I have this perfectly good 14 x 30 lathe sitting in the shop, but I sure would like to have a CNC lathe for some of the parts I'm making. A 3 x 6 lathe would be fine for most of them.
Converting the lathe would probably require a lot of time and effort, and would be hard to do without taking it out of service.
So, I had this thought. Why not build an XY (or XZ, I guess) CNC table that is bolted onto the top of the existing cross slide? I would add an encoder (or perhaps just an index) to the spindle and use a VFD drive. To use it as a CNC machine, just bolt on the table, set the cross slide to the proper position and lock it in place, zero the CNC, and I'd be in business with my small CNC lathe. I would consider making both X and Z feeds about 12 inches long and plan on using gang tooling with it.
Since the CNC work I'd be doing is mainly aluminum and brass, I would probably make this assembly fairly light.
Any comments or thoughts?
(Is this posting in the wrong place? I don't think it really qualifies as a project log yet.)