Deckel Mill Status


The Deckel copy mill spins up and seems to be working… But we’re still figuring out a lot of it’s mysteries. …and there may be a few repairs that need to be made to get it to do everything (apparently there is a way to use it as a traditional mill)

It’ll probably be another month before we’re ready to teach classes on it, but I’m definitely thinking that the basic mill will be a pre-requisite.

We’re still figuring out how and where all of the parts go, but it’s an impressive machine to say the least. Feature wise, the deckel is pretty is pretty loaded. The power knee works, and the stages seem to move nicely, but it looks like we’ll need to find handles for two of the axis of movement. Those two axis also seem to have some kind of ratchet built in to advance each stage a measured amount. I also haven’t figured out what the lamps are for exactly, they don’t shine very brightly and only run off of 6v.

And… The deckel could definitely use a good cleaning… The paint is in good shape, but yeah, there is definitely a couple years of grime on it.

I’m excited to keep digging into the deckel. It should be an easier way for people to make metal parts without having to worry about learning a lot of CNC programming techniques. You can take a pattern from wood, cardboard, or even a 3d print and make an aluminum part from that pattern. I’m not sure how close or precise the final parts will be, but I get the feeling it should be pretty useful for art projects.

And big thanks to Michael Atherton, David Hanson, and Dean Day for helping to figure out the Deckel!


Exciting stuff! Thanks to all of you folks!

Pictured: Deckel being fine tuned by an monkel :monkey:. Notice the fine tuning tool and high brow ridge.


I would suggest scanning the manual so that others can read it. It has good suggestions for how to use the machine.


If you’re talking about the physical printed manual on the machine I fully agree, except it covers an optional add on component that isn’t there.

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I’ll do some hunting. If there isn’t a copy online, I may go ahead and grab it this evening and scan it to the wiki page.


I think I may have found a manual. I believe what we have is a deckel kf1 or kf12 judging by photos.

Edit: Almost certain it is a KF12. Manual i thought I found was for a completely different machine and all in German.

I was thinking it was a kf2…

I have not started scanning the book yet, but that may get started this evening.

I won’t argue with a plate, makes me wonder what the difference between a 1 and 2 is.

I haven’t dug too deep into the different types, but thank you for all the help tonight cleaning the deckel after the lathe class!

I’m a bit surprised how easy it is to read all those dials now despite being originally made in the 60s. It’s like they’re brand new!

…I still haven’t scanned the ‘copy attachment manual’ but it’s been interesting digging into deckel’s history while trying to figure if they exist today. Long history somewhat short, Deckel use to be an incredibly good custom camera shutter manufacturer in the 1900s, people ended up wanting their machines for making those shutters instead, and ended up making these copy mills all the way up to the 1994 when they were purchased by Gildemeister AG and became DMG, which now produce high precision CNC equipment.

So, now I’m waiting from a response from DMG as to if they have a digital copy of the manual available, as well as some of the super cool accessories (like there’s a way to take a flat pattern and turn it into a cylindrical part).


Okay, I think I found out the difference between a kf1/kf12 and the kf2 after looking over some videos of kf12s. It looks like the 1 and 12s were only two speed and lacked the powered bed and variable speed our kf2 has. Still in the dark about what function the 2nd button does.

Found this, fun to see it in action…


what a cool tool!

That is cool

I think we just need to come up with a vice and some different diameter tracing pins and then we should be able to start cutting chips on the machine…

For some odd reason, I keep thinking an outline of a rubber ducky would make for a great test project.

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Aluminum ducky
Your the one
You make milling
So much fun


Yes. A duck is what I wanted to make on the Tormach.

Small update…

Forgot we had a spare vice in the metalshop…
Bad news is that the T-slots in the deckel are not the same standard slots used in the emco or the tormach.

I’ll check with the big to store, but we may end up having to order a metric set of nuts and bolts.

There’s a vise in the NW corner of the garage too.

Thanks David! that will be handy!

So, the manual is all scanned in now, all 112 pages. Unfortunately, it’s sitting in the admin drive as 112 individual jpeg files in a folder called ‘Deckel Mill’ at the moment. Tom and James have volunteered to help put those individual files into one big file, and then hopefully we can go into the wiki and drop the file there for easy access to everyone looking for a manual on the deckel.

It is a bit of a bummer that we don’t have all the attachments shown in the book, but there’s still a lot we can do with what we have. Like we still have the ability to mirror the design of a part, scale a part, as well as invert the design of a part (like if we were trying to make a mold of a part out of metal).

Also, I stopped by the Big Tool Store on the T-slot nuts for the Deckel… all they carried were SAE parts, sooooo no dice on metric slots. However, it does look like harbor freight does carry a 12mm machinist clamping kit that might fit the Deckel.

Just for fun, the picture below is apparently a part that can be made on the Deckel using some spiffy little tricks.

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