In most modern metal shops, you’ll find both a lathe and a vertical mill. Both machines function by removing material from a block of metal—the “workpiece.” The key difference between the two is how the workpiece is handled. On a lathe, the workpiece rotates, and is cut away by a knife tool. (Typical products of lathe work are “turned parts” such as spindles, bearings, screws, washers, and circular blanks for gears.)
On a milling machine, it’s the cutter that rotates. The workpiece is clamped to a table that is moved by precise amounts in two axes at right angles. (Typical mill products are flat-surfaced blocks of metal, like a cube, sometimes drilled for spindles or dowel pins, often tapped for screws.)
Both the lathe and mill are incredibly flexible machines, but neither is capable of doing useful work right “out of the box.” Both call for a number of accessories for holding the workpiece, as well as a selection of different cutting tools, drills, reamers, etc. Unlike lathe turning, which has not changed fundamentally in the past 100 years, milling in the small shop has been changed radically by the recent introduction of bench-top machines.
There are now so many different milling machines that insider information has become even more important. In this work, Choosing & Using the Right Milling Machine, Richard Rex provides everything needed to choose the right type of mill—knee-type (Bridgeport) or bench-top—and properly install it depending on the type of work you’re doing. With suggestions for finding, installing, and using the essential accessories, including digital readouts, this work is a must-have for model shops around the globe. And it’s the perfect companion work to Choosing & Using the Right Metal Shop Lathe.
- Covers different types of milling cutters, including end mills, drill bits, reamers, and slitting saws.
- Introduces information on the add-ons that get a shop operational with the least delay and expense.
- Instructs on the installation and use of three popular accessories—table power-feed, digital readout (DRO), and rotary table.
- Provides a workpiece tutorial that demonstrates many of the commonplace milling routines—ideal for first-time users.
Richard Rex has worked on lathes and milling machines since his teen years in a home shop, and later on a variety of production machines. (His current home shop setup has a 12” x 36” lathe and a Bridgeport mill.) More recently, he has set up several engineering lab model shops from scratch, with the usual complement of Hardinge lathes and Bridgeport mills.
Richard worked for 10 years in product marketing management with Hewlett Packard and Brown Boveri in the United Kingdom. In the United States, he has been CEO of several engineering/manufacturing companies. In recent years, he has written and illustrated numerous manuals and technical bulletins for a machine tool distributor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ch. 1: Choosing a Milling Machine
Ch. 2: Installing a Milling Machine
Ch. 3: Things to Know from the Start
Ch. 4: Tramming, Clamping and Vises
Ch. 5: Other Essentials and First Steps
Ch. 6: More Fundamentals
Ch. 7: The Digital Readout
Ch. 8: The Rotary Table
Ch. 9: Installing Two Popular Accessories
Ch. 10: Making a Vise for Large Workpieces.