"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Taig CNC Lathe Ideas

criticalthinking2edThanks to the contribution by George Moorehead of Gig Harbor, Washington, I see an excellent platform for creating a Taig CNC lathe. My vision is to use mostly Taig components. It is a similar basic idea that other creators have embraced (like Tormach Duality Lathe)* when creating a CNC lathe machine. I am not thinking of the entire lathe, just the head as George has done.

*Tormach seems to be phasing this Duality lathe-on-bed (LOB) product out with preference to their new Slant Bed lathe. At least it is no longer prominent in their product offers. But for the Taig, the lathe head design on the mill table seems like a very practical way to achieve CNC lathe operation.

I have often studied the Taig micro lathe trying to imagineer how to make it a CNC lathe. Many folks have accomplished the task. But George and even Tormach with their new slant bed design have raised a good thinking outside of the box point that a CNC lathe doesn’t have to look like a converted conventional lathe. The head-on-bed (HOB) is a superior approach for Taig components. Of course this has been done by many others, so no originality is claimed or credited to anyone. The Taig factory could be doing it.

My point is any home machinist can do this and thanks to George for getting the juices flowing and blowing away my image of a converted Taig micro lathe.

I have all the major spare parts needed. Even an old style Taig CNC mill head (Non ER) and an A/C mill motor. I just need to design a few mounting plates. I can see that this would also make a great 4th axis with the proper stepper motor.

I am only discussing ideas here. As a dealer, I could easily kit the Taig parts for the conversion. I’ll keep that idea in mind.

Actually a stock Taig CNC mill could be adapted with a head on the column (HOC) design with the cutting tools mounted on the base. (Yes, done before.) Note the plural on tools. Several could be mounted and selected with only a position change in software. No manual tool change. Or the CNC-ER head could be moved to the table more like the first HOB idea presented above. Note that the ER spindle head and the standard lathe spindle head have different size and thread diameters, requiring careful selection of chucks and accessories.

So HOB or HOC, there are several ways to skin this lathe cat. (No actual cats were injured in this brainstorming.) Throw out the micro lathe destructive conversion and after a few non destructive hacks on a standard Taig CNC mill, the result will be a fine CNC lathe.

This is definitely worth my assembling of the components for the time when I would actually need a CNC lathe. The only flaw at the moment is single point threading which requires accurate motor speed and position control. It is obtainable with proper motor selection and controls but not in my present brainstorm to detail out how to do it. That is a project for another day.

My new CNC controller has motor speed control built in so there is another easily added feature.

Actually I can cut any thread, internal and external with the CNC mill spinning a thread cutting tool in the vertical position. There is a limit to length.

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