Hey guys, I have a Granite 1324 MAX and I'm looking to convert it to CNC. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the info out there. Whats the best way to start?
I HAVE PUT BALL SCREWS ON ALL AXIS ON MY SMITHY AS WELL AS THE FLASHCUT CNC PACKAGE......I WAS THINKING OF TAKING THE CNC PACKAGE OFF . I HAVENT USED IT VERY MUCH AND HAVE OTHER IDEAS. IF YOU HAVE CHECKED ON THIS STUFF YOU HAVE FOUND OUT IT IS PRETTY EXPENSIVE....IT ALL WORKS ,BUT I WOULD PROBABLY UPGRADE THE SOFTWARE AND GO WITH IT....... MAYBE WE CAN TALK OF A SALE AND SAVE YOU SOME $$$$$$$$.
I converted a 1340 over to cnc with a homebuilt system using geckos and Mach3.
It worked ok but not great for mill work.
I also machined ball srews and converted the screws to ball screws.
As a lathe not bad,as a mill not that good for anything more than plastic and aluminum.
I have some pics on my website here:http://www.hitechhobbies.com/Machines.html
Good luck with your conversion.
I ended up buying a Bridgeport Series II cnc and an Emco lathe.
If a person just tossed the mill head away, you would have a pretty decent small lathe.
To be truthful it is just not worth it.
I was able to machine alot of parts to build my cnc router using Mastercam and the Smithy but if I would of had my other machines then it would of been easier and faster.
I was cutting aluminum so it wasn,t too bad.
The mill head was a pain,if you set up on your zero point in x and y axis then found you wasn,t high enough for maybe the next tool you just could not raise the z axis up without loosing the location as the head swivels.
If an endmill would grab for some reason or other the head would move.
Your right about play in the z axis,I ended up running alot of backlash in the control just to get in the ballpark.
It was ok for just drilling parts.
You just had to accept it was what it was.
If I could do it over again I would not buy the Smithy.
I bought the Series II Bridgeport CNC and the Emco CNC lathe for about the same money I have in the Smithy and can do so much more with them.
The tough part was convincing the bean counters to pay in advance. Shopmasters are usually sold out about 60 days in advance and they require full payment up front. I finally convinced them that a company that requires payment 60 days in advance and has been around for 30 years must have a reasonable product. Final decision was for the Shopmaster, and we have been satisfied with the performance.