Mill/Drill conversion coming right up!


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Thread: Mill/Drill conversion coming right up!

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    Registered balsaman's Avatar
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    Default Mill/Drill conversion coming right up!

    Ok, I am about to embark on a Enco style round column mill-drill conversion.

    This one specifically:

    http://www.kingcanada.com/Products.htm?CD=36&ID=121

    I just ordered:

    3 Gecko 320 drives
    3 USDigital 250 CPR encoders
    3 Amtek surplus DC motors, 50 volts, 2100 RPM

    So, a couple questions:

    I have read all the horror stories about the round column mills and the PITA when you need to reposition the head on the column. My question is, if I can live with the 5" quill travel, does this mill do a good job machining with the quill extended?

    What are the odds that I can build some sort of external keying (using THK rail and bearings) into the round column and move the whole head up and down on the column as a z axis? If not that, perhaps I can still use the quill for z but use the keying to keep the head in position on the column when manually moving the head?

    What do you think of using the stock lead screws? I am considering the Mcmastercarr 5/8" rolled ballscrews but are they any better than the stock lead screws as far as acuracy is concerned? I know they would be more efficient. Also If I used two ball nuts for preloading will they bind because of the fact that the screw is rolled and thus not that acurate?

    Anyone with experience out there I would apreciate your feedback!

    Eric

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    Last edited by balsaman; 11-29-2004 at 09:32 PM.
    I wish it wouldn't crash.


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    What did the mill cost you?



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    It's used. $800 CAD. They cost $1500.00 here new at www.busybeetools.ca

    Here is the link: http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/pictu...0&NTITEM=B1977

    Eric

    I wish it wouldn't crash.


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    Gold Member Bubba's Avatar
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    balsaman,
    Looking at the add in your post makes me think the mill I have and yours are almost twins. Only the paint job looks different! As I have/am doing a conversion of a round column mill, I think I can speak from some limited experience.
    1. Existing lead screws> for get IT (Don't ask:}) I used Roton rolled ball screws and am perfectly happy. With the original screws due to some problems, I was getting up to .250 backlash (and the mill hasn't seen THAT much use). I made my own pre-loaded ball nuts and the other day, I was doing some engraving and it would have shown up big time if I had any real backlash. Looked good to me. I wasted several months using the existing lead screws.
    2. Can you live with the limited quill travel. Well, so far, I have; but it takes a creative setup. For "table" mounting, I made a raised table with a piece of 4x4 tube so I had room at the end to do the necessary tool changes. The vice makes the part raise up sufficiently to handle that part all by it self.
    3. Finish, is satisfactory for the stuff that I do. Again, YMMV depending on how accuracte and how heavy a cut you take. I find for my purposes that a 3/8 mill is about as big as I want to go and not have problems with rigidity of the machine.
    4. Unless you are a genius (and you may well be), the idea of moving the whole head is a tough nut to crack on a round column. Keeping it in line will be very difficult. If you figure this one out, there are a LOT of us out here that would like to know how you do it. (Keep it in line and do it "cheaply")

    If I can give you any assistance, PM me.

    Bubba



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    I was just contemplating the hf 3 in 1 or possibly their version of the same mill you are converting, at 1000 bucks usd, i'd have to drive to buffalo to get it.
    Balsaman are you in the GTA? (you dont have to answer), busybee on dixie rd mississauga is around the corner from my work, and if they got more at that price.....
    this is what i was contemplating...
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=33686



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    Well Balsaman, Welcome to the club

    Thanks

    Jeff Davis (HomeCNC)
    http://www.homecnc.info


    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Balsaman,

    I have used my cnc drill/mill for a long time. I have never had to reposition the head once my job has started. I think the trick is to get screw machine length drills. Check out my website on how I keep my tool lengths very close to the same length.

    Thanks

    Jeff Davis (HomeCNC)
    http://www.homecnc.info


    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    truble,

    That's the one. The used one I am buying is a private deal, not buying it from busybee but from an individual who bought it there originally. I am not from GTA, but in Woodstock. An hours drive.

    Bubba,

    Ok, I will go with the ball screws and two ball nuts per axis. I need to pick up the mill this week and have a better look at it before I know what to buy. Did you use 5/8" ball screws? The ones I am considering are the 5/8" x 13/64" at $1.09 per inch plus $21.04 per square nut.

    I will be posting regularly on the progress with lots of pictures so everyone will have lots of time to tell me how to do it.

    Eric

    I wish it wouldn't crash.


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    HomeCNC,

    I have seen your website. I was glad when this mill turned out to be the same one you did. At least I know it can be done!

    Eric

    I wish it wouldn't crash.


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    balsaman,
    I used 5/8 screws .2 pitch and got them from Roton.com. I got a 5' length for $43.25 USD and the ball nuts cost $19.40 each. Their wipers are 9.65 ea. Also be aware that they have a $40.00 minimum. I ordered 2 sets of wipers expectimg to get 4 but only got 2. So I used an idea that I got from another group and made my own. Not real pretty, but they work. As for turning the ends of the screw, my atlas is not rigid enough to cut through the hard stuff so I rigged up a tool post grinder out of my die grinder and simply ground the diameter down. Once under the hard stuff, it was easy to thread the ends as necessary.
    There are a few pictures on my web site:
    http://bellsouthpwp.net/A/r/Arts_home_page/cnc/

    Bubba



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    Great, thanks. I will order from Roton.

    Eric

    I wish it wouldn't crash.


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    Hey, Eric... Check out the cost of getting the nuts preloaded. It may be cheaper than buying two nuts.

    Nathan


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Mill/Drill conversion coming right up!
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