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#579534 - 09/09/20 02:13 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
bushveld Offline

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 505
Mike Hunter makes a good and valid point about the electronic VFD's coming down in price and they work wonderfully well on a vertical milling machine. When I bought my vertical mill it had a static converter which I threw in the trash without even running it and purchased a VFD.

He also makes a excellent point (indirectly) about the weight of the vertical mill. Find one that is really heavy and one with a long bed and you will be happy. The long bed is really useful for building double barrel rifles with shoe lump barrels as you can mount a rotary indexer on the bed with the barrel between centers with the indexer and rotate the barrel to mill the barrel where the shoe lump with fit onto the barrel properly. I also built a rig to mount to the left end of the bed of my vertical mill where I could mount the double rifle barrels horizontally hanging from the left end of the bed (muzzle downwards). I could then mill out around the breech face of the barrels that I needed for the third fastener extension as well as the extractor slots. But you need for the vertical mill to be good an heavy to do this task without movement of the bed..

For the guys who have lots of room and wide doors to their shop a large horizontal mill can be bought for near nothing these days( a few hundred dollars as no one wants them or knows what do with them---we live in a CNC era). They are wonderful machines (weight a ton or more) and you will find tasks for them on occasions. I did not have room for one of them in my shop and bought a small horizontal mill, which could be used for cutting slits and so forth, but not much more because it only weighed a few hundred pounds. If I had a had a good heavy weight horizontal mill I could have milled the third fastner extension into the barrel breech end using it with little effort.

Another point for you that are considering outfitting a shop is the lathe. You can spend a great deal of money on rebuilding a used lathe (I mean a "real" rebuild where you have the bed reground and new headstock bearing and so forth). You will find that you need a couple of lathes of different sizes for your work. As to cost of a rebuild, "I have done that and been there" having found one of the last South Bend heavy 10 lathes built (1980's made) before they went out of business. It was one of the desirable ones with D1-4 headstock and 54 inch flame hardened bed. I bought it for $500.00 and spent $5,000.00 on making it perfect with a reground bed job, headstock rebuild, new tailstock and adding a electronic variable speed controlled carriage/apron feed screw. However today I would not do it because the quality of the Asian lathes have increased so much that I would spent the money and buy a new one from Grizzly or some other firm that met my needs and had a headstock hole larger enough for gun and rifle work. For example, the super accurate 3 and 4 jaw 6 inch chucks that I bought for my heavy 10 would now cost several thousand dollars for the pair. The best money you will ever spend on your lathe is the money you pay for a first quality chuck.

Edited by bushveld (09/09/20 03:57 PM)

#579542 - 09/09/20 02:36 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
craigd Offline

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 6867
A quick side comment about VFDs, the better ones are somewhat pricier. Consider looking for a totally enclosed model, the slotted open sided ones don’t care for much for shop grit, particularly metallic.

Good 3ph motors can be moderately priced and worth considering just changing the motor on a piece of equipment. The output on my VFD has an outlet socket and I plug in the machine I want to use. A good option for hobby use, I suppose bad if it goes down, but each machine does not need a dedicated setup.

#579556 - 09/09/20 04:25 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
Mike Hunter Offline

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 271
Good call on water, dust/swarf resistant VFD’s, I use KB Electronics KBAC 27Ds in the shop, claim to be “wash down” resistant (IP-65). Run around $300-$350, will handle up to 2 HP.

When I built/installed the rotary phase converter in my shop it ran $600-$800, if VFD’s were that cheap 15 + years ago, that’s the route I would have gone.
Mike Hunter

#579564 - 09/09/20 06:07 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
craigd Offline

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 6867
That is the model VFD I have. I could never use it the way you likely do, but it is a quality item, no doubt.

#579572 - 09/09/20 07:40 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Mike Hunter]
Der Ami Offline

Registered: 07/04/12
Posts: 3563
Loc: East Alabama
If you have a chance at a good deal, but it is running on 440, don't turn it down until you check the data plate on the motor itself. Many can be run on either 220 or 440 and the data plate usually shows wiring diagram for both, if that is the case.
Good point on the Horizontal mill, you are also likely to get a vertical spindle attachment, a slotting attachment, and maybe a dividing head. My B&S universal no.2 1/2 has a B&S #7 taper in the vertical attachment, which is a little small, but I don't have it wired up anyway.

Edited by Der Ami (09/09/20 07:51 PM)

#580772 - 09/29/20 06:25 AM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
damascus Offline

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 889
Loc: Cheshire England
This type of request is on the lines of "how long is a piece of string?" I was also asking my self the same question before I retired after spending a lot of time over the years in and out of machine shops and production plants. So I would like to put another view on things, firstly I had to decide on what I wanted to do with the Machine tools I was about to purchase and come to a firm decision. Now I did have a very old mini Lathe and a large size bench drill press with a must feature an adjustable angle table plus a Morticing attachment though not often used but it takes the hard work out of jointing timber. The drill press was going to stay, but a replacement lathe was needed. The one piece of good advice I was given in the past was this "a lathe is the cheapest part of setting up a workshop that is a one off cost, it is the tooling for it that is a never ending requirement for your money" never a truer word was ever spoken because I am still purchasing some thing or other. The choice of lathe size etc. My first thoughts was the bigger the better and I had this in my mind for a long time until I realized if I wanted to turn something large I had plenty of contacts who would let me use one of their larger lathes for a couple of hours, also there was a big down side to large lathes high cost of tooling. The next choice was new or second user, after hearing so many tales of woe from people who had purchase second hand machines it was going to be new for me!! The choice on this side of the pond I found was expensive Brit made machines like Myford or look else were and China is the only other choice. Now the next important decision size and what I wanted to do with it? Manufacture Repair large or small items I decided middle of the road medium size items larger items I could have some time on a large lathe elsewhere. Being in Brit land there is one very important thing to take account of Imperial or Metric because we use both here though Metric is now the largest share but in restoration Imperial threads are extremely common and BA is still used here a lot.
Things now started to come together, for value for money Chinese not to large a machine because there is a lot more tooling at much lower prices for hobby machines, than the larger varieties. Now over the years I have found that no machine can be perfect in every persons eyes, so a compromise for me was on the cards.
This was my compromise a Chinese manufactured 9 X 20 available under many names with a large span of prices. My list of reasons :-
Large headstock taper MT3.
Tail stock taper 2MT.
Headstock spindle bored through at 3/4 inch.
Good center to bed and between centers size for the money.
Set over tale stock for taper turning.
Came with Face plate, fixed and traveling steadies. 3 & 4 jaw chucks with the 4 jaw having independent jaws, having 3/4 Horse motor.
The 3/4 Horse motor is not to underpowered for turning large stock.
Cuts Metric & Imperial threads, not the full range but enough.
Norton type screw cutting gear box as standard, very useful.
Best of all tooling for this size lathe is very cheap and readily available.
** While replacing the headstock spindle pulley I removed the Chinese main headstock bearings and fitted a better quality TIMKEN set, because the bearings are a common size they are relatively low cost to purchase for an improvement in quality.
The Down Side:-
The drive belt system is not so good, I will go as far as saying poor under some circumstances. It uses a Gates 5M710 very thin mane drive belt, you can break it easily plus they are not a reasonable cost to replace.
Low speeds are not low enough (no back gearing)
Top slide does require the four bolt modification (you can make or purchase).
No saddle lock. Simple bolt required to correct this.
There are a large number of modifications to be found for this machine on the internet to improve things no end all simple and low cost.
The main after market things I recommend are a 1 horse 3 phase motor with a VFD both items are not that expensive especially the VFD this improves low end speed and torque, remove the other belt and intermediate pulley ending up with just a motor and head stock spindle pulley's adding a larger drive belt I used a 3/8 cogged SPZ V belt and tensioner. As luck would have it the headstock spindle is a standard size for a taper lock pully bush no machining required and many off the peg pulleys you can try. Purchase a vertical slide to convert the lathe for milling, finally a good quality six inch independent four jaw chuck, the chucks supplied are ok but quality ones do improve things no end..
I have had this lathe for fifteen years now and never once taken a part to be machined on a larger lathe.
This is just my personal findings, you could ask a dozen
other people and get a dozen differing opinions.

As an after thought. I did not say a lot about the chucks that came with the machine, they are adequate the self centering 3 jaw chuck supplied needed to be what I would say overtightened to grip well, not a good thing for the chuck scroll also the two sets of jaws inner and outer where not numbered including the chuck itself.
So it was a case of finding the best position for each of the three jaws then mark the chuck and both sets of jaws. The 4 jaw chuck is 4 inch no problems with it at all but by adding a 6 inch chuck enables much larger projects to be held utilizing the machines full potential.
After writing this, out of curiosity I spent some time looking at suppliers web sites, this machine is still available as standard with an uprated version having a VFD Motor and updated drive at a much higher cost than you could update a standard machine using higher quality parts costing much less.

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