Milling machines rely on dynamic movement of both the tool and the workpiece to machine metal, wood or other solid materials and carve out those materials based on a pre-existing design, which is often CAD directed. The machines themselves are either manually automated, traditionally automated or CNC operated. Depending on the orientation, operation and application of the milling machine, it will perform different functions and achieve different machining goals.
Vertical and horizontal milling machines
There are three major types of milling machine for sale on eBay - vertical, horizontal and combination / hybrid machines with a swivel cutter to rotate between vertical and horizontal positions. As the name implies, a vertical milling machine's spindle axis is vertical and the machine table moves perpendicular to the spindle axis of rotation. This is generally the most common type of milling machine available. A horizontal milling machine's spindle axis is horizontal and the machine table moves parallel to the spindle axis of rotation. Some models are equipped with both a vertical and horizontal spindle.
Buying your milling machine
As with most ndustrial metalworking equipment and machinery, it's a good idea to browse for milling machines manufactured by top brands such as Dufour, Chevalier, Cincinnati and Sieg. You will also be looking for important features such as 3-axis table movement, 3-axis dovetail guideways, high body and compact design, heavy duty cast iron construction, and variable spindle speed. You should also check the overall size and weight of the item, as well as the size of the table, to ensure you're buying a machine that fits nicely into your workspace. Used machines should be in excellent condition and working order, ideally with accessories such as milling arbors, spacers and a wrench set included. You can find a huge variety of industrial metalworking chucks on eBay to complement your pre-owned milling machine.