02 November 2012

diy reverse drawbar

End mill holder with my "reverse drawbar" arrangement

A common question on machining forums across the internet is about making a drill press into a milling machine. The consensus answer is "don't try it, don't even ask".

From what I can see, the most common reason not to do it is that there's no drawbar and the side loads put on the endmill do not allow whatever taper is used on the drill press to hold well enough. Eventually the chuck or whatever holder you have will fly out of the spindle.

The second most common reason I see is that the drill press is not beefy enough to provide a stable platform.

Read on for my version of the infamous "drill press mill".

back in action

Ok, haven't posted in forever. Been busy working or wasting time of course.

I've been stopped on the ks14 project since I decided to scrap the current RF shielding monstrosity and actually mill out a sleek and elegant aluminum block for mounting the PCBs from the USB wifi sticks.

The hope is that the new RF shielding block gives me enough room inside the clipboard box to mount a Sheeva plug computer (Seagate Dockstar), and make this whole thing into a self contained contraption with single gigabit connection to the outside world.
Aluminum stock for RF Shielding blocks

I've got a DIY milling setup I'm almost done with which I plan to use to mill the aluminum material above.

I've pushed a drill press into milling service. But, it's a massive drill press, and I did come up with the equivalent of a drawbar for it. It's only a stainless 8-32 bolt doing the "drawing" into a #3 Morse taper, but it seems good enough for the  light milling I've done so far. I have another post ready which will detail that reverse drawbar thing.

Right now I'm working on mounting some chinese DRO scales(ebay $35) to the X-Y table so I can more easily work with it and compensate for backlash etc.
Cheap $35 single axis DRO scale

I've got a slew of endmills, taps and machining accessories, plus I watched a couple dozen youtube videos, so what can go wrong?!?

I hope to be post another update this weekend with some progress, at least with the DRO scales mounted and the beginnings of some cuts on the RF shielding blocks.