Milling on a Drill Press

epicdoom

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Hello Folks I promised to make a post on how you can use your Drill press as a milling Machine so here it is. First let me say I wanted to do this as a video but unfortunately my voice is gone and all I can get out is a low whisper so I figured I'd do this as a still image with much explanation on what's being done.
I have a Milling machine so I don't have to use this method but not everyone can obtain a Milling Machine. I struggled to get my first one due to Price, I now have 2 one is a large Turret machine and I have a small mini harbor freight machine for small hobby work. Ok so I want to first talk about the equipment you will need to perform this task and where to get it.

You will need a drill press I have a floor model Delta and a tabletop Ryobi I used the Ryobi for this demonstration because its in my ship building shop already. You will want a Min. 10" press if you use the Harbor freight Mill vice, and 8" if you use the Amazon milling table. I have owned the Harbor freight Drill press's and didn't care for them below I linked 2 decent Drill press units that can be used for this. I haven't used the WEN press but they make fairly decent stuff at affordable pricing.
Drill Press
https://www.homedepot.com/p/WEN-10-in-Drill-Press-with-Laser-4210/203602873
wen-drill-presses-4210-64_1000.jpg
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-10-in-Drill-Press-with-Laser-DP103L/205503636
ryobi-drill-presses-dp103l-64_1000.jpg

Next you will need a Milling Vice also called a Cross slide vice or milling table below are links to where you can get them. I own the 6" Milling Vice and the Amazon Milling table. The Harbor freight vice's are fairly tall and is the reason a min. 10" press is needed. The Amazon table is a much lower profile however it isn't a vice its a table and will require T slot clamping tools or a low profile machinist vice to secure your work. I have also provided links to those clamp tools further down in the Milling tool Misc. section.
Milling /Cross slide Vice
https://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-cross-slide-vise-32997.html
image_27036.jpg
https://www.harborfreight.com/5-in-Rugged-Cast-Iron-Drill-Press-Milling-Vise-69159.html
image_21925.jpg
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KUZB8DW/ref=crt_ewc_title_huc_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A16P4TUM521SQ8
51Y-gf2SEZL__SL1000_.jpg

End Mills are the Cutting tools needed they are lake a drill bit they can bore straight into thing, but the biggest benefit is the ability to Plow through material using the side of the tool. There are more end mill types then I could ever post here they come in a wide range of sizes and profiles. For our purpose we will need flat End Mills this means the end mills business end will mill flat there are also Ball end mills that can mill a rounded channel and that can be uses for mast and spar work if one wanted to use those. For our purpose though the flat end mill will suffice. End mills Have flutes just like drill bits, those flutes carry waste material from the cutting surface the more flute the better the clearing of waste material. I prefer 4 flute end mills personally. Below are links to some decent end mills that will work well for wood, but could also be used for metals. I recommend using better brands for Metal work however. I probably have 200 end mills for all sorts of work for use on plastic, wood, aluminum, steel and titanium. Even Dremel bits can be used for milling work on some materials, however due to the small diameter they may require a collet system to hold securely, collet systems require a removable chuck they come in what know as MT1, MT2 ect. MT is Morse taper, most tabletop drill presses don't have the ability to remove the chuck via a taper system most are threaded on to the spindle. Milling machines use a taper spindle system this type of system is far more accurate then Drill chucks, but isn't really needed for model ship work. most table top machines will hold dremel buts without a problem but there are mini chucks that can be bought just incase these mount into your drill chuck and your tooling mounts into it. I will provide a link to those devices in the Misc. section.
End Mills
https://www.amazon.com/ALLPEN-4-Flute-1-5-6mm-Straight-Aluminum/dp/B07JL1YVLQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1545296732&sr=8-4&keywords=end+mills+for+wood
metric end mill.png
https://www.amazon.com/DYWISHKEY-Straight-Square-Cutter-Imperial/dp/B06VXNJ26G/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1545296479&sr=8-13&keywords=end+mills
SAE end mills.png

Now that we have some tooling there are a few items that are beneficial to a machinist they are a set of Parallels, Clamp set and Collet set or micro chuck. Parallels are used to raise your work in the jaws of the vice while maintaining that perfect parallel milling plane you established during the tramming process. Tramming is a process to make sure your milling table is square over its entire surface as it relates to the milling machines Head or spindle. There are many ways to do this. I have provided a link to some of the ways to get it done from tramming the table to tramming the vice. That link is below
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tramming+a+mill
A clamp set is your best friend when using a Milling table such as the one I posted from amazon you will need to know a few things before you buy a clamp set unless you have access to bolts or T slot bolts that can be used with the clamps. Knowing the T slot size on the milling table will help determine what will be needed. If your using a milling Vice then you don't really need a clamp set. lastly the Collet set or Micro chuck these are used to hold securely small diameter tooling/ end mills, Dremel bits and tiny drill bits. Collet systems are also more accurate then Drill chucks in how they hold tooling, but we aren't in need of such precision for ship building unless your building a museum piece
Milling Tools Misc.
https://www.harborfreight.com/20-piece-parallel-set-789.html
image_18520.jpg
https://www.harborfreight.com/58-piece-combination-step-block-and-clamp-set-3-8-eighth-inch-16-nc-studs-1-2-half-inch-clamps-5952.html
image_1466.jpg
https://www.amazon.com/LONKER-Keyless-Converter-0-3-6-5mm-0-3-3-6mm/dp/B0722R1VJW/ref=sr_1_28?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1546529831&sr=1-28&keywords=micro+chuck
41ANO3sh1zL.jpg
https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Spanner-Collets-Engraving-Machine/dp/B07KFRND48/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1546530640&sr=1-2&keywords=mt2+collet+set
61ZGntpiAPL__SL1195_.jpg
Continued on next page please don't post till I'm done so this remains a continuous post
 

epicdoom

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Now for the Process and use of the equipment
First thing you need to do is secure your vice to the Drill press table that will depend on what you have to do that task with. I use mill table clamps, C Clamps, just Nut and Bolt or what ever else I can find that will work. while securing your vice you will want to make sure your cutter will be able to travel along your work piece for the entire area to be milled. I mount the vice and bump it into alignment turning the hand wheels to ensure I can mill the area over the length and width I need. your table or vice will only serve as an X & Y travel axis, you will have to raise and lower the drill press table for your Z axis. below the pictures show me setting up the area to be milled and testing that the travel is within the cutters path for the full length I intend to mill away. I chose a cutter just slight larger then the thickness I need to mill so I get it all in one clean pass.
20190103_081503.jpg20190103_081424.jpg
now that I have that done I reset to the end of the work piece and adjust the depth or Z axis of the cut needed for this demonstration I made one pass to remove the material. Because its particle board I set up the press to run at top speed and moved the cutter through the material slowly to avoid tear out. you will have to learn spindle speed and how fast to remove material on your own as that will depend on your machines speed the cutter type your using the material being milled how sharp your cutters are and how much material you intend to remove with each pass. don't worry you will get a feel for this very quickly just practice on some scrap material. when cutting metals there is a range for metal types that gives speed of spindle material removal and such depending on the metal being type being milled. Wood will depend on hardness, grain and Type. Example Solid, MDF, MSB Plywood and so on. Plastics are a whole different animal.
Below you can see my progress as I make a single pass through the particle board
20190103_081559.jpg20190103_081611.jpg20190103_081700.jpg
Once at the end of the cut the shoulder needs to be squared or you will have a semi circular shoulder where the cutter stopped to square the shoulder run the cutter to the end of the cut this was done on the Y axis in my case once I reach the end I use the X axis back and forth to clear the semi circular are away and square the end.
20190103_081808.jpg20190103_081813.jpg
and here is the piece milled out showing a nice clean square end
20190103_082059.jpg20190103_082120.jpg
For this process I used the set of end mills I bought for use on wood only, this picture shows the cutting end it has 4 cutters because its 4 flute the sides of the cutter also cut and it was the side that was used to square off the shoulder on the work piece.
20190103_082500.jpg20190103_082510.jpg20190103_082449.jpg
This set of end mills are 1/16 to 1/2" I'll be happy to answer any Questions, but before I go I want to explain the process of Milling there are two types they are known as Conventional milling and Climb Milling. I primarily use Conventional Milling that process used the end mills direction of spin to work against the direction of travel this is the safest process to use and will yield the best result as it pertains to tearing out material and mistakes. With conventional milling you can take a larger bite but you must move slower because your moving against the rotational direction of the cutter. Climb milling is just the opposite climb milling moves the cutter with directional rotation this process is faster, but take to large a bite and your cutter will rip into your work piece chattering the whole way and gouging your work. if you take small bites of material this method will yield the smoothest finish. I usually conventional mill till I'm within a few ten thousands and then I slowly climb mill the remaining material to achieve a glass smooth finish. I would suggest using only conventional Milling for wood products. You may now post away thank you for your patience while I Put this together.
 

donfarr

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RESPONCE JOE IS WOW AND WOW AND ANOTHER WOW, I do have some questions I will post latter after I check my BECH TOP DRILL PRESS. THANKS A LOT and TAKE IT EASY GET YOUR VOICE BACK and STOP SMOKING NOW. Don
 

donfarr

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Hi Joe, Me again my first and most important question to me is this, I have a TOOL SHOP(MENARDS) 8 inch table top drill press,,,,Table Height adjustment 8 1/2 inch, have some other questions but I need to re read the posts to make sure I understand it. THANKS AGAIN FOR THIS MOST VALUBLE THREAD. Don
 

donfarr

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Joe, Another one from me, the table that you show from Amazon, if I have to get that one,,,PARDON MY IGNORANCE,Just can not visulize how to use this one (I bought a cheap one like that from Amozon $15.00 and some small round cutters,planed to use it on my Dremell work station for practise but have not figured out how to use it or how to mount it),,,I really do not like to bother you to much, but I am really interested to by the right things for what I need witch right now consits of cutting notches and groves for my ship modeling,,,is it possible that you continue with this thread by showing how the milling works with this table, I do not see how the work piece even mounts to the table, totally confused on this, this is why I was hopping that I could use the milling vice. THANK YOU AGAIN Don
 

epicdoom

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your Drill press will work with the harbor freight vice but you will need to make sure you use short end mills and fully chuck them up. this will be to the shank stops in the chuck or just above the flutes. you don't want to chuck up so far that your flutes are in the chuck. this set of end mills will work perfectly for this
https://www.amazon.com/DYWISHKEY-Straight-Square-Cutter-Imperial/dp/B06VXNJ26G/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1545296479&sr=8-13&keywords=end+mills

I will make a tutorial on using the Milling table as well I was thinking about that after I did this one and realized it would probably be good to show how to clamp thing down to it so yes I will get that done this evening or tomorrow. I will also show how to use it with a small vice mounted to it just incase some folks don't want to mess with all the clamp stuff. The clamps can be a pain in the back side for folks who are new to using them I have 30 + years using them so I have figured out a ton of ways to use them.
is your table like this one ?
20190103_082654.jpg
 

donfarr

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That is really GREAT JOE, and now I can use the harber freight vice mill, and get the end mills you sugest, I think I will also either use the cheap table if it works on the dremell work station or even get a better one can you sugest which one will be the best I saw one on Amozo Model No.6330 price about $60.00, just want to get the right stuff, will prtice on the cheap one will it work on the Work Station. AGAIN THANKS SO MUCH Don
 

donfarr

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Another thought when you show the workings of the milling table could show how the clamping set works also the parelles. THANKS AGAIN Don
 

epicdoom

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I have the table pictured above that's of my actual table its the same one I posted the link for. I am unsure how it will work with the dremel workstation as I don't have that dremel work station if you can link it and your table to me I will have a look and see how it can be used
The parallels work with the vice they just drop in the jaws and your work sits on the parallels. Because the Parallels are precision ground in a perfectly matched set they ensure perfect alignment with the table once its trammed. I will show how the clamps work on the table
 

donfarr

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I will post a picture of the work station, ALSO JOE AS MOST PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME NO THAT I AM COMPUTER ILLETERATE AND WHE THERE IS STUFF THAT GETS COMPLICATED I TURN TO MY SON-IN-LAW FOR HELP, will post that tommorw along with what I have got for the table. AGAIN THANKS Don
 

epicdoom

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Don my Brother I was also not very computer savvy at one time. my first computer I hooked it all up and couldn't for the life of me figure out how to turn it on.I had to use the phone a friend option lol I got proficient with them because the kids used the internet to look up more then school work and the viruses were running wild. once a week I was reformatting the system. I swear I became an IT pro in 6 months time because of them took my buddy 4 years of college lol I believe in the keep it simple rule so I'll make it as easy as possible brother
 

donfarr

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YES (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID) reminds me of Napoleans theroy of battle the legend says he took the simplest private in his army and described the plan if he understood it it was a good plan,,, here are the pictures of both table I got and my Dremell Work Station, I have to get another one any way as this one is stuck, and I do not mind getting the one you showed as long as you say it will do the job, I have learned the hard way do not always by the cheapest what try to do now is by the best for the job I am doing for the right price if I can not afford it I pass, have tool box full of stuff to prove it,,,
 

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epicdoom

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your table is the exact one I have just made by a different manufacturer mounting it to the Dremel will be straight forward however you may not have full table access which is ok as most things should be done in the middle of the table or as close as possible this helps prevent Deflection which I'm sure these little tables will have plenty of even if the Gibs are adjusted properly. The Gibs are what is adjusted to take up play in the racking system this is critical for precision machining but not so much for general hobby work so al long as the table feels secure it should suffice. now onto mounting the table to the Dremel if you look at the base of the dremel it has 4 slots the base of the Slide table also has 4 slots its as simple as mounting the slide table to the base as you have with the vice that's mounted to it. just bolt the slade table to the base using the slots like I have pictured below. You will need to adjust so your axis for X and Y are lined up with the spindle like I showed in the second post up top.
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for mounting work to the surface you have clamps provided with the table so clamping can be done like this
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you can use clamps like the set I posted like this set below using the clamp set will require T nuts studs and hex nuts you can also use standard bolts in them
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T nuts studs and hex nuts can be used or if you can find bolts the the hex head the proper size to lock in the slots of the slide table you can use those
20190103_184109.jpg
The clamps used below are called step clamps as you can see there are steps so you can adjust the clamping bars to the proper height depending on the work being held a rule of thumb is to keep things as low to the table as possible, but you can see the range is pretty good with a step clamp set
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the block with all the holes in it are called 123 blocks I use those when I have to to keep things level and they can also be used to hold things down not only to the table but to the blocks themselves
Here is a great clamp set that will fit your table perfectly this has everything you will need https://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2039&category=
 
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epicdoom

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Hi Joe,
you have put considerable time and effort into this topic, and its most appreciated. Thank you.
You are most welcome Brother I love helping folks especially with making things we already have work for other purposes. necessity truly is the Mother of all invention. I learned in the Marine Corp. to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. with that logic applied to everything in life all things are possible.
 

donfarr

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MUCH THANKS JOE, THIS IS SUBERB, YOUR WORK SHOP ALSO IS FINE, lots of goodies in there, My hobby room now is cramped wit all the new MAN TOYS, just a couple more like you showed, hopefully. THANKS AGAIN BRILENT. Don
 

epicdoom

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your very welcome Don I am happy to help. I just bought a wood lathe 2 actually one is a tiny little thing, I plan on turning mast and spars down on that thing the other is larger. when I get the tiny one set up how I want it I'll post up some info on it. The larger lathe is 8X12 with the ability to extent the bed to 8X39 In the future. Its crazy that I started my hobby life as a wood worker then became a Metal worker stayed with metal work for 30+ years and now I'm working my way back into wood working. I have made some amazing things from metals, forging, casting and machining I can make just about anything from metal. I have always used a drill press as a lathe then when I bought a metal lathe I used that for wood when I had to. It will be nice having an actual wood lathe I'm sure the wife will find many things she cant live without for me to make. Blessings are sometimes curses lol
 
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