Post a couple of Pic's and let's see what your working with.
Hello, ive been lurking around on here for abit and now i need a huge load of advice!
I wanted to build a CNC router or somthing similar about 2 years ago but had no cash to even start, i was also moving home and whatnot... anyway my friend has desided to start building bike frames and started talking about getting a mini mill to make dropouts. With my already reserched subject i told him to build his own for a similar price but far more capable for what else he wants to do, hes going for the cheapest possible build but it will do the job he wants it to.
All this talk of mills got me back to thinking of what i wanted to produce 2 years ago. Now money issues and my situation has changed, im just starting my journey again with CNC millers.
Ive changed what i want from a mill, i would like to do jewelry, Stainless steel gear housing (ice cream machine pump) and face plates, as well as a range of artistic and engineering parts mostly in aluminium.
now for the questions!
I allready have a Adcock & Shipley 1ES with a Bridgeport (same company?) vertical head attached.Its in working order but does need abit of reconditioning.
Is this mill suitable for what i want or will i need a different mill? (i want +/-0.001 accuracy)
Can i retrofit this mill and if so how much will that cost roughly? (im in the UK and normally get a good deal with things i buy)
Would i be better off retrofitting it myself or buying a kit?
There is 'play' or what i think is called backlash in the table(X and Y), will this just be wear in the Nut or somthing more expensive?
Ive also a 12" rotary table that i would like to make into a 4th axis, would it be easy to move it around for different jobs or do you have to re-configure everything each time it gets moved?
My buget is around £2000... or $4000 is this realistic for a retrofit + reconditioning and maybe some biscuits to eat?
Thanks in advance
Post a couple of Pic's and let's see what your working with.
get a bridgeport interact, lots of ex college machines about that are like new.
i bought one myself about three years ago and think its an amazing machine.
I agree with bigbaz, getting an old cnc bridgeport would be a good starting point.
and £2k ? I see you have a good sence of humor!
Try nearer £5k if you want to be realistic.
Once youve factored in repairs, retrofits, replacments, computers, tooling, software, phase converters , VFDs etc anything under £5k is a serious underestimate.
Well,yes you could spend £5K but it can be done for a lot less.I know of a Boss Bridgeport fitted with new drives,touch screen control and Mach 3 which works very very well and cost a total of £1500 including the base machine.
If you search about this forum and the Mach forum(I can`t remember the address but a google for artsoft will find it) for a poster named Hood you should find a pic of his machine.
He`s very approachable and will help with advice.
Pics of my mill
and heres what it cost in total
Series1 CNC = £400
916oz/in steppers (x3) = £270
Gecko G202 (x3)= £230
PMDX 122 breakout board = £45
Nemicon MPG = £45
Limit switches (Industrial Hobbies optical)= £85
power supply (could be salvaged from original controls) = £50
Various bits and bobs (switches,wires, materials for brackets, etc) £200
17inch Touch screen = £260
Keyboard with touchpad =£40
Computer = £150
Mach3 software = £85
Time = free
Sold parts of the CNC that I didnt need and got £300 back
total = £1560
It could be done a lot cheaper, things like the MPG and the touch screen are luxuries but I personally wouldnt do without them. You could also use the original steppers if you wanted. There is an even cheaper option, get one of HillBiily's BOBs and it will connect the old drives to Mach. I personally didnt do this as my thoughts are the old BOSS hardware is not the best and transformers popping are a common problem.
Sorry ive taken so long to reply i was away for the weekend.
Thanks for everyones comments.
Ive gotten a picture off the internet of the Adcock Shipley 1ES but without the vertical bridgeport spindle etc on the top. If this machine is not worth converting then i will look into other options on a mill. Being honest the machine is abit rough and i could get another.
I know the backlash nuts and the other nut (pardon my lack of knowledge) on the leadscrew both have 'play', ive had a scan on the internet and now know parts for a mill this old are quite expensive.
I will have a look into the millers you lot have surgested as a replacement.
I knew 2K was low for this project but this can be aimed for even if it does end up costing alot more. If i needed this cnc mill project straight away then i would expect to be paying at least £5K, but this project has a timescale of over a year so bargains can be had if im looking for them over time.
Ok i may of asked too much too soon, lets start with the start!
What millers are best suited for me to convert, costing £1K or below?
£2000 is more than enough and if you cant do it for that then there is something wrong.
Best thing to look for is a CNC mill with a dead control, there have been a lot of Bridgeport series 1 CNCs on eBay recently but their price is starting to rise as people are now aware of Mach and other PC based controls. You should however still manage to get one with a BOSS control for well under £1000(Heidenhain ones are usually dearer) which leaves another £1000 for conversion which is easy to do. If you need any info you can ask here or PM me and I will be more than happy to help you out if I can.
Just to prove that £2000 is a realistic figure the lathe I am doing at the moment is going to come in about that price and it is a lot more complicated than doing a mill. That price is including the lathe, a PLC, touch screen, MPG, servo drives and motors. Heres a pic of it before I started the retrofit
If you want to do it really cheap I'd try and get a good Boss model then convert it to mach 3, this is what I did my for.
Bridgeport Boss 6.1 £400 ebay
HillBillys BOB £50 (utilises the original drives and motors)
Mach 3 license £80
Old computer 1 GHZ min £100
Touch screen used £40 ebay dodgy colours hence cheap price
I've since bought 14 drive transistors as I blew a few but I think I've got it sorted now, these cost £25.
I've also spent £600 ish on tool holders and cutting tools all second hand off ebay, if you where to buy these new it would have been into the thousands so try and get some tooling with the machine.
Thanks Hood, im sure i will be PMing you.
Its lucky that i have a small range of tools and collets already from the mill i have now, it also has a 18" rotary table and three different vices, all in good nick.
Now its time to wait for a bargain!