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Anyone care to divulge what sort of motor they would/have used in a milling cutter based milling machine. I am entertaining the thought of building one similar to the one outlined in Ray Gould's book. I think it was Ed Hartzell's machine.

Has anyone out there built one of these? What else do you suppose I should know. I understand you folks have spent a lot of time building and designing these and it would be pretty lame if I were to ask for specific plans, so I won't. I'm a pretty smart bear and I look forward to tinkering for a year or so. All I wish for is some generic guidance.

Yes, the end result would be able to cut a finished taper in either a hex or quad. I have a roughing beveler already.  (Eamon Lee)

    If you want the easiest path to making a quality mill, convert a small surface grinder.  Look for a surface grinder with a one inch shaft as some of the specialty bamboo mill cutters (carbide tipped) have one inch holes.  A typical, if there is such a thing, surface grinder has a 1.25 inch shaft.

    With a surface grinder you are not reinventing the wheel.  You get precision up and down adjustments and good vibration management.  All you need to design is the carrier and holddowns.  You can look at automatic feed and dust collection if you have enough amps.  I have found used surface grinders for $300 to $400.  Remember, you don't need all the fancy stuff like magnetic  chucks,  etc.   I  have  built  quite  a  few mills,  in fact mill-building got in the way of rodbuilding.  But a finish mill can easily be made for less than $700.  The last rough mill I sold was $72 without motor.  Speaking of motors, I always use a 1 hp or 1.5 HP 3450 rpm.  I have used 2.75 inch and 3 inch cutters and usually run a 5 inch pulley off the motor to a 3 inch on the cutter shaft -- so what is that?  5,700+ rpm?  You do the math.  I know that Charlie Jenkins uses (or at least used 15 years ago) 2 inch three wing cutters running 9000 rpm.  The feet per second works out about the same, if I remember correctly.   (Chris Lucker)

    The motor on my mill is a Baldor industrial, one horse, 1725 rpm. It has been satisfactory in every way except that you have to use a large pulley to get the mill spindle up to about 5000 rpm.  I think the horsepower is overdone - 1/2 horse  would probably be enough.  Get a condenser type motor that can be reversed - You may want to climb cut sometime.  The belt is just as important as the motor in avoiding vibration.  I use a Gates belt - the best.  (Ed Hartzell)

    I use the 1 1/2 hp Dayton 110/220 motor that was going to waste on my table saw on mine. It only seems like about 3 times too much motor. The only thing you'll need, besides the iron for the bed, that you can't get from MSC is the rack and pinion gear, to get a 6' long rack I had to go to McMaster-Carr. Think perfect alignment and no play of any kind, anywhere, when you're building it. One more hint, use a straight cutter in the machine to cut the taper in the top of your pattern, that way the enamel side will be in the correct alignment to the 60 degree cutters when you cut the bamboo.  (John Channer)


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