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Can a drill press be used to do simple milling like the slots in my BMC braces? I have a drill press vice that will move a piece in 2 dimensions, but it's bigger than my drill press table. If I build a permanent table set up beneath a bench-top drill press, do you think it will be stable enough to use an end mill to do these slots...



or should I buy one of these...



...and with the above...can a face mill do my bridgeporting?...

 

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If you use a mill cutter, you can use it, however, remember that the drill was designed to handle forces along the spindle axis, not lateral forces like a mill is designed to have.

As these are Aluminum, you will probably be OK for a short time, but I would recommend that you move to a mill. You will be happier long term.

Regards,

Glen
 

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Nope, I tried that and it didn't work to good. The main problem is that a drill press vise is not made for that much force and has way to much backlash. However, I was messing with 5/32 stainless, which is a heck of a lot harder to machine than Al. If your vise is really good, and your milling thin Al it is worth trying before you go out and by a mill. Oh, and don't forget to use a 2 flute mill instead of 4 flute.
 

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To prevent any headaches or wasted time send me a drawing and quanity you want and I'll give you a quote. It looks like your parts should be done on a CNC vertical mill to obtain the finish you should have. It's just about impossible to machine diagonal lines and curves with a manual setup.
 
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