M head conversion?
Is it possible to retrofit an older M head? I see articles on converting a series 1&2. Also how readily available is tooling for a M2 taper?
I have a M head also and will be done with the CNC retro in a week or two. I got a MT2 to ER-25 chuck and a set of er25 collets and things are working good for what I use the machine for.
M to J conversion
I have a 1938 round-ram turret mill that came with the M head. It worked
pretty well, but I had real problems using a boring head. I eventually found
a beat-up J head and got it into working condition. It came mounted on the
rectangular plate that they mount the heads on on a multi-spindle or tracer
mill. I figured I could mill a flat area on the back of this casting, and drill
some holes so it could be mounted to the round ram. The big problems are
the much greater weight and additional overhang of the J head. If you
look at a Vee Ram machine, it has a center bolt and 3 clamp bolts for the
"pan" swivel. The round-ram has just that one bolt in the center. You will
have to REALLY pound it down tight to hold the head without sagging under
load. But, the good news is that the J head's spindle is a LOT stiffer, you
get a wider range of (lower) speeds, you get an extra inch of quill travel,
and you get an R-8 spindle taper. I'd never go back!
I don't know anything about converting an m-head to cnc, but some tooling is available through MSC.
I'm assuming your M-head is a Morse 2 taper spindle. They made a few with different tapers.
For the Morse 2 tapers, I've found collets, end mill holders, and ER collet chucks.
The msc website is www.mscdirect.com. I order a lot of tooling from them for my machine shop and I've always been very pleased with them.