The Logan CNC Lathe Project

The Logan CNC Lathe Project

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 25th, 2018, 9:06 am #1

It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks, and while I'm not out of the metaphorical woods yet, most of the big fires have been tamped down, and hardly anyone's threatened to break my knees recently. 😁

I decided I was going to take this weekend for myself, something I haven't done in at least a month or two, and jump back into my CNC lathe project. Which has, itself, been taking far too long, and is long past the point where I need it back up and running.

When last we checked in- a post I think got misappropriated during the Tapatalk handover- I'd taken the controller assembly, which I'd unceremoniously nailed to some scrap plywood, and had started sorting it into a proper enclosure.

Today, I managed to finish that up, and get the cables organized into a not terribly elegant but at least functional cable chain setup.



It's all been function-tested and should work just fine. One of the last things I need to do now is set up an oiling system for the carriage, and maybe get the VFD hooked up to the controller so it can run the spindle as well.

Then maybe I can finally make some damn parts with the friggin ' thing! 😁

Doc.
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Joined: June 2nd, 2015, 3:34 am

March 26th, 2018, 5:45 am #2

I have what basically amounts to a computerized Sherline Lathe run from a DOS program.  The software is dire, but it works and so does the lathe.    It can handle simple repetitious tasks and I can run it as a manual mini-lathe when I don't need to repeat the same task.
It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 29th, 2018, 8:25 am #3

Next stage is up.

I added oil lines to the carriage and cross-slide, and mounted a manual oil pump:





If I get a minute tomorrow (Thursday, since it's technically already tomorrow as I write this 😋 ) I'll fill and flow-test it, and reinstall the cross-slide. At that point, it should be just about ready for day-to-day use.

I still don't have a way to easily lube the ballscrews, so I guess for the time being I'll just have to blast those with a pump can every now and then.

Stuff still left to do? Well, besides "learn how to use it" 😁 I still need to connect the VFD to the controller directly, since I have the "pro" software that can do constant surface speed and the like, I may bump up the top speed of the spindle a tad, and i'll have to basically invent and make my own set of gang tooling- or at least gang tool holders.

Doc.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 30th, 2018, 9:02 am #4

Only had a few minutes to tinker with it today. All I did was fill the pump with oil and make sure the lines were bled, then reassembled the slide.

But we're getting there. 😀



Doc.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 31st, 2018, 8:38 am #5

Newest installment is up! (Along with a better thread title, since I we can now keep using one thread, rather than posting a new one all the time. 😁 Although I likely will stop and start a new thread if or when these things get to 10-12 pages, just so they don't get too unwieldy to sift through.)

The carriage assembly is now largely done:



The oiling system is in place and tested, the cable chains are mounted, and I got the rear extension in place, which covers the dovetail when the slide is out, and holds the support bearing for the far end of the cross-slide leadscrew.

If I get a chance this weekend, I want to finally hook the VFD directly to the controller, so it can set the speed and direction- which will allow things like rigid tapping, and constant surface speed.

After that, she's (hopefully) more or less ready for use and production, apart from just detail work.

Well, that and building some tooling and assembling a proper tool library. 😁

Doc.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 14th, 2018, 8:05 am #6

About a week ago, after a minor SNAFU, I managed to get the VFD connected to the Acorn controller, and get it minimally working. I still need to "tune" the speed settings- I got an "overspeed" fault when trying to go over 100%- and I need to connect the VFD fault signal to the controller, but it would appear it works.

I haven't tried reverse yet, as this machine has a threaded spindle. I'll need to try it at some point, however, as this machine is capable of rigid tapping- although for that I'll need to use the collet setup rather than the threaded chuck.

This week... I managed to install a light bulb! WooHoo! 😀 (Yeah, I... had... other things to do. 😁 )

Anyway, what I did was since I no longer could use the manual controls for the spindle, I removed them, and set them all aside with the rest of the hardware I've stripped off of this this, in the eventuality I switch it all back to a manual machine again. I had a spare junction box, so I drilled a clean cover to take another arcade button- this time a nice big, red 2-1/2" monster, as a nice, big E-stop button. (Also known as an "Oh Sh*t!!!" button. 😁 )



That was easy enough to wire up, as I'd already wired E-stop connections, of course. But I noted that this button, unlike my other arcade buttons, could be illuminated. It took a 12V spade base dashboard/indicator type bulb, which are common and easy to find.

I didn't, however, have anywhere to tap 12V from. I had 36V for the steppers, 24V for the Acorn board, and 5V for the stepper driver logic. With a little looking, I managed to find some suitable replacement bulbs in 24V, and ran a couple extra wires to the controller board. Now, the button acts as a power-on indicator for the controller, since when the cover is in place, none of the board's indicators are visible.



Yeah, hardly earth-shaking, I know. A small accomplishment at best, but sometimes, with so many things calling for my attention, I gotta get my little jollies where I can. 😋

Some day it would, in fact, be nice to be able to focus on a single project, from start to finish, again...

Doc.
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 2:05 pm

April 14th, 2018, 11:34 am #7

DocsMachine wrote:Some day it would, in fact, be nice to be able to focus on a single project, from start to finish, again...
I've known a lot of engineers who said that, but every one of them would have manufactured his own interruptions if he'd been placed in that position. (Usually after getting a new magazine or catalog in the mail.)

Every time I hear the term "E-stop" it reminds me of the time I worked for a printer manufacturer. Our biggest selling product was a little label printer that went on the huge high-speed mail sorting machines used by the US Postal Service. Those machines could sort like a million pieces of mail an hour, and were built like tanks because when postal workers get bored they like to play Bowling for E-Stops. That's where they take a rolling wire rack holding a dozen mail totes and slam it into the sorter from some distance away, hoping the impact will cause an error condition and shut the machine down.
If it ain't broke, I'll fix it!
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 14th, 2018, 6:26 pm #8

hinermad wrote:I've known a lot of engineers who said that, but every one of them would have manufactured his own interruptions if he'd been placed in that position. (Usually after getting a new magazine or catalog in the mail.)
-Oh sure. I have so many personal projects, that even if I won the lottery, closed the machine shop and ended the strip, I'd have a hard time concentrating on any one project for very long.
I suppose my lament, then, was more like what almost everybody thinks- if I just didn't have this pesky day job, I could get so much more done! 😁

(Forgetting, of course, that unless one is independently wealthy- which I am a very, very long way from, by the way- the truth is quite the opposite. Without the 'day job' you're not going to be accomplishing anything but rooting through garbage cans for a half-eaten hot dog. 😁 )

Doc.
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