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The versatility of a vertical mill lends itself well to the varied and diverse tasks that hobbyists lean towards, in contrast to the specialty production work horizontal mills are generally used for.
Hopefully, you’ve decided that a vertical mill is the best choice for you, otherwise this section isn’t going to be very useful.
Reality, unfortunately, doesn’t live up to that promise.
There are two reasons for this: manufacturing quality and cost.
A vertical machine will have the table mounted perpendicular to the spindle’s zero-tilt position, while a horizontal machine will have the spindle mounted parallel to the plane of the table.
This introduces a fundamental difference in what kinds of jobs are practical on each type of machine.
If you’re interested in making things (and since you’re reading this, we’re going to assume you are), you’ve almost certainly felt a desire to make metal parts.
The difference between the machines, in practice, is more pronounced than just which way they’re oriented.So, we’re just covering manual machines in this post.Modern milling machines are divided into two basic types: horizontal and vertical.But, just in case, we’ll say that you almost certainly want a vertical mill.Horizontal mills are great for a small portion of tasks, but those are also tasks that most hobbyists won’t often perform.
However, it can be difficult to know where to start for the hobbyist who doesn’t have machining experience. These questions, among many others, can be positively overwhelming to the uninitiated. CNC mills are a whole other beast, and they’re going to get a guide all to themselves.