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Thread: Converting a press to a mill

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    ************ Kevin_M4's Avatar
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    Default Converting a press to a mill

    I came across this and thought there may be some who have interest in this. I do, although right now I don't have the inclination to mess with it...
    Also covers some cnc conversion...
    If it is a dupe then let it die...
    http://www.pathcom.com/~vhchan/cnc/cnc.html






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    Gunco Regular Tailgunner's Avatar
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    I'll have to look later when I'm home, I'm on dialup here at the shop.

    My first inclination is to say don't bother, drill presses in general aren't made for the side loads imposed when milling something. The quill on my biggest drill press isn't half the size of the quill on my mill, and from what I understand you can ruin a drill press in a hurry using it as a mill.

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    Everyone NEEDS a Glock! glock's Avatar
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    wow!
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    Gunco Veteran panaceabeachbum's Avatar
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    for the size and considering the time and trouble I would just by the sieg x2 from harbour freight $400 if you pick it up at the store

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    Gunco Regular Gunter's Avatar
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    panaceabeachbum is right. Can it be done? Sure. The big and I MEAN BIG thing is to mechanically attach the chuck to the spindle (I.E. with a bolt through the chuck into the spindle and epoxy). Most spindles are the 33JT taper and they are not made for side loads. Without the above, at some point the chuck WILL release from the spindle and now you have a 1 pound piece of sharp spinning steel dancing across the shop that doesn?t care if it?s cutting metal or flesh. Make sure that there is no way the chuck can come off.

    The chucks with these presses are not that good in runout and most are open through the center which would not allow the bolt method. You would need to replace it with a Rohm or Jacob chuck. Next, most drill presses don?t have the ?meat? to handle milling. You can fill the post with cement to stiffen and add weight to the press. Some have replaced it with a solid steel rod of the same size, but there will still be a weak link where the post attaches to the base. Also, there will need to be some sort of method to lock the quill and most of these inexpensive presses have quite a bit of play in the quill.

    So, by the time you purchase the extra bearings, make/modify the spindle shaft, cement/solid rod for the post, better chuck, and add an x-y table, you are getting very close to if not more than the HF mini mill. Also the converted drill press will only be able to make light passes without chatter.

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    Unclear Engineer ozzy the nuke's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that Kevin. It was interesting. I'm still wondering why he went to the trouble of starting with a drill press. But it was interesting none the less.
    No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously. ~Dave Barry, Dave Barry Turns 50

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    Davey's "PAL" Pa.Patriot's Avatar
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    Gunco Member fkrfxr's Avatar
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    Default That is what I have

    That is what I have. I got the mill table for 65$ and wonder why I never thought of this sooner. If nothing more to have the T slots to hold stuff down with. Having a precision table that moves in x y directions is great. It really lets you do so much more with your press.

    It is a poor man's mill. I stuck a mill bit in the chuck and used it on my flats to do the upper rails. Done in one pass. What a time saver.
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    Indian Admin Winn R's Avatar
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    Years ago a x/y table on a drill press sent me to an emergency room.

    It's fine for those who like saving money by using red coolant.
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    Gunco Member fkrfxr's Avatar
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    Default You are supposed to mill metal not yourself.

    From what I have read you need to change some bearings or something on the new cheap bench presses or they might blow apart. Mine is a 50 year old floor press that is so heavy I can not even move it. It was made at a time when power tools had power. The slide table is strong enough to sit on. IT is real heavy with the addition of the mill table. Yes it is something that can be done but great care must be taken when using a small press. I do not use it for heavy milling just small stuff. I also go slow. I do not put a bunch of pressure on the bearings. No it is not a real mill but does work great for doing some stuff Like the upper rails.
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