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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #1
I am already at the point where I want to add a coolant delivery system to my mini-mill.

Been looking around, and Smithy.com has one for $170 and uses the water-based coolant. Everything I've read says water-based coolant is bad for the metal on the mill, and I can understand that. SOOOO I've been considering an alternative that uses an oil-based coolant like tap magic or something along that line.

Here's what I have thought up...

  1. Remove side mount plate on T-Slot platform... the plate that lets you scrape out all the metal shavings from under the T-Slots.
  2. Cut an appropriately-sized plastic storage bin to mount along the edges of the platform.
  3. Fit so that the flow can spill from the now-opened side mount into the container.
  4. Secure the container to prevent leakage with an oil-resistant sealant (such as automotive gasket caulk?)
  5. Put a wire mesh filer and magnet in the path between the tray and coolant resevior (along return path).
  6. Run a return hose from the tray to the coolant tank.
  7. Use a self-contained sealed home waterfall/pond pump (I already have one) and hose to pipe from resevior to the cutter.
  8. Use a cheap oil-based coolant/lubricant such as tap cutting fluid or some other cutting oil.
OK that's about it - I just re-invented an automotive engine oil pumping system. Seems TOO easy, so what am I missing?

The hard part to me seems to be the oil pan - the part that surrounds the platform. Will have to custom-fit a tupperware tray but this will be a minor issue.

Hrm now to go find a storage bin!
 

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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #2
Update...

I just can't find a good way to mount this without putting the entire base of the mill into the tub, as was mentioned in another thread. Thus the location of the gasket is going to be the bottom mounting screws, that mount the base of the mill to its table.

If it leaks, I suppose I can put more caulk around the holes. I just don't want a huge oil spot to eventually develop on the wood to which I'm mounting... problem as I see it is that no matter where you caulk, its probably going to eventually leak since the normal automotive oil pan gasketing method tweaks to a certain foot-poundage against the gasket. Of course you can't have this since you are mounting the base of the mill to the top of the table and want a secure tight fit. That was my idea for surrounding the t-slot platform with a tray but I just can't find a good way to do this.
 

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You can use a water soluable cutting oil in the pump system. These are mixed in different dilutions for the job. I have used similar products in large band saws, milling, and lathe work.These products cool and lubricate bits and there will be no problem with rust on your mill. Follow directions for mixing as these can be difficult to mix, finally started using a drill and a paint mixer to ensure complete mixing. Check with local industrial supply for source, got it locally from a welding supply that had tools and equipment. Here is the first link I found but there are many brands.http://www.lubegard.com/industrial/hdcutting.html
 

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One other method is air cooling system using a air compressor and these can be fabricated for cheap $ or you can purchase these units that lower the air temp by 50 degrees but the only one I have found in my Enco catalog is $300
 

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hcpookie
Do you have a photo of the mill?
I had a coolant pump on my small mill, but it may not work on yours.
 

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If you decide to stay away from liquid cooling there is the air cooling as I said in the earlier post and I found a cheaper unit in Encos hot deals catalog go to WWW.use-enco.com its model# BR505-2082 at 159.99
 

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Mine is a bench knee mill, but the same cooling system I have should work.
I'm in the middle of several other things right now so no pictures any time soon.

Plastic coke bottle with flap cut in the side to lay flat.
place over the end of the table.
I bought the cheapy magnets and through one in the bottle.
the mill sets 1/4 bubble to the left for drainage.
plastic barb fitting pushed through the bottles cap. The bottle is now the trap
tigon tubing 3/8 " down to a small tub, which is now the sump, big enough to set an evaporative cooler pump, about $15.00, in the tub.
1/4" tube from pump to the tool.
a small plastic valve to control flow

the magnet catches all the fines
the bottle can be replaced
the magnets wipes off
I also ran a small bead of silicone under the left table end as a drip lip so all the coolant goes into the bottle and does't run to the under side of teh table

I pull the pump move the tube to the end of the table and sweep all the metal into the tub if you're reusing the coolant, strain it through a rag
 

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gunnysmith said:
Mine is a bench knee mill, but the same cooling system I have should work.
Gunny--That's inspired!!
 

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I really like the NOGA magnetic mount cooling system (~$60.00). Just hook it to your air source and drop the suction hose into a jug of coolant. Nothing fancy...it just works! I beleive that MSC sells them and they frequently go on sale.
 

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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #12
gunnysmith said:
Mine is a bench knee mill, but the same cooling system I have should work.
I'm in the middle of several other things right now so no pictures any time soon.

Plastic coke bottle with flap cut in the side to lay flat.
place over the end of the table.
I bought the cheapy magnets and through one in the bottle.
the mill sets 1/4 bubble to the left for drainage.
plastic barb fitting pushed through the bottles cap. The bottle is now the trap
tigon tubing 3/8 " down to a small tub, which is now the sump, big enough to set an evaporative cooler pump, about $15.00, in the tub.
1/4" tube from pump to the tool.
a small plastic valve to control flow

the magnet catches all the fines
the bottle can be replaced
the magnets wipes off
I also ran a small bead of silicone under the left table end as a drip lip so all the coolant goes into the bottle and does't run to the under side of teh table

I pull the pump move the tube to the end of the table and sweep all the metal into the tub if you're reusing the coolant, strain it through a rag
Gunny,

That sounds about what I was looking to do, with the exception that I was planning to use a rubbermaid tub instead of a coke bottle. Hrm.

Where does the tub "connect" to the milling platform? Now if I'm understanding correctly, this connection is a bead of caulk between the side of the milling platform and the collection tub, correct? How much spills over the side of the cutting area with this setup?
 

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The bench knee miil is for small projects only.
The Coke bottle fits over the left end of the mill table and becomes the trap.
The magnets keep the fines from returning to the sump.
The bead of silicone does not attach anything, it merely prevents
coolant from running up the under side of the table.
The flow control valve limits the amount of coolant and prevents overflow of the table.
Childs modeling clay "dams" any setup from running over the rear or front edge of the table and directs fluids to the "T" slots.
Several paper towels placed on the axis soak up splatter and prevent chips from collecting on the top of the axis.
 
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