View Full Version : BUILD LOG: My acquisition.

03-06-2013, 09:41 PM
Hi all

been in the background for a while.. reading with interest. My new rig has finally arrived. Its taken a while but as previously posted, I got this quite cheap and have had to call in some favours along the way but its now been delivered and unloaded and on returning from my holidays today.. ive seen it for the first time.

For now.. its at a friends farm. Where I can hopefully resurrect it, then if I can... build a bigger workshop!

anyway, il stop yabbering

here are the pics I took earlier today


Rubbing the rails with sandpaper and wd40 brings the rust off. Only did about 1cm at the end of one of X rails (incase you guys suggest I shouldnt)

The spindle looks the same as the 2.2kw one i have on my other machine.. except physically its much bigger

its rack and pinion drive on all three axis

moved it with HIAB (weighs nearly three tons)

First question (probably of many)

obviously getting the machine itself doesnt phase me (with my confidence from my initial build) however the suction bed would be excellant if I could get that working

1.) can anybody shed any light on the big blue thing!. I assume its a suction device that connects to the bed to suck the workpeace down... It obviously looks like three-phase. Ultimately il be needing to run it on single (shall I bin that bit now?) what are the 240v options? if any?

03-06-2013, 09:42 PM
measurements are 12ft x 7ft

03-06-2013, 10:54 PM
WOW! This thing is a beast! Well done on the find and getting it back ok!

I think you should go easy on the rubbing of the rails, obviously if you reduce the rial diameter by just a fraction then the bearings will have play. Maybe see how well the rust comes off with fine wire wool and wd40

The big blue job looks to be the vacuum system. If you got this up and running then it will make it much more easier to hold full sheets and cut small pieces. From the picture it looks like there are 2 x 5.5kw motors? You could run these from a phase converter (google transwave phase converters) It looks like the motors are only designed to run from 380V in delta configuration so I'm not sure you could run them from an inverter. Maybe if you could just get one of them going for now and see if you actually need to run 2....

The control panel looks pretty bog standard, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting it going.

03-06-2013, 11:17 PM
Congratulations. I think you have a real bargain there. No chance IMO of running those vac pumps on single phase as the motors will draw far too much current. A vac bed will be fantastic for work holding, but I think you would be better to try to get a 3ph. supply or else sell the two pumps (you could get up to 500 each on a good day) and buy a couple of smaller single phase units.
Keep abrasives away from the rails. WD40 and pan scouring pads are probably the best remedy for surface rust. Good luck. G.

04-06-2013, 12:02 AM
How much did you pay? ;)

Wish I had a decent vacuum bed!

04-06-2013, 09:24 AM
You might try rubbing compound on the rust and see how it does (small section,if possible not on the rails to start (cleaning the side of a rack would work). IF that removes the rust then you have a solution to the rust problem and hopefully can restore the rails. The carriages need to be inspected and if they have been exposed to the environment as much as the rails and not had a good grease packing first, most likely need replacing (or will in the near future).

Strongly suggest going to a more modern smaller vacuum pump or even going over to a venturi system as that can get you the pressure levels you are going to need. Also look at getting some MDF (19mm will work) as a working bed. The level of vacuum you need to run something like that will pull right through MDF. Does it come with zones on the bed for the vacuum? If not you will want to get gasket material and set up some zones to save on force and power.

Looks like you did good on the purchase from the struture. The drivers leave a bit of a question or two for me and finding out what type of stepper motors it is using will also let you know what realistic feed rates will be and if you need to be looking at moving to servo's or to the hybrid close loop steppers.

Good luck and well done hopefully everything can be brought up to full functioning quickly.


04-06-2013, 09:28 AM
How much did you pay? ;)

Wish I had a decent vacuum bed!

Building one is not that hard. Depends on access to materials. I am working on a design at present and using information I got from another cnc'er to build a small one that will support a small table (850 x 340 cutting area size) as well as jigs. Smaller parts require higher levels of vacuum due to a couple of different issues that one of the more math orientated members can most likely explain. Once I get it done will post the design.


04-06-2013, 10:18 AM
How much did you pay? ;)

paid 500 for the lot !! was a ball ache actually getting it though...

Those rails may potentially be a problem then... im unsure the rust will come off with anything short of sandpaper...

04-06-2013, 01:41 PM
How about a rush removing gel like you get for cars?

04-06-2013, 07:17 PM
I would make a temporary tank up out of plastic sheet and use the electrolysis method, much safer and will look like new for all the parts. Defo stay away from the sand paper

04-06-2013, 07:45 PM
I would make a temporary tank up out of plastic sheet and use the electrolysis method, much safer and will look like new for all the parts. Defo stay away from the sand paper

now that sir is a fantastic idea... its been a while since I did this last!

So; youtube...

ok recommends american "Arm and Hammer" soda.... is there any british alternatives?

as the gantry is in the middle (so the cartridges are also in the middle) with rust either side. Il have to do the cartridges aswell? if I have to replace these its no biggies though i guess?

04-06-2013, 07:53 PM
bog standard soda from tesco or where ever is what i use. for the long stuff use long rods for electrodes each side rather than short ones at the end as wel

04-06-2013, 08:21 PM
Electrolysis? Doesn't that need some high current power supplies and the right material for the anode and cathode? I'm not sure what cola has to do with it? Confused here!

04-06-2013, 08:23 PM
Cola? Soda crystals wally :-)

A car charger and steel will do, just need to clean them off once in a while.

04-06-2013, 08:27 PM
Not the sort you want to drink then!

04-06-2013, 09:26 PM
Lol defo not

09-06-2013, 10:11 PM
OK, just a quick update

so, last week I done some experimental electrolysis with small tanks to establish best results.

I stopeed off at the farm on way home from work friday and removed a rail.


Stole a bit of gutter off one of my sheds to create a long tank...


abra kadabra


after 24 hours...



bearings slide lovely, no play

all back on machine, heavily greased (after this pic)


09-06-2013, 11:17 PM

10-06-2013, 12:43 PM
Brilliant!!! What a good suggestion Swarfing, and well done for following it through Kingc. G.

10-06-2013, 01:22 PM
Nice one G glad it came out so well, just don't do it on the Ali parts :-)

I'm reluctant to put a piece of sandpaper to anything these day, saves a sh*t load of hard work as well ;-)

10-06-2013, 01:50 PM
what a great idea and awesome results .. well done kingy :)

18-06-2013, 07:08 PM
So, il perhaps post more pictures later if anybody is interested in a photo adventure? But The X rails are now both clean and sliding properly. Ive removed the gantry to find the Z is round supported rails with a 16mm pitch ballscrew. Both of which have been guarded from the weather and seem fine. I have both Y rails in the gutter (aka tank) in the process of cleaning them now.
Il paint the gantry and re-assemble for the weekend where hopefully I may get it working

Ive removed the electrics, It has a 75v switched chineese power supply (which works :D)
4 Leadshine drivers ... (which at this point ive established power up which I guess is a good sign)
but I cant get a sausage from the breakout board... PLEASE tell me the reason they turfed this machine out is because the bob is broken and everything else is fine!!! :D that would be quality.....

thats about it. well apart from holding up a full time job 45 hours a week, and looking after my two year old and all the other family related duties...

Ive got all the electrics wired up on the bench and hopefully tonight/tomorrow I should be able to get the steppers going... in which case Il need to buy a new spindle a new breakout board and perhaps think about what vaccum pump solution im going to use...(obviously the present ones are 3phase) which will be directly relative to where and what I decide to do with the machine

See the thing is, my workshop is presntly approx 20ft, 10ft... the machine is 12ftx7ft!!! its presently being stored temporarily at a friends farm... but im leaning on him so It cant stay there forever

Option #1, once machine is working... keep the machine, get rid of / store my other one -- this will involve flattening my existing workshop and starting again
Get a new purpose built workshop / which id obviously soundproof
Get to keep the bigger machine
Lots of time to use machine.. Its just down the end of the garden

Loose valuable garden space for little one growing up (although we are surrounded by fields)
Would have to move / sell / get rid of existing machine due to space


Option #2
Rent somewhere out to keep it
*Dont have to rebuild workshop
*Can get it going straight away
*Have more space for more toys
*No worries about falling out with neighbours over noise (not that im worried about that as I live next door to and surrounded by good friends
*Although Ive made a few things for friends etc, im not a business I have a good job and its just a wicked toy so justifying the rent of a unit a car drive away maybe a bit silly?

anyway... theres an update...

Lee Roberts
18-06-2013, 10:08 PM

Very !

So, il perhaps post more pictures later if anybody is interested in a photo adventure?

Yes please :beer:


19-06-2013, 09:48 AM
bearings slide lovely, no play

all back on machine, heavily greased (after this pic)

Those rails and bearings look like manufactured by SBC (Take a closer pick of bearings and I'll tell for sure) and if so then I think I've got some bearings kicking around if not I've got access to getting some if you ever need any.

19-06-2013, 10:23 PM
thanks jazz. Il upload a piccy tomorrow

got the Z working!! off its own steam. Using its own power supply its own stepper controller. The other motor controllers appear to be working but the other steppers (Y and X) are eight cable flavour

two green, two yellow, two red & two blue

with the standard 4 core ones, I work out which are the coils but shorting the cables to test for extra resistance in the shaft but these eight core ones blow my mind... has anybody got any idea how I work out how to wire it? Ive got no model number for the steppers and obviously no diagram

oh, and... and as the highlight of all your evenings... here is the z moving


19-06-2013, 10:30 PM
G the video is saying it is private :sorrow:

With the machine against one wall i would keep it, 2' is plenty of room honest

19-06-2013, 10:37 PM
G the video is saying it is private :sorrow:

With the machine against one wall i would keep it, 2' is plenty of room honest

Fixed video.... re machine...I doubt il get rid of it anyway!... 2' wont leave me much space for all my other previous toys ; D

19-06-2013, 10:39 PM
I reckon with the machine you could you could build some timber panels for an extension to the garage ;-)

20-06-2013, 06:41 AM
dunno. but if a mod is reading this please delete the duplicate...

Lee Roberts
20-06-2013, 10:58 AM
dunno. but if a mod is reading this please delete the duplicate...

All done.


20-06-2013, 04:06 PM
and as the highlight of all your evenings... here is the z moving

Thanks..... Lots better than much of free to view TV these days.:friendly_wink:

It's looking more and more like you picked up a great bargain..... Well done!

21-06-2013, 12:30 PM
8 wires means the motor is most likely similar in wiring to the ones on your first machine, that is 4 windings and two per phase. You should be able to use the same method to identify the 4 pairs of wires for the 4 windings, then you just need to know which two are which phase so you can put them in parallel (or less likely series). I'm pretty sure you can safely do that by connecting to the driver and just trying the four possible combinations - one will just work and the motor will only go a couple of steps forwards and backwards with the others.

Is there definitely no part number on the motors?

05-07-2013, 10:28 PM
Right. about killed myself tonight lifting these bad-boys onto the trailer. Tomorrow I intend to drive over to my friends unit where there is the magic "three-phase" I can temporarily wire these in, to proove they work. Then Il put them on the bay. As ultimately im going to need single phase ones in order to use the vacume bed in my workshop

However, can anybody shed any light on what im looking for... how do I tell they work? I assume they are like big vaccuume cleaners... except I wont put my hand near the inlet as I guess it will suck it off? (my hand) :hypnotysed:
I assume the following

I guess the square blue tanks need to perhaps be filled with water? I say this as their is what looks like a sight glass on the side (labelled E) ...

if anybody could tell me what im expecting to see from each of the labelled ports... and perhaps confirmation of whether im meant to be filling the blue square units with anything id really appreciate your feedback ;)


05-07-2013, 10:47 PM
Research some more, a vfd and you could put them to use if you ask me? Seem rather large but who knows?

05-07-2013, 11:13 PM
5.5Kw and 380 delta means you'd need one hell of a single phase supply to power them, along with a meaty step-up transformer and inverter.

If it wasn't for the plastic taps, I would of said the tanks were for oil as most vacuum pumps are oil lubricated. Is there any kind of gunk/residue in the tanks?
Anyway, here's my guess-
A - taps, possibly been bodged for some reason, or might of been some kind of cooler loop connection.
B - vent - pump would pump air/oil into the tank, and it's got to get out somewhere
C - Vacuum connection point - pump sucks air in here, and I'd hazard a guess the big housing contains a filter
D - Oil scavenge feed into pump - the pump contiually pulls in oil along with air for lubrication
E - Level tube

05-07-2013, 11:16 PM
After doing a little bit of research, I think these vacuum pumps might be whats called a liquid ring type vacuum pump, where in actual fact you would fill part of the system with water, though I'm not certain where... These types of pumps seem to be common with the chinese imported machines, maybe there is some documentation from a supplier of a similar machine?

05-07-2013, 11:20 PM
This diagram might help:


15-07-2013, 07:05 PM

right, tired of these things being in the way, going to bang them on ebay

surely they would have originally had a starter of some description? would it be this badboy? or would this be the controller for the spindle that was on it?

What do I describe them as? 'Vacuum Pumps' , 'Vacuum Motors' if you where searching for them what would you search for?


10-11-2013, 02:58 PM
finally found time to get this machine working


nothing worse than hearing your own voice!