trouble free time with yours as I have had with mine which you should have as long as you don't try to take BIG cuts with it.

Cheers Derek.

Carl Wilson 430/01/2014 17:56:08
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671 forum posts
53 photos

Hi Steve,

I can heartily recommend Harold Hall's book "Milling, A Complete Course". It gives very good advice regarding small mills and the machining projects include clamps, parallels and other accessories that are handy to have with a mill.

Carl.

ChrisH30/01/2014 18:00:26
923 forum posts
30 photos

Derek - "grumpy old gits" - careful, I resemble that remark.

Chris

PS. I would also recommend what Carl has suggested, and HH's "Lathe" course book too.

Russ B30/01/2014 18:40:19
597 forum posts
26 photos

Welcome =)

on the vice front a 6" Homge with totally enclosed screw and externally mountable jaws (so you can grab something large from inside - swingarm, frame, casing etc) is just under £150 from Chester Machine Tools

- I've just got a few other bits and would have took one if I had a few more pennies - looks like a vice for life there and I'm pretty sure that's cheaper than a plain 6" vice without the enclosed screw or fancy jaws.

jason udall30/01/2014 18:50:54
2030 forum posts
41 photos
Don't want the first post you get to be downer. .but might be prudent not to advertise some of the other "toys" in your workshop..and especially not including reg. Numbers of vehicles. ..sorry but its the world we live in..
And have fun..
Safety specs. And avoid the temptation to wipe away swarf with rag while spindle running...it happens and oh so quick..
Lathejack30/01/2014 20:56:00
297 forum posts
328 photos

Hello Steve

A nice lump of new mill you've got yourself there, and what looks like a nice big classic Suzuki at the side of it.

All the 280 type lathes with power cross feed offered by suppliers such as Toolco, Amadeal and Warco are good solid usable machines. Chesters version, the DB11 still does not, I think, have power feeds, including cross feed, built into the apron driven by a separate feed shaft as the others do. So if this matters to you now, or possibly in the future, then maybe avoid that one.

 

Edited By Lathejack on 30/01/2014 21:07:15

Edited By Lathejack on 30/01/2014 21:25:19

Edited By Lathejack on 30/01/2014 21:25:49

Falco30/01/2014 22:56:21
65 forum posts
7 photos

Hi Steve,

I have the same mill, bought from Amadeal several years ago. It has given good service and to date no real problems. I bought a spare set of plastic gears for the head as I read in several places that they can strip under heavy pressure. I'm still on the original set despite a few beginner's mistakes.

I found the construction to be simple, solid and functional. I would concur with the advice that you strip, clean and reassemble as there can be a lot of crud hidden inside from manufacture. The table works a whole lot smoother if you thoroughly clean and re-grease the lead-screws. I found that there was no means of controlling end-float on these but it was not excessive from new. I tried putting a slit in the nut and a screw to adjust it but it was only partly successful as it is nearly impossible to adjust when the whole thing is reassembled.

There was to my mind excess sloppiness in the fine feed mechanism on the head. I suggest you check yours in the early stages to satisfy yourself that it is acceptable.

I fitted a down-feed stop to mine I find it useful even with the digital readout on the spindle.

Carl's advice on Harold Hall's book is worth heeding. I found the no.1 requirement was clamping and holding accessories and he has useful plans for some of those.

Also make sure it is solidly bolted down to a good heavy bench. It makes quite a difference to smoothing out vibration under working loads........and ....count fingers before and after use.smile p

Good luck with the mill.

John

Steve G31/01/2014 08:55:29
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24 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks to Derek, Carl, Chris, Russell, Jason, Lathejack and John for your replies. All points noted and yes, agree about not having a registration number in the picture, I will figure out how to change the picture and repost it.

I have a copy of HH's book and have read it cover to cover twice, but now I will read it in conjunction with operating as it never means as much when there is no machine to compare with the text. I also have his tool sharpening book which has a couple of tool sharpening jig designs that will be useful for both practise and practicality.

Jack, well spotted, it is a GS1000s and I have a project to make a in-line reaming cam bearing jig that I would like to share with the forum, might get some good ideas too! In fact, the reason that someone has mentioned the type of bike I have from a small portion of the picture, cheers me up immensely as there is likely to be a great and diverse database of knowledge in the forum.

I have read about the backlash and I suspect this machine will not disappoint me in that area, a DRO will be a serious consideration, how did you manage without them with all the backlash? In the meantime a set of wigglers will do fine!

A vice is high on the shopping list and I have noted the Homge being discounted, considering the size of the table, especially in terms of width, the 5 inch klooks favourite.

The manual that comes with the mill is completely inaccurate, calls a scale a spindle and parts do not look the same in the illustration as on the physical machine, is there a source of manual similar to the excellent Sieg X3 pictorial disassembly reassembly pictures? If not I guess it will be down to me to make one.

Its still on the floor and I will need to remove the table and head if I am to lift it , all 200Kgs,onto it's stand and I will be able to clean the parts. I will post a photo once it's installed.

Meanwhile the wallet gets thinner!

Cheers, Steve

magpie31/01/2014 09:12:54
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463 forum posts
80 photos

Hi Steve, you can download a manual that is much better than any UK one from www.grizzly.com . I think the nearest one to your mill will be G0704 but best to have a look at their mills section first to make sure. Make sure you have plenty of paper in your printer.

Cheers Derek.

GaryM31/01/2014 13:46:48
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314 forum posts
44 photos

Hi Steve,

Welcome to the forum. If you can borrow an engine crane it might be easier than taking the head and table off. Or even hire one for a day from HSS.

Enjoy playing with your new toy.

Gary

Carl Wilson 431/01/2014 13:54:08
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671 forum posts
53 photos

Hi Steve,

I would echo GaryM's comments regarding the engine crane. If you can't get one in about the pallet then its worth cutting some of the pallet away with a circular saw.

I think that you'll find this forum to be a great resource and everyone is helpful and forthcoming with advice. I'm not really a "model engineer" in the sense of making scale models of locomotives etc, but my home engineering encompasses machining, welding, electronics, and design and so I share common cause with many who post here. As you say there is a vast range of interests and experience here with the overarching theme of machining and engineering.

Carl.

Russ B31/01/2014 14:09:38
597 forum posts
26 photos

Steve,

I'm in sheffield and have an engine crane + straps etc. if you want to borrow one =)

mechman4831/01/2014 19:50:29
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2823 forum posts
438 photos

Hi Steve

Welcome thumbs up . I would concur with Magpie; the Grizzly G0704 is as near as dammit to your machine (& my WM16, apart from the MT  )  as makes very little difference so you should get enough info from their manual to answer your queries.

Bear in mind that over the next few months ( years thinking  ) you will end up spending as much if not more on tooling for it, (& your lathe ) you will undoubtedly be looking through the catalogues & coming out with.. hmm they're nice.. could do with one o' them.. that'll be useful.. etc. I know I still do, can't resist it, ... once the bug bites wink 2 !.

George

Edited By mechman48 on 31/01/2014 19:51:17

Edited By mechman48 on 31/01/2014 19:51:51

Steve G01/02/2014 11:54:42
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24 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks For the generous offer Russ, unfortunately I am in Aberdeenshire so unable to take you up on your kind offer with the engine crane.

Derek, great info, I have downloaded the G 0704 manual, printed it off, and will be positioning the mill this weekend. The UK manual did not mention anything about running in the machine as the US manual details, so I have run it on the pallet allowing the stipulated 10 minute periods at the recommended speeds. The machine is a lot quieter than I imagined it would be, so pleasantly surprised.

I am raring to go so off to the workshop to get cracking. Thanks again for all the help and advice.

Regards, Steve

Steve G01/02/2014 18:32:54
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24 forum posts
8 photos

Well today should have seen the mill mounted to the stand and a start made on the clean up, unfortunately the tray was for a 25 sized mill so too small. I will have to wait until the right tray arrives next week.sad

The stand is bolted to the floor and is level so at least that is done, see the pictures.

Has anyone the process for removing the head unit? I will need to remove it to reduce lifting weight and I will clean it at the same time.

Cheers, Steve.

John Stevenson01/02/2014 18:50:46
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Moderator
5068 forum posts
3 photos

Up underneath the head in the hollow bit are a central bolt and a nut. Both are slackened to tilt the head, both need removing to remove the head.

If it's like the WM series there is also a grubscrew in one side that holds a brass plug, both these need removing first.

The plug goes in a groove on the central register to stop the head falling off when someone take both bolts out

Steve G01/02/2014 19:58:52
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24 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks for the info John,

I will have a look tomorrow to see if it is straight forward.

Steve

GaryM02/02/2014 00:35:12
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314 forum posts
44 photos

That Commando looks to be in very nice condition, Steve. You're beginning to make me jealous. sad

Gary

Falco02/02/2014 20:56:02
65 forum posts
7 photos

Steve ,

To remove the head, wind it all the way down to rest on a timber block on the table. You can then loosen the bolts slightly, rotate it, rest it on it's side, remove the bolts and lift it off. It is a heavy lump on its own so have a clear passage to the bench.

BTW you don't have a bike lift that you could use to raise it on to the plinth?

Nice looking Norton Steve!

John

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