Sunday, November 7, 2010

I have no idea what I'm doing.

It turns out I have no idea how to operate a milling machine.

My goal here is making ammunition for the rifle out of bolts. Specifically, I want to put a point on the chunk of bolt that I'm going to be shooting. To accomplish this, I intend to mount the bolt vertically and then used a metal filing bit that already has an angle to it. All I'll need to do is rotate the milling head around the bolt to make it pointed.

In the end, it sure beats doing it by hand with a file but it's clearly going to take a while. Additionally, it's pretty clear I have no idea how to use the mounting set. In this situation I've set it up to work well forward and backwards but it can slide to the left and right.

I need to mount the milling machine to the table next time I do this because I intend to tilt the head to the side and just use a normal milling bit to cut away at it from and angle.

This job totally demands a lathe. Like the one job I can imagine I'll ever have to do that demands a lathe instead of a milling machine...


  1. Maybe a machine shop that is going out of business? Might be able to get a used lathe for a couple k.

  2. Yea, I've thought about getting a lathe but my problem is more space and degree-to-which-I'd-be-perceived-as-crazy. Lots of these machines come in 'mini' models. The above is actually a 'mini milling machine'. As far I can tell, this really does just mean 'smaller' because it seems to have all the features of the other kinds.

    Either way though my bedroom is essentially packed with tools at this point. I'm kind of hoping that I can find a way to equip the milling machine with simple lathe-like tools. Once I have to start mass-producing ammo I'll make the call between modified milling machine and just going the distance and making room for a lathe.

  3. Some poor girl is totally going to get metal filings dug into her skin unless you cover your bed up during these operations : )

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