Before buying any type of industrial or manufacturing equipment, you should read up on it first. If you’re fairly unfamiliar with manual milling equipment or don’t know what a milling machine is, you would do well to read through this quick guide on buying your first manual milling machine. 

What Is Manual Milling?

Manual milling refers to the process of using milling machinery to break materials down into smaller pieces. Unlike other machinery, manual milling equipment involves manual labor and is not automated. This means that milling equipment requires an operator and thus requires some skillset to operate safely and correctly yet also poses a unique advantage of being able to process small jobs very quickly. 

Milling equipment can be used to remove material from larger pieces to create detailed grooves, edges, and slots.   It can also drill, mill, bore and ream holes to precise accuracy. 

Vertical vs. Horizontal Manual Milling Machines

One of the greatest variations in milling equipment is that of vertical versus horizontal milling machines. Each variety has its own specific purpose and range of applications. A horizontal milling machine for example, has cutters that approach the workpiece table linearly. They are more adept at making long straight cuts such as slots or squaring material then performing precise drilling operations. They are also more suited for heavier cutting as the design presents a much more rigid machine frame. 

(3297) NEW Sharp LMV-42K Vertical Mill - Pic 1Vertical milling machines are equipped with a spindle that approaches the work table vertically and can be (3103) 2008 Sharp UH3 Horizontal Knee Mill - Pic 1tilted to the left or right and forward and backward making these machines indispensable for universal applications yet lighter duty then their horizontal counterparts. The vast majority of manual milling machinery are of this universal vertical type design.

Also note there are machines that provide a combination of these two designs. These combination machines are also very popular and ensure you have the right machine for whatever manual milling job you might run into. 

How to Choose the Best Milling Machine

Now that you know more about milling machines you have a choice to make and it’s an important one. When it’s time to purchase a milling machine for your business, you’ll need to choose between new and used milling equipment. The most compelling benefit to buying a used milling machine is that you’ll save money. Keep in mind however, milling machines bring costs down which means it might be worth buying a brand new milling machine. 

If you want equipment that will get the job done and last a long time look for the more common brands associated with milling as these machines have proven to outlast many others in the field. Brands like Bridgeport, Lagun, Deckel and Sharp for example offer a reliable machine, good quality and ease of finding replacement parts and upgrades. Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales has a wide selection of milling machines that can work for your needs.  

Tips to Maximize the Potential of Your Manual Milling Equipment

The single most effective way to maximize your milling equipment is to have highly skilled operators. The more experience the operator has with manual milling machines, the fewer mistakes will be made. Another benefit to having a skilled and experienced milling machine operator is that they will be able to detail work pieces to perfection.   

You should also add a few options to the machine to make it easier to use and better at providing exacting tolerances. Definitely add the power feed attachment for the X-Axis (the long axis as this feature can semi-automate the milling process and allow your operator a little freedom to prepare the next job or tool. Absolutely add the Digital Read Out (DRO) option to your milling machine as having the precise reading of where your tool is located is paramount to making quality and accurate parts. Make sure you add a quality tooling and work holding package as well. A vise should be made for milling and not the workbench and a toolset should be new and undamaged to ensure your tools rotate exactly in line with the spindle. Use an indicator that has a vertical dial to reduce strain on the operator's neck..   

Find the Finest Selection of New and Used Milling Machines at Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales

Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales has a reputation for uncompromising quality that keeps customers coming back each time they're in need of more equipment. Whether you want to save some money by purchasing a used milling machine or if you want a brand spanking new one, you can find it all right here at Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales.

Get the best deal on the milling machine that’s right for your shop, with Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales!