Getting Close to Beginning Lathemaster 9x30 CNC Conversion...
I'm in the final stages of design and parts accumulation. Almost ready to start. Here are a few of the eBay treasures gathered so far:
- Rittal NEMA enclosure in back to hold most of the electronics.
- ELO touch sensitive water resistant screen
- Control panel enclosure
- Some 3 position industrial switches for spindle and coolant
- Step motor, power supply parts, Gecko's, and combo breakout board
I'll be adding an MPG to the control panel, and the touchpanel will mount immediately above it. The NEMA enclosure will sit on the floor out of the way. I'll be using Mach 3 Turn. My goal is to set the panel up to make it as easy as possible to do quick and dirty manual operations as well as the full CNC.
This all depends on your current experience with the machine but wouldn’t a touch screen be a bad idea for a piece of machinery like this? I’d be concerned with the screen getting scratched up with chips or dust on fingers while they were punching in data. Just a thought
The touchscreen is a POS (No, it means "Point of Sale" LOL) and is water resistant. Oil, coolant, and chips will wipe off. I don't plan to put it directly in the path of the debris nor will I likely use 300 gph coolant pumps on this little lathe, so it will be fine. In fact, much less prone to damage than a track ball or mouse. As to scratching, I try to keep my fingers away from the chips after getting just a couple of painful cuts and splinters from seemingly casual contact with swarf. My chip brush does wonders keeping the machine clean and will work for the screen also.
The big "coil" is a toroidal power transformer. It's going into the power supply for the step motors. They're very efficient and this one was also pretty inexpensive at $29.95.
I'm going to do the electronics on this conversion first, so I'm just waiting for the final parts to show up so I can lay out how the boards go into the big NEMA box and the control panel. I still need to order an MPG (Manual Pulse Generator) from somewhere. They're not easy to track down!
Good to see some more lathe conversions. I am working on a Hardinge TFB conversion. Just in the planning/component acquisition stage at the moment. MPG's are hard to find, I got two from http://www.rogersmachine.net/MPG/heatsink.html
Not cheap but very nice quality. If you are lucky you might be able to get some form eBay. However, I never found any when I was looking.
I've watched eBay for a couple of months. I had a nice chat with the Rogers Machine people and ordered 2 MPG's (will need one for my IH mill conversion as well!). They're Swiss-made Micronors, which are very high quality as you've mentioned.
Just got my Micro-ATX motherboard and accessories in. These are very nice units. It becomes possible to lay out a PC inside a very small space--think of the size box a Shuttle PC runs in. They are also cheaper than most full size mobos. While a lot of folks are buying older technology cheap on eBay or scrounging a machine they hadn't used, I wanted something I could make fit with breakout board and step motor power supply inside my NEMA box.
It's about time for me to start laying out the inside of that box and break out the soldering iron. I want to see those steppers spin!
Miles to go before I sleep. It's going to be a little harder
mounting a motor to the cross slide (need to arrange for a thrust
bearing arrangement to limit axial play) and I have quite a lot of
electronics I have not yet started wiring up.
Nevertheless, its been a lot of fun so far. You can track the whole
project on its home page:
I you need anymore of the switches I have a large colection I got at a plant closing and relay's ect cuttlerhammer sqD dayton honneywell ect. PM me with a list of what you need I proububly have it Good luck I have a couple hardging 59v's I'm thinking of doing one Kevin
I look forward to the progress of your project! I am interested in purchasing a 9x30 Lathemaster myself. I am on a thin budget to purchase a manual lathe, but have every intention to CNC it. I found this thread by searching for opinions on the Lathemaster products. Have you used your manual 9x30 much?? It looks like a great lathe for around the $1k range. Thanks!
Have you used your manual 9x30 much?? It looks like a great lathe for around the $1k range. Thanks!
I've used it quite a bit and like it a lot. I'm able to make parts to 0.001" tolerance all day long without being a whiz bang machinist. It is very happy cutting with my carbide insert tooling. It basically did all of this out of the box. You can make it chatter if you push it too hard, but it seems to work darned well most of the time.
I made a QCTP adapter and a DC treadmill motor conversion and these made the machine even nicer. It looks ideal for CNC because it is a lot more rigid than most of the cheaper Asian lathes. It isn't cheap as these lathes go, but they put their money into mass and a little better finish. So, no quickchange gearbox, you must use change gears. That absolutely won't matter for CNC.
There's a very happy community out there, though not as many modding projects as one sees for the basic 9x20. Still, most of the 9x20 stuff would work on a Lathemaster with a little thought and some, like the 4-bolt clamp, is just not needed.