Homier Mini-Mill Review

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If you have not already done so, please read the Disclaimer (last updated 10/18/09)


Base and Column

A cast iron base supports the mill. Attached to the back of the base a nicely finished, hollow cast iron column supports the mill head assembly.   The base must be securely bolted to a sturdy workbench for safe operation of the mill (See the Setup page.) The picture on the right below shows the underside of the base casting.

Base=.JPG (24193 bytes) base_underside=.jpg (41728 bytes)

The column is mounted on an accurately ground pivot so that it can be tilted left or right up to about 45 for milling at an angle to the table. A large nut and washer clamp the column tightly in position at the desired angle.

 column_back=.JPG (34325 bytes) column=.JPG (27793 bytes)

The head assembly slides along dovetails milled into the front side of the column. Mounted on the front face of the column is a rack that engages with a pinion in the head to move the head up and down along the column. An adjustable stop slides up and down along the column and can be locked in place to act as a depth stop for the head. Along the left side of the column, a ruler  provides a useful guage for drilling depths, when great accuracy is not required. At the top of the column, a nylon stop prevents the head from running off the top of the rack.

ruler.JPG (43475 bytes) stop=.JPG (28941 bytes)


Table, X and Y Axis Movement

Ground and milled from cast iron, the table is about 4" x 12" in size and has 3 T-slots. T-slots are used with T-shaped nuts to clamp the workpiece directly to the table surface or to clamp a vise to the table which in turn holds the workpiece. I found the edges of the table and T-slots to be rough and sharp so I cleaned them up with a small file.  It's been a while, but I seem to recall having to do this on the Grizzly mill as well.

table1=.JPG (76164 bytes)

The bottom side of the table is dovetailed along its length and rides in a mating dovetail with an adjustable gib strip to take up any slop or wear. Four gib adjusting screws with lock nuts are easily accessible just below the front of the table. The black lever locks the table for maximum rigidity when X-axis movement is not required. A similar arrangement for the Y-axis, but with only two gib adjusting screws, can be found below the table on the right side of the mill. The locking handle is spring loaded and can be pulled out and reset to a new angle relative to the locking screw if necessary - a nice feature that I have found very handy at times.

gib_screws=.JPG (27226 bytes) y-axis_gib_screws=.JPG (24755 bytes)

Movement to the left or right (X-axis) is controlled by the X-axis handwheel mounted on the right side of the table. The handwheel turns a leadscrew that engages with threaded brass nut. The table rides on the Y-axis casting that is moved front to back by turning the Y-axis handwheel which has its own leadscrew and mating brass nut. Both leadscrews are 16 tpi, so each rotation of the handwheel moves the table by 1/16" (.0625).

dial=.jpg (30238 bytes)  handwheel=.JPG (27751 bytes)

The handwheels are cast iron, but are of are a somewhat lighter weight open construction  than the solid construction of the handwheels on the Grizzly mill. The heavier wheels of the Grizzly actually have more of a flywheel effect which is handy when you are moving the table rapidly to a new position. Each handwheel has a graduated dial marked in increments of .001". Since there are 62.5 divisions around the dial, the last division is a half-thousandth (.0005").

While a little confusing, this marking scheme makes a whole lot more sense than the one on my Grizzly mill.  On the Grizzly, which is also 1/16" or .0625" per revolution, the markings go from 0 to 12. If you can explain why, you are ahead of me.

Divisions_.jpg (31654 bytes) Markings on Grizzly mill dial

The good news is that it's easy to move the table by multiples of 1/16".  To move the table 1/2", for example, just note the dial position, count off 8 revolutions of the handwheel, and stop at the same division you started with.


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