Motorized milling machine head

Discussion in 'Machine Modifications' started by Rudy, Oct 23, 2017.

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  1. Oct 23, 2017 #1

    Rudy

    Rudy

    Rudy

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    Anybody having an idea for a geared motor suitable for replacing the hand crank to move the head up and down the column on my milling machine? (Sorry for the possibly wrong term. I'm from Nowhere (Norway :). BTW, the mill is the one over by the window.
    I believe about two rews per sec. would be fine.

    2017-06-01 22.22.34.jpg
     
  2. Oct 23, 2017 #2

    DJP

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    I have seen small geared motor assemblies used for automotive power windows. They are at a surplus store called Princess Auto in Canada and they might do the job.

    Looking at your workshop it appears to be very neat and tidy so I wonder if you are planning to take on production work. I couldn't justify the change that you want. I like cranking handles to make the tasks last longer.
     
  3. Oct 23, 2017 #3

    Rudy

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    Thanks DJP. Maybe a power window motor will do. I could make some kind of counter measure to the heavyer upwards cranking. It's real crampt behind with that crank. And it takes all day to get it moving. The travel on the quill isn't all that long, so it' a lot of cranking..
    My shop is newly estabished so I haven't had time to mess it up yet :)
     
  4. Oct 23, 2017 #4

    john_reese

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    I bought a motor from Amazon. It was a wiper motor for motor homes. Similar items are listed on eBay. PWM controllers are available from both sources. I haven't gotten around to building the power feed yet, but I did acquire the components.

    This type of gearmotor has a worm gear. If you need to manually adjust the head position precisely you need a way of disengaging the power feed.

    Stefan Gotteswinter (YouTube) added gas struts to counterbalance the head on a mill similar to yours. Adding the struts would reduce the torque needed to move the head.
     
  5. Oct 24, 2017 #5

    Wizard69

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    Actually one of the better solutions I've seen for Bridgeports anyways is to get a heavy duty battery powered drill and make an adapter to engage the clutch the knee up and down lever attaches to. The adapter is a pretty simple milling project.

    Now I know nothing about your mill but even if lit doesn't have any sort of way to disengage the drive handle you can still use a similar approach. The good things here are:
    1. The battery powered drill remains perfeclty usable for its intended purpose.
    2. The drill and adapter disenage instantly allowing the use of hand wheel direclty.
    3. There is a low investment here and the most expensive piece (the drill) is ultimatley usable elsewhere in the shop.
    4. If you want you can set the cluthch on the battery power drill to slip upon a collision.
    5. If you really want too you can set up the adapter to be used on many axises on various machines, thus one drill runs many machine axis.
     
    TonyM and john_reese like this.
  6. Oct 24, 2017 #6

    deeferdog

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    Hi Rudy. I have motorised my Z axis and posted information in Machine Modifications. There are two posts. If any of this looks good to you, let me know if I can help further. Regards, Peter.
     
  7. Oct 24, 2017 #7

    Rudy

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    Nice conversion deeferdog and good ideas guys. My crank is large and the force you need to crank it is relatively large. I have been thinking wiper motor, but I doubt it is powerful enough, and a bit slow. What I will do next is to install a gas lift cylinder to take off the weight of the head. Then I can conclude on the power demand. Maybe a 12V wiper motor on 24V.
    The drill approach has been on my mind. Since the crank is behind on the column I want a switch on the front. However, if a drill is powerful enough after installing a gas strut, I can easily slaughter a drill and use the guts in any configuration. The battery and charger would be a cheap alternative to a heavy current power otherwise required.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2017 #8

    XD351

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    Have a look at stefan gotteswinter channel on youtube he did a conversion on a mill similar to yours and I'm half way through doing the same to my mill .
    I used a small motor drive off ebay as you don't need a lot of power , i used 100 rpm and a 2.5 to 1 reduction in the belt drive .
    Still sorting electronics out and need to finish off the motor mount .
     
  9. Oct 24, 2017 #9

    john_reese

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    On my Bridgeport I did not want to invest the big bucks for a power feed for the knee. Instead I bought an adapter (about $30) for my cordless drill. It lets me make the big moves quickly and I use the original crank for fine adjustments. Maybe something like that would work on your mill. It looks like the RF45 mill. Is it?
     
  10. Oct 24, 2017 #10

    Rudy

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    John, my mill is probably smaller than RF45. When I think of it.. I have an old powerfull Snapon battery impact wrench. Maybe the guts in it could fit the bill. For fine adjustment I use the quill handle and crank. The head can move pretty fast.
     
  11. Oct 24, 2017 #11

    john_reese

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    Rudy, could you remove the shaft for the crank and mill a square or hex on it? Then you could use your cordless drill directly on the shaft. Then fit your existing crank with a matching square or hex sleeve so you could use the crank for fine adjustments.

    an alternative might be to replace the crank with a handwheel. You could then make an adapter for your drill to engage the spokes of the handwheel.
     
  12. Oct 25, 2017 #12

    Rudy

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    I want a permanent solution and I will relay on the motor only. So the crank can go. I don’t need fine adjustment, the quill has its own handle and even fine adjustment hand wheel. The head is just for coarse settings.
    I made an adapter yesterday to fit a cordless drill to the 15mm round shaft. I wanted to test if the drill was powerful enough, it was, but it had to work hard. The speed was OK so I think a wiper motor will be too slow (a powerful cordless drill is not exactly a cost efficient solution if you attach it permanently as I would have done). Since the position of the crank, alternatively a cordless drill in its place, is located in a way so that I have to hold it on a straight arm, the drill will try to break my arm if I’m not holding tight.
    I’m searching on for a AC geared motor.. DC motors will require a large power supply.
     
  13. Oct 25, 2017 #13

    deeferdog

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    Hi Rudy, just a suggestion but if possible I would aim to achieve fine adjustment for the Z axis using the head adjustment. The quill can be kept in the up position and locked when milling. I was always led to believe that this results in a more rigid, and therefore more accurate setup. Cheers, Peter.
     
  14. Oct 25, 2017 #14

    Herbiev

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  15. Oct 25, 2017 #15

    john_reese

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    Rudy,
    Don't rule out the DC gearmotors. The PWM control is only about 100mm square and 50mm high. A laptop power supply is adequate, or a wall wart.

    If you never intend to use the crank for fine adjustment your project gets a lot easier. I would like to hear from you what arrangement you finally decide on.
     
  16. Oct 26, 2017 #16

    Rudy

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    Deeferdog, I didn't think of it that way.. However, I often set the head as low as possible and do the fine adjustment on the quill, and locks it. Fine adjustment on the head would do both. If I make the motor with variable speed I could actually make it.

    Herbiev, yes, this is probably what I'm looking for. This shop had a lot of various versions. Maybe I will go for a bit faster and more powerful one.

    John, If a suitable DC motor drops down in front of me, I can easily dig up a power. In the case I have to spend money I can probably get by the need of an extra power by going for AC. However, no doors closed. I will keep you updated :)
     
  17. Oct 27, 2017 #17
  18. Oct 30, 2017 #18

    Rudy

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    Thanks for suggestions John and Herbiev. Very close. Hovewer, I tested the speed when I operated it with my cordless drill. It was 500rpm. That felt like the right speed for fast moving of the head. So if i get a 500 rpm motor with variable speed I could make a joystick and have it all. So I figure this one: (220V AC, 500rpm, CV/CCV, variable speed).

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/182588676663?var=485155911557

    Hopefully 120W is enough.
     
  19. Oct 31, 2017 #19

    petertha

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  20. Oct 31, 2017 #20

    Rudy

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    Good idea Petertha. However, the item in the link wasn't available any longer..
    Based on the test i did with my powerfull 18V cordless drill, in first gear it produced 500 rpm (I measured with a rev counter). It really had to strugle to manage so I assume the power needed is relatively high at this speed. If I use lower speed and lower gear ratio, the motor power can of cause be reduced. An AC motor at 500 rpm is geared only 1:3 - 1:4 something, and that will demand more wattage from the motor.
    I'm still in the thinking stage..
     

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