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ML7 Owner now wants a Mill?

What to get? Warco?

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Martin King 230/06/2014 11:52:58
938 forum posts
420 photos

Hi all,

I am very new here so please bear with me!

I have recently got a very nice clutched ML7 of 70's vintage, 3 & 4 jaw chucks, swivelling vertical slide, full set of collets & holder with draw bar, knurling tool, centres, faceplates, quite a bit of tooling, indicators, stands etc. NO steadies; quick change tool post and 4 holders, rotary table etc

Has a boxed complete Myford dividing head and manual. NO Riser block

I have manged to set this lathe up on its cabinet and got it leveled out. Using a 2MT test bar the run out is about .001" at 8" from the headstock, Is this OK?

Had a few problems getting the oil feeders to work consistently they either emptied in 3 mins or did not seem to let any oil at all through.

I have made a few REALLY SIMPLE bits and pieces for our woodwork tool restoration business which have come out OK. Things like ferrules, pins, collars, etc all of which has been good practice for my newbie skills, (last metalwork was at school 50 years ago!).

Although I know it is possible to mill on this lathe I am leaning towards getting a dedicated milling machine as I have the room for a smaller unit.

I do not however want a 'micro-mill' type as they would seem to me too light for my needs. I am leaning towards something like a WARCO 16 or 18. which is within budget.

What worries me is what all the 'extras' are going to cost so I wonder if you all can tell me the basic stuff the I 'MUST' have and some 'would be nice' bits and pieces.

Is DRO a 'must have' ?

I do have quite a lot of milling cutters of various diameters, many have threaded ends so may not be of use, the different sorts of designs are a bit baffling to me

Obviously it would be good if any of the Myford bits could also be used on the mill.

Will be mainly working brass and alloy and mild steel, nothing too massive.

I would like to think that after a while I might have a go at making some of the simpler tooling that I have seen here and elsewhere to stretch me a bit.

I live in South Dorset and if anyone is close by I would appreciate any help or advice they might be able to offer, perhaps in exchange for some free tools or materials, we get a lot of engineering type stuff that we do not really want, usually comes in the engineers tool cabinets that we buy a lot of. Loads of drill bits reamers, tool steel cutters etc etc, often just gets scrapped!

Any help and advice will be much appreciated.

Cheers, Martin

Bazyle30/06/2014 12:58:30
6180 forum posts
222 photos

Hello Martin, nice to see a newcomer on the forum.

There are several threads on the forum about milling machine choice and they often also cover tooling. As you already have some end mills you only need one tooling addition for the first 6 months and that is a means to hold one of the cutters. The threaded ones are 'Clarkson' and can be used in a plain holder as well as the ones designed to use that thread. It is cheapest just to start with one of these for say a 12mm or 1/2 inch cutter which will do most of your work most of the time even five years from now.

So you don't need to set aside any of your budget for rotary tables or dividing heads or fancy collet sets at the beginning. ALL the budget needs to go into the mill itself or you will be sorry later. There seem to be several tool dealers in Dorset who put things on ebay so you may pick up other stuff over time.

"Loads of drill bits reamers, tool steel cutters etc etc, often just gets scrapped!" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH angry

Nobby30/06/2014 13:07:29
587 forum posts
113 photos

Hi Martin
Welcome to this forum . I have a vintage S7 Mk 1 . A milling machine would be a great asset to your
workshop . You will get a lot of advice here.

Edited By Nobby on 30/06/2014 13:17:14

Ian S C30/06/2014 13:09:08
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Just make sure(you will, you know more than I did) that you hold the end mills in collets, not the Jacobs Chuck, I did that, and soon found out why I should not, I got a Clarkson, new and quite cheap. That was 25 years ago, I'm still learning. Ian S C

Neil Wyatt30/06/2014 13:16:39
18895 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Welcome aboard Martin,

> Using a 2MT test bar the run out is about .001" at 8" from the headstock, Is this OK?


> Obviously it would be good if any of the Myford bits could also be used on the mill.

Best to get a mill with an MT3 spindle, then with an MT2 adaptor you can use most things in either machine without excessive overhang.


Bob Brown 130/06/2014 13:30:57
1021 forum posts
127 photos

There is the option to get a Myford VBM mill to match the lathe but not sure that would come within budget or a Boxford mill.

G and M have one for sale and could be worth a haggle **LINK** and they will arrange delivery.

DRO can be added if you feel the need at a later date, a good machine vice is a must as is a set of clamps to suit the T slots. Cutters you will probably add over time I certainly have and now have a good assortment from small to quite large in HSS and solid carbide.


BTW: you have a message

Edited By Bob Brown 1 on 30/06/2014 13:34:52

Martin King 230/06/2014 13:48:45
938 forum posts
420 photos

Hi All,

Thanks for the helpful replies!

So it would appear that all the cutters with threaded ends do not have to be used in a special holder to take that thread?

Hmmm, must have scrapped hundreds of those! Dohhh!

Any particular things to look for in the machine vice, I have only ever had nasty looking ones that come with woodworking drill presses?

BOB, the machine mentioned is 'R8', what is that please?

The general opinion on the WARCO units seems positive,am I right in assuming that these are ChiWanese built?

I was always pretty anti Far Eastern stuff but have had to radically adjust that opinion as some of the woodworking kit these days is VERY good, hopefully the same with these machine tools.

Not quite sure of the differentiation between slot and end mills, probably a daft question but how do I tell please?



Bob Brown 130/06/2014 14:30:46
1021 forum posts
127 photos

Machine vices come in all shapes and sizes and vary in price dependant on size and quality.

R8 is just the type of taper and is common on Bridgeport milling machines, easy enough to get Clarkson auto lock or ER collet chucks with R8 taper.

My two milling machines have different tapers one is MT2 and the other is MT3 I have ER collet chucks in both sizes and they do match the lathe which has a MT3 headstock and MT2 tailstock so they do transfer across.

It is worth noting that there is a ER32 collet chuck available for the Myford lathe that screws on to the main spindle so you could get the same size for the milling machine and the collets would then fit both so you only need one set of collets. .

Nigel McBurney 130/06/2014 15:08:20
965 forum posts
3 photos

The most common and good english machine vice is an abwood, lots on the s/h market 3 inch jaw width and upwards ,watch out for the foreign stuff ,jaws not square and the sliding jaws lift when tightened, your ,001 runout on the Myford is ok no problem. Regarding mills ,their cutting action is far more severe than a lathe and to get good results you require a heavier machine than a lathe , the threaded cutters were meant to be screwed in a Clarkson holder, which ensures the cutter runs true and prevents the cutter from screwing its self into the work, the threaded cutters can be held in a collet chuck but they can move when cutting tough steels. My choice of smaller mill would be a Harrison ,they have more clearance under the spindle than the Tom Senior mill they are both well built and do a good job ,as for foreign built mills ,I had one years ago and should have known better it soon disappeared.

There is no need for DRO ,its a fad for those who cant operate a mill by using the index collars , hundreds of thousands of milling machines were in use during the twentieth century the majority never had DRO as it was a later invention, if you want to use the myford dividing head on the mill it can be bolted to an angle plate.

Russell Eberhardt30/06/2014 15:17:45
2726 forum posts
86 photos

Hi Martin,

There is very little equipment that you MUST have for the mill. The only real essential is a decent holding device for the cutters. An ER collet chuck is nice to have but there is nothing wrong with the end mill holders mentioned above. Nearly everything else you will need can be made on the mill itself and your lathe. You could even make a collet chuck on the lathe. A machine vice is not essential but is a "nice to have" for quick setups. Again you can make one.

May I suggest that you get a copy of H. H's book "Milling a compete course". That will teach you how to use the mill while making most of the accesories you'll need.


NJH30/06/2014 16:25:10
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Martin

When it comes to milling machines solid is good! I’ve had a Warco Major for many years and it is an OK machine but the round column is a bit of a bind and I think your choices are far to be preferred. If you can stretch the extra I would suggest the 18. You will need some other bits to go with the machine. Firstly a collet chuck (or maybe, as an interim measure, individual holders as has been suggested). If you get ER collets you can also get an ER collet chuck for your lathe so the collets can be used in both locations. Also essential, in my view, is a good strong vice and you might want to consider a clamping kit to fix work directly onto the table for machining. All these items you can get from Warco and, by getting them at the same time as the machine, you may well be able to strike a deal.

Good luck - always exciting to get new kit!



Michael Gilligan30/06/2014 16:59:10
19599 forum posts
997 photos
Posted by Martin King 2 on 30/06/2014 13:48:45:

Not quite sure of the differentiation between slot and end mills, probably a daft question but how do I tell please?



I don't think anyone has answered this one for you [apologies if I missed it]

  • An end-mill [which typically has four flutes] cuts nicely on its sides and the outer portion of its end ... it will happily cut a groove BUT cannot "drill" a hole [because the cutting edges do not reach the centre]
  • A slot-drill [which typically has two flutes] can [because they do] ...
  • My own preference is the three-flute cutters -- which seem to offer the best of both worlds.


Bazyle30/06/2014 17:13:54
6180 forum posts
222 photos

In model engineering terms a Tom Senior or Centec 2b used to be considered medium to large and a Harrison large though all are small in industrial terms but by comparison a Myford is 'pipsqueak'. However MEs are thinking bigger and bigger as budgets increase. Bear in mind your workshop size. (and start planning the extension)

Warco are pretty good as they have learned some of the meaning of quality control and do include delivery in the price - often it is extra.

You don't need a vice to start with since you can clamp to the table, and for that you don't need a 'kit' just a bit of allthread and some nuts. Just buy half a dozen of the correct T-nuts to avoid risk of damage to the table until you have learned to make your own.

Stop throwing things away immediately! laugh Join your nearest Model Engieering club and you can swap the bits you seem to have in plenty for the bits you need. Even bits of old iron bar can be useful but don't turn up with bits of washing machine as that is considered scrap by almost everyone.

BTW for everyone if you have spare tools to throw away contact your local Workaid branch. Even if they can't use it they can sell it on to buy other things. This is a very ME appropriate charity.

Oompa Lumpa30/06/2014 17:22:28
888 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by Nigel McBurney 1 on 30/06/2014 15:08:20:

There is no need for DRO ,its a fad for those who cant operate a mill by using the index collars , hundreds of thousands of milling machines were in use during the twentieth century the majority never had DRO as it was a later invention, if you want to use the myford dividing head on the mill it can be bolted to an angle plate.

"Fad" Eh? Bit like CNC then.


Nobby30/06/2014 17:22:42
587 forum posts
113 photos

Here is a little tip for the home shop machinist make some of these dummy centres so you can use plain cutters .Notice slot 
in an Autolock

Edited By Nobby on 30/06/2014 17:24:24

Oompa Lumpa30/06/2014 20:40:45
888 forum posts
36 photos

Martin, by and large the advice above is really good.

But there is one word in your opening post there which is sort of pivotal to the type of advice you should be getting, the word "Business". Now, how much an hour do you get paid to make tooling? That'll be nothing then. Hard to pay the bills with nothing.

Some of us on here have to make our tools pay. That does not mean all the time, just most of the time. A wise man once told me: "If you can make your hobby into a business, you never have to work again". And there is a good deal of truth in this. I have to be very careful because sometimes I can spend an inordinate amount of time building tooling, because I enjoy it.

However, there are days when I really just need to get on with it.

You need a decent vice - between 50 to 150 quid depending on size. Buy a slack handful of T nuts, some threaded bar and get a boxfull of all sorts of weird offcuts bits and bobs. Even big nuts and bolts are useful as hold downs.
You need some sort of tool to centre find with, I use a simple wiggler most of the time which cost me less than ten pounds. You will also need a DTI that can be fitted to the chuck/spindle to set jobs up parallel. Get a collet chuck but try to get one whose size is interchangeable with the lathe - ER35 seems to be the size to go for. I don't know, I don't have a Myford but I do use a variety of Colletts and Collett chucks, Colletts are a fiver each from Arc Euro and four basic sizes will get you started.

Buy a cheap set of DRO's from ArcEuro too. It is a starting point and not much outlay. As you have said, you are new to this and you WILL make some expensive mistakes. I bought the middle of the road setup and wouldn't be without them. I can switch between mm and ins. at will and have no worries about backlash. I am building Yuris DRO system as I want the added functionality.

Finally, although you probably could get away with one tool holder and one cutter for the life of the machine you really are limiting your use of the machine. If you want it to do a multitude of tasks you are going to need tooling, some of it you can make and some of it you really should buy. A flycutter can be made relatively inexpensively, a rotary table is a major project which will take you a week or more. Rotary tables can be had second hand for as little as £75, so would you pay yourself £75 for a week's work? THAT is the calculation.

By and large, most people will admit that the tooling is the cost of the machine multiplied by two. But you don't need to run out getting it all at once. But believe me, over time that's easily what you will accumulate.


Martin King 201/07/2014 08:29:45
938 forum posts
420 photos

Hi All,

Oompa Lumpa: re 'business'; your point is taken completely and agreed with. In my case when I need to make a part for a tool it is usually to replace a missing item or effect a repair. The missing part or damage was taken into account when the tool was acquired; (boot sale or posh auction) and the price paid allows the fix to be taken into consideration. Of course the fact that I am a complete novice means that the time taken will be out of all proportion to the actual calculated 'cost; but that will be the price I pay for learning and the 'enjoyment' is hard to quantify! Most of the time I do things like turn a new wooden handle for a chisel, I am good at this so less than 10 mins. The same thing in brass will take me over an hour at the moment!

Re DRO; is it better to just get the one that comes with the machine as an option (warco) or get an addon from a dedicated maker of DRO's? Vice needs are now understood, best I can afford! I do have an unused 6" rotary table that came with the lathe so thats helpful. Got a 2MTfly cutter also with it.

The collets I have (12 off) and holder are for the MYFORD so should fit the mill I hope. Also 2MT

Nobby: Sorry, I am being very dim here, what are those parts for please?

BAZYLE; Any idea where the nearest club is to me? is there one in Weymouth perhaps? I'll stop junking stuff at once! Can I pass any complaints on this matter from my wife directly to you please? I do already donate normal modern wood working tools to Tools for Africa on a regular basis.

Michael G: Thanks for the clear explanation, next question is what is 'climb milling please? Is this like feeding a router bit the wrong way? If so, stop there I know ALL about that to my cost.

Russell E: I have ordered the book, many thanks. As touched on earlier by Oompa Lumpa i am unlikely to have the considerable time to make anything other than extremely simple tooling as the machine must 'try' to earn its keep in the most basic way.

One other question, is power feed a total luxury or essential? Bet there are varying opinions on this



Oompa Lumpa01/07/2014 08:40:01
888 forum posts
36 photos

Posted by Martin King 2 on 01/07/2014 08:29:45:

Michael G: Thanks for the clear explanation, next question is what is 'climb milling please? Is this like feeding a router bit the wrong way? If so, stop there I know ALL about that to my cost.


It is exactly that and if you have ever had a couple horse ELU router get away with you and destroy the work (and from your comments I think you have ) it is EXACTLY that. No further learning necessary.

DRO - Horses for courses. I would get the one fitted to the machine as it will be covered by warranty - IF the price is right and it falls within your budget. A home made affair can be put together for around the £100 mark. But you get what you pay for.

Power feed. Really nice, but I decided to build my own because the cost was fast approaching something that I could make myself.


Neil Wyatt01/07/2014 08:43:24
18895 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

> Thanks for the clear explanation, next question is what is 'climb milling please? Is this like feeding a router bit the wrong way? If so, stop there I know ALL about that to my cost.

You said it yourself...

Although if the machine is capable of climb milling, it can give a better finish than normal milling, so at 'hobby level' it's sometimes used for very light finishing cuts in suitable materials, especially by CNC users whose machines are set up to have minimal backlash.

But yes, if the workpiece and cutter are not totally secure or there is noticeable backlash in the system, then climb milling is trouble time.

Power feed is like DROs, variable-frequency drives and kitchen towels. Totally unnecessary, but if you have it you'll wonder how you ever coped without it.


Oompa Lumpa01/07/2014 09:02:04
888 forum posts
36 photos

Just one thing about the colletts and chuck you already have. If you buy a machine with 3MT or even 8int you can get an adapter that allows you to use this with a drawbar. Both ArcEuro or Chronos sell these. I have a couple of 2MT tools that I use on my 3MT Mill with these type of adaptors.

I would echo previous advice on here though, go for the biggest Mill you can, absolutely stretch the budget to the max. You will be sorry if you don't because it won't matter what you get, you will always wish you bought bigger but if you really did buy the one you stretched for in the beginning, it won't nearly feel so bad.

it's just the way it is.


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