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Grizzly G0704 Cnc Conversion

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TomS

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The backtracking you are going through isn't anything we haven't experienced during our builds. Consider it a learning experience. I lost count of the number of times I assembled, then had to disassemble my mill because parts didn't fit right or I left something on the bench that needed to be installed three steps prior. When you have it done and up and running you will know your mill inside and out.

Keep the faith. You are almost there.

Tom S.
 

MontanaAardvark

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Thanks for the encouragement.

A couple of days ago, I had a private message from a guy who said he had bought a ready made CNC mill because he'd rather make parts than make a CNC mill. I understand. It's a long project, and to be honest, I'd rather be working on the kinds of things I want the mill for, but I really see the benefits of doing this. I've learned a lot and had to solve a lot of puzzles - almost every step of the way.

Again being completely honest, I can use to learn as much as I can.
 

jbolt

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And you have the benefit of knowing the machine inside and out so if anything fails or needs adjustment you'll know where to look and how to fix it.

I found building my machine very rewarding and educational. I would rather build machines and make parts. :grin:
 

Davd Flowers

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Not to put any pressure on you or anything like that, but right now there is over 25 thousand people watching this thread that are looking forward to seeing you complete it... No pressure :)
Loved the 3d printed mounts btw.
 

MontanaAardvark

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Not to put any pressure on you or anything like that, but right now there is over 25 thousand people watching this thread that are looking forward to seeing you complete it... No pressure :)
Loved the 3d printed mounts btw.
LOL.

So yesterday I had an idea for a last ditch attempt to prevent having to take everything apart.

I pulled the new bent tube and made a new one so I'd have more tube to play with. After I heated the tube and flared it so it fits the oil fitting, I stuck the plastic tube from a spray can of air in it, held it over a heat gun and bent it a little past a right angle (plastic tube to emulate something like putting sand in a metal tube before you bend it - to keep the walls from collapsing/kinking). This was definitely a lower profile bend. I put that in place, but a straight edge sliding over it still rubbed on the tube. If I held the tube down with a finger tip, it seemed to clear, so I put a spot of RTV there and then taped it down with duct tape. It was still too high, so I stacked about 15 pounds of weights on top of it to clamp it as low as it gets. The tube said RTV takes a full 24 hours to cure, but after about 18, I took off the weights and tape to look at it.

BentTube-2.JPG

It worked. You can see the gap between the tube and slide in this picture. The white thing is a scrap of business card that I measure at .010". It's a bit loose in there, but a .025 feeler gage doesn't fit. I'd guess .012 to .015 or so, but haven't spent time trying to measure it. I think that if it doesn't rub, that's all I care about.

Onward!
 

MontanaAardvark

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I'm going to revise this post. I decided not to go with the way it was. I know I measured about .012 clearance, but I wasn't completely sure the table was sitting as close to that tube as it ever gets. So I decided to machine away the part of the table that crosses and could rub on the tube. I mentioned this yesterday and said I'd need a mill at least the size of the G0704 to do it, and a friend suggested an angle grinder. I had simply not thought of it because I just don't have experience with using one. I bought one months ago for this project and then used my Sherline mill to do the cutting the grinder was intended for.

It ended up going very quickly and came out remarkably smooth. Now I have plenty of clearance over that tube.
CutAway1.JPG

Yeah, this is a bit of "belt and suspenders" approach, but I see it more like, "I've spent so much time and money on this project, I don't want to screw it up by doing something stupid, or not doing something I should do".

EDIT 1/29 1942 EST - I left out a word; changed "I had simply not thought of it because I just don't experience with using one" to "I had simply not thought of it because I just don't have experience with using one"
 
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MontanaAardvark

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The conversion is complete. My mill moves on all three axes and is ready to start making chips.


It's not Done done, but I think it's fully usable. As I say in the video description, it's time to move from construction to optimization; building to tweaking. I've run all three axes for only a few minutes, and haven't cut any metal yet, but I think I could. I debated doing some engraving or something today to record, but instead just recorded about five minutes of a machine warmup routine I wrote. Even I found that too boring to watch, so I cut it down to about a minute and a half. Heck, just watch the last 30 seconds.

On the plus side, I checked accuracy this afternoon, at least on the small scale. When I tell the mill to move 0.100", it goes .100. When I tell it to go 0.500, it goes 0.500. Well, I can see what the QC guys call “ballscrew drunkenness” - a tendency for each turn to not be exactly the same length. Mechanical engineering classes teach that a screw is an inclined plane, so think of it as lumpiness in that inclined plane. Being accurate over half an inch means I swagged the scale for the machine sufficiently accurately for it to be OK for things smaller than an inch. I will recheck that with a longer scale by using 6" calipers.

Done.JPG

The mill's corner of the shop.

On the negative side, it has too much backlash. The whole purpose of changing from the leadscrews in the mill to ballscrews was to reduce backlash to the smallest amounts I could get. I measured over .010 on X and Y, with Z coming in at a more respectable .004. I was hoping for .001 or .002 on all three. Frankly, I'm kinda ****** at that. I'm not exactly sure where to start looking for the cause. It has the potential of making me pull things apart again. (Do your best Sam Kinison voice and scream, “No!, NO!!, NOOOOOOO!!!!”). Also on the negative side, I don't think I'm getting rapids as fast as Hoss says he gets. Rapid movements aren't terribly important because you can't do any cutting at those speeds, but they cut your production time if you need to go back and forth a lot to make something. The last moves in that video are done with a feed rate of 100 IPM, and while the LinuxCNC software interpolation partitions that speed between all the axes somehow, it's quite a bit faster than anything I can get on my A2ZCNC/Sherline mill.

Of course, in the total sense this is far from done. The advantage is that for everything I do from now on, I have the big mill for help if I need to make parts and not just the smaller mill. Things to work on are to hook up the oiling harness (I have everything except the oil), build the enclosure and the cooling system. I had been considering flood coolant all along for this, but need to consider misting or other alternatives, before I go buy parts.

As for now, I'm just going to enjoy completing a long, long project. Tomorrow's my birthday, so it's good day to celebrate.
 

TomS

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Tweaking is a normal sequence of events after completing assembly. Heck, I've had my machine running for almost two years and it's been apart many times to correct those nagging little things that drive me nuts. As a matter of fact it's apart now because I'm trying to get the backlash down to a respectable number.

And by the way, nice job!

Tom S.
 

MontanaAardvark

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Tweaking is a normal sequence of events after completing assembly. Heck, I've had my machine running for almost two years and it's been apart many times to correct those nagging little things that drive me nuts. As a matter of fact it's apart now because I'm trying to get the backlash down to a respectable number.

And by the way, nice job!

Tom S.
Thanks, Tom,

If I may ask, what kind of backlash are you looking at? Is it around .010 like mine, or are you going between .003 and .001?

I'm going to spend some time with it and make sure it holds up to the stresses of cutting something, and then go look at motor tuning. I'm using LinuxCNC, which I still haven't decided if I'm going to stay with. I know motor tuning has a lot to do with what kind of speeds I can get, and the way LinuxCNC does that has me scratching my head. That latency testing aspect just hasn't sunk in.


Bob
 

TomS

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Thanks, Tom,

If I may ask, what kind of backlash are you looking at? Is it around .010 like mine, or are you going between .003 and .001?

I'm going to spend some time with it and make sure it holds up to the stresses of cutting something, and then go look at motor tuning. I'm using LinuxCNC, which I still haven't decided if I'm going to stay with. I know motor tuning has a lot to do with what kind of speeds I can get, and the way LinuxCNC does that has me scratching my head. That latency testing aspect just hasn't sunk in.


Bob
I'm chasing about .007" in the X axis. Haven't checked Y yet. Here's the link to my thread. It's been a challenge. http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/chasing-backlash.55182/#post-456709

Tom S.
 

MontanaAardvark

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I'm chasing about .007" in the X axis. Haven't checked Y yet. Here's the link to my thread. It's been a challenge. http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/chasing-backlash.55182/#post-456709

Tom S.
Wow. Just read that whole thread. Not sure I understand all of it, but most of it is just like the hardware on the G0704 conversion. I'm a lot more concerned about mils here and there than I was before.

I note one of the guys said "0 is acceptable backlash and with double ball nuts should be achievable". Zero? To how many decimal places? I wonder if that's realistic. If you took a production mill from someone like Tormach and measured it, would you really get 0.000? If you do get 0.000, do you have to tweak that periodically to keep the low backlash? Parts wear out, after all.

It's not a great comparison, but my A2ZCNC/Sherline system has backlash in the .005 range.


Bob
 

TomS

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Wow. Just read that whole thread. Not sure I understand all of it, but most of it is just like the hardware on the G0704 conversion. I'm a lot more concerned about mils here and there than I was before.

I note one of the guys said "0 is acceptable backlash and with double ball nuts should be achievable". Zero? To how many decimal places? I wonder if that's realistic. If you took a production mill from someone like Tormach and measured it, would you really get 0.000? If you do get 0.000, do you have to tweak that periodically to keep the low backlash? Parts wear out, after all.

It's not a great comparison, but my A2ZCNC/Sherline system has backlash in the .005 range.


Bob
I'm relatively new to CNC, about 2 years experience, but parts do wear in and need periodic checking and adjustment. This is particularly true when you are wanting backlash to be in the .000" to .001" range. As an example when I first installed the double ball nuts I was able to machine a circular pocket that was round to within .001" - .002". Now that I've run in the ball nuts for a few months I've got excessive backlash and therefore out-of-round bores. Now that the ball nuts have run time on them and get the backlash to an acceptable level it will stay that way for a while.

My goal is zero backlash but I don't know if I will get there. I'm trying though.

Tom S.
 

JimDawson

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I note one of the guys said "0 is acceptable backlash and with double ball nuts should be achievable". Zero? To how many decimal places? I wonder if that's realistic. If you took a production mill from someone like Tormach and measured it, would you really get 0.000? If you do get 0.000, do you have to tweak that periodically to keep the low backlash? Parts wear out, after all.
That was me. With preload on the ball nuts there is an interference fit, so therefore no axial movement is possible between the ballscrew and the ballnut. This also assumes that the ball track is not somehow floating inside of the ballnut, not sure if that is even possible. This also applies to the preloaded end support bearing, if everything is tight no axial movement is possible. Now, having said that, the overall system may have flex, stretch, or looseness in it that would manifest as backlash.

I would expect the Tormach right off of the assembly line to have no backlash if it was setup correctly. After 30 days of run time I would expect it to loosen up a bit and would expect to need to make adjustments. Once that is done, periodic adjustment might be necessary but at a much lower frequency to keep it in proper tune.
 

MontanaAardvark

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That was me. With preload on the ball nuts there is an interference fit, so therefore no axial movement is possible between the ballscrew and the ballnut. This also assumes that the ball track is not somehow floating inside of the ballnut, not sure if that is even possible. This also applies to the preloaded end support bearing, if everything is tight no axial movement is possible. Now, having said that, the overall system may have flex, stretch, or looseness in it that would manifest as backlash.

I would expect the Tormach right off of the assembly line to have no backlash if it was setup correctly. After 30 days of run time I would expect it to loosen up a bit and would expect to need to make adjustments. Once that is done, periodic adjustment might be necessary but at a much lower frequency to keep it in proper tune.
If that came across as harsh or critical, I didn't mean it that way. By background, I'm an engineer (electrical - so mechanical is mostly out of my "comfort zone") and I'm just trying to understand what's going on. Obviously, nothing is zero backlash to the millionth of an inch, and probably not to a tenth (.0001"). It seems like something is always going to show up that looks like backlash. If it's always there, when do we stop chasing things? When is it "good enough"? I guess we all make that call.

As I said, I have backlash issues on my newly converted G0704, too. Quite a bit worse than Tom's (.010"). Before I take apart my mill, I'd like to have a good idea of what I'm looking for.

I had to re-ball one of the ballnuts off of one of Chai's ballscrew/nut combinations and while I know there's not supposed to be axial motion, I didn't see anything in there that would guarantee that. I didn't see a shim of any kind. I didn't take the two halves apart, though, so it's possible one was in there.

One of those things I've read is that people put larger ball bearings into the ballnuts and take out backlash that way. The way I think of it, there are something like 8 races in the linearmotion ballnuts. If you have 5 mils of backlash, maybe that means you make the balls .005/8 bigger or .000625". The ones I just bought were .1244", this would say to use 0.1250 bearings. Turns out the ebay seller I bought from sells them. Is that .005 divided over the 8 races the right way to think of this?

The thing that gets me is that ballscrews (really all screws) have imperfections from turn to turn so that the exact distance between turns wanders around the ideal. When I was looking at my screws with a dial indicator, some spots seemed to be off about .001" from one tenth (0.100") to another but averaged out to be right. It worked out that going from tenth to tenth it could be 0.1.00, 0.099 or .101, but over the few .500" intervals I measured it was perfect. Regardless of lost motion in the machine, that .001" is going to show up on some cuts. There are different "classes" of screw that have tighter or loser tolerances on this, and as you'd expect, the higher the class of screw, the more expensive. Now, having a circle out of round by .001, or a hole location off by .001 isn't always going to matter, but it's always there.

What about the way they deform under load? Under load, the balls go out of round and the thread they're in changes shape, too. It probably doesn't contribute to backlash, but it contributes to overall accuracy.

Sorry if this is rambling. As I say, I'm trying to understand all this. Is there a general tutorial approach to tracking down where backlash is coming from? A "do this, check that"? kind of thing?
 

Davd Flowers

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With the stepper motor removed set up a dial indicator on the end of the screw, lock the table, then rotate the screw by hand. If the screw is moving in and out your problem is in the axial bearings. Thats where mine was. If it does not move it could be in the ball screw, but .010" is an awful lot...makes me think the balls might not be in their proper tracks or something???
 

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The .010 is the one I re-balled. The one I never touched is .012. I figure that's "in the noise". It's got to be the axial bearings.

On the topic of running the table longer distances and verifying it moves as commanded, I was just measuring the length of 2 1-2-3 blocks I have. I have three sets of calipers. Two of the three read 6.000 (and they all throw in that meaningless fourth decimal place that's either 0 or 5). One set read 5.998. I think that one will be relegated to the woodworking side of my shop.

I assume it's obvious that I wouldn't have built it up if I knew there was that much backlash.

Edit to add: left out a piece of the first sentence, second paragraph.
 

TomS

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A special thanks to jbolt for enlightening me on this test. You can isolate the source of your backlash by mounting a dial indicator to something other than the table, e.g. the column or the saddle then set the dial indicator tip to the end of your table. Remove the stepper motor and the AC bearings. Push the table in one direction and set the DI to zero. Now push the table in the opposite direction and note the DI reading. It should be zero but if it isn't then you have clearance in the ball screw/ball nut assembly. This is a test I have not done yet but intend to do when I get back in the shop on Tuesday.

I have done the test Dave described in his post above and I have zero screw movement in relation to table movement with the AC bearings assembled and preloaded. This is telling me my backlash problem is not with the bearings. Hopefully I will find the source of backlash is in the ball nut.

Tom S.
 

MontanaAardvark

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With the stepper motor removed set up a dial indicator on the end of the screw, lock the table, then rotate the screw by hand. If the screw is moving in and out your problem is in the axial bearings. Thats where mine was. If it does not move it could be in the ball screw, but .010" is an awful lot...makes me think the balls might not be in their proper tracks or something???
It makes sense to me that if I can turn the screw without turning the motor, I need to crank that out first. I never did that because I didn't have a good way to do it. The motor shafts are 3/8" on one end and 1/4" on the other, the ballscrews are 5/16" and the only handwheel I had is one from my Sherline systems, which only fits 1/4".

I started out about noon to make a quickie adapter, so that I could put the 1/4" drive Sherline handwheel on the 5/16" ballscrew, but realized that was overly complicated. I have the original Grizzly handwheels, and they have a 0.393" ID, so I all I needed was a little steel sleeve adapter to make it fit the 5/16" shaft. The Grizzly has a Woodruff key, which I replaced with a setscrew.

With this on the left end of my X-axis, I can wobble the handwheel quite noticeably before any motion starts. There's my .012 backlash, I bet. Of course, I need to take off the motor and all on the right side, but with this in place, I'll be able to feel the backlash come out.
Adapter.JPG
Unfortunately neither the Y or Z axes have a place to mount this on the far end while I mess with the driven end.
 

MontanaAardvark

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As a side note, I may as well ask here. Is anyone using LinuxCNC on a system like this? Anything using Chai's C7 ballscrews?

I'm getting the most bizarre results with LinuxCNC's StepConfig program to determine accuracy and would like to compare the numbers for leadscrew pitch that work in the StepConfig window. The program asks for turns per inch. I set my calipers to 1" and counted the number of threads as 5. That was close enough to allow me to tweak that value to get the table travel to be correct.

When I first started moving the table, it went much, much farther. I had to tweak that number down to 1.27 TPI from 5! The thing is, when you turn the handwheel, you get almost 5 turns.

These numbers work out if you convert the 5mm pitch (RM1605 or 2005 ballscrews), one turn is 0.197", which is what I get. That turns into 5.08 TPI. A far cry from 1.27 TPI.

Thought I'd ask here before I went to the LinuxCNC forums.

Backlash.JPG
 

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Did you set the steps per turn?
 

MontanaAardvark

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Sure. 200 steps per revolution with 8x microsteps. No pulley or other reduction, just 1:1.
 

jbolt

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A special thanks to jbolt for enlightening me on this test. You can isolate the source of your backlash by mounting a dial indicator to something other than the table, e.g. the column or the saddle then set the dial indicator tip to the end of your table. Remove the stepper motor and the AC bearings. Push the table in one direction and set the DI to zero. Now push the table in the opposite direction and note the DI reading. It should be zero but if it isn't then you have clearance in the ball screw/ball nut assembly. This is a test I have not done yet but intend to do when I get back in the shop on Tuesday.

I have done the test Dave described in his post above and I have zero screw movement in relation to table movement with the AC bearings assembled and preloaded. This is telling me my backlash problem is not with the bearings. Hopefully I will find the source of backlash is in the ball nut.

Tom S.
If you do a push test be sure to lock the Y-axis so there will be no movement there that could skew the findings.

Another way to test the ball nut is with the AC bearings in place. Lock the table and put a TDI on the end of the shaft with the base on the table, put disk on the shaft like you did before with a mark and an indicator and try to rotate the screw. If the screw rotates a little and there is no in-out movement of the shaft then the play is in the ball nut. If you can measure the amount of rotational travel of the shaft you can calculate the amount of backlash or at least a close approximation.

It would be nice to know how the double ball nuts are preloaded. Shims, springs etc. and what that value is.

In a double ball nut setup the non-flange nut, if sprung, is floating so depending on the in-use load and the spring pressure value it may be possible to exceed springs holding value which would show up as backlash when the load is applied in the direction of the floating nut. In this scenario it would not show up in a simple static test.

I'm assuming the Chinese double nuts are sprung and not shimmed due to lead errors of the rolled screws which would cause binding in a shimmed system.
 

TomS

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Got home today and hopefully back in the shop tomorrow. My first test will be without the AC bearings in place. I expect to see about .007" of ball nut backlash. I've done the test you've described with the AC bearings installed and got zero ball screw movement. That's why I believe I'll see .007" of table movement doing the push/pull test. I'll also check the bearings over and determine how the nuts are loaded.

Tom S.

Edit - Sorry for jumping in on this. After reading the post again I realized it was written to the OP.
 

MontanaAardvark

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I accidentally attached that photo of the backlash I can feel in the handwheel of my G0704 to my previous post (#139). That's with the motor in place and table able to move. I thought I'd take a picture when I had stopped going in one direction, then reverse direction and take a pic again as soon as I could see the DTI move (it has .001 marks, so maybe .0002). I thought I could get this into some software and measure the angles.

Long story short, I tried a few things and only got a measurement in my 3D CAD program, Rhino. I got 13 degrees. This is a crude measurement. Still it works out to explain about .007 of backlash. I was able to remove that by taking the motor and mount off and just making an effort to ensure as little motion as I could get. My X-axis backlash went down from .012 to .006. I did the same sorts of things on Y and reduced it to .006 also although it started out better at .010.

Newbie question: does the tightness of the gibs affect backlash?
 

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Newbie question: does the tightness of the gibs affect backlash?
Yes. Gibs should be adjusted as snug as possible without causing any binding or excessive friction. A few folks have mounted linear rails/bearings on the G0704 to increase accuracy and reduce friction.
 

MontanaAardvark

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I got my Y axis down to .001 and still have to work on the X.

On the X, I was doing some work on my enclosure and when the X started getting too negative (table too far to the right), it started bogging down and sounding terrible. As soon as I started going back to positive numbers, the problem stopped. It occurred to me I saw the gibs act that way when I had it in pieces. So I tightened the X gib and the problem went away.
 

MontanaAardvark

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On the chance that people still drop by to read this, now that I have the conversion going, the enclosure should be done today, and the other things are being added, is there any place in particular where y'all hang out? I mean other folks with CNC converted G0704 mills, or similar sized mills.

Here on the the "CNC In the Home Shop Forum"? I went to the Grizzly forum and there wasn't much in the way of discussion of how folks are using this.

One of my last decisions is whether to go with a full up flood cooling or use a mist coolant. It seems all the serious shops use flood, but my impression is that it's really for removing a lot of chips. More suited to a 3 or more HP mill than a 1 HP machine.

I have tons of questions about upgrading to a higher RPM motor, and all sorts of other improvements. I have a fourth axis ready to be added (once I figure out how to get the motor on it!), I need a bottle or two of oil for my oiler, add limit or home switches, lots of little details to read about.

Just looking for places to hang out more.
 

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We are still looking, so just keep posting :grin:

I would go with mist coolant, a lot less messy. I use a direct loss system and don't try to recover any. I normally have kerosene in the tank because I machine mostly aluminum. I use about a quart in 8 hours of spindle time, most of it just evaporates. I recommend a system that allows independent adjustment of air and coolant. That way you can use more air to blast away the chips if needed. The syphon type systems are very limited on the air vs. coolant flow.

Looking forward to the rest of your project.
 

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Yes, still following your excellent journey. I have never used Flood coolent but I have used both the cool-mist and fog-buster brands. I prefer the fog-buster over the two. The siphone approach is a lot of work on each job to tune it in. I guess if I was running the same parts 8 hours a day it might not be an issue but I run for an hour and then do other things before coming back to the mill.
 

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Thanks for the comments. I'm not very up on the misting systems, don't know approaches or brands, just that I've heard they're easier to live with and not really a huge step down from a flood.

I ran into a stop with my enclosure, and I'm going to need to figure out just how to get out of the slight jam I'm in.

90%Done.JPG

The doors don't actually close all the way. I'm going by Hoss' videos and whatever I can pick up from the thread on CNCZone, and Hoss used some magnets to grab onto the L brackets, in the center of the panels. Then he 3D printed some little housings to hold them to the top rail. I have nothing like that. To make matters worse, to get the magnets to engage, he pulls the two handles against each other. When I do that, the handles hit each other and the doors won't close flush. I think I need new handles, at a minimum. I've tried loosening them and sliding them around to no avail. I could try that again, just because.

I think I'm going to try to find another set of handles, something smaller. Not sure about magnets or some other way of trying to snap the doors closed.
 
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