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View Full Version : Pics of my RF45 clone cnc conversion with flood coolant



CNCPlastic
01-25-2005, 10:00 PM
About 6 months ago I converted my mill to cnc with the Industrial
Hobbies cnc kit. A month ago I broke the mill down to the bare
castings again to lap the ways and send some parts off for
modification. I tossed the old stand on the scrap heap to and built
a new one to better contain the flood coolant. Here it is finally
back together, keep in mind I wanted to contain the coolant without
breaking the bank, no fancy stainless steel enclosure here.

The 20oz Pepsi bottle should give this brute some scale.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/milla.jpg

Here you see it all buttoned up. This thing has a 4x6 foot wide
footprint with all the cnc gear hanging off it. I started out to
make a 4x6 foot stand but it was just too large, I could barely get
at the mill. After much thinking this is what I came up with...robo
stand. ;-)
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill1.jpg

In this pic you can see the coolant containment shields hinge out of
my way giving me good access to the mill. If I need to wrench on it
the drip pans unlatch and the whole thing can be set aside in a few
minutes. Note I took some effort to make this lightweight hence its
not built from 3/4 plywood.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill2.jpg

The main chip pan holds a few gallons and drains to the front.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill3.jpg

Here's a front view, you can see everything is shielded from the
flood coolant.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill4.jpg

That 11x14 inch plexi-plate keeps the chips and coolant off the ways
and ball screw. This mill was modified to add 3 extra inches onto
the Y axis and so the screw is exposed when the table is at the far
rear.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill5.jpg

Here's a shot looking down with all the shields in place. Plenty of
elbow room now.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill6.jpg

This coolant tank will never look this clean again! When I first
converted this mill I purchased the rather expensive "true" coolant
tank. At 5 gallons it was not only too small but also very poorly
designed for a coolant tank. It had all these slots molded inside
for a seperator sheet, trouble is the coolant went bad and it was
nearly impossible to get the bacteria cleaned out from all those
slots. This new tank is 10gal and cost a whopping $4 at Target. I
ran a bleach solution through the pump for about 30 minutes to make
sure I killed off all those rat bastard bacteria. I also switched to
a new coolant.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill7.jpg

Here's my mobile workbench housing the PC and tooling.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill8.jpg

Here's a pic of the low voltage electronics panel. I bought a $100
Nema enclosure for the mains voltage stuff, then got smart and
bought this cheap 200 amp service panel at Lowes for the rest.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill9.jpg

Here's the backside, dang theres a bunch of wires to one of these
cnc mills. Note the air pump on the floor which will keep the new
coolant airated nicely and the bacteria at bay.
www.coilbuilders.com/pics/mill10.jpg

eman5oh
01-25-2005, 11:06 PM
That is a nice looking conversion. Is the z powered by a large stepper and the xy by servos?

CNCPlastic
01-26-2005, 12:03 AM
Thanks, yes Z has a big stepper and X/Y have servos with ballscrew mounted encoders.

Swede
01-26-2005, 10:46 AM
I really like what you've done, the conversion of the mill itself looks very professional and solid.

Having never used flood, may I ask... is it worth it? I mean this with all respect, you've put a lot of hard work into equipping this machine with flood, and you've had the rancidity problems, etc. I have a new flood system still in the box that I have yet to even open, as I am chicken of dealing with the mess and other issues.

My understanding of flood is that it both cools and lubes. A bonus is that it can clear chips as well. If we run our home machines modestly, cooling may never be an issue. That leaves lubricity and chip clearing. I've been working with a "Micro-Drop" system for light milling and the jury is still out, I haven't worked enough with complex parts to pass judgement.

Anyway, congrats on a sweet setup!

CNCPlastic
01-26-2005, 11:38 AM
In my opinion yes, in fact I would say its required in my case. Some of my parts run 2.5 hours non-stop, thats asking a lot of this type of mill. The flood not only cools the part and end mill, but also draws some of the heat out of the spindal. I have performed some dry manual machining with this mill and the quality of cut is not nearly as nice, the chips pile up fast without the flood coolant to blast them out of the way, and the heat builds up fast. Plus I can't even see whats going on as the part quickly becomes buried in chips.

I have high hopes the new coolant will not go bad, some other guys have reported using it for months with no problems. Note I did not run a bubbler (cheap fish tank air pump and bubble stone) in the tank that went rancid, that seems to be the key to keeping the coolant fresh as the bacteria that cause the problems prefer a low oxigen environment. Also I don't run my mill every day which also contributed to the last batch going bad, the bubbler keeps it moving and full of oxigen during 24/7.

The downside is you need to contain the coolant hence the large footprint of the enclosure. If you get a twisty chip wrapped around the end mill it can fling the coolant a good distance.

steveg
01-26-2005, 12:05 PM
A 100% synthetic water soluable coolant is much less
likely to go rancid than soluable oils are, and they can be
a lot less messy! it's the oil that sticks to everything
and starts going bad.

If possible, prevent your waylub oil from mixing with
the coolant oil, "tramp oil" is another source of mess,
smell and it degrades the performance of the coolant.

BigDaddyG
01-26-2005, 12:14 PM
Hello all,
I have always felt that flood is the only way to go. I do not like the misters. My good friend and manager of the machine shop where I used to work is also a fan of the flood systems and when I started to set things up at home insisted that I get a flood system. Yes, there are down sides of using them but are far out weighed by bennies. I have a simular set up (same thing only different) that I can break down and remove easily when I dont need it. But that said, you sure have a nice set up, good job.
Regards,
Glen

CNCPlastic
01-26-2005, 02:28 PM
Thats what I thought and I used a 100% synthetic last time with the biocides, (Tri-Cool) and man that stuff got ugly. Looked like l lasagna noodles floating around in the tank yuck!

I'm hoping the plexi cover I have over the Y axis will keep most of the oil out of the coolant this go around.


A 100% synthetic water soluable coolant is much less
likely to go rancid than soluable oils are, and they can be
a lot less messy! it's the oil that sticks to everything
and starts going bad.

If possible, prevent your waylub oil from mixing with
the coolant oil, "tramp oil" is another source of mess,
smell and it degrades the performance of the coolant.

CNCPlastic
01-26-2005, 02:30 PM
Thanks! I read some months ago the misters were causing some serious health effects in shops. Breathing in coolant doesn't sound like a good idea to me.


Hello all,
I have always felt that flood is the only way to go. I do not like the misters. My good friend and manager of the machine shop where I used to work is also a fan of the flood systems and when I started to set things up at home insisted that I get a flood system. Yes, there are down sides of using them but are far out weighed by bennies. I have a simular set up (same thing only different) that I can break down and remove easily when I dont need it. But that said, you sure have a nice set up, good job.
Regards,
Glen

steveg
01-26-2005, 04:02 PM
Thats what I thought and I used a 100% synthetic last time with the biocides, (Tri-Cool) and man that stuff got ugly. Looked like l lasagna noodles floating around in the tank yuck!

I'm hoping the plexi cover I have over the Y axis will keep most of the oil out of the coolant this go around.

sounds very appetizing!

Tri cool did that?

We (the machine tool dealer that I used to work at) used
a product from http://www.magchem.com/ in all of our
showroom machine sumps, they would sit weeks or even
months on end without smelling.

We also used it at tradeshows because it was very easy
to clean the machines. the chips would come out of the chip trays dry and loose,
as opposed to being glued together (aluminum)

I don't know the cost or were to buy it from because to
be honest magchem gave the stuff to us.

this is how a synthetic is supposed to behave.