A vertical bed mill is a type of milling machine where the spindle is in a vertical orientation, and the bed of the machine is in a horizontal orientation. This type of machine is typically used for tasks that require the removal of material from a workpiece, and is most often used to machine flat surfaces.
A knee mill is a variation of the vertical bed mill, in which the spindle is mounted on a knee, which can be raised or lowered to adjust the vertical position of the cutter. According to CTE Magazine, “The design of the knee mill goes back to 1936, when Rudolph Bannow’s company produced a knee-and-column vertical mill with a rotating turret and sliding-ram head. The mill became known by the company’s name—Bridgeport—which, like Kleenex, became the generic signifier for mills of similar design.”
Vertical bed and knee milling machines are used for similar tasks as a vertical bed mill, but with additional capabilities for vertical movement and adjustments of the cutter. Both vertical bed and knee milling machines are commonly used in metalworking and manufacturing for tasks such as drilling, boring, and milling.
Popular Types of Bed and Knee Milling Machines
Vertical & Horizontal Mills
Vertical and horizontal mills are versatile milling machines that can perform both vertical and horizontal milling operations. They have a horizontally oriented spindle that holds the cutting tool, and a vertical adjustable table that holds the workpiece. They are designed for general purpose milling and are often used in machine shops and manufacturing facilities.
Mill drills are a type of milling machine that are designed for smaller workpieces and less demanding workloads. They typically have a smaller footprint and can be used for drilling and light milling tasks. They are often used in home workshops and small machine shops.
Knee mills are a type of vertical milling machine where the spindle is mounted on a vertically adjustable knee, which allows for more precise movement and control of the cutting tool. They are commonly used in small to medium-sized machine shops and manufacturing facilities.
Bed mills are a type of milling machine where the table is mounted on a fixed bed, making them more stable and precise than other types of milling machines. They have a horizontally oriented spindle and are typically used for heavy-duty milling tasks.
CNC Milling Machines
CNC milling machines are a type of milling machine that are controlled by a computer program. They are commonly used in high-volume production environments and are highly precise and efficient. They can be programmed to perform a wide range of milling operations.
Turret mills are a type of vertical milling machine that have a rotating turret that holds multiple cutting tools. They are designed for high-volume production environments and are highly efficient. They can be programmed to perform a wide range of milling operations.
Manual Milling Machines
Manual milling machines are operated by a machine operator who uses hand cranks to move the table and control the cutting tool. They are typically less precise than CNC milling machines, but are still commonly used in small machine shops, schools and for personal use.
What to Look For When Buying Vertical Bed and Knee Milling Machines
- Travels and Weight Limits: Consider the size of the parts you will be working on, and ensure that the machine has sufficient travel in the X, Y, and Z axes to accommodate them. Also, consider the weight limits of the machine, as this will determine what types of workpieces it can handle.
- Spindle Speed and Taper: Look for a machine that has a spindle speed range that is appropriate for the materials you will be working with. Also, consider the spindle taper, as this will determine the types of tooling that can be used with the machine.
- Power Feed: Power feed can be divided into three types. -Traditional power feed which is the manual feed and advance option. -Power feed motor which gives an option for automatic table movements and reduces the manual labor. -CNC mills which can control all the axis with the help of a computer and software.
- DROs for Knee Mills: Digital readouts (DROs) can be useful for providing precise position information for the table and knee of a knee mill.
- Lubrication and Coolant: Look for a machine that has a built-in lubrication and coolant system to keep the machine running smoothly and prolong the life of the machine.
- Powering your Knee Mill: Consider the power requirements of the machine and ensure that you have the necessary power source to operate it.
- Number of Axes: Some milling machines are only capable of movement in the X and Y axes, while others may also have a Z axis for vertical movement. The universal mills have a fourth axis for the rotary movement.
- Accuracy: Look for a machine that can provide the level of accuracy you require for your specific tasks.
- Table size: Make sure the machine’s table size is sufficient to accommodate your workpiece, and keep in mind that larger tables may also provide more stability and support.
By considering these factors when making your purchase, you can ensure that you are getting a machine that will meet your needs and help you to achieve the precision and efficiency you require for your work.
Uses and Applications
Vertical bed and knee milling machines are commonly used in a variety of industries for a range of tasks. They are used for creating and shaping parts for a wide range of products, from car parts and aerospace components to medical devices and household appliances.
These machines are frequently used for tasks such as shaping and cutting metal, drilling and boring holes, and milling contoured surfaces, tasks common in metalworking. They also serve in building machine tools and other precision equipment.
Vertical bed and knee milling machines are ideal for small-batch and prototype manufacturing, due to their precision and versatility. They are used for precision measurement and inspection of parts to ensure they meet the required specifications. They are also used for repair and maintenance work, such as resharpening and reconditioning cutting tools, and for machining replacement parts.
In summary, the main applications are precision cutting, drilling, boring, shaping, and shaping of various materials, especially in metalworking and manufacturing.
There are a variety of accessories that can be used with vertical bed and knee milling machines to increase their versatility and functionality. Some examples include:
- Milling cutters: These are the tools that actually remove material from the workpiece and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit different cutting tasks.
- Clamping kits: These include clamping fixtures and workholding devices that securely hold the workpiece in place during machining.
- Rotary tables: These are devices that can be mounted on the milling machine table to provide a rotating surface for the workpiece, which can be used for tasks such as drilling and milling at different angles.
- Indexing heads: These are devices that can be mounted on the milling machine table to provide the ability to rotate the workpiece in precise increments, useful for tasks such as gear cutting and drilling holes at equal spacings.
- Digital readouts: These are devices that can be mounted on the milling machine table to provide a digital display of the table’s position, which can be useful for tasks that require precise positioning.
- Power feeds: These devices can be mounted on the milling machine table or the knee and provides power assist to move the table or knee.
- Dividing heads: These accessories allow for indexing of the spindle for precise angle or circular cuts, which is useful for gear cutting and milling repetitive shapes.
- Collet chucks, end mills holders, and other tool holding devices: These accessories help in keeping the cutting tool in place while cutting and provide easy and fast tool change over.
These accessories can make a vertical bed and knee milling machines more versatile and efficient, allowing them to be used for a wider range of tasks and with greater precision.
How to Use Surplus Record
To assist in your search for vertical bed and knee mills for sale on our platform, we have included some of our best tips and tricks to make finding your optimal heat exchanger a little bit easier.
- Make use of Location Settings: At the top of listing pages (you can start by browsing categories) your desired piece of equipment/machinery, enter your desired location and you’ll be taken directly to what we have available in your area.
- Looking for an Auction?: On the listing page, select the blue checkbox on your right which says “Auction” and you’ll be taken to available products for sale that are at auction.
- On a Budget?: Select the toggle “Sort by Relevance” and then click “Price low to high” to view our least to most expensive products for sale.
- Use the Search Bar: Already know what you are looking for? Utilize our search tab at the top of your page to find specific listings out of hundreds available.
Quick Access: Vertical Bed and Knee Milling Machine Manufacturers
Our top manufactures available on Surplus Record for new and used vertical bed and knee milling machines include:
We also work with several dealers who specialize in vertical bed and knee mills. You can also find dealers in your area or by name who specialize in vertical bed and knee mills. Our top dealers include:
- Sterling Machinery Exchange | California
- Machinery Central | Kentucky
- D & D Industries, Inc. | Ohio
- Wisconsin Metalworking Machinery | Wisconsin
Need More Help? or information about vertical bed and knee mills? Still can’t find what you’re looking for or need more advice from a professional dealer? Head on over to the “Wanteds” section of our website and select “Buy” at the top and “Processing Equipment” for the industry. Fill out the form and a dealer that specializes in milling machinery will get back to you ASAP. It’s free to do, and our dealers are happy to help out! Have a Vertical Bed and Knee Mill to sell? Sell Your Equipment With Us.