How to Make a Lathe Mill Attachment
The lathe mill plays a huge role to let the lathe function. The lathe mill helps you perform many functions on the machine such as: keyway cutting, slotting, slitting, gear shaping, and grooving. This part also enables you to make precise angles, holes and squares when needed.
Making your own lathe mill attachment will save you money compared to buying a new one. Since it is you who will design the mill attachment, you will get hands-on with the machine. This method will make you even more familiar in handling your lathe. You can develop and even put several add-ons to the machine later on.
Step 1 – Prepare
Make a blueprint before making any operation. Once you have made your own blueprint, remove the top slide. The Top slide is also known as the compound rest. This is where the tool post is located. You will use this as a pattern to drill holes for the angle plate. Get your drill and make a similar hole on one side of the angle plate. Always check if it will clamp and rotate. You can do that by testing it in different positions.
Step 2 – Drill
You need to make 2 more holes on the other side of the angle plate. This enables the vertical plate to mount together with the top slide. The next thing you need to do is to detach the bolt from the tool post bolt from the top slide. Get your drill so you can make 10-32 holes on the top slide. Use this procedure on the drill vise to make it bolt onto the top slide.
Step 3 – Assemble
Use your screwdriver to bolt the two together. Test and check if the lathe mill makes a three-way, motion. The lathe chuck must hold the mill end. The drill vise, on the other hand, will hold the item. Check if all parts are working.
Step 4 –Test and Maintain
You will need to check if the machine is working well. To test, get a piece of metal, wood or plastic. Lock the item on the lathe; secure all the clamps. When you operate the lathe, start on a low speed until you gradually get the speed you need. Always start on a slow pace. This makes the machine adjust to the material. Wear protective clothing while working. It would be a plus if you also use goggles during operation.
For you to know if the material is turning properly, check if the item is vibrating. If it vibrates, then you are applying to much speed. But this can also indicate that you have not properly assembled the mill. So you need to be conscious of this one, too.
Make sure that all clamps are properly secured when on operation to prevent the parts from flying. Take note to remove any hazardous material when fixing or when you are operating the machine.