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  1. #1


    So this is my Warco Knee Milling Machine. Just as a project I would love to convert this machine in to a CNC Milling Machine and hopefully make some money off that machine or just use it for projects. I have now had some experience in constructing the electronics after building my custom power supply for another custom CNC router. I know i should convert the leadscrews to ballscrews however money is tight so Im gonna expect some inaccuracy. Im pretty comfortable on how I will be attaching the steppers and driving the axis', however Im not too sure what size motor to go for. I know that the three main contenders would be the Nema 34 or 42 or just not going for a stepper at all and going for a servo. However, as I have already mentioned this is a project and not a Job therefore money is tight. I have found a good kit for the Nema 34 with DM860A drivers and 60v/350watts power supplies at a really good price. Im slightly concerned about the holding torque. I know that the handwheels on the mill atm are easy to turn by hand so I guess you don't really need much holding torque. Any suggestions on the size of stepper would be wonderful. I don't wanna make a mistake buying inadequate steppers.


    Also any suggestions on good suppliers of timing belt pulleys in the uk or aboard (with cheap shipping) would also really help.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    I'll be converting a Warco Major next year. For the drives you'll need over 100V to make the Nema 34 steppers perform, ideally 240v drivers. The one area you don't want to scrimp is the electronics. Zapp is a good place to buy these, or you could try Aliexpress.
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  3. i definately need a milling machine in my life.

    no further comment.

  4. #4
    Don't go higher than nema 34's it's not needed.
    Like neil says you need lots of voltage with 34's to get good performance so buy mains voltage drives. These are what I use with nema 34's http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/elec...n/2m2280n.html

    Seem expensive but you don't need a PSU so it cuts down on price and complexity and they are the only thing I'd fit to large 34's.

    Size wise then you won't need massive motors these should work but I would get some idea of weight your lifting or moving first. I've seen nema 23's fitted to X & Y on these before so these will easily do it with some to spare. Thou I think you'll need the extra for the Knee.
    http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/elec...118-6004b.html

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kingcreaky View Post
    i definately need a milling machine in my life.

    no further comment.
    What like my new little toy.! Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    I'll be interested to see how this goes as I have a Warco VMC myself that is on the list for a CNC conversion. There was an earlier thread on converting a VMC but that was a few years ago and technology and components have moved on a bit since then, maybe. Certainly the x and y slides move easily with the handwheels but the z is pretty heavy if you are driving the knee (although it doesn't need the same feed speeds, I guess, unless you are into 3D milling, so could be geared down somewhat).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Don't go higher than nema 34's it's not needed.
    Like neil says you need lots of voltage with 34's to get good performance so buy mains voltage drives. These are what I use with nema 34's http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/elec...n/2m2280n.html

    Seem expensive but you don't need a PSU so it cuts down on price and complexity and they are the only thing I'd fit to large 34's.

    Size wise then you won't need massive motors these should work but I would get some idea of weight your lifting or moving first. I've seen nema 23's fitted to X & Y on these before so these will easily do it with some to spare. Thou I think you'll need the extra for the Knee.
    http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/elec...118-6004b.html

    Thanks for the advice on the high power drivers. Just for future reference and to confirm my thoughts. What are the main advantages of High Voltage drivers over the lower voltage type.

    Just popping the three HV Drivers and the steppers (3 of each) in to the cart jumps the price up to 786.30. Is there anyway of reducing the price. I have looked for the HV drivers on ali,however they are the same price and also would incur import duty. Any suggestions on getting the steppers cheaper or using slightly different HV drivers. :)


    Thanks for all your help.

    I would also agree with KingCreaky, CNC Mill is a must have :).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by thorphar View Post
    Any suggestions on getting the steppers cheaper or using slightly different HV drivers. :)
    No sorry can't help on buying cheaper but sure there will be some if you look hard enough. Personally I don't bother because it's worth more to me than the small savings to be able pass any problems back to Gary at Zapp and have replacements the next day.!

    Regards price then unfortunatly when it comes to large motors and good performance then it's a case of do it right or don't bother. Large motors simply won't give good performance unless they have the voltage. It's very very common for people to buy large motors with low power drives only to be sadly dissappointed with the performance. It's also common for 3 or 4Nm Nema23 motors running correct voltage on good drives to out perform under powered 34's.!!

    Edit: I reckon with this machine you'll get away with 4Nm 23's running on Em806 digital drives with 65V and ratio for X & Y axis. just use a 34 on Z Axis or use 23 and larger ratio with counter balance to help assist.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 24-12-2014 at 07:33 PM.

  9. #9
    I looked at the warco knee mill but ended getting the gh universal. just fitted a dro to it. Can I have the power feed unit?

    Nice machine Jazz. Where is the controller?

  10. #10
    i2i's Avatar
    Lives in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 23-12-2016 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 693. Received thanks 30 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    What like my new little toy.!
    Nice Semco bedmill there Jazz, is it an 800 or 1000. I have 4 x 600's, great machines the first vmc's.

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