Installing a 3" Riser Block on a Barker Mill



Copyright 2011 by James P. Riser


The Barker milling machine is a small precision horizontal mill.


This size is perfect for my small one man shop and the items that I manufacture. This machine was purchased with several jobs for it in mind. To make this a reality I needed to add a 3" riser block. This page describes how I chose to install the block.

The machine weighs around 175 pounds and is too heavy to just lift to insert the block. I utilized my hydraulic lift table and my engine hoist to do the heavy work.

The first thing I did was to tip the machine over (resting it on a wooden 4 x 4 for support) to expose the bolts that I needed to remove. The underside of the base looks like this.


Here is the base separated from the column. The image on the left is as separated. The image on the right is with all mating surfaces cleaned up.


Here is the heavy cast iron block with its key cleaned and ready to be installed.


The entire top of the Barker was lifted and supported by my engine hoist. This held it in position for seating onto the block.


Notice that I slid one bolt into position and slid the machine base partially off of the cart surface. This gave me clearance underneath for tightening the bolt.


Instead of lowering the top on to the base, I slowly raised the cart surface up to align the base, block, keys, and top portions of the machine. The first bolt was then finger tightened in position. This was repeated with two of the other bolts.


To install the fourth bolt and still keep everything supported by the cart surface, I needed to tip over the machine. Once this bolt was installed, everything was securely tightened. The newly installed riser block can be seen in position below.


To accomplish what I want to with this machine I needed to make an arbor to fit the 3C collets and to hold the required small cutters.

Here is one such cutter with its arbor.


One of the jobs I have planned for this machine requires a small rotary table. The new 3" riser block allows this.

For several tasks where I require some angled cuts I can clamp down my tilting table.

The angle is adjusted with the crank.


A vise can be clamped to the tilting table.

For precise angles a sine vise may be used.

Spacer blocks will accurately hold the angle.


I picked up this pin wrench for tightening and releasing collets.


The next addition to this machine will be to mount a modified WW lathe bed, headstock, and tailstock onto the mill table for several specialized tasks. I'll post those pictures when I get around to the job.