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CNC Conversion – The milling table

Well it’s been a few days of work, but the milling table is taking shape. The first step was to take it to a shop and have the surface re-ground parallel to the dove tails. First to remind you of the before state of the milling table.

Before restoration

After grinding, it was put back on the mill and we cut-off the bottom of the dove tails as it isn’t needed and it’s in the way of the bearing blocks.

Bottom of the dove tail being machined off
No more dovetail


The topside was still a bit rough in the T-slots and in the pockets on either side of the table. We chamfered all the edges, cleaned up the pockets and the bottom of the T-slots.



Here is a close up after the cleanup was done. It’s a bit dirty in the picture, but you can see bright shiny metal shining through.

We have to mount a motor to the side of the table for the X-drive servo. This took a little creative setup on the milling machine.

John getting more practice using the mill. He did a lot of the grunt work on the milling table after I did the setup. He’s shaping up to quite a good apprentice.


You can see here where the bottom has been prepared for linear rails. I got to use the new drill press/ tapping machine to tap all the holes. That was a bit awkward, but so nice compared to hand taping. There should be a footnote about here about what happens when you break a tap with your new tapping machine in a hole. Happily this didn’t happen on this piece, but it did happen. More on that later I’m sure.





Last was to test mount a servo on the table and call it a day.


You can see the cleaned up table pretty well in this picture.

It’s a long way from where it started. It got a few scratches during the tapping, but overall it came out better than expected.




About Brian Barrett

Brian Barrett is a Canadian Engineer living in China.

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