I had to decide where to publish these new photos. It’s not really a new build or project so here we are in the blog. If you have been paying attention you may know I now have two (2) CNC Taig micro mills. The first mill is about ten years old. the new mill is less than a year old.
The original mill has mist cooling available and has a metal pan under the base. It is my primary metal milling machine but has machined far more than just metal. The new machine will be primarily used for dry milling. Mostly the carving of wax masters for lost wax casting. That does NOT rule out its use for anything else I want to machine.
This is the old warhorse. You name it, it has probably machined it. I put up a temporary chip barier on the left when the machine is active. You can see the mist/air nozzle mounted on the spindle. In the right hand corner is the set-up table I built and use for most of my projects.
This is a different angle showing the new $80.00 refurbished computer I just bought. It under the monitor. The price included everything but the monitor. The 48Volt CNC controller is homemade and contains the Smooth Stepper. This is an excellent combination.
This is my brand new Taig CNC mill. I just finished mounting it on this bench. The first mill started out here. The mill is set up for four axis milling. Of course set-ups can be changed at anytime. My intention is to use this mill and location for all my dry milling such as wax masters. With the new digital controller the Taig… Continue reading
I am interested in giving the new MACH4 a spin. (Pun intended.) Not that I am so excited about plunking down $200 for a single computer license. The days of the MACH3 single license but multiple copies for a single hobby user are still here but it doesn’t work that way for MACH4.
I currently have three CNC machines in my single shop and a computer for each of them. It’s perfectly “legal” for me to load MACH3 on each computer under one MACH3 license.
I have purchased three very nice refurbished PCs from Newegg for $80.00 (yes eighty) each and dedicated each to their own CNC controller.
The same setup with MACH4 would cost me $600.00 just for the licenses. As I have told my friend José, “No way!”
MACH3 has been ripped-off so many times, I completely understand the reasons. Also most hobbyist don’t have three PC’s and three controllers in their shop. One solution could be to put the MACH4 computer on a cart and just wheel it to each controller. A serious alternative for a hobby user. I only run one machine at a time anyway.
I am willing to pick one machine and controller to be a test system with MACH4. In reality I don’t believe I will see any real earth shattering improvement in my CNC operations. However, there is a very good chance that MACH3 may go into a totally unavailable and unsupported hibernation. Probably never to awake again. I think it has already entered into the sleeping den.
MACH3 retirement is a matter of economics and competition to MACH4 growth.
MACH4 will really need to interface to an external pulse generator for best performance. There is a parallel port plug in (+$25.00) but MACH4 will then perform no better than MACH3.
One… Continue reading
I added a shelf to my old high back machine tool bench for my CNC controller and a PC. This is the bench I built for my original Grizzly mini-lathe and mini-mill. It is also where my first CNC machines came to life. More information is published in The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop. Follow the link.
Click on text above…
Here is another one of my “Sneak Previews”. You can read the previous posts that hinted at this concept. The post before this showed where I was going.
You can see assembly is not complete but this reveals the complete design. The only part I had to make was the conversion mounting plate between the Taig lathe and the Taig mill table. The base plate of the mill is 3/8 thick and so is the adapter plate. A 3/4 inch 10-30 bolt works perfectly with the existing holes and doesn’t extend through the adapter plate. I am thinking of epoxy (and bolts) in the final assembly of the mill base to the adapter to prevent any possible shifting.
The adapter still has the Dykem from the very careful layout of the holes. The base plate was also squared very accurately (on my X3) and this precision is used for squaring the lathe on the mill table. I am aware the lathe bed must be accurately aligned with the mill table.
The pulleys and a chuck will be installed next. One cannot help but notice that honking motor hanging out there. That is the standard 1/5 hp PSC mill motor. 1750 rpm (only $30!) The power is a simple plug in to the existing switch.
In this view it can be seen that even with the full lathe mounted there is plenty of travel in the Z axis to handle any width of material that will fit the chuck and bed clearance. I will experiment to determine if the stock Taig tool holder needs to be mounted farther to the right. I think it does for wide facing cuts. A quick change or turret tool post could certainly be used. The base of the… Continue reading