Monday, March 5, 2018

This old Sharp milling machine has been sitting around in my shop for many years without being used.  It ran at one point, but it was un-wired at some point and has been collecting junk for a while.  I decided to take action and get it running, it would be handy to have a mill!

Here is the before: covered in junk and grime with a shitty old drill press vise.

I bought a section of wire and a big twist-lock 3 phase plug to mate the nearest outlet.

I decided to go all out and bought a fresh Kurt DX6 vise.  I laser engraved my name on it since this is a shared machine and I don't want the vise walking away!

After cleaning away all the junk I stoned the table, trammed the head, mounted the vise and indicated it square, then whipped up some 22ga stainless steel table covers to prevent the t-slots from filling with chips.  Quite the improvement!

The left side handle had been removed at some point.  Even though the x-axis power feed works, it's nice to have a handle on both sides.  The dial had been lost, so I turned an aluminum spacer, made a new key, found the original handle, and mounted it up.

Next operation: fixing the digital readouts.  I wish I could get some pictures, but my hands were covered in years of grime and I couldn't get to my phone.  I ended up cleaning both scales and actually removing the x-axis readhead to clean the sensor.  Now they both work! I cleaned the buttons and readouts too so I can see what I'm looking at.  I didn't verify the accuracy, but I'm sure it's fine for what I'm doing.

Now I have access to a nice little mill!
First step: use it!  One motivation for this project was to complete a simple task for Fort Pitt Classic Cars. They wanted me to mill an 8º angle into this block of PVC, which was no big deal once I got the mill running.

Done!  Maybe not profitable... but done well!

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