New Mill

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  • #48689
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    Have you unpacked your HF mill yet?
    david

    #54003
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    david:

    It’ll be next weekend (I hope). However, I will post pictures in that area when I get it up and running. I’m sure I’ll have a question or two when setting it up. I did find a video on YouTube of a guy setting his up, but its not really very informative. I’ve read the manual a few times and it’s pretty limited too. Mainly I’ll have to clean the packing grease off of it.

    Oh – I do have one question…

    If I’m doing watch stuff and not taking big cuts or anything, do I need to bolt it down? I can do it, but if its heavy enough (and it is HEAVY), I’ll just leave it sitting on the table. I’m just worried that the vibrations from milling might cause it to dance around. BTW… my first project is to make some aluminum T-bolts for my lathe 3-way.

    I’ve bought alot of stuff for it too. I’ll be using it for tapping with a spring loaded tapping guide (NOT under power) so I can get the threading straight. I only have one functioning eye, so there’s just no depth perception – its easy for me to get things out of alignment. This will help.

    Thanks!!!

    Tom

    #54004
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    No, you will not have to bolt this mill down. Compared to other watch repair machines this one is very heavy. This mill will allow you to make parts that would be difficult or impossible with smaller less massive machines. It will allow you to mill out clock frames and watch pilar plates far more easily than using more traditional methods such as saws and files. My first experience with milling was a Unimat Lathe that converts into a mill. The Unimat (whick I still have) was too small and underpowered to be of any practical use. Every time I tried to take a cut with it the mill would bounce all over the bench and/or the cutter would stall out. The HF Mill will do what you expect it to do which is precisely remove metal.
    david

    #54005
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    David:

    Question 1:

    What bit do I need to mill slots in 1/4″ aluminum plate? I have a four flute 1/4″ end mill. I’m building an adjustable mounting plate for my lathe motor and lathe.

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #54006
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    The 4 flute will cut aluminum but as a rule of thumb 4 flute cutters are used for steel and 2 flute cutters are used for aluminum. With a 2 flute cutter on aluminum when the feeds and speeds are correct, a stream of chips will fly out of the cutter about 3 to 4 feet in length. The 4 flute cutter will cut aluminum but not as quickly. The good news is you are the owner of your shop and do not have to worry about the shop owner comming down from the office and screaming at you for working too slow; been there done that. I am pretty sure Bob went through the same abusive type of apprenticeship that I did. A lot of this will be learned through trial and error. Jump in and cut some metal.
    david

    #54007
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    david:

    I told you that I would post a picture when I got the mill drill unpacked. I took a flu shot yesterday and this is as far as I got.

    Here ya go…

    Later,
    Tom

    #54008
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hey Tom that’s not at all the mill I thought you bought. That looks very interesting. I can see why David has been talking about it. Curious what it looks like under that plastic? From what I can see through the packaging it looks very sturdy and well built.
    Bob

    #54009
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    Bob:

    Here are a few more pictures with the packing grease cleaned off.


    Thanks,
    Tom

    #54010
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Nice machine Tom!
    Thanks for putting the pics up here. I’m going to go to HF website to check out the details on it.

    Have fun with that great addition to your shop.

    Bob

    #54011
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    Bob:

    I hope your lower back is good shape – this thing is HEAVY!

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #54012
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    David:

    I just found out that I’m missing part “D” called a fixing pin. So, I called Harbor Freight to get a replacement and they’re telling me that the part isn’t available. Their solution? Replace the entire machine. I just can’t imagine trying to re-crate this beast and ship it back for a $3.00 part. Do you have any ideas as to a replacement? The picture doesn’t tell me much about its dimensions, thread length, etc. however, it looks like a simple length of threaded steel rod to me. I asked them to put me in touch with their tech support people as they’ve got to have something they repair units with.

    I attached a shot of the part list, but you probably know the part.

    Thanks for any help you cana provide.
    Tom

    #54013
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    Remove the cylindrical plastic cap in front of the motor. This will expose the hex of the drawbar. If you then look on the right side of the black metal plate the motor is mounted to on the right hand side, you will see a hole. The hole is there to lock the spindle when tightening the drawbar. The FIXING PIN is the part that goes into the hole to lock the spindle. A 3/16 or a 13/64 drill bit will also work by inserting the shank end into the hole. Do not overtighten the drawbar especially with collets and DO NOT run the mill with the drill bit (or fixing pin) still in the hole. That will almost guarantee stripping the gears. I didn”t get a fixing pin with my mill either. They may not provide it with the R-8 model; I don’t know. For most applications, the drawbar can be tightened by holding the tool with your hand. R-8 tools hold very well with moderate tightening.
    david

    #54014
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    Remove the cylindrical plastic cap in front of the motor. This will expose the hex of the drawbar. If you then look on the right side of the black metal plate the motor is mounted to on the right hand side, you will see a hole. The hole is there to lock the spindle when tightening the drawbar. The FIXING PIN is the part that goes into the hole to lock the spindle. A 3/16 or a 13/64 drill bit will also work by inserting the shank end into the hole. Do not overtighten the drawbar especially with collets and DO NOT run the mill with the drill bit (or fixing pin) still in the hole. That will almost guarantee stripping the gears. I didn”t get a fixing pin with my mill either. They may not provide it with the R-8 model; I don’t know. For most applications, the drawbar can be tightened by holding the tool with your hand. R-8 tools hold very well with moderate tightening.
    Also, it looks like the parts are mislabeled in the picture. The part you have circled in yellow is most certainly the drawbar and the fixing pin is the one above it with the plastic handle. As you already have the chuck mounted in the mill, the drawbar is already installed.
    david

    #54015
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    david:

    That’s great news! That’s saves me one heck of a lot of trouble.

    As always…

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #54016
    achipo
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 4
    • Total Posts: 53

    This does look like a pretty slick unit. I’m curious as to how tight/precise it is. Seems like a pretty good value based on looks.

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david pierceNew Mill