Drilling machine as a milling one



You just have to use a different approach, Dave. I used to build tools for a living and didn't ever use counterbores for SHCS's. Counterbores are truly a PITA, particularly if you get a chip between the pilot and the hole, or one floating under one of the cutting edges. I used them in production drilling long ago, so I have a fair understanding of their application, and the pitfalls of their use.
For SHCS's, using one of my Albrecht drill chucks, I start my c'bore with a twist drill, the same size as the desired c'bore. I drill deep enough to generate a full diameter, then switch to a flat bottomed drill. The cutting speed (of the drill, as opposed to a c'bore) makes up for the time lost changing the tool, and the pilot developed by the first drill prevents the flat bottom drill from wandering about. You end up with very nice counterbored holes, with no money invested in tooling that is often more trouble than it's worth. All of this, of course, works very best when you're using a drop spindle mill (like your BP), not a drill press. You have far better control over everything that way.
Give it a go! It served me very well for years.
Harold
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snipped-for-privacy@segway.com wrote:

The chuck doesn't even need to be loose in this case. An ordinary drill chuck will NOT grip the hardened shank of an end mill (drills have soft shanks). The chuck jaws must deform and indent the tool shank (not visibly) in order to grip to it, and a milling cutter is too hard to deform enough to provide a useful grip.
Thus a chuck should never be used to hold a milling cutter, even in a milling machine.
Collets are far better, but even they can slip if inadequately tightened or under heavy load. The best tool for the job is a milling cutter holder.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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    Except that Albrecht makes a special version, with either an R-8 shank or one of the NTMB tapers, which has diamond impregnated jaw faces, and which *can* grip a hardened shank end mill.

    Agreed,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

Agreed ... but I DID say an "ORDINARY" drill chuck! And, I doubt that a diamond impregnated Albrecht drill chuck is what someone who wants to use a drill press as a milling machine is likely to have, or want to buy ($$$)!
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    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    That you did. I just felt that I should mention that there *are* exceptions to just about every rule, and I happened to know of this exception -- not that I have ever had my hands (or even my eyes) on one.

    Not to mention that his drill press is highly unlikely to have either an R8 spindle or a NTMB taper one. If it did have either of those, it would already be a milling machine. :-) (And these Albrecht drill chucks have permanent shanks, not something attached by a Jacobs taper, so the opportunity for unintended separation is pretty much gone, as either of those options needs a proper drawbar to hold the shank into the machine anyway.
    Note that there is still an opportunity for unintended release. Albrecht keyless chucks are self tightening under normal operation, but with an interrupted cut, and with a spindle which has lots of spring between the drive pulley and the chuck, it could wind up under load until the chip breaks free, at which point the chuck would rotate until it reached either another forming chip, or the end of the spring travel in the spindle. If the latter, suddenly the chuck outer body is running faster than the inner body, an action which tends to loosen the grip of the chuck. (I remember some years ago we spent quite a while here trying to figure out why an Albrecht chuck in a mill was releasing whatever it was holding.) The Albrecht catalog shows that they also have a version of the chuck which is designed to prevent this problem, as well.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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I find it hard to believe that albrecht recommends using this expensive precision item for holding milling cutters. I suspect it is intended to hold carbide drills.
You guys get off on some pretty wild tangents. Or are you actually recommending to get a albrecht drill chuck with diamond impregnated jaws, put in in a drill press with a 1/2 endmill and do some milling with it?
Personally I would throw anybody out of my shop that attempted to hold an endmill in a drill chuck of any kind.
chuck
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LOL. And yet one invariably finds this *exact* question (can I put an end mill in my drill press jacobs chuck and do milling) on this and other fora all the time!
The discussion invariably devolves down to two sides, those who suggest it possibly could be done, and those who say it's a really bad idea.
Using harold V's maxim, which is you adhere to the standard correct approach for any shop task, one would have to say 'don't do it.' Why waste time and risk damaging shop equipment?
Doing this (end mill in jacobs chuck) shows the person is lacking some vital information about how end mills, chucks, spindle bearings, drawbars, and machinery in general works. As you say, anyone who goes ahead and does in in *spite* of instructions to not do so, deserves a free ticket out the door.
Jim
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And yet, Jim, there have been a rare few times when I couldn't get that itsy, short little 1/8" bit down into the work, because my spindle nose was too big, and a baby 1/4" jacobs chuck saved the day (with extremely light cuts, "climbing", only).
LLoyd
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was
Really? Climbing? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, although in the course of conducting business in my many years, I can't think of too many of the *rules* I haven't violated, generally in favor of getting the job out the door on time. You place your bet and take your chances. Some days it's chicken, other days it's feathers.
The bottom line here is that some folks see a drill press and think mill------cheap mill. Often they think they're clever and have come up with something no one else has-----likely because they're far more *clever* than are others. Once a person has made up his mind that his hare-brained idea is good, it takes a heap of dissuading to swing them a different direction. I'm fast getting to the point where I think it's smarter to let them screw up and learn the hard way. Still, it's hard to stand by and watch otherwise smart people make such stupid mistakes.
The typical drill press, particularly today, where virtually everything is made in China, and not necessarily of great quality, even for a drill press. Armed with that idea, said drill press lacks *everything* necessary to be even a low quality mill. The only thing it has in common with a vertical mill is a spindle that rotates.
Harold
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My wife's favorite line: "Experience keeps a hard school, but fools will learn in no other."
Unfortunately it's often directed at me!!
Jim
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In my experience, some people just will not listen and must experience it first hand. After a couple failures, (and a couple "I told you so") they soften up a bit. :)
I often let my kid try something that I know will fail or not work well (because I tried it before too!). They deserve the right to learn the fun way as long as its safe.
chuck
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For those situations I use a jacobs double angle collet chuck. The DA300 series has a 1/2 inch shank that fits into an R8 collet and the nut on the end is not much bigger. The collets go up to 1/4. The collets will hold better than a drill chuck and will also be much more concentric. I think the runout on a drill chuck would make the 1/8 slot a bit wide.
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It would, and does, but I wouldn't try to mill a to-spec slot with that loose an arrangement. Just doing a little side-milling touch-up of a narrow slot wider than 1/8". Climbing and really light cuts keep the bit from hogging, and give a _reasonable_ finish -- though not great. Not recommended.
The extension collet is the better solution -- but, HEY! I didn't have one, and so seldom need it, it just never got ordered.
LLoyd

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I started with a mill drill. I accumulated tooling that made it possible to finish the job without moving the head (and loosing registration). The DA collet chucks helped a lot because they don't require much head room. I still find them quite useful!
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jim rozen wrote:

It's a BAD idea ... but for some people, sometimes, it works. Not often. It's just one more of many ways to 'push one's luck'. *IF* you get away with it, fine, but more likley you wont, not for long anyway. And the price of failure can be high, to both the machine and the operator.
At best, with the light cuts required by the improper machine, you'll have to take a LONG time to do much useful work, and the quality of work produced will be poor.
Why punish yourself when a passable used milling machine can be gotten for a couple hundred dollars? I paid $125 for my Benchmaster vertical. True that it needed work, but it was useable 'as is', and already superior to a drill press. You can get a NEW vertical micro-mill from HF for $400, and the mini-mill is only about $100 more. None of these options will be a great solution, but either will be WAY ahead of trying to use a drill press for milling.
With the DP you need to buy an X-Y table ... a decent one'll cost you about half what a used mill will cost(unless you get real lucky in the used market)! And, with ANY of the options, you'll still need a bunch of accessories and cutting tools. Once you figure all that in, the savings on trying to use the DP are truly minimal.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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wrote:

I would like to know who and where such people are. Really.
For my drill press, an attempt to mill with my drill ress would be like trying to cut steel with a plastic knife. An absolutely impossible task. Safety is not even an issue, since the drill chuck falls out at the very instant when sideways force is applied.
i
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    Actually -- that *is* one of the safety points. If you have the RPM up fairly high, that fallen chuck, with a sharp end mill in its teeth, can skitter all around the shop as though it is chasing you. And if it *does* catch you (or land on your foot on the way off the drill press), you can be injured.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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    I strongly suspect that you are right.

    No. Bear in mind that the Albrecht chucks which I mentioned come with a permanent shank -- either R-8 or NTMB taper, neither of which is likely to fit a drill press. :-)

    Wise.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Subsequent posts concerning this most frequently asked of all frequently asked questions have given all the right reasons for not doing this and for why it won't work well at all. Now for some situations in which you might get away with it.
Very light, very small milling in soft materials such as plastics, or wood. Brass is pushing your luck. Steel is hairy at best. Wood is problematic because you won't be able to get the spindle speed high enough. And if its wood you're doing, consider some drum sanders on your drill press as an alternative. You'll need very sharp milling cutters (e.g., end mills) because you'll need all the help you can get. Also, if your X-Y table doesn't have gib pressure adjustments, forget the whole thing. You'll have to make it really tight -- just to the point where you almost can't turn the feeds. Let's say you want to cut a slot or a pocket in a piece of material. Do most of your metal removal by drilling down, rather than by putting side forces on the end mill. This helps to avoid the almost inevitable popping out of the chuck. Once you've gotten most of the material out, then you can apply light side forces to mill in the conventional way for a cleanup. By and large, this is a desperation practice, only to be done when there is no alternative. Rather than buy a mill as most people suggested, I'd buy a lathe and get a milling attachment for it. That's a whole lot better than milling on a drill press. I've done it for plexiglass when I had no other way -- but it was tricky and accuracy was barely acceptable. I once milled steel on my drill press and it's not an operation I'd care to repeat. My (very old) mill's motor had died and I had to machine an adapter rig for a new motor. It was too big to do on the lathe -- hence doing it on the mill. It entailed a lot of chain drilling, hacksaw work and lots of care prior to milling things workably clean. Once that was done, I mounted the new motor and promptly machined a new, proper, adapter.
The big decision, however, when it comes to milling on a drill press is how high you intend to have the table when you will. Up high, you are putting faces, chests and hearts in harms way.. low down, other parts come into the picture. You pays your money and you takes yer choice.
Boris
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Thanks all for these precious hints That's why when I was milling into plastic, I loose my chuck falling down I supposed the chuck was bad but after all your mails, I see what tangential forces can do with an 10mm end mill in PCV
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