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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Benchtop Machines > Info on Compact 5 CNC Lathe
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Info on Compact 5 CNC Lathe

    I would like to know a few facts about the EMCO Compact 5 CNC Lathe, which is a desktop, "teaching" lathe commonly found in tech schools, etc.
    First is how powerful is the spindle motor? What is the size of the bore thru the spindle? Will it cut accurate threads? Are they easy to operate, as one would expect from a "teaching" machine, or best when retrofitted to a computer-based control system? What kind of price should I expect to pay for a usable one in reasonable condition?
    In addition to the Compact 5, does anyone know of a small CNC lathe that can handle about 1" thru the spindle bore and cut threads in steel?
    If anyone can answer any of these questions, I would appreciate it.
    Thanks, Fred

  2. #2
    there's a spec sheet on this page (in spanish) for the Compact 5, Emco doesn't give much info but a link to Welsoft upgrades.
    If you need the manual, it's available here.
    The Grizzly 10x22 is the smallest lathe with a 1 inch spindle bore and cuts steel easily, you would have to cnc it.
    http://www.hossmachine.info - Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here. - Roy Batty -- http://www.g0704.com - http://www.bf20.com - http://www.g0602.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Good Yahoo group

    There is a very good yahoo group for these machines, with a lot of files for download.

    he machine can receive files from a PC via serial connection. there is a very good G-code editing software available free, with current updates.

    As to spindle bore, it's pretty small. The spindle taper is MT2

    These go for up to $2500 for like-new, with all accessories.
    Accessories to look for include the turret tool changer, milling column (pretty useless), collet chuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    emco compact 5 cnc

    Whell the emco lathe is a fun and small machine. it certainly cannot have 1 inch throught the spindle. It has a morse taper 2 in the main spindle.

    It does thread nicely but due to the sow traverse speed and the lack of power in low rpm.s its not entirely possible to make threads larger than 1mm lead..

    I also have a compact 5 cnc and i'm almost ready retrofitting it to mach 3.

    see this: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xbKiMLeRkw"]YouTube - EMCO COMPACT5 cnc lathe monster retrofit mach3 first time running ![/ame]

    I changed virtually everything on the machine... new steppers, new spindle motor, pulleys, all electronics etc... I just kept the metal base and plating..
    I even fitted an angle contact bearing in the front of the spindle..

    I found that converting it to mach 3 it has become a more useful and easy to use machine..

    I did not like the old controll with the tape deck... originally it does not have end switches which i think is a neccesity to have ...

    It still is a small machine so dont expect wonders, but the performance of my machine has improved 200 %..

    I can even turn manually with the 2 MPG handwheels in the front..

    So if you have one considder retrofitting it...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Help Me!!

    I write you for help, I want to update a compact 5 cnc lathe, to establish RS232 communication with mach3 software, I see that you already have done and I would like to know if you can share files and development material.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Re: Help Me!!

    Did you ever make the conversion/update to run MACH3?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Help Me!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Willywonka321 View Post
    Did you ever make the conversion/update to run MACH3?
    I've converted an EMCO Compact 5 to run Linuxcnc. It could have been Mach3 but I prefer LinuxCNC (free and updated - works well with my lathe and mill).
    The original steppers can be replaced with Nema 23 motors - no new adapters needed, they bolt right up (you do need longer M4 screws). I did reuse the original motor pulleys so I had to drill a cross hole in the shaft of the stepper motors to handle that but its easy enough to do.
    Added limit switches to it so it can home and changed the tool changer motor from a DC motor to a stepper as well (Nema 17).
    I tried to reuse the original spindle encoder but it wouldn't work with my electronics so I made my own pickup (reused the original 100 slot disk)

    I'll try and get some photos but I need to decluter first...


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Re: Info on Compact 5 CNC Lathe

    I know this is an old thread, I just picked up an Emco Compact 5 CNC lathe and want to convert it MACH3 or LinuxCNC, can anyone share there steps and advise pls?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Info on Compact 5 CNC Lathe

    I keep meaning to do a proper write up on my conversion but never spend the required time.

    The quick description is:

    I replaced everything electrical except the spindle motor itself. I got a new AC to DC motor power and speed control.
    I replaced the stepper motors with new nema 21 stepper motors - they bolt into place without modifications. This gives the machine more power on the axes over the original stepper motors.

    I used cheap stepper motor drivers but even slightly more capable drivers are available today for relatively little $ . In my case the cheap ones (TB6600's like these https://www.amazon.ca/TB6600-Stepper...7B9ZQF5D&psc=1 ) have been working fine, haven't toasted one yet.

    The place I spent a bit more money was on the interface between the PC and the machine. I bought a Mesa 7i76e card 7I76E picture, which is an ethernet connected card that does the step generation on board and is compatible with Linuxcnc (which is free). This card is awesome (no affiliation, just happy!), I have one on my mill as well which was also a deciding factor (familiarity - I only need to learn one "ecosystem"). I choose it as I can easily connect a newer PC without touching the machine, and its not a PC card like PCIE or similar so no PC obsolescence issues there - wired Ethernet looks to have a fairly long life ahead of it, and finding a surplus PC that runs LinuxCNC well is getting easier.

    I did spend a good amount of time on the tool changer, but that is due to my choosing to use a stepper motor to replace the DC motor that was on it originally. It actually an ongoing issue as I haven't spent any real time trying to sort it out. I could probably figure it out if I would just set my mind to it instead of choosing to go have a beer instead and read forums:cheers:

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