Using the Sherline Angle Plate
One of the things that I would love to have it’s a horizontal milling machine. Sometimes, when working on a part, I find myself thinking “this would be easier if I had a horizontal mill”. I mean something like this:
A guy sells this beauty on ebay, but he doesn’t ship to my country. Here’s another. Sure, you can buy the conversion kit from Sherline, but changing from one setup to another it’s way too much trouble. Meanwhile an alternative solution it’s the Sherline angle plate (here’s the short version):
This can be bolted directly into the milling table, but a better solution it’s to make four tapped holes in the tooling plate. To clamp the parts to the angle plate I build a clamping kit composed of a stop strip and a “cross” clamp.
As you can see, angle plate squareness it’s not perfect:
The gap it’s not as bad as it seems in the picture: at the top there’s about 0.050 mm. Some strips of aluminum foil will help to compensate this (finding how much it’s a trial-error process).
My first attempt to align the stop bar was to use an indicator over the headstock, but a square was more reliable in the end (you can guess why).
Here is the part ready for the face mill:
Any reason not placing the stock on its size to mill it along the horizontal axes? Tool deflection?
I’ve problem squaring up stock in the mill as the x and y axis don’t seem to be square to each other. May be its deflection that causes me to see this. I indicated in one side to mill its perpendicular.
Sure, you can side mill, but I prefer fly cutting. And I don’t have a 1″ long end mill anyway. Regarding to squaring stock… yes, it’s problematic. 1) Y axis ways to column squareness, 2) spindle to column align, 3) column deflection, 4) milling table to Y ways parallelism and 5) vise deflection/imperfections the all sum and sometimes cancel (this was not easy to see at first).
As you may have noticed in one of my posts, I face mill the milling plate to attack the 4) issue; this helps but still don’t get perfect squaring of stock (enough to me, tough). Another enhacement would be use a toolmaker’s vise, the look far more precise than the Sherline one.