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Buying my first mill

Discussion in 'MACHINE RESTORATION & WAY SCRAPING' started by OkcGunsammo, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    Hi I just bought my first lathe and year ago and now want a mill. I only buy vintage machines because I have a thing for older stuff. I found a millwaukee model k for a good priced and alot of tools. Can anyone give me a idea is this a good make/model and what I need to look for when go look at it?
     
  2. tweinke

    tweinke United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Boy I do agree the vintage machines do have an appeal to them that the new ones do not. I cant answer your question but will post this so it goes back to the top. Oh and welcome aboard!
     
  3. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    Hey thanks.
     
  4. Jason Annen

    Jason Annen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That's at least a 6000 lb machine. Check all power feeds, in both directions, as well as the rapid. That machine has at least a 7.5 HP motor. Should have 50 taper spindle. Good solid machines, some of the best made American iron of all time. Parts may be difficult to find if needed. If there is anything that doesn't work, I would pass. Universal or plain?

    Jason
     
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  5. Jason Annen

    Jason Annen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Does it have the arbor support? What about horizontal arbors? Does it have a vertical head? I got an H last year, I like it, but it's limited.

    IMG_20161029_191204548_HDR.jpg

    Jason
     
  6. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Jason is correct. Those are fine machines. Also, as Jason said, if they have issues, they will not be trivial to repair. New parts are not available, few people know how they really work, and you will largely be on your own when dealing with any problems. The upside is that they are solidly built for long service and will continue to do good work if not abused.
     
  7. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the help. Here is a pic
     

    Attached Files:

  8. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    The guy told me it doesn't have any problems and that it is still a tight
     
  9. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    Since this would be my first mill is there any tooling that is a must have for this machine?
     
  10. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    And is $1500 a fair price
     
  11. Jason Annen

    Jason Annen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Price depends on location, but $1500 isn't bad. Now that I see that it's a vertical, it's probably well over 8000 lbs. I would think that machine is really not a great choice for a first machine, however, it will handle just about anything.

    For tooling, a face mill, plus end mill holders of various sizes., Should cover most everything.

    Jason
     
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  12. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Do you have good reasons to trust his statements? Trust, but verify... That machine is worth about $50-60 a ton as scrap metal, minus transportation costs. I would find someone, perhaps on this forum, who is familiar with the machine and nearby to look at it with you. If the machine cannot be run under power through all the speeds and feeds, the sale price should plummet toward the scrap metal price.
     
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  13. tq60

    tq60 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Also consider your ability to power it up and run it.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
     
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  14. talvare

    talvare United States Ted A H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You haven't given us any idea of what type of machining you plan to do, so it's a little difficult to say whether or not that is a good machine FOR YOU. If it's in good condition, it's a fantastic piece of machinery, but it was built for pretty heavy work. If you intend to do work like most hobbyists tend to do (fairly small light projects), that machine will be pretty cumbersome to use and some of the tooling will likely be pricey. You also need to consider transportation costs and your available space and power.
    Just my two cents.

    Ted
     
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  15. seanb

    seanb United States Active Member Active Member

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    I would never buy a machine like that because its so heavy a bridgeport style knee mill is about the limit for a home machinist. If it doesnt have the vertical head its gonna be pretty useless. You will have to have some serious moving equipment to get it to your house. The 50 taper collets are going to be super expensive as well.
     
  16. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Did you see the photos above? It is a vertical mill, not a horizontal. The rest of your comment is correct, except where you said "If it doesnt have the vertical head its gonna be pretty useless." Lots of really good work is done on horizontal mills, and they are more versatile than you might imagine...
     
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  17. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'm not up to speed on Milwaukee mills, the few I've been around, the model K is more or less a No. 4 mill in size. I've ran a No. 5 K & T/Milwaukee mill back in my younger days, this one is almost the same size. That's a big mill in comparison to a BP mill! Ken
     
  18. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks I have a 3 phase power in my shop. I have a lawn company and I do everything with my equipment in house to keep over head down. I want a mill big enough to handle resurfacing engine heads for my race buddies for some extra cash during the winter.
     
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  19. OkcGunsammo

    OkcGunsammo Reserved Iron Registered Member

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    I can handle transporting with my truck and trailer. But the last thing I want is to pay $1500 for a 7000lb paper weight. The guy said it is hooked up ready to cut.
     
  20. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Do you know how to run it and check all the speeds and feeds, and check for wear in the sliding surfaces, the lead screws. and the spindle? If not, bring somebody who is on your side, is familiar with those machines, and knows how to check them out. Do a couple cuts with it. Pay him for his time if necessary...
     
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  21. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    If you can't get someone on your side, and you said it is under power, get the owner to run the spindle thru all of it's speeds. Take note of any abnormal noises or metal to metal grinding noise that just doesn't sound good. On table speeds, run thru most of the feeds in all X-Y-Z directions as well as rapids in all directions. Either they work or they don't. If they don't work in any or all of the speeds or rapids, walk away! Also, while the motor is running, look for oil dripping in the sight glass on the spindle head and on side of the column. This will tell you if there is oil circulating to all of the critical points of oiling. Should be one on the saddle, too, just been too long ago to remember these things.

    As for the slides, run your finger across the bearing surfaces. If you feel ridges, gouges, etc., it has wear. May not show all of it's original spotting marks, but should give you an indication of how much wear it has. Not always a deal breaker, but something to keep in the back of your mind. Got to remember this mill is over 70 years old and probably has had a hard life, especially in it's first 10 years of life. It's not going to be perfect, but it may be good enough to resurface heads with and such. Take lots of pictures, report back let us look at what you found. Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  22. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    I don't think you'll ever outgrow it. :)
    I would prefer a horizontal with a vertical head to give you versatility. NMTB (NST and CAT) 50 tooling is available, for general milling I'd look for a ER40 collet set to take all of your smaller endmills. On the other hand you can go with several end mill holders that will hold 90% of what you want. You can deck a head with a fly cutter or a large face mill. I don't know what the machine will limit out at but I'd guess up to 10". The down side, large face mills are expensive plus the cost of the inserts.
    Good luck,

    Mike
     
  23. Glenn Brooks

    Glenn Brooks H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Photos show a nice looking mill. But it is a very large and heavy piece of equipment. Where will you put it? If in your garage, likely your cement floor won't support the weight. Typical home construction usually ends up around 4" of concrete - this baby needs substantially more footing than that. If in your garage, it's possible the mill will crack the floor and permanently damage the foundation, due to massive weight.

    Also, how will you move it into place, shift it around, around, and dispose of it in future years? 8000# means forklifts and cranes and riggers - every time you need to nudge it around.

    Finally, didn't see any mention of tooling. You will need a seriously big vise, maybe a dividing head and Rotary table if you start using it to capacity. Tooling for large machines costs substantially more than most Hobbyist care to get involved with.

    Guess what I am saying, is this is a massive piece of equipment for a hobby machinist. You might be better served with something like a Van Norman 12 or 16, or any of the burke/Millright, or Hardinge style universal mills. Same price, excellent quality, a LOT easier to deal with and learn on. And less expensive overall.

    Good luck on your search! These old machines are wonderful!

    Glenn
     
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  24. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    OK after another look at the mill is this a K & T horizontal mill with the vertical head?

    If it is you can't ask for a better machine (if it runs). Take a look on Adam Booth's Abomb79 and Keith Rucker's Vintage Machinery sites on YouTube, I think they both have different model's of K & T mills. $1,500 for a tight machine that works in all speeds and feeds would be a good buy here in the South.
    I'd love to see more and better photos of the mill, not just what is on Craigslist.

    Mike
     
  25. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Mike, see the photos in post #7. It is a vertical milling machine, a BIG one, fixed head, slides up and down only, industrial duty. Nothing horizontal about it. Here, I copied one of the pics for you...
    [​IMG]
     
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  26. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    Bob,

    Yes, I saw the photo of the vertical machine and think you are correct. I am not familiar with the in's and outs of the K machines and don't know if the vertical head comes off; or if it is as you say, strictly a vertical machine. I do know that some of the K & T's (with the big Milwaukee name plate) are horizontal machines with the ability t attach a vertical head. The vertical head unbolts and then using the "Parking Attachment" is moved to the side of the machine. The photo that Jason posted is of the horizontal machine with vertical attachment removed. I'm going to look around Vintage Machinery site to see if they have any info on the model K machines.
    http://www.vintagemachinery.org/pubs/2098/15212.pdf

    Here are two photos of a horizontal machine that are marked "K"
    K & T horizontal Model K.jpg

    K&T_model K nameplate.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  27. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Completely different beast. H, K, and S are series of machines of various types.
    It is vertical only, note that there is no spindle hole on the face of the column.
     
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  28. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    Machine in the video didn't even know it was making a 3/8" cut in mild steel.
     
  29. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Machines like these are what makes "real" machinists call Bridgeports "light mills." They would probably call my Millrite MVN a "toy."
     
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  30. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Machine in the video is a number 3. They also made a number 4, bigger yet.
     

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