Harrison Milling Machine
Hello folks, I have been an occasional visitor on here in the past and I have a small project that I thought I would share on here and also I think I might need to ask a couple of questions along the way.

As I said in my intro I do some metalworking as a means to help with my hobby which is old motorbikes.  I have a lathe, press, welder etc but my workshop has been missing a milling machine. My workshop is small so whilst I would like something like a Bridgeport it would take up too much space so I need something smaller.  Also I suspect that Bridgeports in my budget will be knackered.

I got this Harrison a while ago and it has been waiting in the garage until I got around to doing something with it (lots of other, competing, priorities on my time).  It has a lot of things wrong with it and the main good point is that it was cheap although I am aware that cheap doesn’t always mean good.  I think that one reason it was cheap was because it is missing the overarm.

Anyway, recently I farmed out some work to someone who I hadn’t dealt with before but who did come well recommended.  Without going into details I provided the guy with some parts that needed machining and he has ruined them.  Therefore the mill has moved to the top of my long list of stuff to do because if I had a mill I would be able to do lots more stuff myself with only myself to blame for screw-ups.

Here is the machine after I had dug it out from the back of the garage.  The only thing I had done at this stage was take off the louvred side panel.

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The motor is flange mounted and lives in the same space as the coolant.  It seems that as the motor runs some coolant gets misted around the space and even up into the area where the belts are. I will change that, the motor can stay in the base and if I go for coolant then I will add a separate tank outside of the machine.

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First job was to remove the motors and switchgear.  First good news is that the main motor is dual voltage and, judging by the sharpie marker on it, it was last tested in December 2014 so I have half a chance of it being a good one that I can use.

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The second motor is 1/8 hp and drives the table.  The machine uses change wheels to change the feed rate of the table but interestingly someone has changed them for 2 steel disks which have rubber "tyres" that rub against each other.  I am assuming that in doing this it provides a clutch effect if the table jams.  I will investigate further when the machine is back together.  Also it was tricky getting the gearbox off it, I managed it using a cut down hex key but I think the gearbox may have to come apart for re-assembly.

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One thing that I was wondering about is what is missing here?

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Here are some more pictures of the initial dismantling and clean up.

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The saddle didn’t seem to be tight except at the very end (last inch) of travel.  I will have to investigate, there is some dried on grease at the end of the travel.  It is apparent that some dope has been using a grease gun rather than an oil gun so that might have been masking things and my fear is that the grease has turned into grinding paste.

The cross slide (is that what its called on a mill?) has these 2 springs and ball bearings under it.  One ball is AWOL and the spring is chewed up.  (note I found the ball later on lower down in the machine)

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When I took out the knee drive it had a small amount of grease on it.

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The knee was filled with a horrible mixture of grease, coolant and swarf.  Oh and a small tap

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So far noting too bad (I hope).  The gearbox seems great.  I have a Harrison L5 lathe (this is a co-incidence I wasnt specifically looking for a Harrison Mill when I got this one) and the gearbox on both seem to be the same or similar unit.  This one is way slicker than on my lathe.  It was full of dirty oil but at least it had lots of it in there.

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One curious feature is this box section tunnel where coolant drains back to the tank.  It is a swarf trap (not necessarily intentional) but apart from a 1/2" outlet the only way in is through these 2 holes.  It is otherwise a closed box tunnel running across the machine.  I will clean it out and then cap the 2 holes off.  The inside of my shop vac is now not a pretty sight

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Degreaser and elbow grease followed.  In the second picture below at the top right you can see the bottom of the hollow swarf trap that I mentioned above.

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The base is like Swiss cheese with numerous holes drilled at various places.  I have counted at least 22 that need welding up. I will fill them all up and then only drill those holes I need.

One thing that I need to order soon is paint.  I have read that Alkyd enamel might be suitable?  What is the opinion on here as to the paint type?  I don’t want it to come off like the green did so it needs to withstand oil and such like.  I haven’t decided if I am going to brush it of spray it or a mixture of both so any paint, ideally, needs to be suitable for either.

By the way it is going back to grey.

When I took off the Harrison badge I used a RAL & BS colour chart (one that has been printed using real paint rather than just a brochure) to find a grey that is close to the patch or original under the badge.  I decided on RAL 7000 on being the closest to the Harrison grey on this machine.

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I will need some new handles, at least 2.  The knee one is too small but if it fits I will put it on the cross slide.  The table feed had a jubilee clip on it.  No prizes for guessing why.

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I cleaned up the saddle feed motor.  It is in a bespoke housing and is a 400v/440v unit.  I only have 230v single phase so I will investigate getting it rewound as a dual voltage three phase unit so I can use a phase converter/VSD.  That will also allow me to control the table feed electrically as well as using the change wheels/gears.

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Here are a few picture of things as they are now.
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More to come in the (I hope) not too distant future.  

I wont bore you all with more pictures of paint being stripped and parts being degreased

Thanks given by:
Having restored several "small" machines in the past, I can appreciate your effort; hard work bravely done.
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Thanks Mike, the paint stripping and cleaning is hard work but I think it is easier than dealing with the idiots who spurred me on to sorting this machine out.

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That is a cool looking mill. And it looks like it will be very capable. The table is a a good size for that mill. Keep the pictures coming. Thumbsup

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Oooh, I've stripped a machine with the disc grinder and cup wheel. No fun whatsoever. Least of all the wires which fly off at Mach 3 and stab you in your belly.
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That's a neat little mill. I've seen and used Harrison lathes before, but never a mill.

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Thats going to be a nice mill John. I've had the best luck using automotive two part urethane paint. Seams to be more oil and solvent resistant than enamel.
Free advice is worth exactly what you payed for it.
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Nice work thus far John.

I rescued a mill that was abused by a past owner. One thing that I did was hit every forum I could and found as many manuals and drawings I could. My mill was made in Spain and I even joined a Spanish forum to find info. Interestingly, it was on a French forum that I found a really good manual. I also managed to find a guy here in Australia who used to service them and he sent me high resolution, large format drawings, which were such a big help. I don't think I could have got it done without them. It can take hours but the end result is worth it.

Keep up the good work!
Hunting American dentists since 2015.
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Good work thus far John. Having cleaned out the base of my Victoria U2 mill when I bought it, I can kind-of imagine the inside of your shop vac. Ugh. I had ambitions to do a similar refurb on my mill when I had 4 weeks leave over summer, didn't even get near it. Perhaps in retirement.
Lathe (n); a machine tool used in the production of milling machine components.

Milling Machine (n); a machine tool used in the production of lathe components.
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That should restore to be an excellent mill.  I also ran Harrison lathes and like them a lot.

You may want to look at this:  http://www.lathes.co.uk/harrisonmiller/index.html

According to the web page a handbook & parts list is available.
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