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Mini lathe CNC Conversion - Work in progress

Discussion in 'CNC Lathes' started by Justinat, May 27, 2014.

  1. Justinat

    Justinat Well-Known
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  2. bobt

    bobt Veteran
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    OK justinat what is the base machine (MFG, Model and such) because it look alot like an older SIEG C3. I was just wondering what changes might have to be done to convert one of the standard mini lathes such as this.
    [​IMG]
    Maybe some small changes will make it useful.

    Bob
     
  3. Justinat

    Justinat Well-Known
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    Its a Clarke 12in bed. Basically the same as your pic there are a bunch of companies that brand these lathes. Mine was purchased a few years ago from tractor supply.

    I started off with a 1605 ball screw and mounts ( got them from automation technology but they are available from a bunch of sources ) for the carriage

    The cross slide was a little more challenging as a small ballscrew setup is pricey so I decided to go with acme lead screw single start 3/8 righthand( From McMaster ) and a Delran zero backlash Nut ( From Dumpster CNC ) - At this stage I'm still working out the bearing setup for the Leadscrew

    The electronics I went with a Gecko G540 and 381 oz stepper motors a index pulse board and Variable speed control ( From cnc4pc.com )

    my goal is to have a machine that's capable of making small parts and treading.

    the one down side I see with these machines is they were never intended to be more than a hobbyists machine and stock they have a very rough build quality. I had this one sitting around so I thought it would be a good learning experience.
     

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    Mark Carew likes this.
  4. TadB

    TadB Well-Known
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    I have actually seen a conversion kit for the harbor freight lathe. O am currently in the planning stage of taking a jet mini wood lathe and automating it. So look forward to seeing more of your build.
     
  5. stargeezer

    stargeezer Veteran
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    Hi. I was wondering if there's been any progress? I'm wanting to build a CNC lathe to go with the rest of my automated shop and I'm looking for direction and perhaps a bit of inspiration too.

    I keep debating if I should follow the path you are following with a "doner" lathe of some sort, or just start from scratch building the whole thing. I should add that I'm not looking for a big lathe either, one in the 12-16" length would work fine as long as the spindle is hollow.

    You fan,
    Larry
     
  6. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    Larry, I have the above lathe and it is small. Way to small for most of the stuff that I want to do. And anything thicker than a toothpick will not fit through the hole in the chuck. I think the max is 3/8".
     
  7. stargeezer

    stargeezer Veteran
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    Thanks Justintime, I had looked at the mini at Harbor Freight and assumed that was the red one pictured above. As I think you surmised, I'm looking for 3/4-1" bore through the chuck to accommodate threaded rod and other CNC project parts. We live between Chicago and St. Louis (exactly 150 miles each way), both of which have a lot of small machine shops. I'm watching ebay and craigslist for a viable donner machine - not too big, not too small, just right. :)
     
  8. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    Yes, the one pictured above is like the one from Harbor Freight.

    3/4" will not fit through that chuck. You may be able to put a bigger chuck, one that is not restricted in the center and gives access to the spindle ID but then you'll be even more limited with how close you can get to the part when it is clamped since the Y travel is very small, something like 2", and it doesn't clear the chuck.
     
    #8 JustinTime, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  9. winand

    winand Veteran
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    This is an interesting build!
    Keep us informed please :thumbsup:
     

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