For a while now I’ve been saving up for a milling machine. As I’m getting close to my target I thought I’d make some preparations for installation. Although I’m only getting a small milling machine it will be a lot heavier than my current drill press so I wanted to make the bench a bit sturdier and I decided to do a couple of other upgrades at the same time.
So I’m making 3 upgrades to the bench. The first is to add a metal strip to the front edge of the bench, this will give the bench some protection from bashes but also help secure the top to the frame. The second is to add some extra support under the benchtop at one end. This will spread the load of the milling machine and stop the top from sagging. The last is to properly bolt on my vice, this will be similar to the old workshop with some metal plates screwed underneath the benchtop and the vice bolted onto those. Again it’s about spreading the load.
To fit the front strip I use the router to remove a small amount from the edge of the bench. This will allow the metal strip to be flush with the surface. I used the metal strip as a guide to ensure I got a straight edge. Even though I was using a wide bit I did have to do it in two passes.
The top was removed and I cut some timber size. The wood was clamped in place then screwed to the frame. The cross struts were screwed diagonally. Finally some packing was pinned to the top to bring the supports level with the edges, it didn’t need to look neat so I didn’t bother trimming it to size, although I may do that before fixing the top in place.
I’ve not started the vice mount yet, other than finding some suitable metal. The edging will be bolted in place once I’ve some suitable nuts and bolts. I may also screw the top onto the supporting battons.