Oh my goodness… I just had an amazing thought. I just realized I could have a use for two CNC micro mills. I have the new one (#2) up for sale but now I see there can be a good reason for me to keep it if it doesn’t sell. (But for now, it is still for sale …)
Mill one (#1) runs beautifully and with its SmoothStepper equipped controller, is still very much state of the art. I have a rotary forth axis already designed and tested with it. That is what sparked my thought. It is fairly “fussy” to convert the machine from three axis to four axis. That is because of all the squaring and adjusting to get everything bolted down, square and true to each other, heights checked, etc.
It is not a job to be spending time on if projects keep me jumping from four axis to three axis work. It’s like owning a “do all” three-in-one milling or woodworking system. Changing the setup becomes a major portion of the work.
The number 1 machine stepper motors max out at 50 to 60 IPM (~1000+ RPM) which is beyond what is normally needed in 4 axis milling. So it is ideal for that use. I could leave that machine as a dedicated rotary 4 axis setup.
On the new mill (#2) with its fast rapids (2000 RPM), I can keep the fixture plate mounted (plate not required for 4 axis milling) and then let it become the dedicated 3 axis workstation. I’ll find a use for the 4th axis stepper motor someday.
The problem is where I can place it in my shop. It needs to be close to one of my existing shop CNC computers so that I don’t need to buy a new PC. Oh Noooo… not another bench!
There is a possible place over by HB2 on my high back bench but then I will have to find a new home for the Taig micro lathe. The lathe is mounted on its own base board, and with its fairly light weight can be somewhat portable. Not so with the mill
I may need to build a small computer cart so I can move the controller PC between duty stations. I have been thinking of that project for many years. Help! Someone buy mill #2! 🙂