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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Benchtop Machines > RF-45 Clone Mill > ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC
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  1. #41
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Kurt, I just got home from Church and after lunch I went directly to see what all you uploaded to your drive folder. Thanks for this effort and know it will for sure be helpful in the design and build of many other RF 45 Cnc machines. No matter what motor connection I go with be belt driven or direct drive I can use most all of your drawings with little or no mods. Thanks again for sharing all the details and files as I know from experience there is a lot of work in just the research alone.

    Mike

  2. #42
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    I would love to see what you had in mind for your belt drive setup. If you find those files i would enjoy looking them over. BTW, I never throw out files, I have cad files from 2001 in my pile of designs which is vast and very disorganized. I tend to look for a file to get back on a project and i always have a hard time figuring out which one is the most up to date. hahah

    Kurt, the data plate on my mill states it was mfg 2012 so its not exactly a new mill or anything. I sure wish my shaft was 7/8" and motor mounting was the 145TC style but its not. a 3/4" shaft would work but there are no motors with such a shaft diameter that i can find. I thought maybe i could come across a 5/8" shaft motor and make an adapter but, I would rather not get into all that. If i swap motors I will just get a VFD and inverter duty 3phase motor which you can find on ebay for a reasonable price but again nothing out there matches which my machine needs for mounting. I guess I could make a new adapter ring that lifts the motor up and use a shaft adapter if they make one for 7/8 to 3/4 keyed shafts. I am not in a rush for a motor swap as this thing slings chips just fine for now.

  3. #43
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Mike, I only have a 120GB HDD on my computer, and I have so much software only about 50GB is available for my use so I have to be very picky about what files I keep. Guess I should get a bigger drive!

    My mill was manufactured in early 2013, but I was one of the first few to get one after they had switched over to using US motors. I think they only sold the blue mills with Chinese motors for a very short period. Guess you got one of those which is disappointing.

    If you want to keep using the gear box with a new motor it would be straightforward to bore out the gearbox input shaft to 7/8" and make an adapter plate for a 145TC motor. That's basically all they did at the factory once they started using the US motors.

    I think the best thing though would be to wait on any motor upgrades until the CNC conversion is complete and then do a belt drive and VFD.

    Kurt

  4. #44
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Kurt, What DRO is that you have mounted on the Z axis?

  5. #45
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hall View Post
    Kurt, What DRO is that you have mounted on the Z axis?
    It is an ancient Mitutoyo quill DRO I salvaged from the trash at GT. I'm sure you can get something similar from China, or just adapt a 6'' caliper. It is really handy. I just clamped it in place from the back thru the slot for the depth stop which I removed.

    Sent from the depths of the shop using a very tiny keyboard.

  6. #46
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    You are doing a wonderful job on your conversion. Very well done!

    sam

  7. #47
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Quote Originally Posted by samco View Post
    You are doing a wonderful job on your conversion. Very well done!

    sam
    Thanks Sam. I am having a lot of fun with it.

    Kurt

  8. #48
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    I had to go to school this morning and get the Nuke lab set up to show off to some local bigwigs (Sam Olens for those familiar with Georgia politics). I was able to make the trip worth while by machining the table and saddle on the Haas in the school's machine shop. To be perfectly honest, I tried to stay out of the way while an erstwhile classmate, (who is a fantastic machinist), was kind enough to do the actual programming and machining for me. Thanks Steven if you are reading this!

    Anyway, the machining went very well and everything fit together perfectly so I should have a full three axis CNC mill pretty soon. It is late and I am exhausted so I won't go into details now, but here is picture to give you an idea of what we have been up to.

    The TM-1 just barely had enough travel, but with the clever use of some 1-2-3 blocks for setting part origin Steven made it work.


    Thanks for looking!
    Kurt

  9. #49
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Hey Kurt;
    Nice job! I really enjoy watching a build up of one of these machines into a decent CNC mill. I converted an old RF45 lathemaster years ago when most of the parts were sourced off of ebay and we had to use what was available and affordable. I have since purchased a Torus Pro for my hobby shop and the old Rung Fu is just setting taking up a bunch of space in my small shop. I'm planning to re-engineer it with modern drives, ball screws and a power drawbar similar to the one designed for the Pro. I'm going to use a lot of your design work and I wan to say thanks in advance. Also, would it be possible to tell me were you sourced your ball screws and hardware. I am planning to convert my z-axis to linear rails and use the setup you designed to balance the head. Like It!
    Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.
    Regards.
    Bill
    billyjack
    Helicopter def. = Bunch of spare parts flying in close formation! USAF 1974 ;>)

  10. #50
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    What exactly were you having machined off the table? If there are major machining jobs to be done to the castings that is where I will run into trouble as I honestly have no ability to have that done for any kind of reasonable amount.

  11. #51
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Bill, thanks for the kind words. The Torus Pro's are nice machines, especially for the money. I think I am going to make a lever drawbar similar to that on the Pulsar. Looks simple enough from the exploded view:
    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/09...69564714615602

    I put some parts lists in the Gdrive folder with sources for the axis motors and ballscrews. I will add parts list for the other components as I have time.
    I also added CAD models in Solidworks, Fusion 360, IGES and STEP formats if those are useful.

    Here is a link to the Gdrive folder:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...1k?usp=sharing

    Kurt

  12. #52
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    ENCO RF45 CNC Conversion - Table and Saddle Machining

    Mike,
    Since the underside of the table was a rough casting I had to machine flat surfaces for mounting the X-axis ballscrew end bearings. I also had to machine the saddle to provide flat mounting surfaces for the X-axis ballnut mount and lower it down enough so there would be enough clearance between the table and the top of the mount. The machining it very simple and could be done on pretty much any manual mill in a few hours. It is well worth getting the machining done as it only took me about 30min to put to X-axis together since everything locates so well. If you go the same design route I would be glad to help you out with the machining. We could do it in an afternoon.

    Here are some pictures of machining the table and saddle.

    The man and his machine, working on my machine's saddle.


    The pocket for the X-axis fixed end bearing. There is another pocket on the other end of the table for the floating end bearing.


    Bearing block test fit. Looks good!


    X-axis ballscrew assy test fit.


    Cutting slotted C-bores in the saddle for the ballnut mounting screws to give some adjustability.


    Finished saddle machining.


    Ballnut mount in place. It is a nice tight fit over the boss in the saddle, but can be slid back and forth in the transverse direction with about 15lbf. Perfect!


    Ballnut mount is secured from below by two 5/16-18 SHCS in C-bored slots to allow some adjustability.


    Back home. Y-axis ballscrew assy in place ready for saddle to be installed.


    Saddle in place and X-axis ballscrew and freshly cleaned and repacked nut installed ready for table.


    I have the X-axis on and the ballscrew moves the table very smoothly. I took pictures but they have not uploaded yet. I am drilling and tapping the holes for mounting the X-axis motor right now. Should have full three axis motion shortly.

    Hope that explains the machining Mike.

    Thanks for looking!
    Kurt

  13. #53
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    A lot of progress today. I got the X-axis going, cleaned up the shop, got networking setup between my Win7 laptop with HSMworks and the Ubuntu CNC controller so I don't have to mess with a thumb drive, and made the first chips.

    Here is a video of the first coordinated motion with all three axes. It can haul!

    https://youtu.be/SXHHHw69-NQ

    Here is a picture of what was left after I made a nice pile of chips. The circular pocket was within 1.5 thou of true round and was right on target for diameter. I am running with only one ballnut on X as the second one was defective, so when I get the other nut installed and the preload set it should improve. The rectangular boss was over by .5 thou in Y and over by 2 thou in X. That is plenty good enough for most of the work I do as it is, and I have not done any tuning yet.

    Well, I've been waiting about an hour for the one picture to upload, so I guess you won't get a picture after all. Just did a speed test and we're getting 4.66 Mbps when we should be getting 24. That might explain it . . .

    EDIT:
    Here is a bad picture, better than nothing I guess.


    Thanks for reading, and sorry there is nothing to look at.
    Kurt

  14. #54
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    I tend to never become jealous but if I did this would be one thing to result in jealousy. hahaha I may have to load up my castings and bring them up to ATL to give you something to test on.

    I have been trying to get in touch with jinting Wen to get my motors/controllers ordered but so far no response. I guess Chinese new years may still be going on.

  15. #55
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hall View Post
    I tend to never become jealous but if I did this would be one thing to result in jealousy. hahaha I may have to load up my castings and bring them up to ATL to give you something to test on.

    I have been trying to get in touch with jinting Wen to get my motors/controllers ordered but so far no response. I guess Chinese new years may still be going on.
    Haha You really should bring up your castings. Maybe you won't even need the hand wheels if you can get it converted quick enough!

    I wrote Jinting a week or so ago and have not goten a response either. I think he must be out for the new year. I just wrote Chai to see if he will send me a replacement ballnut for the one that did not have fully ground races. We'll see if he is on vacation too.

    Kurt

  16. #56
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    I am almost positive I can utilize your ball nut mounts for all the axis for sure but I am going to mount the bearings on the outside to try to get every inch of possible travel i can. I saw this (pics below) in a thread on here and I may try to replicate it. I am still up in the air on direct vs belt drives, your mill sure is moving nicely so i may keep it simple and stick with direct drive. that being said i assume the only machining would be to the ball nut mounting areas as the bearing blocks will be mounted on the ends of the table and front of the base.


    Kurt, I do believe they are still celebrating Chinese new years. It started the 28th of Jan this year and it last a few weeks.

    I hope your able to get the ball nut issue resolved. I am planning on duplicating your orders for both motors and ball screws although it looks like I may need to get slightly longer ball screw or at least for the y axis. I have not been able to open your actual Mill model as when i try to import it into fusion it ask me to select the parts list which I do not have. It looks like that file is an assembly and i guess some programs need all the assemblies parts files to load separately? I am new to fusion so it may be something I am doing wrong. I know each individual part imported fine but the assembly wont import. Anyhow I said all that as i was going to check the measurements of your ball screws to see where I may need to change up on the sizes.

  17. #57
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    The man in the brown truck brought me a bunch of packages today, mostly miscellaneous shop supplies since MSC had a good sale recently. (30% off and then 40% off of that with free shipping! Must really be trying to get their ENCO customers back.) In addition to the routine stuff he brought a nice shinny 20x20x6 NEMA enclosure to house all the electronics. I was going to make my own enclosure but I fount it on ebay for less then the material would cost me so decided to go the lazy rout. It will mount to the left side of the mill stand.



    I also played a lot more with the mill trying to get familiar with what it can do adding some random features to the piece of scrap using HSMworks adaptive clearing tool paths.


    Adaptive clearing. (I did not think of taking a video until the last pass, sorry.)
    https://youtu.be/nhS4dzibegg

    Chamfer milling. I used to spend hours chamfering parts like this!
    https://youtu.be/m8FBW3wmS-E


    I made some real parts too. This will be the arm that supports the control panel and contains all the wires (if I can fish them thru it!) The mill did a fantastic job machining the gummy steel with a chinesium "end mill". I try to save what little carbide I have for were it matters.


    Done machining. The round tubes will fit in delrin sleeve bearings on the back of the control panel and on the column where the Z-crank once was. Good riddance!


    Now I just have to get the parts TIG welded together.

    That's if four now. Thanks for looking!

    Kurt

  18. #58
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Looking great Kurt, I do not know if i have seen a thread where anyone gets there machine put together and then moments later is cutting parts on it. You must have had the control system totally figured out before you finished assembling your machine.

    Very nice fitting parts there, Is that for your monitor/controls? I assume you notched both sections of tubing so you could run your wiring through it? Either that or your just showing off? haha

  19. #59
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    I could bring my Miller Dynasty 200 Tig up and let you lay some dimes but, I am sure you want that finished before I make it up there. Those are some nice joints for tig welding, almost wouldn't even need filler. haha

  20. #60
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    Re: ENCO RF45 Clone CNC Conversion - LinuxCNC

    Haha Mike, your posting circle around me! Again. You've made three laps to my one. Guess I better get faster at typing!

    I am not going for max travel since I have ready access to larger machines if I need the travel. I think in your case it would be better to put the bearings outboard. You can't go wrong following gd.marsh's lead, he has one of the most capable RF45 out there.

    I don't know anything about Fusion 360. I made up that assembly for somebody that requested it, and they said it worked. It was the first timed I had used Fusion, and I just don't get the work flow or anything else about it.

    Yes, all the VGA cable etc. will all pass though that arm, hopefully. I'll have to tune up the VGA a bit with a belt sander to get it to fit thru I think.

    We have 8 Miller Dynasty 200 at school, the're great little machines and very versatile. Also the only TIGs I've ever used.

    BTW, Chai got back to me in about 10min. Said I might should make another ballscrew order to save on shipping the single nut . . .

    Kurt

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