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86993Re: [atlas_craftsman] Re: Atlas Mill limitations??

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  • jtiers
    Apr 10, 2014
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      No need to be upset.... It's not a question of an "inadequate cut"..... the cut is whatever is needed, not what some bozo on the internet thinks you should do..... 
      And, a 4" clearance is pretty decent for that size of mill. I had actually thought it was less. 
      But, there are other considerations.....
      So, you have 5/8 of cut available.  Could be fine, depending on what you need to do.  But the problems come up when the part being cut is big enough that it doesn't go in a vise.   Now you have to use table clamps, and the height of the clamp plus the stud and nut to hold it down subtract from the cutter diameter, because the arbor has to clear them.  So with that 5/8" clearance, you might be unable to take a cut more than 0.2" deep, or less.  
      A 4" cutter is helpful, for sure.  I can clear a bit more than that, about 6.5", but the biggest cutters I have are around 4", other than a couple of saws.  But most of those take a 1" (the saws) or 1.25" (the wider cutters) arbor.  The OD of the spacers is 1.75" for the 1.25 arbor, so even then, with a 1.25" arbor the exposed cutter is 1 1/8", less clamps, and for the 1" saws, about 1.25", again less clamp height.
      If you have, or rig up, a low height vise such as the ones that bolt into the table slots, using the table as the vise body,  you can do better for parts where the cuts clear the vise jaws.  Same with "Mitee-Bite clamps.  The Mitee-Bite have the advantage that almost any cut that doesn't saw the part in two will clear them.  Since I have a single central t-slot, I can't use them.
      I have several clamp bars that are cut-away so that there is only a part of them that rests on top of the work.  That lowers the top, and therefore the nut and stud.  One can go further and make clamps that not only are cut away so the hold-down part is thinner, but also the clamp is "joggled" down in such a way that all or most of the nut and stud are below the level of the clamp top.  Obviously that depends on the material thickness, but presumably a deeper cut goes with thicker material.
      There are other work-arounds, but many of them use up table space, which is at a premium with small mills.  So is table travel.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:26 PM
      Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Re: Atlas Mill limitations??

      Let's see, 7/8" arbor, typical 2-1/2" OD horizontal mill cutter, just over 5/8"depth from the tips of the teeth to the spacer bushings. Do you consider this to be an inadequate depth of cut on a machine like the Atlas mill?
      A i" arbor was also offered by Atlas and you can get 7/8", 1", and 1-1/4" arbors from tools4cheap which are specifically designed for the Atlas mill. The larger arbors commonly use larger OD cutters but I don'r know what the clearance is from the tips of the teeth to the spacers so I can't quote it. It's also true that as you increase the OD of the cutter the height of a work piece above the table will more limited if you want to be able to pass the cutter over the work piece without taking a cut.
      FYI, the maximum cutter OD which will pass under the 1-1/2" OD overarm is 4". Not certain at this point how much clearance above the table a 4" cutter would have with the table in its lowest position.
      Berkeley, Calif.
      In a message dated Wed Apr 9, 2014 7:27 pm (PDT), jtiers writes:
      I suppose the otehr issue is that it has a somewhat small work envelope, and IIRC has less clearance under the overarm than otehr similar sized mills. That latter is more of a limit than you might think at first, since the cutter diameter affects the depth of a cut.

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