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What do you use your mill for ?


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I hear that some modelers use a mill to help make some of the parts for their models.

 

What parts do you use the mill on?  I'm considering buying a mill but I don't know if it will help.

 

Bob

Every build is a learning experience.

 

Current build:  SS_ Mariefred

 

Completed builds:  US Coast Guard Pequot   Friendship-sloop,  Schooner Lettie-G.-Howard,   Spray,   Grand-Banks-dory

                                                a gaff rigged yawl,  HOGA (YT-146),  Int'l Dragon Class II,   Two Edwardian Launches 

 

In the Gallery:   Catboat,   International-Dragon-Class,   Spray

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Bob thanks for posting the question.   I just ordered an x-y- table for my drill press and was wondering what all I can do with it.  My primary intent was for making blocks (ala Chuckie blocks) and decorative moldings.  then I saw the windlass on another post, and a couple masts being made on a mill.

So, I'm hopeful it will be as versatile as I think it will be.

Tom

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Bob,

 

I use my milling machine for a whole raft of things both in milling and drilling jobs. The x-y table is a real bonus where you can, for example, drill an accurate pattern of holes, you can mount a blunt pin in the chuck and use it to press quite quickly an accurate pattern of cosmetic rivets. Using collets it is much easier to drill small holes (below 1mm dia) than using some form of hand drill - I break fewer bits with my mill - I adjust the x-y table to the desired position then lock it to avoid lateral stress on the bit. 

 

For milling it is great for accurate rebates. Recently I used it to make a wooden jig to assemble a companion way ladder. This involved milling the wood to the correct width then cutting equally spaced slots at 45 degrees to hold the ladder treads.

 

There is little that you can do on a mill that you can't do with hand tools but the mill makes the tasks a lot easier to do.

 

For me it is one of the tools that I think "how did I cope without it?"  :)

Ian M.

 

Current build: HMS Unicorn  (1748) - Corel Kit

 

Advice from my Grandfather to me. The only people who don't make mistakes are those who stand back and watch. The trick is not to repeat the error. 

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Having a small mill can be nice.  But if you do not have the training it can be a very expensive drill press.  If you know what you are doing it can do many things. 

David B

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Thanks Janos

I remember reading about making the mill bits from a drill bit and it just didn't seem practical.  I'm glad I asked.

 

I would like to hear more about this statement though "What you can do though is making your mill bits from broken drill bits, piano wire, silver steel, etc. I am doing this quite often and with those I can make nice moulding profiles."  Would a little explanation of how be possible.  Or if you know of a site where it is demonstrated?

 

No ,more than I think I'll be using the mill bits, I think I'm better off buying them from a professional source. I'm thinking 4 or 5 different sizes is all I'll ever use, and overwhelmingly on wood. But I will be making a lot of moulding.

thanks

Tom

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Tom,

 

End mills are best left to what you can buy commercially. If you're doing side milling or special shapes and using the mill like router, different story. 

 

I wish MSW had never crashed.  Roma used nails, broken bits, etc. for routing.  I've played with it a bit when I did the bitts on my Triton Cross-Section.  Once the through holes were drilled, I could connect them with a slot (faking the sheave) using a broken drill bit. 

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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Tom,

 

Gaeton is absolutely right. Milling bits are more complex than drill bits. There are different designs for different functions. They should be used wherever possible. However, I have successfully used ground down broken drill bits to mill very small slots. I have cut slots in brass and wood this way. With the brass I chain drill the slit then use the broken bit (same size) to mill the holes in to a slot. (Purists will be rolling their eyes now! :) )  The trick was to keep the length of unsupported bit as short as possible and to take it very, very slowly, taking very small cuts on each pass. For wood I keep the speed low to avoid burning.

 

When milling you should always use a collet to ensure the mill bit is running concentrically. Initially I used an ordinary power drill type three jaw chuck and broke a couple of milling bits (expensive). Since using collets (sadly also expensive) I have not had any bit problems. 

 

Another thing to avoid with micro milling machines is "Climb milling". The small machines are less rigid than their larger brothers, so if you try climb milling (particularly on metal) the milling bit can grab (rather than cut) the work resulting in, at best, a mangled work piece or possibly a broken mill bit or even damage to the machine itself. Before I had the miller I did my milling on a micro lathe using a vertical slide. I had spent some time milling a piece and was approaching the end - got sloppy - and did my final pass using climb milling. It grabbed. It broke one cutting edge off the bit, left my beautiful work looking look at had been attacked with a cold chisel. The lurching machine also frightened the life out of me.

 

Below are two diagrams that show the difference between conventional (first diagram) and climb milling.

 

Conventional milling.

 

post-78-0-60835900-1372934495_thumb.jpg

 

Climb milling

 

post-78-0-60859200-1372934494_thumb.jpg

 

With regard to training - personally I have had none (which is probably obvious to those who have been formally trained) but am a cheerful amateur. There are plenty of small, cheap soft cover books available that give introductions to milling. On You Tube there are loads of "how to" clips on the subject (I recently looked at a series by Tubal Cain on making a single cylinder steam engine from basic materials).

 

If you decide to get a milling machine then:

 

Step 1 - read, understand and observe the safety instructions.

Step 2 - read the basic operating instructions supplied with the machine.

Step 3 - clamp a block of pine wood on the machine and fit a milling bit and try things out - as long as you have done step 1 and 2 carefully, and don't wind the bit in to the miller's table you won't do any harm.

Step 4 - enjoy the experience.

 

I find it a very satisfying experience to watch the miller in action (what a sad existence this man must live - I hear you say!).  :)  :)  :)

 

 

    

 

  

 

 

Ian M.

 

Current build: HMS Unicorn  (1748) - Corel Kit

 

Advice from my Grandfather to me. The only people who don't make mistakes are those who stand back and watch. The trick is not to repeat the error. 

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You can do anything you want with a mill, it can take you as far as your mind will go. But be warn it can also hurt you without any notice. You need to think three times and then check again, always make sure the piece is clamp down. Read everything you can get your hands on. And yes you can make your own tools, but remember you can also do that without a mill. A mill is more right on. You can design your own parts, but at the same time you can do this and cut them out with a saw and then sand down. It depends what do you want to do with the Mill, and what you want it to do for you. Do you want a regular mill or a cnc. You can use a CNC Mill like a regular, you just don't have the driver box turn on and then you can use the hand wheels. How much can you spend? Add ons cost money and there are more than you can count on your hands and feet. There is a lot to take into account, money space and what you want to do with it. It all comes down to you. If you go the CNC way count on spending a heck of a lot more money and time learning how to do it and try and do it right. You want to learn CAD it isn't easy trust me on that, and then you will need CAM another thing to learn. I am not trying to scare you just trying to let you know what your in for. I had a lot of PM's with Kevin about this and after he look around at different Mills he seen what they cost. Talk to him about this. If your just going to drill holes and things like that go with a good drill press and a X Y Table.

Edited by WackoWolf

Wacko

Joe :D

 

Go MSW :) :)

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Here's a couple of links to get you started.... I know I've posted them before but now can't find the conversation they were used in....

 

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/Info/getting_started.php

http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Main/mini-mill.htm

 

I'm a newbie at basically all power tools but learning is part of the fun....

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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I have been following this topic with interest and it reminded me of some old pictures I kept on my PC from the MSW 0.1.

I know this is slightly off topic but thought it may be interesting for those interested in making cheapo profile mill bits.

These were from the build log of the Panteleymon by Russian master builder Alex Baranov. It is a pictorial tutorial that may come in useful to some:

 

post-324-0-92669600-1373020377_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-36049300-1373020381_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-19556100-1373020384_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-98143000-1373020386_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-52826200-1373020395.jpg

 

 

post-324-0-19826900-1373020389_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-09819800-1373020397_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-88760900-1373020393_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-46791100-1373020391_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-29168200-1373020872_thumb.jpg

 

post-324-0-19812800-1373020372_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

John

 

"Without ships there is nothing"

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John,

 

Useful stuff. Thanks.

 

Bob,

 

Also if you browse around Dan Vadas' logs you will see plenty of excellent examples of mill work. The latest one is on page 39 of his HMS Vulture build (see

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/230-hms-vulture-by-dan-vadas-1776-148-scale-16-gun-swan-class-sloop-from-tffm-plans/page-39  )

 

In it he mills the sides for a cannon carriage (a nice job for beginners). For milling the semicircular holes in the bottom of the carriage sides he uses ......... a ground down 10mm drill bit! 

 

There are many other members who demonstrate mill work in their logs but you may as well start at the top (crawl, crawl  :)  :) :) ) 

Ian M.

 

Current build: HMS Unicorn  (1748) - Corel Kit

 

Advice from my Grandfather to me. The only people who don't make mistakes are those who stand back and watch. The trick is not to repeat the error. 

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Thanks Janos for the samples.  I assume you flattened nails, then grind them to shape with a grinding wheel (dremel?).

Do the bits need to be tempered?  Heat to cherry red then immerse in oil??  Or are they sufficiently hard left alone?

Are the edges sharpened?

 

thanks again

Tom

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1492,

   

     I remember that post from MSW 1 and I also have those pictures plus some others. Thanks for posting them for everyone that has never seen them.

Janos, Thank you for posting your also. This should be a great help for anyone that wants to try and make their own bits.

 

Thanks guys.

Edited by WackoWolf

Wacko

Joe :D

 

Go MSW :) :)

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Hi Guys -- This is a very valuable discussion for me, since, like Bob, I'm thinking hard about buying a mill.  The comments that you can do things without a mill just as well make sense to me, but I remember saying to myself, "do I really need that Byrnes saw?  surely I can cut wood without it."  It seems to me that, like the Byrnes saw, a mill would facilitate precision, and isn't that what we all aim for?

 

The User's Guide Mark gave the link for has lots of info.  Terrific, Mark. 

 

But that guide is for the Grizzley, Micro Mark machine, which I have looked at among others.  My question is this:  what is the best micro mill?  And I (speaking for myself, not for Bob) am interested in the 3 that all seem to run about the same (a smidge under $500): Micro Mark, Proxxon, and Vanda Lay (which isn't an actual mill but a set up to use the Dremel as a mill).

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

Current Build:  HMS FLY 1776

 

Previous Builds:  Rattlesnake 1781

                        Prince de Neufchatel

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Martin,

Here's a link for the MM Micro: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/256-micromark-micromill-review/

 

Things to consider:  Size of workpieces and thus table movement?   Accessories and will they fit the micro mill?  And of course:  quality and "fit for purpose"?

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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Good topic - but I still can't make up my mind. I had almost settled inthe Proxxon M70 - due to price and availability. But the Sherline keep calling me - the price is a factor. But the I saw some not that much more expensive than the Proxxon. It's not like I can just spend the difference later on to "upgrade" to a Sherline.

It appears there are more accessories available for the Sherline.

 

Any thoughts - would I be better to just save longer and hold out for the Sherline ?

I have ordered some books to read on the meantime and been doing as much online reach as possible. But I still am undecided!!!!!!!

Current builds:

MS Syren

HM Suppy

Dos Amigos

 

 

 

Completed:

Schooner for Port Jackson

MS 18th Century Longboat

Bounty Launch

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MHO would be to save the money and buy the Sherline, but I am also saying this because I have one. Remember you get what you pay for. The others are all made in China, not that that is a bad thing BUT!!!!!. Like I said just my own option. A lot of us here have a Sherline and like it big time. It all comes down to you.

Wacko

Joe :D

 

Go MSW :) :)

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There are several models to choose from.  As mentioned before you have Harbor Freight and MIcro Lux.  Then there is Taig, Sherline, Enco, Jet etc.  I bought s Sherline used years ago and have been happy with.  You have to remember that you get what you pay for.  Enco and Jet are for heavy industrial us.  And are built for it.  Taig And Sherline are for The home shop machinst, jewelers. etc.  It depends on what you are going to do with it.  My motto has always been to get the best itiem that you can afford. That way you know what to expect.

David B

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It's not only what you can afford, but it's what you can tell your wife you can afford.

 

My waivering comes from the fact that I read several reviews of the Proxxon on Amazon by Americans who complained that the motor didn't work right, that knobs had too much play in them, and so on.  That surprised me, since I had assumed Proxxon was a quality product.  Sherline would be ideal, but ideals tend to be pricey, and I'm just finishing my second build so would have a hard time explaining the thousand dollar price tag.

 

Like Meredith, I'm undecided.  But this is a valuable discussion.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

Current Build:  HMS FLY 1776

 

Previous Builds:  Rattlesnake 1781

                        Prince de Neufchatel

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If the admiral finds something shiny that she can wear on her pillow you will be given permission to buy whatever you want. Of course this will likely double the cost of your tool. But it helps to be able to point a diamond necklace and say that one is my table saw, and those earrings are my Jim Brynes rope walk. :D

 

But I ask you what is the price of peace?

Current Builds - 18th Century Longboat, MS Syren

Completed Builds - MS Bluenose, Panart BatteStation Cross section, Endevour J Boat Half Hull, Windego Half Hull, R/C T37 Breezing Along, R/C Victoria 32, SolCat 18

On the shelf - Panart San Felipe, Euromodel Ajax, C.Mamoli America, 

 

Its a sailor's Life for me! :10_1_10:

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