Sunday, February 26, 2017

Homemade Milling Machine

Alright everyone!  I've been away a while, so here's something good.  


















And a link to the video below:


I designed this milling machine because acquiring a "proper" Bridgeport type mill seemed all but impossible.  Large mills are either too heavy or too expensive, and those small bench top models are rarer than black rhinos.  

This milling machine was entirely constructed in my garage, making use of a 9 inch South Bend lathe, a stick welder, angle grinder and a pedestal drill press.  I machined a morse taper 3 spindle,which accepts common taper tooling, and the head of the machine.  The head-spindle assembly mounts angular contact bearings which will actually handle the loads incurred during milling.

The most expensive part of the machine was the the x-y table, which I purchased from Grizzly.  Its the 6x18.5 inch, which runs $170 shipped.  Total cost of the machine was approximately $270, not counting scavenged parts like the motor, or screws and assorted hardware.

This is, as far as I'm aware, this is the only homemade machine of its kind, with a proper milling head that accepts mt3 tooling, making it extremely versatile.  Besides already existing mt3 end mill holders, I've found that you can buy old useless mt3 drill bits by the pound and readily modify the shank for even more endmill holders or flycutters and other tooling.

Also note that I did NOT require a larger milling machine to build this one!  Yes, I know there are purchased parts.  However, the intent of this design is that anyone with a bit of cash and practically antique shop tools can build a useful milling machine.

There are a number of attempts at building homemade mills on youtube, some of which definitely contributed to my design.  This mill is unique for the fact that its large capacity.  I have 12in x 8 in x 9 in of machining volume and the rigidity in the spindle and the rest of the construction to to easily cut 1/4 in deep 1/2 inch slots through aluminum.  This is a useful machine for "small engine" sized work as opposed to its tiny experimental predecessors. 

Soon, I'll be posting some technical drawings of the machine, any maybe even solidworks models. Watch the youtube videos and subscribe to my channel! 
Stay tuned!

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