South Bend "Fourteen" CNC Lathe

JLeather

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Seems like this is the correct forum for this. A few weeks ago I sold my nice Heavy 10 south bend lathe to buy this. It's a 1980's South Bend "Fourteen" 14x40. The lathe is a factory CNC conversion. I've heard conflicting reports about who did the conversion, South Bend themselves or a subcontractor who specialized in this sort of thing, but regardless it's definitely an above-average conversion. The lathe never had a gearbox, and the apron never had any of the usual holes for the levers and wheels. It's got servo-motors on the axes, ball screws of course. The spindle used to be vari-drive but when it was converted the var-drive was tossed and now it's a 3hp direct drive (via cogged belt) to the spindle. A friend of mine bought it a few years ago and stripped out the ancient controls and re-fitted it with gecko boards. It's running Mach3 on a PC tucked away in the old controls cabinet, and has a touch-screen (salvaged from one of those pharmacy photo-printer stations) to make it easier to start/stop things. I'm still in the process of cleaning things, fabricating a few missing parts of the enclosure (the previous owner never ran flood coolant and so never installed the enclosure and a few pieces got away). I'm also cleaning up some of the wiring that's not up to my personal standards, etc. Looking forward to getting it fired up in another week or so. Just have to finish adding a heavier outlet/circuit to my shop to run it.

I'm a complete newby to Mach3, or any CAM for that matter. I am an engineer (for better or worse) with enoguh manual lathe experience to know what I want it to do, and enough CAD experience to envision the whole part. Can anyone recommend some good crash-course (poor choice of phrasing) videos/sites/books for learning Mach3. The setup manual goes into a lot of depth on some topics, and I know I should really learn it fully, but for now I would like some instruction on running a lathe that is already fully setup with Mach3.

Here are a few pictures of when it came home, and one of where it is today (with most of the enclosure installed).

Just unloaded:
CIMG5912.jpg

Headstock (note the lack of a gearbox and the re-fitted control panel):
CIMG5914.jpg

Apron (again, no evidence it ever had manual controls):
CIMG5913.jpg

Rear of the lathe, with the control cabinet and the nifty cable protector for the crossfeed servo and oil supply lines:
CIMG5915.jpg

Enclosure pieces:
CIMG5916.jpg


Here's a current shot, with 3/4 of the enclosure in place. I have one more part not shown, as well as the light. I need to find a sheet metal place to fabricate some of the missing panels.
CIMG5917.jpg

CIMG5912.jpg

CIMG5914.jpg

CIMG5913.jpg

CIMG5915.jpg

CIMG5916.jpg

CIMG5917.jpg
 

DMS

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Nice find. What kind of controller does it have on it?
 

JLeather

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It's running a Mach3 with a PMDX-126 board, Gecko G320X drives for each axis, and a PMDX-107 board to run the spindle (through a VFD). Steve, the guy who runs PMDX, is pretty local and gave a lot of advice to the previous owner during the retrofit.
 

jumps4

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that is going to be really nice when you get it done. all the high dollar parts are already there. keep us posted
any help you may need ask someone here should be able to assist you.
steve
 
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Kool!!!

I could take my 13" Sheldon Sebastain and convert it too. It's almost the same size, footprint, and all!

Now if I can find a ball screw, stepping motors, controller....
 
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