email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Hobbymat BFE Milling Machine

Hobbymat Home Page   Prazimat Lathes

Hobbymat Lathe and milling machine manuals can be ordered on-line here.

Also available: belts, spare parts and the slow-speed attachment



BFE 65 Milling Heads
The same vertical milling head with its 315, 560, 900 and 1600 r.p.m. speed range was used on both the MD65 lathe and very useful compact stand-alone BFE vertical miller. When set up as an independent unit, a 160 mm x 450 mm co-ordinate table was employed, equipped as standard with rulers on each axis. Early heads were very reliable, with reports of them being in continuous service for over 25 years, Unfortunately, heads made after approximately 1992 were fitted with "improved" plastic gears in place of the earlier fibre type and theses can suffer from loose bushes that allow them to slip down and partially engage the face dogs of those beneath, so locking the drive. Fiddling with the control levers and twisting the spindle backwards and forwards usually enables the machine to start up again - and run in an apparently normal manner. Even if stopped and started several times the symptoms may not reappear so, if you are contemplating a used example, warm the miller up by running it for ten minutes on top speed and then do a stop-start test at least a dozen times on every speed. Only then should you accept it as satisfactory. However, should the fault be present it is not fatal and the bushes can be easily 'Loctited' back in place - though dismantling and reassembling the head is an awkward and time-consuming job. To keep the head in good working order regular greasing of the gears - and the selector forks - is vital. Two interesting points concern the mounting of the vertical head within the bracket that fastens to the back of the bed: the bracket bolts into place, and can be adjusted by two screws each of which bears against a dowel pressed into the bed, so as to tilt the column left or right, but not towards or away from the operator. Hence, should the column prove to be out of line in a fore and aft direction, the only solution is to shim the bracket mounting faces at the top or bottom.
Closed down onto the column by two cap-head screws, the support casting employs a third screw acting to spring it open slightly to aid removal (rather in the manner of the tailstock and carriage fitting to the bed). If these screws are mishandled the block will be cracked - therefore any adjustment should be approached with caution..

BFE65 Milling Head fitted into a bracket on the rear of the bed and converted the lathe into a most useful milling and drilling machine. Included in the kit was a T-slotted table to replace the ordinary lathe cross slide and the head was also available on its own compound table as an independent mill/drill.
Before buying a second-hand, be sure to run the head through the entire speed range (315, 560, 900 and 1600 r.p.m.) several times to check for jamming gears - see the main article above.

The complete Hobbymat BFE vertical milling machine with its 160 mm x 450 mm table


Each table axis had a ruler fitted as part of the standard equipment


Hobbymat Home Page   Prazimat Lathes

Hobbymat Lathe and milling machine manuals can be ordered on-line here.

Also available: belts, spare parts and the slow-speed attachment

Hobbymat BFE Milling Machine
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories