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  1. #1
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    HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Hi Folks,

    Thought I might start a build thread for my latest CNC project. I am splitting this one with my father, he is doing the mechanical side and I am doing the electrical side.

    The machine has been purchased, and my father is currently is well underway doing his stuff. I think he has nearly completed the x and y axis, but that is on hold for now due to some surgery. He is drawing up all the mechanical parts (progecad), and I am fairly sure he would be happy to post the drawings up for others. So hopefully I can get some files up here as well. I will try and get him to sign up to cnczone also, so perhaps he can answer questions on the mechanical and machining side. The old bugger is getting on now, in his 70's but he is still sharp as with the design/drafting/machining aspect of engineering. He might be slowing down physically, but he is still turning steel into chips at an alarming rate.


    I have yet to start the electrics/electronics, but so far I have acquired DMM Dyn2 servo's and controller (copying bits from this thread https://www.cnczone.com/forums/rf-45...52676-cnc.html). These are going to be driven by an Ethernet Smooth Stepper (aquired) plugged into a cnc-technics break out board (on order). I had initially planed to use a PMDX break out board, but after several unanswered emails with request to purchase I gave up on the idea. I am currently debating on weather to stick with Mach 3 (as used on my current cnc router) or upgrade to mach 4. I'll plan to start drawing up the schematics for the electrical side over the next 2 weeks so I know what other stuff I need to order.


    I dare say we wont get this completed till next year. I have about 2 months up my sleeve then I am overseas till the new year, but hopefully I can get some progress pics up soon.

  2. #2
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    didn't think this post worked. kept giving me error messges each time I tried!

  3. #3
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Mate I have a half arsed HM 47 conversion (in the sense that I have the electrics working but still running on the Acme lead screws).
    Surprisingly once you tighten things up they are quite accurate even with those.
    I have the ballscrews sitting in the shed ready to make up the mounts etc, it's a matter of time, there's not enough of it in the day.

    Keep us informed (might get me inspired to find time), PLENTY of pic's please :banana:
    There are 10 types of people in the world
    Those of us who get binary, and those who don't.

  4. #4
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Sneaky View Post
    Mate I have a half arsed HM 47 conversion (in the sense that I have the electrics working but still running on the Acme lead screws).
    Surprisingly once you tighten things up they are quite accurate even with those.
    I have the ballscrews sitting in the shed ready to make up the mounts etc, it's a matter of time, there's not enough of it in the day.
    Not sure what leadscrews the old man is using, He is still stuck in the hospital at the moment until they get his warfarin doses sorted. He is keen to get out and get back into it though. Off to see him tomorrow morn.

    I started drawing up the electrical diagrams last night. Still got parts on order so cant do much at the moment, but I figure if I start drawing it up I can work out what bits I am missing and still need to order.

    Whilst starting to draft it all up, I was forced to look at detail at the CNC-Technics BOB. There doco is poor. Looks like a good product, but there is not much info out there on it. I dont think I will have any issues figuring it out, but it would be nice to have some more solid info.

    Anyway, once the old man gets released from the sick person prison, I'll get a few pics of the progress.

  5. #5
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    The old man is out of hospital. Took a few quick snaps of the work he has done so far (he has since finished the X and Y axis). Unbeknownst to me, he has done the conversion in such a way that the Mill can sill be used manually! He has beaten me, I still have not received all the electronics/electrical yet!

    BOB Should turn up next week, so should be able to lay out all the electrical stuff and figure out what I still need. I am going to mount it on a piece of plywood for now, just to get it organised and let the old man do some tests. Hopefully by the end of next week I might be able to show x and y moving, but realistically is probably going to be 2 weeks away!

    Once I have all the electrical laid out I will either use an off the shelf box or design and fabricate my own if I cant find anything.

    Anyway, some quick progress pics of the old mans work when I was last at his place.




  6. #6
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Got going on my side. The last few days I have laid out the wiring and components on a piece of MDF. Plan is to wire it all up and test it then figure out what size box is needed.

    Started testing today, after a bit of probing with the multimeter and oscilloscope I have managed to get relays clicking, e-stops working and motors turning. Next stage is to tune the motors to the machine.

    I have to say, that I would not recommend the CNC-Technics Break out board. The board itself might be fine, but the documentation is atrocious. I am fortunate that I have background in electrics/electronics and industrial control plus some experience with Mach 3, because a new comer would really struggle with it. However you live and learn, and next time I know what to look out for.

    I'll post some pics up of the prototype cabinet tomorrow.

  7. #7
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Any more progress on this one? I am looking at converting the same machine

  8. #8
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by stuarttaylor00 View Post
    Any more progress on this one? I am looking at converting the same machine
    Yeah, all the engineering has been done. Just waiting on me to finish up the electronics side.

    Just need some spare time.

  9. #9

    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearo View Post
    Hi Folks,

    Thought I might start a build thread for my latest CNC project. I am splitting this one with my father, he is doing the mechanical side and I am doing the electrical side.

    The machine has been purchased, and my father is currently is well underway doing his stuff. I think he has nearly completed the x and y axis, but that is on hold for now due to some surgery. He is drawing up all the mechanical parts (progecad), and I am fairly sure he would be happy to post the drawings up for others. So hopefully I can get some files up here as well. I will try and get him to sign up to cnczone also, so perhaps he can answer questions on the mechanical and machining side. The old bugger is getting on now, in his 70's but he is still sharp as with the design/drafting/machining aspect of engineering. He might be slowing down physically, but he is still turning steel into chips at an alarming rate.


    I have yet to start the electrics/electronics, but so far I have acquired DMM Dyn2 servo's and controller (copying bits from this thread https://www.cnczone.com/forums/rf-45...52676-cnc.html). These are going to be driven by an Ethernet Smooth Stepper (aquired) plugged into a cnc-technics break out board (on order). I had initially planed to use a PMDX break out board, but after several unanswered emails with request to purchase I gave up on the idea. I am currently debating on weather to stick with Mach 3 (as used on my current cnc router) or upgrade to mach 4. I'll plan to start drawing up the schematics for the electrical side over the next 2 weeks so I know what other stuff I need to order.


    I dare say we wont get this completed till next year. I have about 2 months up my sleeve then I am overseas till the new year, but hopefully I can get some progress pics up soon.
    Really nice to have this work done by father and son, maybe I should built one with my kid when he grow up, that would be a great experience.
    http://cncmakers.com/cnc/controllers/CNC_Controller_System/CNC_Retrofit_Package.html

  10. #10
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by stuarttaylor00 View Post
    Any more progress on this one? I am looking at converting the same machine
    Dont. This looks like a total disaster of a machine to cnc. BTW The picture below is using the old lead screw which is a complete waste of time..

  11. #11
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Its a well documented conversion, done give up yet.
    If you are stuck with a pile of parts i will make a descent offer if you are close to Melbourne.
    One approach is to convert X and Y first, mill up the blocks using the machine itself, if you get stuck halfway you could bolt a compound table where the X and Y was to get you through the final details.
    After the Z axis will be much easier to fathom, Z being the most difficult.
    Wisdom results from foolishness!

  12. #12
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenji View Post
    Its a well documented conversion, done give up yet.
    If you are stuck with a pile of parts i will make a descent offer if you are close to Melbourne.
    One approach is to convert X and Y first, mill up the blocks using the machine itself, if you get stuck halfway you could bolt a compound table where the X and Y was to get you through the final details.
    After the Z axis will be much easier to fathom, Z being the most difficult.
    Might be well documented but why waste money on junk in the first place?? To make junk into something decent you will spend more money than just going and buying something decent in the first place. And you will never get it back. Home built CNC never sell for even half of what the owners spend.
    As a CNC machine this conversion has so many limitations, including a useless spindle speed of 1600 and a 3MT.. it's a waist of time. You can buy a simular capacity machine, fully cnc'd for 8K off Alibaba

  13. #13
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by FastFarmer View Post
    Might be well documented but why waste money on junk in the first place?? To make junk into something decent you will spend more money than just going and buying something decent in the first place. And you will never get it back. Home built CNC never sell for even half of what the owners spend.
    As a CNC machine this conversion has so many limitations, including a useless spindle speed of 1600 and a 3MT.. it's a waist of time. You can buy a simular capacity machine, fully cnc'd for 8K off Alibaba

    BTW, its not using the original lead screws.


    This machine has come in at well under 8K. Our investment so fare is probably half that. Given my old man is an old retired mech engineer, and I am an instrument tech its only our spare time that its costing us now. Spindle is also going to be replaced at some point with a second had motor and VFD I have acquired for nothing. Its been a fun build so far, and its nearly done. I am just hunting down a second hand enclosure for the electronics now, as I am to tight to spend the $200 on a new one!

    Sure, an 8k chinese machine might be better than what we have built. You are probably going to have to spend a few dollars on it anyway to make it work as designed. And I would put bets on you not getting your money back on you Chinese 8k investment either.

  14. #14
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Yep Farmer is rite I have a HM -45 all I could afford 15 years ago i think it's slides and slide ways are not that accurate at all the head weight is a heap and there is really no scope to play with . I did ponder on a conversion for a short while then thought lineal slides added up subtracted the pain and thought no not for me ,I have seen some great builds but they threw a truck load of dollars at them .I always liked the look of a 5 th axis old man dreams i guess I wish you luck on the build .

  15. #15
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by InMesh View Post
    Yep Farmer is rite
    You are both wrong.

    cncmakers001 hit the nail on the head. Even though we are way, WAY under the price that Farmer is talking about, money is not everything.


    Its taking longer than I thought, but that is all because of me. I am basically working 2 jobs, my own business and working for another company. Decided this week I am going to fork out the coin for the new enclosure, so as soon as I need to place an order for paid job I will buy one (so tight I am going to use a paid job to cover the shipping!!!)

    Maybe in the mean time I should post my 'Panel Porn', I.E. paid automation control panel builds!

  16. #16
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    HM47 is not considered junk, go to the Adelaide supplier on fleabay selling the copies for $1650 in metallic green.
    Now that is a piece of crap, he hardly sells those things i bet. Hareforbes sell a pretty good thing, compare machine weights, its over 400kg, fleabay junk not anywhere near the mass.
    Wisdom results from foolishness!

  17. #17
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    Re: HAFCO HM-47 (RF-47) CNC Conversion

    Don't get me wrong I built all my cnc and many other machines for the Pharmer and food Industry on it .But is is inaccurate and sloppy as I learnt my trade on well used equipment and I can work around most crappy machines .If I were to do this I would as others have use nothing less than lineal slides , as I said have fun enjoy .

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