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Installing a Align AL500D power feed on a Craftex CX601 Mill

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  • Installing a Align AL500D power feed on a Craftex CX601 Mill

    To start with I discovered that all of these machines are not identical. Depending on the date they were built and the company they were built for. So if you have one it may not be exactly the same as what I am describing even though it is the same model.
    We knew before I bought the power feed that the gear would not fit right on the end of the X axis leadscrew and a hub would have to be machined to adapt it.
    To start with I found that the end of the mill table was too thick for the small bracket to go over it. Everything else looked like it was doable so I disconnected the leadscrew from the table by removing both end brackets and slid the table far enough to the right to enable me to take a cut off of it with the mill. Now the small bracket will fit over the end.
    Last edited by Cuttings; 05-18-2017, 01:07 AM.
    Larry - west coast of Canada

  • #2
    Next I could see that the bracket would not go down over the mill table end bracket, so I removed that again and cut as much as I dare off each end to narrow it somewhat.

    I then had to mill a little of each end of the gap in the small bracket and remove the radius to get it to go right down in place.

    Last edited by Cuttings; 05-18-2017, 12:08 AM.
    Larry - west coast of Canada


    • #3
      I then machined a hub to fit the 17MM bore of the drive gear and fit over the 12MM end of the leadscrew. This had to be long enough to match the gear up with the small gear in the power feed. The hub had to have a keyway broached into it to fit the key in the leadscrew that originally allowed the handwheel to drive it. The drive gear comes with one setscrew and had three lugs on the inner end which are there to drive the leadscrew of other machines it is designed to fit. As this one was going to be driven from the setscrew I decided to put two more setscrews as someone else suggested to make a stronger drive connection. To retain the gear and hub to the leadscrew I machined a long nut from some hex stock with a round end to go into the bore of the hub and give the overhang some additional support.

      You will see in this next picture, with it all assembled, I have added two more 8MM flat head bolts to the corners of the small bracket. I didn't like the idea of holding the whole thing to the end of the mill table with just the two clamp bolts through the inside of the small bracket. I have since changed these bolts out for setscrews with lock nuts to give them a little more bight.

      Last edited by Cuttings; 05-18-2017, 12:44 AM.
      Larry - west coast of Canada


      • #4
        Here she is all done I thought. Powered it up and it worked very smoothly.

        All I had left to do was mount the limit switch and stops to the front of the mill table. Well the stops and wedges didn't quit fit the slot in this table to so I fired up the old mill on my mill lathe and took a few cuts to make them fit. I drilled and tapped to mount the switch mounting bar and tried the switch in place. I comes with a plate mounted to the back of it with four small screws and has two slotted holes to bolt it to the bar and position it. Well the plate was too long for this machine and the switch wouldn't line up with the stops. So I had to make a new plate because if I had cut enough off the original to get it down in place I would have opened up the bottom end of the slots. Any way with the new plate custom made for this machine it fits quit nicely. All that is left is to secure the cables out of the way and we are done. I gave it a test run today. I makes a noticeable difference in the finish you get with the power feed verses hand cranking it. The machine is much more enjoyable to run now.

        Last edited by Cuttings; 05-18-2017, 11:11 AM.
        Larry - west coast of Canada


        • #5
          Hey Larry, that is a real nice job. Good on you.

          I couldn't imagine hot having a power feed on my mill. (or lathe)
          John Titor, when are you.


          • #6
            You had to do much more work than I and it looks like it really cam out good. I want to add the screws to the mount on the table like you did, but I want to use oval head machine screws to spread the load. I considered boring out the gear and sleeving back to the shaft to overcome the loose fit that mine had, but I think the 6 set screw solution will work out OK.

            It looks like a really fine job and you should be pleased.
            Grantham, New Hampshire