So I'm thinking about purchasing a CNC lathe. Have any of you used the NL-150 yet? There doesn't seem to be a lot of discussion of it on the forum.
It will be interesting to hear your review. When do you expect to get it? A train from Vancouver to Toronto shouldn't take too long.
Of course Khai (sales person) will not give me a date yet but I did talk to him last week and he told me that he expect machine to arrive to Vancouver sometime this week. He also mentioned that they do share the container with other vendors and once container was stuck in customs for 2-3 months. If there are no hiccups I do expect to get mill and lathe by the middle of April. It will take me some time to get the machines from Garage to basement and get it going. I have seen lot of videos on the internet and created number of turning projects on cad an cam but do have some apprehension due to lack of hands on experience with lathe (yes I have seen the warnings). I am hoping that users manual will also help me get going. It will be a while before I can do any significant project on lathe.
If anybody can send me a pm with a pointer to right lathe tooling I will appreciate it.
Novakon offered a super deal on the pre-production version and I have been testing it out for a month or so. Each bug and a couple of improvements we identified were passed on to Novakon and I have been assured they have been implemented in the production version. (Quite normal to expect a few glitches in any pre-production machine). Fortunately no show stoppers.
The Z axis had virtually no backlash and I was able to calibrate so that it is dot on accurate. The X axis backlash was out and we discovered that a washer had been missed during assembly. The production version has also been revised to improve accuracy.
The tool changer is quite robust, fast and very positive in action. Novakon supplies a VB subroutine to activate the tool changer. You simply enter “T0000” prior to the tool change instruction e.g. T0101.
The initial shipment was delayed to accommodate some improvements such as making the cabinet 4” deeper, adding a second pump/washing spray hose for general clean up, and changing the drawer chip collection system to be less complicated. The next group is currently in production and will be ready for shipment in about 30 days. Current shipment is expected shortly.
After initial calibration the unit proved very capable of providing accurate, fine looking results for facing, grooving and parting.
Similar to the mills, the electronics were designed and assembled in Canada and are tucked away neatly in the two end cabinets. Locally designed circuit boards allow relatively quick modifications to address any improvements. This was demonstrated recently on my NM-200 Series 3 electronics update. An in house modification was accomplished in two days.
The main shortcoming is the lack of an automated drilling capability. The tail stock can be used to center drill manually, but drilling cannot be performed using the tool post without some sort of jigging. I am experimenting with a plate & interchangeable blocks, to attach to the slide to hold 2 or 3 drills or boring tools. Will also look at MT and some sort of quick change setup. Discussing the feasibility with Novakon. Suggestions are welcome.
This particular proto was designed to simplify the production of a part I presently produce using the NM-200 Mill with custom fixtures to hold the individual parts (Time consuming and not as accurate as I would like) and a manual lathe. The idea is that once the mill work, (face 2 sides, through drill retaining hole and engrave) all remaining work could be done on the NL-150. This would consist of: ( P= Use tool post, H= Use tool holder.)
1. P Turn to set diameter
2. P Face the end
3. H Center drill
4. H Drill ¼” hole ¾” deep
5. H Mill/Drill Pocket to accommodate a threaded brass spline nut
6. P Groove x 2
7. P Part off
If it works as planned The NL150 will have proven its worth. Work handling and tool changes would be significantly reduced.
Attached are a few pictures of the initial prototype holder and the sample part this particular holder was designed for. I would envision various stock plate configurations as well as job specific holders. More info to follow as the design evolves.
1. Not using cam but I suspect you can place it in your post. You only have to specify it once when you start the machine..
2. It is delivered as one piece.
From what I can feel when I reach underneath there appears to be 2 main mounting bolts.
As well you would have to remove some oil lines & electrial connections.
I emailed Khai that very question as the entrance to my basement is only 39" high (it's an old house). Anyway, apparently the stand and machine are welded together so they can't be dissassembled.