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Smithy 1220xl 3 in 1

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  • Smithy 1220xl 3 in 1

    I have a smithy 1220xl 3 in 1 and since it only has one motor when i run the mill i have no power feed, so i have a variable speed servo motor was thinking of hooking up to the lead screw. Has anyone here done the same with the smithy or similar 3 in 1 machine. If so do you have pictures that could give me a idea where to start?

  • #2
    I have one, but not done what you want.
    For the mill work I do I got a BP clone.
    Watching with interest.
    olf20 / Bob


    • #3
      I think I mentioned this before but if you look at Eddie The Grouch channel on youTube, he has extensive mods including stepper or servo motors. The two part video on his machine has a lot of them.
      There are two versions of the leadscrew on 1220XLs Some have a half nut hidden behind the apron (like mine) which disengages the carriage. You can also disengage on the headstock.

      The other version has a solid nut which cannot be disengaged and the leadscrew is uncoupled with a lever on the headstock end of the leadscrew. The half nut version is less accurate because there is more to have slop in it. I rebuilt or remachined the mechanism so it works reasonably well.

      In either case you are probably going to have to mount a motor on the tailstock end with a belt and pulley arrangement.

      There are also some examples out there of owners using ballscrews/linear slides. Depends on how much money you want to throw at it. Using the leadscrew to make milling passes is much preferred as it does not tend to push the swiveling headstock around like the crossslide can.


      • #4
        You could start a project to move the handles. But mostly or at least alongside I'd suggest you also learn to hand turn the wheels in a really nice smooth and consistent manner.
        Chilliwack BC, Canada


        • #5
          My motor showed up so i hope to find some time to get out to the garage to get a idea how to install it. now dealing with water issues from the snow melt.


          • #6
            I have a similar 3in1 and am... considering... putting a stepper on the leadscrew. If I were to do it, I'd just bolt something to the gear train, which would be a fairly simple and detachable mod. Just a motor with a gear in place of the big idler gear.

            Eventually, I'd like to put an encoder of some type on the spindle and then see if I can get enough resolution and control to do threading without the gear train. That would be a significant improvement, dialling in a TPI on a keypad.

            But... that would be for the lathe. For milling... the envelope along the ways is so small it seems kind of pointless. The one pictured seems to have a bit more range on the cross-slide than mine... maybe there, but that's a whole different project.

            And honestly, right now, I'd just like to find a bit more time for the shop to do anything. Too many projects waiting so this is a someday thing.