Power feed for milling machine
I have an old Kent mill, circa 1981, Bridgeport clone.
I do quite a few jobs where I get tired of hand cranking. Have any of you guys used one of the power feed units from CDCO?
The price seems good ($259), quality with CDCO is sketchy sometimes which is why I'm asking. And no I don't want to build my own power feed unit.
I've had good luck with CDCO as a whole, though I haven't bought anything like you are looking at. On the other hand, I can't see where you'll be able to try anything else out for only 259 bucks. Hell for that kind of money I wouldn't hesitate to modify, drill, beat, cut, or whatever to make the thing work.
But that's just me.
It looks like the exact unit I bought from Grizzly to mount on my Taiwan built mill. About the same price too. Their ok, But I've never operated something like a Servo power feed so can't say how they'd compare. Not well I'd guess. I can say that having power feed is light years ahead of no power feed. If you buy it then download the installation manual from Servo's web site. That will help a lot more than what you get for a installation manual with these units. The supplied shims are critical to getting the correct gear mesh.
I have an identical looking ALIGN unit on my Long Chang BP clone. It seems to work pretty well and it was very cheap (£50 or about $80). I got it off the clearance table at Chronos tools because it only worked in one direction. A simple assembly fault meant that the roll pin that operated the drection switch was outside it's slot.
There's a guy on Practical Machinist who sells those for $200 shipped. Looks like the same unit. I bought one.
Bought one for the knee about 5 years ago, saves lots of time and effort.
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Probably all made in the same factory, buy 10 you can have your own name on.
Put one on a modded ZX45 X axis about 6 years ago, they have some torque and will go quite quick to slow. Think mines labelled Align exactly the same.
In all they perform quite well.
I bought my Y and Z axis power feeds from EZ Accessory on ebay 4-5 years ago, and they are still going strong with out any trouble at all.
The 150lb one is $244 + post
And their 135lb is $206 + post
I have the same machine as a Grizzly 3617 with a meter long table and it came factory fitted with a 135lb power feed and I have never had a problem with not having enough power.
For the knee I would recommend a 150lb one, but the X and Y would be fine with a 135 unless its a real big mill.
They don't have a Y axis one listed, but they do carry it as well.
I have one of the Shars branded ones. It is on a mill/drill, but it is the same motor and main housing. It has a 90-deg. bracket, though, to mount on the end of the mill/drill table. I have to give it good marks for reliability. I've had no trouble with the motor. Whoever mentioned the gear mesh is on the right point, though. You need to get that aligned pretty good or it will give you problems. I've had mine on for probably four? years. It has worked good, but recently it was getting "jumpy" and loud. I spent a good amount of time with the gear mesh---more than when I installed it---to fix the issue. Now it is surprisingly quiet again and smooth. In fact, far more quiet than when I first installed it. I didn't realize such small adjustments on the gear mesh could cause such large changes in gear-train noise and smoothness of travel. I also have never used a Servo unit to provide a point of comparison.
Talking about shims, they come with a good amount of them in the kit.