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Our bud Kent Barnes turned us on to this maker’s blog: Sir Richard’s Tool Kit. There are a number of nice projects here, including this sweet little micro mill made from scrap aluminum:

It was a long time in the making, but I have finally finished putting together the micro mill that I started about five years ago. It was one of those projects I started, got 95% complete, then moved on without doing the finishing touches. I made it out of scrap aluminum, some 4-40 and 1/4-20 threaded rod, 1/8″ drill rod, some pieces of Teflon and Delrin, and various screws and bolts. It was all machined on a Bridgeport mill and a lathe. The motor and chuck I salvaged from a 12 volt carving tool. It’s an import with non-standard collets, but it works fine. I made a new housing for it out of aluminum to make it easier to mount on the mill.

Micro Mill from Scratch

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.



  1. says:

    “It was all machined on a Bridgeport mill and a lathe.”

    So if I had both a mill and a lathe then I could have a mill?

    1. Satiagraha says:

      Or if you know someone or somewhere else that has a mill and lathe.

      Also, this is a micro mill, it’s small. And so if you already have a large mill, you may want a smaller one that’s easier to work with small pieces on.

  2. Simon says:

    That’s pretty nice and seems well made. I need something like that to go with my mini-lathe.

    Not to take away from that at all but here is someone who makes totally accurate, working, micro mills. The 1/14 working Bridgeport is amazing.

    It look like he first made his own precision milling machine in order to make parts for the 1/14 scale model. Like Satiagraha says you sometimes need to make a smaller machine to then make an even smaller one again.


  3. Chrome6 says:

    Major props for creativity and skills in making this.