I know that sounds lie a cop out but it is true. In any event some back ground. First I haven't done a Homespun mill upgrade myself yet, so no numbers for you. However I've worked extensively in automation including custom built CNC Hardware so I have a sense of what is possible.
This at sound trite but you can pay a lot or pay a little. You can get value in what you spend or you can get empty pockets. Sometimes the worth of something is purely subjective.
I'm not sure if you are prepared ahead of time to get into machining. You need to realize that you will spend more on tools and tooling than you will the machine. In fact the machine specific outlay will be rather insignificant compared to setting yourself up with machinist tools, vices, clamps and other generic goodies.My end goal is to move up to a Tormach but I wont have those kind of funds for a while and want to start learning on something less expensive. I would like my tooling I purchase to be forward comparable with the Tormach so I don't have to start over once I get there.
That isn't unreasonable but you might want to consider just getting a bigger manual mills sized like the Tormach. Learn the basics before CNCing that machine. Take your time acquiring those tools, and learn which work best for your interests.I want to build the machine right and would rather spend the money now than start with the phase 1 conversion and then move on to the phase 2... (g0704.com) The DIY factor is to save some money right now so that I can get some decent tooling and start making chips.
Cool. A bigger stiffer mill will help with the steel parts.I will mainly be machining aluminum and softer materials, but it would be nice if I could throw some steel in there every once in a while (nothing major). I am not looking for production speeds and this will mainly be for prototyping and building my own projects. If I come up with something decent I might try and sell it, but this would be small quantities. Most parts will be smaller in size for robotic projects and maybe some bike parts.
There are simply to many variables here. You really should look for best prices on what you decide to make a machine out of. A machine built out of Compumotor or PacSci hardware will have a vastly different cost structure than a machine built out of no name 3-Bay hardware. Like wise steppers are generally cheaper than brushless servos.I know there are lots of things needed to get a CNC machine in a usable state but would like to limit this discussion to the machine and controlling electronics. I know that prices can be all over the place depending on how much you are willing to do on your own so I am just looking for ball park values. If you have built a machine and care to throw your own numbers up that would be much appreciated.
--Machine with stand and freight: $1194
--Stepper motor driver: $300 (G540)
I see the G540 being used in lots of build threads, is this a good choice?
--Stepper motors for X,Y&Z: ???? I am still researching.... any suggestions? This kit for $650 looks nice and it comes with the controllers and power supply
--Stepper motor mounting plates: $430 from ebay seller bdtools
--Stepper motor mounting plates DIY: ~$160 for plans from g0704.com + materials
--Power supply + enclosure for electronics: ???
--Ball Screws for X,Y & Z: ??? looking on CNC fusion, a kit for the X3 is $390, how much do you think for the G0704? Are the premium ones worth it for a hobby mill?
--Computer running a copy of Mach 3: $400 (includes paying for mach 3)
--MPG pendant: ~$180 for this one
-Vice: ~$300 I know you can spend more or less
--Homing switches: ???
--One shot oiling system: ???
--Three bolt head mod: $25-30 for materials??
--Misc. parts: $500 ??? this includes hardware, wiring and other items
Beyond that much of the hardware you need can be found on E-Bay heavily discounted or used. Beyond that auctions and close outs abound.
Why bother? Once the motor goes replace it with something US made and industrial. Even if you want an up front better drive I'd still prefer something that is a clear improvement. In this respect I'd ratherNow I have read that some of the motors and controllers have failed on several machines, should I just jump straight to a tread mill motor? What about the controller with a tread mill motor?
What about spinal bearings? Should I replace these while I have it apart? How much do decent bearings run?
Is there anything else I am missing that should be done to the mill when converting it over?
Thanks for your help !!!!!