THE VERTICAL MILLER
A vertical miller is used to shape metals such as mild steel and aluminum. It can also be used to shape plastics such as
Perspex and nylon. Full size milling machines such as the one shown below are powerful but also very accurate/precise. The cutting tools are very expensive and are broken easily if the machine operator tries to take too deep a cut, in one go. When using a vertical miller, the machine should be set up to cut away only a small amount of metal each time the cutter passes over the surface of the metal.
A wide selection of cutting tools are available. They are made from high speed steel and are strong enough to cut through mild steel, cast steel and aluminium. Three examples are shown below with an example of the profile they cut into the metal
The milling tool has a screw thread at one end. This is turned into the chuck. A cloth is wrapped around the tool before this is done as it can easily cut through flesh. Care must be taken when setting up a cutting tool.
THE VERTICAL MILLER MAKING ADJUSTMENTS
The vertical traverse hand wheel (handle) is turned in order to raise or lower the knee. This means that the machine vice is also raised or lowered towards or away from the cutting tool.
The machine head can be tilted to a variety of angles allowing chamfers to be machined. Normally this is done by slowly loosening a number of bolts and then tilting the machine head to the required angle. Some machines have a gauge on which angles can be read so that it can be set accurately.
The feed handle is turned by the machine operator. This moves the table and anything bolted to it (such as a vice) towards the cutting tool.
Usually, the ‘feed’ of the machine can be set to automatic so that there is no need to turn the handles manually.
THE VERTICAL MILLER MORE INFORMATION
Using a guard or a number of guards is very important as this will further ensure safety. When the machine is being operated the guards protect the machine operator by preventing hot cuttings of steel/material flying outwards. The guards can be 'swung' open and closed.
The operator should wear the usual safety clothing and goggles.
The machine head can be lowered and even used like a drilling machine, by turning the adjusting handles. Some milling machines do not have these. Normally, if the height of the head is altered it is then bolted/locked in position.
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