Just collected a Centec 2A with the good vertical head and I am strongly inclined to plug it in, but it has been in store for ages (I am still trying to remove some of the gloop using petrol - must have had Shellac in it). Obviously I will go over it for electrical safety (single phase), but I wonder if anyone has commissioning advice ?
Also I don't have an arbor for the horizontal milling arm - though it came with a stub arbor, the sort you would use on a lathe. Is there a source for 2MT full arbors, or should I just use the stub arbor (saves mounting the overarm anyway).
Any Centec owners that can offer advice would be appreciated.
I did think about an X2, but then everything else I have is old British gear, and I read the lengthy list of reasons why they have to be stripped and re-assembled from new to sort them out (see Arc Euro trade site). So in the end I opted to keep my classic workshop theme going, I can always upgrade at a later date.
Useful to know who makes the raising blocks. Not sure whether I will need them yet. Quill head looks fine, table seems fine, but as you say the micrometer round the back for raising the knee seems hardly ideal.
As for the long arbor, first place I looked was eBay and there were none there I could see - lots with Int tapers though.
This one came with a collet holder and collets, and it will also take my ER25 collets and holder, so there should be no problems there.
Not sure how soluble shellac is in hydrocarbon solvents (petrol, paraffin etc.). The usual solvent in french polish is ethanol. If you are still having trouble getting it cleaned off, try methylated spirit, or (better, but dearer) surgical spirit. That's always assuming it was in fact shellac, of course.
Steve, Mark is correct that the manual is in the files section of
the site is not very busy but there is someone else there who has had raising blocks made. I think they have all sold but he may do another run. They were MUCH cheaper than the ones on the other site mentioned. I have had my 2A for about five years but have yet to power it up as I still have not finished building my workshop. Somebody else wants the house finished first! The 1" horizontal arbour was actually made by the PO. He did not include a key as he thought it better the cutter spun on the arbour rather than damage the gears if the cutter were to jam. It looks to be a straightforward turning job apart from milling the flats for the spanner.
Unfortunately the site is not very busy but there is someone else
Five years ! I have only had mine a day and want to get it going. That is true patience :-)
I have applied to the Yahoo group - though it took me four attempts to enter a correct decoding of the distorted wording that is the anti- spammer protection. Hopefully that will answer my questions.
I thought 8 inches between the quill and the table would be good enough to start, but I can see how that gets rapidly eaten up. Two inches for the ER25 and then at least another inch for the cutter, but that still leaves 5 inches. If I need a really big gap then I can mill in the lathe. Just so long as I don't need a big traverse and a large gap at the same time. Only 6 5/8 inches for the horizontal spindle may be a bit more of a problem, but then I am making small items right now.
>Unfortunately the site is not very busy but there is someone else
I have a 2A that gets a little use. It came with the "good" vertical head, and power feed (re-motored to run on our 110 volts) as well as a single phase motor. It has the metal stand, and I still have the switches and contactors for 3 phase use, buried in the base.
I thought I paid too much for it, but, for now, would not consider replacing it, unless something much nicer came down the pipe.
The headspace goes fast! You start looking at all the tooling with an eye to picking the shortest one.
It pretty much has the same envelope, as a Sherline mill, but it was made in a time when iron was fairly inexpensive, and these mills were built to an indstrial standard, more than a hobby one.
I have made a few end mill holders from drawbar thread equipped drill shank adapters and blank end MT2 arbors.
Usefull enough a tool to keep in the basement, where a larger machine would not fit very well.
I figure a riser block is in the future for the 2A, though. A couple extra inches of headspace will allow us of a proper vise, rather than the low profile drill press vise that lives there now.
So far the inability to come up with a vise I like, that is an appropriate size, has been my biggest beef with it. Small worries indeed!
I looked into getting a 2A with a quill feed but they proved very expensive for such a small mill, (the last two went on ebay for £650+ ) and so I went for an complete Elliott 00 although I will have to engineer a micrometer feed for the quill. I got what I thought was a reasonable deal. Even so another Elliott 00 in now on ebay with the horizontal support , arbor , quill stop assembly, and top cover missing is already passing the £310 mark with 4 days to go. Some Old metal commands a vast premium (the smaller it is the much more costly per Kg) yet others equally or even more capable do not.
Derek (A Barker not a Myford owner)
>>Unfortunately the site is not very busy but there is someone else
I've just re-jigged my workshop so that the left side of the Centec 2A is easily reached. That's after living for several years with a cupboard adjacent to the left side of the mill and almost requiring binoculars to read the knee dial :-)
Risers for the vertical head are probably the next thing for me to get or make, since the lack of vertical space under the quill head can be a problem, especially when using a Clarkson holder.
I would try to get a full arbour. I have used a stub on mine but having the support of the overarm makes a big difference to rigidity. The stub can handle slitting saws but I had a half-inch wide side and face running last night. Not something I'd want to do with a stub arbour.
Clamping the job to directly to the table helps with the lack of elbow room. Having said that I got one of the raiser blocks talked about in an earlier reply and it has made a big difference to the machine. Just changing to horizontal milling without having to take the vertical head off speeds things up no end. Now with the extra room I am on the same hunt as Trevor for as decent vice - top of the list for Harrogate.
Mine came with a huge three phase motor that the previous owner was running on a straight forward single phase supply. He was on fuses, as soon as I turned it on my trips fell about laughing. I had a spare
2800rpm three phase which went in without any hassle so the Centec now shares a variable drive with the lathe, the 2800rpm giving a useful speed range.
I have turned mine 90deg. so I operate it from the LH. side as it were; works well for me. I could be tempted to get rid of it but only if a later, larger Centec came up at the right price.
Oh I will enjoy it John .. I have been waiting for this. I have a queue of jobs. I am very happy to have it. And being 2MT I have a lot of tooling ready to go. Just need to make some t-nuts, and sort out the oiling and wiring and bingo..off we go.