Using a CNC Mill as Lathe

Help Support HMEM:

Mike N

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
298
Reaction score
175
Location
Northern Minnesota
I played around with using my CNC Mill as a Lathe. I mounted a right angle head on my vertical mill. Put my toolholder in the vise. After doing a X Y mirror of my program (the part moves, not the toolbit!) I machined a few sample test parts.
Turned out pretty good.
The handles fit a Hardinge Lathe.20220105_093719.jpg20220105_093625.jpg20220105_093410.jpg
 

rklopp

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
319
Reaction score
58
Beautiful work! I've done similar using the horizontal spindle of my Deckel FP2NC. I hold the stock in an ER collet and mount a Habegger (Swiss, Schaublin clone) cross-slide on the table and holding a tool. My application has been to the ball ends on engine pushrods. I always have a hard time wrapping my head around the coordinate transformations when the tool and work roles are swapped from milling to turning.
 

chrsbrbnk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
181
Reaction score
48
awesome Mike! I tried it making some polycarbonate lens for an optical center punch doing that , couldn't get the finish I needed
 

Carbuilder

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
30
Reaction score
32
Location
Bolton, ON, Canada
I've been wanting to try this and have looked at dozens of videos on how to do it. But they are all a bit vague on how the programming is done. Or maybe I am just after more detail than the authors think people need. I would not be using a right angle head, so maybe that make it more difficult to program?

Rick
 

ownthesky2010

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
41
Reaction score
29
I do this all time with my small Emco. I like to gang mount multiple lathe tools and set a datum on each (G54, G55 etc) at the centre of the spindle.
For the programming it's X and Z just like a normal CNC lathe but you program X in radius instead of diameter.
Even the canned cycles like g83 work normally.
It's an excellent way to produce lots of identical small parts with very little effort.
Here is a short video

 
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
24
Reaction score
7
I do this all time with my small Emco. I like to gang mount multiple lathe tools and set a datum on each (G54, G55 etc) at the centre of the spindle.
For the programming it's X and Z just like a normal CNC lathe but you program X in radius instead of diameter.
Even the canned cycles like g83 work normally.
It's an excellent way to produce lots of identical small parts with very little effort.
Here is a short video

That is REALLY cool! I gotta try this.
 

Mike N

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
298
Reaction score
175
Location
Northern Minnesota
Ownthesky2010,

Thanks for posting this.

Chuck
77
I've been wanting to try this and have looked at dozens of videos on how to do it. But they are all a bit vague on how the programming is done. Or maybe I am just after more detail than the authors think people need. I would not be using a right angle head, so maybe that make it more difficult to program?

Rick
It should work the same, just ZX instead of YX. The tricky part is getting it mirrored in the right direction. I had to do a XY mirror of my program!!
 

awake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,422
Reaction score
614
Location
North Carolina
I do this all time with my small Emco. I like to gang mount multiple lathe tools and set a datum on each (G54, G55 etc) at the centre of the spindle.
For the programming it's X and Z just like a normal CNC lathe but you program X in radius instead of diameter.
Even the canned cycles like g83 work normally.
It's an excellent way to produce lots of identical small parts with very little effort.
Here is a short video

Super cool!
 

Steamchick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
570
Location
3 Ettrick grove, Sunderland , Tyne & Wear, SR 48
I once considered skimming some brake discs using the miller... it has the swing that the lathe doesn't have, plus low speed gear and torque for the large diameter. But there wasn't enough meat left for skimming, so I abandoned that idea...
But for limited applications it will work. Well done with yours!
K2
 

Latest posts

Top