Author Topic: My little Atlas milling machine  (Read 6920 times)

Offline Uncle Buck

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My little Atlas milling machine
« on: August 01, 2010, 10:08:27 PM »
By most machining standards, my little old Atlas is considered a joke, or not much better than a toy by true machinists, and I am sure even a lot of home guys. However, that is alright by me. I like my little machine. The machine that follows in it's original configuration was actually a horizontal milling machine. Well, horizontal is fine, and I can still run this machine as a horizontal, but I decided I wanted to be able to run it as a small vertical meaning I would need to make the accessory vertical head.

I took several semesters of night machine shop class. During the second class, the vertical head was my project. As I am sure you can tell, given it's small size, the machine is only good for projects of a very limited size. As for cutters in the vertical head, I am limited to a 1/2 shank going into Morse #2 taper collets.  If anyone viewing this should happen to have an original vise for this machine, index centers, or a rotary table, please contact me. I would really like to have these original accessories for this machine.


The vise that is actually an ill fit for this machine is from my Atlas 7b shaper, and unfortunately the closest fitting vise I have to use with the milling machine at this time. The motor running the vert head was not originally part of this machine, nor was it part of the original design. Note the picture below, and the black motor on the machines right side. That is the original location, and motor for the machine. In creating the accessory vert head, I actually changed nothing original to this machine. I can remove the vert head and put this machine right back as a horizontal mill in about ten minutes, so as you see it, it could yet be configured either way easily. I would love a Bridgeport, but there is a world of difference in cost that I might never be able to justify, or afford. Until that time comes, if ever, this is my milling machine. The good part is, I only have about $400 total accessories and all in this machine. I know I can always get that much out of it if I ever have to.
You boys better hold on cause i'm gonna have to stand on it!

Offline Fins/413

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 05:14:40 AM »
Well it's a heck of a lot nicer than what I have which is the Zilch mill. It is made of unobtainium though. Yours looks to be in real nice shape UB id you restore it. I know you don't do eBay but you see a lot of stuff for Atlas machines there.
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Offline Mickey O

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 06:11:47 AM »
You're right not much of a mill, you should throw it in with a couple of bucks, a box of sprinkled donuts and trade me for my high quality Grizzly.


That thing is sweet with enough heft to mill without chatter or taking only .001 at a time. The same or similar mill was on the local craigs list out here but it looked like it would need a ton of work and I had no idea what brand or model it was until now wish I saw this before the ad, especially with your additions, nice job.

Any idea on the weight?
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Offline jamesemery728

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 08:04:20 AM »
Three cheers for you Buck. I get so sick of hearing people knocking Atlas equipment. Ok if you are building helicopter parts or working in .0001" then Atlas lathes or mills are not what you need. For fixing the lawn mower or other things around the house then Atlas machines are perfect for the home workshop type projects. We don't all have the money or the need for superduper machines and we all are not running our machines 10 hours a day seven days a week. Go Buck, you have another Atlas fan on your side.

Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 08:44:33 AM »
Three cheers for you Buck. I get so sick of hearing people knocking Atlas equipment. Ok if you are building helicopter parts or working in .0001" then Atlas lathes or mills are not what you need. For fixing the lawn mower or other things around the house then Atlas machines are perfect for the home workshop type projects. We don't all have the money or the need for superduper machines and we all are not running our machines 10 hours a day seven days a week. Go Buck, you have another Atlas fan on your side.

Wonderful! I will be sharing the shapers, the band saw, the power hack saw, and the lathe later. Look for those threads, or a combination in this section later.
You boys better hold on cause i'm gonna have to stand on it!

Offline scottg

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 09:12:38 AM »
Wow Buck! Its a beauty!! I'm dyin here.  Its a pip!
I love the vertical attachment. What a great project.
  Anybody with even word 1 to say that it isn't good enough, probably drives a 4 ton, 4wd around the suburbs with no d--k to all to call their own.
 This is a great machine!
 
I want to hear the complete tale of its creation? Or at least, what did you use for the head casting?
Its rigid and you move the table up and down?
 
 If I knew what the vise that fit it looked liked, I'd be glad to keep an eye out.
 Oh I'll keep an eye peeled regardless, but it'd be better if I knew what I was lookin for.
  yours Scott   
 

Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 11:14:03 AM »
If I had the $ I would just buy a new Palmgren "Low Boy vise" which has a very low profile and does not eat nearly so much of the limited working height from the table to the face of the endmill. However, the low boy is not a cheap vise, or at least not cheap for those like me with shallow pocket depth, roughly $225 plus tax new. Old original Atlas vises go for insanely high prices, that much or more last I looked on e-bay. I am sure they are not getting cheaper either!

That is why I am using a vise from one of the Atlas shapers I have, which also go insanely high when found separate from the machines. I am fortunate to have the one pictured. Those vises are so high, that is why I bought a second machine! I lucked out and found one totally complete for $200, which is what the vise alone would have cost me, so I bought the second machine. Someday I will re-assemble the first shaper and sell it to recoup funds to pour back into more tooling for one of the other machines. There is a third shaper I also have that I will show as time permits in another thread, an 8" Shape Rite, a very heavy machine for it's size that I bought for a $20 bill! How could I pas on that? Hence the reason I have three metal shapers.
You boys better hold on cause i'm gonna have to stand on it!

Offline wreckercologist

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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2010, 09:25:23 PM »
Well it's a heck of a lot nicer than what I have which is the Zilch mill. It is made of unobtainium though.
:D lolx

That's a sweet little machine, UB!  The nice thing about that machine is you can still do probably 75% of the work of a full size machine (maybe a little slower and with a few more passes) and not have to mess with a phase convertor or have some giant monster eating floorspace.  Very nice! wavebeer
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Re: My little Atlas milling machine
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2010, 09:25:23 PM »

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