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7x10, 7x12, 7x14 Mini-Lathe Information

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  2. DRO
  3. CNC V1 - CNC V2
  5. HOW-TOS

version 1 of the cnc retrofit works, but maintaining manual operation was difficult for a few reasons. so, on to version 2. the plans will reflect this change (for the better). check out version 1

tip! using the mill for tapping is great. of course, no power. there's limited z-axis travel at times - this is when you have get inventive. here, a transfer punch is used chucked into a 3/8" r-8 collet. the drawbar is hand-tightened enough so that the transfer punch can slide up/down easily. a 15/16" x 16 tpi tap is used here.
here's a sneak preview of v2. here's another tip: use wood to quickly prototype your parts.
a few cad drawings later, a plastic prototype emerged of part of the assembly.
chucked the ballscrew into the 8x12 lathe (last time it was the 7x10) and turned down pulley shaft
here's an idea - a face shield for the mill. this is not an OSHA-approved use, i'm sure.

update. i've drawn up some plans that i'll post for free on how to fabricate a chip shield that is mounted to the existing shield location.

it works! here's what version 2 of the cnc conversion looks like.
flycutting. slight distraction. if you don't think you can use a 2.5" dia. flycutter on the mini-mill, think again. this pass was 0.020" click to see video
a video of cnc use. click to see video
here it is - manual operation. haven't seen a video of a cnc retrofitted mini-mill operated by hand. version 2 is a true cnc/manual machine. either can be used without changing a thing. click to see video
what's next? plans for this cnc conversion!

update. the drawings have been completed. the instructions, materials list, etc. are being written up now.

for now, you can get a drawing of a previous version of the x-axis mounting plate for free. printing is disabled in this version.

another modification completed (finally). had to add a flex coupler to deal with leadscrew wobble. the old one was a solid piece of aluminum round stock.
here it is. with the recent changes to DRO placement, y-axis motor plate, and x-axis flex coupler adapter.
so what has changed? since the DRO plans are now available, the right side of the mill is for the scales while the left side is for the motors. here's another view of the new arrangement. the old y-axis motor placement was to the right of the handle.
a longer video of the cnc conversion in action (with a small advert in the end) click to see video
(new!) higher quality clip of mill making pocket and surface cavity cuts click to see video

Looking for mini-mill help and how-tos? How about lathe help and how-tos?

We're prototyping a benchtop CNC vertical mill using the DigiSpeed-XL interface card for Mach, Dart Controls and KB Electronics KBIC/KBMM 90VDC motor controllers, 1.5HP treadmill motor from Surplus Center and a R8-spindle head from the X2 mini-mill - not to mention Gecko servo drives and an entirely closed-loop system. Come take a look!

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