Well, Here it goes..
I'm in need of a couple spindle designs.. I finished one for my lathe, and got to work on one for my milling machine. But, I need to get my milling head and lathe headstock design just right.
Oh, a cool side note, I puchased over a period of time, through some contacts of mine what is a Bridgeport 9" x 48" table, a original 2HP Bridgeport motor, a J head without motor, the knee and main casting from a 2J (I think!), a Bijur lube system, and a J head ram with an attached M head on the opposite end. It took me the better part of 6 years to get this all together, and I had started Aug. 2001 and just finished at the beginning of this year. I also looked at a original Bridgeport DRO system and a BOSS CNC controller. The BOSS was at (and may still be) at the same place where I bought my Monarch VMC. I finally was able to get time to get this stuff out of the corner of my tightly packed shop, and put it all together, with the aid of some strong friends with machinery experience and the appropriate lifts.
I thought about buying one of those large floor standing NEMA cabinets from AutomationDirect for a self contained CNC controller.. while probably still being able to use whatever CNC system there is out there. I like FANUC's, but I thought if I'd got one of those cabinets, then I'd have more options.
I wish I knew more about machine design. I don't but I have learned quite a few things from different sources, especially from the good folks here.
I finally got myself a copy of SolidWorks, and AutoCAD 2005.. and even have Mach3. I wished I could get to afford MasterCAM.. but I have seen some good results others have had with other different programs, including OneCNC.
My shop really needs a good OBI punch press, or turret press. I have a lot of 28XX punches and dies from C.E. Tooling which are normally used in WA Whitney turret presses and the like. 35 Ton would be very nice, although about 20 would do nicely, especially if I could purchase or design some press controls. Minister Press wanted to custom build me the press I wanted, but it would have cost a lot! What I really wanted was a way to index the punches and dies maybe not a full 360° but in say 8 different positions in a single station in some sort of a die set, plus be able to index parts to stops, etc. in the same set up. Amada uses some very nice FANUC like the 18P that I liked a lot with their own sheet metal software.
I have a large list of wants for my custom built lathe. Yes, I could probably go out and pick up the lathe I wanted, because it probably already exists.. then again maybe it doesn't.. but it would not be half as fun as building one. I've had lots of comments over the past 10 years from all sorts of people about lathe design, and read countless forum posts and articles, and other web sites. Anyone want to help me pick up where I left off last? Anyone that wants to help finish designing this, I have a set of specs I typed up, if it would be helpful.
I also have a list of stuff that I want on my mill design project. I wrote a text file of my thoughts on a mill too, just like I did for the lathe. A lot got side tracked because I had some financial difficulties. My spindle concepts went from #2 Morse Taper, CAT45, R8, 5C, and NMTB #40. I really like NMTB #40's because they have good functionailty and do all I need to do. I do have one steadfast reqirement, to keep the quill diameter under 4". A 9" or 10" table at least, and say 32" to 60" long with T-Slots. 1HP would work, but 2HP would be very nice. I have ER32 collets and TG100 collets too, so I'd have to be able to use that. As far as asthetics in design I like squarish, even if it's very plain. I don't very often go above 4,500RPM -5,000RPM and would like to be able to use ABEC 7 bearings. Oh yeah I use both the 6" and 8" milling vises, depending on the work. I don't need a lot more axis other than just X and Y and the knee.. I don't use quill feeds a lot, and the other stuff..
Anyone ever used the ProtoTrak CNC on a mill? Neat isn't it. I got to use one for 3 days at a shop in town. Theres a similar version for lathes too. It's cool! It has a neat set up for "teaching". The machine I used that had it used NMTB 30's.
I do a lot of work in 4130, 4140, 4340, etc. steel.. and I have access to a lot of other materials but I like those the best. 6061 and 7075 aluminum too. I've never ventured out too far into the other materials, but I will.
Oh yeah! Here's something I found very handy. I bought a lot of very nice 10" table saw blades from a company called FS Tool. They cut like butter through aluminum, especially if you use one of those lube sticks. They make blades specifically for metals. I haven't found a nicer blade. Check them out!
Well, anyhow that's about it.. I may lastly design one 6-7" lathe for the bench for the parts I couldnt do in the big lathe. I had an Atlas / Craftsman / Dunlap #109.0703 little teeny modelmakers lathe at one time. May make it a more modern version of that.
Other projects are on the way, a band saw, suface grinder, rotary table, maybe even a press.
Anyone got advice on which particular newer NEMA motors for milling machines I should be looking at? I've only got single phase 110-120v here at least for the moment. I may also look at the 200-250v single or 3 phase motors at about 1700-1750 RPM, and at least one where I could get a decent pulley on it.
With that anyone who wants to contact me with more info, suggestions, is welcome to do so..