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Setup and Continuing Saga of the Charter Oak 12Z

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wrmiller

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#1
Well, today I spent a few more hours with the mill.

Jon: I measured my table and the slots are like .645 which is 20 thou over 5/8". I think (hope?) I'll be fine with the clamping kit when it arrives.

I got him leveled, adjusted the gibbs ever so slightly, put the plug on the power cord (and connected the RS485 cable from the VFD front panel) and fired it up. Very nice, and not too noisy although if I had to listen to this for any length of time above 3k rpm it might start to grate. The pulley conversion kit should fix that though. The electric fan on the motor and the VFD make almost as much noise as the head does.

Question for those with VFDs? The digital display reads from 0-50 (which is full speed) is this indicative of the frequency/Hz? It seems to be happiest above 30 or so. Do most of you just tweak the frequency for chatter/finish? Sorry, this is my first VFD and haven't any experience with them.

I checked tram and didn't have to touch anything. X-axis is dead on and Y-axis is less than a half-thou across 6". Close enough for my purposes.

I don't like the idea of having to plug/unplug this thing every time I use it, and these plug/receptacles are not designed for it and will wear. Guess I may have to have the electrician back out to put a switch on this thing. Or something. Electrical isn't my forte.

The other nag is that I got really used to (and spoiled by) being able to just take a step back and reach down into a drawer for all my cutters, collets, rotary table, etc.. With this setup I have to walk over to Blue's tool box every time I need something. It's already getting old. I have a friend that likes to work with wood and I was thinking that I may ask his opinion about making some drawers for the mill stand. That would be kinda cool.

As we all like pics around here, I've included a few for your perusal. :))

Left side of the head showing the VFD remote

IMG_0440.jpg

I'd say the tram is close enough.

IMG_0441.JPG

Oh, and I was lucky enough to find someone here on the board who was selling a Kurt 5".

IMG_0444.JPG

Shop is getting messy again...

IMG_0445.JPG

IMG_0440.jpg IMG_0441.JPG IMG_0444.JPG IMG_0445.JPG
 

wrmiller

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#3
Very funny dude...

My fingers still cramp every time I think about that. ;)
 

zmotorsports

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#4
Lookin good Bill. Nice looking machine.
 

coolidge

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#5
Edit: False alarm people never mind. Nice looking mill Bill, is that some kind of safety cable to keep the head from lowering too far, to the left of the spindle sticking up out of the top?
 
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wrmiller

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#6
What you're looking at is the remote panel. The box showing in the other pic is mounted on the back of the column.

EDIT: Look at the last pic. I posted.

No worries... :)
 

coolidge

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#7
What you're looking at is the remote panel. The box showing in the other pic is mounted on the back of the column.

EDIT: Look at the last pic. I posted.

No worries... :)
LOL yeah false alarm, I was about to get huffy! Irritating = someone driving 15mph under the speed limit in fast lane followed closely by I don't like receiving something different than was advertised!
 

wrmiller

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#8
Edit: False alarm people never mind. Nice looking mill Bill, is that some kind of safety cable to keep the head from lowering too far, to the left of the spindle sticking up out of the top?
That is a plastic tube that is zip-tied to the cooling fan cable. Pressure vent for the head.
 

darkzero

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#9
Looking good Bill! I Should have sent the handle to you the same way! :rofl:
 

wrmiller

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#10
Looking good Bill! I Should have sent the handle to you the same way! :rofl:
I will be ever thankful that you didn't. :nono:
 

wrmiller

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#11
More thoughts:

I definitely have to put a power feed on this thing. I put a DI on the head and checked the flatness and orthogonality of the table (didn't need to, but I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't) and cranking this thing back and forth just over 26" is very tiring. FYI the usable Y-axis travel is over 13".

And I put a DI on the head and was playing with positional accuracy and repeatability of the Z-axis using the hand crank. About the same as my PM25 actually, so I will put the Z-axis scale on the head/column, not the quill like the factory does. The quill mechanism is sloppy and a friction interface to boot. I will cobble up a digital scale for the quill for the rare occasion when I have to plunge cut a pocket. Now I just have to save up for the power feed and a 3-axis DRO. And everything else I want. This site is costing me a lot of money... ;)
 

kd4gij

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#12
More thoughts:

I definitely have to put a power feed on this thing. I put a DI on the head and checked the flatness and orthogonality of the table (didn't need to, but I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't) and cranking this thing back and forth just over 26" is very tiring. FYI the usable Y-axis travel is over 13".

And I put a DI on the head and was playing with positional accuracy and repeatability of the Z-axis using the hand crank. About the same as my PM25 actually, so I will put the Z-axis scale on the head/column, not the quill like the factory does. The quill mechanism is sloppy and a friction interface to boot. I will cobble up a digital scale for the quill for the rare occasion when I have to plunge cut a pocket. Now I just have to save up for the power feed and a 3-axis DRO. And everything else I want. This site is costing me a lot of money... ;)



Don't forget a power feed for the head. Then mabe a CNC conversion. Then time for a bigger mill.:lmao:
 

wrmiller

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#13
Don't forget a power feed for the head. Then mabe a CNC conversion. Then time for a bigger mill.:lmao:
See?? You guys are SO helpful. :)

Kidding aside, Paul at CO did mention that he has a "elevator" kit for the Z-axis, i.e. a manual power feed. The only way I will do that is if I can use it for rapids but still use the hand crank for accurate positioning like a X-axis power feed. I'm not interested in dumbing down the Z-axis just to save on my forearms and shoulders.

I'll forward the suggestions of the CNC kit and bigger mill on to the wife. I'm sure she'll appreciate them. :cpa:
 

coolidge

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#14
CAD/CAM software, a rotary table, belt drive, the wallet melting has only just begun. Whirrr-ah, Whirr-ah that's the sound of a power feed on Z.
 

wrmiller

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#15
Almost forgot: I have to get a 3-axis DRO too. I'm too spoiled to count dial turns and worry about backlash anymore. DRO-Pros 3M, that way I have the same functions/usage on both mills. The brain-housing-group ain't gettin' any younger... :headscratch:
 

coolidge

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#16
Almost forgot: I have to get a 3-axis DRO too. I'm too spoiled to count dial turns and worry about backlash anymore. DRO-Pros 3M, that way I have the same functions/usage on both mills. The brain-housing-group ain't gettin' any younger... :headscratch:
Instigator hat on...no need for a DRO just convert it to CNC.
 

wrmiller

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#17
Instigator hat on...no need for a DRO just convert it to CNC.
You're a lot of help... ;)

I understand some peoples fascination w/CNC and the requirement for it in a production shop. But I do mostly one off stuff. Sometimes I don't even know how far I'm going to translate along an axis until I get there. Until they make a CNC with a super AI I'll just have to drive this thing myself. :)
 

wrmiller

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#18
A couple of better pics for those interested. Well, they're better than the others.

DSCN4212.JPG

DSCN4213.JPG

DSCN4212.JPG DSCN4213.JPG
 
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coolidge

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#19
You're a lot of help... ;)

I understand some peoples fascination w/CNC and the requirement for it in a production shop. But I do mostly one off stuff. Sometimes I don't even know how far I'm going to translate along an axis until I get there. Until they make a CNC with a super AI I'll just have to drive this thing myself. :)
You are looking for the AI in the wrong place, you will find it in your CAD software. CNC will enable your mind to go places no manual mill can ever go design wise. For example the next thing you know you will build one of these once your mill can do CNC and you unleash all those bottled up ideas!
 
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wrmiller

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#20
Ok dude, I'll bite. Just what exactly am I looking at? :)
 

maker of things

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#21
Once you get a powered Z changing r8 endmill holders and er collet chucks won't be a big deal either. Other than reaching the drawbar. Make those tool drawers heavy duty then they can double as steps.

Good to hear on the slots, I never measured either the slot or the 5/8 t nut, maybe I just picked up a +tolerance t nut?

Some people are going to start to think you are never going to actually use this thing though, 3 threads with 130+ posts combined and still not one chip showing? ;)
 

darkzero

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#22
The ultimate beer can crusher? Or he's making diamonds? :rofl:

I'm curious too.....
 

chuckorlando

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#23
ahahahahahahahahaha.

She's pretty. I'm not gonna lie, I got a cnc bug from hell right now. Small bed mills seem to do well cnc'd
 

wrmiller

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#24
Once you get a powered Z changing r8 endmill holders and er collet chucks won't be a big deal either. Other than reaching the drawbar. Make those tool drawers heavy duty then they can double as steps.

Good to hear on the slots, I never measured either the slot or the 5/8 t nut, maybe I just picked up a +tolerance t nut?

Some people are going to start to think you are never going to actually use this thing though, 3 threads with 130+ posts combined and still not one chip showing? ;)
Ok, enough of this...

IMG_0448.jpg

CHIPS!!! (well actually, more like nasty little slivers). Happy? ;)

It was just a few passes, but I made a small pile just because I knew when I came back in the house someone would be ragging on me about not making chips yet. NOTE: I need to make some way wipers for this thing because something (before I cut, not during or after) got under the saddle on the right Y way and gouged the way. Had to loosen the gibb and work it back and forth to get whatever it was out. Came out as powder... Not good.

The clamping kit showed up today and the 5/8" t-nuts fit perfectly. Oh, and just for you Jon.

IMG_0450.jpg

I've never tried a selfie, and it's really bad but dude, I'm 6'3" and there is still 3" of vertical travel left and I can't reach the motor. I've got more Z-axis envelope than I'll ever need. Probably. :))

IMG_0448.jpg IMG_0450.jpg
 

JimDawson

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#25
Ok dude, I'll bite. Just what exactly am I looking at? :)
The ultimate beer can crusher? Or he's making diamonds? :rofl:

I'm curious too.....
Pretty sure that is a home made vacuum former and a very nice job too. I just can't figure out what the pressure pot on the right is for.
 

darkzero

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#26
Ah scew 'em Bill, who cares what they say. People rag on me for keeping my machines much cleaner than they do as they see in specific pics I post. So what if I like to keep my investments clean & not have a messy garage. Make chips when you're good & ready just as I don't have to show a filthy machine to prove that I do use them often.

Nice photos keep em' coming, chips not required. ;)
 

darkzero

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#27

chuckorlando

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#28
Wow man thats pretty impressive. You will find that a real joy to run if you like the pm25. Just on size alone. Awesome man
 

coolidge

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#29
Pretty sure that is a home made vacuum former and a very nice job too. I just can't figure out what the pressure pot on the right is for.
Correct that is a vacuum powered thermoforming machine. She was a beast, dual 6cfm pumps and dual reserve tanks, the thick ABS I was molding you had to SLAM the mold with vacuum and draw it down in like 1.5 seconds. As for the pressure pot, if you want to remove the bubbles from well anything, epoxy, urethane, etc. place in a pressure pot and hit it with a vacuum pump and presto bubbles be gone. I was doing some liquid silicone (yeah liquid silicone cool stuff) molding at the time.
 

coolidge

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#30
Bill congrats on making chips! Too bad about the Y way, any chance it came off the vice or something else? Bah it will make a nice oil reservoir happy milling!
 
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