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Converting a Logan 11" x 32" Lathe over to full CNC, Part 16:
The wiring took a great deal longer than I'd hoped in order to get it sorted out and working, but with some
expert help, we finally got 'er up and running, and gave it a quick preliminary calibration. But, before we could
try an actual cut, I needed some way to mount a tool. The plan calls for eventual gang tooling, but for the time
being, I whipped up this quick aluminum block in order to hold the original Phase II quickchange toolpost.
It's keyed to the T-slots to help make things a bit more rigid, and uses a pair of T-nuts and bolts to hold it down.
After that, the toolpost bolts right down, and into almost exactly the same tool height as the original compound.
The moment of truth! Using the Mach 3 jog buttons, we were able to make some rudimentary practice cuts,
and eventually dialed in the calibration quite a bit closer. At the moment it's still not perfect, but it's pretty close.
Even trying some surprisingly heavy cuts (not always intentionally :) ) the machine didn't strain or protest,
skip any steps or strip gears, and despite the random feeds, produced some pretty nice surface finishes.
After a few hiccups, mostly thanks to my inexperience with these electronic
kajiggers, the controller proved to work fairly well. The wiring isn't the
neatest, and I don't have any limit switches or a spindle encoder,
but we were eventually able to run a few simple programs.
A bit later, I tried to neaten up the wiring a bit by flipping the
enclosure over, and running all the cables out the bottom.
With the cover back on, it was pretty much ready to go, and I was able
to make a very few small parts with it. But without a spindle encoder I
wasn't able to do any threading, and I was never particularly happy with
Mach 3- especially its inability to run on anything newer than WinXP,
and the requirement of a now-obsolete parallel port.
However, not long after all this, something new came along...
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