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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Sydney
    Age
    46
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    113

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    Thanks for the suggestions and comments regarding light milling on a drilling machine.

    I'm hoping I come across a cheaply priced mill drill in the mean time (I have seen three extremely low priced examples in the last 12 months but that situation is rare and they get snapped up quick) but will keep exploring this subject. I decided not to go down the Richardson path, the bearings I imagine can't be very large so pushing the limits, plus the round column issue (though as mentioned by kafie, there are workarounds) but I had thought about a few different options for locking the taper in.

    Well it gives me a mental challenge when I'm not otherwise busy, have been collecting a few bits to perhaps make my own spindle and assembly from scratch, might take me a while but will be a bit of fun. There are a couple of heavy duty dovetail slides for sale at the moment that I could attach for the Z axis... I think I'd better start a new topic for this!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    1,142

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalmachine View Post

    I'm hoping I come across a cheaply priced mill drill in the mean time (I have seen three extremely low priced examples in the last 12 months but that situation is rare and they get snapped up quick)
    In my observations, the ratio of 2nd hand lathes vs mills that appear for sale in the small hobby/home shop category is like 20:1 (perhaps the ratio is even worse). This makes small mills fairly rare and I personally have been chasing a particular model for a while now.

    If you can push your weight/size restrictions slightly higher, then there are some good deals that come up often.

    But if you are restricted by size/weight then even a fat wallet full of cash may not buy what you want. This is where most people just give up and buy a Chinese dovetail column with variable speed mill and continue with life.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    York, North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    6,383

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    Quote Originally Posted by kafie1980 View Post
    Yes, I remember reading about Fobco pillar drills when I first developed an interested in tools and machines but I have never seen them in the flesh.

    Beautiful design and appears well made.

    I also chased that Record drill vice for sometime here but never found the original ones here, we have the Irwin branded ones.
    Hi Kafie,

    It is very nice ! A solid steel large 75 mm diameter column securely fastened into a substantial cast iron base stand. Both the head and the table are heavy all cast iron components, no head nod here. The head is nicely balanced by the 3/4 HP 1440 rpm continuously rated Brooks motor. The machine uses cast iron ring clamps to support the head and table, split on one side with a split collet to pull the clamp closed on the column as does the head. The quill also uses a split collet to lock it into position anywhere along its travel, and of course there is a calibrated depth ring and nut and screw depth stop.

    Surprisingly the calibrated depth ring is in mm rather than inches, which is something I've only recently discovered, but the threaded depth stop is an imperial thread.
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    1,142

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    Must be one heavy drill press. 3/4hp motor is a big one cause these days its usually under 1/3 to 1/2hp on similar sized drills.

    Yes, back in the day it was a no expense spared kind of construction for machinery. And things were also made heavy.

    The Waldown and Tough drills here are solid bar for the columns although I am not sure on later models. Usually in the 150 kg range.

    My Taiwanese drill press has a hollow column but gets the job done for the light work I have put it through. Usually around the 75 kg range.

    The newer drill presses at the tool stores make in PRC are barely 40 to 50 kg based on the few I have touched.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Sydney
    Age
    46
    Posts
    113

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    Interesting discussion!

    Started a new thread related to this if anyone wants to have a look...

    https://metalworkforums.com/showthre...67#post2009867

    Thanks,
    Steve.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    114

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    Quote Originally Posted by kafie1980 View Post
    I personally think its a lot more effort than one should put in converting a drill press into a milling machine.
    FWIW from someone who's never used a milling machine, I agree.

    As an inveterate tinkerer, I've spent a lot of time researching conversions as a cheap way to get a milling machine for my occasional use.

    There is a plethora of information on the internet on this topic and, surprising though it might seem, much of it isn't very reliable and not likely to produce a machine that can mill steel, nor even some softer materials, precisely, reliably, repeatably, and durably. Some 'solutions' to problems in the conversion, such as super gluing the original drill press jawed chuck (should be a collet anyway, but that's another issue) taper to prevent the chuck dropping out don't seem like a permanently satisfactory solution for a chuck subject to massive vibration and lateral torque. But I'm not an engineer. Nor, I think, was the bloke who presented this 'solution'.

    To convert a drill press into the equivalent of even a low end Chinese milling machine requires a ridiculous amount of time, effort and money to re-engineer the drill press to do things it was never designed to do and to modify and accessorise it. It'd be way, way quicker, simpler and quite possibly cheaper just to buy a low end Chinese milling machine and get on with making stuff.

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