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Old 02-25-2008, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

I'm getting ready to start the CNC conversion on my IH mill, so there's tons of prep work for me to do. I started out lapping the ways as recommended by IH. It's a controversial subject, but after trying the "before" and "after" I'm satisfied it's a good thing. The purposes is to get rid of some of the worst friction from tool marks without going too far and affecting the trueness of the surfaces. Done right, it lets you run the gibs tighter and get smoother way action. I certainly was able to feel a profound difference.

You can read more detail on my site:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillCNCHome.html

Next up is a mod to the Z-axis that is beneficial for RF-45 mills. The bracket that connects the Z-carriage to the leadscrew nut is just a loose fitting bushing. This can lead to quite a bit of slop in the head. Normally this wouldn't matter as I think the designers intend for precision Z-work to be done with the quill rather than by raising or lowering the head. But for CNC, it matters a lot as the quill is not used. So, you have to cut a shoulder in the head and fabricate a steel bushing to match so that you can clamp the bracket to the head. Here is the new bushing next to the old one:



The shoulder lets you torque down the bolt and lock the nut bracket to the slide.

Next, I got started modifying my Z-axis for a one shot oiling system. I figure while I have the mill apart, I'm going to do it up right! I had bought a one shot lever-type Bijur oil pump off eBay for cheap. There's a page on my site with details of how others have added one shot oiling:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMilllOneShot.htm

Now it's my turn. I started out cutting some oil distribution grooves in the Z-saddle ways that match up to the original oil ports:



When I got done I set the Z-saddle on the column and injected oil through the original ball ports to try it out. It works really well, big improvement in the oiling!



I was able to get just the right amount of oil evenly spread with this grooving system. I'll call that a lucky break. The grooves were cut with a 1/8" ball mill.

For those of you wondering, I own 2 of these IH mills, so I'm modifying one by using the other.

I'm not nearly done with the one shot oiler, so this will be a work in progress thread.

Best,

BW



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Old 02-27-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.



For those of you wondering, I own 2 of these IH mills, so I'm modifying one by using the other.

Best,

BW
[/quote]
I was wondering about that, if you were going to end up with just a cnc mill..I have both manual and cnc mills and would hate to be in position to have to choose to keep just manual or just cncs......Uhmmmm, I upgraded an old 1980 ,3500 pound Hurco cnc mill, runs off PC with Mach3, good machine for lot'sa work but I am left wanting small tabletop cnc mill for engraving and such small work ...Particularly because the spindle on my cnc bedmill tops out at 3500rpms, and need/want much faster spindle for using very small carbide endmills.....'Nuther words there opportunity for small cnc mill to have significant advantages over the larger sized industrial duty CNC vert mills......


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Old 02-27-2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

Alpha, there are various things you can do about the spindle issue. The simplest is to mount an auxilliary high speed spindle (a Proxxon/Dremel type tool or a laminate router) alongside the main spindle. Perhaps the most complex is to reengineer the main spindle for higher speeds. You won't hit the speeds of the Proxon/Router solution, but I don't see any reason you couldn't get 8K-10K rpm which would be a lot nicer for aluminum. It's on my list to work on that after I get my mill converted.

In terms of having only CNC and no manual machines, I don't personally have a problem with that. I could live with CNC alone very happily, but I can see where others might be less comfortable. Part of it will have to do with the conversational interface to your controller (if any) and the availability of good CAM software that you're comfortable with. If you've got to write all the gcode by hand and the conversational is limited, I could see that being a problem.

Best,

BW

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Old 02-27-2008, 04:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

I could do fine with just a cnc mill but fortunately I dont have to make that choice..I have 2 cnc mills weighs 3500 lbs and thuther weighs 5000 lbs but I plenty of room for'em..Plus I have 2 fullsized manual Bridgeport clone knee mills....Yes I could put a high speed spindle motor attachment to one of them, indeed I have one for that purpose, but there is another problem- for engraving where there needs to be a go-zillion rapid moves of the table and the Z , I rather put that wear and tear on a little tabletop machine made specifically for that small work.......Y'cant get too many machines,....Yeup I want a lil tabletop cnc mill, lil lathe done up as cnc for making bolts would be mighty fine too...Saturday I am picking up a monster old TIG welder, nasty old POS but I pretty excited about it, new toys for the shop is always cause for celebration..Love old iron.

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Old 02-28-2008, 02:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

Here are the various eBay goodies I've accumulated for the one shot oiling system:



I reckon that's just about $100 worth of stuff there. The key components are Legris push-in fittings and a set of flow control valves I found cheap:



The flow control valves let me individually tune each of the 9 circuits (one for each way side plus ball screw nut for each of 3 axes), and also incorporates a check valve so oil flow is always towards the ways.

I got grooves on another axis but then had to stop to help my brother make a new part for his Audi TT. Here's the saddle with one axis done:



More to come. I'm also planning an epoxy granite fill for the base and column.

Best,

BW

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Old 03-01-2008, 09:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

Got my last set of ways grooved this morning:



That's the x-axis. Along the way, I managed to break 3 end mills to do all 3 ways. I decided that wasn't right and checked out my ER32 collet chuck. Sure enough, the darned thing had noticeable runout. It's a real cheapie from 800 watt. I can't tell if it's the chuck or the collet, but it doesn't take much before 1/8" end mills break! So, I ordered 2 new Bison Er32's today. I will see how they like the cheap collets. If I still have much runout, I'll probably invest in a Bison set. Incidentally, I regreted the purchase. Bison makes nice stuff, but Maritool has ER32 chucks for just $50 odd--that's a real steal. The guys on the PM board love Mari, so if you're in the market for an ER chuck, I'd check Mari first.

In the meanwhile, I did the whole X-axis with a single end mill in an R8 collet--no breakage.

I still have a lot of work to do to finish the oiling system. I've got to drill intersecting passages, tap for fittings, mount various brackets to hold it all, figure out how I'm getting oil to leadscrew nuts, yada, yada. I'll keep you posted on all that in this thread.

Meanwhile, I am also planning to fill the base of the machine, and perhaps part of the column with Epoxy Granite to increase dynamic stiffness. I got this idea over on CNCZone, but big time outfits like Hardinge do it too. It's pretty darned easy way to add mass and rigidity to your machine, so I figured I'd try it. The word is that Epoxy Granite is about 8x better at vibration dampening than cast iron. My hope is that this will translate to better surface finish and perhaps an ability to take a bigger cut.

First step on that is to fab a containment system for the epoxy:



There's a lot more detail about this on my web page: http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillEpoxyFill.htm

In particular, you can see pix of another fellow's similar effort that he has finished.

Best,

BW

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Old 03-01-2008, 09:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

I'm excited to see how this turns out

Thanks for sharing, Wes

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Old 03-01-2008, 09:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

Im am wanting to follow this thread too.

I like what Evan at HSM had done with his home made cnc. I have been looking at the plasmacam system and the carvewright CNC router machines too.


Im a computer nerd, a cnc would be so nice to have and if it is home made then there will be less mystery when it goes haywire.

keep up the good work.


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Old 03-04-2008, 02:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

The Epoxy Granite experiment has progressed to the mud pie making stage!

I did a bunch of tests mixing sand and gravel and checking the epoxy required with water as a substitute. Based on the experiences from the big CNCZone E/G thread, I was shooting to find a ratio that had me at a little under 15% Epoxy by weight, and 85% the rest of the aggregate. The real pros can get this down to more like 7% epoxy, but I'm not trying to over optimize the problem. Once I had my proportions figured out (full details on that on my web page: http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCMillEpoxyFill.htm ), it was time to do a trial batch and see how it came out. FWIW, The mixture I arrived at with the water tests wound up using these proportions by weight with epoxy resin:


62% gravel

23% sand

14% epoxy resin


That worked out pretty darned well if I do say so myself. In terms of volumes, this was 1/8+1/4+1/3 cup of gravel, 1/4 cup of sand, and 1 1/2 pumps each of resin and hardener. I wouldn't over analyze any of these numbers, BTW. Here's what you need to mix up this stuff:



The pumps are real nice. They meter out the right proportions of resin and hardener, and the instructions say just leave 'em on the cans when you put them into storage and they'll be fine. Keep in mind, epoxy builds up a stronger and stronger allergic reaction from exposure, so you don't want to get any on your skin! I wore rubber gloves and eye protection and was really really careful with the stuff.

So, after all that, here is what an Epoxy Granite "Mud Pie" test looks like:



Tomorrow I'll see how it has set up. If it looks good, I'll start doing the pour on the machine base using these proportions. If this turns out to be a useful way to improve a machine, it has to be one of the easiest mods I've done in a long time!

I'll keep ya'll posted...

BW

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Old 03-04-2008, 03:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: IH Mill Prep for CNC Conversion: One shot oiler, Z-mod, etc.

Heya Bob. I am real curious to see how this works out for ya. I had been following the CNCzone thread on EG as well... I noticed you had posted on that thread. What prompted you to go with this mix?

Eric



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