Friday, September 5, 2008

Rong Fu Report (RF-45) 4 : Chips at last!

I've been making chips - mild steel and aluminum - and am pretty happy. I can take big cuts in aluminum (1/2 " and 3/4" two flute HSS end mills) and decent cuts in steel (1/2" four flute). The gears make it easy to get the right speed and when I eventually figure out how to set an exact speed using the VFD with the gears it will be even better.

Since my old mill did not have a quill I was stuck with the typically inadequate translated instructions to figure out how to use it. First, the quill lock lever can block turning the quill fine feed wheel. The photo shows the lock lever in a vertical position and you can see if it gets moved any more to the right to the locked position it will run into the fine feed wheel. After a hint from a friend, I discovered the lock lever is on a spring so you can lock it, and then move the lever to another position.

Next I could not engage the fine feed. The coarse quill adjustment is similar to a drill press - three spokes sticking out of a wheel so you can turn it easily. At the center of the wheel is a knob and I turned it all the way out thinking it would disengage the coarse adjustment. After playing around I discovered it had to be turned all the way in, engaging the coarse adjustment with the worm drive of the fine adjustment.

I spent an evening milling a chunk of 3/4" thick steel getting into the rhythm of using the power feed and the quill. What a pleasure!

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