Build Thread I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion


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Thread: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

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    Default I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    OK, this is a bit premature but since I want input before I start I thought I'd throw it out there and see what sticks. I just ordered a Grizzley G0704 to help with the conversion because it seems you need a mill to build a mill and since I just sold my RF 31 CNC conversion I put myself in a bind. The G0704 is going to so much nicer than that round column on the RF31. Anyway since I'll have it down for that I may do the belt drive too so I'll murder 2 birds with 1 machine. OK so back to the conversion. My thoughts are Hiwin 20 rails and 4 bearing blocks. I'll need to cut the tips of the dove tails to give some extra room for the rails and block. The rotating back plate needs to be machined to accept the blocks. This is where a little helpful brain storming from you guys may help. I was also thinking I may just get a 13" x 13" piece of 1.5" thick 6061 aluminum and machine and bolt my head to it and get rid of the dove tail rotating casting all together. Nail it as close as possible straight up and down and leave a little clearance in the mounting holes for bumping perfect when tramping it in. So my questions are: Do you guys think that the 1.5" aluminum plate will be strong enough to avoid flexing or should I go with a 1.5" thick steel plate? Or just machine the stock rotating plate for the bearing guides? I saw how one guy did it with looked like a G0704 but I've not seen an I.H. conversion yet. I would think someone would have done it already. So if anyone has any good ideas I'd love to hear them. Or if you know where a conversion thread is, let me know. I don't need to reinvent the wheel.

    Here's a couple pics of my mill and the dovetail area. I have to sneak the rail and bearing block into that area next to the dove tail. If I take about 3/8" off the dovetail tip it should work fine.

    The Mill is a I.H. Charter
    3 phase 3HP Baldor motor with VFD
    Quick tool changer with Tormach TSS. Would you believe I found that air cylinder on Ebay for $95. I couldn't hit the "Buy it Now" button fast enough. I priced a new one $650 plus shipping, Yikes.... I am still able to use the spindle handle for quick drilling and my tapamatic setup
    It has double ball screws and it still has manual use besides full CNC
    Rotary table 4th axis.

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3068-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3072-jpg  


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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Well guys it's been awhile. I just ordered Hiwin 25 series for the Z axis. I had the 20 series and decided that may not be beefy enough. I checked the Haas mini mill and they use 30 series but I could not use those unless I did some major modding to the Z casting. I think I can sneak the heavy duty 25 series in without any or very minor dove tail trimming. If I have to trim a bit I'm going to use a router with an end mill and a Harbor freight variable speed to get the RPMs down to a controllable level. I'm still going to use the 20 series in the X and Y. I also may cut the X down about a foot. I think 24" X and a 12" Y would be the perfect setup. I'm also going to draw up a square tube reinforcing frame to help with the Z rigidity. I know this seems a bit much but it works great as it is but I believe it can be better.



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    In anticipation of the linear rail upgrade I bought a magnetic drill to help with the drilling and tapping of the holes in the Z axis. Just so you know these are heavy and sense I hurt my back at work the wife is going to be helping me with that, she does not know it yet. It will be like " Honey can you give me a hand for a minute". Four hours later she's wondering what just happened. I guess it's no worse than asking her to give me a hand for a minute and 30 seconds later she's wondering the same thing. Hahaha. I do have an over head crane setup so that will help a lot. I also made a template for the replacement Z axis plate that is 13" x 13" x 1.5" thick. It's drilled for the hi win block setup so I can work with it instead of the heavy 1.5" back plate to get everything lined up. I have it and the plate setting on the G0704 back up mill and it's huge. I won't be drilling the 1.5" thick piece on it for sure. I think I am going to use the crane to swing the head off and do some measuring and put the head right back on to do the plate. I need to take about .150 off the Z dove tails. Wish I had a big bridge port to do that. I'll get through it somehow. I don't know if my router with a end mill is going to cut it. Anyway a couple pics. Still waiting on the rails and square blocks. I can not wait to get this done and trammed in. I think the roll cage, that's what I'm calling the next step will really brace the I.H. a lot and hopefully get some great repeat ability. The biggest thing I want to accomplish is cutting bearing pockets with out using a boring bar to finish the bores. It's a P.I.A. to have to set up to do that after you bore a pocket. I may be crazy to think that but after linear rails, the roll cage and adjusting my nuts, OK Freudian slip there, my double ball nuts I think I can get it. If I can then I just saved the $30,000 I am looking to have to spend on a Haas and and a lot of tooling. Hopefully next week I'll have it done. That's if I get the rails and guides by Friday. Fingers and toes crossed.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3149-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3150-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3151-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3152-jpg  



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Well the Hiwin 25 rails and blocks are suppose to be here tomorrow for the Z axis. Today I built up the z axis plate. Drilled and tapped for the head to bolt to. The head had 5/8 bolts or the equivalent metric bolts. I decided to go with 1/2" 12 point bolts as these will thread into the aluminum plate and give me a little wiggle room for tramming the Z axis in as the holes in the head are .670 diameter for the bolts to go through. That means heavy thick washers as part of the set up. I may after doing the X and Y axis drill a couple extra holes in the mounting plate to secure the head even more as it will not tilt after the linear rail install anyway. One thing I found out about Chinese hole drilling, it's kinda like the old saying " close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades." Well that's how they drill holes. The head mounting holes where over a .100 off in what have should have been a normally spaced 3 bolt circle. So all my dimensions went out the window. I actually had to hang the head again and put my plate on it using the centering circle (in my pics) then tried to line it up as close as possible off the flat spot on the back of the head under the motor spacers. Then I used a special tool I made to mark centers of the holes to my plate. I'm glad I did not drill and tap the holes that I had figured out mathematically before I checked out the real Chinese spacing. Anyway it seems like I'm good to go now for the Z axis hopefully in a couple days we will see if it was all worth it on the Z then I'll do the X and Y. The reason I am doing the Z axis is because I noticed while drilling some holes the head kept tilting back and forth even though I have the ways really tight. Just slop in the ways. Hopefully this is the cure. It should be. Handing the head from the ceiling sure does help. So here's some pics.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3163-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3156-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3157-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3158-jpg  

    I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3159-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3161-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3162-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3164-jpg  



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    So the linear rails made it but no blocks. I'm half happy. I did tear the I.H. down today in anticipation of getting everything this afternoon but to no avail. I did weigh my head setup and it came in at just about 275 LBS. My 125 lb gas shocks may have been a good guess. So I'm going to try something a bit different and hopefully it works. It seems that doing the linear rail conversion in most machines you have to cut the dove tail for clearance. I need about .175 thousand. So I thought about putting it in my G0704 but there's no way, too scarey for me. Then I thought router with a 1/4" end mill, not bad but I have to slow it down. Ok I'll try a Harbor freight speed control. Useless, about a 2000 rpm difference so that's a no go. So while I was taking it back to Harbor Freight I stumbled across a metal cutting circular saw blade. Hmmmm, that may work. So tomorrow it's a circular saw, some WD40, vacuum cleaner, helper with a mask, plywood cutting guide from HF too and we are off to the races. If it works then alignment drill and tapping. I'm saying a prayer to the broken tap god. I'm going to do a test drill and tap off to the side and see how she taps. If it's iffy I'm going to go a couple thousandths bigger on the drill for safer tapping. Anyway here's some pics of today's fun.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3167-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3168-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3169-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3171-jpg  

    I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3172-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3173-jpg  


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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Nice build thread.

    I was literally going to go through some of my CNC stuff and put up a few things, I have a couple of blocks/rails from THK if you were interested. But maybe you have everything you need already...

    Cheers and good luck.

    Regards,

    -Jason



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedsCustom View Post
    Nice build thread.

    I was literally going to go through some of my CNC stuff and put up a few things, I have a couple of blocks/rails from THK if you were interested. But maybe you have everything you need already...

    Cheers and good luck.

    Regards,

    -Jason
    Jason thank you, I just received everything today in the mail so I'm good.



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Today I cut the rails with the circular saw and to my amazement I would not hesitate to do it again. Pretty easy with small cut depths and a hand held grinder for the finish work. Worked quite well. I'm jazzed. Next step is drilling and tapping . That's tomorrow as I decided to take my 1.5" plate in to a grinder to get it perfect. Suppose to be back tomorrow. Then fitment and go for it.



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Roadstercycle;
    First, thanks for posting. I have an old RF45 mill I'm upgrading to sell and am leaning toward zaxis linear rails. Would it be possible to give me the ordering information for the components you are using? I'll be using a Bridgeport for installation so all information you provide here will be useful as options if my way doesn't work.
    Good luck and keep us "posted".
    Bill

    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)


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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    OK guys got the rails on and putting the column back on tomorrow. Biggest PIA is trying to get the rails 90* to the base. There is absolutely nothing else to go off of since I don't have a 4 foot surface plate and even with that you'd have to stand the column up to get everything lined up and have 4 foot long tools to use to use a dial indicator. So in essence I got the rail as straight as humanly possible and will have to tram them off the table somehow. Anyway it feels so smooth now and you can turn the ball screw by hand. After pumping them up with grease it became a little harder to turn but that makes sense.

    OK here's a couple suggestions. I mounted the rail with big C-clamps for drilling and used the plate with the blocks mounted for spacing. Without having bridge port back up mill to do this everything is a fight. So do the best you can. I did buy a G0704 to help with my business mini stuff in case I got in trouble. As a side note, after having a RF 34 that I cnc'd then going to the I.H. Mill also CNC'd then to use that G0704 I was shocked. Guy's if your going to buy something to CNC spend an extra $500 to $1000 and get something a little more beefy so you don't have to upgrade ever freaking piece of it. There's a lot of options out there, unless you just don't have the room. So here's what I did for drilling and it worked perfect. Use tranfer punches to get the centers perfect but I have Harbor freight transfer punches so I took some masking tape and wrapped it around the punch so it fit the hole perfectly. Make sure you do this. Then use a center drill, again I put masking tape around it to make it fit perfect and then center drilled it. If you don't do this when drilling cast iron you will find that the drill will drift and you'll be screwed chasing the hole to try to tap it. I was fortunate enough to have bought a magnetic drill and it worked perfect for me. Ebay tool but works great. So after drilling the million holes and tapping them I think it's going to work out great. The slop in the Z has been driving me crazy, no matter how tight I make the ways.



    Bill South wanted to know what I used and here you go.

    2 pcs of rail HGR25R 800mm long, (850mm will fit though but won't really help).

    4 pcs of square blocks HGH25CAZOC

    That will do the Z axis.

    The X and Y are below.

    I'm using 8 pcs. HGH20CAZOC square blocks for the X and Y

    I'll start that later. I need the Z finished so I can do the X and Y.

    I bought everything at automation4less.
    I little more expensive than Ebay stuff but you don't know what your getting from Ebay with Hiwin rails, too many fakes. Plus they have free shipping too.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3175-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3176-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3177-jpg  


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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    So the wife asked what I wanted to do on fathers day and of course I said finish my Mill. So I finished the Hiwin rail install except for 6 screws that I ran out of. I have them coming tomorrow from Mcmaster. Setting the column is always very easy since i have the over head hoist setup. I trammed in the rotating head angle and nailed it down. Then I measured the fore and aft tram and it's about .003 thousandths off. So I have to loosen the front 2 column bolts and put in 2 pcs of shim stock in on each side. I have no idea of what .003 is when shimming that way so I figure throw .010 in there and see what I get then adjust from there. Other than that the head rolled down by itself from just it's own weight. A good sign. I installed the two 125 lb pressurized shocks and everything seemed to balance out. Reinstalled the glass scales and limit/home switches. The setup feels really good and tomorrow I'll play with it a bit and see how it does. The X and Y should be much easier as there is no cutting, just a bunch of drilling and tapping and with the magnetic drill that's a cinch. What a great tool. $299 brand new on Ebay.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3179-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3178-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3180-jpg   I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion-img_3181-jpg  



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    Default Re: I.H. Charter Z axis Hiwin rail conversion

    Hi anyone who actually cares about this. I used the new Z axis today and all I can say is amazing, what a difference. Since I have both mach3 and DRO setup I can check for difference in mach3 and reality. Today making 20 brackets the biggest difference I saw was .0006. That's pretty nice. The cuts are even smoother than ever so I am jazzed with the time and effort it took. Now I'll do the X and Y and see how that goes.



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