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Building a new Vertical Machining Center.

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    Got the insert screws in and got to cutting.

    Initial boring was pretty rough, cutting through the welds and the welding distortion, before I got the bore circular. I started with a roughly 86mm bore, and finished at 90.07mm, which is slightly oversize for what I wanted, but it is in-line with a commercial machining center.

    Got the bore to clean up at 88.9mm, which was perfect as I made a minor cutter adjustment and had 89.95mm on the next pass. One more spring cut and we're home free...nah, +0.07mm. Damn.

    Slipped the spindle in to check the fit, and while the clearance is noticeable it's not bad. The perpendicularity is very good, less than 0.1 degrees out of square all the way round. So, while I'd have preferred that the bore be 90mm on the nose, that 0.07mm gap is livable. One advantage is that rather than having to shim the mounting block, I can dial in the spindle block bore parallel to the Z-axis and epoxy it down, add the 8 mounting bolts, double-check the alignment after the epoxy cures, and then dowel the block on. Any future tramming and alignment can be shimmed in around the spindle ring as per normal commercial VMC practice.

    Next up is transfer punch and drill the 6-bolt mounting pattern, then set the block up and clamp it to a table, and hand-scrape that mounting face until I get nearly perfect contact all the way round.
    Last edited by Xnke; 24-04-21, 02:13 PM.


      Got the mounting block drilled and tapped to hold the spindle, found a bit of aluminum plate to start the automatic tool change mechanism, and started goofing around with the spindle encoder.

      Fitted the first axis drive motor to a junk ballscrew mount, it had a few stripped out holes and I had to bush the alignment bore down from 80mm to 70mm.

      The spindle encoder is made from the ABS tone ring of a Chrysler 300 and some jellybeans from Digikey. I mostly just tinkered with how I am going to make it fit tonight, I'll actually make the encoder ring tomorrow evening. I am fairly certain it'll work fine, but there is a chance it will be flaky. Luckily, instead of it being a 2000$ commercially made spindle encoder, it's a 32$ cobble of car parts and 1980's serial transceiver IC's.


        I only have a vague idea of what the fuck is going on here, but it's super cool regardless :D

        | 1963 RK43 Toyota Lite-Stout (Stanley) | 2002 EC5W Mitsubishi Legnum VR-4 Type-S (Larry) |

        Originally posted by Old Major
        Perhaps she feels inadequate when you cum in other guys?


          Unfortunately, this project has to be sidelined for a few weeks, until I get the new machine installed and running. It's not cancelled...not by a long shot!

          It has a design X-axis travel of roughly double the new machine that will arrive Thursday, so I'll still have plenty of use for it. I am considering changing the design to a horzontal instead-it has some advantages in chip evacuation and the toolchanger would be less demanding to design, and there are extremely few 30-taper horizontals available to buy out there.

          Today I started ripping out the old workbench and getting the area cleared up for the new machine, I've got quite a bit of work to do before thursday.


            Any progress?
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              None lately, haven't had time to mess with it. Got the new job as a teacher though so as soon as school is started and I'm up and running, I'll have more time to work on this at home. I've finally got my machine shop functional as a quick-turn repair shop, with two excellent guys who haven't had to have me in the shop in almost a month now. I'm still working field service calls, but all three of us are going back to school, in some form or another, in about three weeks.