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Old 28th May 2014, 02:55 PM   #1
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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Default Mill Recess using Drill Press

Any one tried to mill some recesses in aluminum using a drill press?

Advice on what kind of bit I would need?

My panel already has the recesses milled out, but I need to enlargen then slightly and also deepen part of them on the rear side of the panel.

(I have ~500W drill press)

Thanks
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Last edited by Bonsai; 28th May 2014 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 28th May 2014, 03:26 PM   #2
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Read this first. It's not easy without a proper mill.

Milling cutter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Drill press to use as a mill?

Then look at these:

Proxxon 24260 Precision Machine Vise Fits XY Table Drill Press MF70 Micro Mill | eBay

Proxxon 27100 Micro Compound XY Table KT70 Fit Drill Press Can Be Converted CNC | eBay

Proxxon 27100 Micro Compound Table KT 70 - Power Tool Stands - Amazon.com
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Old 28th May 2014, 03:33 PM   #3
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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I would not do lateral x z cuts. Only y axis. Is there a cutting tool for that?
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Old 28th May 2014, 03:40 PM   #4
SyBorg is offline SyBorg  United States
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I've tried it before with mixed results. Highly recommend against it. There are two main reasons...

1) The drill press is set up to handle forces in the Z (up and down) axis. All of the bearings are set for this type of force. It is very easy to ruin your drill press by exerting significant pressure in the X and Y axes. I use the drill press with a X-Y table for milling ABS with good results, but I certainly would not use it on metal.

2) The drill press chuck has tapered fingers to hold a drill bit. Again, this is designed for Z axis operation. A mill has straight fingers to hold the tool allowing X-Y stresses. If you put X-Y force onto tapered fingers, the bit can work it's way loose - a dangerous situation.
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Old 28th May 2014, 04:31 PM   #5
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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SyBorg is 100 correct. A drill press is just a drill press. Don't ruin a good one by attempting to use it as a mill.
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Old 28th May 2014, 05:16 PM   #6
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I've seen it done with a router but you have 'to be one with your router' before attempting.

EDIT: I didn't actually see it being done.
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Old 29th May 2014, 05:51 AM   #7
1audio is offline 1audio  United States
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Routers can work fine on aluminium. Lots of aircraft have been made that way. You do need the right tooling and jigs or you will have a mess on your hands.

If you are cutting a 1/8" slot 1/8" deep a drill press may work fine. a 1/2" slot will most likely chatter and look awful. Find some local guy to do the work. You have too much invested already to screw it up at the final stage.
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Old 6th June 2014, 01:11 PM   #8
speaker is offline speaker  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyBorg View Post
I've tried it before with mixed results. Highly recommend against it. There are two main reasons...

1) The drill press is set up to handle forces in the Z (up and down) axis. All of the bearings are set for this type of force. It is very easy to ruin your drill press by exerting significant pressure in the X and Y axes. I use the drill press with a X-Y table for milling ABS with good results, but I certainly would not use it on metal.

2) The drill press chuck has tapered fingers to hold a drill bit. Again, this is designed for Z axis operation. A mill has straight fingers to hold the tool allowing X-Y stresses. If you put X-Y force onto tapered fingers, the bit can work it's way loose - a dangerous situation.
In Home Machinist (or similar pub) there was an article on drill press conversion for milling. The main idea was to support the quill laterally so it could take side loads without deflecting. IIRC it was a collar with roller bearings so the quill could move up & down but could not deflect as it was up against the bearing. The collar in turn was tied into the drill press housing.



I love my old Craftsman King-Seeley drill press but still think there is a mill & drill in my future.....
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Old 6th June 2014, 01:39 PM   #9
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I know. It's Harbor Freight, but that price! With a coupon you could probably get it for $50.

Mini Mill - 2 Speed Mini Milling Machine

Mini Mill - LittleMachineShop.com

Grizzly.com -- Product Categories

HiTorque Mini Mill, Tilting Column - LittleMachineShop.com
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Old 12th June 2014, 11:21 AM   #10
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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I used a lathe.
Vertically mount the plate in the X, Y slide.
Use feed (Z) to set the depth of cut.

Milling cutter mounted in chuck

Slots and holes and large recesses with different depths in local areas are all possible.

Even managed angled eyebrow recess enlargement in pistons using a small flycutter in the chuck.
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Last edited by AndrewT; 12th June 2014 at 11:23 AM.
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