Monday, December 31, 2012


For quite a while I have had a desire for a mini milling machine. Not so much that I really needed it, but more that I just wanted it to mate with my mini lathe, and because several of my machinist friends had one. These are marketed by a number of vendors and are all basically the same with only minor differences. I selected a Micro Mark because it is white and clean looking. It arrived in late September and the first order of business was unpack it from it's two cardboard shipping cartons and clean the gooey anti rust preservative off. Then mount it next to the mini lathe on a portable workstation,
As with a machine of almost any kind it needed tooling and accessories to make it useful.
I started by making a combo wrench-hammer for the draw bolt, and putting a crank handle on the micro down feed knob.
Then I acquired a holder and set of ER collets. Also made some "T" nuts, and hold down clamps, and a couple special wrenches.
The setup coincided with the starting of an Atkinson Cycle model Gas engine and a number of the machining operations were preformed on the mini mill. Shown here it is shaping the saddles for the cylinder using a fly cutter. The metal is aluminum, but it walked right through it with beautiful smooth cuts.
                And here it is slotting a screw head with a tiny fly cutter.

It is fun to use this little mill, and also the lathe, Like using toys that really work. I'm impressed. Within their capacity they both do a fine job. It is also nice to have a second machine available if one of my larger machines is set up for some special operation. I find that I use them much more than I anticipated I would.