How to Make a Lathe Milling Attachment
You do not begin to use your lathe without have a lathe milling attachment. There are so many jobs you can do with it that you cannot without. It is also rather costly to purchase a milling attachment. But we have a process to build one that will notonly be a fun project for you but not nearly as costly as going out and buying one. If you don't need expensive equipment, here is a good way to add a milling attachment to an existing lathe. You can go to one of the discount tool stores and buy the parts you need and also the equipment. We are going to make a cost efficient mill attachment with minimum effort in just a few steps. If you need more sturdy equipment you can buy a more expensive material and still use the same instructions.
Step 1 - Getting Prepared
Remove the compound rest and using it as a pattern, drill a similar hole pattern in one face on the angle plate where it will mount there instead of the compound rest. Make sure it will rotate and clamp in any position.
Step 2 - Drilling the Angle Plate
Drill two hole patterns on the other face of the angle plate so the it will mount vertically far or near, with the opening of the vise at the center line of the lathe with the compound rest at the center of its travel.
Step 3 -Mounting the Drill Vise
Next you need to remove the tool post bolt out of the compound rest. Next drill four 10-32 holes int the compound rest on the top. Using that as a pattern do the same in the drill vise so it will bolt on to the compound rest. now bolt it all together and test it out. This should give you a three way motion with the drill vise holding the work and the lathe chuck holding the mill end. For milling operations just tighten the slide adjustment screws on both the compound rest and the cross slide for milling operations. This will make a good milling operation for any cutter sizes up to 1/4 diameter.
Step 4 - Using Your New Tool
Now that you have it all together, put it to the test. Use a bit of scrap metal and test how good the mill works. With your projects use quality metal. You want them to last , if you are using scrappy metal you are just practicing. Your project is going to fall apart. So use the quality metal and make it last.