CNC Mill conversion-purchase another instead?

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Diy89

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Hello Members, my name is paul and i found your forum searching for information about x2 mills.
Specifically, i was thinking of doing a conversion to my mill for cnc. Then i got to thinking that i may want to spin the handles for myself on a couple of smaller "gotta have it now" projects so i was looking for a conversion that allowed manual control. I have not found any that i liked.
The questions i have are:
For those that have converted a mill, do you have a second manual or manual system? How often would you think it would be simpler to run it by hand instead of cnc? Money isnt flowing like red wine at an Italian reunion, but it isnt desert dry either.

I have a hobbiest interest, with maybe using it for a little side work to. I have no software (cad-cam-cnc) experience either.
Thoughts?
thank you, and this is a fantastic forum!




 

vlmarshall

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You could always use the Jog functions as an overengineered power feed. ;D
I know that on the old Xylotex controller I'm running my Sherline with, quickly cranking the steppers while connected to the controller is not recommended, even when powered down.


If any controllers have a quick disable, it'd be the Gecko drives.
 

Tin Falcon

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Paul do not have a second mill I wish I did at times but we all have space and budget limits.
Sounds like you are new to machining I would recommend starting doing manual milling.
Mach 3 has a wizard that allows the use of the program as a power feed.
The http://www.stirlingsteele.com/millplans.html
http://www.fignoggle.com/plans/index.htm
Plans both are designed for manual operation . I am kind of mid build and do not have handles back on yet so cant really say how well this works . I have used Bridgeport mills that were equipped with servos and the manual handles worked fine on those so manual operation is quite possible if set up right.
The other option is using a pendant aka manual pulse generator(MPG). An mpg allows for manual control of full cnc (no Handles machine) I ran a lathe that was built this way the handle were actually MPGS that were hooked to the electronics with no mechanical linkage. These work well but there is no feel or feedback so you need to look and listen a little more intently.
CNC is the way of life for modern machining . It can open up a whole new world in the home shop in some ways things can be simplified in others it can seem complicated. It is different way of doing things.
Tin
 

David Morrow

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I originally bought a non-CNC mill. When I decided to go the CNC route, I bought a second mill, exactly like the first, only CNC ready. Now, I use them both quite regularly and could not be happier owing them both. I would not have it any other way.
 

Diy89

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Thanks for the advice here. I have spent hours here looking at the posts. :)
I am still not 100% on what i am going to do. I'm thinking of converting the mini that i have, and making it work. They are cheap enough that i can buy another if i find i need it that much. The other half points out that if i need the manual machine, maybe i am not using the cnc as it should be.....perhaps she is right, again.
I have much to learn, I am so glad i found this forum!
 

David Morrow

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Diy89 said:
...The other half points out that if i need the manual machine, maybe i am not using the cnc as it should be.....perhaps she is right, again.
I use my CNC mill whenever possible but there are always little jobs that demand manual work. Conversely, if you are using CNC for some of the more fiddly jobs that should be done manually, you are spending way too much time setting up the machine and the routines to do the milling / drilling. It really depends on the types of projects you are doing.
 

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