The Mill
Front view of the mill

This is a horizontal mill that I built, another one of Dave Gingery's creations. It is used to mill surfaces flat, cut gears, and turn parts too big for the lathe. I used mine to turn some 12" diameter plywood discs for a bandsaw I'm building. After I finish my dividing head I will use the mill to cut the change gears for my lathe. With the change gears I will be able to cut threads on pieces, and it will give me more control over the feed rate of the carriage.

View of the right side of the mill

Here you can see the handles used to adjust the mill. The one on top raises and lowers the spindle, which allows the cutter (an end mill in this picture) to cut at different heights. The spindle can be raised to about 6" above the bed. The handle to the lower left is for the feed. When a part is clamped to the table, and everything is set, the handle is turned to move the piece toward the back of the mill, thus making the cut. The bed has a travel range of about 12". The handle on the lower right moves the carriage (the part the bed is attached to) left and right. The carriage can travel about 8-1/2" overall.

Carriage crossfeed

One interesting feature of the mill is the graduated collars on the feed handles. A 125 mm (millimeter) length of a tailor's tape is used. The collar on the handle is turned down until the piece of tape will wrap around the collar exactly. Every division on the collar represents a feed of 0.0005", making the mill very precise. Altogether there are five of these handles on the mill and its accessories.

Left view of the mill

This picture shows drive train. The belt on the far left reduces the RPM (revolutions per minute) so that the first shaft will turn slower than the motor. The belt in the middle is on a set of step pulleys. The pulleys have steps of 2", 3", 4", and 5" diameters. The pulleys are reversed from each other so that the 5" diameter on one lines up with the 2" diameter on the other, 4" with 3", etc. This allows the speed to be increased or decreased, depending on where the belt is placed. The last belt will decrease the speed as it is set up in the picture. These last two pulleys can be reversed to increase the seed also. This system will allow eight different speeds, from 43 RPM to 2430 RPM.

Tail stand for the mill

Here is the tail stand for the mill. It is attached to the bed, across from the spindle. A shaft is placed in both the spindle and the tail stand. The shaft can have a cutter installed in it, or a piece can be installed on the shaft.

The universal compound for the mill

This is the universal compound for the mill. It is clamped to the bed and is used to turn parts like the lathe does. Notice that the base is turned down and a tailor's tape, 360 mm long, is wrapped around it. This allows 1º adjustments of the compound. It can be used with the tail stand to turn down a part that is too big for the lathe.

Updated June 23, 2002

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