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Thread: Milling Machine Questions

  1. #1
    O'Hare Knives Sean O'Hare's Avatar
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    Milling Machine Questions

    Okay I am looking to buy a better mill than my mini mill.

    Can someone give me the advantages & disadvantages of a knee mill?

    Would you go with a regular mill or a knee mill? I would want to have the option of drilling with the mill and a knee mill seems to be better suited for this than a mill-drill. Maybe I'm wrong what do people think?

    This is a down the road plan (read save for) tool so not running out to get one any time soon.

    Anyhow I appreciate any opinions you can give.

    Sean
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  2. #2
    I'm receiving a Grizzly 0705 Monday. I'm pretty exited. I'll let you know what I think. Keep in mind this is going to be my first mill.

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  3. #3
    Como un angel papichulo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidsoldier View Post
    I'm receiving a Grizzly 0705 Monday. I'm pretty exited. I'll let you know what I think. Keep in mind this is going to be my first mill.
    Don't shit in your pants







    if you do pics

  4. #4
    They call me "Butch" L R Harner's Avatar
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    im in the same boat with a mini mill
    i will belooking at the griz. knee mills 8x30 inch tabl ram head and fully ajustable
    that or if i can find a smallish bridgeport in ok shape
    L R Harner (butch)
    www.harnerknives.com (still getting it all set up but its working)

  5. #5
    Huge member Bobasan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean O'Hare View Post
    Okay I am looking to buy a better mill than my mini mill.

    Can someone give me the advantages & disadvantages of a knee mill?

    Would you go with a regular mill or a knee mill? I would want to have the option of drilling with the mill and a knee mill seems to be better suited for this than a mill-drill. Maybe I'm wrong what do people think?

    This is a down the road plan (read save for) tool so not running out to get one any time soon.

    Anyhow I appreciate any opinions you can give.

    Sean
    Sean,

    I would say save for a mill over a mill drill. You'll be able to get things done faster on a mill over a mill drill and it is easier to be more precise and accurate on the mill. I have had a Grizzly G3102 for about 4 years now and have been very pleased with how it has performed.

    Bob

  6. #6
    O'Hare Knives Sean O'Hare's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    I figured the mill-drill was not the way to go but it's good to get confirmation.

    So is a knee mill a better option than a "normal" mill? What makes one better than the other?

    Thanks,
    Sean
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  7. #7
    capo of the Texas knifemaking mafia M.Olexey's Avatar
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    Sean....I've been researching this as well and from what I've seen from the makers that are knowledgeable about mills, the knee mill is recommended. It has something to do with the fact that being able to raise or lower the table vs moving the tool head results in more precision/consistency. Hopefully I have that right. Like I said...total newb just doing research.

  8. #8
    O'Hare Knives Sean O'Hare's Avatar
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    Ya that's what I get from what I've been reading too.

    I am definitely leening towards a knee mill I think.

    Sean
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  9. #9
    Huge member Cut One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.Olexey View Post
    Sean....I've been researching this as well and from what I've seen from the makers that are knowledgeable about mills, the knee mill is recommended. It has something to do with the fact that being able to raise or lower the table vs moving the tool head results in more precision/consistency. Hopefully I have that right. Like I said...total newb just doing research.
    EXACTLY! Its all about being able to change your cutting tools without loosing your place on the part. Most often in proper holemaking, two or more cutting tools are required. For example;

    To make an accurate reamed hole, a center drill is used to lightly dimple the location in order to keep the twist drill from wandering. The twist drill (.005 - .02 undersize) makes the hole to the depth you want, then the reamer is used to bring the hole to the exact diameter.

    To make an accurate threaded hole, the same process is used, except a tap and tap handle are used instead of a reamer. A pointed tap guide of some sort goes in the chuck or collet and its point goes into the dimple in the tap or tap holder to keep it perpendicular while cutting the thread.

    Both of the above operations are best accomplished without moving from the original location on the part. Because the tools are different lengths, something has to move to create space above the workpiece. If you move the whole head on a mill-drill with a round column, you will lose your location. You can often get by with just raising and lowering the spindle, but mill-drill spindles usually aren't all that accurate and lose rigidity when they are extended out very far.

    A knee allows you to create space above the workpiece and return accurately to your original location.

    This is also a very significant feature in all milling operations where the collet or end mill holder must be changed as it requires space to do so.

    Another benefit of the knee is it can be used to create holes to very accurate depth. To do this, you set it up so you have room to raise the knee and spindle at least as far as the depth of the hole desired. Once at your hole position, lower the spindle until the cutter contacts the top of the workpiece, adjust the quill stop to the bottom of its travel and lock it there. Raise the quill back up off the workpiece and, using the dial on the knee, raise the knee the depth of the hole you want. Drill or bore the hole to the limit of the quill stop and you will get an accurate result.

    You can also use and endmill to "line bore" a hole by locking the head and spindle and using only the knee to move the workpiece up into the cutter. This is generally more rigid than loosening the spindle. Of course, make sure you have pre-drilled a hole or use a center cutting endmill (I would pre-drill for this anyway).


    If you already have a round column mill-drill, here are some workarounds that are helpful:

    Use "screw machine" drills whenever possible. They are shorter and require less room to change or switch between them and center drills. Because they are shorter and don't flex/wander, you can often skip the center drill alltogether and just use a screw machine drill. You can also often "drill ream" with these by replacing the (long) reamer with a drill of the same diameter and otherwise using the same procedure outlined above.

    Buy 3/8" or smaller endmills with 3/8" shanks whenever possible. This allows you to change endmills to different diameters without changing collets (which requires more room). It will also keep you from buying as many collets.

    Using a vise stop on the workpiece allows you to remove the workpiece, change tooling (with the additional room) and replace the workpiece without loosing your place. Of course, this requires the workpiece to be square and parallels to be used (they should be anyway).

    Sorry to run-on so much in this reply. Its not as complicated as it sounds, but its difficult to write simple explanations that people of different proficiency levels can follow. Hope it was helpful - John

  10. #10
    capo of the Texas knifemaking mafia M.Olexey's Avatar
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    Great post!



    Thanks.

  11. #11
    O'Hare Knives Sean O'Hare's Avatar
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    Hey thanks very much for all the very useful info there! I follow what you are saying.

    Sounds like the Knee Mill will be the one, now to start saving!!!

    I'm working on a hydraulic press right now, the mill will be the next major purchase.

    Thanks for the help.

    Sean
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  12. #12
    Remember, you can do small work/milling on a large machine. You can't do large work on a small machine. Buy the largest, heaviest machine that you have room for and can afford.
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  13. #13
    O'Hare Knives Sean O'Hare's Avatar
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    Yep that's a lesson that I have learned the hard way!

    Thanks,
    Sean
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  14. #14
    Enormous member Bango Skank's Avatar
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    thanks for the info all yall
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