Milling with a drill press

I'd start small and watch for signs of things going to hell while getting more aggressive. With a good sharp endmill and a little WD-40 you should be able to get a nice finish on a piece of aluminum. Don't even think about climb milling with this setup.
If you experiment with a 1/4" endmill in aluminum you won't be able to exceed the max SFPM for the tool. I'd start around 2000 RPM and see what happens as you vary the speed up and down. Start with a shallow cut, perhaps .030 to .060 deep. Don't forget the lube or you may gum up the endmill.
Ned
Reply to
Ned Simmons
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That's not a fair comparison. One would obviously use the best machine for the task at hand if available, and you're comparing a mill with a mill. Fact is, I'd have chosen a K&T as my example, but I get your drift.
What we're discussing is using a drill press as a mill. They're not mills, and not intended to be mills. No more than an automobile is intended to be a pickup truck, but that doesn't prevent some folks from removing the back seat and hauling loads of rock. Point is, it's not the best way to go. Didn't say it couldn't be done. But---------should it?
Agreed. But, at best, it's a poor compromise.
Necessary? That's a whole different matter. I wouldn't hesitate to open a door with dynamite if I had no alternatives, but there are usually alternatives to most everything. A miserable mill/drill would be a huge improvement over a drill press for milling, and it pains me to even say it. I don't like mill/drills---but at least they're made more robustly than drill presses, with milling in mind.
I've operated good and decent drill presses---many of them. Even the heads on Leland-Gifford gang drills would make a poor milling head, and they're one of the nicer drill presses I've used. Far better than the vast majority of drill presses to be found in the home shop. I still say don't use a drill press as a mill. It's not a mill------it's a drill press.
I say don't do it-----it's not a mill.
I don't use either-----and don't really care about the opinions of others in that regard. I know what works for me, and I use it. However, if I had to use that type toolpost, I'd settle for nothing less than a KDK.
I'll have to explain that to mine the next time I'm using if for the purpose. I've tapped more 1/4-20 holes with one of those things than most folks have with a tapping head. I even have success with larger threads, although backing the tap at first can be challenging. 3/8-16 works fine. I'm not suggesting it's good for the chuck, but I have more than one, and use the sad one for tapping.
That surprises you? Democrats want to take everything, then give back to you what *they* think you need. Politicians suck.
Can't speak for Granny, but they damned well want to put religion back in schools. Their stand on religion is the very thing that has turned me against the party. That, and the moron they chose to lead our country. He's so damned far over his head in that job that there's no daylight for him to see. Sad thing is, he doesn't "get it". Politicians suck.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
It will remove metal beyond making holes and shouldn't break the machine if you're careful. Use 3/16" or 1/4" endmills so the EM and your workpiece will be the sacrifical bits when things go wrong. Take very light cuts. In a setup like this I would regard .060 of depth in aluminum as a heavy cut, but the only meaningful guideline is your own experience. Start slow, work up, back off from crash.
You should not expect good finish or precision better than .010", and you should expect to snap some endmills, barf up some workpieces, and have occasional exciting events. YMMV.
I know these things because I have done "milling" (as in metal removal) on a considerably lighter drillpress than yours. I wasn't born with a Bridgeport either, and I also felt I should not afford good tools for HSM activities when my kids were small like yours. For making open slots, use a 2-flute endmill and "peck"; make a hole, raise the quill, advance the work just a bit, stroke the quill again, step and repeat. Your operation is then much more like drilling than milling but you still get a slot fairly quickly.
The next two quantum steps would be from drillpress to milldrill and from milldrill to knee mill. An import milldrill would be quantum-leap better than your drillpress for milling, but it would lack the "reach" of your DP for drilling. In general, mills drill much better than drills mill but drills can handle larger workpieces.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Question is: If you have such a nice drill press, why would you want to ruin it by milling with it? That lady would cost in excess of three grand to replace. Problem is: you get that bad girl in low gear and then get the bit stuck in the work; something has to give. I may be the chuck or the clamping this time but what about the next?
I don't know your drill but on mine there are several other weak points that I'd be worried about. Some of them I've found just through working the machine hard. The counter shaft on my Craftsman drill has come loose several times. When I got it I had to rebore the countershaft pully and install a bush. It has been slipping again and I've decided to redesign it. The main pully split at the flange and I just rebuilt that. This is from normal wear and tear on an otherwise excellent machine.
I expect just as much accuracy from my drill press as I do from a mill or a lathe. I do a lot of drilling with my Craftsman and after I've blued the piece, scribed the lines, prickpunched, centerpunched and spotdrilled, I expect the drill to put the bit where I aim it. Can't do that if the chuck is buggered.
I appologize for being so blunt but I guess you struck a nerve there.
Bud
Reply to
starbolins
Felt bad about dumping on you so I thought I'd give you some usefull advice. Get a used heavy duty router. Put in a carbide bit. Rig up a guiderail system. And face your aluminum with the router. At least you won't be ruining a $3000 drill press.
Bud
Reply to
starbolins
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Errr.... the spindle of most drill presses has significant end play. The question of what depth the mill cutter will reach is not really settled. It might decide to dive.
A lathe might make a better mill than a drill press; do you have one?
Reply to
whit3rd
I have, from time to time, used a drill press as a vertical mill. In nearly all cases I had problems. In general the three jawed drill chuck eventually loosed and the end mill cut progressively deeper, or the whole chuck falls out, if it has a taper shank, usually on the last cut, too..
This is not to say it can't be done, rather that there will probably something that goes wrong, sooner or later.
I believe that if you could remove the chuck and fit some better device to hold the end mill and lock the quill it would be a better milling machine.
Having said all that I'd do it again in a minute is I needed "just a little cut off the end there", but it is not really the best method.
As someone mentioned there seems to be a lot of "NO! You can't do it that way" notions on this group but I can tell you that if you work in a job shop and a customer comes in the door with a job the Bull isn't going to tell the guy, "Aw, we can't do it 'cause the Brigeport is broke down". And when he hands the job off to you you better not tell him that the guys on RCM says it can't be done, cause if you do he'll give the job to that old goat that runs the planer over in the other side of the shop and he'll do it and then you'll feel like a damned fool.
Cheers
Bruce in Bangkok (brucepaigeatgmaildotcom)
Reply to
Bruce
snip---
Like I've been saying right along-----a drill press is that------a drill press. Just because it has similar physical features that mills share doesn't make it one. They are designed to twist a drill, nothing more. The problem you mentioned is but one of many that would be the endless conveyer belt of unexpected surprises.
I think Iggy is in the process of equipping what used to be a rather barren shop. My money says he'll have it all eventually----he seems to really like this stuff.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
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i,
As an experiment put your indicator in the chuck and the point of the indicator on the side of the table. By hand pull the head to the right and the push table to the left as hard as you can. How much flex does it read with only manual forces?
I'm afraid that you've been on RCM too long. You've contracted the "Iwannadosomemillingalso" disease. It causes severe itching. You are attempting to scratch that itch using a drill press as a mill. It makes no difference whether you succeed milling with the dp or not, the itch will still be there.
As I see it, you only have two choices. Renounce RCM and start attending Metalworkers Anonymous meetings. Attend the knitting newsgroup instead. If you don't, you will be buying a mill(/drill).
Wayne D.
Never allow your parakeet to kiss you. You may contract chirpees. It is a very rare canarial disease. Worst part about it is it untweetable.
Reply to
Wayne
With all of the effort you'll expend, you won't be able to attain results as good as the work you could be getting (all this time) with the mill you had, but sold.
The idea of not needing anything too accurate or fast, will be short lived, and you might end up damaging your drill press. In case the question comes up of how to make a new quill, you'll most likely need a lathe and a mill.
Obviously, the mill would've made a good drill press.
WB metalworking projects
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Reply to
Wild Bill
I recall Ig selling a Clausing 8520 some time back. We all pleaded with him to hang on to it, to no avail. Oh, well, with Ig's scrounging ability, he can come up with another if he wants. As you suggest, that'll be soon after he gets a taste with the dp.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
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Approximately 0.001-0.002". I tried that on Thursday night.
Yes... I have not decided what I want yet... Based on my drill press experience (using a cheap DP and then buying a real DP and seeing the difference), I do not want to buy a cheap mill/drill, if I spend money I would like to buy something more serious. Meanwhile, my DP can possibly serve me for some easy little tasks.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus13983
Mike... The pictures of that mill are here:
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After I looked at it today... I began to have disconcerting feelings about having gotten rid of it...
i
Reply to
Ignoramus13983
Makes sense.
Exactly.
I never thought of this, but it makes sense. (less side load)
Thanks Don... I want to be a little conservative about having "too many tools" that sit and do nothing, so I will see how much milling I actually need to make to do things that I like to do, it may not be all that much.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus13983
After reading this... And looking again at that 8530 pictures
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I have CHANGED my mind.
I am VERY SORRY that I sold that mill.
It would have fit in the basement and I could not need a drill press with it.
Oh well. It is a correctable mistake.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus13983
Yes. While idly surfing the web, I came across a remarkable contraption which seems to be exactly what Iggy needs. It is called a "Drill Press Milling Arm", and it purportedly "Provides a bearing for heavy lateral thrust, allowing drill press to serve as an accurate vertical milling machine"
A blurry picture of it can be found on the page
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It's about one-third down on the page. Search the page for "Milling Arm". They sell plans for it, but it seems simple enough that anyone could make some plans for something similar himself, if need be.
S.
Reply to
Sevenhundred Elves

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