Thread: VMC Tooling Advice Needed!
I have just picked up up a Myford VMC and am trying to get me head around how to use it and the different tooling (and terminology!) that came with it.
I have worked out that the machine has a R8 taper and it came with a few different tool holding parts.
The picture shows the following:-
Clarkson Autolock Chuck (and a load of end mills to fit)
ER32 Chuck and collets
A face mill
An Albrecht drill chuck (in a R8 adapter)
A Jacobs Drill Chuck
So my question is is any of these worth keeping or would I be better selling them and buying something else? The ER32 set looks like it would be very useful but the Clarkson autolock chuck already had a load of end mills with it (more not pictured). I guess I cant use the threaded end mills with the ER chuck?
Not sure if the drill chucks are worthwhile as I have a pillar drill? Or I guess the mill would be more accurate (Mill also has 3 axis DRO's).
Any advice to this novice would be most welcome!
Last edited by cncJim; 01-09-2014 at 11:01 AM.
Depending on what you plan to do with the machine, you might choose to ditch this lot and start again. But I wouldn't! That's a great set of starter tooling. Use the Autolock chuck with the screwed shank endmills, with the ER32 as backup if you get any metric shank cutters (assuming that the Autolock is imperial) or plain shank cutters. ER32 is also useful for larger drills that don't fit the drill chuck. I use ER32 for all my cutters (including screwed shank) as I don't have an Autolock but the latter gives a better grip on the cutter. Facemill - useful for cleaning up faces, obviously, and covers a much wider surface than any normal endmill. I've added a boring head for accurate hole-making. After that, you'll be thinking about work-holding - machine vice, clamping studs, t-nuts, etc, but maybe those were part of the deal. 3 axis DRO as well - that's a pretty useful set of kit you've got there.
Last edited by Neale; 01-09-2014 at 02:24 PM.
Thanks for the reply Neale, and thanks for the advice
Well I plan to cut aluminium and steel - Mainly to make parts for a new diy cnc - I can see a boring head would be used a lot. I know there is a boring head with a lot of cutters in one of boxes of bits but I haven't checked it out yet.
Also included was a couple of machine vices, a set of clamping stuff and also a rotary table.
My inner geek is looking forward to checking out the DRO - Looks really complex and impressive with lights and buttons (no idea what they do...)! The lathe that is coming also has a 2 axis DRO
Interesting that you have used the threaded end mills with the ER chuck. Have you had any problem with this? I imagine you need to make sure that the collet has enough non-threaded section to grip?
Possible stupid question, but I cannot see any way to lock the spindle to allow me to change cutters when using the Autolock or the ER32? On both chucks there are no flat spots to put a spanner on? Is this normal?
Last edited by cncJim; 01-09-2014 at 03:27 PM.
Even threaded shank cutters have enough plain section for a collet to grip - haven't had a problem (although most of my cutters are plain shank anyway).
I have a Warco VMC, broadly similar to your machine; I flip the lid open and hold the pulley to "lock" the spindle and that's always worked OK for me.
DRO's are great. I doubt if I've looked at a dial on my VMC more than a half-dozen times since I've had it. No more losing count when you are moving a couple of inches, trivial picking up centre lines with a wiggler, etc.
To unlock a tool, I would hold the spanner in place on the chuck nose and give it a tap with a rubber mallet. The inertia of the drive system means that most of the shock goes into undoing the locking part. Helps if you put the machine in lowest speed as well. Hopefully that's the last time you will need shock tactics, though!
My DRO lets me "find" an edge with a wiggler. I zero that axis, then pick up the opposite edge. Then there's a "halfway" button on the DRO that sets zero to halfway between the two settings. No arithmetic needed, don't need to know the diameter of the tip of the wiggler, even! Even if you want to zero on an edge, and are going to be using metric coordinates, say, you can pick up the edge with the wiggler, then set the coordinates to half the wiggler diameter (0.25" in my case), and zero is on the edge. Then switch to mm and away you go! So much easier than dials...
The Following User Says Thank You to Neale For This Useful Post:
Congrats on your new purchase you have a good selection of kit with it and i couldn't see you needing much more, only disadvantage of using ER32 is the posibility of the tool coming loose and marring the collet, the Clarkson tightens the cutter hard into the rear centre so is not an issue, but i am not fortunate enough to have anything so exotic and it seems to work for Neale.
Happy metal munching
It worried me a bit at first, Mike, as my previous mill had an Autolock-style holder. That was on a 2MT shank, though, so not so useful with an R8 spindle (and having used both, I would have R8 over MT anyday). I haven't done any really heavy cutting, but no problems so far. It does mean that I'm not restricted to screwed shank cutters. I mainly use imperial size cutters and I only have metric ER32 collets, but they seem to grip OK. I have wondered about buying a few specific imperial collets to suit my cutters, just to minimise the closure of the collet and get maximum grip. I could imagine that the Autolock would be better for CNC work, where you might want to change cutters and go back to a known Z height setting; CNC conversion is on the plan but still a fair way off for me!
Not sure about the hole in the side. Might have been for some kind of switch box? Access to internal wiring? My machine has a removable panel on the back. The Warco version actually has a couple of 1" or so holes at that point, one each side, so that you can stick a bar through to take lifting strops.
DRO appears to be Newall - decent make, hope you can find a manual for it. It has the 1/2 button for finding mid-lines, so you're in luck there!
Last edited by Neale; 02-09-2014 at 11:16 AM.
This is the latest find - a boring head and a number of different types of homemade looking boring tools (I think!). I guess the longer ones would be more useful on the lathe?
Dead easy to find the manual for the DRO - Good spot on the 1/2 button!
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