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

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

DRO is great! this is BEST mod. do it now. it makes life so much easier. unless you're old school and prefer counting rotations and doing mind-math, this is THE way to go for ease of use, repeatability, accuracy, speed, etc..

the first version of the X/Y/Z setup

x and y axes

update. the y-axis scale has been placed on the other side of the mill to make reading easier since the x-axis stepper motor and y-axis cnc motor plate are placed on the left hand side of the machine. the right hand side is reserved for the quills (z-axis and y-axis). the plans are now available!

z axis
miscellaneous DRO scale wierdness
if you notice your DRO skipping by 0.200" or so, there's something going on with your scale.

well, i took apart the scale and cleaned it with acetone. removing the crud seems to have solved the skipping problem.

here's a video clip of when the scales jump around.

normally, they'll jump by numbers like .200", in this case, it's all over the place. the problem is the chips getting into the scales' contacts.

if this happens, take the scale apart and clean the contacts.

click here for clip
the digital calipers started jumping by .200".

it's time to clean the scale.

here it is completely apart.

the contacts are cleaned and the scale is put back together.

what's going on with the scale? this reads "H". press zero and you get the following.

this reads "INC". press zero again and you get this. i can't zero the scale!

update. still don't know what the "H" and "INC" indicate, but when you disconnect the cable from the head, you can reset to zero.

DRO display and making a holder to mount to the machine.
here's the positron 3-a dro display (this one was from lathemaster, but littlemachineshop also sells this model).

it uses LEDs instead of LCDs and only displays up to .001" increments.

here's the front of the board.

you can also make your own using scott shumate's shumatech dro-350 plans. his version has a lot of features.

the purpose of this is to mount the parts of the dro display to the mill.

notice the two #8-32 button head screws that mount the angle aluminum.

this is the backside.
here is the mounting block attached to the angle aluminum.
check out the chips from this 2-flute v-bit
preparing for a 1/2" drill through 2" of aluminum. note the shorter length machine screw bit instead of the longer jobber drill bit.
nice curls
these are the machined pieces.

it took about one hour to machine these pieces.

the dro display is mounted to the top of the cnc conversion z-axis plate.

the display is adjustable in the x-axis plus z-tilt/rotation.

plans are now available for free download.

this is a snapshot of the display showing actual position versus mach software's position after 40 minutes of machining a part (a ballscrew flange nut for the y-axis).

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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