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gunrunnerx

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#1
Hi All,

I purchased my 12Z a few months ago but business and a bad back has really slowed down my progress. I picked up a nice 2nd op job for an aftermarket Rhino parts manufacturer and needed another mill to fulfill the contract. So I ordered a 12Z and got a delivery date that would work with my contract and pulled the trigger. Well, Murphy showed up and somehow the shipment got held up in the Dominican. I lost my contract. Things have not been good since.

Thinking towards the future, and now no contract date to worry about, I had Paul swap the x and y screws for ball screws in prep to CNC. Doing this there are obviously no indicators on the hand wheels so I'm in the market for a DRO.

First question: what size scales have you guys been putting on your machines and from where?

Question 2: I'd really like to put in a way lube system but I'm worried about pulling the table to machine the slots with the ball nuts in place. I know they are a pain.

I already have my 3HP motor, belt drive & VFD. Unfortunately the mill is still in the crate. And a bench still needs made also. Lots of great ideas but my back has really slowed me down. So, any help you great mindscan share on my questions above would be very appreciated by a hobbling near cripple
 

wrmiller

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#2
Hi All,

I purchased my 12Z a few months ago but business and a bad back has really slowed down my progress. I picked up a nice 2nd op job for an aftermarket Rhino parts manufacturer and needed another mill to fulfill the contract. So I ordered a 12Z and got a delivery date that would work with my contract and pulled the trigger. Well, Murphy showed up and somehow the shipment got held up in the Dominican. I lost my contract. Things have not been good since.

Thinking towards the future, and now no contract date to worry about, I had Paul swap the x and y screws for ball screws in prep to CNC. Doing this there are obviously no indicators on the hand wheels so I'm in the market for a DRO.

First question: what size scales have you guys been putting on your machines and from where?

Question 2: I'd really like to put in a way lube system but I'm worried about pulling the table to machine the slots with the ball nuts in place. I know they are a pain.

I already have my 3HP motor, belt drive & VFD. Unfortunately the mill is still in the crate. And a bench still needs made also. Lots of great ideas but my back has really slowed me down. So, any help you great mindscan share on my questions above would be very appreciated by a hobbling near cripple
Well hello and welcome to the board! :)

I will suggest that Paul help with the removal of the table and ballscrews (I'm jealous, but will convert to ballscrews early next year even though I have no intention of CNC'ing this thing) but for the rest I recommend looking through my thread here about my setup of my 12Z. I got my one-shot oiling system from Paul and am happy to say that after two to three pulls of the handle I have oil oozing out everywhere on mine. (still trying to balance the system though) :D

The DRO/scales are the DROPros 3M kit, and I took the travel for the scales from the CO website (12" for Y, 26" for X, and 22" for Z) and am happy with my choices.

I'm no expert on these things, but I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have.
 

gunrunnerx

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#3
Thank you for the replies.

Paul is a great guy and I know did all he could. Not their fault the shipment had problems and I know they were wanting them to arrive as much as those that ordered. I apologize if that came across wrong. CO has treated me very well!

Thanks Paul! Please don't apologize. Not your fault.

wrmiller, thank you Sir. I read through your thread last night and is what prompted my thread. Being laid up I haven't had much time to work with the mill. Like I said, still in the crate. LOL. So researching and knowledge is the priority. Thank goodness for good people that share knowledge.

Thank you.
 

gunrunnerx

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#5
I am. Love it. I love gun smithing also. Amateur of course but would love to get my 07 ffl someday.
 

wrmiller

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#6
I am. Love it. I love gun smithing also. Amateur of course but would love to get my 07 ffl someday.
Well double welcome then! :)

I will be coming back to AZ (we lived in Tucson for over a decade, kids are in Glendale area) when I get done with this day job stuff in a few years. Then back to USPSA shooting and gunsmithing.
 

gunrunnerx

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#7
Now that sounds like fun. I always wanted to shoot competitively but my dang back has slowed me down too much. Too many bull rides, race cars, ball sports and other reckless abandon earlier in life. I'm not that old, but I feel like it now.
 

mattthemuppet2

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#8
are ballscrews recommended for manual machining? I've read in a bunch of places that they're generally a bad idea due to their extremely low friction relative to leadscrews. If you have a DRO then any backlash in a leadscrew should be a non-issue, right?
 

wrmiller

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#9
That comment's been floating around since before I was born. Some people just don't think things through I guess. Now if you like to leave a non-translating (moving) axis unlocked it could be a problem, but I don't plan on doing that (I don't do it with acme screws either). The plan is to use a quick release shaft lock on the end support/bearing carrier for my ballscrews that basically act the same way a stepper motor would while applying holding torque. There are no table locks on a CNC machine (come to think about it, if the acme screw is preventing table movement, why do manual machines need table locks?). The holding torque of the synchro or stepper basically clamps the ballscrew and prevents table movement along that axis. I just won't need a motor to do it. :)

It's just something I want to do, not trying to justify this to anyone.

Gunrunner: sorry for the slight hijack. :)
 
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gunrunnerx

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#10
Don't worry about that at all. I enjoy the conversation and knowledge transfer. Doesn't matter to me what thread its in. Thanks.
 

coolidge

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#11
are ballscrews recommended for manual machining? I've read in a bunch of places that they're generally a bad idea due to their extremely low friction relative to leadscrews. If you have a DRO then any backlash in a leadscrew should be a non-issue, right?
A zero backlash preloaded ball screw nut has plenty of grip on a ball screw and short of linear ways the table isn't going anywhere on its own with either type of screw. Remove the screws and nuts altogether and adjust the table gibs to a slight drag setting, it takes some effort to move the table in either x or y, the screws just make it seem like its loose and easy. The only axis I would be concerned with is Z where you have the weight of the head pushing down and motor vibration working against you. I would want that axis locked either mechanically or via stepper/servo motor with either type of screw. A ball screw is going to be more accurate, easier on power feeds, and last longer than a brass nut.
 

coolidge

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#12
Gunrunner you need to order a set of these for the Z axis hand crank. Bill did you just spit coffee on your monitor? :rofl:

th?id=HN.608003546574685274&pid=1.jpg
 

gunrunnerx

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#13
Actuall I was thinking of getting the 1" impact I saw on another thread. Then I can be really cool and yell at my wife, "Say hello to my little fren" in a heavy accented Pacino voice when I use it. LOL
 

wrmiller

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#14
Seriously? I find the effort to crank the head upwards on the 12Z to be very similar to that of my PM25. You just have to crank a bit longer given the differences in scale. :)

I have an idea for manually driving a stepper motor for Z that I need to talk to a couple of my engineers about. I'm not giving up positional control of the head just because I need to change a tool bit faster.
 

gunrunnerx

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#15
No I'm just kidding. I Don't find it difficult. Thats why I have kids.:lmao:
 

gunrunnerx

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#16
What are your guys' thoughts on tool holders? Is it better to go the ER route, or just the standard R8 collets or end mill set screw style? How about the Tormach Tool System?

I know Mach 1 is out there too, but I have the belt drive conversion going on. I think I remember reading there's a compatibility issue there? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Appreciate the thoughts.

Also, being I plan on CNCing later, does the CO 4th axis have a "manual" mode? I don't want to buy a rotary table and then have to add a servo to it later on if the CO will work now and later.:talktogod:
 

coolidge

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#17
Gunrunner if you crank the head all the way to the top of the column so you can lean in to clean and oil the ways be careful...yeah its been 1 days without a lost time accident in my shop :cussing: (Coolidge dabs the scabs on his skull with antiseptic)
 

coolidge

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#18
What are your guys' thoughts on tool holders? Is it better to go the ER route, or just the standard R8 collets or end mill set screw style? How about the Tormach Tool System?

I know Mach 1 is out there too, but I have the belt drive conversion going on. I think I remember reading there's a compatibility issue there? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Appreciate the thoughts.

Also, being I plan on CNCing later, does the CO 4th axis have a "manual" mode? I don't want to buy a rotary table and then have to add a servo to it later on if the CO will work now and later.:talktogod:
I paid $500 plus for the ETM ER32 collet set. I'm not sure it was the best purchase, the set is very high quality I'm just second guessing how often I will use it. That's the one purchase I wish I had held off on so I recommend you talk to the guys here on the forum and think carefully, don't get in a hurry like I did. I went with Glacern for the 45 deg face mill, I'm really happy with that purchase. I'm a long time Albrecht chuck fan and purchased an R8 shank Albrecht chuck. I ended up buying more measuring tools than tooling to date so I'll be watching this thread for recommendations.

Yes Mach 1 is not compatible with the belt drive kit last I heard you should check with David on that.
 

wrmiller

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#19
If you stay with standard shank sizes on your cutters R8 works fine. At least for me it does. Also keeps more money in your pocket for other stuff. :)

Mostly I think it comes down to personal preference. ERs are nice, but as Coolidge pointed out, spendy. So many choices.

Oh and sorry Coolidge: Couldn't help busting up laughing when I visualized what you did. Sorry. :lmao:

If it's any consolation, I've banged into my DRO display several times already when going around the right side of the machine. :angry:
 

coolidge

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#20
What Bill said, I wish I waited until I needed a collet set before purchasing it. And like Bill I don't see what the big deal is on swapping out R8 shank tooling. Now CNC that is another story, I would be looking closely at quick change options and something where you could input tool offsets. I would not go half way on that, either I would stick with basic tooling or go all the way to something suited for CNC, no half measures. That's one of the problems I have with the collet set, there's only one shank and for CNC I'd rather have my cutters in the tool holders permanently with the tool offset set so I could just load it and go.

Oh man Bill I smashed my skull on the head bad lol, thank God I didn't have a tool loaded in the spindle. I feel your pain on the DRO, my Kubota tractor roll bar bends over at 90 degrees so you can get the tractor under the garage door. Its the perfect height if you know what I mean, I probably smacked my head into that roll bar 10 or 12 times in the 2 years I have owned it. A baseball cap brim hides it perfectly from sight.
 

gunrunnerx

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#21
How about vises? Swivel or no swivel base?

Why?
 

wrmiller

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#22
I don't have a swivel base on any of my vises. Just haven't needed one, and I don't like the additional height and tolerance stack-up you get with the swivel base mounted.
 

darkzero

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#23
Same here, I prefer the vise right on the table with no swivel base. I got a 4" vise with swivel base for free with my mill (not a 12z) but I have never used it. I just haven't ran into a situation where I needed to use a swivel base but at least I have one just in case.

For me I don't like the height it adds either. And "in theory" it's less rigid than the vise bolted straight to the table. I'm sure if you get a quality unit it should be ground pretty accurately but that's just one more thing that can add to a loss of accuracy (if it really matters). But again I have never used one on my own mill so I can't say for sure.
 

Conan

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#24
GunrunnerX, congrats on the new machine!
I too am a new 12Z owner. I've have a Grizzly G0704 that I CNC'd about a year ago, plus I've been a machinist for about 30+ years. Here's my input (for what it's worth):
Regarding the tools - R8 works fine if you're not going to CNC the machine. If you do plan to go CNC, the two viable choices seem to be Tormach Tool System (which is the route I went with my G0704) and the NT30 tool holders ($$). I'm not at all sure the Tormach system is suited for any sort of heavy duty work. I plan to CNC my machine, but I'm sure if any heavy work is needed I"ll just end up using R8 based tools due to concerns about the Tormach system letting go. The good thing about the Tormach Tool System is it's very reasonably priced and reliable if you work within its limitations.
Regarding the vise - I'd go with a 5" vise, no swivel. It's sized just about perfectly for the 12Z (IMHO).
Regarding ballscrews - If you're going CNC, by all means! If no CNC, I'd just get a nice DRO and be done with it. It's worked for many thousands of manual mills all over the world.

Enjoy the new machine!
 

gunrunnerx

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#25
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback.

Conan, the x and y on my machine are already ball screwed. I had Paul do it at the factory for me. So I'm ahead of the game I think there come CNC time.


Has anyone "pinned" their tables like it shows in the CNC Cookbook? (I think that's where I saw that, please forgive me if I'm wrong).
 

darkzero

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#26
Regarding ballscrews - If you're going CNC, by all means! If no CNC, I'd just get a nice DRO and be done with it. It's worked for many thousands of manual mills all over the world.
I think I remember hearing some of you guys talking about converting to ball screws & not going CNC. I was always under the impression that ball screws are not recommended on a manual machine because of the reduced resistance. Are you guys just going to crank down on the gibs to compensate? And what happens with your dials? Well I don't use my dials either because of the DRO but you never know when you might need them again.
 
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JimDawson

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#27
My mill has ballscrews and when I'm using it in manual mode, I have never had a problem with the table drifting, even with no table locks. I can climb cut manually as well as conventional. It is much easier to turn than any manual machine I have ever used. There is probably some added resistance due to the servo motors, but it's not noticeable.

There is no reason you couldn't have dials with ballscrews.
 

darkzero

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#28
Ok but you have servo motors, how about with them? I have no desire to convert myself, just curious cause most say it's not recommended. And if there isn't any problem, I would think there would be a lot more people out there using ball screws on a manual machine.
 

wrmiller

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#29
Now that sounds like fun. I always wanted to shoot competitively but my dang back has slowed me down too much. Too many bull rides, race cars, ball sports and other reckless abandon earlier in life. I'm not that old, but I feel like it now.
This is why I buy machines. :))

DSCN4290.JPG

DSCN4290.JPG
 

John Hasler

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#30
Ok but you have servo motors, how about with them? I have no intention of converting myself, just curious cause most say it's not recommended. And if there isn't any problem, I would think there would be a lot more people out there using ball screws on a manual machine.
Couldn't you just add a drag brake if the machine moves too freely with ball screws?
 
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