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Author Topic: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT  (Read 30703 times)

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BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« on: January 12, 2010, 09:30:30 PM »
Hello,
I am new to this so please excuse my ignorance, I am a newb.  I work in a production shop that currently uses 6 bridgeport boss 6 mills none are which are cnc, just nc. There is a series 2 boss 6 that is not working just used to maintance the other boss 5 for parts or boards.  The boss 5's run great for the high volume of work that we do for powdered metal parts which we just drill holes here do a little milling there. The only complaint is on a weekly basis an axis might go and we will have to stop production to repair the axis.  So reading this forum for about 2 weeks now i am interested to convert the series 2 boss 6 into cnc.  After retrofitted I will run the machine in production myself to learn all the pros and cons. If it goes great I plan to convert the other boss 5's in the same manner.

I would like out of all this:
- A more reliable machine
- Finer positioning and smoother motion
- Upgradeable to 4 axis's (rotary table)
- More speed in the rapids, but the same performance as the Boss control will do just fine
- A way to adjust the spindle speed via G-code instead of manually
- Control of coolant, by a M9
- Limits and home microswitches to cut the motor
- Smaller footprint

I plan to use:
- Mach 3 Mill
-Geckodrives (G540 or 3 G203V)
-BOB from CNC4PC (C11 G)
-PC (w/ Touch Screen LCD), if the touch screen lcd proves to be overkill it will be eliminated for the boss 5's
-The original Iron from the mill, along with the table, stock stepper motors, and spindle motor

Lastly I will get a power supply and fuses after I find the major parts for control of motors and misc devices

Am I in the right direction as far as parts go or does anybody else recomend trying something different?

I understand that the G540 is 4 axis and also a BOB, but can it control also coolant and a vfd for the spindle?

Is there a way to rigid tap (G84)?

I will also continue to read the forum to help better educate myself

Any guidance in this project, would be great.

Thanks for reading My post,
                                        Joe

Offline Hood

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Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 04:34:04 AM »
The G540 will I think be far too small for your motors, even the G203 will likely be on the small side for the old Bridgeport steppers but a few people do use them. Might be wise to look at getting modern motors but that will more than likely mean you would have to make up new mounts and possibly even shaft extensions.

 I have done a BOSS 6.1 series one Bridgeport and its been working well for about 4 or 5 years.

You are not going to be able to do rigid tapping unless you convert to a servo spindle  but semi rigid with a floating holder is possible with a normal induction motor with VFD control and thread milling can be done with any spindle setup.

Hood
Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 06:48:06 AM »
Thanks for the reply

- As far as the motor drives go, what do you mean as " too small for the motors"

Offline Hood

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Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 12:04:15 PM »
The current rating and voltage of the G540 will be too small for the big steppers that a Bridgeport will have, the G540 is only 3.5Amps and 50v Max.
Hood
Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 07:01:35 AM »
I see that on this forum as well as the cnczone that alot of people are retrofitting using the geckodrives.  I also noticed a post on the cnczone that someone posted that the boss 5 stepper motors are around 8 Amp. The largest geckodrive supports 7A and 80VDC. Is there other drives that satisfy the big steppers in the BP that anyone has tried succesfully. I would be using this as a production machine and not a hobby machine. Thanks

Offline Hood

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Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 07:07:59 AM »
Some of the Leadshine drives are 9 amp but to me your best bet would be to get new steppers and use G202/G203.
Well actually your best bet would be to upgrade to servos.
Hood

Offline zarzul

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Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 12:55:09 PM »
A lot will depend on your budget. 
How much can you afford to spend on your upgrade?
Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 08:31:52 PM »

I hope I could use the original steppers and spindle motor, because their are 6 boss 5's that I would like to convert over if the boss 6 seems to be more reliable and accurate.

I hope I could get the same rapids and feed as the old control

These would be used for high production such as a continious loop of drilling cycles and small milling passes.

As hood mentioned before the old steppers need more amperage than what the geckodrives have (7A 80VDC)

Basically, I want the same capabilities that the boss 5 controll offers already but I just want them more relaible such as when someone is running them in the middle of the night I don't get a phone call saying that an axis went out, which would require me to go down and fix it.

So as cheap as possible with respect to reliability and speed I was hoping maybe a 1000, which would not include the cost of a PC and Mach3

I have read that some people kept the power supply that the bridgeport already had but maybe modded it a bit





Offline Hood

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Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 02:49:17 PM »
What rapids do you get at the moment?
Any gearing between motor and screw?
Is the spindle controlled from the control or is it totally manual?

I did a series 1 boss 6.1 (see pic) with new motors, geckos, PMDX breakout  and made a power supply and it was probably less than $1000, was a few years ago so I dont remember exactly but steppers and drives are now cheaper.
Hood
Re: BRIDGEPORT SERIES II CNC MILL W/ BOSS 6 CONTROL RETROFIT
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 08:20:21 PM »
I have not done any retrofitting yet still in the process of selecting components for the build.
The rapids would be whatever it was originally stocked with
Gearing would also be what it was originally stocked with 2:1
Manual spindle
Hood do you have steppers and what rapid do you get with reliability
Also beautiful job on the 6.1, Wow
Would of you considered or did anything different to your conversion
thanks