H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter Gold Member
- Jan 2, 2019
That's exactly what I was thinking, I already have a stepper motor and controller on my electronics workbench....nice! I'll be watching with interest Might be worth thinking about how you could fit some steppers/ servos on the end of the ball screws - you're already halfway to a CNC mill.
TeknomotorSo I was perusing the classifieds and I came across a Benchmaster horizontal mill. The price is affordable but who really wants a horizontal mill?
But it got me to thinking. The base of it would be nearly ideal for a vertical mill. Yeah, I know, they made them in both horiz. and vert. but holy baby Jesus the prices I saw on the very few of those I could find were about what I could get a full size mill for. And the heads alone were not that much cheaper.
So now I am very interested in how you will go about making a head for this?
I'm even looking at building up a mold form for both a base and a head. Of course I don't have the means to cast it in iron or anything else but the thinking is there. I've even played with the idea of making the vertical head out of thick wall tube. A couple of welds, couple of bearings and I will likely have enough in it to have bought a real milling machine.
I'd go for a decent horizontal if you can get one cheap. I can already think of a few things I would use one for on this project....So I was perusing the classifieds and I came across a Benchmaster horizontal mill. The price is affordable but who really wants a horizontal mill?
Here's my first test making epoxygranite with some West System and blasting material from Tractor Supply. It's surprisingly heavy and tough.I'm even looking at building up a mold form for both a base and a head. Of course I don't have the means to cast it in iron or anything else but the thinking is there.
I really wasn't planning on using just that for a mix, it's just what I had on hand. I'm pretty sure what I have is coal slag, they also have iron silicate, garnet, glass and aluminum oxide. Most people use decomposed granite, sand, and several other items to make a mix where most of the voids are filled with stone rather than epoxy. A solid chunk of rock and plastic is probably going to be heavier than a cast iron shell regardless.I'm not sure what the black diamond media is chemically but it only weighs 92 pounds per cubic foot. Iron is about 5 times as heavy. I wonder what sort of metal powders you could get ahold of to use as the aggregate in that to make it heavier? I know magnetite and hematite are about 250# per cubic foot but not sure where you could buy it in useful quantities.
I've been working on a modern design with ballscrews and linear slides that would be suitable for CNC. One of the challenges I have is I live a long way from anywhere, when I get back to San Jose, (where I'm from) I know of at least three surplus places that should have all the stuff I need for a good price. In the mean time I want to get something manual that I can do a few parts on (don't need to be super accurate).those XY tables do work - I used one on my drill press as a "mill" for a couple of years - but they can be pretty frustrating. As long as you can take light cuts and lock everything down that you can, it'll work. One big improvement is to add thrust bearings to the handles, reduces the cranking effort considerably.
That's a good thought. I had a friend over last night who used to own a machine shop and he couldn't figure out what pitch the ones I have are. I can get 3' ea. left & right handed standard 1/2' 10 for ~$20 so I might as well order them. Turning and finishing the ends should be easy on my lathe.I hope it works for what you want. I do have a suggestion before you replace the lead screw. For that Burke table I am working on I ordered a new nut from McMaster Carr and it fit the old screw nice and tight. So maybe try a new nut first.
Wouldn't they be metric?That's a good thought. I had a friend over last night who used to own a machine shop and he couldn't figure out what pitch the ones I have are. I can get 3' ea. left & right handed standard 1/2' 10 for ~$20 so I might as well order them. Turning and finishing the ends should be easy on my lathe.
Certainly nothing a few minutes with a file won't clean up - not bad.It's not real pretty but this is what I was after.
I didn’t measure runout on the drill press but it’s not good. The point of the bearing is to take a side load, it really didn’t change operation of the machine.Certainly nothing a few minutes with a file won't clean up - not bad.
Did you measure the runout of the drill press spindle before and after? I would have been in too much of a rush myself, but it would be reassuring afterwards to know how well those bearings did their job.
Yes, that is a concern. The column itself is pretty stout steel and the linear slide system is pretty strong but obviously it was built as an optical comparitor, not a mill. The spindle I'm using is only .7 hp so I have no illusions of making big cuts in steel with this thing. I'm gonna get it up as a manual machine and see how it performs and if it's good enough I'll switch it over to CNC where I can program it to be patient.I'm worried about the rigidity of the column and flexing. It will be interesting to see. Nice work so far.
The column is similar to the Taig (though possibly thicker walls) mill, which I found to have a lot of flex. I've considered pouring cement into the column (with some threaded rod going through the bench and acting as rebar), but have not yet done so.The column itself is pretty stout steel and the linear slide system is pretty strong but obviously it was built as an optical comparitor, not a mill.
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