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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. #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 *********

  2. #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

  3. #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

  4. #24
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    "Solid" refers to the columns attachment to the base. It doesn't pivot like previous models.
    Hoss
    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

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tex-VA View Post
    Hello Troy, I'm not sure what your asking.

    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
    It does indeed... thank you! I was expecting to have to make my own saddle, or buy one from the SX2 so that basically confirms it for me.

    Thanks!
    Troy
    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.

  6. #26
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    Strange way to advertise a metal product.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoss2006 View Post
    "Solid" refers to the columns attachment to the base. It doesn't pivot like previous models.
    Hoss
    LMS probably should clean up their advertising because that isn't what I imagined when first reading their catalog and advertisements. It is a bit misleading in my mind.

  7. #27
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    The question wasn't answered though. How much flex does the solid mount column have? Had plans to rebuild a pile of parts into a more robust mount of the flexi column, and an extension to the base for more Y. Buying the new style base and column would save a LOT of work if it is stout enough foe the original motor. The pile has sat sat long, the expense of the new design isn't that big an issue anymore.

  8. #28
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    Email Chris Wood and ask?

  9. #29
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    So, I am going to bring this old thread back to the forefront. I came across this thread last night and it directly related to what I am trying to do.

    Long story short, I ordered a Harbor Freight Seig X2 Clone mini mill (model 44991) back in May of this year. I am brand new to machining in general, but have done about 30 hours of research online to date so I am starting to learn the tricks of the trade just through reading and researching.

    I have spent the past couple of months being busy mainly and am just now picking my mini mill back up for fitting it up and preparing everything for its first cut.

    Now, I spent a whole bunch of time researching the Column Rigidity options I have with this mini mill. Well, a very long story short, I come to find out that I can fit the Little Machine Shop Part #4483 (Solid Column Conversion Kit, HiTorque Mini Mill - LittleMachineShop.com) Solid Column Conversion kit to my mini mill.

    And, this is what this thread is all about.

    Based on my reading on this subject, it looks like I will be able to fit my Harbor Freight X2 Clone to this Solid Column Conversion Kit....

    Now! My question is this:

    This morning I went and took the back plastic plate off the circuit board housing in the very back of the mini mill (my Harbor Freight Seig X2 clone one that is...). It appears as though there are 4 screws that hold the actual circuit board box to the back of the column. **ALSO! It appears to me that there are two screws attached to the top of the circuit board box (and still inside the circuit board box) that I think are used for grounding? This is a purely out of the box machine with no modifications to it as of now.

    So! I am wondering if the Solid Column Conversion Kit (part # 4483) here is drilled and tapped for these 6 screws on the back of the Column?

    My decision in purchasing this kit will be based on it having these 6 screw holes in place.

    It appears to me that this kit was originally intended to fit with an SX2 mini mill and not really for the X2 clone like I have. So, I want to make sure the holes are in place in the column fro my X2 mill circuit box so I don't have to mess with setting up a grounding point and whatnot.

    Photos would be most welcome if anybody has them!

    Thanks in advance for any help any of you can give me!

    Great forum!

  10. #30
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    You want to do machining, but drilling and tapping 6 small screw holes is a potential deal-breaker??

    Regards,
    Ray L.

  11. #31
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    Could you possibly post a photo of the X2 part/attachment that you are describing? I'm not sure that I am following your verbal description of the part.

    I have the conversion column kit (which I have not yet installed) and so I should be able to check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bison9 View Post
    My decision in purchasing this kit will be based on it having these 6 screw holes in place.

    It appears to me that this kit was originally intended to fit with an SX2 mini mill and not really for the X2 clone like I have. So, I want to make sure the holes are in place in the column fro my X2 mill circuit box so I don't have to mess with setting up a grounding point and whatnot.

  12. #32
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    Your kidding right?

    You do understand the stock motor control board only puts out 90v to hobble the motor so it will not blow plastic drive gears, and as soon as you belt drive the x2, your going to be swapping out the stock motor controller and back box to a KBLC-19PM that put out 120v instead to run the motor to its full potential.

  13. #33
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    I was more surprised that you havent made a cut yet, have no machining experience but want a solid column.
    Did you read about the many people who successfully machine with their stock mills? No you didnt, because they are busy machining not talking about short comings.
    A lazy man does it twice.

  14. #34
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    He has a twin or clone named Sillythings- endless hand wringing over nothing.

  15. #35
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    Couldnt you use the existing mill to drill the 6 holes?
    A lazy man does it twice.

  16. #36
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastest1 View Post
    Couldnt you use the existing mill to drill the 6 holes?
    Or a simple hand-drill?

    Regards,
    Ray L.

  17. #37
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    M5 drill and tap should run you under $10 at your local hardware store. Use a hand drill, preferably one with variable speed and simply use the holes in the box as a guide. Yes the two green wires are indeed grounds, and can even be stacked on one screw if you desire.

    I am an engineer and machinist of 15 years experience as well as 3 years of college and trade school. I remember very well wanting to make chips but having no idea how. Don't let the others get you down.

  18. #38
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    the_great_snag,

    you hit it right on the head here... When I say new to this stuff... I mean, I have about 2 months worth of internet reading on machining, about $1,500 into my mill and all the tooling it needed, and a crap ton of articles talking about how bad that X2 column is. I have done stuff like this in the past. For instance, mechanic told me my ball joints on my truck were bad (about a year ago) and wanted $1,700 for the job. I told him to take a long hike and I learned how to replace the ball joints on the truck (and the whole front end for that matter) totally by myself. When I say by myself, I mean, I put in 2 - 3 months of just research, bought $1,500 in tools (a nice ball joint press etc) and I replaced basically the whole front end of my truck... I knew 0 about anything mechanic anything prior to that. Nothing! Welcome to the power of google

    Well, this is the same boat I am in now with this milling stuff...

    I got this mill basically for one main purpose at first and that was to mill out these 80% AR15 lower receivers I currently have burning a hole in my pocket that I bought a year and a half ago during the gun craze. The best alternative to purchasing a mill I had was my buddies absolutely hacking these things with their drill presses... That's not how I rolls... So, the dawn of me learning milling began

    So, basically I intend to learn how to do more after I get these lowers milled.... So, just like my truck, I am picking this up brand new. Like brand new. I know pretty much how to mill a lower receiver right now after looking at it online and whatnot. Past that, I literally know 0 other milling operations and don't really care about it to be honest at this point... So, this is why I want a solid column on this X2 and a fast track to it... I have never drilled and tapped anything and had no idea that is was named "tap" 4 months ago...

    But, before you think I am a complete noob, my research has served me well and I know a lot now. Enough to be dangerous at least.

    I am a computer programmer for my job so tinkering and learning new things on the fly is my specialty...

    So, down to the business side of things, I basically will be doing what this guy here has done with the same kit and mill: Robert's Projects: Mini Mill Solid Column Conversion

    You can see that he had to make new holes for his X2 circuit box and ground cables as well to fit the column in this solid column kit - that is because the kit is designed for an SX2 mill and not necessarily for the X2... You can see that clearly from the blog.

    Anyhow, I am a guy that doesn't want surprises when I go to do stuff. I always do my homework and research up front and this leads to success most of the time for me when doing stuff like this. Jumping into something brand new for the sake of just jumpin in is not how I roll. I like quality equipment and knowledge before I do anything at all. I am almost there!

    I plan on increasing my knowledge as I go and I want this mill to be a decent mill right out of the gate.

    For those that asked in previous replies, I plan to fit the LMS solid column kit (for the SX2 mills) to my Harbor Freight X2 mill. That solid column kit is here: Solid Column Conversion Kit, HiTorque Mini Mill - LittleMachineShop.com

    Look at the first link I provided and that is a blog of what I am trying to do. I will be doing the first part of what the guy in the blog did basically... I already have the kit ordered and it is on its way!

    Anyhow, thanks for the replies!

  19. #39
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    I just did a stiffening project on my Harbor Freight X2 yesterday. I posted a thread on it, but it's not that great. I want to try it before shelling out for a new column and base, especially since I would need to fab a longer ball screw as well, since I am CNC'd.

    I want to spend the money on a lathe instead. I am sick of wasting stupid amounts of time trying to mill round parts only to find out my backlash settings were a tiny bit off or my spindle wasn't perfectly trammed. I am also planning to get a lockdown style vise and possibly a 4th axis rotary table setup.

    Other plans are a motor drive upgrade and a belt drive conversion. 2500 weak rpm really suck, especially when you are using tiny cutters. I don't know if you are aware of cutting speed calculations, but they are based on the diameter of the cutter or the workpiece if you are using a lathe. The smaller, the faster it needs to spin for optimum cutting.

    One stopgap I intend to utilize is to make a mount for a Dremel tool so I can run 1/8" shank end mills for engraving, etc.

  20. #40
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    Re: Does the LMS solid column conversion kit make a big difference?

    BTW... I have finished 2 80% lowers myself. They are both built now and in regular use!

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