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  #1  
Old 02-12-2012, 6:09 PM
BayRyder BayRyder is offline
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Default Will this small mill be enough to do a 80% AR lower?

Link> http://littlemachineshop.com/product...ory=1387807683

Looking into getting a small mill to try at 80% ar lowers. Will a mill of this size be enough to do the job? Thanks
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Old 02-12-2012, 7:26 PM
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yup that mill will work
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2012, 8:47 AM
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Take light cuts as that machine has no draw bar. The end mill can pull it self down hard enough to pull the tool holder from the spindle.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:51 AM
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Thanks guys
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2012, 12:16 PM
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Perfect starter mill, easily can do a lower
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Old 02-13-2012, 1:06 PM
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Exclamation YES...but BARELY. and here is why...

It'll work, but barely.
The 'X' axis travel is barely enough to travel the length from the from pivot pin, which is used as the 'Zero' from traveling to start the the fire control pocket (FCP). The amount that you need to travel to machine the FCP from the front pivot pin is 6.5". Plus the edge finder diameter you will need to locate the front pivot pin is .200" diameter.
So you will need a total 'X' travel of 6.758". According to the specs from the link you gave, your machine will only have a travel of 7.1".
Your total 'Y' travel to machine the FCP using a center finder will be about 1.3".
Your 'Y' travel to lay the lower on its side, in the jig, to drill the selector and FCG pins is about 1.5".
HOWEVER... most jigs are 3" tall, so laying the jig on it's side to drill the FCG pins, your vice will have to open at least 3". That 3" would also be wide enough to hold the lower vertically while it is in the jig.
I would suggest that you ask whomever is selling it to recommend a vise to use for the table, and the T-slot clamping kit to anchor the vise. All T-Slots have different dimensions, and little imported milling machines like yours will have its own table T-slot dimensions. Sometimes you cannot even buy the correct size T-slots and have to make your own which is a pain in the ars.
So YES the machine will be enough, but BARELY.

Also, You shouldn't use the drill chuck for holding an endmill. You could invest a little into a MT2 taper endmill holder that has several different size collets for different size endmills. A proper collet endmill holder will also clamp a carbide endmill. IF you are not going to be able to afford an endmill holder, and must use the drill chuck to hold the endmill, then DO NOT use carbide, use a HSS (Hi Speed Steel) endmill. HSS can take a little flexing, whereas carbide will not flex or take shock very well.
Also when ordering the proper endmill, it must say that it is "Centercutting" (CC). Many endmills are not CC. You must make sure because you can plunge into the FCP with a CC, but you cannot with a non-CC endmill.
That goes for the 7/16" endmills for the FCP, and the 5/16" endmill for the trigger slot. Make sure that both endmills are long enough to mill the FCP deep enough, and then to reach at the bottom of the FCP to mill the trigger slot.
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Old 02-13-2012, 1:24 PM
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Micro mills work ok. For the price you can't really say no its a good starter mill. It'll take a little longer because of the slow cuts you have to do but its a hobby mill so it shouldn't matter too much. Any other kind of mill will run you at least $1000.

Keep in mind you still need a vise/collets,collet holder,end mills,drill bits,drill chuck,edge finder. So if you plan on upgrading mills later you should spend a bit more on tooling which you can put on your next mill to save some money.
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Old 02-14-2012, 1:12 PM
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PM sent to the OP. This will work better than my current plan... If OP is close we might be able to save some on shipping.

Edit, might not be saving anything... I'll have to be moving it around quite often so any mill that weighs much more than this will give me trouble.

Last edited by itisagoodname; 02-14-2012 at 1:14 PM..
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Old 02-15-2012, 2:32 PM
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Ordered:
http://littlemachineshop.com/product...ProductID=4291
http://www.littlemachineshop.com/pro...ProductID=1705
http://littlemachineshop.com/product...ProductID=1647
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Old 02-15-2012, 2:48 PM
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Doh, i fudged the vise specs... anyone know what the dimensions are on the TM 80% ar15 jig?
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Old 02-15-2012, 2:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
Take light cuts as that machine has no draw bar. The end mill can pull it self down hard enough to pull the tool holder from the spindle.
Get the drawbar also. I think this is the one that works with it.
http://littlemachineshop.com/product...2034&category=
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2012, 2:59 PM
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Then take the base of the vise to get it closer to the table.

head over to use-enco.com and get some end mills and drills. Search the net for their 20% off coupon for the month and go into their clearance section.

Oh yeah, a can of WD-40 for cutting oil. If you need some way oil, let me know as I have a gallon. Not sure where you are in the bay area.

Last, but not least, get a little scrap aluminum for your first cuts if this is your first time on a mill. And, have fun!
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Old 02-15-2012, 3:29 PM
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Just got laid off, a nice severance package and since i have a new job lined up i thought i'd pick up some things to get some other projects done. Also picking up a 15-ton press to start building some AK's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intimid8tor View Post
Then take the base of the vise to get it closer to the table.

head over to use-enco.com and get some end mills and drills. Search the net for their 20% off coupon for the month and go into their clearance section.

Oh yeah, a can of WD-40 for cutting oil. If you need some way oil, let me know as I have a gallon. Not sure where you are in the bay area.

Last, but not least, get a little scrap aluminum for your first cuts if this is your first time on a mill. And, have fun!
I'm in Fremont mostly and there's someone selling a ton of good end mills and milling stuff in Dublin on Craigslist. I plan to pick up some things this week.

I have plenty of WD-40 around; if it sticks and you dont want it to use wd-40, if it doesnt stick and you need it to, use duct tape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smird View Post
Get the drawbar also. I think this is the one that works with it.
http://littlemachineshop.com/product...2034&category=
Thank you for this, i'm talking with them via email now about modifying the order. I'll add this.
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Old 02-15-2012, 3:38 PM
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Got back to me quick, they recommended a screwless vise for that mill. Larger capacity and smaller size with the screwless vice clamps as well.

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/Pro...ViseClamps.php
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Old 02-15-2012, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WARDOG View Post
I missed it too.
Specifications Jaw Width 3.15" (80.0 mm)
Jaw Depth 1.18" (30.0 mm)
Maximum Jaw Opening 2.56" (65.0 mm)

I think INTIMD8R meant to say it would be helpful to take the swivel base OFF to lower the vise to the table.

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That is exactly what I meant. It also reduces one point of error when it comes to tramming and leveling everything.
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Old 02-15-2012, 5:57 PM
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Default will work just fine

Thats the model I have, so far 7? (lost count) lowers have been completed.
This is my first mill so I can't compare it to a larger one, but seems to work well if you take your time.

Croc4
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  #17  
Old 02-15-2012, 6:19 PM
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I used one of these. http://www.tractorsupply.com/black-b...-speed-3900673pretty powerfull. I also had the little mill but it is very underpowered. the drill press has more uses than that little ol thing in my opinion , plus its cheaper.
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Old 02-16-2012, 8:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torquefliteterror View Post
I used one of these. http://www.tractorsupply.com/black-b...-speed-3900673pretty powerfull. I also had the little mill but it is very underpowered. the drill press has more uses than that little ol thing in my opinion , plus its cheaper.
It would have been nice but i'm in an apartment. Its going to be hard enough to get the small one in and out of the storage to use on the patio. This mill is JUST barely big enough for what i need. Plus, with the amount of guys here in the bay area trying to build 80% lowers and there has not been many active members with shops or the right tools without having to drive 80 miles. It would be easy to mill up a dozen lowers and then sell off the whole mill setup. These things go QUICK on Craigslist as well, ive been watching real close.
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Old 02-20-2012, 7:53 PM
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Got the mill today. Bought a craftsman bench to set it up on, got it cleaned up and i'll mount it and take some cuts tomorrow.

Also picked up a 16 end mills for $80 on Craigslist. Mostly 3/8 and 5/16.

Lets see if this works...


Last edited by itisagoodname; 02-20-2012 at 8:07 PM..
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