View Full Version : What are the "must have" tools for milling and turning?

17-04-2014, 01:13 PM
OK guys, simple question....what tools should I get for milling and turning besides the usual selection of cutters and bits, DRO's, a 125mm swivel milling vice, quick change tool post, live centre, ER32 collet chuck set?

What are the tools that you just can't do without, DTI's, boring heads? All I'll be doing is mainly turning down items, putting in circlip grooves and the odd bit of milling but I (read my work) want a good selection of tools so that I don't have to wait for a tool to arrive before I can set up a machine or do some machining.

17-04-2014, 08:22 PM
For the mill -
A toolmakers vice, a set of solid parallels and a set of wavy parallels.
For the lathe -
Enough quick change holders to allow multiples of the same tools with different inserts on centre without messing about.

17-04-2014, 08:30 PM
For the lathe this is the tool I use 90% of the time, love it.


17-04-2014, 08:35 PM
I would add a bench grinder if you haven't already got one - nothing worse than a blunt HSS lathe tool when you need it sharp.

I also have a morse taper drill bit chuck (robbed from my pillar drill) and some of my larger drill bits are the morse taper type (normally followed up with a boring bar operation).

Also if you do tube work then a morse taper with a 3 or 4 jaw chuck for the tail stock so you can hold long objects (I still need to get a travelling/steady rest for my lathe).

One thing I have found is that no matter when I think I have got everything, a job will crop up, which needs something new to do it with ;)

17-04-2014, 08:52 PM
If it's for work just use the right inserted tooling, time at the grinder fannying around sharpening is fine if you've nothing els e to do though ;-)

17-04-2014, 11:39 PM
You can spend a fortune on tools, and still not have the one needed for a job, so I wouldn't even contemplate trying to cover all eventualities!

Alot will depend on the size of machines you have, but here's a quick list I can think of-
Clamp set - the usual generic kit that nearly all suppliers sell, in whatever size that fits the T-slots
Vice - something nearing the capabilities of whatever machine you have, and something smaller if you have the funds. Large stuff you usually clamp straight to the table, but using a vise is normally easier, however mounting small stuff in a large vise can be a pain. If you have a rough idea of what you're likely to machine, use that as a guid to what vise to buy.
End mills - For steel I usually only have 4 sizes. 12, 10, 6, and 4mm. Anything needing another size I just order when needed. I also have a some larger indexable endmills which I do use a fair bit, but that's only any good if you're machine is large/powerful enough (I picked mine up of ebay a while ago for a pretty good price)
Boring head - pretty much essential if using a manual mill and need to bore something.
DTI - pretty invaluable if setting up to an existing hole/truing to a surface.
Edgefinder - as the name implies, pretty essential for setting up from a known edge
Wobbler - handy if you need to pick up marked lines

Other than the usual cutting tools, I can't think of much.
Personally I use index tooling for 99% of stuff, with HSS saved for doing profiled stuff, however it can work out expensive.
An indexed parting tool is a revelation for parting off, compared to using HSS.

Web Goblin
19-04-2014, 10:25 AM
Various bits of bar stock so that you can make the one off specials that crop up.

19-04-2014, 10:42 AM
Thanks guys, some more items added to the list of things to get. As it's for work I've ordered indexing tools for the lathe and got a selection of mill bits (20mm down to 4mm) for the mill...

19-04-2014, 10:46 AM
Not much to add other than Angle plates and Machinst Jacks are handy for odd shaped stuff. Decent fly cutter and/or Boring head.

Clive S
19-04-2014, 12:53 PM
How about centre drill bits for the lathe Centre Drills - Arc Euro Trade (http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Cutting-Tools/Centre-Drills) etc. ..Clive

19-04-2014, 01:37 PM
How about centre drill bits for the lathe Centre Drills - Arc Euro Trade (http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Cutting-Tools/Centre-Drills) etc. ..Clive

If you're using them to make a hole to support the work with a centre, then that's what you need. However for making the mark to center a normal drill, spot drills (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6MM-NC-SPOTTING-DRILL-90-DEGREE-COBALT-SPOT-DRILL-NEW-/140906415335?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item20cead44e7) are better as they're more robust.

20-04-2014, 08:55 AM
If you ever see any of these Kopal Clamps-


for a reasonable price grab a couple, they're absolutely amazing.

22-04-2014, 02:08 PM
Thanks for the info guys. This is what they're coming with:

160mm self centering 3 jaw chuck with inside and outside jaws
200mm 4 jaw independent chuck
4 jaw self centering chuck 160mm on DL-4 backplate 200mm
4 way toolpost
Fixed and travelling steadies
Micro adjustable bedstop
Coolant system
Halogen low voltage light
Dead centres
Face plate
Digital display 2 axis for lathes/mills
Quick change toolpost set
Live centre -3mt
Centre drill set 5 piece set
9 pce set index turning tools 12mm
Drill chuck b16 3-16mm
3mt arbor b18

Milling Machine:
Digital display 2 axis for lathes/mills
125mm vice
Collet chuck set er-32 3mt 3/8" whit 18 piece
20 pcs metric hss end mill/slot drill set. Tin coated. Plain shank.
W4 clamp kit 12mm
Coolant system comprising on/off switch, tank, electric parts, nozzle, magnetic feed pipe & coolant pipe 1.1m, 1/6hp 220v/50hz pump, 5 litre tank capacity.
Wide coolant tray

DRO for the milling Machine is only 2 axis as been told that as the column is round one can't be fitted. One of the first projects will be fitting one to it....

Items in addition to the above I'm getting are DTI on a magnetic base and a boring bar set. Already have centre drill bits and some tooling from the old lathe. Should suffice for now and anything else needed can just be bought as and wheen needed.

22-04-2014, 07:21 PM
No chance of swapping the 2-axis DRO display on the mill for a 3-axis version to make adding a third scale easier? If nothing else, you could fit a third scale on the quill although I realise that this is a second-best.

23-04-2014, 08:14 AM
No chance of swapping the 2-axis DRO display on the mill for a 3-axis version to make adding a third scale easier? If nothing else, you could fit a third scale on the quill although I realise that this is a second-best.

I've asked this yesterday funnily enough although talking to the guys at work they want me to CNC the mill ASAP as well as the small Seig C4 lathe. Today is measuring the lathe for fitting steppers and drawing up mounting brackets in CAD (Alibre Design 3D which I'm learning)