View Full Version : Mills and Drills What Mill Tooling is Needed?

Mark Eisen
01-07-2013, 5:30 AM
I am going to buy a mill the size of a Sieg X3 and wonder what tooling you recommend for this mill.
I would like to take advantage of USPS current charges before they bring in their new charges in late January.

Must Have:

Would be nice:

Pipe Dreams:

Thanks Mark.

Scott T Smith
01-07-2013, 10:40 AM
I can't speak to the small mills, but for a larger version I would state the following:

1. A high quality mill vise
2. A collett assortment (not required if you only use a drill chuck).
3. A clamp / hold down kit
4. An assortment of end mills in different diameters and profiles.

These basics will take you a long way. Needless to say, you'll want a set of dial or digital calipers, metal scribes and layout fluid as well.

Dave Verstraete
01-07-2013, 10:55 PM
I would add an edge finder to your list

George Carlson
01-09-2013, 7:27 PM
The vise not only holds the work, but its surfaces are your primary reference surfaces. So get a good vise with ground bed and faces. I use Kurt vises, but there are imports that would work.
I hope you bought a machine with R8 collets, the Morse taper collets are really just designed for drilling. Get collets of 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 and 1/2. I think your machine may be too small to make much use of larger sizes.
DO NOT ever use an End-Mill in a drill chuck. End mills have very hard shanks and will ruin a drill chuck in a heartbeat. Drills have soft shanks and do not damage the chuck jaws. Using an end-mill in an R8 collet is OK, if your spindle taper is properly machined. Otherwise you will need to use special end mill holders. Production shops always use end mill holders, job shops use collets because of the quick change.
I haven't checked lately, but Enco used to have sets of 2 and 4 flute endmills that were reasonably priced.
Get a set (110 pcs) of "screw machine" drill bits. Thet are sometimes called "stub length". They are shorter and much stiffer than jobber length bits.
Get a nice quality 0-1/4" chuck with a Jacobs taper back (not threaded). Mount it on a straight 1/2 arbor and cut the arbor to about 3/4" long. Then you can quickly mount the chuck in a 1/2" collet without having to move the Z axis very much. A drill chuck mounted on an R8 is very long and can be a pain.
Wait on the hold-downs until you can measure the t-slots in your table. Make sure the T-nust that come with your kit will fit the T-slots. Many import T slots are shallow, so you would have to modify the nuts to fit (not fun).

Steve H Graham
01-21-2013, 4:07 PM
I didn't know there was a metal area!

A DRO is a great thing to have. If you blow it off now, it will seem even better if you get one after you suffer without it.

If you use end mills or fly cutters in collets, there's a chance they'll fall out and go into your table, so I would splurge for holders.

You'll need a decent set of dial calipers. The Chinese ones are acceptable, but sometimes you can get nice Mitutoyos cheap on Ebay.

If you cut aluminum, get two-fluted cutters. I know this because almost all of my cutters have four flutes, and I've seen the problems they cause.

You'll need center drills. I got cobalt after learning how useless the Chinese HSS bits were.

A clamping set is a necessity, and they're cheap.

Dial indicators. A test indicator for tramming, with an appropriate holder. Magnetic bases. A coax indicator is a wonderful help.

Ebay is a great source for cheap cutters. You'll want an Enco account. Littlemachineshop.com is a good resource, too. In addition to tooling and accessories, they have a lot of neat DVDs, all gathered in one place.

Eventually you'll want a rotary table and a set of indexing plates.

Ron Blaise
03-15-2013, 2:19 PM
Must have: Set of Collets up to 3/4" Tee-nut & clamp set, good set of hi-speed steel end mills from 1/8" thru 3/4", two flute for wood, aluminum and 4 flute for steel. Good set of Hi-speed drills in inch, number drills, and Metric up to 13mm. Good set of inch and metric taps, last but not least a boring head and an edge finder and a good precision, table vise. With the size of this mill you will need to careful to avoid buying tooling that would tax the design envelope like big shell cutters and large drills. Just because it will fit doesn't mean it will work well. After you have had the mill for a while you will learn the do's and don'ts of you mill. Always, always wear your safety glasses cause a milling machine will get you quicker than other machine tools. Have fun Mark!