FIGURE 1-Milling Machine part terminology. Note that newer lathes now have an improved, more positive locking lever on the Z-axis leadscrew that replaces the Headstock Friction Adjusting Screw shown in this older diagram.
At first glance, a vertical mill looks similar to a drill press, but there are some important design differences; for example, a spindle that can take side loads as well as end loads and an accurate method of moving work in relation to the spindle on all three axes. It is wise to memorize these "X", "Y" and "Z" axes, because since the advent of complex electronically controlled milling machines, these terms have become common "shop talk", even outside engineering departments. (See Figure 2.) Feed screws with calibrated handwheels control movements on these three axes. The handwheel calibrations are quite accurate and should be used whenever possible. Counting handwheel revolutions and/or the marks on the handwheel is a more accurate way to move from one location to another than "eyeballing" a cut to a scribed line.
Angles can be machined by removing the headstock alignment key and rotating the milling head to the appropriate angle to the work or by holding the work at an angle to