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Thread: HF Drill/Mill to CNC ?

  1. #1
    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    Default HF Drill/Mill to CNC ?

    This thread is mostly BS and me asking how to do the conversion, I will do another thread on the actual conversion to cut out the useless info

    I have an older model HF drill/mill like this one and I'm thinking about looking into CNC'ing it.
    Anyone know where to look for info for doing the conversion? I tried to look around on the cnczone forum but only seen the square column models, and I didn't want to join another forum unless I had to.
    I only seen one video for this model on YouTube and a couple companies selling complete kits but I think they're over priced.

    I know this model isn't the best to convert but I know it can be done and I don't want to buy another machine
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Coils; 05-04-2012 at 06:11 PM. Reason: added first line
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    IIRC VZ58 converted his to cnc. He was very helpful getting my drill/mill set up when I got it.

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    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    Mine is 4 axis cnc. I can do photos parts lists, whatever you need.

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    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    Thanks Moleman, I thought someone on here did one but I couldn't remember who


    VZ here's a dark pic of mine, the main difference on the older model is the Z scale is to the left of the head. I see you sent a PM, going to check it when I'm done here.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

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    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    Since Coils is far from the first to ask and I am on my back from surgery and have time, I will try to detail my CNC conversion. This will be a work in progress and I will add to it/ change pics out as I get better ones.

    My conversion is not the only way I am sure but it WORKS and works well.


    CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control. Basically you give the machine a series of numbers or "G" codes (more on this later) and the machine moves in one through 4 axis (yes there are more axis but for us this is it)


    A basic explanation is this:

    A g code is written or converted from CAD (Computer Aided Drawing)
    by means of a thumb drive or CD this is put into the desktop computer.

    You open your CAM (Computer Aided Machining) program and it checks the code automatically for basic errors (i.e. is the code in the right format)



    You locate your zeros on your part (basically where the coordinates are x0,y0,z0,a0

    Zero your program or enter the coordinates it is to start machining from.

    Make sure your material is well clamped.

    Hit start.

    The CAM sends signals to the stepper controller which is powered by the power supply

    The Stepper controller sends signals through the shielded cables to the steppers telling it how fast and how far it needs to turn. My controller can do all 4 axis at once.

    The steppers either rotate the ballscrews or cogged pulleys attached to the ballscrews to move the table and head.

    The steppers are also your measuring device, each rotation has hundreds of "steps" and each step is calibrated to a linear distance of the bed, you can use some scales to interface also if you have DRO (Digital Read Out) but the steppers work very well themselves UNLESS THEY SKIP.

    Your part is machined.



    You will need:
    A mill drill, mini mill or knee mill.

    A desktop computer running XP(for some reason beyond me many laptops are "clocked" different and?or lack the type of graphics card you need) ADD LINK HERE I use an old dell I bought from the local computer repair shop for $50

    A power source for the stepper motors


    CAM program


    A stepper driver


    Shielded cable (ADD TECHNICAL NAME HERE) ADD LINK TO ebay

    Cable connectors

    Stepper motors (YOU MUST SOLDER IN A RESISTER AS SPECIFIED OR BURN OUT YOUR SYSTEM)

    Ball screws

    Ball nuts or zero back lash ball nuts

    Bearings (MUST SUPPORT AXIAL AND THRUST LOADS)

    brackets (you make)

    OPTIONAL PARTS

    pulleys (to increase the power and holding ability of the steppers) McMaster-Carr

    belts McMaster-Carr



    My set up:

    My CNC uses a X Axis stepper directly driving a ball screw

    This is a direct drive coupler used to correct any misalignment.


    It is hidden in here:


    one end goes on the stepper shaft and the other goes on the ball screw




    The stepper is
    NEMA 23 Stepper Motor: KL23H2100-35-4B (1/4” Dual shaft with a flat) 381 oz-in
    Specification Price: $49 (Inductance 2.8 mH) Can be used for G540, G251, G250 or any other driver
    381 oz In. Hybrid Motor
    1.8 /200 Steps Per Rev.
    3.5 Amps Current Per Phase
    4-wire Bi-polar, NEMA 23 Frame
    Found here:
    Stepper Motor
    Buy a stronger stepper for the mill drill, it should be fine for a smaller mill

    The ball screw is
    5/8 X .200 Right Hand Recirculating Lead Screws & Nuts for Power Transmission - Roton Products, Inc. $11.24 a foot

    The ball screw nuts are (need 2)
    5/8 X .200 Right Hand Recirculating Lead Screws & Nuts for Power Transmission - Roton Products, Inc.
    Part Number: 19193 $26.23 each

    Belleville washers (unknown number, maybe 6-8)
    McMaster-Carr
    0.630" 1.250" 0.040" 0.082" 0.021" 230 330 qty12 9712K82 $5.11
    now I think these are right, I will measure some. They are 1.250" OD and the mount for zero backlash is only 1.00" wide. You will have to mill out room for them.

    Heres a pic of the outside




    My y axis was skipping (caused by not enough torque and resulting in a lost "zero") so it is geared down for power by using cogged xl pulleys, belt and idler bearing)

    I designed a better bearing retainer here, look at the button head screw that over lapps the bearing.




    The stepper is
    NEMA 23 Stepper Motor: KL23H2100-35-4B (1/4” Dual shaft with a flat) 381 oz-in
    Specification Price: $49 (Inductance 2.8 mH) Can be used for G540, G251, G250 or any other driver
    381 oz In. Hybrid Motor
    1.8 /200 Steps Per Rev.
    3.5 Amps Current Per Phase
    4-wire Bi-polar, NEMA 23 Frame
    Found here:
    Stepper Motor
    I would go with a stronger stepper here, but for a smaller mill it should be fine


    The ball screw is
    5/8 X .200 Right Hand Recirculating Lead Screws & Nuts for Power Transmission - Roton Products, Inc. $11.24 a foot

    The ball screw nuts are (need 2)
    5/8 X .200 Right Hand Recirculating Lead Screws & Nuts for Power Transmission - Roton Products, Inc.
    Part Number: 19193 $26.23 each

    Belleville washers (unknown number, maybe 6-8)
    McMaster-Carr
    0.630" 1.250" 0.040" 0.082" 0.021" 230 330 qty12 9712K82 $5.11
    now I think these are right, I will measure some. They are 1.250" OD and the mount for zero backlash is only 1.00" wide. You will have to mill out room for them.

    The Z axis seems to have a million solutions, this is mine. a XL belt, cogged pulleys and idler bearing. It drives the head up and down.


    Video of z axis operating. Dont get dizzy ;>


    The stepper is
    NEMA 23 Stepper Motor: KL23H2100-35-4B (1/4” Dual shaft with a flat) 381 oz-in
    Specification Price: $49 (Inductance 2.8 mH) Can be used for G540, G251, G250 or any other driver
    381 oz In. Hybrid Motor
    1.8 /200 Steps Per Rev.
    3.5 Amps Current Per Phase
    4-wire Bi-polar, NEMA 23 Frame
    Found here:
    Stepper Motor
    It is just right for my use
    The ball screw is
    5/8 X .200 Right Hand Recirculating Lead Screws & Nuts for Power Transmission - Roton Products, Inc. $11.24 a foot

    The ball screw nuts are (need 2)
    5/8 X .200 Right Hand Recirculating Lead Screws & Nuts for Power Transmission - Roton Products, Inc.
    Part Number: 19193 $26.23 each

    Belleville washers (unknown number, maybe 6-8)
    McMaster-Carr
    0.630" 1.250" 0.040" 0.082" 0.021" 230 330 qty12 9712K82 $5.11
    now I think these are right, I will measure some. there is plenty of room here so no need to cut mount



    The top of the assembly





    The middle




    The attachment point to the head. Please note the red wires go to a ton of LEDs glued in to light the work surface evenly




    I added this spring to put constant tension on the head. It makes machining much easier to not have to loosen and tighten repeatedly.

    I believe this is the spring
    McMaster-Carr
    9434K163 1 Pack Music Wire Precision Compression Spring, Zinc-plated, .750" Length, .12" Od, .016" Wire $4.65



    my A axis (or 4axis or rotational axis) is run off a cogged set of XL pulleys and an XL belt, run to a dividing head.


    The stepper is
    NEMA 23 Stepper Motor: KL23H2100-35-4B (1/4” Dual shaft with a flat) 381 oz-in
    Specification Price: $49 (Inductance 2.8 mH) Can be used for G540, G251, G250 or any other driver
    381 oz In. Hybrid Motor
    1.8 /200 Steps Per Rev.
    3.5 Amps Current Per Phase
    4-wire Bi-polar, NEMA 23 Frame
    Found here:
    Stepper Motor
    It is just right for my use or even too big




    I did not buy ultra expensive zero backlash ball nuts, I made them.



    homemade zero backlash nuts
    The belleville washers are under significant pressure. The right nut is secured in the mount. The springs push against the left nut which is prevented from rotating but he sides and bottom of the mount but it is allowed to slide in the mount for wear adjustment. The springs MUST BE STRONG or the table will shudder and grab as the end mill cuts.


    power supply
    KL-350-48 48V/7.3A
    110V/230V $49.95
    Switching Power Supply

    Stepper driver (Gecko)
    GeckoDriver G540 4 Axis driver Current New Version with a
    complete Motor Connector Set of four 9 pin modules,
    Special $239.95,
    Page Title

    CNC CAM (Mach III)
    $149
    Mach3 - 45000Hz 6-Axis Controller for
    Windows XP and 2000 $175
    MACH 3 FEATURES
    Converts a standard PC to a fully featured
    CNC controller.
    Up to 6 axis cnc control
    Allows direct import of DXF BMP JPG and
    HPGL.
    Visual G-Code display
    Generates G-code
    CNC Software
    Axial/thrust bearings
    McMaster-Carr

    Ballscrews are EXTREMELY hard be sure to anneal before turning and threading.





    PRICE

    $66 ballscrews
    $170 ball nuts
    $49 POWER SUPPLY
    $50 DESK TOP COMPUTER
    $239 Gecko driver
    $149 CAM mach III
    $200 bearings pulleys couples etc

    TOTAL
    under $1000 easy
    Last edited by vz58; 04-08-2012 at 08:28 PM.

  6. #6
    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the surgery

    And thank you for all the info so far, I'm not in a hurry and can wait, so take your time I'll check out what you put up so far.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Gunco Regular smartbomb's Avatar
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    COILS

    THERE IS/WAS A MEMBER HERE- PANACEABEACHBUM - WHO SELLS CONVERSIONS.

    ThompsonMachine.net

    AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS LITTLE PIECE OF SICKNESS.

    http://www.gunco.net/forums/f281/mic...version-42310/
    al gore is full of carbon enriched shit

  8. #8
    Cranky Curmudgeon zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    Sticky!

  9. #9
    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    Smartbomb I did see that, but it looks like he only does them for the mini-mills.

    Zoom, wait and see how well this thread goes, it is a good subject to be sticky.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

  10. #10
    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    VZ, wow that's a lot of info in one post. Don't know where to start asking questions?


    Let's start with the lead screws & nuts since these seem like they will take the most work to get mounted up.
    The link shows the lead screw is sold by the foot, let's just say I need 6 feet (I'm guessing). Should I just place an order for a 6' piece (which seems costly for shipping or could get damaged), get two 3' pieces or ask to have them cut at 3', 2' & 1'?
    -The factory X acme screw on mine is right at 3' (don't know if I should go a few inches over this or not).
    -The Y looks to be about 18-20", so 2' should work here. If I remember right the rear of the stock acme screw isn't supported at the rear, would the ball screw one need to be supported at the back, or can it basically be setup like the original?
    -And I don't know what I'd need for the Z? I was thinking 8-10" but I might be wrong on this. I'm having trouble understanding how you did yours, the top & middle makes some sense but I don't understand how the lower part works and is hooked up to the rest of the setup?

    For the ball nuts, are you using two on each lead screw?
    I understand the spring washer thing, that's a good idea.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

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