Author Topic: Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill  (Read 1622 times)

Offline bent

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 455
  • Wet side of Washington State, USA
Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill
« on: January 24, 2018, 10:22:45 PM »
Ok, I'm not shirking, really!  Santa brought me a nice new Sieg X2 mini-mill, but then I realized that I have no room on the work bench to put it (and I would prefer to be able to move it around when need be), so...

Saw Joco's post on his new lathe stand he fabricated (along with its nifty tool holder storage rack) and said "hey, I can do something like that".  I drew a quick sketch of what I thought would work, and then started to source the material.  The rectangular tube that Joco used is also used in packaging crates by various machine manufacturers that supply our shop's neighbor (storage warehouse for a bike shop)...but their scrap pile got visited by some scrap hounds recently, and what is left has been rusting away in our Seattle rain.  So I went one door further along our street to Everett Steel, and bought 40 feet of 3/4" x 1.5" x .060" wall rect. tube.  Was going to buy heavier wall, but choked on the price.  I don't think the wall will do as much for stiffness/stability as shear bracing on the stand anyway (we'll see once I start cutting chips).  Sawed the pieces on our el cheapo bandsaw at work, and brought the bundles home.

Tig welded up the internal brace frames (photo 1) based on rough measurements of the mill base and my gut feel for the proportions to let the mill be stable a working height.   I was planning to bolt an old cookie pan, that I've used under oil change pans for years, under the mill base.  Grabbed one and checked it for size and realized it would drop right into the internal frames I'd made (photo 2) - wow, without measuring either.  There is a saying about blind hogs and acorns ;D.  So, rearranged the location of the vertical risers to let the drip pan slide in/out, and then welded the internal frames into the vertical risers (photo 3, and 4 showing the location of the drip pan).  Drilled two more frame pieces for the mounting pattern of the mill base, and then bolted them onto the mill.  Hoisted the mill onto the welded stand, and tacked the legs into place, shimming the rails to keep them level and square.  Then hoisted the mill back off, finish welded, painted, tacked leveling feet on the base...and hey presto (photo 5). 

Last, got the new screwless vice in, and whittled some mounting lugs for it (photo 6) using the drawing from Little Machine Shop (dot com).  The pins (turned from A2 tool steel and flame/quench hardened) of course ended up about 0.015 too big, because I totally flubbed the micrometer measurement  :embarassed:.  So, chucked them into the 4-jaw and turned (squealed) them to size, now they are a nice snug fit.

Next, to tram the mill head and squarely mount the vice, and I'll be in business!


Offline Meldonmech

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 29
Re: Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 05:22:31 PM »

  Hi

                 A useful addition to your workshop, it should serve you well. When building yourself you get exactly what you want,well done.
                     
                                                                        Cheers David   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Offline Joco

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 267
Re: Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 09:04:20 AM »
nice stand!   :cheers:
James
Wellington - NZ

Offline bent

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 455
  • Wet side of Washington State, USA
Re: Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 10:08:07 PM »
 ;D Thanks Joco, and for the inspiration too.

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13756
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 01:10:29 AM »
Looks good Bent. Does it gave casters for moving about?

Bill

Offline bent

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 455
  • Wet side of Washington State, USA
Re: Fabricating stand for my new mini-mill
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 06:23:07 PM »
Bill,

I thought about it, but knew that I would need leveling feet (my garage shop floor is sloped towards the doors), which is tricky to do with casters.  Also, I didn't want any more wobbly-ness than I could afford, given the fairly minimal stiffness of the tube frame construction.  So, it has "skids" - 4 3/8" hex bolts on the base.  ::)  It's fairly easy to push around, but it's in a good spot right now, as long as I move my car outside to avoid getting hot swarf on it.

I managed to tram and shim the mill last weekend (using a mix of some stainless shim stock I had on hand, and some slips of two kinds of kitchen aluminum foil) and got it to within .001" in about 3 inches of sweep; I'd have to find some shims thinner than .0005" to get it any closer.  Thought about using bedding epoxy, but couldn't find any very readily and wasn't sure it would even begin to cure in my unheated "shop", so I'll leave that for some warmer day, if I decide I need to.