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Old May 23, 2003, 09:10 AM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
Oxford/England
Joined May 2001
4,017 Posts
My Little CNC mill

I mentioned this in the carbon prop thread and though a few of you might be interested.

I bought a small Proxxon manual milling machine, a tiny little thing but really nicely made and with a really fast spindle which is excellent for small cutters. I then added stepper motors and am building drivers to run it from my PC.

I started a webpage on it and will soon be updating when I find the time to complete the final soldering of the driver box.

Here's the link:

My milling machine

Working envelope is small at 2"X6"X2" but it can mill ali and brass.

Cheers,

Graham
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Old May 23, 2003, 09:17 AM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
Oxford/England
Joined May 2001
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Please don't report me to the moderator, it is small and I do use it inside. If I throw it it flies, honest
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Old May 23, 2003, 09:37 AM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
6,430 Posts
Graham,

Very nice. Do you know if Tim plans to offer a conversion kit as well as carrying the machine (I suppose I should just email him)? Something tells me that Tim will be getting an order from me when next year's bonus is paid.

Gordon
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Old May 23, 2003, 09:40 AM
www.bphobbies.com
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Lincroft, NJ
Joined Feb 2003
132 Posts
That's cool - could probably do (small) PCB drilling with that too. I was looking at this http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40101 and thinking of a similar conversion.

Mike C.
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Old May 23, 2003, 09:42 AM
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jnowell's Avatar
Monte Cristi - Dominican Republic
Joined Sep 2000
855 Posts
Graham,

That's cool, but we want flying pics I hope you don't have to kick yourself off E-zone

I'm setting up a CNC hot wire cutter right now, but the controller board was already built. I wish I could build one myself...

Jason
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Old May 23, 2003, 09:42 AM
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buzzsaw 46's Avatar
Spring Valley. MN
Joined Jun 2000
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very nice Graham,

We wont report you to the Mods if you make some cool stuff for us to drool over
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Old May 23, 2003, 10:10 AM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
Oxford/England
Joined May 2001
4,017 Posts
Cheers guys.

Gordon, you only need to cut some alumnium plate to make adapter plates. I can supply my drawings for that if you wanted. Easy to do on that mill of yours.

Mike, pcb drilling should be fine, again the high speed spindle is good for small drills. There are quite a few mills worth converting out there, the one you show might be a little flimsy for precise work, rigidity is everything, actually small stuff is good for that.

Jason, I now wish my drivers had been ready built. That said the cost of an additional axis for the Camtronics 3 axis system makes it a little expensive. There is another nice three axis driver that does upto 2.5amps and higher volts from www.xylotex.com they also do an additional axis. I am guessing you got a all in one 4 axis job.

Cheers,

Graham
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Old May 23, 2003, 10:43 AM
Stuck on a rock
epilot's Avatar
Faroe Islands, Sandoy, Sandur
Joined Nov 2000
5,876 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by cybermike
That's cool - could probably do (small) PCB drilling with that too. I was looking at this http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40101 and thinking of a similar conversion.

Mike C.
Mike, save up some more bucks and by a proper mill. That thing is pretty useless for anything other than wood. The Sherline mill is a much safer bet for a CNC conversion, albeit more expensive. It is a proper machine tool, the one in the link is more of a toy.

Michael
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Old May 23, 2003, 10:54 AM
www.bphobbies.com
cybermike's Avatar
Lincroft, NJ
Joined Feb 2003
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Michael - thx - I was afraid of that. Like the Dremel add-ons - not terribly precise. I will avoid & pass it along to a friend that's contemplating one.

Mike C.
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Old May 23, 2003, 11:24 AM
Dimension Engineering
Akron, Ohio
Joined Jan 2002
1,705 Posts
Very Cool. One question, though. Is it a true CNC mill? If so what on earth are you using to create your NC sequences? I ask because I have a copy of Pro/E Wildfire (work) and know how much it and its ilk cost.
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Old May 23, 2003, 01:09 PM
Thats NOT indestructible
j8m8l's Avatar
London UK
Joined Apr 2002
1,448 Posts
That is so cool Graham.

How long before you make micro turbines .

How much did it cost to get the whole machine done (including motors etc?

Thanks

Josh
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Old May 23, 2003, 01:14 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
6,430 Posts
Graham,
How hard is it to remove stepper motors and go back to hand wheels? What worries me is that once converted to CNC that I wouldn't be able to do a quick hand machining task. Also, if this mill is so inexpensive, by the time I buy all the other stuff to CNC it, is the cost of the mill a small part of the entire package (motors, software, etc)? I don't really know yet. And, I'm trying to learn how to use what I have. But, at 100 pounds, mine is not as cute a table top mill as yours. Still, maybe I should think about converting it at some point. I could machine huge props.

Gordon
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Old May 23, 2003, 02:01 PM
Stuck on a rock
epilot's Avatar
Faroe Islands, Sandoy, Sandur
Joined Nov 2000
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Gordon, those look familiar. I have exactly the same mill and lathe. If you search the net there are several sites that show the mini-mill converted to CNC where the handwheels can still be used.

Michael
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Old May 23, 2003, 02:45 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
6,430 Posts
Michael,
So, I'm in good company. If you come across any of the sites that show the conversion, could you email them to me?

Now we need Jochen to get one each of these.


Gordon
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Old May 23, 2003, 03:26 PM
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jberg's Avatar
MSC Rödinghausen, Germany
Joined Feb 2001
954 Posts
Michael and Gordon,

I have been looking at this stuff for a long time. I did not know yet what to save money for first (mill or lathe) and end always up spending the money otherwise ... .

I thought of buying the Proxxon BFW40/E mill system with the BFW2000 drill stand because I already have the cross table KT 150. That stuff looks strong and is not too expensive.

But I also do not want to divide my time too much between building a CNC extension to a mill system and building planes (although it is quite interesting, and I would like to *have* a CNC system)- all these decisions!

I second Michaels opinion about the simple '6-in-one' mill and lathe system - this is a toy IMHO, I have one, an old, used system, gotten as a gift.

Regards, Jochen
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