practice milling

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  • #48832
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey guys, I purchased a used milling machine this last weekend, I am new at using a vertical mill so now I need to learn some techniques on the mill. My questions is what type of material would be best suited for practice without spending a fortune on stock material? Delrin? aluminum? I suppose I would like to actually make something even if by accident, I was leaning towards aluminum. thank you,William

    #55496
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 215

    Hey William, do a search on google for taig lathe machining projects. There are a lot of pretty projects for lathe and milling. He puts pics. and explanations on how to do each one. :) Mahlon

    #55497
    demewill
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 36

    Congratulations on the purchase. What type of mill did you. Buy? I have a Taig mill which has a pretty high speed spindle. I find I can mill both aluminum and plastic easily without any lubricant. It also works fine on steel, but with this lightweight machine feed and speed need to be small and slow. I usually use a 3/16″ cutter for general work. I could use a larger cutter on plastic and aluminum, but the surface speed quickly gets higher than recommended for cutting steel. I also have a fly cutter with a body diameter of 3/4″ and with bit projection it cuts about a 1″ to 1 1/4″ circle. This is great for surfacing work.

    Recently I made a couple of watch movement holders (similar to Bergeon 4040) but this material is too soft for this application. Maybe I will use brass the next time.

    Practice and learn as you go.

    Dan

    #55498
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    William:

    Plastic is very cheap. MSC has a good selection.

    Later andd congrats on getting the mill.
    Tom

    #55499
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Thanks guys, Dan I found a medium sized mill with just about everything you would need for milling, tooling, fixtures, ect, It is a 6 year old, lightly used Grizzly G1004. He put a DRO on it and a variable speed motor. William

    #55500
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    William,
    It sounds like you have obtained some equipment that is above the “hobby” class of machinery. At this point you need to find some industrial supply and metal supply houses. There are a number of companies that can be found on the internet but try to find some local suppliers. Shipping small quanties (less than a flatbed truck load) of metal is expensive.
    david

    #55501
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    thanks David, exactly what I was going to search for as soon as the weather warms up to at least 12degress ABOVE zero. there are a couple of suppliers around the area, I think they sell mostly steel, possibly aluminum. Will find out soon. Thanks,William

    #55502
    demewill
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 36

    Sounds like a great machine. Earlier I stated I used a 3/16″ bit most often. I should have said 1/4″. The DRO is going to be very handy.
    Dan

    #55503
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Dan, I got lots to learn, wholly cow, I dont know if it will all fit in my tiny brain 🙄

    #55504
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    William,
    The work you are turning out looks so good you should be teaching the rest of us.
    david

    #55505
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    William.
    Now that you are on a rolll check out Grizzly item # G0727.
    davld

    #55506
    mclark3617
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 181

    I would recomend starting with aluminum or reg steel,,,plastic machines easy but its too soft and hard to handle. It squishes in the vise and can pull out easy. Remember to pay attention to how your feeding in relation to the direction your cutter is going, its called conventional or climb cutting,,,conventional cutting the cutter is cutting into the material, climb cutting the cutter is turning the same direction as your feeding, like a whell on the road,,,if you take a heaving enough cut the cutter can pull the table along and mess thing up,,,save that for light finish cuts. For roughing the cutter should be turning opposite the feed so your pushing the cutter into the material. Google it and you can get some visuals to help out. Have fun and watch the chips, they can get hot

    #55507
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    As a old woodworker I would have done just the opposite, climb cut to avoid splintering then push thru with a final finish cut, using a large bit you would have to be careful in how much material you removed in a pass as it could throw the router, on wood the profile cut would be much smoother when I did it this way, there are exceptions depending on the machine being used. I have done some utube watching, thought I heard the a climb cut on certain materials is better, maybe it was the type of cutting???? say I was cutting a gear tooth, would that be different than trimming a edge? thanks for all yall do!!!! William

    #55508
    mclark3617
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 181

    Climb cutting is a fine finish method, but with bigger cuts and harder steal it will act like a gear and pull the part and the table. Again theres exceptions to every rule, you just want to be carefull and know whats possible.

    #55509
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    thanks, any tidbit of info is great, really itching to get to it but am pretty busy lately, hopefully real soon, William

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