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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Benchtop Machines > RF30 square column conversion?
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  1. #1
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    RF30 square column conversion?

    I was over at Industrial Metal Supply yesterday and couldn't help notice the beefy square and rectangular steel pipes sitting on the remnant piles. Some of these have 1/2 inch walls and are around 12 inches by 6 inches. There are square and rectangular variants 3 to 4 feet long.

    So, I thought about the idea of ditching the round column and building a whole new head for the RF30 based on one of these pipes for a square/rectangular column. I could have a 1/2 inch plate welded to the bottom for mounting and have one surface and the bottom ground flat and perpendicular. I'd use proper ball slides for the carriage, ball screws, etc.

    Any thoughts on this idea? Has someone done something like this? It'd be nice to replace the belted head with a continuously variable motor/spindle in the process.

    At some point it might make more sense to finish my CNC conversion, use the mill for a while, sell it and move up to something bigger with a square column.


    -Martin

  2. #2
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    Re: RF30 square column conversion?

    I did something similar, used some heavy walled tubing to beef up a mini-mill, it worked very well.

    Here's a link to some pics of the conversion. Mill Photos by madluther | Photobucket

    Regards,

    Steve.

  3. #3
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    Re: RF30 square column conversion?

    I also did this with my round column Rf30 mill. The small z travel makes changing tools a pain. I have the bolt hole measurements for the column if you need them.



    Attachment 269448

  4. #4
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    Re: RF30 square column conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by rythmnbls View Post
    I did something similar, used some heavy walled tubing to beef up a mini-mill, it worked very well.

    Here's a link to some pics of the conversion. Mill Photos by madluther | Photobucket

    Regards,

    Steve.
    Wow, I'm sure that was a massive improvement. Now I just need a welder to do something similar. How did you mount the z column to the square tubing?

  5. #5
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    Re: RF30 square column conversion?

    The column is clamped by 4 long steel plates and 8 bolts, the four plates are inside the original column and the bolts screw in from inside the steel tube.

    - Steve.

  6. #6
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    Re: RF30 square column conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by rythmnbls View Post
    I did something similar, used some heavy walled tubing to beef up a mini-mill, it worked very well.

    Here's a link to some pics of the conversion. Mill Photos by madluther | Photobucket

    Regards,

    Steve.
    Wow. I have so much to learn! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    I think conversion to square column will be a priority once I get done with my CNC conversion.


    -Martin

  7. #7
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    Re: RF30 square column conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by bozidar22 View Post
    I also did this with my round column Rf30 mill. The small z travel makes changing tools a pain. I have the bolt hole measurements for the column if you need them.
    Attachment 269448
    That looks great. Sure, I'll take any data you'd be willing to share. Do you have more pictures? Pipe sizing?

    I see you put in a counterweight system. Are you using constant force springs or actual weights inside the column?

    I have the feeling you are not using the stock head on this column. Did you reconfigure it or are you using something else?

    Thanks,

    -Martin

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