Been doing a lot of work with the machine, getting it ready for some actual part production. Been trying to get my control system organized. I have the control box mounted on the wall with custom mounts for the half-broken laptop and the monitor of which I need to angle down for better viewing. Computer does need more memory but seems to function pretty well so far.
Also began a bit of work against converting the rotary table I have into a 4th axis. I’m definitely thinking way too far down the road for this, but I will need it at some point for some of the things I have planned. Will use a 400oz-in motor like the other axis’.
I’ve got a better start to the Z than the other axis, as I’ve started with a much more stout hunk of aluminum. For my uses, this will be plenty strong. You can see the 4 hex cap screws holding it in place. I drilled and tapped the holes into the headstock iron which worked out quite nicely. The ballscrew mount here is about 1-2 millimeters just below the spindle pulley for maximum travel.
Motor and ballscrew mocked up in position. The attachment to the spindle won’t be pretty but it will work.
Here’s the modified attachment. Original design certainly was cleaner, but just wouldn’t work in the long run. I may re-do this at some point with the machine itself, so it looks nice and is tidier.
Couldn’t find any M12 x 1.0mm nuts locally, so I made my own out of 304 stainless. Worked a charm, and I was able to make it small enough to clear the rubber seal in the bearing block.
I needed to mount the bearing block to the motor mount, and it needed to be stiff. I welded up this bracket with my Eastwood TIG 200, but remembered after I finished, my gas was turned way too high and the weld quality was pretty poor, although sufficient for my needs here.
And here is it all mounted up. I’m pretty happy overall with how it all fits and feels. It’s pretty stiff and I’m able to run the motors just as fast as my X and Y axis motors without any trouble. Now I found an odd vibration with my spindle running, so I may need to pull it apart again and check the bearings and pulley.