Small shop Mill

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

ScaleBirdsScott

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,141
Location
Uncasville, CT
My only concerns with all these old, used, 3-ph tools is that for someone who wants just a small machine, it's a lot of extra concerns where it doesn't really need it. Something like a G0704 or PM-25 runs on 110 and does the job.

yes, of course, in a few years if machining is actually something that gets done often going with a bigger machine will be a better bet. A good opportunity to trade up if that's the case. But if the work is decking off a chunk of aluminum or drilling a row of precision holes in some 3/16 4130 there's no need to go rearrange the whole shop for a crusty old Iron mill, hard-wire in a VFD or rotary converter or phase inverter or whatever else, and all that headache when you could just get a brand new modestly sized machine that will simply plug into any outlet and do the work, no different from a regular drill press or chop saw.

If all one is doing is small stuff. Scrapper never mentioned needing rotary indexers, never mentioned trying to run 1/2" endmills through 01 with 1/8 stepover at a 1" DOC, there's just absolutely no need to even suggest a 3-phase mill is the better bet.

Because of course it is. But it is also overkill, and I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows those are just overkill and not right for his situation.
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
10,515
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
I know a homebuilder who invested well over $5,000 for a new vertical mill for his second homebuilt, a Onex. I honestly believe that, with my drill press, bandsaw, and combo disc/1” belt sander (all tools that he had before he bought the mill), I could build all the Onex fittings in less time than he could with the mill.


BJC
 

Jay Kempf

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,805
Location
Warren, VT USA
That is exactly what I was going to do before the Shop Task landed in my lap. CNC conversion is about $500 of parts if you have steppers, power supplies, motor controllers, break out boards, etc... plus a spare computer lying around and a Mach3 license (which I do).

Bottom line is you want to do the thing that costs you what you can afford and gets you making parts the fastest. You only have to be able to make the parts YOU need if you are building one airplane. You don't have to have an aerospace job shop capable machine.

The littlemachineshop website has a lot of information.
 

Armilite

Banned
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,227
Location
AMES, IA USA
I know a homebuilder who invested well over $5,000 for a new vertical mill for his second homebuilt, a Onex. I honestly believe that, with my drill press, bandsaw, and combo disc/1” belt sander (all tools that he had before he bought the mill), I could build all the Onex fittings in less time than he could with the mill.


BJC
================================================

True, for most Airframes you don't need a Mill, it's for all the other ideas you come up with, some maybe not airplane related. With just a manual Lathe and Mill with a DRO you can make almost anything. CNC is for repeatability and making Parts faster. Like a Guy I know has a Swiss CNC lathe with a Bar Feeder, that can make a New AR15 Firing Pin every 19 Seconds, and he usually got orders for 4000-6000 at a time back then when they were $8.50 retail. With CAD/CAM/CNC your only limited by your imagination. Today's Retail Prices:

AR-15 E Series Stainless Steel Firing Pin (2364)
Retail $16.50.

AR-15 E Series Titanium Firing Pin (2365)
$23.00
 

Little Scrapper

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,422
Location
Wisconsin
Besides the airplane stuff I also have a business where I make things for customers beyond plumbing. For years people have asked me to fix and fab things and I happily do it.

So the mill would maybe get used 5 times a year, best guess. Definitely not required, more of a fun addition to a already very cramped shop.
 

Little Scrapper

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,422
Location
Wisconsin
Deff
I know a homebuilder who invested well over $5,000 for a new vertical mill for his second homebuilt, a Onex. I honestly believe that, with my drill press, bandsaw, and combo disc/1” belt sander (all tools that he had before he bought the mill), I could build all the Onex fittings in less time than he could with the mill.


BJC
Definitely not for airplane stuff. Well, maybe handy on occasion. I’m not much of a airplane builder these days it seems.

For tube and fabric a crappy drill press, hand file, tin ships, hand hack saw and a cheap old vise will build one pretty dam fast. Everything else is a luxury.
 

Hephaestus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,474
Location
YMM
My only concerns with all these old, used, 3-ph tools is that for someone who wants just a small machine, it's a lot of extra concerns where it doesn't really need it.
No but when budget tool hunting it's worth keeping in mind.

I'd snap up an old 50-70s floor machine for the price of a new chinese bench top mill today...

But the cost of moving them really hurts, as do my joints after
 

Armilite

Banned
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,227
Location
AMES, IA USA
My only concerns with all these old, used, 3-ph tools is that for someone who wants just a small machine, it's a lot of extra concerns where it doesn't really need it. Something like a G0704 or PM-25 runs on 110 and does the job.

yes, of course, in a few years if machining is actually something that gets done often going with a bigger machine will be a better bet. A good opportunity to trade up if that's the case. But if the work is decking off a chunk of aluminum or drilling a row of precision holes in some 3/16 4130 there's no need to go rearrange the whole shop for a crusty old Iron mill, hard-wire in a VFD or rotary converter or phase inverter or whatever else, and all that headache when you could just get a brand new modestly sized machine that will simply plug into any outlet and do the work, no different from a regular drill press or chop saw.

If all one is doing is small stuff. Scrapper never mentioned needing rotary indexers, never mentioned trying to run 1/2" endmills through 01 with 1/8 stepover at a 1" DOC, there's just absolutely no need to even suggest a 3-phase mill is the better bet.

Because of course it is. But it is also overkill, and I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows those are just overkill and not right for his situation.
===================================
A Heavier machine gives you Smoother Cuts!

A G0704 CNC'ed is about $3500. Limited Table Size.

Yes, you have to decide what you really want to make. I only wanted an 8" x 24" Lathe to make Gun Barrels, but I bought a 12" x 37". I bought the Largest Bench Mill with a Stand at the time, a slightly bigger Bridge Port Floor Modle wouldn't have taken up that much more space, I wished I had gone for the Bigger Mill. Today, you can buy a Good Used Industrial CNC Mill for less than most Small Mills CNCed if you Shop around.

My Drill Press is 3 Phase 220, and my City wouldn't let me have it in town at my Home back then. So I used one of the Phase Converters that took me 30 min to install. These new VFD's you just plug into your 220 1 phase plugin, and plug your Mill into it, and set a few Setting on the Box, less than 5 minutes. Manual(DRO) vs CNC means Speed & Repeatability, Time Saved, and having an (ATC) Automatic Tool Changer means even more Time Saved account you don't have to be there to change out Tools. Like I said you could set it up to make 2-4 Heads at a time.

Milling Aluminium Bottle Openers CNC 6040 Router
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvdu-qnwCf8


 

Little Scrapper

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,422
Location
Wisconsin
What about a TAIG mill? I have a little TAIG lathe and I love it, it’s really a great tool.
 

Armilite

Banned
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,227
Location
AMES, IA USA
Deff


Definitely not for airplane stuff. Well, maybe handy on occasion. I’m not much of a airplane builder these days it seems.

For tube and fabric a crappy drill press, hand file, tin ships, hand hack saw and a cheap old vise will build one pretty dam fast. Everything else is a luxury.
===============================

Your only limited by your imagination. Lots of Free 3D CAD models on www.grabcad.com and other sites. Some Billet parts.
BILLET CARGO RACK.jpg Billet Cylinder Head - 2.jpg Billet Cylinder Head - 1.jpg 670 UBR BILLET HEAD TOP.jpg Billet Head.jpg
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
8,973
Location
CT, USA
Both my lathe and my mill were spur of the moment purchases... I had kinda wanted them but wasn't actively looking, then in both cases I happened on them in flea markets and the price was right. I didn't miss them before I had them, but now I'd hate to be without either one. I don't use them every day or even every month, but I need to mill or turn something, they're there.

Just like space, the jobs you do tend to expand to fill the available tools.
 

blane.c

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
3,848
Location
capital district NY
Small three phase motors (up to say 3hp or so) will run on reasonably priced vfd (variable frequency drive) which for a machine like a mill really adds versatility with speed control.

Check the backlash before you buy anything. Some of the new Chinese/Taiwan comes with 20 years worth of backlash pre-built in. Especially when you lock the quill check that you can't shove a tool UP. Some quills just won't stay put in the up direction, bring a stick of wood with a little length to it and pry up on the tool holding portion of the quill against the table or bed maybe another block of wood for a fulcrum. You can measure it if you bring a indicator but if you can see it with the naked eye imagine what it'll look like skipping a tool across your work. Most of the other directions are more obvious, but it is a mill less movement is better except the path you want it to travel.
 

Armilite

Banned
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,227
Location
AMES, IA USA
For 98% of the stuff you would make .001" is good enough. You don't need .0005" these People have become Anal about today. For Industrial Stuff I look for School Auctions that have Tools that were hardly even used or they used mainly Wax and Aluminium. Like my Industrial 3 phase Variable Speed Powermatic Drill Press I bought at a College Sale like New for $250, used at that time they were $1,500+.
 

Hephaestus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,474
Location
YMM
For 98% of the stuff you would make .001" is good enough. You don't need .0005" these People have become Anal about today. For Industrial Stuff I look for School Auctions that have Tools that were hardly even used or they used mainly Wax and Aluminium. Like my Industrial 3 phase Variable Speed Powermatic Drill Press I bought at a College Sale like New for $250, used at that time they were $1,500+.
Let's get realistic... 1/64th of an inch is roughly .01"

.001 is less than 1/256th of an inch.

Nobody here needs that much accuracy. In fact a little slop is probably better as it's probably cooler on the aircraft than on the mill.
 

Armilite

Banned
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,227
Location
AMES, IA USA
Deff


Definitely not for airplane stuff. Well, maybe handy on occasion. I’m not much of a airplane builder these days it seems.

For tube and fabric a crappy drill press, hand file, tin ships, hand hack saw and a cheap old vise will build one pretty dam fast. Everything else is a luxury.
===============================

Just a Good Mill with a DRO can open the doors to make many things. CNC just makes it better. One of the first things I made was a Special attachment for the Wifes Vacuum she wanted. Happy Woman, happy house!
 

Armilite

Banned
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,227
Location
AMES, IA USA
Let's get realistic... 1/64th of an inch is roughly .01"

.001 is less than 1/256th of an inch.

Nobody here needs that much accuracy. In fact a little slop is probably better as it's probably cooler on the aircraft than on the mill.
===========================================
.001" was Industry Machining Standard for over 100 Years, today it's much Higher ISO 9000, like I said .001" is all you need to make 98% of whatever Projects you can dream up.
 
2
Group Builder
Top