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"Vertical Milling Machine"
Machine Construction

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The main parts of the vertical mill are the; base, column, knee, saddle, table, ram, and tool head. Below you will find illustrations of different types of vertical milling machines and their parts. Study these parts and be ready to answer questions concerning their names locations and uses.

Ram Type Vertical Milling Machine


Figure 1: Ram Type Vertical Milling Machine

Motor-The motor supplies the power to the spindle.

Toolhead-The toolhead houses the spindle. The toolhead is located at the end of the Ram. The toolhead also contains the motor.

Column-The column of the milling machine, along with the base, are the major structural components. They hold, align, and support the rest of the machine.

Table-Holds and secures the workpiece for machining.

Saddle-The saddle it attached to the knee. The saddle provides the in and out, or Y axis travel of the table.

Knee-The knee supports the saddle and the table. The knee can be moved up and down for workpiece positioning.

Ram-The ram allows the Toolhead to slide in and out. The ram gives the machine greater capacity and flexibility. It is recommended that the tool head be kept as close to the column as possible during heavy milling work.


Vertical Milling Machine Construction


Figure 2: Vertical Milling Machine Construction

Base- The base of the milling machine, along with the column, are the major structural components. They hold, align, and support the rest of the machine.

Vertical Milling Machine Components


Figure 3: Vertical Milling Machine Components

Clamps- The knee, table and saddle all come equipped with clamps. The clamps are used to maintain the position of their respective components. All of the clamps should be locked when machining, except the clamp for the axis that is moving.

Handles-The table and saddle handles are used to position the part with respect to the tool.

Oiler-The oiler feeds lubricant, under pressure, to the knee, table, and the saddle. Always give the oiler "one shot" before you begin operating the machine.

Knee Crank-The knee crank is used to raise and lower the knee.


Vertical Milling Machine Head Controls


Figure 4: Vertical Milling Machine Head Controls

Hi/Low Speed Range Switch-This is the spindle reversing switch. This switch and the Hi/Low gear lever work in conjunction to one another. Make sure that the switches are set alike to avoid mistakenly running the spindle backwards.

Speed Change Handwheel-This is the variable speed control. The handwheel works in conjunction with the spindle speed indicator. Do not turn this handwheel unless the spindle is running.

Spindle Brake-This handle engages the spindle brake. The handle can be moved in either direction to enable the brake. Never enable the brake with the spindle on.

Hi/Low Gear Change Lever-This lever is used to put the spindle in the Hi or Low gear range. Turn the spindle by hand while engaging this lever. This will help mesh the gears.

Quill Feed Handle-This is the handle you use to raise and lower the quill manually.

Quill Feed Selector-This crank is used to select the feed rate for the quill feed. The feed rates include 0.0015", 0.003", and 0.006" per revolution rates.

Power Feed Engagement Lever-This lever engages the power feed worm gear. When the lever is in the proper position, the power feed worm gear is engaged.

Feed Reverse Knob-The position of this knob determines the quill feed direction. The quill feed reverse knob position is influenced by the spindle direction. The three positions of the knob are; In, Middle, and Out. The middle position is the neutral position. Check the feed direction above the workpiece before engaging the power feed.

Feed Lever Control-The feed lever is a clutch which engages the quill feed. The quill feed will stay engaged until the quill stop comes in contact with the micrometer adjusting nut or the Feed Lever is released.

Quill Clamp-The quill clamp is a friction type clamp to be used when milling or anytime you donít want the quill to move.

Quill-The quill contains the spindle assembly. The quill can be moved manually or by using the automatic quill feed.

Spindle-The spindle holds the tool and provides the actual tool rotation.


C-Frame Style Vertical Milling Machine Components


Figure 5 & 6: C-Frame Style Vertical Milling Machine Components

Arbor Draw Bolt-The arbor draw bolt draws the tool holder up into the spindle. The arbor draw bolt is equipped with a jam nut to keep the draw bolt from loosening up during operation.

Spindle Speed Change Dial-The spindle speed change dial is the spindle speed selector. On this type of milling machine the main power must be on to change speeds, but the spindle must be stopped.

Feed Rate Change Dial- The feed rate change dial is used to select the feed rate for the power feed table movement.

Table Feed Directional Lever- The table feed directional lever establishes the direction of table feed. When the table feed directional lever is positioned to the left or right, the table will feed in that direction at the selected feed rate or at a rapid traverse rate when using the rapid traverse lever.

Head Handwheel- The head hand wheel is used to hand feed or position the head up or down.

Head Clamp Lever- The head clamp lever locks or un-locks the head. The head should always be locked when ever it is not being positioned.

Spindle Starting Lever- The spindle starting lever starts the spindle. On some styles of vertical milling machines lifting the spindle handle may also start the feed motor. The spindle handle, when pulled down and held down, actuates the magnetic spindle brake.

Saddle Feed Directional Lever- The saddle feed directional lever establishes the direction of in and out feed. When the saddle feed directional lever is positioned to the left or right, the table will feed in or out at the selected feed rate or at a rapid traverse rate when using the rapid traverse lever.

Rapid Traverse Lever- The rapid traverse lever engages the rapid traverse gear on the feed motor. The rapid traverse is used for rapid table positioning. The appropriate feed direction lever must be engaged in order for the rapid traverse lever to be used.

Motor Start/Stop Buttons- The motor start and stop buttons control the power to the main motor for the machine.

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