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Posted by RCWorks | Feb 02, 2016 @ 04:03 PM | 1,208 Views
It took 9 years but my Harbor Freight lathe motor has died, it runs but slowly and with a lot of noise.

I was turning a tool to check parts I make since I will be turning a lot of the parts and it will tell me when I am close to the finish cut without constant measuring, the other side of it was the test fit... Now it sits chucked in the lathe awaiting repair. I can't remove the tool because it is ready for the finish cut and removal means staring over.

As to the lathe... I called Harbor Freight, while they still sell the lathe they do not handle replacement motors for it. That's bad for business as I won't by any more machine tools from them now.

I was planning on a CNC conversion and selling to motor that was on it to help finance a 1HP 3 phase motor with a VFD which is why I built the spindle tachometer for it a few months back. Well it looks like this part of the upgrade is now on center stage.

I will have to pedal a few more X2 Mini Mill Tachometers to fund this project luckily I have a run of sensor rings already made before the failure.

I have located a source for the motor and VFD what I need to do now is pull the motor off and start measuring to see what I need to buy to make this happen.

I had purchased the guard that goes on the back side of the lathe bed and put off installing it because of the amount of tear down required t install it. Well replacing the motor gets me half way there so I will be installing it too.

The fun will be not just fabricating the motor mount as the original unit is proprietary but all the screws and bolts required are odd metric threads that I will have to order after work begins which I figure will add a minimum of 2 weeks to finish the beast. Since I make parts for these tools I have a source for hardware, I just hope they will have everything I need.
Posted by RCWorks | Dec 20, 2015 @ 07:00 AM | 2,007 Views
After turning out a few items on the X2 mini mill I have decided that there is a new item needed. It's not enough to have the factory E Stop switch on the mini mill because it only stops the mill spindle.

My next project is to use that same switch to shut off not just the mill but the mill and 4 other items that might be used with it at the same time. A power feed, coolant pump and lighting may also need to be shut down. I'd rather be able to shut down more items than needed over not having shut down enough.

I will also build in a limit switch line so that if the mill is being run as a CNC it will halt the works.

Just an item that should have already been made but wasn't.
Posted by RCWorks | Sep 20, 2015 @ 01:44 PM | 2,322 Views
I have spent some time on a new product that is not directly for R/C.

I ordered up a list of parts, enough to create 2 units. I will put one on my own mill and refine it, then build and document the 2nd unit and ship it to a vendor for evaluation. It will be the first time I have sought an outside dealer to sell my products.

I bought a few parts estimating the fit and it's close, during the fitting I made some improvement to the overall layout.

It may sell, it may flop, but I should know by November.
Posted by RCWorks | Sep 03, 2015 @ 03:51 AM | 2,795 Views
I have an X2 mill that has a number of upgrades done to it.

This one pictured looked good in the catalog but in use it wasn't the greatest thing...

Not everything you want to put on the spindle is made or carbide or high speed steel... yes I am talking about coaxial indicators...

I like to have a good hold on mine rather them risk it hitting the table or worse... the ground.

So my quest is on to make a spindle lock that does not release when you do, but will not let the mill run when it is in place. This should not be too hard, I will make one that locks in position and uses a micro switch to disable the spindle motor while in use...

I have sent off for some micro switches and in the meantime I will work my way though a few concept sketches...
Posted by RCWorks | May 09, 2015 @ 06:44 AM | 4,259 Views
I have a 10 year old Harbor Freight 8x12 lathe that I will be making some improvements to. The first is a tachometer for the spindle.

There are 3 reasons to do this.

1. This lathe uses change gears, it easier to turn on the lathe and read the tach than to open up the gearbox and figure it out.

2, The cutting speed of the tool, many tools have an optimal speed and over speed can take the edge off a cutting tool if not damage it.

3. I plan on a variable speed motor in the form of a 1hp motor with a variable frequency drive.

So I will start off by listing the larger parts, I won't bother with nuts and bolts.

A chassis. I am using an LMB 3x4x5 inch aluminum chassis.

A Tach with divider. Since I am using more than 1 magnet on the hall effect wheels I will need to divide the count by the number of magnets that run by the sensor per revolution... In this case 8. Make sure it comes with the hall effect sensor or you can get one separate.

A power supply, I like a bit of overkill. I am using a 12 volt 2 amp switching power supply. While you can use a 9 volt battery the life span on the display will eat one in 3 hours.

A 40mm fan, always with a switching power supply.

A fan guard. A nice touch, make the unit look like it was a factory made item and it keeps stuff out of the fan.

A PC power cable. I like the fact if it goes bad you can get another fast and no soldering to replace it.

A socket for the power cable with switch.

8 3mm x 5mm rare earth magnets.

A 3 inch diameter piece of 6061 aluminum round rod 2 inches long.
Posted by RCWorks | Oct 04, 2014 @ 06:07 AM | 7,957 Views
I am going to eventually convert this mill to CNC but for right now all I really want is a power feed since I normally operate this one manually.

I bought this mill in 2006. I have put 20 thread per inch leadscrews in it and changed the spring for that Littlemachineshop.com air spring assembly.

One day if and when the motor dies I will probably adapt a spindle motor and a VFD to it with a belt drive But that's a project for a later day...

So far I have bought all the parts for the powerfeed except the plate to use for the stepper motor adaptor.

I was looking over the internet for a reasonably priced CNC conversion kit and at $615 with no steppers CNCFusion.com lost me, however since I have a lathe and mill I have what I need to make the same parts.

I am a bit more budget minded and I do want be able to use this mill manually so I will retain those fairly fresh leadscrews.

The most expensive part of the powerfeed controller... Believe it or not it is the aluminum chassis. Yes a plain jane metal box. I bought the cheapest one that would hold all the parts.

The large parts inside were ready made, the 12 volt switching power supply and the 3.5 amp bipolar driver.

The square wave generator and the 12 volt to 5 volt regulator were DIY kits. The Square wave generator was modified for this application. You can build that square wave generator yourself at Radio Shack but it will cost 3 times the $2 I spent on the kit with an already etched circuit board. While the square wave...Continue Reading
Posted by RCWorks | Feb 17, 2014 @ 06:19 PM | 8,438 Views
I just got this built up and have done the 5 Volt test and then added the driver chips as per documentation

Test voltage is 5.03 Volts.

This makes the 4th controller I have built and I have not had any failures either from the build or from use. This is an excellent product and I could not recommend it any higher...

I have yet to test it's final function but if it's like the last 3 I have no fear that it will work when it get added to the controller chassis.(A retired CD Duplicator case.)
Posted by RCWorks | Jan 26, 2014 @ 04:30 AM | 6,905 Views
Getting back to my CNC mill project as I was so rudely interrupted by medical issues an weather bad enough to keep me indoors. I am on 2 meds that leave me temperature sensitive.

I noted a light surface rust on my slides so I took them to the bead blaster for a cleaning, masking, a spray of Rustoleum and a light coat of oil.

I have part of the upper section cut for the legs, I need to finish that up then I can set the Y and Z axis in place and wire it up.

My spindle motor is in, I just need to wire it up to the speed control.

I have the Stepper controller and power supply as well as the USB interface.

I need to install my video card for Mach 3 compatibility and hook all the jumpers and switches. I violated convention(Mine anyway.) and used a switching power supply to run the steppers and controller. I think in a week I should have it all up and running and create a program to drill the table for holding the plate to the frame and holes for clamps.

Soon as this is done I have about the same amount of work to do to my 4 axis foam cutter.
Posted by RCWorks | Sep 19, 2013 @ 06:24 PM | 4,873 Views
My new antique Green Instruments pantograph/engraver just arrived from Chicago.

Lots of stuff you can do with this. From labeling to use as a mini router-copier.
Posted by RCWorks | Jun 22, 2013 @ 02:05 AM | 5,359 Views
Someone sent me a picture of me from 1979...

This is me with a wing from a Goldberg Senior Falcon that I bought after a crash, I had just recovered the wing. This picture was taken in my 3rd year of the Navy at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan.
Posted by RCWorks | Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:58 AM | 4,472 Views
I have not gotten back in to kitting for lack of work space...

I was thinking of adding a workshop in the back yard but I got to taling about the sale price of my place here when I sell it and "out buildings" are not even looked at when appraised. Made me think. (that hurts)....

So I talk to a few guys I know and figure that a house can be had in good shape for as little as $10,000. With that in mind I think I want to buy 5 houses. 4 to rent and 1 for a shop.

I am retooling some CNC stuff and building a couple of new CNC tools so I need the room.

So I am hoping to get things done by Christmas.

I hate to profit from the misfortune of others but this is a chance to get in and make a few buks on the rent and a few thousand when the market comes back
Posted by RCWorks | Aug 06, 2006 @ 02:49 AM | 7,484 Views
Well I managed to fall down the stairs last week, ankle tweaked (again ) and elbow still hurting, just getting where I can stand again. darn ankle is still swollen... socks dont fit yet...

It's 11:00 on saturday night and I am cutting foam, got me a barstool (my lofty perch) so I can see the machine without the constant standing.

We are sending out the 2007 version of the Sickle 480/M it uses the MAXAMPS 3s4000 mah lipos

I got 4mm coro!

I am low and out of some 2mm colors.

We will be ordering Monday, where I get it the online store is jacked up and wants to hit me $130 shipping for one sheet. I will call and get that fixed tomorrow.

I bought out my carbon suppliers stock, anymore when I place an order I have to email ahead and make sure my suppliers have enough stock for an order, if not I just take what they have. this is a different feeling for me, I never had that happen til this summer. I feels good but is becoming a pain. I am now lining up more than one supplier for items that I have to buy. This is uncharted territory. I am beginning to see the appeal of this business.

Monday I will be all caught up. Time to cut ahead of the game for Christmas. Build up the stock.
Posted by RCWorks | Apr 23, 2006 @ 04:32 PM | 7,396 Views
I am the person behind RCWorks.com. I make wings and some planes, I also do custom cut wings.