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RCWorks's blog
Posted by RCWorks | Oct 08, 2014 @ 04:38 AM | 1,367 Views
I have had some medical issues that limit me, but it looks as though I am or the most stable as long as I don't over do it...

This year I have not been in the ER yet and that is good considering the last 3 years.

I am nowhere near what I was just 3 short years ago, the meds that keep me alive also have their other effects that are not so good... Like sleepy and fatigued.

But I am back in the shop and finishing some of the larger projects, doing some smaller projects to help pay for some of the larger ones. (Unfortunately my medical issues ended my 33 year career which covered costs on a lot of my projects.)

Right now I am doing the power feed for my X2 Mini Mill, after that it's the Mill/router table then the wire cutter.

I was used to putting out 16 to 18 hours a day, I'm nowhere near that but I think I can manage 6 to 8 work hours per day in the backyard shop with a break every 2 or 3 hours. My wife got me a couch for the shop to rest on should I feel the need.

My son is at the age where he is starting to be helpful and he loves the shop and what comes out of it. This should make weekends more productive.

I do not regard 56 as old age but it looks as though I have outlived both my military service buddies and the crew I hung with in high school. I don't know if that is a curse or a blessing, it is however depressing. So let this be a warning to you: Do not get to know me real well offline, it apparently shortens lives.

So as long as Krustycare keeps me kicking...
Posted by RCWorks | Oct 04, 2014 @ 05:07 AM | 1,856 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 @ 05:19 PM | 4,889 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 @ 03:30 AM | 3,431 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.