Thread: New member - starting first CNC conversion project

  1. #1
    Hi everyone.
    Para
    New to the forum and to CNC machining so wanted to say hello and tell you what I'm up to. I'm bound to need some advice at some point so apologies for any dumb questions!
    Para
    I've been playing with manual machines for a while now and I guess I've taken the pretty normal route? Started with 2nd hand RF30 style machine and a Myford ML7, both pretty good if a little slow. Sold those and upgraded to a MK1 Colchester Student and a Series 1 Bridgeport. Now we could shift some serious metal but the practical boundaries became the complexity of shapes. Added DRO and made some progress with rotary tables and then a compound table on top of those but oh so complicated, slow and ultimately there was still limits to what could be practically achieved.
    Para
    Started to think about CNC a while back but was looking at built machines, and there was nothing in a practical price range. Looked at converting the Bridgeport but all the advice seemed to be don't do it, plus the costs were still pretty high. Then I came across the G0704 conversions on Youtube and that seemed achievable cost wise and a useful enough size so decided to go that route. Spend a couple of months absorbing info and then starting gathering parts around early December so I could sneak off and fiddle with some stuff over Christmas!
    Para
    So to bring this up to date. I have an AMAT25LV due in here in a couple of weeks from Amadeal. I've built the control box, using parts from CNC4YOU and have hooked in the stepper motors. All seems to work ok so far (bench test of the motors only).
    Para
    I wanted to put this machine in an enclosure, the Bridgeport seems to be able to fill the workshop knee deep in chips in no time plus I want to look at coolant. I've started building a stand and enclosure, but some way to go on that yet.
    Para
    I really need to get much better at understanding feeds and speeds, chiploads etc, I've very much put a tool in and dialled it in by hand up to now with reasonable if varying results. However if I'm going to let a PC takeover I guess I'd better become much more knowledgeable otherwise I'll break no end of tools!
    Para
    Software wise I've been using SolidEdge for work in a fairly limited capacity for some years so 3D modelling is something I've a basic knowledge of, however I didn't have CAM and it was very expensive. I've downloaded and played with Fusion 360 which looks great so I'll go with that for now. I need to transfer my CAD knowledge over, although the basics look similar. Mach3 for the control software seems a no brainer?
    Para
    That's me, if it's of interest I could put up a build log. Would be good to get feedback and pointers from those with more experience than me (which is pretty much everyone at this point!)
    Para
    Cheers
    Para
    Lloyd

  2. #2
    Hi Lloyd,

    Welcome on to the site.

    Sounds like you are off to a good start in terms of learning.

    Mach3 or LinuxCNC are the controllers of choice with smaller new ones popping up now and then.

    I am designing conversion kits for small milling machines for those without machines to be able to make mods to the castings. Since you have a bridgeport, then you will have no issue using the kit DCTTeacher on Youtube has designed and shared.

    Keep us posted!
    www.emvioeng.com
    Machine tools and 3D printing supplies. Expanding constantly.

  3. #3
    Hi, thanks for the welcome.
    p
    Decent start but I've got a few questions coming up so I'll post up a build log maybe and stick them in there. I only just found this forum so hopefully it wont be a case of you guys telling me I've bought all the wrong gear!
    p
    Notice you sell TTS style tool holders? Wouldn't mind having a look at some of these once the mill is up and running. I already have a full set of collets for the Bridgeport but would be interested in some holders and an R8 ground collect so I can set up some dedicated tools.

  4. #4
    Hope you also got the R8 spindle for the AMA... I only carry R8 on my EMV25-VBB range
    www.emvioeng.com
    Machine tools and 3D printing supplies. Expanding constantly.

  5. #5
    Yep, its why I ended up with the AMA, they had it in stock for the R8. All my Bridgeport tooling is R8 so didn't want to change, even though I'd like to set up some tools specifically for the CNC mill.

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