Last Saturday I attended a Model Engineering Expo in Toledo Ohio. I ran into Rick of the famous Rick-o-matic fame and showed him pictures of my conversion of a Harbor Freight drill/mill to cnc control. He urged me to post pictures here. So here it is.
Per instructions learned from these Internet forums, the first thing I did after bring home my model 42976 mill was to totally disassemble it right down to the basic screws. I found one thrust bearing assembled wrong and straightened it out on reassembly. While apart I removed all the burrs, then measured each piece and entered it into a AutoCAD 3d solids model. Then I'd plot out each piece and cut out the paper model and place it onto the actual piece to be sure I had made no glaring error. Once I had it back together, I designed the NC hardware to match the motors I picked up on e-bay. Then I went to a friends house who had an NC mill and we made the parts. Anyone who has a Harbor Freight 42976 Drill /Mill and is interested in the 3d solids model I'd gladly post the .dwg file to the downloads for them to download, if I can.
I currently have the x & y axis designed and built and having a great deal of fun playing with it. The very first thing I did was engrave some fancy script of my son's name using a pen and paper on the bed. Next I have to complete the Z axis design and build it.
While apart, I didn't like the mechanism they had to oil the table so I designed and built extensions for them. Now it is easy oil the table. The attached pictures show my method. It was amazing how much easier the table slides after proper oiling. It goes without saying guys, keep your machines well oiled.