A Taig CNC Lathe
I have some basic materials on order for building my prototype Taig CNC lathe. I have the rough designs sketched out and I am satisfied it is completely doable. It is a HOB design I discussed in a previous post, “Taig CNC Lathe Ideas”. I have ordered a cast aluminum (MIC-6) plate so I can build a stable quick change one piece base for the lathe head and tail post which will mount quickly on the mill. I also ordered an aluminum stock piece for making a suitable mount for the tool holder(s) on the Z axis carriage.
I am not going into detail yet on my design as it is subject to change. Of course everything is subject to change. I’ll publish the prototype once I have it tested. I have sketched several designs for the motor mount. The first one is the standard Taig mill mount on a post. The motor is the biggest variable in my design notes.
I intend to use the basic Taig 6 step pulley on prototype #1 with space and mounting options for later variable speed motor experiments and ultimately a stepper driven spindle motor or other means for thread cutting.
Lastly, I have a very radical idea. Why does the spindle head have to be on the user’s left? It will require reversing thinking on X and Y moves but easily done at the MACH3 machine setup. It will look to the operator as if standing behind the typical lathe layout. The benefit on the Taig mill is it puts the spindle motor over the X axis stepper and the cutting tool, in position pointing down on the top of the part, is no longer held in the “backward” view. The spindle head is threaded on, so we usually don’t want to reverse the standard CCW spindle rotation. (It’s possible but normally only carefully done for cutting LH threads.)
Yeah, I’m thinking way outside the box… actually there is no box. Please comment if you have an interest and applications for a small Taig based high quality CNC lathe conversion that may look, uh… a bit unusual. I am not planning to make them but could do basic plans and parts if there is interest. Base S.W.A.G. cost estimate for kit of new parts, with drilling tail post (w/o Morris chuck) and small 1/5 hp motor under $300, not including lathe chuck or collets of your choice or Taig CNC micro mill. All standard Taig accessories can be used.
With my other workloads, this may be a WIP for awhile.
Meanwhile, any ideas on a descent Lathe CAD program that details various lathe tool options? That ought to be a hot topic…