X1 Mill mod

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Sep 19, 2012
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An X1 mill mod

I don’t know if any body’s interested but I’ve been trying to make my X1 mill a little bit more user friendly, I got so tired winding the Z drive up and down. In fact I spent more time winding up & down than actually doing the jobs on the steam engine, and my shoulder at my age will attest to that.

I wanted to fit a stepper motor at the top of the column, but there’s a problem, without some means of disengaging the stepper from the handle the thing won’t work, the handle is not strong enough to turn the stepper and the head, and steppers being turned create there own resistance, so digging around the bits boxes I found an electronic clutch I got years ago, and from that point I had a plan, I have been reading for years now about the wonders of arduino and the things it can do but I’m not a programmer and I really had no interest in learning to code, now I had no choice, fortunately the internet is full of programs and forums on the arduino and the things it can do, there started a steep learning curve and although my program is not working properly it does get me bye, just.

It was obvious at the beginning there was a need for push switches to control the arduino, power supplies for the clutch & stepper, and boxes to go some where to house the switches and arduino, (not got the power supplies boxed yet), and a program to run in the arduino, the main problem with the programming is actually knowing what you want it to do, you might think you know, but I didn’t, its not that easy, in my case I just wanted to get the stepper to move the Z drive up and down, now, when it reaches the top there’s a micro switch to stop the motor, but how to tell it to stop upward motion but down is ok, for up I press the button once and it travels to the top, but down I must press & hold, and all this is done in the program, for some one who never programmed anything before this was a huge task, and its still not finished, I have in mind one day to fit a speed control for the stepper and then there’s the X table, but that will be for another day

Switch and arduino box.jpg

Mill stepper2.JPG

Stepper and clutch.jpg

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