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RE: [GrizHFMinimill] vibration reduction?

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  • gerry waclawiak
    Hi all I compiled this post as a reply to a private request from sid, a fellow group member located here in the UK to a group post I made asking if I would
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 11, 2011
    Hi all

    I compiled this post as a reply to a private request from sid, a fellow group member located here in the UK to a group post I made asking if I would mind telling him any info I  knew on belt conversions and how I came to make my own. He later suggested it might be of some interest to the wider group, so here it is

    Hi Sid,

    ok don't mind in the slightest.

    AFAIK there is now only one commercial belt drive conversion on the market (there used to be another but the company producing it went bust a couple of years ago) and that is made in the US by Stirling Steele.
    i do not know of anyone importing and distributing them in the UK but can be ordered direct form either Stirling Steele or LMS (Little Machine Shop) in the US for $145 + shipping. Unfortunately if you get stung for customs and VAT this adds up to about £155 although I spoke to an acquaintance a week of so ago and he said his didn't get nobbled so he saved about £35.

    Everything I have seen and heard, including a few UK acquaintances who have bought it, points to it being a quality product, easy to fit and that performs very well. Most people seem to buy it because it does away with the Achilles heel of the X2 mills, those fragile gears but it also provides a useful increase in speed and the noise reduction is amazing. I also found a considerable decrease in vibration and improved finish (that I hadn't originally expected). There are plenty of links in you tube and the net generally, look at X2 Belt conversion or similar.

    I  managed with my stock mill for over four years and only broke the gears once  but was always conscious how easy it was to break them particularly if fly cutting so resolved to fit a conversion at some time.

    I started looking at the net before Christmas and came across plans, construction notes and videos from "Hoss Machine". Looking at hese and considering the likely cost of importing I decided home made would be an interesting  and relatively easy holiday project and a great cost saving.

    I did the conversion by using the Hoss Macihine plans tweaked and modified to suit material that i had in my scrap box using only the X2 mill and a 7x12 Chinese lathe with a boring bar, 2" boring head and 4" 4 jaw independent chuck and normal hand tools.

     The only significant changes were to take advantage of my stock cupboard and to reduce the amount of waste material generated in shaping, namely

    1) to use a thinner and narrower baseplate from stock I had. I compensated by adding bolt on "ears" to support the pillars for the upper motor plate and a localised bolt on thickenning plate on the right hand side where I had fitted a sprung loaded spindle lock previously 

    2) As the original spindle pulley was larger than I had and there was a lot of material waste to remove from the solid I opted for a chunk of 4" I had but to save waste by trying to save metal by laminating a 4" pulley section and 2.5" spindle section together with loctite 386. This was fine until the last activity where due to the heat generated during the final machining operation of the V belt grooves the parts separated as I was nearing completion. Fortunately i salvaged things by carefully cleaning off and reqluing with Loctite and finishing off a bit more carefully. In use there has not been any problem.

    The end result is very similar in function and appearance to the LMS kit and IMHO has transformed the standard gear drive mill

    As I said my main reason for the belt drive was to eliminate the plastic drive gears which are widely acknowledged to be a weak point of the design being likely to break if one got slghtly careless or over enthusiastic with cutting, particularly with fly cutting which I use a lot on prepping metal for my trains. There was also the promised benefit of a welcome noise reduction and a useful increase in the speed ranges, the top speed of 2500 rpm on the stock mill being rather low for small drills and mills. All of these were met in full and in addition I noticed a considerable improvement in machining quality, particularly fly cutting that i put down to elimination of gear train vibration

    Hope this is of use to you. If you want some better photos and the plans I can send them separately

    Gerry
    Leeds UK


    > Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:29:54 +0100
    > From: sidslater@...
    > To: gerrywac@...
    > Subject: RE: [GrizHFMinimill] vibration reduction?
    >
    > Hi Gerry,
    > Hope you dont mind me contacting you direct but I was very
    > interested in your post about the belt conversion as i am in the middle
    > of doing it myself and wondered if it is to your own design or did you
    > use a kit,if so where did you get it from and what did it cost.I am
    > trying do design my own conversion without changing anything on the
    > mill so that if I fail,I can revert back to the dreaded plastic cogs.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Sid.
    >
    > Wigan.
    >
    > sidslater@...
    >
    >
    >
    > >----Original Message----
    >
    > >From: gerrywac@...
    >
    > >Date: 10/04/2011 15:43
    >
    > >To: <grizhfminimill@yahoogroups.com>
    >
    > >Subj: RE: [GrizHFMinimill] vibration reduction?
    >
    > >
    >
    > >
    >
    > >Hi Ed,
    >
    > >
    >
    > >I didn't tthink my mill was too bad but was amazed by the difference
    > that a belt drive conversion made.
    >
    > >
    >
    > >I did the conversion primarily to replace the weak plastic gears as I
    > didn't enjoy living on a knife edge when fly-cutting .
    >
    > >
    >
    > >I was amazed by how much quiter it was and then noticed the reduction
    > in vibration and an improvement in machined finish, particularly with
    > fly cutting.
    >
    > >
    >
    > >Gerry
    >
    > >Leeds UK
    >
    > >
    >
    > >To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
    >
    > >From: edrowley1@...
    >
    > >Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2011 14:06:29 +0000
    >
    > >Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] vibration reduction?
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    > > Greetings,
    >
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    > > What has been successful for elimination or reduction of vibration
    > in these mills?
    >
    > >
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    > >Thanks you,
    >
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    > >Ed R.
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  • dougal_h
    Hi Ed I have missed the original post of vibration reduction, but as an X2 owner the cause of vibration in these is simple, they re not rigid enough. Epoxy,
    Message 2 of 8 , Apr 12, 2011
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      Hi Ed

      I have missed the original post of vibration reduction, but as an X2 owner the cause of vibration in these is simple, they're not rigid enough.
      Epoxy, shot, concrete etc are a waste of time, the fix is to brace the back of the column to the base. This takes all bending moment off the original mounting bracket, provides direct resolution of the bending moments and stiffens up the rear of the column.

      I will attach a picture of my back brace which is very easy to make and fit while providing a huge increase in stiffness. My little CNC X2 now cuts plain carbon steel where before it couldn't.

      The drive gears aren't a vibration as in "cutter chatter" source, but it's certainly a vibration as in "noise that your ears hate" source.

      Cheers
      Dougal

      --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Ed" <edrowley1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Greetings Gerry,
      > Thanks for your response.
      >
      > I had hoped that someone would comment on the belt drive, as I suspected it might be a prime candidate for consideration.
      >
      > I have planned on filling my column with devcon epoxy (have all the materials, now to do it :) and making better clamps at the column base, along with the belt drive upgrade, so you have confirmed my analysis.
      >
      > Thank you again and kind regard,
      > Ed
      >
    • Ed
      Thank you Dougal, I would very much like to see what you ve done for bracing, as all the improvements are making the X2 a nice little machine. I presently cut
      Message 3 of 8 , Apr 12, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Thank you Dougal,
        I would very much like to see what you've done for bracing, as all the improvements are making the X2 a nice little machine.

        I presently cut carbon steel with my machine with no problems, although I would like a smoother finish (light cuts (.030 - .050 with a .005 "finish" cut give acceptable finish).

        Thanks for all the info and help gentlemen!

        Regards,
        Ed R.

        --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "dougal_h" <dougal_h@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Ed
        >
        > I have missed the original post of vibration reduction, but as an X2 owner the cause of vibration in these is simple, they're not rigid enough.
        > Epoxy, shot, concrete etc are a waste of time, the fix is to brace the back of the column to the base. This takes all bending moment off the original mounting bracket, provides direct resolution of the bending moments and stiffens up the rear of the column.
        >
        > I will attach a picture of my back brace which is very easy to make and fit while providing a huge increase in stiffness. My little CNC X2 now cuts plain carbon steel where before it couldn't.
        >
        > The drive gears aren't a vibration as in "cutter chatter" source, but it's certainly a vibration as in "noise that your ears hate" source.
        >
        > Cheers
        > Dougal
        >
        >
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