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triberman
05-24-2005, 02:50 PM
I've been reading like crazy 'round here and need a little help. I really like the lathemasters and Ind. hobbies mills, but it looks like the ind. hobbies kit won't allow manual operation? I really need this.


I've been a toolmaker for 13 years and feel like I could do it myself if I had plans. The whole servo driver/power supply/encoder/controller thing has me a bit overwhelmed.


Has anyone done this conversion successfully that can help me? I'd be more than happy to buy plans but I've yet to find them.
:violin:

Thanks in advance..

ChrisJ
05-24-2005, 04:21 PM
Let me give you one idea of what you would need in addition to the brackets, belts, pulleys, bearings and other hardware stuff:

1. Modeling software to model your parts.
2. CAM software to generate Gcode.
3. CNC controller software (Mach2 or other).
4. Gecko Drives or Rutex drives to drive your stepper or servo motors.
5. Stepper or servo motors. Servo motors will need encoders.
6. Limit switches for each axis. BTW: IH makes some really good optical limits.
7. Power supply to feed the drives which ultimately feed your motors.
8. Breakout board by Cambell Design or other. Used to isolate your PC parallel port from the Geckos and provides 5 volt power to the Geckos.
9. If you want spindle speed control, then a spindle control board (Campbell Design or others) and a VFD.
10. Possibly some relays for interfacing your PC to your coolant pump, etc.

You can read up on Gecko's white papers at Geckodrive.com. This will give you some good understanding of the power supply and the wiring of the devices.

I probably left a few things out, but this gives you an idea. I figure by the time you finish buying all the components you need for each axis (ballscrews, ballnuts, gecko drive, servo motor, etc) you'll have spent $1K for each axis. When you look at what IH is charging, it isn't a huge difference between what you will spend doing it yourself versus buying their kit. At least with their kit, you are already protected with the use of flood coolant. And you can start making chips much faster.

Regarding needing manual control. I am setting up my machine to be fully automatic (IH mill with IH 3 axis kit). Based on what I read on what people are doing with Mach2/3 with pendants that have an MPG wheel, if you incorporate a pendant into the package, I believe this will give you a mill that can be operated through the software in a manual operation far more convenient than rotating the handwheel of each axis. But then again, this is only my impression. I haven't executed this configuration just yet.

Chris

triberman
05-24-2005, 04:32 PM
I've got Rhino and Bobcad 20 with bobart so I guess I've got a start. The square column mill on ebay looks to be good, he said he laps the ways and installs a belt drive with the vfd for smooth high speeds. I just can't lay down all the cash and wait to see what happens, ya know? 4 week wait, no returns, ect..a risk IMHO.

C.S.< Thanks...I look forward to getting started!

ChrisJ
05-24-2005, 05:24 PM
What! Let someone else lap your ways for you. That would be taking all the fun out of the CNC conversion process. :wee:

I am guessing you found a mill on Ebay???

Bubba
05-24-2005, 08:06 PM
triberman,
If you put ballscrews on it, you will have a problem trying to do manual wheel turning. The force of the cutter or any other external force will move the table! If you try to leave the steppers/servos "locked" and do it that way, it won't work either. If you apply enough force (and it will be quite a bit), the motors will either return the table to original position or it will fault out and freewheel.

When I started this cnc thing, I also thought I "need" to be able to do the manual thing. How wrong I was. I have now gotten used to the keyboard input and my machine doesn't even have handwheels on it.

triberman
05-24-2005, 10:43 PM
I've gotten in the habit of holding the idle handwheel on the ez-trak cnc I run when I do something manual. It seems to work for me, but then again the amount of "drift" is minimal. The ajax cnc looks sweet too, hardened and ground ways and all..
I talked to american express about covering me if something goes wrong with a machine purchased through paypal on ebay and they said no problem. Just report a fraudulent action and they go after the seller for the money. I guess I have to think about it. Thanks for the replies!

triberman
06-03-2005, 07:54 AM
Has anyone used these servo's? I can't seem to find many sources for servo's that say they will work with gecko's and are powerful enough for the IH mill. Or maybe know another source?
The site does'nt give rpm, amp, or nothin'. Thanks...

http://www.lowcostcncretrofits.com/


:drowning: :drowning:

cncadmin
06-03-2005, 09:43 AM
I'm converting my Seig X3 using steppers from Industrial hobbies and I will be able to use it manually. The stepper motors are double shafted so all I have to do is add a handles. If you do a servo set-up that may not work.

ViperTX
06-03-2005, 11:47 AM
I'm converting my Seig X3 using steppers from Industrial hobbies and I will be able to use it manually. The stepper motors are double shafted so all I have to do is add a handles. If you do a servo set-up that may not work.

I bet that will be fun...kclunk....kclunk.....last time I used steppers you could feel very detent...

Nono
06-03-2005, 02:35 PM
I have an industrial hobbies mill and it is pretty cool.. I am not sure but have read you will not have to use it manualy if using mach 2,, Use the jogging feature for whatever you do.. I will let you know when I get there. I just finished dismantling it to move to the table and have put it back together.. I am working on connecting it to power and when I get that far will start converting it to cnc. I plan on doing my own retrofit using the mill for making the mounting plates/brackets. I have posted some pictures http://www.cnczone.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/3289 and will add more soon

dammachines
06-06-2005, 12:05 AM
Nono,

Just wondering, do Industrial Hobbies do anything "extra" to their mills before shipping them out. Like lapping the ways or anything special?

I'm considering purchasing a mill from them with the intention of converting it to CNC almost immediately. I know it's the same mill that lathemaster sells, with a little more travel in all three axis I believe. However, I think it's close to twice what the lathemaster mill costs.

Just wondering if that cost is justified...

Thanks,
Dave.

Nono
06-06-2005, 12:25 AM
This mill has hardened gears in the head so you can upgrade the motor to one that is higher speed and the table is larger. You might want to call Aaron and ask. I am not sure of all the differences but the guy is confident in what he sells and that makes a difference to me. His site has lots of information, made it easy for me to tear it down and set it back up on my bench in an afternoon.(advise, use a hoist that is rated for the job) :eek: One thing that I kind of overlooked is that this mill is 800+ pounds, That should reduce vibration as well.

ChrisJ
06-06-2005, 07:22 AM
I saw a banner for a sale for IH mill. It is $2400. If this include shipping, the shipping costs depending on where it is being shipped to can easily be $500 and up. Lathemaster's price is just the mill itself.

You will want make the Z-slide modification that Aaron shows at his website. Take a look at the pictures and you will see what the modification is. He is probably the one that you make the mod since he has done it plenty of times. I don't know if he would break the mill down before shipping to make this mod though.

It would be a special case (I think) if you wanted him to lap the ways prior to shipping. I'm sure this would not be free.

Chris

triberman
06-06-2005, 04:11 PM
There is lots of good stuff on his site, but what z axis mod are you referring to? I couldn't find it.

I'm going to be working on my gun parts doing slight modifications, so manual is a must. I've run an ez-trak for a few years and I can tell you sometimes it's faster and safer on simple 1 piece operations to do it manually.

EG: hardened mat'l, quickie not so ridgid setups, fragile parts,ect...

I'm having trouble finding reasonable priced servos powerful enough for the z that will run on gecko's. Honestly I'm not knowledgable enough on this hobby to build my own rutex setup. Or maybe it's easier than it seems.

cncretrofit.com uses ametek's but I found out they're only 900 rpm. 2:1 ratio is only 90 IPM? I'm learning somthin' if nothing else...!!

ChrisJ
06-06-2005, 05:33 PM
Go into the "Mill Tips" tab and then go to the bottom of the screen and click on the "lathemaster slide modifications" and you will see the mod changes. I have this problem also at his site. Some information is placed in strange locations.

I really can't comment on where to buy servo motors, I purchased the entire kit from IH, so all that leg work was done for me. Are you sure about the 900 RPM servo? Sure seems like a very low RPM for a servo. Ones I have seen cataloged are 3000 RPM and higher.

Regarding manual operation, I plead ignorant. If you say you need it, only you really know. Question though: indexing the axis's using the keyboard inside Mach2 isn't better?

Came across these servo motors during my web browsing efforts: http://www.lowcostcncretrofits.com/servo%20motors.html#Torque%20Conversion%20Chart They have a 44 oz/in/amp (Ametec) for $249. Not cheap, but I don't know what your price limit is.

My suggestion would be to get a price from Aaron (IH) for all three servo motors, especially the X and Y axis ones with the heat sink installed on the motors. These two servo motors with the heat sink are water tight and can be exposed to flood coolant.

Chris

triberman
06-07-2005, 08:49 AM
I would definetly go with the IH kit if I could get the ballscrews longer to accept handwheels. Plus the encoder end
is turned down to 3/8 diameter, not suitable for handwheels.
Maybe I can get encoders that use a bigger dia?

ChrisJ
06-07-2005, 01:59 PM
Came across a website that sells Pittman motors online:

http://www.clickautomation.com/products/index.php?func=list&cid=325

At least you can compare specs.

Chris

dammachines
06-11-2005, 09:27 PM
I saw a banner for a sale for IH mill. It is $2400. If this include shipping, the shipping costs depending on where it is being shipped to can easily be $500 and up. Lathemaster's price is just the mill itself.

You will want make the Z-slide modification that Aaron shows at his website. Take a look at the pictures and you will see what the modification is. He is probably the one that you make the mod since he has done it plenty of times. I don't know if he would break the mill down before shipping to make this mod though.

It would be a special case (I think) if you wanted him to lap the ways prior to shipping. I'm sure this would not be free.

Chris


Thanks for the info. It's nice that they provide all of the information that they do on the site for tearing down and cleaning up the machines. Plus a few videos to make me drool (I have a little CNC Taig right now that can't take cuts anyway near what this thing will be able to.) I just thought the price might include some of that cleanup. I did notice that he will do the Z-slide modification if you by the CNC retrofit with the mill.

Also, looks like lathemaster has now started with fixed price shipping. So their price plus shipping is still about $700 less than IH at the $2400 sale price. However, the difference in Y axis travel alone is hard to ignore!

Guess I better save up a few more dollars...

Dave.

MikeAber
06-20-2005, 04:45 AM
I purchased an IH mill last November when they were $1700. The Lathemaster, IH, Harbor Freight, Enco and Grizzly gearhead mills are made in the same factory in China. The Lathemaster and IH mills seem to be made a little better than the others. I heard that the Enco mill was going to be upgraded to something similar to the IH mill in the near future. The advantages of the IH mill are the hardened steel gears in the gearhead, larger table (longer) and more ribbs in the base. I also have a Harbor Freight gearhead mill and so far, everything is basicly the same except for the square column (which is a delight to use compared to the round column on the HF). I do not plan to convert my IH mill to CNC as it is more valuable to me as a manual machine (long bed). I plan to convert the HF gearhead mill to CNC in the near future.
Do as much homework as you can before you decide and read all the articles at at the Industrial Hobbies website. There are several threads on CNC Zone of individuals that made mill/drill conversions with great descriptions of the problems encountered and the methods used to solve them.

ChrisJ
06-21-2005, 11:33 PM
I can compare the IH mill to a Top Tech from Penntoolco.com. Just a few differences I noticed are:

1. The base on a Top Tech doesn't have ribs, IH does.
2. Column on Top Tech has a large access cover on the back side. IH's is solid on the back.
3. Top Tech has 9/16" T-slots on the table. IH has 5/8"(16mm). The 5/8" t-nuts don't fit on the 9/16" slots. I guess you need 1/2" kit to fit the 9/16" slots.
4. Casting is nicer on IH mill.

Chris

MikeAber
06-22-2005, 03:43 AM
I lapped the ways on my IH mill last month and it really runs smooth under power feed with a lot less power needed. The difference is amazing. I recommend anyone lapping the ways to take your time and leave the dovetails alone except for maybe a little 600 or 800 grit. Locate and follow the directions EXACTLY for lapping the ways on the Industrial Hobbies website. If Aaron says 50 strokes, 60 strokes is not better!

I also made the Y axis mod to increase Y axis travel. I did the Y axis mod on my HF gearhead mill a couple of years ago and was supprised at how often I used the extra travel. If you own one of the gearhead mills this mod is worth the effort.

Aaron really knows his machine! I was impressed with the amount of good information available on the Industrial Hobbies website. Really good articles on how to use offsets, fixtures, clamping methods, building a wet bench, using flood coolant, setting up tooling, what kind of oil to use in a gearhead mill and why. There are lots of pictures of the various mods and step by step instructions on how to do them.

I recommend Industrial Hobbies and appreciate the extra effort Aaron has taken to keep us informed. There are many companies out there selling CNC technology and IH is one of the better ones.

Andy Fritz
07-26-2005, 03:32 PM
How much is the IH stepper kit for the X3? Any reason for not using servos instead?

dammachines
07-26-2005, 05:05 PM
I also made the Y axis mod to increase Y axis travel. I did the Y axis mod on my HF gearhead mill a couple of years ago and was supprised at how often I used the extra travel. If you own one of the gearhead mills this mod is worth the effort.


So how much Y travel do you have now? If I remember correctly it comes stock with 12 inches. I'm hoping to have the need to buy one of their machines in the very near future. Not sure where I'm going to put it though. Don't think it will fit in the space of my Taig! :)

MikeAber
07-26-2005, 09:00 PM
So how much Y travel do you have now? If I remember correctly it comes stock with 12 inches. I'm hoping to have the need to buy one of their machines in the very near future. Not sure where I'm going to put it though. Don't think it will fit in the space of my Taig! :)

Read the how-to article on the Industrial Hobbies website concerning the Y axis mod to see if it is right for you. I didn't measure the amount of additional travel, I just use it. I would guess 1-1/2" to 2" more. There are pictures here:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11788