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Updating My Taig - Or Not

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  • Updating My Taig - Or Not

    I wrote a long rant some time back about how my Taig really got me started down this road. ( A Small CNC Mill - A Huge Education - The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist's Workshop Magazine's BBS ) I started out with a Harbor Freight 7x10 lathe, but the Taig really did things. It was what lead to where I am today. I have not used it in years. Heck it has not been assembled in years. It sits on a top shelf in the back shop gathering dust. I even stole the table off of it for another machine project. (I did order a replacement table) Its got the start of a servo conversion on it, but I've been busy. There is a reason its on a top shelf. So its out of the way and lower shelves are available for things I use daily.

    Sometimes I just sit back and think through projects and ideas. Visualizing each step of an idea until I hit a snag. The Taig is one of those projects. I'd like to get it back in service if only to just put it on display in my front office and run it once in a while to bore a polite guest with when they stop by. Its a bit of work to do anything with it, and of course if I put it back in service I want to fix a lot of the things I consider to be short comings in the machine. I hate the tilting column, and I've tightened it down so many times its not quite perpendicular anymore. The square ways on the Z were always a headache, and I had to shim it straight. The spindle is a nice bit of engineering with its little dovetail mount, but the big spindle motor hanging off to one side put crazy amounts of cantilever forces on it. Certainly contributing to the somewhat constant issues with the Z overall. The precision V groove lead screws and pinch nuts are decent for what they are, but they are still V-groove screws with pinch nuts. I actually really like the anodize dovetail X axis ways. They held up well, adjusted easily and never seemed to give me any issues when lubed properly. Of course the lack of any kind of accommodation for lubrication was a bit on an irritant. Then the saddle rest "around" those angled square ways. That seemed to be a bit of a constant adjustment headache for me.

    Occasionally I'll think through the process of fixing everything and putting it back together. I can make or modify everything to make it better, but then it would no longer be a Taig. It would be a Bob Mill. That's the snag.

    Even if I fix all of its problems I really don't have that much use for it. Just boring a polite guest who won't just walk out when they instantly lose interest, and I don't really have the space to just display it anyway. My front office is slowly turning into another work shop in the shop. Heck I just moved the granite surface plate into the front office to make room for the new mill in the back shop.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    For those folks that will object and claim their Taig mill is the bee's knees or the cat's whiskers I went from learning how to CNC machine to running actual production parts on my Taig. I was making single parts in the thousands of dollars and running it sometimes non stop for 12 to as much as 30 hrs at a time. It really needed to be shut down, adjusted, and lubed about every 4-8 hrs. I'm not putting down YOUR Taig mill. Yours may well have been better than mine from day one. I am happy for you. I am only talking about mine.
    Last edited by Bob La Londe; 03-14-2021, 01:11 PM.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    It seems to me like that would be a time and money pit for what you would end up with. Only you can make that call. It may or may not be worth the effort.
    Kansas City area

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    • #3
      It occurred to me this morning while sipping my coffee what the solution to my dilemma is. Buy the 5C lathe conversion kit. I've wanted a CNC lathe for the occasional difficult to manually turn part. Its got a really nice 5C spindle I have considered buying by itself to convert to a 4th axis before, and some parts just finish nicer turned than milled.

      In my opinion it would eliminate the part of the machine I like the least. The column.
      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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      • #4
        You could pile all the pieces of the Taig into a box and put the box in your front office.
        Use it to bore polite guests who won't just walk out when they instantly lose interest.
        SE MI, USA

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        • #5
          20mm rails, 9 inches from spindle to column.

          xy axis has lube grooves added.

          Screws replaced by 8mm 3mmpitch ballscrews. Found 3 of them for 50$, ground, about .002" backlash.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by johansen View Post
            20mm rails, 9 inches from spindle to column.

            xy axis has lube grooves added.

            Screws replaced by 8mm 3mmpitch ballscrews. Found 3 of them for 50$, ground, about .002" backlash.
            Yeah, I could do all that, but then its not a Taig anymore. I can also build a machine in about the same amount of time. As building a Taig upgrade. Yeah I know about the guy on Facebook... Not interested.

            I see you are still running the Taig spindle. That was one of the first things I got rid of. I still have one. Two actually, but I found faster spindles really were a benefit for me for fine detail machining. My first trade sideways was setting it up to simultaneously run two rotary hand pieces as spindles so I could make parts two at a time. The Harbor Freight rotary hand pieces and then some high end tight tolerance Foredom hand pieces. It worked, but it was pretty clunky. Then I ran wood routers for a long time. Bosch Colt 1HP trim routers and Porter Cable 690s. I briefly tried a 40K 3 phase spindle, but was never able to get it to run right. Finally I put a 110V 24K water cooled spindle on it and I was pretty pleased, but by then I had pretty much worn out the Taig pushing it to its maximum capabilities. That spindle has pretty low hours and will probably find itself a home on an engraving and wood cutting machine that's laying in new parts on the back benches. .

            If I put it up front I'd want to make it look (somewhat) how it started.

            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
              I wrote a long rant some time back about how my Taig really got me started down this road. ( A Small CNC Mill - A Huge Education - The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist's Workshop Magazine's BBS ) I started out with a Harbor Freight 7x10 lathe, but the Taig really did things. It was what lead to where I am today. I have not used it in years
              heh, sounds like the road I'm on, only delayed by about a decade. Started with a (manual) Taig mill and a 7x16 Micromark lathe. because UPS was the only company that would deliver out here to the woods. Got fed up with the limitations of both after a couple years, built a shop, worked with some riggers to get used machinery delivered to it.

              I occasionally use the Taig when I need a spindle speed, and have been slowing modifying the 7x16 to do wood work. Considering upgrading the Taig to do CNC, but that is yet another project.

              Interesting ideas on the spindle replacements - might have to mount the bosch router on there and see how it goes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by thin-woodsman View Post

                heh, sounds like the road I'm on, only delayed by about a decade. Started with a (manual) Taig mill and a 7x16 Micromark lathe. because UPS was the only company that would deliver out here to the woods. Got fed up with the limitations of both after a couple years, built a shop, worked with some riggers to get used machinery delivered to it.

                I occasionally use the Taig when I need a spindle speed, and have been slowing modifying the 7x16 to do wood work. Considering upgrading the Taig to do CNC, but that is yet another project.

                Interesting ideas on the spindle replacements - might have to mount the bosch router on there and see how it goes.
                I've used a number of spindles.

                The stock spindle is pretty darn good, except for that giant electric motor cantilevered off to one side. I wore the first spindle out.

                Twin rotary hand pieces did work to make two identical parts at once. Adjusting the height was fiddley, but I did make an adjuster mechanism.

                Bosch Colt and Porter Cable 690 both worked decently in my home made mounts except they would fill up with aluminum chips. Also both would suffer from heat issues on long jobs.

                At one time I ran a Dewalt trim router with a pulley reduction to run a new stock spindle in a similar configuration to the stock motor. The big plus is it reduced they weight hanging off one side dramatically. It gave me finger tip variable speed and was insanely good for engraving. It still had potential for packing up with chips. I still have that assembly sitting on a shelf. Torque at speed was crazy good, and totally unnecessary. LOL.

                deepgroove1 used to sell spindle clamps for 65m and 80mm that would clamp directly on the dovetail plate for the stock spindle mounting. A 65mm 1hp water cooled spindles was probably the best solution for most of the work I did with the machine. I found one with VFD that ran on 110V. If I put the Taig back together that will probably be what goes back on it. Its lighter than the stock assembly although heavier than any of the other things I tried. The big deal is the motor isn't hanging off to one side putting twisting forces on everything.

                *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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