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Author Topic: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC  (Read 12162 times)

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Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« on: December 31, 2011, 05:29:51 AM »
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Hi All

I thought before the year ends i would post some details of my CNC mill.
See the standard YouTube video here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpSji_Dqftw&feature=youtu.be

A bit about the machine:

It is based on an old Taylor Hobson engraving machine, the type with the big pantograph sat on the top. The reason for using this is simple, I was given it for free and it was in excellent condition.

I removed the pantograph and made some brackets to fit a spindle head from here
http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=1663
I bought it a while ago when the dollar to Sterling exchange rate was good.

I originally planned to use it as a manual machine so fitted a DRO with glass slides (it proved very handy when setting up the CNC side) I bought it direct from China from one of my suppliers and is very impressive and has loads of functionality.
You may notice the square plastic drain pipe swarf guards over the glass slide.

Having already been aware of mach3 software I very quickly decided to take the plunge and convert it to CNC so I contacted Lester at MEDW and bought one of his ‘Mach in a box’ systems, see here http://medw.co.uk/wiki/?page=Mach-in-a-box
I bought the power supplies, break out boards, motor drivers and motors from Lester as well.

The break out boards are Lester own design but the motors and drivers are these.
http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Stepper-Motors

I found it all very easy to set up and Lester was very helpful and good in addressing any problems.

I also bought a breakout boards, motors and drivers for my lathe but I have not finished that yet. There is also a rotary axis for the mill that I bought from Arc Euro trade
http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Workholding/Rotary-Tables

It has been great fun building it and I have been able to do paid work on it as well.

There is still some additional wiring I want to do on it and I may do a completely new electrical cabinet for it. The electronics are presently mounted in a steel medicine cabinet (a free salvage item) and the cabinet is mounted on the wall above the machine. I really need to move the screen to a lower level as it is difficult to look at the machine and the screen without getting a sore neck.

I am hanging back on making any major changes to it at the moment as the Taylor Hobson machine has some limitation, which may persuade me to build my own mechanical slide ways etc.

First the Y axis is very short with only about 60mm of useful travel, secondly the slide way are not good for continuous movement. The way the original machine was used was to move the table to just present the work piece and then lock it in position and do all the movement with the pantograph. Basically the slide ways have to be left slack or they bind. This could be improved by scraping the slide ways in but I am starting to think it may not be worth the effort because of the limited Y axis travel.

Anyway I thought I might share it with you.

Brian

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2011, 06:05:10 AM »
Thanks for sharing Brian, that's great work you have done.
How does the glass scale dro's compare with the Mach dro's - are there any small discrepancies of position ??

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 06:32:48 AM »
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Thanks for the kind words Tweakie :)

On the whole the Mach readout compares well with the glass slides, however when I was setting up there was a problem with the Z axis where it was gaining steps like mad; traced to a faulty motor driver. The glass slide DRO help to very quickly sort the problem.

Generally speaking as long as the backlash figures are correctly entered into the Mach3 set-up they both tie up very well. The do, however work in a different way. because the glass slides are bolted directly to the tables backlash does not affect the readings but backlash does affect the reading on the Mach3 readout.

Brian

Offline budman68

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Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 09:48:59 AM »
Thanks for sharing, Brian, I actually almost did the same thing as I had an opportunity to grab one of those engraving machines, but waited too long to make up my mind and lost out on it.

Dave
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Just because I'm a Global Moderator, don't assume that I know anything !

Dave->    ;)
Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 04:05:48 AM »
Glad to see other people also getting new life into old machines.
I am busy with a WADKIN CNC retrofitting it with MODERN guts.
I was wondering if it is possible to get my Mach3 PROFILE start automatically when the computer is started.
Thank's

Offline Hood

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Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 04:40:39 AM »
Brian
 Might be possible to extend the Y and use linear rails? Often they come up on eBay at reasonable prices.

woody1
Yes, I do that on my machines, all you do is drag your shortcut to Start, then All Programmes then Startup and then drop it in the wee popup that appears.
If you dont have a shortcut on your desktop then you will have to create one.
Alternatively you could copy the shortcut and browse to the startup folder and paste it, the location will be C:\Documents and Settings\Hood\Start Menu\Programs\Startup  obviously yours wont be Hood but rather whatever your name is in your windows profile.
Next time you start the computer windows will load as normal and then Mach will open.
Hood
Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 05:06:58 AM »
Thank's Hood.  I can get the Mach3 Loader shortcut into the STARTUP and when it reboots it comes up with the Session Profile where I must select my profile.  I don't know how to make a shortcut to get me directly to the profile that I want to run.  Is this possible.  Thank's
Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 05:29:17 AM »
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Yes Hood, I think that is the logical way to go. I am also looking at replacing the whole table with the 3 axis using slides. i will try and collect some rails first.

Hi Woody1. looks like quite a beast, are the bars on the window to stop it escaping :)

Here is a picture of my machine as I got it.

Brian
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 05:30:58 AM by bwprice100 »
Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2012, 05:39:52 AM »
 ;D Ha ha Brian, I live in South Africa.  Normal people stay INSIDE their own jails and the bad people roam the street.
Re: Taylor Hobson engraving machine converted to CNC
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 06:05:25 AM »
;D Ha ha Brian, I live in South Africa.  Normal people stay INSIDE their own jails and the bad people roam the street.

Hoe gaan dit met jou

We lived in Vanderbijlpark for 4 1/2 years in the early 80s so fully understand. :)

Brian