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  1. #1
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    a couple of queries

    HI
    When I last posted I was trying to get the trial version of Mach3 to talk to a Taig lathe I had installed steppers on. I have now done that and my ambitions have taken a giant leap.

    I have two related/unrelated questions.

    1. I fitted a ball screw to the Taig I purchased for the x slide which I realise is a little course for my little lathe but I was desperate for some progress. The tread gauge reads 6G. At this stage I am not sure if I can simply change the parameters to take account of this coarseness or if I really need to purchase finer ball screw. I would be grateful for advice and a link if this is the best way to go.

    2. I am also doing a bit of work on my Seig x2 mill. I have a stepper on the cross slide and a self-contained power driver on the Z handle to lift and lower the mill head. . All of the videos I have seen about attaching a stepper to move this axis involve a complete rebuild including a replacement of the existing screw and mounting a stepper on top. As I said I already have a power driver attached to the existing handle/spigot that lifts and lowers it effortlessly. Is it possible to simply replace this with a stepper with plenty of torque, say a Nema 34? The heavy lifting that replacing the existing screw with a ball screw is a bit beyond me physically.

    The last time I posted we had a discussion about Acorn as opposed to Mach 3 and my initial thought was that it might be a better way for me to go. The problem is that Acorn requires windows 10 and the only computer I have available with that operating system is a laptop that I use for heaps of other stuff. So I am seriously thinking of moving from the demo versions of Mach 3 to purchasing a licence. The initial idea is to use the existing parallel port but maybe later to try a smooth stepper and ethernet connection. Again any comments would be appreciated.

    woodie

  2. #2
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    Re: a couple of queries

    Quote Originally Posted by RLWoodie View Post
    HI
    When I last posted I was trying to get the trial version of Mach3 to talk to a Taig lathe I had installed steppers on. I have now done that and my ambitions have taken a giant leap.

    I have two related/unrelated questions.

    1. I fitted a ball screw to the Taig I purchased for the x slide which I realise is a little course for my little lathe but I was desperate for some progress. The tread gauge reads 6G. At this stage I am not sure if I can simply change the parameters to take account of this coarseness or if I really need to purchase finer ball screw. I would be grateful for advice and a link if this is the best way to go.

    [If you replaced the regular Taig leadscrew, which has 20 threads per inch, with a ball screw that has 6 threads per inch, you'll have less mechanical advantage but it still should work. You will have to change the steps per unit setting for the X axis to correspond to the new value.]

    2. I am also doing a bit of work on my Seig x2 mill. I have a stepper on the cross slide and a self-contained power driver on the Z handle to lift and lower the mill head. . All of the videos I have seen about attaching a stepper to move this axis involve a complete rebuild including a replacement of the existing screw and mounting a stepper on top. As I said I already have a power driver attached to the existing handle/spigot that lifts and lowers it effortlessly. Is it possible to simply replace this with a stepper with plenty of torque, say a Nema 34? The heavy lifting that replacing the existing screw with a ball screw is a bit beyond me physically.

    [You can put something onto the existing quill drive that will make the Z axis go up and down. The problem is that this is a very loose rack and pinion setup with a huge amount of backlash, which is why people usually replace the whole mechanism with a screw.]

    The last time I posted we had a discussion about Acorn as opposed to Mach 3 and my initial thought was that it might be a better way for me to go. The problem is that Acorn requires windows 10 and the only computer I have available with that operating system is a laptop that I use for heaps of other stuff. So I am seriously thinking of moving from the demo versions of Mach 3 to purchasing a licence. The initial idea is to use the existing parallel port but maybe later to try a smooth stepper and ethernet connection. Again any comments would be appreciated.

    woodie
    [I haven't tried Acorn, but there's only so much you can do with the demo version of Mach3 - it will stop at 500 lines of G-code, which isn't much, especially if you're running 3D programs. Get the license, it's worth it. As well as the Smoothstepper, there are also devices like the UC-100 USB converter which will run your machine without requiring a parallel port.]
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3
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    Re: a couple of queries

    Regarding question 1: the software can accommodate any thread pitch as long as it is precisely known. If the pitch is appropriate is another question. 6G, that looks like a tolerance spec. So when you ask about "finer" , are you asking about tolerance or pitch?
    Regarding question 2: The stock rack and pinion mechanism for moving the head up and down is very inaccurate. You are forgoing a lot of the benefits of CNC if you use the stock rack and pinion, same for the stock acme screws for the x and Y.

  4. #4
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    Re: a couple of queries

    cncuser1 and awerby
    Thanks for the reply.
    I suppose I was talking about threads per inch and simply assumed that 6 meant 6 threads per inch.. I looked at a couple of scientific papers and surrendered. I guess I will just buy what I can find on the net and hope for the best.

    The lead screw I fitted is normally used for CNC routers but I needed a ball screw and had to start somewhere. It has allowed me to demonstrate that it will work in a general and sense now I have to get to specifics. It is deja vu because that it how I learned to design electromagnetic clocks that woodturners can make.

    The Taig kit I purchased to provide auto feed was very disappointing and the nut was cheap and nasty. What I will probably do now is to look for a ball screw with about 20 threads per inch and go from there.

    I understand what you are saying about the standard lead screws because I struggled with the limited CNC I have on my mill for cutting clock wheels, particularly a tendency to bind at inconvenient times. With that system I am able to make adjustments for backlash but realise a full CNC system will require a different standard.

    Woodie

  5. #5
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    Re: a couple of queries

    If i can give one more opinion, as you seem new to cnc conversion, if your goal is to get to making parts soonish, try not to re-invent the wheel. I suspect that there is a lot of info for the taig, as far as which components to buy and how to fit them. Do not undervalue this information.

  6. #6
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    Re: a couple of queries

    dear cncuser1

    Mostly I enjoy reinventing the wheel which is how I managed to create what I think is a relatively unique design for the clock my movements. And I am not in any sort of hurry at all I have been retired for years and this is just a hobby to keep old age at bay. Initially I did look at some Taig videos (and many others) but what I failed to pay attention to was the x screw and will do as you suggest and have another look.

    Thanks for taking the time I really appreciate it.

    Woodie

    Woodie

  7. #7
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    Re: a couple of queries

    Quote Originally Posted by RLWoodie View Post
    cncuser1 and awerby
    Thanks for the reply.
    I suppose I was talking about threads per inch and simply assumed that 6 meant 6 threads per inch.. I looked at a couple of scientific papers and surrendered. I guess I will just buy what I can find on the net and hope for the best.

    The lead screw I fitted is normally used for CNC routers but I needed a ball screw and had to start somewhere. It has allowed me to demonstrate that it will work in a general and sense now I have to get to specifics. It is deja vu because that it how I learned to design electromagnetic clocks that woodturners can make.

    The Taig kit I purchased to provide auto feed was very disappointing and the nut was cheap and nasty. What I will probably do now is to look for a ball screw with about 20 threads per inch and go from there.

    I understand what you are saying about the standard lead screws because I struggled with the limited CNC I have on my mill for cutting clock wheels, particularly a tendency to bind at inconvenient times. With that system I am able to make adjustments for backlash but realise a full CNC system will require a different standard.

    Woodie
    mach3 will accommodate any pitch leadscrew. If you have it physically mounted, you can get mach3 to control it correctly. You don't even need to know the exact pitch if you have a way to actually measure the distance traveled. Mach3 has a automatic axis calibration feature which will do all the math for you, given you can accurately measure the phyiscal travel on the lathe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLUViu65qXg

  8. #8
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: a couple of queries

    The last time I posted we had a discussion about Acorn as opposed to Mach 3 and my initial thought was that it might be a better way for me to go. The problem is that Acorn requires windows 10 and the only computer I have available with that operating system is a laptop that I use for heaps of other stuff. So I am seriously thinking of moving from the demo versions of Mach 3 to purchasing a licence. The initial idea is to use the existing parallel port but maybe later to try a smooth stepper and ethernet connection. Again any comments would be appreciated.
    You can by a small PC with Windows 10 that will run the Acorn for $200.

    By the time you buy a Mach3 license, and an ESS, you'll have spent close to $400. The money would be much better spent on the Acorn, or any controller more modern than Mach3.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  9. #9
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    Re: a couple of queries

    Hi Gerry
    Unfortunately it is a matter of timing. I bought a refurbished Dell with Win7 and a parallel port to have another go at Mach3 (the last Dell died) before I learned about Acorn. Initially I thought I could use an old Asus I have already and upgrade Win 8, but microsoft wants more than $200 for the upgrade. I noticed there are cheaper offers but downloading stuff from unknown origins is a huge risk.

    Woodie

  10. #10
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    Re: a couple of queries

    dear CS900
    Thank you that was exactly what I was looking for. Replacing the lead screw would have been a pain so now I will go with the existing build.

    Woodie

  11. #11
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    Re: a couple of queries

    Quote Originally Posted by RLWoodie View Post
    Hi Gerry
    Unfortunately it is a matter of timing. I bought a refurbished Dell with Win7 and a parallel port to have another go at Mach3 (the last Dell died) before I learned about Acorn. Initially I thought I could use an old Asus I have already and upgrade Win 8, but microsoft wants more than $200 for the upgrade. I noticed there are cheaper offers but downloading stuff from unknown origins is a huge risk.

    Woodie
    Same here with the Dell refurb.
    I understood it that there was a 7 update at some point that allowed you to upgrade to win 10 for free.
    A legit Win7 license key can be got for peanuts these days. Then download win7 iso from MS website using that key. Next go through all the updates once it's installed and at some point it will tell you you can upgrade. Bam, win10 for next to nothing.

    Although. I still use my old XP discs from years ago. I find Mach3 more reliable with it. I kept getting missing steps every rev (constant bump noises) with win7.

    One has a Dell and one has a gigabyte pc. If I start making money with all this (not just an expensive hobby) I'll be looking at ESS with a win based laptop.

  12. #12
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    Re: a couple of queries

    After your last regarding working through Win 7 to get to Win 10 I decided to have a look for Win 10 on ebay. There are a number of 100 percent rated ebay sellers who are offering what they describe as genuine Win 10 at significantly discounted prices. Don't know what that means but sellers do not normally get a 100 percent and star rating from ebay if they are shonkey. At some stage I will have another look at the options.

    Woodie

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