Just a minor milling machine update... I connected the PC and got the spindle (main 3HP motor) to come on/off under computer control. I also got the wet/dry coolant relay working under computer control. I'm running LinuxCNC: http://www.linuxcnc.org/
I connected up the X-axis and started running tests on it... it was behaving badly... moving fine in one direction, failing in the other. Running okay at moderate speed but failing and stalling at low speed. I decided to try another driver so I pulled one off the A-axis. This time as soon as I touched the shaft it went nuts. (Actually a good thing.) It told me that there was a loose mechanical connection.
I tightened the screw and it worked flawlessly... but I noticed the encoder flexing badly. I needed a shaft coupler... they allow the shaft to flex slightly without changing rotational movement.
I looked at McMaster Carr and found one... $22 each... then decided to look on Amazon. found a better one... $6.35 each. I ordered 4 of them... but they will take 17 to 22 days to get here.
(I can wait... don't want to... but it will be worth it.)
I also ordered 4 magnetic switches at about $7.50 each. These won't care if they get grease or oil on them... and will detect metallic objects up to 11mm (0.4 inch) away. I'll have to come up with some kind of mount... should keep me busy until the shaft couplers get here.
I'll set them up as homing switches. It will allow me to have the milling machine automatically detect the end of travel and not allow someone to run the machine farther than it is designed to go. It hasn't had that feature before... but Eve's mill does... so now I'll have it too.
How many guys have to compete with their wife to have the better CNC machine???
Next update should have more video... stay tuned!