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Milling Machine Vise Overhaul – Garvin #13 for United States Machine Tool Horizontal Milling Machine

Sometimes you get a machine and start using it, and it just ain’t right. I have been using the USMT #1 for a while, and have found the mill to be very versatile, I hadn’t been real pleased with either of the two vises I’ve had on it. Theres nothing better than busting your knuckles on a vise thats too big, or having a part fly out of a vise thats too small.  The first vise I had on the mill was a Palmgren which was nice, but I didn’t trust it to hold big pieces when I was taking big cuts. I got a 6 inch Bridgeport vise which held my work much more securely, but stuck out far enough towards the operator, that you had to be careful or you would lose skin off your knuckles when operating the hand lever. This really got bad when I put the handwheel adapter on the machine, so the big vise had to go. TRY to find a 5 inch vise for a milling machine!

 

saw and switches 006

 

 

Luckily, the CAMS Yard Sale was just around the corner. This is a place where you can trade your surplus machine tool stuff for new surplus stuff from somebody else. Every year I come back home with the same amount of “stuff” as I left home with, its just new stuff. I brought the Palmgren down with me, sold that and bought this beauty.

 

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Hand Wheel Modification to United States Machine Tool #1 Horizontal Milling Machine

I was feeling a little depressed today about my lack of real “work” in the shop lately. Its not that I’m not doing anything, but that I’m always sidetracked by some essential task. This week it was getting the brakes on my truck to pass inspection, tomorrow it will be something else. Between my “real job”, and keeping up with all the site orders and the associated Emails; it gets a little overwhelming sometimes. The blog has been inactive lately, and its getting me down. I decided to dig out some pics I had taken of some old jobs and get them up, just to feel like I’ve been doing something.

I had to do a run of some lathe T slot nuts a while back, and found that the lever on my USMT mill just didn’t have enough travel to get the job in one pass, so I decided to make a hand wheel attachment for the mill. It needed to be large enough to have adequate torque to make a tandem 1/2′ deep cut in one pass (I’m lazy). I had a pretty good size hand wheel off some piece of equipment I pulled out of the dumpster at work that looked like a good candidate.

 

old stuff & new lathe 967

 

 

This is a blank I cut off some  surplus stock from work. I left it long so I could trim it once I had it sized to fit the rack spindle later. I wasn’t working off a drawing, as I tend to just wing it when I build stuff.

 

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Fixing a Chinese Arbor Press (or Polishing a Turd)

I’ve had a couple of projects lingering around here longer than normal, waiting for some press work, and decided tonight to get to work. A while back I bought a cheap 3 ton arbor press from a new (to me) supplier. From the price, it was obviously Chinese, and I knew it was bound to be a project from jump street. I wasn’t really prepared for what I got. To be fair; the company I bought it from (which will remain nameless) disassembled the press and shipped it in two boxes, so that it would meet the UPS 80 LB limit, which was good of them as it saved me a big chunk of change. I was so bummed by the quality of the press that it has sat un-used for about six months; crude would be an understatement. The casting looks like it was cleaned up by an epileptic with a chainsaw. The first time I tried to use it, the drawbar slipped in the ratchet and d@mn near knocked me out. I stuffed the turd in the corner and started looking at other options, and my projects I had bought it for sat on the shelf. I had a nice hand wheel that I wanted to mount to my horizontal mill and a $100 broach to cut the 3/8″ square hole, and no press to do it with. Tonight I decided to fix the problem. Heres a look at the ratchet ring that came on the press.

 

 

You can see that the problem is that the gear was cut with more than a 90 degree step in it, and the ratchet cog would slip right off of it. I had to get a step that would capture the cog better. I figured the best way to do that was just under-cut the ratchet tooth with a dovetail cutter. The only cutter I had was a 60 degree (would have been better off with a 45), but I figured there was enough meat there so I gave it a try.

 

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