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A Simple Hand Milling Machine


Fig. 1. General View of the Hand Milling Machine Which Every Experimental Machinist Will Want to Build. Not Only Is It An Extremely Serviceable Device, But It Gives the Fundamental Ideas of the Larger Milling Machines. This Device, Altho Quite Simple, Is Capable of a Surprisingly Large Variety of Work.

Fig. 2. A Side View of the Hand Milling Machine With a File Being Used in the Guides. The Machine Is Held in a Bench Vise.

Figures 5 to 13 Illustrate the Great Variety of Work Which Can Be Turned Out on the Hand-Milling Machine Here Illustrated and Described. This Is, However, Only a Partial Number of the Different Shaped Parts Which Can Be Made With the Aid of This Hand- Miller, and With a Little Ingenuity on the Part of the Building Machinist, Many Other Useful and Intricate Parts Can Be Conceived and Executed.

HONEST, I'm sorry about that "Arabian alarm-clock," Bugs. I know you were just beginning to feel, whenever you saw my name attached to an article, that you were assured of a sober, dependable exposition of demonstrated fact; and that fake bing-clock must have jolted your confidence worse than it did the "Sheik's" slumbers.

Well, to commence the long, up-hill fight to regain my reputation as a purveyor of "Frozen Truth" exclusively, I'll present you with a little hand milling machine, designed so you can make it yourselves, for the production of milled objects, such as those in Figs. 5 to 13.

The germ of this idea was a machine which our crowd made years ago, following one said to be used by the old Swiss hand watchmakers. That tool, however, employed a revolving cutter, and, you had to make a separate cutter for each piece of work.

The present, greatly simplified machine makes use of files of various shapes, hack-saws, drills, etc., requiring only a special guide for each class of tool.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2, the frame, A, A, A, would, in a manufactured article, be a casting: but I have designed it from 3 pieces of heavy flat wrought-iron, bent into shape and held together by the screws B, B.

These screws would probably not be sufficient except for the fact that in operation the machine is held firmly in the vise, C, which gives all the stability required.

The soul of the machine is the index plate, D. This is a disc of thin metal, perforated with rings of small holes ; the number of holes being different in each ring, but dividing the circle into equal spaces, 60, 11. or whatever the case may be.

The index-plate is fastened immovably to the shaft E, by the nut F; (see Fig. 2) and as the plate and shaft turn, they carry with them the work G, held on by the nut H. Long pieces of work can be steadied by the back-center S.

While the work is being operated on, say while the ratchet tooth J is being filed out, the index-plate is held in a fixt position by the spring lever K ; a peg, L, on the end of which, enters one of the holes in the plate. The lever, with its peg, is placed in line with any of the circles of holes by loosening the wing-nut M, on the bolt of which the lever K is pivoted.

The ratchet-tooth J being finished, it is desired to rotate the work into position for the next tooth. Say you are cutting a 30 tooth wheel, and your outer index circle contains 60 holes. By pulling on the small handle N, the spring lever K bends, and the peg L is withdrawn from the hole.

Be careful now, and don't lose your place. Rotate the index-plate in the direction of the arrow, count off two holes, and let the peg slip back into the second hole. Now your work is held for the next cut just 1/30 of a revolution ahead and so on around your ratchet-wheel, which, if you count correctly, is sure to "come out right."

The holes in the index plate should be spaced off and drilled as accurately as possible, but errors tend to eliminate themselves, from the fact that the diameter of the index-plate is so much greater than that of the work. If you drill the plate anything like near enough to satisfy you, you will be surprised at the apparently perfect regularity of the work.

It is best to make the index plate from 1/16 inch-stock, but thin sheet iron will do. If we must (which is my delight) draw on our household resources, I should think the bottom of a tomato-can, carefully un-soldered by rotating over a gas-flame, would make an excellent plate. And don't forget the invaluable pic tin.

The guides, Q, Q, which hold the file P, should of course, be made out of steel, and hardened. The pivots R, R, are eccentric with the shaft E, so that the file may approach the work at different angles.

Fig. 3 shows a hack-saw guide. The disc turns eccentrically at T, forming a variable bottom-stop for the saw.

Fig. 4 shows two forms of punch-guide, where pegs are desired to be set at regular intervals, as in making rotary spark-gaps.

After marking the work, the punch U can be withdrawn from the sleeve W, and the hole drilled with a hand-drill. This peg-setting is illustrated in Figs. 9 and 13.

Of the various forms shown in Figs. 5 to 13, Fig. 5 is done by a drill and hacksaw; Fig. 6 by two hack-saw blades in the same handle; Fig. 7 by a knife-file. Fig. 8 by a flat file. Fig. 10 by a half-round. Fig. 11 by very small flat file, and Fig. 12 by a round file. Among the many-shaped files, and one or more hack-saw blades, you ought to come pretty near producing any figure that even the wild requirements of a "Bug" may find essential to his happiness!

Oh, as the numbers of the holes in the index-plate ; a ring of 60 holes gives you the following equal divisions : 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30. Another ring of 56 holes would give you 7, 8, 14, and 28. This covers most of the desirable low numbers, and shows how easily you can figure for yourselves any other factors you need.

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