View Full Version : Suggestions Please, converting a mill/drill

06-19-2003, 08:17 PM
Hi All,

Well reading this board has convinced me to convert my Griz. G1005 Mill/Drill to CNC!

I am however a little confused and would really appreciate some advice. Do I want to use stepper motors or servo's? how big do the motors have to be for general hobby milling considering my machine?

What about software, shareware?, commercial CAD/CAM? what are the pros and cons of Linux vs. DOS vs. Windows?

Any help will be most graciously accepted! Thanks,


06-19-2003, 09:12 PM
Take a look at my site. I converted an Enco drill/mill.

06-19-2003, 11:16 PM
Hi Elalto,

You need to go with 1200 ft/lb servo motors, 100,000 line encoders, MDSI pc based cnc controller software, Mastercam 12 axis CADCAM package and a PentiumIV computer, 3.5ghz, dual processors, ATI Radeon 9800 pro video, dual 24 inch monitors. Throw in a Faroarm and you should be good to go.

Say, you aren't on some kind of a budget, are you? :D

06-20-2003, 12:05 AM
[Say, you aren't on some kind of a budget, are you? :D [/B][/QUOTE]

Hu you have a really sick sense of humor.

I like it :)
I am still chuckling


Elalto, listen to a man that has done it, I.E. HomeCNC

06-20-2003, 04:24 PM
A large consideration is budget.
If you want to go the cheapest possible then: 1/4-20 threaded rod lead screws ($1-3 per axis), steppers ($10-20 each), homebrew driver board ($20-30), PC power supply ($0-10), EMC (free), you already have a computer :) .
If you want to be high-end high-tech follow Hu's suggestion above :D (but if you have that kind of money just buy a system and hire a body to run it :) ).
In between, which is what most folks do, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of choices (which is why you started this I think).
Steppers or servos: steppers are cheaper and have a lower top speed. Servos cost more, have higher top speed, and require a feedback device (shaft encoder) for positioning.
Software: Free, $20, $100, $1000, more ... what's your poison? Like all software selection you have to know what you want to do first, then pick the software that will meet your needs.
Prolly the best thing to do is read, read, read, and read some more, then ask specific questions.
google (or altavista) "homemade cnc"

robotic regards,


06-21-2003, 02:31 AM
All the above suggestions are OK except the 1/4-20 threaded road...... As a hoby you could use a split ACME nut and existing ACME screws that comes with the drill-nill. You could also use delrin nuts for the back lash along with the original ones. Check around and see what sofware you want to use. Max NC has a prety good starter package that has everything in the box. For about $300 they sell a digitizing probe. That could be very handy if you find something that you duplicate. The probe will go back and forth and actually write the "G" cod program for that part. From there on you can mass produce the parts in quantities of 1 milion or more.......Now, to top HU's suggestion on the 12 axis programming software, how about a tool changer and why not a palet changer. For the 1 milion and up quantities I strongly recomend a pick and place robot. ....LOL
Seriously now, lots of luck to you. It is not that hard to do it. Let me know if I can help. I already have some plans for a small machine. Based on how much space you have youcould find a old Bridgeport boss series and throw a AHHA system on it. The machine already has ball screws and steppers on it. You should be up and going for under 5K for a decent size machine and control (if interested, I can sell you one)

06-24-2003, 12:39 PM
Well now! I think I've found a home with the kind of humor that a man can appreciate.

Just to let everyone know I am on a budget, not real tight but a budget none the less.

So far I have determined that I would like to use Servo motors, I like the idea of the encoder feedback, speed and high end torqe. Also, I have a CAD program that I like and would use that. So to be more specific here are my current questions:

1. What size motors will I need for my Griz. 1005 machine?
2. What is a good CAD to G-code software?
3. Are Gecko drives the way to go? Options?
4. What is a good controller for four axis CNC?

I am getting ready to let loose with the plastic money (limited) so any help will be appreciated.

Thanks to all who have responded.


06-24-2003, 12:50 PM
1. The size of servo motors that I used are 430 oz/in peak. I use them at a 2:1 ratio. I still get over 150 IPM using a PIII-500 PC.

2. I'm not much help here since I have access to software from work. I use MasterCAM.

3. I am in favor of the G320 Gecko servo drive. I have used it on both my Enco mill/drill and my home built CNC router.

4. Take a look at Mach 2. I have written a review of beta 12. It is in the review section on this board.

06-24-2003, 12:56 PM
Read this thread for software-

09-22-2004, 10:17 PM
I would definately recommend the Mach1Mach2CNC program, it has a very active yahoo group, and you will get lots of help from members, and the price is right,

09-23-2004, 08:21 AM
I just finished putting ball screws on my X and Y axis RF31 clone and drive the Z off the micro feed shaft. Drivers are geckos, and the power supply is home made (made the transformer from and old micro-wave unit and wound new secondary). Break out board is the "wonder board" by Doug Harrison. Servos are surplus units from the Surplus Center (50V 1000 RPM) with the ball screws and home made preload nuts from Roton. I run Turbocnc as the controller, cad is autocad, Cam is Sheetcam (beta right now).
I made measurements, caded up my concept of the mechanics, and cut them on the mill. For the ball screws, I rigged up a tool post grinder from a die grinder and shaped the ends of the ball screws.

This has been an exciting project as I have learned a lot along the way and now have a machine with ZERO backlash on the table. If I were to do it again, yes there are changes that would be made, but isn't that the way it goes:)

I have started a web page on the conversion and it can be found at:


If you have any questions or just want moral support, let me know.

Bubba :cheers: