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Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)

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  • tiago_santos_vfx
    Hey guys, Just joined the group a few days ago, I m going back through the archives and finding lots of awesome tips and tricks, thanks everyone for
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 12, 2012
      Hey guys,

      Just joined the group a few days ago, I'm going back through the archives and finding lots of awesome tips and tricks, thanks everyone for participating.

      Here's a crazy idea, but I can't seem to find any examples of whether or not it's been tried.

      Obviously we all know what the problem is with the round column. But I was thinking or removing the rack from the column entirely and replacing it with a linear rail guide, then attaching a bearing block to the top (or bottom) of the head casting. The trick is finding a rail that is slim enough to fit, as I think machining the head casting for a bigger rail would be tough.

      Then the head could be moved up and down with an external ballscrew mounted elsewhere, wouldn't be the hardest part to rig up.

      Just thinking out loud, but I would certainly appreciate if anyone can point out any crucial flaws with this plan, before I waste any time doing something that someone has thought of before and found a reason not to do!

      Thanks in advance,
      Tiago Santos
    • Rick Sparber
      Tiago, Welcome to the group! Brace yourself for many alternate suggestions on how to solve this problem . As for me... I ve had a RF30 for 20 years and have
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 12, 2012
        Tiago,

        Welcome to the group! Brace yourself for many alternate suggestions on how
        to solve this "problem".

        As for me...

        I've had a RF30 for 20 years and have no interest in upgrading. The main
        complaint about round column mills is the loss the (0,0) point when the head
        is raised or lowered. This was a problem for me until I got a DRO. Now I
        just pull out my Electronic Edge Finder that is connected to my DRO and pick
        up my (0,0) point again.

        Now, this is not to say that you couldn't build a precision rail that flanks
        the column to keep the head from rotating.

        One word of caution. People will give you lots of alternate ideas and say
        they are "precision". This word, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
        My EEF lets me find my reference to within the accuracy of the DRO which has
        a resolution and repeatability of 0.0005". Other methods I have heard about
        are good to maybe +/- 0.01". So be sure to think about what precision you
        want and then ask the expert what precision they get with their set up.

        Rick

        -----Original Message-----
        From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of tiago_santos_vfx
        Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:11 PM
        To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mill_drill] Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)

        Hey guys,

        Just joined the group a few days ago, I'm going back through the archives
        and finding lots of awesome tips and tricks, thanks everyone for
        participating.

        Here's a crazy idea, but I can't seem to find any examples of whether or not
        it's been tried.

        Obviously we all know what the problem is with the round column. But I was
        thinking or removing the rack from the column entirely and replacing it with
        a linear rail guide, then attaching a bearing block to the top (or bottom)
        of the head casting. The trick is finding a rail that is slim enough to fit,
        as I think machining the head casting for a bigger rail would be tough.

        Then the head could be moved up and down with an external ballscrew mounted
        elsewhere, wouldn't be the hardest part to rig up.

        Just thinking out loud, but I would certainly appreciate if anyone can point
        out any crucial flaws with this plan, before I waste any time doing
        something that someone has thought of before and found a reason not to do!

        Thanks in advance,
        Tiago Santos
      • Druid Noibn
        Hi Tiago,   Welcome - lots of folks here with ideas.   I encourage crazy ideas as success is sometimes seen because one didn t know it was impossible....
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 12, 2012
          Hi Tiago,
           
          Welcome - lots of folks here with ideas.
           
          I encourage "crazy ideas" as success is sometimes seen because one didn't know it was impossible....
           
          Your idea does seem to be more work than benefit and might just take away from the flexibility of the system. 
           
          Before I would go in that direction, suggest looking at why you want to do it and if the "problem" can be solved more easily by a different approach.  If you just wish to build something - Heck, go for it.  If you are concerend about loosing your "zero" 1) look at the work flow you are using and 2) look at getting a DRO and edge finder.
           
          Let all know what you are up to.
           
          Be well,
          DBN .
           


          --- On Thu, 7/12/12, tiago_santos_vfx <tiago@...> wrote:

          From: tiago_santos_vfx <tiago@...>
          Subject: [mill_drill] Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)
          To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7:10 PM

           
          Hey guys,

          Just joined the group a few days ago, I'm going back through the archives and finding lots of awesome tips and tricks, thanks everyone for participating.

          Here's a crazy idea, but I can't seem to find any examples of whether or not it's been tried.

          Obviously we all know what the problem is with the round column. But I was thinking or removing the rack from the column entirely and replacing it with a linear rail guide, then attaching a bearing block to the top (or bottom) of the head casting. The trick is finding a rail that is slim enough to fit, as I think machining the head casting for a bigger rail would be tough.

          Then the head could be moved up and down with an external ballscrew mounted elsewhere, wouldn't be the hardest part to rig up.

          Just thinking out loud, but I would certainly appreciate if anyone can point out any crucial flaws with this plan, before I waste any time doing something that someone has thought of before and found a reason not to do!

          Thanks in advance,
          Tiago Santos

        • Corey Renner
          The technique that I used for years with my first round-column mill/drill, and that I m using again with my current one is this: 1. Install the longest tool
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 12, 2012
            The technique that I used for years with my first round-column mill/drill, and that I'm using again with my current one is this:

            1. Install the longest tool that you intend to use for the job.
            2. Adjust the height of the head so that the longest tool just barely clears the workpiece.
            3. Lock the head vertically and go at it.

            I could complete almost any job without having to adjust the head by following this technique.  On the two or three occasions where a Z-adjustment was necessary, I could re-acquire my zero in far less time than it's taking me to type this email.  People really make a mountain out of a molehill with the round column registration issue.

            cheers,
            c

            On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 7:22 PM, Druid Noibn <druid_noibn@...> wrote:
             

            Hi Tiago,
             
            Welcome - lots of folks here with ideas.
             
            I encourage "crazy ideas" as success is sometimes seen because one didn't know it was impossible....
             
            Your idea does seem to be more work than benefit and might just take away from the flexibility of the system. 
             
            Before I would go in that direction, suggest looking at why you want to do it and if the "problem" can be solved more easily by a different approach.  If you just wish to build something - Heck, go for it.  If you are concerend about loosing your "zero" 1) look at the work flow you are using and 2) look at getting a DRO and edge finder.
             
            Let all know what you are up to.
             
            Be well,
            DBN .
             


            --- On Thu, 7/12/12, tiago_santos_vfx <tiago@...> wrote:

            From: tiago_santos_vfx <tiago@...>
            Subject: [mill_drill] Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)
            To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7:10 PM

             
            Hey guys,

            Just joined the group a few days ago, I'm going back through the archives and finding lots of awesome tips and tricks, thanks everyone for participating.

            Here's a crazy idea, but I can't seem to find any examples of whether or not it's been tried.

            Obviously we all know what the problem is with the round column. But I was thinking or removing the rack from the column entirely and replacing it with a linear rail guide, then attaching a bearing block to the top (or bottom) of the head casting. The trick is finding a rail that is slim enough to fit, as I think machining the head casting for a bigger rail would be tough.

            Then the head could be moved up and down with an external ballscrew mounted elsewhere, wouldn't be the hardest part to rig up.

            Just thinking out loud, but I would certainly appreciate if anyone can point out any crucial flaws with this plan, before I waste any time doing something that someone has thought of before and found a reason not to do!

            Thanks in advance,
            Tiago Santos


          • jdkmlw
            I m a noob at this stuff too, but I ve had an older round column for a couple years, the bigger one that s about 700 lbs. I basically do what Corey mentioned,
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 12, 2012
              I'm a noob at this stuff too, but I've had an older round column for a couple years, the bigger one that's about 700 lbs. I basically do what Corey mentioned, set it up for the longest tool and leave it there as long as possible.
              The only issue I can see with your idea (and my limited knowledge) is the weight of the head unit, I don't know if these are all the same but I can tell mine is heavy from the few times I've changed the hieght of it and I'm guessing it's most of the weight of the machine.

              As for the linear rail. I'd think it be best if you could mount the bearing(s) inside the casting even if it's like half or more of the bearing length, like one at the top and one at the bottom, I'm just having a heard time picturing a bearing(s) mounted with some type of bracket and holding up over time.
              My $.02 worth


              --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Corey Renner <vandal968@...> wrote:
              >
              > The technique that I used for years with my first round-column mill/drill,
              > and that I'm using again with my current one is this:
              >
              > 1. Install the longest tool that you intend to use for the job.
              > 2. Adjust the height of the head so that the longest tool just barely
              > clears the workpiece.
              > 3. Lock the head vertically and go at it.
              >
              > I could complete almost any job without having to adjust the head by
              > following this technique. On the two or three occasions where a
              > Z-adjustment was necessary, I could re-acquire my zero in far less time
              > than it's taking me to type this email. People really make a mountain out
              > of a molehill with the round column registration issue.
              >
              > cheers,
              > c
              >
              > On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 7:22 PM, Druid Noibn <druid_noibn@...> wrote:
              >
              > > **
              > >
              > >
              > > Hi Tiago,
              > >
              > > Welcome - lots of folks here with ideas.
              > >
              > > I encourage "crazy ideas" as success is sometimes seen because one didn't
              > > know it was impossible....
              > >
              > > Your idea does seem to be more work than benefit and might just take away
              > > from the flexibility of the system.
              > >
              > > Before I would go in that direction, suggest looking at why you want to do
              > > it and if the "problem" can be solved more easily by a different approach.
              > > If you just wish to build something - Heck, go for it. If you are
              > > concerend about loosing your "zero" 1) look at the work flow you are using
              > > and 2) look at getting a DRO and edge finder.
              > >
              > > Let all know what you are up to.
              > >
              > > Be well,
              > > DBN .
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- On *Thu, 7/12/12, tiago_santos_vfx <tiago@...>* wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > From: tiago_santos_vfx <tiago@...>
              > > Subject: [mill_drill] Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)
              > > To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
              > > Date: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7:10 PM
              > >
              > >
              > > Hey guys,
              > >
              > > Just joined the group a few days ago, I'm going back through the archives
              > > and finding lots of awesome tips and tricks, thanks everyone for
              > > participating.
              > >
              > > Here's a crazy idea, but I can't seem to find any examples of whether or
              > > not it's been tried.
              > >
              > > Obviously we all know what the problem is with the round column. But I was
              > > thinking or removing the rack from the column entirely and replacing it
              > > with a linear rail guide, then attaching a bearing block to the top (or
              > > bottom) of the head casting. The trick is finding a rail that is slim
              > > enough to fit, as I think machining the head casting for a bigger rail
              > > would be tough.
              > >
              > > Then the head could be moved up and down with an external ballscrew
              > > mounted elsewhere, wouldn't be the hardest part to rig up.
              > >
              > > Just thinking out loud, but I would certainly appreciate if anyone can
              > > point out any crucial flaws with this plan, before I waste any time doing
              > > something that someone has thought of before and found a reason not to do!
              > >
              > > Thanks in advance,
              > > Tiago Santos
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • tiago_santos_vfx
              Thanks for the replies everyone. I agree that for manual milling, I d just buy/build a DRO and that would mostly solve the problem . And actually in the short
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 12, 2012
                Thanks for the replies everyone. I agree that for manual milling, I'd just buy/build a DRO and that would mostly solve the "problem". And actually in the short time that I've had this machine, I haven't found it to be a big deal. I do have an RF-40 so the 5" quill travel helps a lot. It took me a while to get used to having to plan ahead, though!

                Since the plan is to convert it to CNC though, it would be neat to have the full Z travel available without the extra work of unlocking the head, cranking up/down, locking again, etc. More importantly, I could keep everything a bit stiffer by keeping the quill retracted, and I could also eventually rig up an automatic tool changer - anyway, that's thinking a little too far ahead, but for an ATC to work, I'd want the drawbar to be in a fixed position, etc etc etc. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, it'll be a while I'm sure.

                I have to adapt a motor and ballscrew to the quill anyway, so hopefully rigging one to lift the whole head instead wouldn't be THAT much more complicated. OK, maybe a little bit :)

                I checked some of the rails that I have in the parts bin and found a couple that fit on the gap left by the rack. Also, the bearing/rail would be taking care of the alignment, but I suppose I could leave the head locking nuts snug to have the casting itself taking some of the load. Maybe I could fit an air spring similar to the ones available for the mini mills to help support some of the weight too.

                One thing that could very well stop this idea is.. How would I ever make sure the rail is mountedperfectly perpendicular to the table....?!

                I appreciate the suggestions though and I'll definitely let you guys know what I end up doing, if anything!

                Back to soldering for now, one more motor to wire up.. :)

                Cheers,
                Tiago
              • jdkmlw
                Maybe I could fit an air spring similar to the ones available for the mini mills to help support some of the weight too If that s one of those strut things
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 13, 2012
                  "Maybe I could fit an air spring similar to the ones available for the mini mills to help support some of the weight too"

                  If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one. Get one or two that can't hold the head up but let's it fall very slowly, this way the motor should'nt have to work very hard to make it move or hold it up.


                  Can you mount the rail to the column? I was thinking a flush mount screws, this should keep the head in the same line as it moves.
                  I'd think the easiest way to mount it in the right spot would be to find the rotational zero first and just mark the column, once the rail is mounted it should stay.


                  Now my thoughts on two things. 1-If you can find the right air spring, that might work moving the whole head, but I still think that's a lot of wieght. And if you still have to use the quill to do the Z movement, I think it's 5" or 6" and should be more then most things you'd need to mill. And (if you use the quill for Z) maybe just have a motor that you push a button or throw a switch to make it move, still use the locking bolts and just loosen them when you need to move it.
                  2-For the ATC, you could mount it to the left side of the head and have it swing or slide in to do the tool change. This way it will move with the head as it's raised or lowered. But then you'd most likely need the quill to move to swap tools?
                • tiago_santos_vfx
                  ... Yup, that s the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn t support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 13, 2012
                    > If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.

                    Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.

                    As for the motor itself, I'm thinking I can drive the ballscrew with a timing belt and have a 4:1 ratio or something like that between the ballscrew and the motor. I'm not worried about super fast Z moves, so with a 4:1 ratio, even a 425oz-in motor should be enough to move the whole thing up and down.

                    > Can you mount the rail to the column?

                    Yeah, the rail is drilled every few inches for allen head bolts, so mounting to the column should be fairly easy. The tricky part for me is making sure the rail is absolutely dead on, as a small deviation would defeat the whole purpose! I suppose I could use a laser mounted to the head to make some alignment marks with the rack still in place and then try to get very very close to those. I'm sure there' some incredibly simple solution to this, involving two bricks, a machinist level and a 2x4 or something like that, but I'm not seeing it :D Oh wait.. Actually.. a square and a machinist level should be exactly all I need to make sure the thing is straight! Hmm..


                    > 2-For the ATC, you could mount it to the left side of the head and have it swing or slide in to do the tool change. This way it will move with the head as it's raised or lowered. But then you'd most likely need the quill to move to swap tools?

                    Hmmm.. That could work.. The reason I didn't want to move the quill for an ATC is I was thinking of building something similar to the Hoss Machine ATC, where he built a "tray" on the edge of the table and the spindle moves to that position to pick it up. Definitely not as fast as the David deCaussin solution (mounted to the head, I believe) but might be simpler to make. The Hoss Machine tool holders and power drawbar are also much simpler, but the power drawbar wouldn't work unless the quill was in a fixed position..

                    Thanks again! :)
                  • Jerry Durand
                    ... Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two pulleys on the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 13, 2012
                      On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                      >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                      > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                      >


                      Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                      tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                      pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.

                      --
                      Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                      tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                      Skype: jerrydurand
                    • tiago_santos_vfx
                      Ah, never thought of that! That s even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 13, 2012
                        Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)

                        --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                        > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                        > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                        > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                        > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                        >
                        > --
                        > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                        > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                        > Skype: jerrydurand
                        >
                      • internal_fire
                        This subject has come up a number of times, and various solutions have been offered. Nothing is likely to give very good precision, however. A significant
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 14, 2012
                          This subject has come up a number of times, and various "solutions" have been offered. Nothing is likely to give very good precision, however.

                          A significant problem with any sort of key or rail on the column is the multiplication of errors. The column has a radius of about 2.25 inches, while the spindle is located 10 inches from the center of the column. That means that a 0.001" error at the key or the rail on the column will create a 0.004" to 0.005" error in x-position at the spindle.

                          It would be pretty impractical to design a system to reduce the error at the spindle to 0.001".

                          I use the approach spelled out by several people.

                          * Try to minimize any z-moves.

                          * Use a DRO and edge finder to relocate if a z-move is absolutely necessary.

                          Regards,
                          Gene

                          --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > Thanks for the replies everyone. I agree that for manual milling, I'd just buy/build a DRO and that would mostly solve the "problem". And actually in the short time that I've had this machine, I haven't found it to be a big deal. I do have an RF-40 so the 5" quill travel helps a lot. It took me a while to get used to having to plan ahead, though!
                          >
                          > Since the plan is to convert it to CNC though, it would be neat to have the full Z travel available without the extra work of unlocking the head, cranking up/down, locking again, etc. More importantly, I could keep everything a bit stiffer by keeping the quill retracted, and I could also eventually rig up an automatic tool changer - anyway, that's thinking a little too far ahead, but for an ATC to work, I'd want the drawbar to be in a fixed position, etc etc etc. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, it'll be a while I'm sure.
                          >
                          > I have to adapt a motor and ballscrew to the quill anyway, so hopefully rigging one to lift the whole head instead wouldn't be THAT much more complicated. OK, maybe a little bit :)
                          >
                          > I checked some of the rails that I have in the parts bin and found a couple that fit on the gap left by the rack. Also, the bearing/rail would be taking care of the alignment, but I suppose I could leave the head locking nuts snug to have the casting itself taking some of the load. Maybe I could fit an air spring similar to the ones available for the mini mills to help support some of the weight too.
                          >
                          > One thing that could very well stop this idea is.. How would I ever make sure the rail is mountedperfectly perpendicular to the table....?!
                          >
                          > I appreciate the suggestions though and I'll definitely let you guys know what I end up doing, if anything!
                          >
                          > Back to soldering for now, one more motor to wire up.. :)
                          >
                          > Cheers,
                          > Tiago
                          >
                        • clumsysoftballerz
                          Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good. You can see
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 16, 2012
                            Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good.

                            You can see the cement hanging in the corner

                            http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg

                            http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg


                            --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                            >
                            > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                            > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                            > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                            > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                            > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                            > >
                            > > --
                            > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                            > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                            > > Skype: jerrydurand
                            > >
                            >
                          • tiago_santos_vfx
                            Ah, that s awesome :) Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and I don t think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 17, 2012
                              Ah, that's awesome :)

                              Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and I don't think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to hang that much weight from it. I can think of other ways to rig it, but might be more trouble than it's worth.. At $20 a pop, I'll try the gas springs first and if that doesn't work very well, I'll figure out a way to rig the counter weights!

                              --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "clumsysoftballerz" <mypersonalemailaccount@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good.
                              >
                              > You can see the cement hanging in the corner
                              >
                              > http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg
                              >
                              > http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                              > >
                              > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                              > > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                              > > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                              > > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                              > > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                              > > >
                              > > > --
                              > > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                              > > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                              > > > Skype: jerrydurand
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • casy_ch@tbwil.ch
                              I.e. the head of my DM-45 weighs 207 pounds! Gas spring is a good idea. Jean-Claude
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jul 17, 2012
                                I.e. the head of my DM-45 weighs 207 pounds! Gas spring is a good idea.

                                Jean-Claude



                                Am 17.07.2012 22:23, schrieb tiago_santos_vfx:
                                 

                                Ah, that's awesome :)

                                Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and I don't think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to hang that much weight from it. I can think of other ways to rig it, but might be more trouble than it's worth.. At $20 a pop, I'll try the gas springs first and if that doesn't work very well, I'll figure out a way to rig the counter weights!

                                --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "clumsysoftballerz" <mypersonalemailaccount@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good.
                                >
                                > You can see the cement hanging in the corner
                                >
                                > http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg
                                >
                                > http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                                > >
                                > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                                > > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                                > > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                                > > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                                > > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                                > > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                                > > >
                                > > > --
                                > > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                                > > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                                > > > Skype: jerrydurand
                                > > >
                                > >
                                >



                              • tiago_santos_vfx
                                207lbs sounds about right, thanks :) In other news, I ve got my Y axis moving on its own last night, which was pretty exciting. I need to machine a couple of
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jul 17, 2012
                                  207lbs sounds about right, thanks :)

                                  In other news, I've got my Y axis moving on its own last night, which was pretty exciting. I need to machine a couple of parts for the X-axis which I hope to finish tonight. Well, finish isn't the right word, more like temporarily attach things together :P

                                  When X and Y are working, it might be easy enough to just the quill running as simply as possible so I have all 3 axis working. Then I'll decide if the next step is replacing the X and Y leadscrews with ballscrews, or the big project of getting a nice long Z axis.

                                  I agree with some of the comments that it will be extremely hard to get it perfect, but that might not stop me from trying.. Luckily I might have access to bigger and better machines to help make it right. I figure if I can take the whole column apart and have someone mill or grind a small flat/lip on one side, to align the rail with, that will be a great start. As long as the lip (and hence the rail) are perfectly aligned with the column itself, I can always shim the base of the column to get it really close.

                                  There's guys building CNC machines from scratch, I have a hard time accepting that I can't do this ;) Time may very well prove me wrong though! It would certainly have been easier to start with an RF-45 (dovetail column) clone, but I couldn't find one of those for a couple hundred bucks!

                                  Thanks again everyone,
                                  Tiago

                                  --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "casy_ch@..." <casy_ch@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I.e. the head of my DM-45 weighs 207 pounds! Gas spring is a good idea.
                                  >
                                  > Jean-Claude
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Am 17.07.2012 22:23, schrieb tiago_santos_vfx:
                                  > >
                                  > > Ah, that's awesome :)
                                  > >
                                  > > Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and
                                  > > I don't think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to
                                  > > hang that much weight from it. I can think of other ways to rig it,
                                  > > but might be more trouble than it's worth.. At $20 a pop, I'll try the
                                  > > gas springs first and if that doesn't work very well, I'll figure out
                                  > > a way to rig the counter weights!
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > <mailto:mill_drill%40yahoogroups.com>, "clumsysoftballerz"
                                  > > <mypersonalemailaccount@> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@
                                  > > 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be
                                  > > lucky than good.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > You can see the cement hanging in the corner
                                  > > >
                                  > > > http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg
                                  > > >
                                  > > > http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > <mailto:mill_drill%40yahoogroups.com>, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@> wrote:
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks
                                  > > for the suggestion :)
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > <mailto:mill_drill%40yahoogroups.com>, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                                  > > > > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch
                                  > > back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                                  > > > > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill,
                                  > > and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would
                                  > > surely take some strain off the motor.
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                                  > > > > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier
                                  > > is two
                                  > > > > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a
                                  > > corner.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > --
                                  > > > > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                                  > > > > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                                  > > > > > Skype: jerrydurand
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • Bob Headrick
                                  This is an old thread but the following might be helpful: Electronic Goldmine has these lifts on closeout for $2.95. They are rated at 80 lbs but the one I
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Apr 26, 2013

                                    This is an old thread but the following might be helpful:  Electronic Goldmine has these lifts on closeout for $2.95.  They are rated at 80 lbs but the one I tested is more like 55 lbs.  I plan to mount it in the column of my Big Red to aid changing the head height. 

                                     

                                    One end is a 10mm x 1mm nut, the other end can be removed leaving a 7mmx1.5mm thread.

                                     

                                    See http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17814

                                     

                                    Specs:  High pressure loaded hydropneumatic gas spring Lift-O-Matic by Stabilus. This compression spring has an extended length of 32" with an inner rod diameter of 8mm and an outer cylinder diameter of 18.25mm. The compression force is 360 newtons (80.9 lbs of force) and a stroke of 366 newtons (82.2 lbs of force). Stabilus part number is 7728UG. Brand New*. Sorry this item ships UPS ground (blue and red label services not available). *Has ball socket on one end and 3/8" female thraeding on piston end. We were told these were made for Mercedes SLR, however we don't know for sure.

                                     

                                    From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tiago_santos_vfx
                                    Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:23 PM
                                    To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: [mill_drill] Re: Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)

                                     

                                     

                                    Ah, that's awesome :)

                                    Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and I don't think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to hang that much weight from it. I can think of other ways to rig it, but might be more trouble than it's worth.. At $20 a pop, I'll try the gas springs first and if that doesn't work very well, I'll figure out a way to rig the counter weights!

                                    --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "clumsysoftballerz" <mypersonalemailaccount@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good.
                                    >
                                    > You can see the cement hanging in the corner
                                    >
                                    > http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg
                                    >
                                    > http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                                    > > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                                    > > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                                    > > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                                    > > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > --
                                    > > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                                    > > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                                    > > > Skype: jerrydurand
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >

                                    No virus found in this message.
                                    Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                    Version: 2012.0.2197 / Virus Database: 2437/5136 - Release Date: 07/16/12

                                  • Bill
                                    A great deal, Bob.... BUT.... The shipping is $18.95!!! Company policy. $21.90 for a strut is a bit pricey...............
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Apr 29, 2013
                                      A great deal, Bob.... BUT....
                                      The shipping is $18.95!!!  Company policy.
                                      $21.90 for a strut is a bit pricey...............


                                      On 4/26/2013 5:32 PM, Bob Headrick wrote:
                                       

                                      This is an old thread but the following might be helpful:  Electronic Goldmine has these lifts on closeout for $2.95.  They are rated at 80 lbs but the one I tested is more like 55 lbs.  I plan to mount it in the column of my Big Red to aid changing the head height. 

                                       

                                      One end is a 10mm x 1mm nut, the other end can be removed leaving a 7mmx1.5mm thread.

                                       

                                      See http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17814

                                       

                                      Specs:  High pressure loaded hydropneumatic gas spring Lift-O-Matic by Stabilus. This compression spring has an extended length of 32" with an inner rod diameter of 8mm and an outer cylinder diameter of 18.25mm. The compression force is 360 newtons (80.9 lbs of force) and a stroke of 366 newtons (82.2 lbs of force). Stabilus part number is 7728UG. Brand New*. Sorry this item ships UPS ground (blue and red label services not available). *Has ball socket on one end and 3/8" female thraeding on piston end. We were told these were made for Mercedes SLR, however we don't know for sure.

                                       

                                      From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tiago_santos_vfx
                                      Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:23 PM
                                      To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: [mill_drill] Re: Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)

                                       

                                       

                                      Ah, that's awesome :)

                                      Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and I don't think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to hang that much weight from it. I can think of other ways to rig it, but might be more trouble than it's worth.. At $20 a pop, I'll try the gas springs first and if that doesn't work very well, I'll figure out a way to rig the counter weights!

                                      --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "clumsysoftballerz" <mypersonalemailaccount@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good.
                                      >
                                      > You can see the cement hanging in the corner
                                      >
                                      > http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg
                                      >
                                      > http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                                      > > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                                      > > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                                      > > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                                      > > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > --
                                      > > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                                      > > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                                      > > > Skype: jerrydurand
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >

                                      No virus found in this message.
                                      Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                      Version: 2012.0.2197 / Virus Database: 2437/5136 - Release Date: 07/16/12


                                    • Bob Headrick
                                      I bought four and the shipping was still $18. Yes, it is a bummer that the shipping costs way more than the product. I did get one of these mounted in my Big
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Apr 29, 2013

                                        I bought four and the shipping was still $18.  Yes, it is a bummer that the shipping costs way more than the product.

                                         

                                        I did get one of these mounted in my Big Red to help is head positioning – I mounted it inside the column and while I was there I filled the column (except for a PVC pipe up the center) with hydraulic cement.   The strut helps a lot – now it is easy to raise and lower the head, even left handed.  Before it was a struggle.  (My case may have been more difficult as the stock motor was replaced with a heavy Baldor DC ¾ Hp motor.)

                                         

                                        -        Bob

                                         

                                        From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill
                                        Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 10:23 AM
                                        To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [mill_drill] Re: Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)

                                         

                                         

                                        A great deal, Bob.... BUT....
                                        The shipping is $18.95!!!  Company policy.
                                        $21.90 for a strut is a bit pricey...............


                                        On 4/26/2013 5:32 PM, Bob Headrick wrote:

                                         

                                        This is an old thread but the following might be helpful:  Electronic Goldmine has these lifts on closeout for $2.95.  They are rated at 80 lbs but the one I tested is more like 55 lbs.  I plan to mount it in the column of my Big Red to aid changing the head height. 

                                         

                                        One end is a 10mm x 1mm nut, the other end can be removed leaving a 7mmx1.5mm thread.

                                         

                                        See http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17814

                                         

                                        Specs:  High pressure loaded hydropneumatic gas spring Lift-O-Matic by Stabilus. This compression spring has an extended length of 32" with an inner rod diameter of 8mm and an outer cylinder diameter of 18.25mm. The compression force is 360 newtons (80.9 lbs of force) and a stroke of 366 newtons (82.2 lbs of force). Stabilus part number is 7728UG. Brand New*. Sorry this item ships UPS ground (blue and red label services not available). *Has ball socket on one end and 3/8" female thraeding on piston end. We were told these were made for Mercedes SLR, however we don't know for sure.

                                         

                                        From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tiago_santos_vfx
                                        Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:23 PM
                                        To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [mill_drill] Re: Mill drill CNC conversion (round column stuff, again)

                                         

                                         

                                        Ah, that's awesome :)

                                        Unfortunately the head on my RF-40 clone seems pretty darn heavy, and I don't think the frame of my garage is quite substantial enough to hang that much weight from it. I can think of other ways to rig it, but might be more trouble than it's worth.. At $20 a pop, I'll try the gas springs first and if that doesn't work very well, I'll figure out a way to rig the counter weights!

                                        --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "clumsysoftballerz" <mypersonalemailaccount@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Not a round column, but the idea is the same. weighed the head@ 105lb. Filled a bucket with cement ended up at 103lb. Better to be lucky than good.
                                        >
                                        > You can see the cement hanging in the corner
                                        >
                                        > http://www.imgur.com/DqSrL.jpeg
                                        >
                                        > http://www.imgur.com/6g7jB.jpeg
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "tiago_santos_vfx" <tiago@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Ah, never thought of that! That's even easier, definitely. Thanks for the suggestion :)
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, Jerry Durand <jdurand@> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > On 07/13/2012 08:44 AM, tiago_santos_vfx wrote:
                                        > > > >> If that's one of those strut things like they use on a hatch back, mini van type thing, that might work if you can find the right one.
                                        > > > > Yup, that's the idea! It works really well on the mini mill, and even if it doesn't support the entire weight of the head, it would surely take some strain off the motor.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Another possibility is just a cable and counterweight. If you were
                                        > > > tricky you could put a lead weight inside the column but easier is two
                                        > > > pulleys on the ceiling with the weight next to a wall or in a corner.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > --
                                        > > > Jerry Durand, Durand Interstellar, Inc. www.interstellar.com
                                        > > > tel: +1 408 356-3886, USA toll free: 1 866 356-3886
                                        > > > Skype: jerrydurand
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >

                                        No virus found in this message.
                                        Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                        Version: 2012.0.2197 / Virus Database: 2437/5136 - Release Date: 07/16/12

                                         

                                        No virus found in this message.
                                        Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                        Version: 2013.0.3272 / Virus Database: 3162/6283 - Release Date: 04/29/13

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