View Full Version : Less expensive way to CNC an IH Mill ?

06-17-2008, 04:48 PM
I am new to CNC machining. I am about to purchase an IH mill and wish to CNC it, but I am hesitant to pay $4500 for their conversion.

What are my alternatives, in regards to motors ,controllers, and anything else IH would otherwise supply for their machines ?

06-17-2008, 11:24 PM
honestly can you do this cheaper? yes probably but the amount of hours spent engineering and wiring etc will greatly offset the purchase price. i bought the kit and opted to install it myself, would i do it again, no way. way to much time involved with all the detail work. i would gladly spend the9500 or so to get the fully assembled unit.

in terms of cheaper part if you destined to do it yourself, ball screws can be had at mcmaster, servo motors can be found on ebay, drives can be gecko or whatever matches your motors. software can be mach 3 or emc or whatever.

06-18-2008, 01:01 AM

Do you have access to a second CNC or mill and a lathe to make the brackets etc... and cut and fit the ball screws?

Motors ,controllers etc... are the simple part of the conversion.


What are you going to be making with the CNC?

Where are you located? Have you considered retrofitting a old CNC?

Jeff Alessi

06-18-2008, 03:43 AM

I have not ruled out retrofitting a 1994 Supermax , which might become available to me. It is a 3 phase machine however, and I would need a phase converter of some sort, where I will be machining ( single phase).

06-18-2008, 01:13 PM

Instead of a bulky phase converter take a look at a VFD.




06-19-2008, 01:45 PM
There have been numerous individuals here whom have done exactly what you are asking and the end result, much to our expense has been disappointing to say the least ! The problem is that with multiple differant parts available and differant ways of interpreting instructions without knowing how to interpolate the instructions = burned out componants and misery's. With the "turn key unit" this part of the equation is constant ! It is ready to go, if i get to where i need another machine my first choice would be a turn key unit unless i got really wealthy and could afford a bigger machine of course in that case i'd just retire and let you do the work !

09-19-2008, 08:46 AM
I don't exactly know about US prices of components, but I can say that in Europe it is possible to do the CNC-conversion "by your own" spending much less.
I did it on the same mill machine, and I spent about 1000€ of materials.