Drilling machine as a milling one

The thought "I am just going to carefully cut just a little bit so it will work okay" can go wrong quickly and the chuck with sharp cutter come
whizzing by because the cutter suddenly chatters, jams during climb milling, or is suddenly overloaded because you mistakenly turned the handle the wrong way or made some other mistake. Things do sometimes go wrong for other people too, don't they :>}. Don Young

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Endless replies to this question, one that comes up all too often.
Milling machines require considerable rigidity to resist cutting forces. They also require serious bearings in the head, and a quill that is very well supported in the housing, and has provisions for being locked where desired. The part being machined would require a means of being propelled in a straight line, also at a right angle, and a flat plain. Hoping to achieve any of this from a drill press is stretching things quite a bit. even with an added table. There's almost no guarantee you'd get the table dialed in with the spindle, due to the table not being square with the column, and not adjustable in two planes. The topic of draw bars and chucks has been beat to death, time and again. Chucks do not grip end mills well, due in part to the shank of end mills being hardened, very unlike drill shanks. Drill chucks rarely run with the degree of desired concentricity as well. So far, nothing is right for a drill press to function as a mill.
Consider this: A light duty milling machine (Bridgeport, for example) weighs roughly 2,000 pounds. A drill press typically weighs under 100 pounds, but could go as high as 200, I'm sure. Where are you going to find the necessary mass and rigidity from your 200 pound drill press when a 2,000 pound Bridgeport is considered a light duty machine?
Drill presses are that. Drill presses. They are not milling machines, nor are they intended to function as one. The closest you'll come is a mill/drill, and they're a miserable compromise on a milling machine at best. I can't even begin to imagine how poorly a drill press would serve.
Harold
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I have a 700 lb Clausing milling machine that illustrates this point well. Although it's very nice for light precision prototype milling and drilling, a 1/2" 2-flute end mill cutting 3/8" deep in steel can set the whole machine vibrating. The force involved in pushing a milling cutter through metal is similar to the force needed to hammer a chisel through it.
jw
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Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:

We'll put you down as a "Nay", then :)
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Well, a mill/drill is not nearly as nice as a knee mill but they are very capable of milling with some limitations. I started with a jet mill drill (JMD18) that will take quite respectable cuts and in some ways has a better work envelope than the small knee mills (I now own both). The five inch quill travel is very useful for some operations and the large table accepts a 6 inch kurt vise or 8 inch rotary table that won't fit on the clausing or rockwell knee mills.
chuck
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An 8" RT will fit on a Clausing (and probably a Rockwell) mill but it's a bit of overkill for most work.

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I put an 8 inch rotary table on my enco knee mill once which is similar in size to my rockwell. I swore I would not do it again, but the reasons are vague at this time. I think I was running out of Z travel with the tall RT and a drill chuck. It also looked like I was abusing the machine, but I guess a 80+ lb load is not too excessive.
I do not think an 8 inch rotary table is overkill. I find the bigger tables make it much easier to clamp the part.
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Not even close.

Absolutely. I own a 12" table and often wish it was larger. It's not because I've used it for large work, but more because it makes setup easier. *Lots* easier. The one negative is you have to handle them, and that is a hand full for me. It's about all I can do to move it from its resting place on the bench to the right of the mill, to the table. Any larger and it wouldn't be possible. I'm wondering how I'll handle it in the future, as I age more and more.
Harold
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 22:20:12 -0700, the opaque "Harold and Susan

Can you say Cherry Picker? I knew you could. Or rig up a chain drop, or build a small a-frame I-beam hoist for your shop, Harold. HF's pickup crane goes on sale for $70 several times a year. Mount one near the mill.
Don't wait, use it now. Your back is worth more to you whole.
- Inside every older person is a younger person wondering WTF happened. --- http://diversify.com Website Application Programming
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I use a "Big Joe" platform lift found at an auction. It is a variable height table.
Mark

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I have become, lately, a big fan of material handling equipment. I have a hoist and a crane, and even had a forklift briefly. I sold it because it was too wide and did not lift high enough. There are so many possibilities that these tools open. I may buy a die lift soon.
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 22:20:12 -0700, "Harold and Susan

Hi Harold,
You need a young neighbor with a strong back and the yearn to learn ;-) I'm not so young anymore, but I still have a good back. Suspect I live a bit far away though with the current price of gasoline...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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A foot-pumped hydraulic "scissors" lift table would be nice. I have one from HF (where else) that doubles as a welding table. The top is lined with fire brick.
Bob Swinney

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it's
similar
reasons
is
future,
All great ideas, particularly Leon's. However, he doesn't know how lucky he is to be so far away. I likely keep the strangest hours of anyone on the list. Particularly when I'm *not* building a house, which appears to have taken on a life of its own. I generally (when *not* house building) get to bed about 5:00 AM, and get up around noon. Imagine the delight of getting a phone call at 1:00 AM in which I ask for Leon's good, strong back to come over and move the rotary table for me. Still, it would be nice to have a neighbor with whom I could share machining. That's the one thing I miss now that I live so remotely. I left behind a considerable peer group when I left Utah.
Harold
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On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 10:41:14 -0700, "Harold and Susan
<much snipping>

Hi Harold,
Seeing I still get up ~5:45A in semi-retirement, it would be a bit different. Nice thing about retirement though is you can take a nap almost anytime. Mostly the nap never happens, but in the back of your mind it is comforting to know you COULD take one :)
I've never minded odd calls like that when they were for a good reason. We still have that distance problem though...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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The Clausing has a bit less Z-travel than the Rockwell, but that wasn't a problem for me. I was trying to flycut a 12" square aluminum plate and there isn't enough Y-travel to allow that on the Clausing 8520 mill without re-mounting the plate. I mounted the plate to the RT with double-sided tape, flycut 1/2 of it, and then rotated the table 180 to flycut the other half. It worked surprisingly well.
Drilling a hole with a S&D bit in a tall casting would be another matter.
Mike
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Chuck Sherwood wrote:

I occasionally use an 8" RT on my KBC A1S knee-mill. The A1S mills come in two different sizes (bench and floor models) and several variations in each (column height, table size, etc.). The KBC floor model mill is among the larger A1S machines. I think it's roughly comparable to the Rockwell vertical mill, and somewhat larger than the Clausing mills.
My 8" RT is not too big for my mill, but it doesn't weight 80 lbs, either ... it's a Phase-II, and weighs 53 lbs.
And, yes, the larger table is far handier for clamping items than the 6" table I also have. It's also more robust overall ... this is especially true of the gearing. The gears in small RT's can be quite delicate when using the table rotation to actually mill rather than merely position. I discovered this the hard way with my 6" table, and had to replace the gears (the wormgear is fine-toothed, made of cast iron, and quite brittle ... not a good design). The Ph-II 8" table has steel gears with much larger and stronger teeth.
The 6" table is a good match for my smaller Benchmaster mill. It works well, but has to be used gently, and is not suitable for rotary milling. It's fine for establishing bolt-circles, sprocket teeth and such, but the table clamps need to be locked down before cutting metal.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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My enco knee mill was the bench model which is probably one of the smallest. I don't have it any more so I really can't compare it to the rockwell but now I believe the rockwell has a large table.
My 8 inch rotary table does indeed weigh 80+ lbs. I don't remember the name but it is a made in Taiwan import from KBC.
It is interesting to hear that the 6 inch tables are delicate. I really wanted one but now that I replaced the enco with a rockwell, I guess I'm better off sticking with the 8 inch. I don't use it much anymore because I use a DRO to drill bolt cirles; easier, faster and more accurate.
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Chuck Sherwood wrote:

I didn't mean that ALL 6" tables are necessarily so delicate ... but he one I had sure was/is. It's not a Phase-II like my larger 8" table, but some no-name Taiwanese import. I bought it about 20 years ago. It's a nice little table, and very well finished (better than the Ph-II), but had the darned cast iron fine-toothed gear that was it's weak point. Fortunately I was able to get a replacement ... also cast iron! As long as you don't try to rotate it while cutting, it works fine.
Such gears would be something to watch out for, and avoid, in any lower-priced rotary table.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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On Tue, 9 Aug 2005 20:49:40 +0400, "Gil HASH"

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gads...somebody want to write a FAQ on this subject once and for all?
Gunner
If you are going to use that phrase then you should use the full phrase of "Fuck Off and Die and Rot In A Ditch and Get Eaten By Maggots and Pissed On and Shit On By a Dysenteric Elephant (but not necessarily in that order)."
Crash Street Kidd
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