Wished to have a Milling Machine that I could run as a manual mill for now … and also later have the ability to convert it to a CNC Milling Unit.
Also wished to mount AccuRemote 3-Axis Digital Readouts ( DRO ) on Mill.
Click Here for More Info about : AccuRemote Digital Readouts
Decided to order a Charter Oak Automation Manual Bed Milling Machine.
Click on these images to see a larger view …
The people at Charter Oak Automation were great and answered all my questions and also suggested some upgrades.
Chose to add the additional Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and also the Mach-1 Quick Change Tool System.
The Mach-1 Tool Changer is AMAZING and FAST!!
They sent me photos of the Crate before shipping so I knew what to expect.
The Milling Machine arrived in Las Vegas a Week Later … Fast Service!!
Didn’t know when I would be home so had it sent to a local shipping depot and then rented a U-Haul truck to bring it to my workshop.
Had some scrap wood so took an hour and made a ‘Cat-in-the-Hat’ style ramp to roll the Milling Machine Crate down to the shop floor by myself.
Needed my Pallet Jack for other projects so made a metal rolling unit …
Designed a Stand for the Milling Machine and welded it together … I will add shelves later after have used the Milling Machine for a few months and know what is needed for storage
Used some left-over metal to make a leveling lifting unit so I could control the lift because had to do it by myself.
Used the “Over the Jeep” Workshop Lift-Table/Gantry Hoist:
Once the Milling Machine was on the stand I really didn’t get to use it much because was needed on a different project… Once that was done the Lathe had arrived and I worked out where to put the new items in my small workshop area.
Then the hot desert summer weather arrived *sigh* … Needless to say… I am very excited that the cooler fall weather temperatures have arrived in the Las Vegas area.
I immediately started to drill holes and certainly voided the warranty, but that is OK because half the fun for me is creating the modifications.
Raised the VFD Drive 1 inch to allow better clearance for wiring and DRO …
Drew the Milling machine into SolidWorks to make it easier to design and test out DRO (Digital Readout) Mount options.
In addition, will be using the SolidWorks Milling Machine CAD model while traveling to test out Milling Set-ups.
The next project was to install some inexpensive Digital Readouts that can be easily removed in the hot summer months when traveling.
Used the SolidWorks CAD model to test out DRO mounting options …
Uploaded the AccuRemote Digital Readout CAD files to: GrabCAD.com
Nice thing about SolidWorks is one can hide items on the screen to make it easier to see the items you are working on …
It was somewhat the Chicken before the Egg … or the Egg before the Chicken situation because wished to have the DRO accuracy to make the DRO mounts
Decide to hand-make the 1st X-Axis DRO mount and will machine a replacement out of Aluminum later this winter
Next decided to use the 3D-Printer to make several DRO mount parts out of ABS plastic … and they turned out to be very strong and stable
Used a chrome plated shaft that came off an old copying machine to create an inner Z-Axis DRO slider …
3D-Printed the inner slider bushings and Z-Axis mounts …
It is starting to become part of my design process to 1st 3D-Print out test fitup parts and then later machine the actual items out of Aluminum or Steel
The Digital Readouts are mounted creating a ‘Poor Man’s’ DRO Unit. *smile*
It only takes about 30 seconds to unplug and remove the upper digital readouts and take them in the house when I am traveling during hot weather.
During the summer with the sun on the roof the workshop can get above 115 F.
Can still use the Quick inch markings on the front of the Milling Machine because the bottom edge of the Z-Axis DRO lines up with the Zero Mark.
Paul at Charter Oak Automation was nice enough to send me a conversion chart
Frequency to RPM using the different gear options and the VFD
Below is a High-Resolution image of the ‘VFD to RPM’ chart if you have a similar Charter Oak Automation machine with the DC Motor VFD option.
As previously mentioned … Now use the SolidWorks Milling Machine CAD model to test how to mount specific parts on the milling machine.
Very helpful when traveling and stuck waiting in the airports because when get home know exactly what items I need and how the stock metal needs to be clamped down to the milling machine.
Purchased 2 of these Step-Block Clamping Kits and drew into SolidWorks …
If you would like CAD files for this clamping kit ~ I uploaded it to GrabCAD
Also uploaded to GrabCAD this Parallel Set …
Added some tooling bins and an additional shelf under the Milling Machine …
Also mounted the mill hold-down items on the side of the stand …
Now it’s time to make a few projects with this Milling Machine!!
— CHEERS …
Added a ( DRO ) Digital Readout to the Milling Machine CLICK HERE
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