The Taig Micro Mill is an “overbuilt” miniature milling machine. The liberal use of steel in its construction affords superior rigidity and the ability to work on hard metals. It is equipped with a 6-speed pulley system, which yields spindle speeds from 525–5,200 rpm on the manual machine, or 1,000–10,000 RPM on the CNC and CNC-ready models.
If you wish to adapt a Taig Mill to some other CNC system, you can buy a CNC-Ready Taig Mill without the controllers, motors, and cables that Taig sells with its CNC Mills.
The “CNC-Ready” Mills (Models 2018, 2019, or 5019) are factory assembled, with ball bearings in lead screw bearing blocks, adjustable leadscrew nuts, couplers, and Nema 23 motor mounts. This unit does not include stepper motors or a control system. Handcranks are available, but they aren’t very useful for milling, since the calibration dials have been removed to make space for the stepper motors.
CNC-ready mills are only offered with the ¼ hp continuous-duty TEFC motor.
Please note that while Taig/Microproto is happy to offer free technical support for everything they sell, they can't help you with problems due to hardware and software you’ve purchased elsewhere.
The shortbed is 15.5″ long, with a travel of 9.5″ in the x axis. The longbed is 18.4″ long, with 12″ travel in x. The table size is 3.5″ × 15.5″ for the shortbed mills or 3.5″ × 18.5″ for the longbed mills. The longbed is particularly handy if you’re using Taig’s 4th axis attachment, which takes up some space on the bed. Most people think the extra x travel is worth the extra money, but if someone is very tight on space, or only works on very small projects, they might opt for the shorter bed.
Ballscrews are nearly frictionless screws that rely on ball bearings recirculated by special nuts to provide motive force, rather than the pressure of screw threads against nut threads. One great advantage of them is that they eliminate backlash nearly altogether. Backlash is the gap in motion transmission that occurs when a standard screw changes direction, and pressure on one side of a thread becomes pressure on the other side. Since there always has to be some clearance between the threads of the nut driving the mill’s axis and those of the screw it turns on (or it couldn’t turn), there is always a point in any change of direction at which the screw is turning but the axis is not moving. This translates into a tiny error in the dimensions of the finished part, which the control software can try to compensate for but doesn’t always get exactly right.
For years, people tried to retrofit their Taig mills with ballscrews, hoping for faster rapids, smoother action, and much lower backlash. The right screws were difficult to obtain and required some precision machining to install correctly. Finally Taig decided to offer them pre-installed as a standard option. Running these precision-rolled 5 threads-per-inch screws and nuts puts less stress on the motors, so lost step errors become less likely, while accuracy is improved by eliminating backlash. The ball screw option is available on the 2019 longbed frame only; this model is called the 5019.
Small, stepper-powered mills like these won’t destroy themselves like big servo-powered mills if they exceed the limits of travel; the motors won’t kill themselves by pushing against an immovable object. So limit switches haven’t been considered necessary on micro-mills like this, although they certainly don’t hurt, and can save you from losing position in a crash. But they also double as home switches, which are definitely handy to have, since they allow you to set a “home” position for all 3 axes to establish a machine-zero position without reference to the workpiece. You can save the offsets between the machine zero (home) position and the floating zeros that refer to the particular workpiece and restore them if position is lost.
Limit Switch on the XY Axis
By using a longer screw and adding a spacer between the column and base, it is possible to add an extra inch of travel to the y axis, which can be critical for certain projects. The standard y axis travel is 5.5″; this modification extends that to 6.5″. It’s important to note, though, that using this extra travel will require affixing a plate to the mill bed (not supplied) that projects out over the front edge of the bed to support the workpiece, if it’s not capable of supporting itself during the milling process. This option is not available on shortbed mills based on the 2018. The option is slightly cheaper on mills with leadscrews.
Extended Y Axis Option Installed on a Taig Mill
An ER-16 spindle is now standard for all Taig mills; the collets are standard and widely available, they have more capacity (up to ⅜″), and are available in metric sizes as well as Imperial.
Taig ER-16 Spindle Now Standard on All Taig Micro Mills
Taig has a good collection of accessories available for their mills. We sell these accessories only with the purchase of a mill. Some of the most popular accessories are available below once you choose the mill you wish to order. After selecting a mill, be sure to scroll down to the Accessories section at the bottom of the page.
The Milling Vise, shown in several photos on this site, and a 6-piece collet set are included standard with all Taig Mills.
1030 4-Jaw Chuck: This 3¼″ diameter all-steel chuck has 4 heat-treated reversable steel jaws that can move independently and are tightened with an Allen key, allowing square rectangular, octagonal, or round stock to be centered precisely and held firmly. Its internal ¾″-16 tpi threads match the rotary table adapter. If you’re only buying one chuck to use with the rotary table, this is the one we usually recommend. Note: these chucks are only used on certain lathes and the rotary table; their internal threads don’t match the 22mm–1.5mm threads of the ER spindle.
Taig 1030 4-Jaw Chuck Accessory (for rotary table)
1050 3-Jaw Scroll Chuck: This 3-jaw chuck can hold round and hexagonal stock. Its internal ¾″-16 tpi threads match the rotary table adapter. Unlike the 4 jaw chuck, the jaws on the 3-jaw chuck all move at the same time, allowing the user to load and unload parts very quickly, using the supplied “Tommy” bars. The soft aluminum jaws on this chuck can be easily machined for greater concentricity to the rotary table’s rotation, or to fixture special parts. Additional soft jaw sets (part 1151) can be purchased if needed. Note: these chucks are only used on certain lathes and the rotary table; their internal threads don’t match the 22mm–1.5mm threads of the ER spindle.
Taig 1050 3-Jaw Chuck Accessory (for rotary table)
1060 4-Jaw Scroll Chuck: This 4-jaw chuck is good for holding square, round, or octagonal stock, and can quickly load and unload parts. Its internal ¾″-16 tpi threads match the rotary table adapter. It holds more firmly than the 3-jaw scroll chuck and its aluminum soft jaws can also be machined for greater concentricity or for fixturing special parts. Additional soft jaw sets (part 1161) can be purchased if needed. Note: these chucks are only used on certain lathes and the rotary table; their internal threads don’t match the 22mm–1.5mm threads of the ER spindle.
Taig 1060 4-Jaw Chuck Accessory (for rotary table)
Jacobs Chucks: One of the most useful things the mill can do is to drill holes in specified locations. But most drill bits won’t fit in the supplied collets, which come in a limited range of sizes. To hold them, a Jacobs chuck is used. There are four choices in Jacobs Chucks. Along with each, we include an arbor that allows them to be held in the ⅜″ collet.
Four Taig Jacobs Chuck Accessories (for drilling)
End Mills: End mills are the tools normally used to cut metal with a milling machine. There are lots of variations in these, but this is a good starter set consisting of five double-ended cutters with flat ends. Sizes are ¹⁄₁₆″ ³⁄₃₂″ ⅛″ ⁵⁄₃₂″ ³⁄₁₆″.
End Mills Set (sold together as a set)
Slitting Saw: Sometimes it’s necessary to make a cut in a piece of material that’s thinner and deeper than an endmill can be expected to accomplish. For this, a slitting saw is used. We sell a high-speed slitting saw along with an arbor that holds it in the ⅜″ collet.
Hi Speed Slitting Saw and Arbor
Fly Cutter: A piece of material may not be flat on top, or it might be desirable to mill the surface down more rapidly than can be done with end mills. For this, a fly cutter is used. It uses a ¼″ square-section cutter to sweep over the material, removing a wide swath at a time.
Fly Cutter (sold separately)
Spindle Wrenches: The ER collet system uses two opposing nuts that tighten the tapered and slitted collet into a tapered recess in the spindle, which compresses it around the tool. For this, two one-inch spindle wrenches are required. We sell this as a set of two wrenches.
Spindle Wrench (sold as a set of two)
Fixture Plate: While a vise is good for holding small parts, sometimes it’s necessary to attach larger ones to the mill bed for machining operations. With this fixture plate, and some 10-32 screws and washers, this is easy to do. This fixture plate is 4″ × 14″ × ⅝″ with holes on 1″ centers, and attaches to the bed of any Taig mill with 9 screws and T-nuts.
Fixture Plate (sold separately)
Edge Finder: When machining parts precisely, it’s helpful to know exactly where the edge of the workpiece is. Using this ¼″ shank edge finder, you can do that without damaging your tool or your part. Just touch off the side of the edge finder to the edge of your workpiece, subtract the .1″ radius of the tip, and you’ve got it.
Edge Finder (sold separately)
Boring Bar Head and Bars: Drilling holes larger than about ⅜″ can require expensive tooling and bog down the mill’s spindle. This boring bar holder, which comes with long and short boring bars, makes this possible for holes up to up to 1½″ diameter. Drill a ⅜″ pilot hole, then insert this tool into the ⅜″ collet and extend the bar incrementally until the hole is the desired size.
Boring Bar Head with Two Boring Bars (sold separately)
We’re an authorized dealer for Taig Tools products and can offer these and other products found on the Taig Tools site, including any accessories when purchased with a mill, for 10% off list price. (This offer is limited to customers in the USA.) Please email us for pricing on any Taig Tools products, accessories, or lathes that aren’t featured here. We also can sell these tools to customers worldwide — call or email us for a shipping quote to your location.
Manufacturer: Taig Tools
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Reversable range from ⅛ to 3¼″. These chucks are only used on certain lathes and the rotary table.
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This is the easiest chuck to use as the jaws all move at the same time. These chucks are only used on certain lathes and the rotary table.
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