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Not bad, except I machined through in a couple of places!

VMC was doing nothing much last night so I let it run through the night.   My slow! 6000rpm spindle meant the feedrates had to be kept down with a 1mm dia ballnose.

Subject is Devo's Bob Mothersbaugh wearing my other handiwork on his head!


General Mach Discussion / Mach3Turn
« on: April 03, 2008, 05:35:19 PM »
Greetings folks, sorry been away from all this for a while to deal with family stuff.

Anyway, any pointers to resources on Machturn.   Much of it seems to be undocumented?  or at least I struggle to find the information.

Until now my mach usage has been the VMC, but the other projects are coming along again, and soon will be time for testing.

So any pointers to information regarding turning cycles supported in Mach Turn would be approciated.   The online manual shows quite a few blank pages for me.


Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Another Mad Project!
« on: October 06, 2007, 05:23:44 PM »

Well typical of me to start another couple of projects before I got the other big ones finished, but hell I need to amuse myself!

Sometime ago I picked up a few Boxford TCL125 training lathes being sold out of a local School.   Needless to say I bought the lot, just to save for a rainy day ;)

I was intending to build a couple of bespoke machines for a job which never materialised.   But lately had a couple more ideas.

Only one of the machines rill ran, and all of them had been vandalised by the schoolkids to some extent.   They were all a bit rusty too.

So this week I pulled one apart, and started modifying the carcase of the machine to allow for some useful swarf (chip) management.  ie, cut a bloody great hole in the bottom!  I will build a custom stand to sit the machine on.

I also removed the bed and cleaned it up, and have temporarily bolted it to a MDF board for testing.   Steppers have gone, and in their place a couple of DC brushed servos.  With The new Leadshine servo drives running them.   These drives run great, and although a naughty Gecko ripoff, they have been redesigned and I fear now they may just be a better product  :o

At the moment running on the original stepper brackets and belts/pullies.   The x axis motor will be swung over to the right on an angled mount later on to make room for a gang too platen on the crosslide.   Both motors/encoders will be protected one way or another.

But this hashed up test works damn well.   The little machine rips along with 5000mm/min (196") rapids.

Many things to do but a good start and if it goes well the others will get the same treatment.


Screen designer tips and tutorials / DRO Format strings?
« on: May 07, 2007, 07:43:00 AM »
Is there anywhere an explaination of the DRO format strings?

e.g %+.4f for the Axis DRO's   4f = 4 places decimal Float???

Spindle speed %2.0f   Zero places decimal, what does the 2 signify?

etc etc

Just i'm getting some weird results in some cases.


Mach Screens / Any MOUSELESS screens out there?
« on: May 04, 2007, 05:54:24 PM »
Just starting to look into "attempting" a completely mouseless screenset and before I go too far has anyone else done this for setups also without a touchscreen.

I by far prefer the  simple user interfaces of industrial controls, which normally make heavy use of softkeys.

Softkeys are fairly easy to implement in Mach with the use of a keyboard encoder such as the I-PAC's or Xkeys.

One thing I thought might be a stumbling block is the direct entry of values into Axis DRO's without a mouse click.

I tonight made a button which could easily be alligned with a softkey and have an associated hotkey to select it.  This button has the script

x = Question ("Enter New X Value")
Call setoemdro(800,x)

In it. this as expected will set the DRO ok, but has a couple of limitations.  1. being for various reasons ie pressing the button twice might make the box NOT the window taking keyboard input.  ALT-Tabbing back is a PITA.

I don't like the "Answer This" title!!   Sounds kind of out of place, and brutally generic!....  Something like "User Input Required" might fit in a CNC scenareo better.

I guess it's possible to code a new dialogue box routine long hand.

There are hotkeys associated with the axis DRO's already ie X axis seems to be scancode 32856   I have no idea what key combination that is, and it seems that in screen designer that hotkey is locked?

FOUND THAT ONE CTRL X, shame the I-PAC can't do those control keys.

Anyway and others here like to discuss true mouseless screen setup?   


General Mach Discussion / Mach and External Motion control devices
« on: March 31, 2007, 02:25:05 PM »
Art, Brian

Not sure where to put this or if there's already a thread on the subject.

Particularly interested in what status the work done on the Galil cards and even the Deltatau card is at this time?

I mentioned in one of the threads here the soon to be available Leadshine card from China, I now have the preliminary programming docs for that device if you are interested.

Any interest in the Passive boards now supported by EMC2?   like the

http://www.vitalsystem.com/web/motion/motion100.php and


Plus the others.


VB and the development of wizards / Available serial commands?
« on: December 29, 2006, 06:59:33 PM »
Any of the Mach VB guru's know if Mach can now recieve data on the rs232 port?

I know it's possible to send with SendSerial command, but did Rx ever get implemented?


OK Winters come, well at leasy here it has ;)

Lets see more of your machines, and the bigger the better.

I need inspiration to get my ass back in gear!

and if there's some fit girlies with cnc's I wanna know about it hehe......


Hi all...

Just started to pick up where I left off with the Bigger Hardinge I bought sometime ago.

This machine was really only bought due to it's 16C spindle.   I already have another Hardinge with 5C spindle, and got fed up with having to do certain jobs on the centre lathe.   I really wanted a 16c CHNC but one wasn't available when the money was burning holes in my pocket.  I have kicked my for years for turning down 2 CHNC's about 10 years ago which I could of had for 200 UKP the pair!  At the time I didn't have the room.

Machine had some damage to the original Siemens control, but otherwise was fairly good.

Whats really nice about these machines is they were only ever designed to run with neat cutting oil, therefore the ways are generally in very good order.  Also they are incredibly rigid.

Here's a couple pics of the machine as it is...


Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Waynes Leadwell VMC Retrofit
« on: May 11, 2006, 06:30:57 PM »
Here's a serious one!

This machine I purchased last year with a few faults.   In other words Cheap as chips;)

1992 Leadwell GMC350 VMC, with 8 station BT30 toolchanger, 6k spindle.  Nice small machine.

After a while the Spindle drive totally failed, so it was time to rip out it's heart and give it a new life.

Spindle drive was very proprietry to the Meldas control and was not simply a case of putting in any old VFD.   The meldas control is totally digital ie no 0-10v analogue signals, even for the servo drives.

After struggling to find suitable drives for the Servo's I gave in and fitted Steppers, at least for the time being. minimising downtime was critical as I use my machines for my business.

This has been fairly successful so far. although the rapids are about half what they used to be.  I can just get 200"min the original servos did a fair bit more.

At present all the main enclosures are off and being repainted.

When refitted I can run the machine again, although until I've developed my ATC controller it will be manual toolchanges for a short time.

If there's any interest I'll post a few more pics as I go through it all..


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