Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

The Mill/Drill

This is the larger of my two mills. Technically, this type of mill is called a mill/drill because it's configuration is very similar to a drill press and it can be used to drill holes. However, it is much more rigid than a drill press and weighs about 700 pounds.

I use this tool almost exclusively to mill the titanium handles for my integral folders. Soon, I plan to use it for milling large integral style sporting knives.

This is a manual machine - not controlled by a computer. You can see the clamping set in the red holder on the left side of the mill stand, next to a rack of R8 collets. These clamps are for clamping large items to the table. These clamps are too large for most of the work I do so I made the milling plate you see clamped to the table. This plate is made from one inch thick aluminum that has about 20 holes in it, all drilled and tapped, and strategically placed. I can then use a set of miniature clamps secured in these holes to hold my knife handles. These clamps are small enough to not get in the way while I mill the small knife handle. Another benefit of the milling plate is that, if I make a mistake and the cutter hits the plate, only the replaceable plate is damaged and not the table.

Since this mill has a very large table I have also mounted a vise next to the milling plate. Depending on where I position the table I can use the vise or the milling plate. This reduces my set up time considerably.

Finally, on the front of the mill's table you can see a plastic container. This is a 'mister' and contains some cutting fluid. The air compressor forces the cutting fluid out through a hose whose nozzle is aimed at the cutting tool. The spray mist helps to cool the tool while it cuts. This is very important with titanium. Wearing a respirator is a good idea when working near the mister.

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives