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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > DIY CNC Router Table Machines > Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??
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  1. #1
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    Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    Does anyone know of or have any insight into a conversion kit for wood lathes or any manufacturers of a small desktop wood CNC lathes?

    Trying to help a buddy who's looking...

    Thanks.

    Adam,
    Gecko G540, Rack and Pinion Drives-X and A axis, 1/2-10 5 Start Acme-Z Axis
    4-THK HSR 25 Linear Slides, KL23H2100-35-4B, Power Supply-KL-600-48 48V

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    Gary Campbell from GCNC has done some wood lathe conversions.
    I've never seen any kits.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    Thanks Gerry for the info. I'll look into it. Most of what I''m finding are for metal work not wood work.

    Do you have any suggestion on custom machine shop work, like for a spindle screw? He's got an old Delta that has a bad spindle screw in it just curious if there was anyone he could turn to and have one made, its a discontinued part?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Adam,
    Gecko G540, Rack and Pinion Drives-X and A axis, 1/2-10 5 Start Acme-Z Axis
    4-THK HSR 25 Linear Slides, KL23H2100-35-4B, Power Supply-KL-600-48 48V

  4. #4
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    How would a CNC'd wood lathe work? Manual ones give you a rest on which you hold a chisel-like turning tool; all the lathe does is spin. So what would you be automating, exactly? If you're talking about fitting it with a tool post that's moved in and out and sideways on slides by leadscrews, then you're turning it into a metal lathe, so why not just start with one of those in the first place?
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  5. #5
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    How would a CNC'd wood lathe work? Manual ones give you a rest on which you hold a chisel-like turning tool; all the lathe does is spin. So what would you be automating, exactly? If you're talking about fitting it with a tool post that's moved in and out and sideways on slides by leadscrews, then you're turning it into a metal lathe, so why not just start with one of those in the first place?
    You are correct, I believe that is the goal of this project to allow production runs and copying of products with limit user intervention.
    Gecko G540, Rack and Pinion Drives-X and A axis, 1/2-10 5 Start Acme-Z Axis
    4-THK HSR 25 Linear Slides, KL23H2100-35-4B, Power Supply-KL-600-48 48V

  6. #6
    Neuer Benutzer
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    This is something I've been looking in to for a while.

    People are always telling me to just start with a metal lathe. There area few reasons I don't like this idea. the main reason is the spindle speed, you normally use much higher rpms for wood than you do metal. The metal lathe are generally overbuilt for wood. You can easily buy the wood lathe, and parts to make it CNC for the cost of a a metal lathe with the same capacity. Then you still have to buy most of the same parts to make it CNC.

    I think Gary Campbells designs are good (Great actually). I need a 28" capacity, and am planning on converting my current lathe when I have time (I retire in 15 years so maybe I'll have time then)

    I am going to mount the rails to the lathe bed (X), I will have to have part of the tailstock milled out, so the tailstock still works on the bed like it currently does. Put a Y axis on the X, I will mount a t-slot plate to the Y. Then I can clamp the different tooling to the t-slot plate. I may make a tower that holds multiple tools that is a Z axis as well.

  7. #7
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    This project is actually for my buddy that I'm trying to help out since I already have a CNC. Although, a lathe is not the same by far...

    While doing some research I did find some pictures of interest.

    The following picture seems like the concept we'll try to follow.

    Attachment 445828

    This might still allow for conventional turning if he doesn't want to use the CNC portion.. time will tell if we can get it implemented but I'm pretty sure we can.

    Adam,
    Gecko G540, Rack and Pinion Drives-X and A axis, 1/2-10 5 Start Acme-Z Axis
    4-THK HSR 25 Linear Slides, KL23H2100-35-4B, Power Supply-KL-600-48 48V

  8. #8
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    That looks interesting. I haven't seen that one yet.

    It looks like it has one issue that I have been trying to figure out. He is using 2 motors, 1 for high speed turning, and one for positioning. I want my machine to be able to do both. The problem is if you spin the stepper at high speeds you will generate electricity and back feed the power into circuit board. At positioning speeds using the stepper this isn't a problem for the high speed motor. If you use a stepper or servo for high speed, you can get speeds high enough for turning, but you will have to sacrifice positional accuracy.

    Teknic makes a motor powerful enough, spins fast enough, and maintains positional accuracy. But it's $1600.

    So that has been the main thing holding me up. is how to handle high speeds for turning, and position at low speeds for detail work.

  9. #9
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    So that has been the main thing holding me up. is how to handle high speeds for turning, and position at low speeds for detail work.

    Use a big AC servo for the spindle.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  10. #10
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    Hello.

    Check the following page. You may get some ideas there.

    https://openbuilds.com/

    Regards.

  11. #11
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    Re: Conversion kits for Wood lathe to CNC??

    Define small My rose engine has a swing of 8" (spindle to bed) and is fully automated. Rose engines are similar to plain lathes, but the headstock can move side to side (X axis) and sometimes back and forth on the Z axis as well. Spindle speeds are slow, usually around 1 rpm when cutting. The various cutter types run around 10,000 rpm and are driven with an overhead belt.

    I see no reason why you couldn't adapt a stepper motor to the lathe's spindle (It's been done quite a few times) and build a cross slide with linear slides driven with steppers. I designed a controller board which uses a Teensy microprocessor and wrote the software to run it. It would be easier to use a computer and run LinuxCNC.

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