Sieg X2 clone mill in UK, first impressions...

Discussion in 'Machine Modifications' started by docwatson, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Aug 11, 2014 #1

    docwatson

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Just got hold of one of these.....

    [​IMG]

    Sold by Machine Mart
    Brand Clarke CMD300 3-axis mill

    Was originally looking for a decent TIG welder and walked out the shop with the mill and a few other goodies. Smuggled the pallet (they delivered a pallet!! with all the tools I had acquired to the back door) into the shed and ripped open the box.

    Removed the plywood base and did a squat thrust and hauled the beast onto my tiny workspace (the shed is about the length of a car and 2 foot wider... with 2 cars in it!!! ... just don't ask....)

    Mill was covered in a clear plastic bag which was removed. Wow... whats this red stuff........ (I can see you all smiling at the noob)..... So started cleaning the table, WD40 and blue towels.... 4 hours later I had removed the X and Y axis and was cleaning everything.

    Over the next few evenings I read all I could on these machines and the best threads were here which is why I joined so a shopping trip got me some grease, copper grease, engine oil, oil pump can and metal polish.

    The backlash on the Y axis initially was about 1/2 turn of the dial so I decided to lap it.

    This is what I did...

    1 ) At this point the mill had the whole table removed showing the base. The column, motor etc is still in position with the Z-lock and Z-axis jib screw locked.
    2 ) Cleaned the edges of the V's in the base with a stone to remove burrs and cleaned it
    3 ) Then cleaned it again.
    4 ) Y axis saddle (is it a saddle?) was also cleaned.
    5 ) A small amount of polish was smeared across the base where the Y-saddle will contact it on the flat and angled surfaces.
    6 ) Inserted jib strip adjusting screws with copper grease and slid in jib strip.
    7 ) finger tightened jib adjusters, have to be careful here as the jib needs to be located by its indents. I tightened the middle then the 2 outers.
    8 ) Press on the Y-saddle in the opposite direction to the axis of the jib adjusting screws. This ensures the saddle is seated correctly, and slowly jog the saddle forwards and back about 1 cm while looking at the jib strip, if the jib strip starts sliding out, stop and repeat step 7.
    9 ) If the jib strip moves with the saddle (it stays in place!) the adjusters are finger tightened and locked. When locking be very careful not to let the screw rotate as this can lock the saddle very easily. Check movement after locking each adjuster.
    10 ) With the jib secured check that there is no movement when grabbing the Y saddle and trying to push one side and pull the other, I initially had a small movement which required another 2 attempts at jib adjusting before I was happy.
    11 ) Finally....I moved the saddle SLOWLY up the full length of travel noting any change in resistance, if anything it felt slightly slacker towards the column.
    12 ) Moved the saddle up and down its travel 20 times and stopped to check side movement, effectively polishing the mating surfaces. Found a tiny amount of movement and so adjusted the jib strips. Note that the adjustments to the jib were very small increases (I would guess less than 5 degrees rotation of the adjuster).
    13 ) After adjusting the jib and checking slowly the movement again another 40 'laps'.
    14 ) Move the saddle toward you so that about 1 cm of the jib is showing.
    15 ) Slacken off the jib adjusters
    16 ) If you can hold the jib in place and slide out the saddle.
    17 ) You will see where the polish has done its job, now clean everything....and clean it again.
    18 ) I repeated this lapping (steps 1-17) 2 more times

    This produces about 25% polished surface on the base and saddle, do not lap any more than this or oil will not be retained in the slideways.

    Then reassembled the Y-axis taking care to really clean the leadscrew and nut. Coated the whole length of the leadscrew with coper grease and also the sides of the captive nut. positioned the nut and wound the leadscrew through. I greased the ways and assembled the saddle with the jib screw (amazing how quick you get when you have done it about 15 times already).

    I then attached the end plate and wheel. I found that the leadscrew nut was best 'secured' when it was closest to the end plate and had about 1/4 turn backlash.

    I then slowly tightened the wheel nut, locked it (as with the jib adjusters don't let the inner nut move when locking it with the other nut) and moved the saddle up and down checking for any rocking movement of the saddle and force required to turn the handle which was quite small. As I experimented with tightening the wheel nut I noticed the backlash reducing so took it to a point where I had zero backlash. I used a DTI to check and I did get ZERO backlash. The force required to turn the wheel had increased but was not excessive.

    Then did the same with the X-axis......

    At this point in time I have removed the column and am about to start the lapping process on the Z-axis.

    Do you want photos of the process? It really has made a HUGE difference to the feel of the slides.

    The first mod will be this.....

    [​IMG]

    ...to bury the hatchet on the column flex....now what if I filled this with epoxy crete....

    ...then a belt drive and probably CNC.

    I might even start making chips.....:hDe:

    Andy
     
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  2. Aug 17, 2014 #2

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Solid base should be with me next week found a UK supplier but they were out of stock so ordered it from littlemachineshop for $400 which includes fed ex express delivery 3 working days they say (report back on Thursday with hopefully some tramming of the spindle on the new base).

    Have taken some photos of the z-axis lapping process (off into the shed in a minute and will upload the pics tonight) and have found the backlash to be horrific on the z-axis.

    There are 3 areas where this is caused

    1) The rack and pinion. I have read that someone shimmed the rack with some success to tighten the engagement with the pinion gear but the backlash did not entirely disappear.
    2) The worm gear. Some adjustment can be made by moving the worm gear plate to engage better but still more backlash.
    3) finally the fine adjustment coupling to the worm gear is shocking, about a quarter turn on the adjuster. Could shim the couplings but.....

    I am going to cnc the machine so the z-axis will be first and I have found a digital stepper motor....

    Nema23 4Nm (566 oz in) High torque Stepper Motor 1.8 Deg, Dual shaft

    Which will have more than enough grunt to drive the z-axis, and I will probably use these on the x and y axis also.

    Is it overkill to use these motors? I have also sourced driver cards, ballscrews (with machined ends), PSU and motors here...

    http://www.cnc4you.co.uk/

    Will also order the belt drive tomorrow...

    After 25 years its great to be getting greased up again....(pun intended).

    Photos of z-axis lapping in 6 hours.

    Andy
     
  3. Aug 17, 2014 #3

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    About to start lapping after adjusting jib strip...
    [​IMG]

    Z-axis after lapping...
    [​IMG]

    The paint was falling off all over the head casting and I removed all loose paint with a stanley knife blade I will probably strip and repaint the casting.

    Back together again...
    [​IMG]

    A cleaned and checked vice was put on the table and I will be doing some major shed work so wanted to keep the wee man clean...
    [​IMG]

    I then tested the electrics and run the motor up slowly letting it run in for a few minutes all was well. Slow minimum speed and smooth acceleration with jet engine spooling noises. Order the belt drive tomorrow. Also the spring to 'equalise' the mill head weight has been removed and wont be used.

    Overall a nice small mill, it does have its downsides but I'm very happy with the purchase, just remember to buy some WD40, a roll of blue tissue (you will need it all!!) and about 20 hours to strip-clean-lap-reassemble.

    Finally for today...an engine........well a bit of an engine....cleaned and bagged......
    [​IMG]

    In the hope of getting ANY response from you guys..... Anybody know what it is?

    Andy
     
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  4. Aug 17, 2014 #4

    Buchanan

    Buchanan

    Buchanan

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    Hello . I have been through a similar process with a mill I bought for my father and have been very pleased with the overall improvement. Also working on a cnc conversion for him.

    Regards Buchanan
     
  5. Aug 17, 2014 #5

    canadianhorsepower

    canadianhorsepower

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    Enderly fuel injection (or Alcohol) system
     
  6. Aug 20, 2014 #6

    docwatson

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Solid base arrived today and a few other toys.... I'm in the shed :D


    ...canadian, fuel injection 4 x 48IDA Weber carbs...
     
  7. Aug 20, 2014 #7

    charlieuk

    charlieuk

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    looking forward to seeing your modifications so please post sources for any handy parts you find here as I am all so in the uk, (sussex) and just picked up one of the variants out of the friday add. One of the motor gears has lost a tooth so have ordered a belt drive of ebay and then plan to do a upgrade on the base and on the back to stiffen it up by using some large steel box section like i have seen on another forum some were. Then maybe a cnc upgrade when i can find time and money but i may get the cnc fusion kit for that.

    best regards charlie
     
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  8. Aug 20, 2014 #8

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Thanks LittleMachineShop something arrived today...

    [​IMG]

    Somewere in here there must be... ahhhh the red stuff...
    [​IMG]

    I dont mind the grease better that than rust. Prompt delivery and packed very well.

    Column and base.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There was some paint on the base where the column locates so a knife was used to scrape it off. I eventually use a blade (no orange holder) on its own to remove all paint.
    [​IMG]

    Cleaned the base and column and assembled. At this point I just bolted down the column as I wanted to lap the y-axis.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Base before lap.
    [​IMG]

    Here we go again....
    [​IMG]

    Saddle after lap
    [​IMG]

    I now have a mill in the colours of the Bahaman National Flag!!!!
    [​IMG]

    I moved the y-axis as far as I could but with the thread fully in the nut...
    [​IMG]

    And have this much y-axis travel to use...
    [​IMG]

    I could also use the old base to almost double the y-axis travel I read that from Hossmachine. Jibs adjusted and my nuts captivated :eek:
    I'm very pleased with it.
    [​IMG]

    Belt drive ordered from ebay (not here yet) and tramming tomorrow...

    Andy
     
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  9. Aug 21, 2014 #9

    Max762

    Max762

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    Very nice write up Doc. I recognized the Webers right away. Small block Chevy?
     
  10. Aug 21, 2014 #10

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    going on this....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Andy
     
  11. Aug 21, 2014 #11

    Ships

    Ships

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    This seems a very expensive way off get you mill into top speck when you can buy off the shelf with brushless motor belt drive fixed coloum and possible a few extras thrown in for a touch under £600.00 and you can get it witha R8 spindle at the same price.
     
  12. Aug 21, 2014 #12

    docwatson

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Ships,

    I agree totally..... if the shop had the SX2 mill I would have got it.

    And buying on a whim is not generally a good idea however I'm also relearning how to strip clean and setup machine tools again which is valuable experience and most importantly I'm enjoying it.

    No tramming today as I realised I need to lap the z axis..... again.... then I can see how the spindle alignment is.

    Andy
     
  13. Aug 22, 2014 #13

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Reassembled today, havent lapped the z axis yet, minor hitch with electric box.

    [​IMG]

    The electric box does not have the correct mounting threads or position on the new column. However one of the countersunk screws would fit in the new columns threads for the spring tensioner (or gas strut). Its held by this one screw (review this when chips arrive!!!).

    [​IMG]

    The earth points were also located in a different position and so all were attached as shown by using one of the two screws that hold the z-axis fine feed cover in place.

    [​IMG]

    Cover on with one screw only...
    [​IMG]

    There are always bits leftover... 3 of the 4 CSK screws, the 3 old earth connection screws, the old lever for the spring tensioner (was using it to prevent an open hole in the head. And finally the z-axis pointer, not required as the repositioned electrics will not allow fitting of the z-axis scale, its still attached to the old base and column.

    [​IMG]

    And of course the wee man is sulking all naked and exposed...
    [​IMG]

    And this arrived earlier in the week
    [​IMG]

    Z-axis fine feed is improved but still bad, power on, checked gear noise and had roughness at low rpm, readjusted the motor/gears fit and tried again. All was well.... ran up to full speed (low gearing) and fine. The rear rubber bellows will not stretch all the way to the y-axis limit.

    Am thinking brass gib strips to machine first... after I get around to the tramming...

    Where is that belt drive...

    Andy
     
  14. Aug 26, 2014 #14

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Yay..... belt drive arrived....

    Boooo.... I'm at work all day so fit it tonight.

    Andy
     
  15. Aug 27, 2014 #15

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    The belt kit arrived.....

    [​IMG]

    ebay from Turkey £71.31. Pulleys were a tight fit on the spindle and motor shaft but nothing a 'persuader' couldn't fix.

    Went on in about an hour and would have been quicker but I opted to take out the intermediate gearing. The spindle lock is a nice touch and the quality of the parts is very good.

    [​IMG]

    Reassembled, power on and MUCH quieter I need to get some form of tacho to check the speeds. Very pleased with it and still haven't done the tramming but that is next. I knew I was going to remove the gears when installing the belt drive so tramming before I did this would be pointless as I disassembled the spindle housing from the z-axis housing.

    I also checked the possibility of adding the old base to extend the y-axis travel and it looks relativly straight forward the Hossman has been there and done that (great site on the X2 mods BTW). If you can think of any mods you want to do to an X2 check out his site as its all there. He also used the old z-axis column as a new table and mentioned that the column needs milling, the dovetail sits about 3mm to far out...hmmmm.

    http://www.hossmachine.info/

    Tramming should be relatively straight forward, I will remove the column with spindle attached, tram the spindle to the z-axis using shim between the spindle castings (for y-axis error) and loosen the spindle case bolts (for x-axis error) then reattach the column and tram again with shim under the column to correct.

    Does this sound like a logical sequence?

    Andy
     
  16. Aug 27, 2014 #16

    charlieuk

    charlieuk

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    Glad you belt kit fitted mine says its due between the 27th (today) and the 4th so hopefully sooner than later as mine has a chipped tooth. any pics of removing the gearing?

    I i have seen on the the zapp website they do some small 8mm ball screws and nuts that may work nice for a cnc upgrade but they are pretty pricey compared to the chinese 1610 screw you get on ebay.
     
  17. Aug 27, 2014 #17

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    I did take some pics of the gear removal will post when back home tonight.

    Andy
     
  18. Aug 27, 2014 #18

    charlieuk

    charlieuk

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    Cheer thats would be great my belt drive just arrived :)
     
  19. Aug 27, 2014 #19

    docwatson

    docwatson

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    Gear removal....

    I took off the motor, then took off the nylon top gear which is held on with a circlip, I didnt want the other gears still in the housing so removed the electrical boxes

    [​IMG]

    and split the spindle head castings....

    [​IMG]

    I then removed the bearing covers from the spindle head, they are plastic so take care. I don't think they need removing to allow the intermediate shaft bearing to be free but took them off anyway.

    I then removed the gear selector handle and yoke. You can see the 2 grub screws that hold it in place, once this was out I had a problem.

    The intermediate shaft has a small woodruff key at the end which locates the nylon gear which engages the motor (you can just see it on the first photo. I couldn't remove this so I used a punch on the shaft from the bottom and persuaded it and the top bearing out. The internal nylon gear slid off the shaft and was removed.

    The only gear left is on the spindle and that can only come off when taper bearings are used to replace the old bearings. This will be needed as the 'old' bearings don't like going to fast with the belt drive on high speed.

    I then cleaned off all the excess paint between the castings, cleaned everything and reassembled the head and put on the motor mount and pulleys.

    Maybe.... just maybe I will tram tonight.

    Andy
     
  20. Aug 27, 2014 #20

    charlieuk

    charlieuk

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    cheers for that i had a small problem in that i used a crap ball ended allen key to take the grub screw out and it snaped so in the end i just split the gear of the shaft which was worryingly easy with it only needing a very light tap to shatter it, the key then came out and i could remove the shaft. It defiantly improved it and allowed it to spin up quicker with less noise and vibrations.

    Two things i had problems with was i had to put a washer under the motor pivot and the adjustable side to get clearance for the motor pulley and all so that the main pulley cover actually rubbed on the belt so is going to need modifying to get s little more clearance
     

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