How to mill a flat surface



I guess it will work, but if the material can be filed, it's a whole lot quicker. If the material can't be filed, and if the part is small enough, I've sometimes "lapped" it on an old marble table top with a piece of emery cloth taped or glued (with rubber cement) to the marble. This is a method sometimes recommended for fixing Stanley planes that are new and which therefore suck.
I have a good collection of files and I save my best ones for jobs like this. If the part is work-hardened steel or c.i. and kind of hard, striking with a file can be iffy. If the file skates you'll wreck it. The file has to bite. But my piece of RR track was no problem, despite lots of work-hardening from years of use.
-- Ed Huntress
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wrote:

I fixed an air compressor that blew gaskets by filing the warped block flat after pouring wax onto the pistons to catch the debris. It was too tall for my surface grinder. I ground the head flat and used it with bluing to see where to file the block. That problem is solved but it still has others...

I have a new coarse/fine stone that's only used to take the burrs off machine tool tables. The one I sharpen knives and plane blades on isn't flat enough any more. SiC paper on a flat block works quite well if you can find the flat block. I've used 1-2-3 blocks and a ground angle plate salvaged from an old rusty fixture. The area between the rust pits is still very flat.
In general you can work to whatever accuracy or flatness you can measure, because after measuring you know where to correct. I fitted loose scope bases to another shooter's rifle at the range by smoking the bases with a lighter and scraping the contact marks down with pieces of broken glass. He went from off the target frame to about a 4" group.
Jim Wilkins
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To me it looks like the vise might have been slightly unstable on the swivel base when you milled it. I have cleaned up import milling vises, my anvil, and a PYH end mill sharpener like this:
If the top surface wasn't milled, level it with wedges and take a light pass to remove high spots and see how it cuts. Shiny spots are harder and may be high afterwards. Flip it over and block it up on the just-milled surface. Cut enough off the base to see fresh metal all around. Turn it back upright, locate clamps over the cuts on the bottom so the casting doesn't warp, fly-cut the top. I take no more than 0.005" per pass and often 0.001" for the last one, after stoning the bit.
I tried this on an RF-30 mill-drill once without success, the vertical feed was too sloppy. I had to take the vise home to mill it.
Since I have a surface grinder I next grind the bottom side until the wheel cuts at least most of the area, turn it upright and grind the top to taste.
Previously I filed most of the tool marks off and then finished with SiC paper wrapped around a file or a piece of scrap tooling plate. You can file in the middle of a surface without rounding the edges with a file that curved during hardening, which is common for the cheap ones.
I would clean up the swivel base of your beautiful red vise separately on a faceplate in a lathe.
Jim Wilkins
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No, I removed the vise from the swivel base and bolted it directly to the milling table ways.

Don't have one... And most sadly, do not have space for one...
I removed exactly 1mm from the anvil surface, and that was too much, should have removed 0.5mm.
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I have had to flatten a few 2"-5" pieces of mild steel recently.
FWIW, here is what works for me: 1) Sanding attachment in angle grinder - 40, 80, 120, 220 grit till I am happy it is flat 2) Clean up with *palm* sander 60 (sometimes skip), 120, 220, 320, 400 grit. 3) I love my 4x36" belt sander but for this job it did not work as well as the above.
--
Michael Koblic,
Campbell River, BC
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On Thu, 29 May 2008 06:59:49 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,

3 minutes with a file, and a minute with a 120 grit DA sander, maybe?
-- I wish the Department of Homeland Security knew what ol' Unca Doug did, instinctively, so many years ago:
There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity. -- General Douglas MacArthur
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...

Didn't you buy a Clausing lathe from some old guy?
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I sold it a long time ago, it was a very tiny old lathe.
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wrote:

End mill - solid carbide or inserts? It makes a difference. The solid carbide mills have a decent rake angle, and can be quite sharp. Usually, the inserts aren't.
Was the surface ground to begin with, or as-cast? If as-cast, you may have not been getting under the scale and hard surface.
Might also try upping the RPM.
John Martin
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Here is what you do. Get ahold of a big ass hammer and wail the tar out of it for half an hour. It will look used, useful, and you will never know the difference. Shoot for a heart rate of 80 or so.

http://igor.chudov.com/projects/misc/Repainting-Of-Wilton-500S-Vise/Repainti ng-Of-Wilton-500S-Vise-2182.jpg
inattention
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