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Bridgeport CNC upgrade, Hurrah HSM magazine

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  • Bridgeport CNC upgrade, Hurrah HSM magazine

    About two years late for my conversion.

    Nice.. they have spent the last two issues on teardown.. I can't wait to see which drives they use. I done been down the road with the gecko's. Larkens are doing great for my application.

    Nice magazine if you have not subscribed, DO.. Worth the money.

    Lots of machining articles, lots of pictures.


  • #2
    Do you want to take any bets on them using this Brit system ??

    John S.

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


    • #3
      John S. - Well, the author's E-mail address is at Cardinal Engineering, so I think you will win your bet!


      • #4
        Well, They didn't listen to any of "US" then did they?

        A cheap replacement for the drives? Larken was my second choice with a learning curve on the Geckos costing me money. No problems since. I think a servo drive will be better thou.

        A toshiba single phase in, 3 phase out inverter runs my head reliably.

        Selling the old parts from the Bridgeport I converted my machine for less then $1500.. Including the now-broken 2.4 gig intel computer.

        LOts of good iron out there (outdated bridgeports). Next, I want handles too... I hate being down and dependent on a computer, thou the joystick milling is true joy. Like carving by hand.



        • #5
          Read the manual in the link.
          The Turner drive will do steppers or servo's.

          John S.

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


          • #6
            allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute..

            i own a bridgeport (best investment ever)
            and do _not_ use it for production work.
            mostly one-offs

            what advantages would CNC capabilities give me? where do you draw the line between doing it all by hand and/or investing $4000 for CNC?

            basically, is CNC any help for one-off jobs, considering the price and time to program? (except for the obvious, like hole patterns)



            • #7
              I am just finishing a complex one-off project that has all kinds of square pockets and holes.

              I have spent so much time doing this by hand that my right arm is killing me!

              For this job CNC would be a godsend considering I designed the part in CAD already.

              Also, if I make a mistake using CNC, at least I can make it fast! When I make a mistake manually, I have to start over again and it takes just as much effort as it did the first time.

              If the CNC makes a mistake, I at least know that everything is good up to that point and can push the "do-over" button after I correct the error and move on.

              I would do it in a heartbeat if I had the cash. At some point I will.

              It would be nice to do a conversion that allows manual use of the machine, too.


              • #8
                Doing die work, I rarely use the Gcode to make minor changes, I steer by joystick.

                My 65$ Qstep software package is not the greatest in the world for sure. I have been well pleased with the results.

                I have a Visual basic program to do away with a lot of the simple sequential cuts, it writes Gcode step-overs like some of the finer software. Then I import it into Qstep. You can show the machine tool paths before you cut anything with the software. View from any angle.

                Is it better, No, if you don't have high standards it will not improve your end product.

                Hurrah HSM thou. Anytime you can purchase a older CNC machine that has the drives, the good bed, the good screws cheaper then just a set of ball screws. (some are 500 on ebay).. It is great... Well within the HSM'er s bank account.



                • #9
                  I'm fortunate in that I have both manual and CNC machines so I can pick and choose machines for jobs.
                  I do very little production work, mostly one off and I use the CNC more than the Bridgeport because after a short while of building a few programs up you can reuse these.
                  Depending on your machine / contoller a lot have macro capability where you can call up shortcuts.
                  Keyways are a classic example. On the Bridgy I have to put the work in the vise, find centre, find a cutter and fit, look in the book for details like depth etc then cut the keyway.
                  On the CNC I put the work in the vise and because it knows where the vise is I just jog 1/2 the bar diameter, load a preset tool and touch it on top of the work and set, call the macro up for that width keyway and enter the length, the program knows the rest, depth speed, feed etc, press go and walk away to do something else.

                  Tomorrow I have a brush ring to do for a big DC motor that caught fire. Simple piece, just a ring of tufnol with 4 curved slots for brush adjustment and 8, 5mm holes for the brush boxes. I did one about 4 months ago so I will have the program. If I didn't it would take about ten minutes to do one with Dolphin.
                  The whole ring will be cut from a flat sheet with just the 5mm cutter to save tool changing.

                  John S.

                  Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.