New CNC MIll Conversion

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joerom

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I had this for a while, and I am finally getting around to do it..I was hoping to possibly use it on my BR2 or Gipsy Major that I started working on..It is a new Grizzly Go704 that I am converting to make a 5 axis machine..I had a 5 axis router and thought it would be a lot nicer to have a 5 axis mill instead....
Quite a few years ago, I converted a larger Grizzly mill..I made my own stepper mounts and machined ball screws to fit and so on..At this point in my life, I decided to buy the ready made CNC ball screws and mounts..I also wanted to be able to use coolant without making a mess, so I am making an enclosure for it..The enclosure in the picture still needs a lot of work yet, but it is a good start..I am thinking plexiglass doors and the top will be open, as I felt no need for a top on it..An LCD shop light will hang over it...The base will also be enclosed and will house some of the electronics and coolant and general storage, and will be on wheels as my other machines are..I will be running Mach 4 and Vital Systems Hicon Integra on an Alienware laptop..I have not done any hookup yet..
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joerom

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I added some more metal for strength and located the mill in the cabinet..It is raised off the bottom to keep it out of the coolant and chips..I will still need to add a drain in the front, and also do a lot of grinding..I also need to mount the ballscrews and such..The opening in the cabinet will have plexiglass doors..The upper cabinet will be off white, and the bottom will be Hammertone green..
The original stand for the mill will now house the electronics and will hold the laptop..The bottom of the main cabinet will hold only the coolant tank...
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joerom

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I started to install the electronics in the stand..I am still waiting for the 5th stepper driver, but I installed the 4 that I had..I am also waiting for the cooling fan I am going to install..What you see here is now working and I am able to run the 4 stepper motors I have..The fourth being the rotary axis..I hope to soon get back to working on the BR2...……….
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deeferdog

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Hi Joerom, that looks like it will be a great setup. I have the same mill, marketed as an Optimum BF20l down under. It is a good machine and works well for me, (Manual only). Will you stick with the original motor or go for something with a little more grunt and speed? I have always been tempted to do what you are doing and I will follow with interest. Good luck with the project. Cheers, Peter
 

joerom

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Hello Peter,
For now, I will leave it all as it is..Over time, as I use it, I expect will make many changes..
 

Wizard69

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Looks like you are off to a nice build. Retasking the mill cabinet as a controls cabinet is smart. I might suggest putting that on casters too. Believe me in my old age I wish that I had spent more money on casters back in my younger days!!!!
 

joerom

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I figured the original mill stand would be better for the electronics than the mill and it will have casters, as all my machines do..I have a Harrison 13" lathe and a Hardinge horizontal vertical mill on casters..
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joerom

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None that I can see..Everything is too ridged, and the footprint of the bed is small but it is actually leveled in the back and blocked so as not to move..The wheels were to move it to another location if wanted...
 

mccreamark

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Hi
Your build looks great and will turn into a very professional setup.
I have the same mill a BF20 in Ireland , convereted to cnc . I had to get a real machinist to mill out a groove in the underside of the table to make room for the ball nuts , other wise it went well.
I am jealous of your sheet metal skills, that cabinet would really set mine up nicely and my electronics box is an old pc box.
One of these days I should tidy it up. Here is a link to my machine in action.

Good luck with your build.

Mark
 

joerom

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Hi Mark,
It looks like you have it all dialed in ..What are you planning to make with the machine...……..
I finished the fifth axis wiring..Now all 5 axis are set up and ready on the stand..Next step is to do the steppers on the machine..The stand is basically done except for the wheels..I already have the 4th rotary axis...I am not sure what I am doing for the fifth....
I need to do a lot of grinding on the cabinet, but will need some warmer weather for that and the painting..It will also get better and larger wheels...
 

mccreamark

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I spent so much time trying to get it right, I never spent much time thinking about what to make with it.
I have made a few steel parts for the trains, like connecting rods, and as soon as I get back into train-making in the spring I expect I will make more train parts.
I have to resist the temptation to upgrade everything again , even though everything works well I often think about putting servos in instead of the steppers or a 5th axis.
I did strap a high speed spindle to the headstock and I have a 4th axis (never used it), hopefully thats the last improvement will make except for building a decent enclosure like yours.
I do a lot of high speed practise cuts in machinable wax just to get some experience , but I should really test out the 4th axis and make try to make something more ambitious , maybe this spring?

I think your setup will really take off when its painted, one thing I would say as an ex painter , clean the metal well, and use some kind of etch primer on the metal and test it first. A really good coat of primer that can survive a screwdriver scrape will make for e really nice enclosure that will not need to repainted for a long time.
 

joerom

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Well you have already done all the work on the mill the way you have it now, so you might as well get some use out of it..This way you will know if it will do what you want, and you can always change things later...But, I think when you start making parts, you will find you are happy with it as you see the parts happening.....
I have found, at least for me that the Hammered finishes stand up well for these machines..That is what I used for the base on the lathe..It was Hammerite blue..It comes out like a very durable skin on the machine......
 

mccreamark

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I have never tried a hammered paint, but I will give it a try myself , I have seen it on quite a few lathes. Thanks for the tip.
 

joerom

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I have finished the electronics stand, and it is ready to go..You can see on the side picture the 5 sockets for the steppers to plug in..On the front is the on/off switch and the E-Stop and the computer connection..
I have also added the doors to the main cabinet..They will need angled pieces of sheet metal at the bottom of them to divert any splashes from the coolant back to the cabinet..Also a center piece of sheet metal to close it of an make some sort of latch....
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joerom

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The weather today was not too bad, so I decided to paint the cabinet with Hammerite deep green hammered finish...It will need a few days to dry, and then I can install new casters and put in the mill and doors...This whole thing became a lot more involved than I originally intended, and all the work I have planned, does not involve CNC...
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joerom

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I now have the machine basically together..I still need to route the wiring, and do the final motor tune..As it sits right now, it is fully 5 axis electronically, that means that all the wiring and plugs are there and installed for 5 axis..I have the rotary which gives me 4 axis as you see it..I don't know what kind of setup I will do to add the 5th axis, but all that is necessary is to plug it in..I am going to lay off this thing for a while and get back to my BR2, as I have no need for CNC right now and I may never..I am used to doing all manual machining and that is hard to break from..I would need to learn a lot of CAD and I don't know when I will get to that...……..
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CFLBob

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Joe,

I just found this thread and like what you've done. Hope you don't mind a couple of questions.

Is that base all welded sheet metal? How thick is it to support the weight of the G0704?

I did Hoss (G0704.com) conversion to my G0704 a couple of years ago. Mine is four axis, not five, and I've made a few things on it already. I made most of the metal pieces on my small mill (Sherline) with a couple of bigger pieces made on the Grizzly before taking it apart to convert. I built my enclosure out of half inch plywood and plastic panels like he did, so the mill is on the base cabinet that you put the electronics in, and I built a box that stands beside the enclosure.

I found out that too late that mine isn't sealed well enough to do anything but fog cooling, so a sealed metal enclosure like yours is something I've been thinking about.
 

joerom

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Bob,
The cabinet you see that I made is 1/16 sheet steel..It was done with minimal joints and is tack welded every few inches..With the bends that were made it is strong enough by itself to hold the mill, but it sits on an angle iron frame that has pieces going across to bolt the mill to..The bolts go through the cabinet into the frame, and it sits on the bolts to raise it up from the bottom to allow cleaning any chips that get below the mill and allow coolant to run by..It was completely caulked and then painted..It also has a drain to recirculate the coolant when I add that...The doors have a deflector on the bottom to cause any splashes of coolant to stay in the cabinet...It is totally sealed and can use full coolant, along with containing the chips.....I hope this helps..……….
 

CFLBob

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Thanks, Joe,

The whole thing seems beyond my shop. No welding ability or welder and no sheet metal brake.

Maybe there's something I could do with pieces of angle iron, but I've been kind of sketching up ways to modify my enclosure for months now and have never thought of trying what you did.
 
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