• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#1
IMG_4852.JPG IMG_4857.JPG IMG_4858.JPG IMG_4859.JPG IMG_4863.JPG IMG_4864.JPG IMG_4865.JPG IMG_4866.JPG IMG_4868.JPG IMG_4870.JPG IMG_4871.JPG IMG_4872.JPG IMG_4875.JPG IMG_4879.JPG IMG_4882.JPG IMG_4885.JPG IMG_4886.JPG IMG_4911.JPG IMG_4912.JPG IMG_4913.JPG

I am a pharmacist by trade and have never used a milling machine before. I decided to buy this mill mostly to help slot guards for my knife making hobby and for some other projects I have planned like crossbow parts and sterling engines. I know it's been done before, but I'd like show a bit of my decision making plus the delivery and setup process.

I decided I was going to buy a mill last fall and have been picking up some R8 tooling when I can. I bought an integrated HHIP R8 drill chuck, a set of end mill holders, end mills, spot drills, and a 2" indexable carbide face mill. Most of which was from Amazon.

For work holding, I bought some pivot clamps, extra T-slot nuts, and a 4" Shars 440v milling vise.

I may pick up a fly cutter for flexibility and potentially better finish than the Accusize face mill. Eventually I would like a rotary table and some machine screw length drill bits as well.

I decided on a Precision Matthews mill mostly because I have read good things about their mills and have heard great things about their customer service. PM service has been spot on so far. My x-axis power feed had to be back ordered but they let me know right away and are supposed to ship it as soon as it comes in. I ordered the mill and payed via PayPal. I ordered it without a stand because 3dshooter80 said his came with the top out of level. Also most reviews have said the stand is a bit short for a good table height. I instead ordered a 30" welded machine table from Global Industries for about the same price. Its rated to 3000lbs and is a few inches taller than the standard PM base that comes with the mill. It can also be bolted to the floor if needed.

I chose the PM-727m because it appears to be more robust than the PM-25mv and has a longer quill down feed for drilling. I did consider the PM-932m but it is simply too big and heavy for the space I have available.

I ordered the PM-727m mill and payed via PayPal. It came in on Thursday 3/23/17 exactly 2 weeks from when I ordered it.

The mill came in good shape. There is a small amount of surface rust on the very top of the z-axis. I think it should cleanup with no problem and is not really in a critical place. I uncrated the mill and cleaned off the packing grease with WD-40.

I was just barely able to slide the mill and pallet across my garage. Probably not a good idea to do this yourself like I did. I also unbolted the column with a 10mm allen wrench and leaned the column and head back on a 4 wheel cart. The base was heavy but I managed to lift it onto the chip tray and machine stand. I spent some time trying to level base but got frustrated with having to pickup the base to place shims. I broke down and ordered a adjustable machine base which should be here in a couple days. I will keep you guys posted.
 
Last edited:

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#3
Next time, get three lengths of 3/4" steel water pipe and roll your pallet on the pipes. Keep them spaced evenly and when one rolls out the back, put it in the front again. It is cheap, easy, fairly quick, and safe (on level surfaces!). You will also need a pry bar and a block of wood to get it up onto the first roller. On bigger machines it is indispensable if you don't have fancier lifting and moving equipment. I have moved quite a few machines using that method. Some practice helps pick up the speed quite a bit. I have some pipes about three feet long and some about four feet long, and they have worked well for me on what we have moved with them, lathes, mills, and surface grinders up to more than a ton.
 
Last edited:

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#4
Next time, get three lengths of 3/4" steel water pipe and roll your pallet on the pipes. Keep them spaced evenly and when one rolls out the back, put it in the front again. It is cheap, easy, fairly quick, and safe (on level surfaces!). You will also need a pry bar and a block of wood to get it up onto the first roller. On bigger machines it is indispensable if you don't have fancier lifting and moving equipment. I have moved quite a few machines using that method. Some practice helps pick up the speed quite a bit. I have some pipes about three feet long and some about four feet long, and they have worked well for me on what we have moved with them, lathes, mills, and surface grinders up to more than a ton.
Thanks Bob, that is a great idea.
 

tweinke

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#5
Hope you enjoy your 727 as much as I do mine! Funny mine had a bit of rust in the same place, that cleaned right off. keep us posted on your progress.
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#7
Hope you enjoy your 727 as much as I do mine! Funny mine had a bit of rust in the same place, that cleaned right off. keep us posted on your progress.
What did you use to get it off? I have some Naval Jelly, but I'm afraid to cause more harm than good.
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#8
Enjoy your new toy. I really do mine.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Did you have to shim your column at all to get the mill in tram?
I plan on tramming the spindle to column by adjusting the head, then tram spindle to table adjusting column with shims if needed. I got that from the go704 Hoss videos on you tube. Has anyone found a better way?
 

3dshooter80

Master of Metal Malpractice
Active Member
#9
Did you have to shim your column at all to get the mill in tram?
I plan on tramming the spindle to column by adjusting the head, then tram spindle to table adjusting column with shims if needed. I got that from the go704 Hoss videos on you tube. Has anyone found a better way?
Yes, I shimmed mine & need to recheck it. Chad (3DShooter80) is the "expert" on tramming the Y axis. Maybe he'll chime in soon.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

BFHammer

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#11
Congrats on the new arrival. Thanks for sharing some excellent pictures.

Look forward to seeing some chips once you get settled. I have a PM932 on order and like you have been picking up tooling along the way. Glad to see the number of PM owners here growing!
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#13
IMG_4936.JPG IMG_4937.JPG IMG_4938.JPG IMG_4943.JPG

I am off of work all week and plan to make good used of the time. The portable stand base in today from Amazon and I made some progress. It is a Portamate pm-3500. A PM stand for a PM mill. Lol. It's rated to 1500lbs. It did end up being a bit big for my mill stand so I cut about 2" off all 4 internal adjusting bars and it turned out pretty well.

I got the mill onto the stand and the locking rubber leveler feet had to much "squish" for my liking so I ground them down to bare metal on the KMG grinder. The back of the base does not have levelers so I went to the hardware store and bought some 1/2" bolts and nuts. I cut the bolt heads down to about 1/2 thickness and after drilling holes through the new base frame I installed the nuts and bolts with the bolt heads downwards to make homemade levelers. In the 2nd to last picture you can see them sticking up in the back. I spring loaded them to them from dragging. I had a buddy drop by and he helped remount the mill column back onto its base. I also cut a pice of plywood to make a shelf inside my stand. All in all, a good day.
 
Last edited:

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#14
IMG_4945.JPG IMG_4944.JPG IMG_4942.JPG

I couldn't help myself, I had to cut something. I put in a 3/"4 Accusize roughing end mill and promptly cut myself. I am just glad the machine wasn't on lol.

I am surprised at how quiet the machine is. I put a pice of brass in the vice and made a few passes on it with the rougher. Not too bad for my first milling "job" ever...

Tomorrow I need to level and tram the machine. Maybe I will even take the table apart for a good cleaning. I plan on running trough all the gears for a while and changing out the oil soon as well.
Congrats on the new arrival. Thanks for sharing some excellent pictures.

Look forward to seeing some chips once you get settled. I have a PM932 on order and like you have been picking up tooling along the way. Glad to see the number of PM owners here growing!
Awesome! How are you going to move that beast?
 
Last edited:

BFHammer

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#15
New machine and a week off - that's like hitting the mini lottery! Glad that was just a scratch, I have to say I'm impressed - 24 hours from arrival to chips and pictures - you're setting the bar high!

Awesome! How are you going to move that beast?
I actually am having my PM932 and a PM1236 shipped together to save a little freight. Unfortunately my shop is not accessible for a large truck. I'm going to rent a drop trailer and pallet jack to transport from the freight terminal to the shop. Once in the shop I have an engine hoist and should be able handle without too much trouble. Although these are a little heavier than most of my equipment I have moved quite a bit with various combinations of hoist, jacks, dolleys and my four teenage sons!:encourage:
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#17
I ran into a bit of a roadblock with tramming. I don't have anything reasonably precise and long enough to indicate from in an end mill holder, and I don't have an accurate square. I did do the best I could with the largest end mill holder, but it probably only has about 2 1/2 inches of good surface. I ordered a precision 8" square to assist with later tramming.


I built an enclosure into my stand. I just used some painted plywood for the base, and some spare hardboard for the sides and back. I drilled and tapped 1/4-20 holes to make the panels replaceable if needed. I also drilled mount holes in the base frame and bolted the base and stand together. I bought an oil can and filled it with Vactra oil No. 2 and oiled up all the ways.


I changed out the gear oil today with Lucas 80w-90. Like the TheGov said, it came out pretty nasty. Lots of swarf in the bottom of the can. I ran some extra oil through the gear box hopefully to flush out anything left.


I completed my first project! I used the face mill to true up the top of my drill press vice. I mounted the vise to the mill table and cut through the cast iron body and the chuck jaws no problem.
 
Last edited:

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#19
I ran into a bit of a roadblock with tramming. I don't have anything reasonably precise and long enough to indicate from in an end mill holder, and I don't have an accurate square. I did do the best I could with the largest end mill holder, but it probably only has about 2 1/2 inches of good surface. I ordered a precision 8" square to assist with later tramming.
The only accurate thing needed for tramming is the dial indicator, and it does not even need to be accurate, only repeatable. Besides that, all you need is a rigid way to mount it in the spindle and hold the indicator where it will circumscribe a circle that measures somewhere near the width of the table. It is only a comparative measure, move the head until the indicator reads close to the same around the left, right, front, and rear points of the circle. On your mill, changing the front and rear requires realigning the column to the bed. Save that chore for later if it is an issue. Just know what it is for now. If it is within a couple thousandths, it is OK.
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#20
IMG_5017.JPG IMG_5019.JPG IMG_5020.JPG
The only accurate thing needed for tramming is the dial indicator, and it does not even need to be accurate, only repeatable. Besides that, all you need is a rigid way to mount it in the spindle and hold the indicator where it will circumscribe a circle that measures somewhere near the width of the table. It is only a comparative measure, move the head until the indicator reads close to the same around the left, right, front, and rear points of the circle. On your mill, changing the front and rear requires realigning the column to the bed. Save that chore for later if it is an issue. Just know what it is for now. If it is within a couple thousandths, it is OK.
Thanks. I got my test indicator mount in today and was able to get the spindle x-axis to within 0.0005 over 6.5" to the table. My y-axis is terrible though with about 0.006 forward nod over the same distance, so am definitely going to have to shim the column in the front.
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#21
IMG_5028.JPG IMG_5021.JPG IMG_5024.JPG IMG_5025.JPG IMG_5027.JPG My biggest concern is the "flex" in the column. If I grab the top of the column and push back or forwards I get a lot of movement (0.005 or more) in the y-axis testing from spindle to table. The x-axis doesn't have the same problem, and it still shows up the same if I push on the head instead. I tried flexing the stand/base, but that had almost no effect. I tightened the 4 mounting bolts as tight as I could without a big cheater but it still has the problem. How much of this flex is normal? Is there a torque spec for the column bolts? Has anybody run into this before?
 
Last edited:

David VanNorman

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#22
I bought a PM 932. I like it a lot I mounted it on a stand I had with casters so I can move it around. I found out that the dial for the Quill is hard to see as I am not tall.When I get my mods dun I will take off the casters. It will be about 5" lower and that will make the dial easier to see. I also took off the head raising crank and added a DC motor and drive. I can now elevate the head and change tooling much easier. I put limit switches so I can then bring the head back to where it was. I like the 932.

Dave
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#23
View attachment 230315 View attachment 230316 View attachment 230317 View attachment 230318 View attachment 230319 My biggest concern is the "flex" in the column. If I grab the top of the column and push back or forwards I get a lot of movement (0.005 or more) in the y-axis testing from spindle to table. The x-axis doesn't have the same problem, and it still shows up the same if I push on the head instead. I tried flexing the stand/base, but that had almost no effect. I tightened the 4 mounting bolts as tight as I could without a big cheater but it still has the problem. How much of this flex is normal? Is there a torque spec for the column bolts? Has anybody run into this before?
Anyone have any ideas on how to address the flex?
 

xman_charl

Active User
Active Member
#24
are the gibs tight?

did you lower the head or raise it?

lowering the head on my mill, sort of jumpy if a cut is taken

so lower the head, then raise up about a half turn, no more jumps, think its a backlash thingy

Charl
 

tweinke

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#25
I do notice some " flex" in my PM727 column also. with the gibs locked. I measure about .0015 to .0025.pushing fairly hard on the motor with the head at about 1/2 travel up the column. More deflection with gibs unlocked. I realize I did not buy a K&T or the like and am very satisfied with my mill. I just finished squaring the column and tramming, got the column within .002 in 6 inches both directions and of my figuring is correct that's .0003333 per inch which for my purposes should be fine because I don't make any aerospace parts. The mill out of the crate impressed me with the cuts it was capable of and the finish with decent end mills is good. I have found myself chasing zeros when I should not be and have learned that lesson well. Anyone want to comment on .002 in 6 inches?
 

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#26
are the gibs tight?

did you lower the head or raise it?

lowering the head on my mill, sort of jumpy if a cut is taken

so lower the head, then raise up about a half turn, no more jumps, think its a backlash thingy

Charl
I did lock the y-axis gibs. However I can replicate the "flex" just by pushing hard on the column so I think it rules out the gibs or head travel direction? I checked all the mounting bolts and they are all tight.
 
Last edited:

Sloth2009

Active Member
Active Member
#27
I am thinking about removing the column again and making sure there is no crud between the mating surfaces and possibly touching them up with a stone. Has anyone tried to make the column to base connection more rigid?
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#28
(snip)Anyone want to comment on .002 in 6 inches?
Most people here (and elsewhere) have never checked their machines for accuracy, and I guess they suppose it must be perfect if they are not having explicit problems. "A test is worth a lot of guesses." For the vast majority of the work we do, it just does not matter. For some cuts, it really does...
 

TheGov

Iron
Registered Member
#29
I noticed the sequence in which the column bolts were tightened played a big part. Just tighten in the same order and torque each time.

I too wondered about the torque spec. Ended up going 55 ft-lbs, then 65 ft-lbs, called it good and made chips.