I have made the decision to CNC it!

OakRidgeGuy

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I finally got it off of the reloading table, it was in the way. The table that it is on now will have to be tied to the wall, but in time, I want to take the wood top off and replace it with a thick sheet of aluminum (the local scrap yard has lots of it).

After discussing this with Steve, I believe that I will go with the CNCfusion kit for this machine, which is 625.00.
Also the next door neighbor is moving out, got some needed extra storage space.
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As for motors and other stuff needed for the set up, we believe that Nema23's will be worthy of this project. Also, I will have to do a fourth axis in order to do some of the things that I am wanting to make.

My main issue right now is the computer. If you have read, my donor computer is a Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OS computer. The challange right now is to get the ball rolling to get the computer compatable to running Mach3 and the other program that Steve is using. I am leaning that way, only because as Steve says that it is intuitively easy to draw up the part. And I am worthless when it comes to drawing something. Ha sometimes I feel that I can not get a stick figure right!!

Any and all input in these matters are greatly appreciated. As to when I will start working on the mill to convert it, will depend on how soon I can get the funds to do it will. Right now, the funding department says I have about 300 bucks that can go towards the project. (Oh and I don't have a wife or G/F so that is not the funding dept. It is actually how much I really have).

Doc

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OakRidgeGuy

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My third attempt at typeing and posting this.

My daughter is in school out in Cali, I have found that she can get the Windows 7 Pro upgrade for 64 bucks. I am going to have to upgrade the computer to the Pro version so that I can run Virtual XP mode.

As for the 4th axis, I am not sure yet how I would like to go on that. I have looked at the Sherline rotary table that is already set up for CNC, the price is 395.00. Most of the stuff that I will be working with is .375 dia. I would like to use collets instead of a chuck.

What are your thoughts? Any ideas on rotary tables?

Randy
 

DMS

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I would say, don't bite off too much at once. Get the main machine done and tuned in, and get used to the software, then you can decide if you need a 4th axis, and address it at that point.

That will be a nice little machine to convert. Just make sure you get screws that are long enough. The LMS mills have more travel than most X2 clones, so the "normal" screws won't fit. I think CNCFusion has an option for the longer screws, but wanted to give you a heads up.
 

PurpLev

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that will be a sweet conversion. looking forward to seeing the progress and results thereafter
 

7HC

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..........Right now, the funding department says I have about 300 bucks that can go towards the project. (Oh and I don't have a wife or G/F so that is not the funding dept. It is actually how much I really have).

Doc
Maybe they're not the funding dept, but they're not an expense either. ;)
 

7HC

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As for the 4th axis, I am not sure yet how I would like to go on that. I have looked at the Sherline rotary table that is already set up for CNC, the price is 395.00. Most of the stuff that I will be working with is .375 dia. I would like to use collets instead of a chuck.

What are your thoughts? Any ideas on rotary tables?

Randy
You can mount a stepper to the rotab in much the same way as you can to the x & y on the table or the Z on the column, and you can mount an ER collet chuck to the rotab just as you can a regular three or four jaw.


M
 

7HC

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My daughter is in school out in Cali, I have found that she can get the Windows 7 Pro upgrade for 64 bucks. I am going to have to upgrade the computer to the Pro version so that I can run Virtual XP mode.
Randy
My final thought, you may be able to get a used desktop with XP installed for that $64 or even less.


M
 

OakRidgeGuy

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DMS,

Not trying to bite off to much at one time, but I do like to keep looking down the line so to speak, so that when it is time to jump, the planning has already been done and there would be no question as to what I want to do or get.

Yes I agree, it should be quite once it is done.

As for the screws, yes CNCFusion indeed have the longer screws already set up for the longer axis in the X & Y directions. Which is what I am going to do and I don't believe that I will use the LoveJoy couplers either.

7HC

I had not considered the ER series of collets, that is something to consider.
 

jumps4

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when you get ready to purchase motors, controllers and power supplies let me know if you would like some help shopping, there are a lot of kits that sound like great deals but are just big motors with nothing capable of driving them properly. and as far as the 4th axis, it is cheaper to buy a 4 axis kit than buy the parts later to add it on. if there is any chance you will add it later i'd plan it up front.
steve
 

Metalmann

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Oh No, a thread about going CNC.

What has the world come to?

Just joking, congratulations.
 

7HC

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DMS,

As for the screws, yes CNCFusion indeed have the longer screws already set up for the longer axis in the X & Y directions. Which is what I am going to do and I don't believe that I will use the LoveJoy couplers either.
Just a thought, but you might want to buy a rotab rather than spend the money on the entire CNCFusion kit, excellent though it is.

Your mill together with a rotab (or maybe a boring bar, or even a hole saw), is quite capable of performing the necessary machining to make the parts for mounting the steppers.
Maybe a little simpler in design than the CNCFusion items, but just as functional and at a minimal cost in comparison.

Steve has been helping me greatly with my X1 conversion which is nearly finished and the design follows the 'KISS' principle, pics in a week or so.

M

P.S. I'm with you on the 'Lovejoys' :))
 

OakRidgeGuy

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Yes Steve that would be great, picking the right boards and stuff is way out of my league. I can put the stuff together, but knowing what to get at the right price that will be compatable with the powersource and all is another story.

7HC,

I have considered that, right now, as for tooling, I am a lil on the low side, though I have been trying to scrounge here and there. If I had the dia that I would need for the fitting of the motors, I could go to the scrap yard to see what they have there. They have all kinds of alum plate there.. different sizes.

Something else that I have set into the planning stages down the line would be a quickchange tooling, not automated, though that would be nice. But either the Royal Easy Change or the Tormach quick change.. One thing is, the Tormach is less expensive on the wallet.

Doc
 

Hawkeye

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CNC is one thing I never saw myself getting into. I like the more personal contact with the work.

However ... After I woke up this morning, the thought occurred to me that some three-dimensional shapes, such as engraving "Honda" on a domed cover plate, can best be done by CNC. I have a mini-mill that I have recently been thinking of selling, just because the other two mills are seeing all the work.

Now, it's starting to make sense to CNC the mini, as a long-term project.

I hate you guys. :rofl:
 

OakRidgeGuy

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Welcome to the club, though it might be a small one on this site, I like the family feeling I get here rather than the other site. Though that there may be a lot info on the other one. It sometimes goes way over my head!

Doc
 

7HC

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Yes Steve that would be great, picking the right boards and stuff is way out of my league. I can put the stuff together, but knowing what to get at the right price that will be compatable with the powersource and all is another story.

7HC,

I have considered that, right now, as for tooling, I am a lil on the low side, though I have been trying to scrounge here and there. If I had the dia that I would need for the fitting of the motors, I could go to the scrap yard to see what they have there. They have all kinds of alum plate there.. different sizes.

Something else that I have set into the planning stages down the line would be a quickchange tooling, not automated, though that would be nice. But either the Royal Easy Change or the Tormach quick change.. One thing is, the Tormach is less expensive on the wallet.

Doc
Virtually all stepper motors used for CNC are the square end NEMA style. For your conversion you'll probably be using NEMA 23 0r NEMA 34, which is a standard relating to the dimensions of the front end.

For instance, go here: http://www.kelinginc.net/NEMA23Motor.html and click on 'specifications' for any of the motors and it will bring up a schematic of the dimensions.

As for quick change tooling, I quickly found out that most machining processes happen slowly, so unless you're going to run a production line I'd go for 'easy change' rather than 'quick change'. ;)


M
 

jumps4

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welcome to the club mike
steve
 

OakRidgeGuy

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7HC,

Thanks for that link, I do appreciate that.. Question: For moving the Z axis, should a 23 or a 34 be used?

Doc
 

jumps4

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my opinion is,
you dont need 34's for this mill, i'm always for more power but it is not required. the only way i would suggest it is if you intend to take these parts and install them on a larger mill later, then you can save money in the long run.
steve
 

OakRidgeGuy

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Well I was looking at the link that 7HC provided, I see that the 23's are the 425 oz models are usually the ones that most folks get, correct. Would the 570 oz be a better option or just stay with the 425's?
 

jumps4

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the 425 will be fine
the problem will be finding that in a kit ( the 34 with the right 23's )
if your mill head is a little heavy add a lift cylinder
but mgp in the x2 thread is having no problems
take my advice and spend the difference in cost on a uc100 controller
check out the vids in my lathe build to see the difference
http://www.hobby-machinist.com/showthread.php/8692-9x20-Lathe-CNC-conversion
post #34 also read about that breakout board. and my fix
steve
 

jumps4

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the bigger the motor the smoother the operation at high microsteps with plenty of torque
if money is not the issue here i'd build it with nema34 880 oz/in and never worry about low torque
most builds on the zx45 like mine use 880 on z and x and 1600 on z. i went with 1600 on z and x and 4200 on z and i'm so happy i spent the extra money.
I always try to tell people how to build the most for the least but if you can afford it go bigger.
its like a 1/2hp saw compared to a 5hp saw
steve
 

OakRidgeGuy

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Well I did some reading on the Tormach Quick Change system, it really does not speed things up as much as it has tool height repeatability.. And compared to other systems, it is not all that bad in price.
 

DMS

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I have a couple TTS collet holders and other assorted tools. If you have a pneumatic drawbar, you can get fast manual changes, or even work in an ATC. For me, it was about the repeatability. The price on the collet holders is not bad either.
 

OakRidgeGuy

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That is one of the reasons that I am very much considering going with the Tormach system, is because a lot of the stuff that I will be makeing will be repetitive, not production, but it will be a lot of the same thing, so switching from tool to tool with this would make it a lot easier for me. So I know that if I buy a new endmill, I will have to have a holder for it, for once it is set, I am not going to remove it from the holder.
 

jumps4

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the Tormach Quick Change system is really nice. I had never seen it until you mentioned it. the price is reasonable and it would make set up a lot faster, once everything is set tool changes would be easy.
thanks
steve
 

lindburg

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I have been playing with cnc machine for number of years now. I have a cnc router lathe and mill. It has been a rewarding learning curve and I am still to this day facinated with watching a machine make a part that you designed and programed. So for those of you thatf are looking for a machine, evaluate what you want to do with it. Make a list of the individual issues you desire and compare to the machines on the market. Take with a grain of salt some of the negative and in some cases defamitory comments on line toward individual manufactures. Alot of these negative comments are made by what I believe to be frustrated individuals as to learning curve. (learning curve can be frustrating at times but take your time and you will learn) Make a list of what you want to accomplish with a cnc machine and compare that to the aspects of what is available. This of course includes budget. You have decided on a machine that fits your criteria than look at what is available as far as comments experiences etc with that particular machine. Again make sure that what you are reading is not from a frustrated learning curve and actual issue with a manufacturer.
 

jumps4

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oh your going to get me in trouble!
no I dont need them myself
and on the small machines if you run to the end of travel the machine just humms loud and does no harm.
it does not hurt a stepper motor to stop it.
this will probably open a can of worms in your thread but it is my opinion.
i planned them, purchased them, included them in my wiring and connectors on the panel. and they are sitting in a box.
steve
 

Hawkeye

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You guys are a bad influence. Today, I ordered a 4-axis set of 34s in the 878 size, c/w driver board, power supply, cable and a Mach3 disk. I followed the eBay link in Steve's lathe CNC build.

Then I got back to work on my old desktop computer. The hard drive had failed a few years ago. I have another one, loaded with XP, but the peripheral drivers went with the old drive. I stuck the usable drive in an external carrier and downloaded the drivers from my laptop, then installed it in the desktop and ran the setups. Now, the old computer will connect to my network and even access the internet. I think I'll need a small flat-screen monitor. Do you know how much of my shop would be lost to a 19" CRT?

That's a few items checked off the list. It sure helps to have a few people working on the same project at the same time.
 

7HC

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You guys are a bad influence. Today, I ordered a 4-axis set of 34s in the 878 size, c/w driver board, power supply, cable and a Mach3 disk. I followed the eBay link in Steve's lathe CNC build.

Then I got back to work on my old desktop computer. The hard drive had failed a few years ago. I have another one, loaded with XP, but the peripheral drivers went with the old drive. I stuck the usable drive in an external carrier and downloaded the drivers from my laptop, then installed it in the desktop and ran the setups. Now, the old computer will connect to my network and even access the internet. I think I'll need a small flat-screen monitor. Do you know how much of my shop would be lost to a 19" CRT?

That's a few items checked off the list. It sure helps to have a few people working on the same project at the same time.
Yes, a flat screen is the way to go, and if you want to be really hi-tech get a touch screen one. ;)

Sounds like you've done your homework, those are powerful motors. Which machine are you converting and what's going to be your 4th axis?

Dedicating a desktop running XP for CNC seems to be the best way to go. However, once you have your software and all the XP updates installed you might want to disconnect it from your network and the internet.
That way you don't need to run an AntiVirus program on it which could cause problems with Mach3 and your other CNC programs, as all AV programs constantly run background checks, which uses CPU cycles and memory.
Don't have anything on there that isn't strictly for CNC use; no videos, screen savers etc; and go to 'Control Panel' and into your power settings and set the screen never to dim or go to sleep, and likewise the computer and hard drives.


M
 
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