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  1. #61
    Have you tried tightening the two nuts in picture C against each other, so that they lock on to the thread, then use the inside one to unscrew the threaded rod? If it's in a tapped hole that should get it out.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the hand lever. I tend to remove the hand levers on my mill when I'm using it with CNC since they have a tendency to hit stuff (or me) if I don't!
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  2. #62
    A small update:

    - the pinion gear eventually came out by punching the bearing out, slowly and carefully, from the opposite side
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    - here is the gear/bearing that came out - this is all obsolete now
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    - now the Z-axis looks mean and lean (LEFT: BEFORE, RIGHT AFTER)
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    - Now, I have bought a pile of these sort of building materials, and plenty of short 5mm bolts/nuts
    -- They are made from galvanized iron, (or the more expensive ones, are stainless steel, very rigid)
    -- Aim to attach bearing mounts to structures made from these building materials
    -- This is cheap, but thought would make a running mock up with them.
    -- Hope that way one could run the machine a bit, check dimensions again, check where to improve --> then make rigid, nice looking parts from aluminium.

    Maybe this ugly duckling will turn to a beautiful swan some day.

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  3. #63
    The sensitive drill part is really useful when you come to hammer a collet out of the taper, it gives you something to hammer against.

    Best if you can release the Z axis screw before you hammer so you aren't bashing against expensive ball nuts and bearings.

  4. #64
    Good point Robin. Thanks!

    Alternatively, perhaps one could use the lever on the left hand side of the quill, to lock it (during hammering)
    - Not sure though is it strong enough / meant for that purpose.

    Hoping to receive some bearing mounts, before weekend, so would have something to play with..

  5. #65
    Status -update:

    [x] received six (6) bearing mounts for the ballscrew -bearings
    - a small local workshop made them for me.
    - these are temporary bearing mounts, but very good at such.

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    - Holes for bearing are 32mm in diameter. Used heat to expand the mounts, so that bearings would go in easier. Holes are quite tight and precise, think it is impossible to remove the bearings in one piece.

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    [x] continued with a temporary, crude build
    - in particular Z-axis

    - Z-axis now looks like this Click image for larger version. 

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    - Z-axis lower bearing mount. Used an electric drill to fabricate some supports
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    - Purpose is to make a mock-up of the build, write down anything that needs changed, and then hopefully make it a nice looking mill.

    [x] an un-necessary side-step was when I dropped balls from a ballnut. Thought first oh well, that was 100 quid down drain. But to one's surprise, managed to find all balls and with instructions found from internet, put it back together. For record, took out the remaining balls, and used a plastic straw from a WD40-bottle to put them back in, one by one. Used bearing grease (like Vaseline) to make the balls stick to the plastic straw / and also stick onto the inside-walls of the ballnut.

  6. #66
    Latest is:
    1) At garage, have a crude build ready to plug motors in
    2) At home, have a pc with with LinuxCNC + motors running on table ( this has in fact been ready already for months)

    Next steps are
    - put 1) and 2) together... by Christmas time will take pc, monitor, motors, drivers, to garage and plug them in.
    -- before that, need to study calibrating LinuxCNC X, Y, Z -axis

    Lessons learned recently:
    - making crude build takes more time than expected. Probably spent 4 days x 8 hrs = 32 hrs to make it, over a few week period.
    -- need to buy small sundries here and there
    -- compressed air die grinder similar to this is helpful. I find it safe to use (no sparks + quite difficult to cut yourself accidentally), and cuts material quite quickly, but not too fast. Makes a nice sound, too. Of course not a CNC -machinist / milling machine operator approach, but hey, one haven't got a mill running now.
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    - have already noticed a few design errors by making a crude build, so it has been worth it.

    - Longer term plan:
    -- Once machine is running, make revised intermediate parts. Use possibly less thick Aluminium than one would have in final build. Cheaper. One expects there will be errors as I am a newbie in all this.
    --- want these parts to be relatively rigid, so that it is possible to make good quality "final parts" later.
    - Hope to submit more photos next weekend + a compulsory video

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  7. #67
    Well she runs now, albeit slow and ugly, though to my eyes it is pretty

    Is this it? CNC -virginity lost?

    My smallest milling bit is a 10mm wide end mill, so the letters are fat beyond recognition.

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    Machining marks are quite visible, and think all the axis give way when pushed hard.
    - Think the cut aluminium chips are around 0.2mm thick.
    - Have to check what sort of feed rates I used actually, and how fast the mill bit was turning. With my zero experience I just set them to something that didn't seem overly fast.

    Happy New Year to all!

  8. #68
    Things have been moving slowly, due to work etc. commitments.

    I have now officially begun an intermediate -build of the CNC -conversion.
    - Focus is making now parts more rigid, and more like the final, beautiful build.
    -- One is using less thick (cheaper) materials here, than in what will be the final build.

    Today I have been using the mill as a manual machine, with LinuxCNC, using DRO's and Power feeds.
    - Trying to get used to G-code, use simple commands like G0 somewhere, G1 elsewhere... while cutting aluminium.
    - Measuring with a digital vernier, cutting a tenth here and there.

    Perhaps one had thought I am going to make a fancy drawing and export it into G-code. Send chips flying and ta-da, bolt everything in place, and have a ready CNC conversion.

    But it has not been like in dreams. Need to take one step at a time. It was fun cutting aluminium today. :)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #69
    Small update:
    - have been getting more familiar with G-code, LinuxCNC, QCAD, dxf2gcode.
    -- Also have Heekscad / HeeksCNC + Blender installed (
    --- However so far,I have not transferred anything useful to work-piece from Heekscad/Blender.

    - This weekend I started to make X-axis parts.
    -- use QCAD to make DXF.
    -- use dxf2gcode to make G-code.
    --- each task I do in several smaller tasks.
    ---- I could not get dxf2gcode make one long piece of G-code, with climb-milling.
    ---- So instead, I have chosen to create individual smaller G-code -scripts, that I run in series.
    ----- Let mill return to home between each G-code script.
    -- Getting used to mounting a work-piece.
    --- Working with coordinates
    --- Zeroing coordinates. Touchoff. In short: mount a work-piece, and practice how one can get cuttings exactly where one wants them.

    -- On Friday bought a new 4mm and 6mm carbide end-mill. Smallest I had before this, was a 10mm end-mill.

    It is slow progress, however rewarding. Would just love to go back to garage and start cutting again. At this stage, the machine is crude but it does what it is told to do.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #70
    It's looking good John! ...Thanks for a great thread.

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