Sunday, June 22, 2014

Milling update #1A - Minor progress.

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:

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??? 
Crazy huh?

 Next update should have more video... stay tuned!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 6th - Mill Progress #1 - Testing 3-Phase Power

Wolf came over today and helped me connect up the 3-phase power converter. Not only does this beast need 220 volts... twice what is normally found in an American household... but instead of one power line... one phase... and a ground line... this monster takes THREE power lines.

The converter makes the other two and feeds all three to the mill for power... 3 horse power in this case.

How did it go???

I think it went well!

Next up... set-up a computer and wire up the electronics.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Getting the Shop Ready - Making Changes

This weekend while Eve has been at work, I've been in the shop all day moving things around to make the place more usable. Even though there is now a massive milling machine in the heart of the garage... I was able to make more room for use to walk around and use the tools.

This is a view looking back at the rear wall. I have been doing some insulating so there is still some stuff on the floor by the Laguna mill. You can walk in the back door, have access to all the tools on the table, reach the supply shelves, and walk to the mill, grinder, lathe... and newest addition... refrigerator. 

I still have several boxes of stuff to go through... and likely I'll be selling/giving away more stuff. I need to turn this into a workspace where we can start making things for the Etsy page, craft fairs, etc. I also want to get to where my friends can come over and work on projects with me.

This is the view when you walk into the back door... nice wide isles... and you can actually reach everything. Still a bit cluttered... but I'm going to take a rest... see a movie,  and work on it during the week.

I'll add more when I make better progress. Looks like I may need to work on the air conditioner as the lightning strike seems to have taken it out as well as the Laser Engraver mother board. It also seems to have taken out the LED night nights and controller.