View Full Version : Conversion Checklist

06-30-2004, 11:15 AM
Just looking and planning. I"m trying to put together a list of things NEEDED. Here's what I have so far.

Obviously the mill/drill
Stepper Motors/Servos - Would 60oz steppers work for light cuts? Mostly be milling/drilling aluminum.
Motor mounts
Couplers to fit from motors to factory screws
Motor driver
Driver software

I realize that factory screws won't be nearly as accurate as 'aftermarket', but they should work, correct?

Am I missing anything?

I was planning on building a CNC router a couple years ago, and bought a control package from *************. I already have the steppers and the driver (not even sure I got it soldered correctly as it has never seen power yet). So I'm wanting to use those until I can afford something a bit better. I know 60oz is definately starting low, but seeing how I already have them, it would be a shame to see them go to waste.

06-30-2004, 11:17 AM
url's aren't allowed?:confused:

06-30-2004, 11:19 AM
The power supply box to provide power to the servo/stepper drivers as well as to the servo/steppers them selves.

Check out Camtronics, they sell the power supply in kit form, so you dont need to buy things you already have.

06-30-2004, 11:20 AM
That was included with the kit I bought from hobbycncDOTcom

06-30-2004, 05:10 PM
I started my planning the same way, how much is the kit, mill, and software. But its probably all the small things you might not be thinking about and tools that can add up to some significant dollars, at least thats what I found out. I'm just finishing up a mill retro-fit this week via a kit I purchased, I think that as of today I finally have every last nut, bolt, and washer I need. Wait, no I still need a dial indicator to get it all square again.

Here are some of the things I had not planned on...

Switches - Emergency stop, power on, spindal on/off, and forward/reverse. $130 I was going to use the factory switches until I learned that setup was going to trip breakers left and right and the switches were only rated for 120vac and I needed to rewire for 240vac. But wait this isn't over yet, add more $$$ for some 20amp romex, 220 breaker, a couple relays, more wire, machine screws, heat sink paste, and so on and so forth.

Enclosures - purchased a nema enclosure $100 but ugh I could not stuff it all in there so cheaped out and bought a 125 household service panel, another $40. More screws, wire and related parts to assemble this, zip ties, hold downs, cable strain reliefs and clamps, drill bits, taps. For example one of those step bits to drill the 7/8 holes for the switches...$35.

Stand - Build one or buy one, $200 for a steel stand for my mill, cost me about $75 to build one out of wood. More bolts, screws, paint, etc. Of course then I'm like, this thing has to be mobile...another $100 for a shop fox mobile base. Then...I need a large coolant/chip pan, $20 for some fiberglass sheet to line it, $5 for contact cement, utility knife blades.

Kit install required taps, a couple wrenches, a couple screwdrivers, a metal cutting chop saw $100 (to cut the ballscrews to length), a 2 wheel grinder, a 4 inch grinder, some drill bits, an engine hoist $200, a dolley $25 to move the head to the basement (heaved the rest of this monster down there by hand) a $10 allen wrench, some bolts, cable management things like clamps and zip ties, way oil, break cleaner to get the factory muck off, couple bags of shop towels, gear oil.

Well you get the picture and this is by no way a complete list. Some people will obviously have some or all of these tools, I just caution you to budget a reasonable amount for the above type of items as I had not.

06-30-2004, 06:59 PM

Im interested in how you set up the connection from the computer to the spindle motor. Im buying the kit from Camtronics and it does not include this.
Also what did you do about coolent

06-30-2004, 11:30 PM

I can give you a general overview, but the specifics I feel were part of the kit I purchased and so it would not be fair to Industrial Hobbies to share that with the general public. On a bright note Industrial Hobbies is planning to sell a wiring kit which I think is a super idea. I hear it will include a full size plotted diagram which you can fix to the enclosure, it shows you the components to buy, where to drill the holes, how to wire it, etc. No way a computer geek like me could have figured this out thats for sure. So reach out to Industrial Hobbies if you need a hand.

Okay here's what I'm doing, I have a power on button, emergency stop button, and spindal on/off button mounted on my enclosure. I'm mounting the spindal forward/reverse on the machine in the factory switch enclosure. It was just easier to do it this way on my particular mill as I'm converting it to run 240vac instead of 120vac. By the way here's another plug for paying someone who knows how to do this stuff to figure it out...there was zero chance I was going to figure out how to rewire this mill motor for 240vac, I could not figure out the china wiring diagram. Industrial Hobbies made it easy, even sent me pics of a properly wired forward/reverse switch.

Okay so how does it all work...hit the power on button and a master relay powers up the two DC power supplies with 120vac, the green power on light comes on, and this same relay trips a special 240vac relay to power up the spindle. Note I have the spindle on/off switch inbetween these two relays for safety. Before I power up I make sure the spindal is off, then manually turn the spindle on when ready. If I hit the emergency stop switch though it all shuts down including the spindle! I'll do the same with the coolant, manual switch for ON/OFF operation while emergency stop also shuts it down.

Where does the computer link in, well all its doing right now is monitoring for emergency stop. I'm powering the special relay and coolant relay from the PC's power supply but its not under any programmed control, its just an available 5VDC power supply. I hear you can via more work and parts configure things so that the computer could turn the spindle/coolant on/off. I don't want the computer in control of the spindle quite frankly, I program computers every day and would not trust my fingers or life to one, I wanted to keep that manual. About the worst I could do with my configuration is forget to turn my manual spindle switch off and hit power on, which is why my power on is a safe distance from the mill.

Okay there it is, keep in mind its more complex than it seems, there are resistors and capacitors to connect, jumpers to change, and enough amps to zap a person into the hospital or grave so I opted to let Industrial Hobbies figure this out. By the way they had a 240vac meltdown a while back due to being supplied with an incorrectly configured switch. Grainger did the same to me, I would not have known this had Industrial Hobbies not cautioned me. Turned out to be a printing error in the manufacturers book, yikes, direct 240VAC short when you turn the switch on. Yet another reason to have someone knowlegeable help you with this.

I'm sorry if this was not more helpful, I know all too well what its like trying to figure out the wiring even with help. Give them a call thats my best suggestion.

07-01-2004, 01:05 AM
The whole HAL9000 thing never dawned on me. That would suck if the computer went to power on the spindle while your pulling a end mill out.

Good thinking there.

I suppose if I connect the spindle it will only be the speed control. This will leave the power on off up to me to control.