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Thread: Homebrew Mill

  1. #1

    Homebrew Mill

    Whats up guys I have been very busy this winter but I have managed to start another build. After building the Gingery lathe I really was looking forward towards building a mill. I was originally going to build a beefier version of the horizontal Gingery mill but I decided to go vertical.

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    I wasn't going to share until I was pretty much done but I figured by sharing maybe I could get some good ideas from the AA community. I am in the process of shaping and installing the ways onto the column. The steel I am using seems to be a good material it seems stronger/harder than cold rolled but it has rust and many pitting spots all over it. It is 1 inch thick, 4" wide and 16" long. I have tried hand sanding it on the surface plate but it is going to take awhile. I may get it machined or I may have to resort to buying a new piece of steel which will most likely be half the thickness due to budget concerns.

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    I'm going to use an aluminum casting for the head and further down the road I may convert the head to steel. I cut 4 pieces of stainless steel and bolted them into the column which the ways will be bolted onto. This will push the head out further and will give me more milling travel. In the picture you can see the ways sitting on the 4 pieces as it will be mounted. I may be putting to much weight on the column though I am going to fill in the column with some medium such as sand or cement to counter the disproportionate weight. Once the ways are done the fun part can begin, thanks for taking a look.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I have subscribed to this thread.

    Do you plan to stick with flat ways like Gingery uses on his tools? Also, could you tell us a bit more about the mill table in the first two photos? Were those eBay finds or something you robbed off another tool?

    I have contemplated undertaking a project like this some day and I've often pondered how to build the head. The horizontal mill in Gingery's series can get away with using plain bronze bearings like his lathe because all the oil won't fall out quite like it likely would if they were turned vertically. Do you intend to try plain bearings or attempt to use sealed taper roller bearings (or something else)?
    "Success is 99% determination"

  3. #3
    Looking at the size of your bed I'd consider using a pillar drill head for the mill head.
    As it's a DIY machine your probably not considering milling anything too heavy?
    With all the extension bit's your bolting on to get reach, why not use a some more steel like the main beam and weld it on the top at 90.
    I'm in the process of making a hydraulic log splitter and the main beams are very similar to yours (but I have two), I am more than confident my welds are up to the stress the ram is possibly going to give it.
    Keep the photos coming
    The only time You're not following your nose is when your going backward!.......Andy (ME) .
    Have you filed in "Who do you think you are?" "War Grade Report" " My photo's"

  4. #4
    _Jason- I do plan to use flat ways since I don't have a mill to cut some dove tails. I do have two pieces of stainless in a hexagon shape that I was considering adapting to the mill as ways though the obstacle would be to make a casting to fit the hexagon shape well and with my capabilities it can only be a zamak type mix casting. You can see the ends of them on one of the pictures. The idea was use the flat part at the top and the v section on the sides as the ways.

    The mill table is from Grizzly, it was the best deal I could find. $20 dollars shipping a total of $163 and change so it wasn't to bad. I haven't taken it apart but it seems like a decent mill table for the price. I don't like the bottom casting which supports the entire unit it could be a bit beefier but at that price range from a guy who has been using a cross slide and a drill press I can't be to picky. Also the markings on the hand wheels are crap it looks like a bunch drill punches lined up together.

    wargrade - Are you referring to a drill press style head? It wouldn't be to hard to make a steel framed head but I have seen good results with an aluminum head from a mill less rigid. I could possibly bore the head on the lathe using the tailstock and an arbor and lining up the head with an dial indicator. The reason why as of now I am going with an aluminum head is because of all the weight that will be attached to the column.

    "With all the extension bit's your bolting on to get reach, why not use a some more steel like the main beam and weld it on the top at 90"

    That is exactly what I was planning on doing but I haven't found another 3/8, 3" wide square beam yet at the scrap yard and I wasn't planning on buying new though that may change because I have been going back and forth on how to proceed to be honest. I can't say I am confident on my welds that is why I am helping the welds by bolting the steel on first and then welding.

    This is a more complete picture of how the mill is as of now. 100_9369.jpg

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