Extending the milling space
On any milling machine the milling space can be considered to be the maximum movement in the x, y and z directions. This means, in general, that any metal within this space can be machined. However this space can be restricted by the tooling that is being used.
Not only is the movement in each direction important but the “space” is also relevant. for example, the movement in the z direction is the same as the “space in the z direction. The movement in the x direction might be 400mm but the “space” to both the left and the right is much larger. On the other hand, the “space” in the y direction is large at the front but very limited at the back because of the column.
Another way of looking at this problem is that though this space is limited, many jobs might have to be done where the milling is only within a small space but the workpiece is much larger.
Extending the maching space – Rotating the axes
Often some of the movements are smaller than others. for example, movement in the x direction is longer than movement in the y or z directions. Obviously the workpiece could be rotated within this space to make the best use of the movement that exists. But often the tooling might not work in the same way
1 Rotating the vertical head – With a large angle plate
If the axis of the cutter is still the z axis then this is dramatically increased, the y direction is increased but the x direction is reduced.
rotating the milling head – with a horizontal arbor in the “vertical” socket
Extending the x direction using a long fence
rotating a head and using the depth at the back of the milling table
using very large diameter slitting saws
using a pair of centers on angle plates
Machining small portions of large workpieces
Though it is usually most convenient to hold a long workpieces along the x direction if itis wide and not easy to hold on the ends then it might be possible to hold in the y direction.
using a fly cutter to cutter wide workpieces
Using a sub table
doing a job another way round
Workpiece fitted to the back of the milling table where the vertical head rotates on the top of the column
Vertical head fitted to over-arm