Input on hobbyist combination machine choice

Cadillac STS

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Even though Bolton may be known for not supporting parts I would still contact them directly. Email first then keep working until I had a person on the phone to ask for the change gear set from them, where to buy them or the specs on them to have them 3D printed.

Keep an eye on eBay for those machines going for sale. Searchtempest.com for nationwide Craigslist too. Contact the seller to buy just the change gears from the machine. Next buyer may not need it for threading.

Don’t let up on search for that until you give it a real try.
 

jmkasunich

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something to consider if you can't find the change gears (or if they are prohibitively expensive): Electronic Lead Screw. That means an encoder on the spindle and a stepper motor on the leadscrew, both projects which are probably in the wheelhouse of an amateur machinist. Then an electronic box that connects them and lets you have any feed per rev or any threading pitch (inch or metric!) you want without changing gears.

There are multiple threads on here discussing ELS. This (very long) thread probably covers all the options, but I didn't want to read 52 pages lol.

Here is what seems to be one of the more popular ones: Clough42
 

Cadillac STS

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something to consider if you can't find the change gears (or if they are prohibitively expensive): Electronic Lead Screw. That means an encoder on the spindle and a stepper motor on the leadscrew, both projects which are probably in the wheelhouse of an amateur machinist. Then an electronic box that connects them and lets you have any feed per rev or any threading pitch (inch or metric!) you want without changing gears.

There are multiple threads on here discussing ELS. This (very long) thread probably covers all the options, but I didn't want to read 52 pages lol.

Here is what seems to be one of the more popular ones: Clough42

Great idea there, forget the change gears. But using the ELS is so close to going full CNC that CNC is a better way, CNC may be less costly and much much more supported and versatile.
 

jmkasunich

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Great idea there, forget the change gears. But using the ELS is so close to going full CNC that CNC is a better way, CNC may be less costly and much much more supported and versatile.
I wouldn't be so quick to say "using ELS is like full CNC". Full CNC typically means more time in front of the computer screen. If that isn't your thing and you prefer the feel of a manual lathe, ELS is probably more your cup of tea. No computer time at all, and no g-code. Just a setting or two on the black box to "install the change gears", then you engage and disengage feeds and half-nuts like you would when running the lathe manually.

You can achieve a semi-manual mode of operation with a full CNC machine using jogs to make your cuts, but it still isn't quite the same as manual machining. (I have full CNC on my Shoptask 3-in-1, for whatever that is worth).

Ultimately it is a personal decision based on what floats your boat - we are hobby guys after all. Some of us prefer manual and some prefer CNC, and some probably want to flip back and forth based on the particular project they are doing.
 

Weldingrod1

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Can you measure the shaft size for your change gears? Boston change gears are readily available on amazon!
Looks like 5/8" and 3/4" are the normal sizes.

Since you have -zero- gears, you dont care what pitch or pressure angle the stock ones are! That's how I solved my Hardinge change gear problem ;-)

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
 
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