Thread: Questions about Boxford 160 TCL
my name is Martin and currently I only got a mill. So it looks like that it is time to look into buying a lathe.
I came across the Boxford 160 TCL machines and I´m now wondering what they are capable off.
On youtube there is an officiall Boxford video saying that the workpiece is made of steel. To me it looks more like they are machining brass. So is it possible to machine mild steel with it?
Next thing is that I´m used to using modern CAD/CAM systems and I got a bit of a gutt feeling that I will have to change the electronics to something similiar to what runs my CNC mill.
When looking for more info on the Boxford lathe I came across the website of cncdoctor.co.uk. It says that they sell kits for those who want to use Mach. They have some spec sheets online but what I´m missing is the sheet that really tells me how to install it?
Would you have any other suggestions on what to buy? Mach is quite old and on my mill I´m using CNC by Eding. Planet CNC is not an option for me.
I hope you guys can help me a bit :)
Help is highly appreciated.
I'm using a Planet-CNC Mk2/4 for mine, but keeping the original driver board, so the Mk2/4 is only really providing step/dir information to the drivers. Homing is done by NPN proximity switches in the slides, which are quite easy to interface, and my spindle motor is being driven through an inverter which takes two enable signals, one for each direction, and a 0-10v speed signal. I hope to have it up and running by the end of next week.
The manuals state it is capable of machining steel (EN1A) and it looks robust enough. I'm only planning on using brass and aluminium though, so it's not a concern for me.
I emailed cncdoctor when the machine arrived, but received no answer. Looking through the web archives, the website hasn't changed in ages, so I doubt they're still in business.
If you use Eding on the mill, I would have though using it on the lathe as well would make sense, as you'll have a shorter learning curve.
Thank you for the info Adrian!
So you keep the driver board. What does that mean for the performance? is it more on the slow side? And what about the precision? Do you know how many steps are to a millimeter? half step? quarter step?
I used the planet cnc in the past and wasn´t very happy so I would like to stick with Eding if possible and today I found a Boxford mill on Ebay using the Eding controller. Looks like it is possible the only thing is how to do it.
How do you tell the ATC to react, when changing tools?
How many hours would you think I have to invest to rewire it all?
> So you keep the driver board.
Yes. I'm assuming it is already matched to the drives, so didn't see the point in taking it out and replacing it with new drivers.
> What does that mean for the performance? is it more on the slow side? And what about the precision?
I have no idea, but I'm only using it for hoppy purposes, so speed is ot an issue, and the manual states an accuracy (step resolution) of 0.01mm, which is good enough for me.
> Do you know how many steps are to a millimeter? half step? quarter step?
Not yet. I have all that to work out once the electronics are finished.
> I used the planet cnc in the past and wasn´t very happy so I would like to stick with Eding if possible
I would be interested to know why you weren't happy - off line if you like ? I've not used mine in anger yet, it arrived with a CNC router I purchased a while ago, but a quick wire up with each axis seemed to operate OK.
> How do you tell the ATC to react, when changing tools?
The original control system just used one button, to rotate the turret by one tool location and then reverse it into a latch to lock it.
The Mk2/4 controller I have can't do that, so I'm planning on using the jog keypad to manually rotate the turret for tool changes during program pauses.
> How many hours would you think I have to invest to rewire it all?
It depends :)
Having spent ten or so hours investigating it, I would estimate that it would only take two to three hours to rewire a second one, assuming all the parts needed were to hand.
I've no proof yet that my planned changes will work first time though ;-)
I found a video on youtube using servos but that is maybe a bit to much.
0,01mm sounds a bit rough but just might have to see and test it. I mean in the worst case I will have to replace the drivers.
An advantage of the Eding system is that you have a macro and you can start programming and calling your programms. So if your atc procedure is a bit complex you can programm it all in your macro.
Would you have an idea how to drive your atc by g code? Should be possible with the macro?
Ok, so it won´t take me years to do all the wiring that is good news.
> Would you have an idea how to drive your atc by g code?
It needs to rotate a set number of steps forward to select the next tool, then backwards a few steps to lock it against the ratchet.
> Should be possible with the macro?
No doubt, but the Mk2/4 doesn't have a macro facility (yet)
Is there a proximity switch in the turret where the controller would get the position from when firing up the machine.
But how do you work out the number of steps you have to fill in the macro?
Looks like you have to order something from the Netherlands ;)
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