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12z Update And Status After A Year.

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wrmiller

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#1
Well, it's been a year now (doesn't seem like it...) and I apparently can't leave well enough alone, so...

I'm making changes to my mill. Again. :D

I'm finally going to install a separate control panel for the VFD courtesy of Paul at CO, and remove the fwd/rev switch and put the front panel back onto the VFD. And I'm going to redo the layout of the one-shot oiling system I put on by moving the manifold to the side of the saddle so I have only one line running from the pump to the saddle. I'll run new lines under the table to de-clutter even further.

But the big move will be the change over to ball screws on the X and Y axis. In the last year I've managed to use up all of the backlash adjustment on the X-axis nut, and instead of just replacing the nut, or designing/making a double-nut replacement like the big boys use, I've decided to just go for it and replace everything. Especially after talking to Paul and him telling me that the difference is like night and day in how the machine feels when you're operating it (they've done this conversion for other customers' manual machines). I went ahead and cheated, in that I ordered the kit from CO so I don't have to fabricate anything other than some bushings/adapters to put my handwheels on the end of the screws. Not sure if I have to do anything to re-use my X-axis power feed. We'll see.

So I've already taken the table and saddle off of the mill, and thought I'd do a close visual to see how things are wearing after a year. The ways of the table barely show any marks. Had to look real close to find any at all. The X-axis ways on the saddle show a bit more in the way of 'bright marks' (table harder than the saddle?), but they appear to be very evenly distributed. The Y-axis ways on the saddle and base barely show anything. Same for the Y-axis screw and nut. Guess we know which axis I move the most. Oh, and when I took this thing apart, the table and saddle ways were sopping wet with oil. Guess the oiler is doing it's job. :)

So stay tuned, and I'll post some comments and pics as I go through this conversion. The ball screw kit is still about a week or two from arrival (Paul was out of screws when I ordered the kit, but should have them today or Friday).
 

Chris Bettis

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#2
Damnit quit giving me ideas. I haven't even recieved my mill and im already looking to spend more on upgrades than i paid for it. Remember I have a lathe to purchase as well.

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coolidge

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#3
Inspirational photos for you guys...

Spindle speed, forward, reverse, stop controls wired properly to the VFD allowing the VFD to control these functions. Motor wired directly to the VFD. The cable carrier worked out well to keep the cables from flopping down in the way.

This heavy gauge electrical cabinet silenced some of the noise from the VFD fan. I installed a big fan on the upper left to vent the cabinet. Those hooks came in handy on the back of the stand, you can get the track and various size/style hooks at Lowes.



The Culter Hammer spindle speed pot wasn't cheap, but its super nice, has a hydraulic feel to it and 270 degrees of rotation, you will have very fine control over spindle speed with this vs the lame VFD pot. If you go too cheap on the speed pot you will regret the decision.



I didn't want 110vac out on the controls so I picked up a 24 vdc power supply, all the controls are running 24vdc to the VFD. The relay wiring was a bit crazy, it looks like a magnetic field. As I mentioned to Bill yesterday I used 12-4 flex power cord from the VFD to the motor and 10-4 flex power cord for my 25 foot extension cord. I used 4 wire for 2 hots, neutral, and a ground. All grounds tie back to a single rail, you can see the 3 ground lugs ganged together in the pic, then off to the service panel via the extension cord big 10 gauge ground wire.
 
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wrmiller

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#4
Damnit quit giving me ideas. I haven't even recieved my mill and im already looking to spend more on upgrades than i paid for it. Remember I have a lathe to purchase as well.

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Tapatalk
The single, biggest bang-for-the-buck update I would recommend for this mill is the belt-drive conversion. Completely changes the characteristics of the machine.
 

coolidge

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#5
Bill did you upgrade your spindle bearings when you converted to belt drive?
 

wrmiller

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#6
CO upgraded the bearings as part of the 3 hp/VFD upgrade.

Good point though, as this would fall to the owner to do if upgrading to the belt drive after the sale.
 

Chris Bettis

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#7
Let me know if parts need machining while your mill is out of commission for the ballscrew upgrades. Mine should be here within a couple weeks. I think...

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wrmiller

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#8
Thanks Chris! :)

I will have to make a few bushings/collars to fit my hand wheels and power feed on the lathe, but according to Paul I shouldn't have to fabricate any support plates. We'll see. Paul told me yesterday that my ball screws showed up and he'll have everything boxed up and out to me in a day or two.

I'm taking the two weeks of Christmas and New Years off, so guess where I'll be spending my vacation time? :D
 

Chris Bettis

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#9
Nice! Hopefully my mill showed up in the same shipment. Still awaiting an email confirming its arrival.

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wrmiller

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#10
Paul contacted me yesterday and asked if I was using my 12z with the ball screw kit as a manual machine only, and don't intend to convert to CNC in the future. Apparently, the ball screw conversion has become popular with some of the manual machine crowd, and there are some modifications that they can do to the bearing blocks to make using hand wheels much more easy. Once the mods are done though, you can't go CNC. So they are going to go ahead and make the mods and get the stuff in the mail to me next week.

It would be cool to talk to some of the other 12z owners that have done this and other mods, but don't hang out here. Is there a forum somewhere else for CO owners? Yahoo maybe?
 
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Chris Bettis

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#11
Not that I know of...

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tmarks11

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#12
Well there is the forum on cnczone, but few post there.
 

wrmiller

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#13
Thanks Tim, know about those folks. I won't go over there either. No manual guys over there.
 

wrmiller

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#14
OK, ball screws are on the way. UPS says they'll get here next Wed.. :)

Paul at CO has been sending me some emails with some instructions, required mods, and pictures.

I have not done this yet, as I'm awaiting the kit so I can visualize this better, but a pocket has to be milled for the Y-axis ball screw and mount.

DSCN0773.jpg

Next, you have to modify the mill base by lengthening the center slot by 3" (this is my mill) IMG_0615.JPG

And for those with chip trays, you either have to remove the chip tray, or cut a hole in it so you can access the bottom of the saddle/Y-axis ball nut mount. So...I cut a hole in my chip tray between the front two base webbings. :(

IMG_0616.JPG

I have not done this yet, but I have to enlarge the hole in the front of the base. I'm waiting to see just how big I need, but Paul sent me a pic of the rig they use. He says it works great when they are doing 6 or more machines at a time. Not sure what this getup is.

DSCN0776.jpg
Here's a pic Paul sent showing the X-axis screw and nut installed.

DSCN0794.jpg
Here's a couple of pics showing the assembly of the ball nut, ball nut nose, and ball nut mount. Guess I get to make a spanner to assemble these...

DSCN1158.jpg
DSCN1159.jpg
More to follow...
 

Chris Bettis

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#15
OK, ball screws are on the way. UPS says they'll get here next Wed.. :)

Paul at CO has been sending me some emails with some instructions, required mods, and pictures.

I have not done this yet, as I'm awaiting the kit so I can visualize this better, but a pocket has to be milled for the Y-axis ball screw and mount.

View attachment 116488

Next, you have to modify the mill base by lengthening the center slot by 3" (this is my mill) View attachment 116489

And for those with chip trays, you either have to remove the chip tray, or cut a hole in it so you can access the bottom of the saddle/Y-axis ball nut mount. So...I cut a hole in my chip tray between the front two base webbings. :(

View attachment 116490

I have not done this yet, but I have to enlarge the hole in the front of the base. I'm waiting to see just how big I need, but Paul sent me a pic of the rig they use. He says it works great when they are doing 6 or more machines at a time. Not sure what this getup is.

View attachment 116491
Here's a pic Paul sent showing the X-axis screw and nut installed.

View attachment 116492
Here's a couple of pics showing the assembly of the ball nut, ball nut nose, and ball nut mount. Guess I get to make a spanner to assemble these...

View attachment 116493
View attachment 116494
More to follow...
Looks like Wednesday will be Christmas for both of us!

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brav65

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#16
Bill good thing you kept your little guy so that you can still machin some parts!
 

wrmiller

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#17
Yup, he's just waiting for me to start. :D

IMG_0618.jpg
 

coolidge

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#18
Bill are you going to support the opposite end of the X screw with a bearing given how long the table is? Also angular bearings give you some wiggle room but your reference will be the end of the table, if its not square front to back and with the top of the table you can put the bearings into a bind requiring shims to correct or surfacing of the end of the table. Get it right and you will love those screws, but take it slow and methodical it can be frustrating to get everything aligned.
 

wrmiller

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#19
Right now I'm waiting to see what is in the kit, but yea, I'm not going to rush this.
 

Chris Bettis

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#20
Paint is going on now. 90531a4dece0f1f2f53099e63ac976fc.jpg

Oops wrong place admin help!
 

wrmiller

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#21
Oops. :D
 

Chris Bettis

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#22
Tapatalk app gets confused sometimes.

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wrmiller

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#23
The ball screw kit is here. Coolidge, there are brackets for each end of the screws. A nice feature is the ball nut mounts already have fittings to hook them up to my oiling system, and the Y-axis mount has a brush to keep the larger junk out of the ball nut. :)

I will get started this weekend when the temps here get above 40.
 

coolidge

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#24
Bill do you have one of these, it might be helpful to check that the mounting surfaces are parallel with each other. Even Y on your mill is fairly long front to rear, the longer the distance the more an error will magnify at the opposite end. Just thinking out loud. I had one of these for wood working, its pretty accurate.
 
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wrmiller

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#25
Yup, have one of those. :)
 

wrmiller

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#26
Got the saddle milled, drilled and tapped for the Y-axis ball nut mount.
IMG_0621.jpg IMG_0622.jpg
 

wrmiller

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#27
And here's the VFD control box Paul sent (I just asked for a schematic and recommend parts list...).
IMG_0623.jpg
 

wrmiller

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#28
Y-axis screw assembled, working on the X-axis ball nut mount.
IMG_0624.jpg

Oops... Houston we have a problem. The ball nut nose OD extends below the ball nut mount surface that interfaces with the saddle. I was not given instructions about having to mill/grind a clearance pocket for the ball nut nose, so I sent Paul an email for clarification.
IMG_0625.jpg

So I guess I've reached a stopping point until I hear back from Paul. Hopefully he isn't taking all of next week off...
 

tmarks11

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#29
Looks to me like you know what you have to do, start milling that slot!

The other choice would be to make a shim/spacer to lift the housing up, but I am guessing that if you do that you might not have enough clearance to the mill table?
 

wrmiller

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#30
Good question. I think tomorrow I will flip over the mill table and test mount the ball nut mount on the saddle and slide them together to see just how much 'headroom' I have. Thanks Tim.

If lacking the necessary headroom, I already have a 3/8" ball endmill identified... :)

(sure am glad I have a backup mill)
 
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