• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

X2 Power Feed Build

January Project of the Month [3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!


Active Member
Active Member
Jan 20, 2016
I posted an inquiry a few weeks ago about doing an arduino controlled power feed/partial CNC control for my X2 mill. I have made some pretty good progress on it since.

Parts I ended up using were:

400 oz in stepper - $34 shipped
48v 7.5A power supply - $32.50
SMAKN TB6600 Driver - $15.50
Arduino Mega 2560 - $9.99
10 momentary on buttons - $8.42
3.5" TFT touch screen - Free
5 toggle switches - $11.99
Project box - $7.81
Some O1 tool steel, a little aluminum - $5 ish
Total - $120

This leaves the option open to use most of the hardware for a CNC conversion. For another $49, I could add the Y axis and have a 2 axis CNC.

If I were to simplify and have the same basic capabilities as available options, most of the controlling cost can be eliminated and the cost could be under $100.

The touch screen and the arduino allow for a lot more control than just a speed setting and on and off switch. The capabilities I will be programming into it are:
-Programmed cuts which will feed the x axis a certain distance
-Feed calculator
-Basic cnc functions like facing
-Automatic positioning

A few things I have considered but haven't planned out the programming for include:
-Digital pantograph
-Basic 1 axis CNC programming (It makes x cut, tells me where to position y, makes another cut, etc)
-Blueprint on screen

Right now my control box has 8 buttons, 4 switches, and the touch screen.

The 8 buttons will allow for 1 touch position adjustment, jogging, and cutting, and have a start and cancel/reset button. The screen will let me switch between holding the button to cut and pressing the button to start the cut and pressing again to stop. I won't implement that part until I add limit switches though. For now, it will use soft limits when making programmed cuts. The 4 switches control power to the arduino, power the driver, power to the stepper, and power to the spindle light. I have plenty of room left on the controller to Z or Y control, a power draw bar, and to move the current controls over. I might add a tachometer read out but I don't think 1 arduino can handle processing everything so that may need a second arduino for that. I can likely build that for under $20. The driver is going to me mounted on the outside on the back because the box wasn't big enough to put the arduino and the driver in. Depending on how hot it gets, I may mount a fan on the box and or the driver. I can pull 12v from the fan in the spindle power box that is also powering the spindle light.

To mount it I just took a piece of .5" aluminum because thats what I had, drilled holes for the stepper then milled slots to mount it to the end of the table and allow for some vertical adjustment. Then I chucked a piece of O1 tool steel in the lathe, drilled a .250" hole all the way through which fit the stepper shaft perfectly, then bored half of it to fit the end of my lead screw. Then on the mill, I drilled and tapped 2 10x32 holes for set screws on the stepper side and drilled a .250" hole on the lead screw side. Then I turned another piece of O1 to be a tight fit with the end of the lead screw (about .175") with a slightly tapered .250" head to fit snugly with the coupler.

Here is a picture of the stepper mounted to the table:

Here is the coupler after being drilled

This is the controller box as it stands now. The covered switch just controls the spindle light but it was inexpensive and I thought it looked cool so I got it.

Speaking of the spindle light, I got 2 of them for $8. They are Halo lights for a car but they are very bright and use 12v which makes them easy. Its just going to be glued to the head around the spindle.

Its hard to tell how great the light is in this picture because the garage door was open and the sun was shining bright but when the door is closed, the light just lights up the table.

I tried to record a video of the screen and its functionality with a few selections and showing how the menu and home screens work but every time I started recording, the screen went haywire. As soon as I reset it and stopped using the camera it worked again but then when I turned it on again to start recording, the first touch and it loses it. I uploaded the video anyway. Once I get all the programming done, I will make the screen a little more readable and better looking.

Here is the motor running. The only issues I need to work out with it are a bit of binding towards the ends of travel and the stopping and starting keeps knocking the handle loose.

Tips, suggestions, questions, ideas, and banter are always appreciated.


Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Mar 24, 2014
Nice! Keep posting on your progress this is very interesting


Active Member
Active Member
Jan 20, 2016
I made some progress with the power feed so I figured I would post an update.

I got the controller all wired up. There is a switch between the wall power and the power supply, between the power supply and driver, and power supply and spindle light. I got some wire on sale at lowes for $.03/ft that was a little to heavy for my purposes, but at $6 for 200 ft, I can deal with it.

As you can see, my wiring isn't super clean. Once I get it mounted up to the mill, the wires will be ziptied and put in a protector. Here are a few pictures of that.


Here is a good look at the front of the controller. Plenty of room left for a z power feed and tool change button.

If I did my math correctly, I have my rapids moving at 62.5 IPM and the cuts I ran were at 31.25 IPM. Ill post the math so someone can check.

800 steps/rotation
16 rotations/inch
75 microseconds/step
60,000,000 microsteps/minute

So 60,000,000 microseconds/75 microseconds per step/800 steps per rotatation/16 rotations per inch = 62.5 IPM

Cuts were run at 150 microseconds per step.

The power supply and driver are just sitting on the shelf behind the mill. I don't see any issue with that for the moment.

For the moment, I still have to:

-Mount the controller to the mill
-Program the touch screen
-Add limit switches
-May a home switch
-Program the somewhat kinda CNC functions

I am having a few issues that need to be corrected:
-The stepper and lead screw are slightly out of alignment. At one end, the stepper mount is super tight. At the other end, it has wobble. When tightened, it binds at the other end.
-The accel and decel need to be a curve, not linear. That will give it more torque to start cuts and get it moving as well as stop it from loosening the handle when it slows down quickly.
-Several of the buttons aren't working. The pins must have come out of the arduino or the connections to the buttons aren't good.
-The table is too tight at each of the ends leading to stalling.

Here is a video of the jogging with that issue of stalling I need to work out. You can see at the end everything getting turned off. That order is power supply, driver, spindle light. In person you could hear everything powering down but I didn't really hear it in the video over the mill power box fan.

If that doesn't look like 62 IPM, let me know, I may have mathed wrong.

Here is a video of it doing some cuts. The rattling you are hearing is the knob on the handle. I think the depth of cut was .075" and the width of cut was in the area of .250". The spindle is running around 2000 RPM. I have never had to deal with ideal feeds and speeds so I can probably get that to sound a little better. I can also get my spindle up to about 4500 RPM with the belt feed so that should allow me to cut faster. The column stiffening is really helping here. That tool is .375" 2 flute HSS and the material is 6061 aluminum. Please pardon the camera work. Trying to record with 1 hand while running the machine with the other.

Here is one more quick video of it doing a lighter cut. It was with snapchat so it cut off early.

Doing this cut manually took me in the region of 2 minutes per pass and my arm was getting really tired. With the power feed, that was cut to about 45 seconds and my arm was very thankful. I should have done this way sooner.


[5] [7]