After acquiring a Lewis Horizontal Mill, I took stock in my inventory of tooling. My current skillset in milling is that of a complete “newbie” hobbyist, so I am literally making it up as I move forward. Mistakes will happen…
When the Lewis Mill arrived, it arrived with boxes of tooling, cutters, reamers, etc… The previous owner had purchased or acquired about 50 reamers of various sizes and dozen or so end mills. The reamer sizes are up to .800 inches. However, the collet that came with the mill only had a 3/8’s inch holder. After some pondering, I figure out that I could make this mill dramatically more useful, if I purchased a set of collets and a collet holder.
There is little information on the Lewis Mill available online, so I performed some measurements on the tooling in hand. Fortunately, the Lewis Mill uses the same Morse Taper 3 as my South Bend Lathe. Additionally, the original draw bar for the bill uses a common 1/2 inch by 13 threads per inch. A quick search found numerous found several manufacturers who make collet sets that will work with my mill. Thank goodness for good, unified standards. One such company is Accusize Industrial Tools and they have a decent online amazon store.
I own a set of Accusize Carbide Tools for my lathe. I am comfortable with their quality for my purposes. The kit I purchase included collets for 1/8 to 3/4 of inch in 1/16th of an inch increments. These collet sizes allows me to hold all but two of the largest reamers or mills. Additionally, the fact this tooling could be used in my lathe is an added bonus.
After some measurements, research, and about $160, I have opened the door on a new lifetime hobby and now have much more versatility. At this point, my plan is to purchase the other collets for the ER32, as I need them. I may look into other collet sizes when a project and the limited size of my mill work space requires me to do so.