Lathe/Mill/Drill Question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by royinidaho, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I need some milling for a project that I'm working on. (Watch out Rube Goldberg /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif)

    Will be working with aluminum in small sizes, I think....

    Found an old Smithy Lathe/Mill/Drill that has been in a shop fire and got nothing but scorched. It quit being used about 10 years ago when the fella got a full sized lathe. But its still on the bench. It has the xy travel I need for milling and not enough lathe length to let me get into trouble, if you know what I mean. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    I've been comparing it to the mini mills from Grizzly and Harbor Freight and keep leaning towards this ancient Smithy.

    It can't do threads, which is a good thing /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Roy,
    I have used the "Smithy" several times and can honestly say they are Crap /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    Unless you are a skilled machinist and can use tricks of the trade to produce "acceptable" results form these machines my advice would be to stay away from them and save yourself the frustration of inconsistant results.
    Having said that it all depends on the level of accuracy you wish to achieve.
    If you are looking for top class dimensional accuracy then save your sanity /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif and take your components to a machine shop /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif.

    Ian.
     

  3. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Roy , I setup a big $4000 mill from Grizzly this past weekend for a Dr. that my wife works with. Now I'm a die hard Bridgport fan but this thing is just as accurate and true as any Bridgeport or Lagoon I have ever used. I set it up with the XY accu-rite digital readout and it was true to .0002" everytime I ran the table accross its length. For the money the Grizzly tools seem to be good.

    As for you case , I'm not sure what it is that your gonna be asking this machine to do but I will advise that what everunit you get try to find one with the R-8 collets , it will greatly improve your frustration with getting tools to fit. I haven't used either one of the other units you mentioned so I can't honestly say if they are good or not but generaly you get want you pay for. I have used a small Jet benchtop that was prety nice and fairly tight and accurate I think its cost was about $900 new?
     
  4. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    JD,
    The Smithy's are really not worth the value they might bring as scrap!
    They are at the very cheapest end of the Chinese made machines
    Using just the machine dials i had job holding repeatability of .016" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    Only after setting up a DTI and locking the slides did achieve a modicum of accuracy.
    I then had to deal with 030" of taper over 2.5" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    Nuff said,. although the owner was very impressed with my results /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Ian.
     
  5. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    You may want to take a look at the shoptask bridgemill....but only if you spring for the ball screws. I do not have a lot of ability but it is okay depending upon your demands. Built a lot of cycle parts on mine, but never any gun work, just dont have the knack for the precision required.
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Thanks ya'll for the input.

    None of anyone's business should be threatened /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    This thing isn't a Smithy but I bet it comes from the same factory. Language on the name plate is 100% !@#$%^&*&&## lookin stuff.

    Please note that I'll be doing nooooo "smithing" on this thing or anything else (unless jimm or buffalobob gets in a bind/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif). It'll never be used for steel of any type. I just have some ideas that I want to move ahead on and anything I can do on the front end such as come up with a decent prototype from which to take measurements will make the front end work for the CAD and CNC guy a bit easier to swallow.

    The darn thing weighs more than several hundred pounds and no money changed hands to get it though I have to trade some services but that's a good thing.

    And it beats the squat out of my little bench top drill press. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  7. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Hey Roy , shoot me an E-mail , I might be able to "scrounge" up a few extra cutters.

    jjones75@bellsouth.net
     
  8. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    Make sure that you get it as level as you can. Lathes are very particular about that. Mills less so since you can square up the head on a mill.

    Without knowing the actual machine design, check the ways &gib tightness, and backlash on the screws. You can buy replacement Acme screw and nuts from an industrial supply company fairly cheap if they are pretty shot.

    Do you have a picture?

    edge.
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Jeez, guys slow down a little,......please

    Cutters, ways & gibs, etc etc. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif Whatchew talkin' about. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    I asked my neighbor and shootin' buddy who is a machinist, kind of, where they take apart nucalar fuel rods behind some pretty thick glass. He asked where the "book" was. Yeah, Right!!. This piece of work was built some place in China in March of 1987 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Cutters? those must be the thingers that go on that square thingamjig with those little black screws that when ya crank a handle it it always goes the other way first. Wonder which way they should point. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    Really that's about where I am. However, I did chuck up a 5/8ths rod and clean up the end where it was sheared to length. Used a regular ol' file. Sweet. I couldn't get the pillow block bearings to go on an had to dress up the end a bit. I guess now I qualify for one of those light tan shop coats with my name on it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    All of that aside, I really appreciate your comments and pointers.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  10. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Its ad to say Roy but would qualify as a "gunsmith" in these parts simply by owning a mill!!!

    Their area few goodbooks out their that will give you enough knowledge to get you into some real trouble /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    the first and a very important book is the Starret book for student machinist , it has alot of usefull info about metals , cutter and cutting speeds and setups. Brownells has it for $12 part number 827-532-180
    Darrel Holland made some to they are produced or sponsered by AGI and are pretty informative.
     
  11. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Guns I will never work on! which is a good thing. Accessories? You bet!!

    I've had the books for years just waitin' for the opportunity to use them.......

    I found it was less expensive to purchase an old clunker milling capability and build from the prototype to final, if there is such a thing in this case, product and learn what I'm talking about than sitting down with the CNC guy and paying for all of the design and setup time for just the prototype.

    Besides doing this is a bunch of fun! Everyone has has niche and that's what they should stay with. My preference includes things that attach to a rifle or could be used by an LRHtr to get the job done. Sure as heck beats watchin' TV.
     
  12. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Roy , don't be scared to work on guns , you can't realy appreciat the damage an over zelous guy can do till your realy dick up and action especaily if it ain't yours /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Just remember , think out your cut , measure it , think it over again then make a very light cut and see if thats what your were thinking was gonna happen
    it was easier to sneak up on your depth than to try to put the metal back !!!

    I gt your E-mail and I'm rounding some stuff up for ya.
     
  13. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    Roy, to become a beginner with a mill, you will automatically become an expert with JB weld. i think i read that on the first page of the machinery's handbook.
     
  14. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Roy, to become a beginner with a mill, you will automatically become an expert with JB weld. i think i read that on the first page of the machinery's handbook.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    My biggest problem, so far, is loosing track of which way what goes when ya turn the little handles. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif Especially since one of the screw thingers on the two way vise is backwards. (Made a hell of a deal at Harbor Freight /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif)

    So far I've made the same thing 3 times and each one is better than the last. Using wood for practice. First one looks like I trained (poorly) a beaver to chew it out.)