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IndustryArena Forum > Metalworking Machines > Benchtop Machines > Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?
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  1. #13
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    Total newbie comment...

    I understand stiffening will give you better precision when dealing with harder material or taking deep cuts.

    Is there a reason to take deeper cuts at once other than the time savings? Lots of passes would get the same job done right?

    Sorry I'm brand new to this and I'm trying to evaluate if I want to stiffen my x2 for some future project that may need it.

  2. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodeMonkeyDan View Post
    Total newbie comment...

    I understand stiffening will give you better precision when dealing with harder material or taking deep cuts.

    Is there a reason to take deeper cuts at once other than the time savings? Lots of passes would get the same job done right?

    Sorry I'm brand new to this and I'm trying to evaluate if I want to stiffen my x2 for some future project that may need it.

    Lets back it way up to the factory machine and go from there,

    In stock from, a X-2 is motor output hobbled so it will not blow the plastic gears (350 watts_. Even in this state, there is a lot of flex of the column to the base, and this will present problems with chatting cuts even in light cuts .

    Once you blow your first set of gears (happened to me just by the head dropping down on it's own on a cut to crash the machine), then you will belt drive the machine instead. At the same time to prevent a crash again, time to rethink the spring assist on the machine, and in my case, added the air assist in conjunction to the spring assist, so if the head does wander, it going to do so up, instead of down and crash the machine again.

    Now that you have the belt drive, no more reason to hobble the motor to less than full output, and a quick motor control board swap solve that for around $20 (now motor can put out the 495 watts is rated at, hence 110v at 4.5 amps, instead of the 90V at 3.8 amps the factory has it set at).
    Note: the SX-2 is rated at 500 watts, but since it's a VFD drive, the question comes down to if the X-2 motor unleashed full speed has more torque mid speed in low belt setting, then the SX-2 has at the same speed? All I know is with the motor not hobbled any more, it a whole new animal from what you start with (if you get the machine solid enough to use the new found power).

    Now at this point, if you though that the flex in the column to base support was causing bad chatter cut problems before, it going to be out of hand with the motor putting out full power that you can put down to the work piece.

    So, yes, out the gate, you want to stiffen the column to base support first thing, and depending on the amount of power that you are looking to upgrade the machine in the end (even if to just de-hobble the motor it so it puts out full power), then think about stiffening the column as well. Even to add here, lapping in the saddles when cleaning up the machine before using it does wonders as well, , Hence if you have to leave the gibs on loose side to prevent binding of the axis, then this slop compounds the problem with a lot of chatter in the cuts as well.

    So to short bus it, you have a cutter on one end, and a work piece on the other end of the math. The more solid the two are retained together as a unit, the smoother and more precise the cuts will be in the end.

    And as for 10 finish cuts, verses one rough cut to do the same, up to you in the end, but kind of a waste in the end.

  3. #15
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    Plus your arm would be sore.

  4. #16
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    Actually the SX2 should be "big" enough for what I want to do (and due to size and weight constraints, i.e., mobility constraints, it is all I can reasonably have right now), I just don't want it with any "major", if possible.

    I knew before I bought it that it had some "issues" - column flex being one of them - that's why I didn't buy it until it went on sale for 25% off. Basically I bought it from the perspective that I was buying a "fancy drill press", which may afford me some light milling capability.

    A few months ago, however, I happened to come across [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Siwbp9Pfm4s"]this video[/ame] on youtube, demonstrating the column flex problem, and that sort of shocked me...as I didn't realize that the problem was that bad. That looks like some serious displacement going on there.

    Anyway, so far I've been working only with plastics, and not very aggressively, so column flex hasn't been a problem. In the future however, I'm sure I'll be working with metals, and I'm sure the day will come when it will be an issue, so I want to do something about it now, and not later, when I'm in the middle of something.

    The braces I'm seeing here look like an elegant solution to the problem...but the thought of getting a little more Y and Z travel (by using the LMS kit) is tempting.

    Before I spend that kind of money though, I was hoping to have someone state: "I installed the LMS kit and it really made a big improvement..."

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    Think of such parts as things you have yet put to work.

    At best they could offer you scrap metal rates.

    I can't comment on the solid column for you as I've never tried it out and don't have an X2 anyways. The first question in my mind is: are you having issues right now? If so I'd look at all the possible avenues to an upgrade including replacement with a better machine.

    It is like this, would an upgrade be throwing good money after bad for you. I can't answer that as each person uses his machinery differently. Many seem to over subscribe their machines, that is try to take on more than they can realistically handle, if this is your case a bigger machine might make more sense.

    Since this is a known weak area on the X2, your other option is to search the net to see the avenues others have taken. Bracing and infil being two common approaches.

  5. #17
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    The LMS solid column kit solves the problem that same way as the back plate mods, being that it put 4 bolts on the column to base to hold it solid front and back, instead of just the two bolt at the front with the cantilevering of the base behind the back front mounting bolts.

    On my machine, I just used a 1/8" plate (was either that, or the 1/2 plate that I had sitting around) to make the mod back plate, and came up the column about 6" higher than the back main bolt. So two bolts into the base with spacer shims to maintain tram front to back on the column once I had that true, then 6 more counter sunk bolts up the side with the main large bolt to hold the plate solid to the column.

    Don't over think it, since its the base to the column support that you are trying to stiffen, with stiffening the column itself only really needed if you going to put major powder down to the work piece instead.

  6. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson_2008 View Post
    A few months ago, however, I happened to come across this video on youtube, demonstrating the column flex problem, and that sort of shocked me...as I didn't realize that the problem was that bad. That looks like some serious displacement going on there.
    That's my video. Since then, I added braces to the stepper mount, and built a big beefy brace for the column. It made a significant improvement to the machine.

    I had planned on shooting an updated video showing the difference, but I wound up selling the machine before I got around to it.

    Frederic

  7. #19
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    X3 Solid Column

    I ordered the solid column, base, saddle, and long table from LMS. I have 2 basket case HF X2 mill that were bought about 11 years ago. I completed 3, X3 cnc retrofits for friends and I disliked the column mounting so much that I abandoned the 2, X2 mills I was making for myself and my old shop teacher. I ended up making the X1 mill with the long X and Y for both of us. I plan on using the new and old parts to make a new, to me, X2 cnc mill. If I can get it together, I post the progress. Tex in VA


    Here are some photos:

    This is the Solid Column and new Base from LMS:



    Here it is with the new, long Table:



    The LMS parts with the HF's:



    This photo is of the 2 tables:


  8. #20
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    How much wider are the dovetails on the larger table than the standard X2s? I ordered one from Grizzly (Well, the G0727 table.. I think its the same.) for a CNC project but it's on backorder.

    If it's close I may be able to recycle an X2 saddle instead of having to scratch build or order a SX2 saddle.
    Q: How many tools does it take before a simple task becomes a project?
    A: Just one. I'm the Tool that turns a simple task in to a project.

  9. #21
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    Doesn't look very solid to me.

    Maybe the pic is deceiving me but that column looks to be on the hollow side. So the question is is that column actually solid all the way through?

    Looking at that pic actually stirs my imagination as that column could come in very handy for a number of projects that float around in the back of my mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tex-VA View Post
    I ordered the solid column, base, saddle, and long table from LMS. I have 2 basket case HF X2 mill that were bought about 11 years ago. I completed 3, X3 cnc retrofits for friends and I disliked the column mounting so much that I abandoned the 2, X2 mills I was making for myself and my old shop teacher. I ended up making the X1 mill with the long X and Y for both of us. I plan on using the new and old parts to make a new, to me, X2 cnc mill. If I can get it together, I post the progress. Tex in VA


    Here are some photos:

    *******deleted photos *********

  10. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyO View Post
    How much wider are the dovetails on the larger table than the standard X2s? I ordered one from Grizzly (Well, the G0727 table.. I think its the same.) for a CNC project but it's on backorder.

    If it's close I may be able to recycle an X2 saddle instead of having to scratch build or order a SX2 saddle.
    Hello Troy, I'm not sure what your asking. A friend did ask me if the larger table would fit his older X2 Mini Mill. I found the size of the Y Axis slides are the same and the new larger saddle will fit on the smaller X2 base. You won't be able to get full use of the Y Axis on the table but you would get more X Axis travel.

    This photo is of the larger saddle and table mounted on the older X2 mill. I lade the smaller table the new one for reference:



    The new table is almost an inch wider and with cut out for the lead screw, I don't think it could be fit to the smaller/old saddle. I haven't measured it so I can't say for sure. Let me know if this answers your question.
    Tex

  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    Maybe the pic is deceiving me but that column looks to be on the hollow side. So the question is is that column actually solid all the way through?

    Looking at that pic actually stirs my imagination as that column could come in very handy for a number of projects that float around in the back of my mind.
    Hello, All the columns on these mills are "hollow" or cored, at least the ones I seen. The new solid column (there seems to be a weird ebay link here that I had had not intended?) I got from LMS had more meat, thicker sides than the older one.

    Photo of both columns from the top:



    Tex

  12. #24
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    "Solid" refers to the columns attachment to the base. It doesn't pivot like previous models.
    Hoss
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