Recycled Allen Key for locking/unlocking the Sieg Mini Mill table locks

I know that there is at least one other reader with a similar Milling machine to mine so I thought that this might be worth sharing.

For many milling operations, the accuracy of the work is improved if you lock the table in one or both axis. The problem with doing that is access, particularly on the Y axis. Locking the table is done by means of a cap screw which when tightened nips the gibs and prevents the table from moving in that axis while you work. These are located in the mid point of each axis. The Y axis one being under the table at the right hand side and directly in line with the hand wheel. There isn’t a lot of room in the there and for me at least at best I get my knuckles covered in grease at worst I leave skin behind… I do have a set of long T handled Allen Keys but the T bit is too long and it has to be put in at an angle to clear the hand wheel.

While watching a video where someone else was struggling to tighten the mill table down it occurred to me that I needed to make something with a straight shank that was thick enough to grip and turn

I initially planned to use brass or acetal but while rummaging in my tub of Allen keys looking for one that I could cut down I found and old cheapo centre punch with a knurled grip. It was so cheapo that at best only the tip must have been hardened because the tip was totally mashed up and cutting the end off, facing it and drilling it out on the lathe was no effort at all. Once drilled I ground a slight chamfer on one end of the stub of Allen key and bashed it into the punch handle.

Recycled Allen Key

Now I have the perfect tool. It fit’s under the mill table and allows me to lock/unlock the mill table with minimal effort. I had thought of cross drilling it to add a small cross bar but I don’t think I need it.