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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.

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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.

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Bottom of the dove tail being machined off
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No more dovetail

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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

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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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