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Large CNC machine

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  • Large CNC machine

    I tried to get the large CNC machine to move but it has Linux CNC installed. It's part of the reason why I stopped using the one in the woodshop. I just can't find the 27 steps necessary to take manual control of the machine. Anybody who knows how to operate that machine going to be around?

  • #2
    I've been in touch with a Kanut from Scorpion.
    He is going to come out to take a look at the machine and help us get up to speed with getting it operating. He's fixed a ton of this things so we should be in good hands to put the finishing touches (or order the right parts to fix it) and get this thing up and running.
    Tuesday September 3, 6:30 pm


    • #3
      We had Kanut come in and help us with the CNC mill tonight. We found out some valuable information despite losing all building power in the storm.

      - The X-axis bearings need replacement and repacking since that time the machine ran out past its limits.
      Click image for larger version

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      - The tool holder is an R8 Collet that is loosened from the top.

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      Then we found some additional problems:

      - Someone had ran the Z-axis hard down. Fortunately it blew out a fuse so the driver should be OK, unfortunately the limit switch was smashed. Hopefully the damage there isn't too bad.

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      - The motor was installed in such a way that a capacitor housing rubs on the z-axis guides.

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      With that we have some plans of action.

      - I'll be seeking out some replacement ball bearings.

      - Mquintana will look after the limit switch and find a longer 5 conductor cable so that we can spin the motor 90 degrees and have proper clearance. We did a check to ensure the power cable cover will clear in this position.

      If everything works right we can bring in some help in training us up on operation.

      That being said we all need to treat this machine with some serious respect. The stepper motors on this are much more powerful than any of the other machines in the space, and that 2HP spindle drive motor will have easily over 100 ft-lbs of torque at the mill end. That's enough to rip someones arm off, and should be treated as such.

      In the long run I'd like to put up some plexiglass guarding for protection and to contain metal chips.

      We should also track down some tooling, like this for example:


      • Garret H
        Garret H commented
        Editing a comment
        I've got 600 1/8" ball bearings showing up on September 10th ordered off Amazon. There is probably 200 per nut so we should have some decent spares.

      • Garret H
        Garret H commented
        Editing a comment
        Mquintana has taken care of the pesky motor cribbage, and Cole has fixed the limit switch.
        Vaughn has found a few milling bits kicking around but we'll still need to get our hands on the various collets they require.

    • #4
      I've been trying to educate myself on the tooling for the large CNC mill and its R8 Collet:
      R8 collets were developed by Bridgeport Machines, Inc. for use in milling machines. Unusually, R8 collets fit into the machine taper itself (i.e. there is no separate chuck) and tools with integral R8 taper can also be directly fitted. R8 was developed to allow rapid tool changes and requires an exact match between collet and tool shank diameter.

      R8 collets have a keyway to prevent rotation when fitting or removing, but it is the compressed taper and not the keyway that provides the driving force. Collets are compressed by a drawbar from behind, they are self releasing and tool changes can be automated.

      This guide covers how to load.

      Some collets of various sizes:

      The different collets look to be required to suit various tool sizes. So once we get the collets we can use them for various drills and end mills.


      • #5
        A little write up on someone using a similar mill (without the CNC conversion):

        Also a short demo of someone running some basic Gcode on the Industrial Hobbies CNC mill, we could copy that code for testing purposes (not like it is anything fancy).

        Last edited by Garret H; 09-04-2019, 03:59 PM.


        • #6
          I did an inventory of the tooling that Vaughn pointed out (thanks Vaughn!).

          We have some stuff that might work, all 3/8" diameter shank. I really am not sure if the double ended mills will work or not, I asked a contact at Scorpion.
          Regardless I ordered up a 3/8" R8 collet anyway to give it a shot, as it was cheap:

          If this tooling works this is what we have:
          • 1/8" Diameter Double sided 4-Flute End mill 3/8" Shank (only 1 usable side)
          • 3/16" Diameter Double sided 4-Flute End mill 3/8" Shank
          • 5/16" Diameter Double sided 4-Flute End mill 3/8" Shank
          • 5/16" Diameter Single sided 4-Flute End mill 3/8" Shank
          • 5/16" Diameter Single sided 2-Flute End mill 3/8" Shank
          • 3/4" Boring Bar 3/8" Shank
          The bits are in the top drawer of the little desk beside the outside door next to the laser cutter.

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          Looking around a little and I think investing in a drill chuck might be good:

          Around $35 for a cheap Chinese chuck and it would let us accept some varying drill bits. If we're just drilling and/or tapping small holes one of these would be fine. These wouldn't hold up for milling and side loads.
          Last edited by Garret H; 09-09-2019, 09:22 PM.


          • #7
            I emailed Tom at Scorpion who has some experience running the CNC.
            Here is what he said, and his photos:

            The double-ended tools will work just fine in the R8 collets, that is what we used to use on our manual mill. I thought their was a quick release setup on that mill though? Maybe that was removed or replaced before you got it, I am not sure. Some kind of quick change system might be preferable...just eliminates that chance of someone forgetting the wrench on top of the machine and then turning it on.

            We use EC30 endmill holders on our manual mill now. You would need to get an R8 to EC30 adapter and a bunch of the holders but you might be able to find a good deal on e-bay or something. These are relatively quick and easy to swap out when you need to do a tool change.
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