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  1. #1
    Hello Everyone. I've been a lurker for a while, but finally decided to jump in and get my feet wet with my first build. I scoured the internet for a bit seeking information to accomplish my build, but was always side tracked with other things. The moment has finally come for me to focus and get my but in gear. I would like to build a mill capable of milling aluminum (ally as you guys call it ) and maybe the occasional plastics (delrin, plexi??). I lucked into some 4" box tube w\ .125" wall (approx. 3mm) and was wondering if that would be a decent start for a small to mid sized vertical mill with a fixed column and x-on-y axis? Remember, aluminum will be the hardest material I ever mill with this machine. I look forward to your feedback and guidance during my project. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Hi, welcome to the forum. Nice to see a new local member (assuming its Boston, Lincs). G.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by GEOFFREY View Post
    Hi, welcome to the forum. Nice to see a new local member (assuming its Boston, Lincs). G.
    @G I'm guessing
    milling aluminum (ally as you guys call it )
    suggests otherwise :)

    @soopaman While buildind a small vertical square column mill is possible, weight (for damping) & rigidity are key. I doubt that 4" box tube (ally or steel?) will be rigid or dense enough and will resonate tho filling it with concrete might help. Most commercial small mills use cast iron, tho I have seen DIY designs using a steel i-beam.

  4. #4
    Darn, I had privately guessed Pom rather than Yank, but I missed the aluminum that Irving's keen eye picked up.....

    Then again Soopaman may simply use a default American spell checker......?

    Welcome to the forum Soopaman regardless of which planet you're from!

  5. #5
    I bet you are right Irving - I missed the ally (aloominum) and "but" (butt?) comments too. My school reports sometimes said " Geoffrey should pay more attention to what is being said". I hope posting that does not come home to haunt me on the MYCNCUK router project thread (I'm sure it will). G.

  6. #6
    Thank you all for the warm welcome I can already see that I'll have lots of fun while learing from here. Thanks again.

    P.S. Yes. I live in Boston, Massachusetts ( I'm a city rat...lol)

  7. #7
    hello,welcome to the site.
    i was in the same boat for a time,i liked the idea of building a vertical mill but settled on knocking up a fixed gantry mill,see image ,im fairly happy with it, its sole jobs for plastics and aluminium and it does what i want.
    if i were fixed on a vertical mill now id be inclined to just convert one to cnc
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by deisel View Post
    hello,welcome to the site.
    i was in the same boat for a time,i liked the idea of building a vertical mill but settled on knocking up a fixed gantry mill,see image ,im fairly happy with it, its sole jobs for plastics and aluminium and it does what i want.
    if i were fixed on a vertical mill now id be inclined to just convert one to cnc
    I like that design :-) - you say you are "fairly happy" with it - what problems do you have and what changes would you make if you were doing it again?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by FatFreddie View Post
    you say you are "fairly happy" with it - what problems do you have and what changes would you make if you were doing it again?
    i shouldnt have said fairly i am happy with it, but there are things id do slightly different,things like having slots ground into the face of the y axis for the rail for easier alignment same with the bed id probably have put a slab of tooling plate down with slots ground in for the x rail.
    and i really wish id made provisions for collecting all the coolant fluid and chips rather than worry about it after the build,

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to deisel For This Useful Post:


  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by deisel View Post
    hello,welcome to the site.
    i was in the same boat for a time,i liked the idea of building a vertical mill but settled on knocking up a fixed gantry mill,see image ,im fairly happy with it, its sole jobs for plastics and aluminium and it does what i want.
    if i were fixed on a vertical mill now id be inclined to just convert one to cnc
    Thank you deisel. I considered a vertical mill configuration because of space constraints and the material I already have available to me. I really like the simplicity of your setup and may adopt a similar setup after reading your build thread (if there is one) and seeing what I would need. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing alot more feedback and advice from you and others in this forum. :-)

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