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Thread: New toy

  1. #1
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    New toy

    I've wanted a mill as long as I've wanted a lathe, but I knew I needed a lathe first. I got that sorted out about 18 months ago and I've got a lovely big capacity Harrison.

    Finally, when I started looking for a mill, I knew I wanted it to be relatively hefty, relatively adaptable/flexible, and most importantly, CNC.
    Reasons:
    - automatic oilers keep the ways in better condition
    - ball screws as standard for accuracy and climb milling
    - circular interpolations and BCD spacings make a flat rotary table redundant - one less bit of kit to buy
    - repetitive tasks like making steelwork end plates - can all be drilled via CNC rather than by hand - eliminating the need for an ironworker
    - everyone is scared of old CNC controls - making them better value for money over the manual equivalent

    I started looking at used machines from late 90's/early 00's, but even the dealer ones were worn out. There is some junk out there.
    Finally a mate who owns a machine shop told me he was buying another large bed mill and his smallest one would be up for grabs. I said yes please!
    It has a Centroid control, which is not common over here, but it was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in its time. Uses G-code for 3D CNC milling, and has a simple conversational programming control.

    The first thing I wanted to make for it was a large fly cutter head, so I turned this 6" lump in the lathe and set it up in the mill for a slot and some grub screws. It will take 1" shanked lathe tools, including my indexable carbide... should be good for skimming up to 10" widths.
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    I squared up the control head with some shouldered spacers, it annoyed me seeing it slant down like that!
    The first thing I wanted to make for it was a large fly cutter head, so I turned this 6" lump in the lathe and set it up in the mill for an angled slot and a flat to drill for grub screws. It will take 1" shanked lathe tools, including my indexable carbide... should be good for skimming up to 10" widths.

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    Last edited by Munkul; 07-04-2022 at 03:57 AM.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

  2. #2
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    Re: New toy

    Looks great 👍

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    I've wanted a mill as long as I've wanted a lathe, but I knew I needed a lathe first. I got that sorted out about 18 months ago and I've got a lovely big capacity Harrison.

    Finally, when I started looking for a mill, I knew I wanted it to be relatively hefty, relatively adaptable/flexible, and most importantly, CNC.
    Reasons:
    - automatic oilers keep the ways in better condition
    - ball screws as standard for accuracy and climb milling
    - circular interpolations and BCD spacings make a flat rotary table redundant - one less bit of kit to buy
    - repetitive tasks like making steelwork end plates - can all be drilled via CNC rather than by hand - eliminating the need for an ironworker
    - everyone is scared of old CNC controls - making them better value for money over the manual equivalent

    I started looking at used machines from late 90's/early 00's, but even the dealer ones were worn out. There is some junk out there.
    Finally a mate who owns a machine shop told me he was buying another large bed mill and his smallest one would be up for grabs. I said yes please!
    It has a Centroid control, which is not common over here, but it was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in its time. Uses G-code for 3D CNC milling, and has a simple conversational programming control.

    The first thing I wanted to make for it was a large fly cutter head, so I turned this 6" lump in the lathe and set it up in the mill for a slot and some grub screws. It will take 1" shanked lathe tools, including my indexable carbide... should be good for skimming up to 10" widths.
    Name:  2022-06-25 19.35.20.jpg
Views: 417
Size:  110.5 KB
    Name:  2022-06-25 19.52.38.jpg
Views: 409
Size:  114.9 KB

    I squared up the control head with some shouldered spacers, it annoyed me seeing it slant down like that!
    The first thing I wanted to make for it was a large fly cutter head, so I turned this 6" lump in the lathe and set it up in the mill for an angled slot and a flat to drill for grub screws. It will take 1" shanked lathe tools, including my indexable carbide... should be good for skimming up to 10" widths.

    Name:  2022-07-02 21.00.06.jpg
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  4. #3
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    Re: New toy

    One of the most satisfying results, when everything is right, is fly cutting aluminum.
    I would like to add DRO to my Bridgeport mill. A good one would cost more than I paid for the machine.
    I deal with manual operation, dials and backlash. I do have a working table feed, (X). I get by until someone comes in, starts talking and interrupts my chain of thought.
    Good luck with your mill.
    Ernie F.

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  6. #4
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    Re: New toy

    I'm jealous! The trade school I went to had some Harrison lathes but the teacher liked the Standard Modern lathes they had better.

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  8. #5
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    Re: New toy

    I finished off the fly cutter last night.

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    I got this lathe tool that uses the "blunt" corners of CNMG inserts. I thought the approach and relief angles could work really well for fly cutting, and if nothing else, I could grind my own carbide edges out of used-up inserts.
    I put one of my random ceratip inserts that I don't know what they are for. (The box says steel, but they don't work on steel worth anything). I tried it out-of-the-box, and I also tried it after giving the edge a little tickle with a grinder.

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    This was a 1 thou cut (I did several at different speeds/feeds). The pictures don't do the finish justice. I couldn't clean it properly, but trust me, this is almost mirror finish. Really happy

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    Just need some grub screws to replace the bolts I used for testing... and to get some more materials to try out... need to learn these things before a job comes in that has to be perfect... I'll try it on steel as well and see how rigid the setup is.
    Last edited by Munkul; 07-05-2022 at 02:52 AM.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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  10. #6
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    Re: New toy

    Very nice fly cutter. Looks rigid enough for a variety of work.
    I too would like to see how it does on steel. The results I get (on steel), are so-so. My fly cutter is much smaller and limited to HHS tools.
    Ernie F.

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  12. #7
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    Re: New toy

    Nice score!
    Miller Trailblazer Pro 350D
    Miller Suitcase MIG
    Miller Spectrum 2050
    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Lincoln 210MP

  13. #8
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    Re: New toy

    Congratulations! I have a Kasuga knee mill with a Centroid control and I find the conversational programming to be really handy. Is it running the Linux based OS or Windows?

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  15. #9
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    Re: New toy

    When I said "any monkey with a CNC mill can make a sprocket", I didn't know you'd purchased a new mill

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  17. #10
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    Re: New toy

    Quote Originally Posted by forhire View Post
    Congratulations! I have a Kasuga knee mill with a Centroid control and I find the conversational programming to be really handy. Is it running the Linux based OS or Windows?
    It's running MS DOS, old CNC7 software, not even fully updated, but at this point, it's not worth it.

    66mhz CPU and 4mb of RAM, it's not exactly a super computer but I think someone at some point has upgraded the hard drive, it's 1.75GB and has hundreds of old programs left on it. Some really fancy 3D profiles as well.

    My plan is to get someone to image the hard drive, that way if the PC dies I have some hope of finding some legacy hardware and resurrecting it. Newer hardware/software wouldn't actually give me much value for money.
    The only thing it's missing that would be useful is co-ordinate system rotation, it would be really nice to be able to square off against any angle and make a simpler program.
    The manual power feeds mode could be a lot simpler as well, but I shouldn't complain.

    I LOVE the Centroid control, though. G codes, colour screen, easy-to-understand graphics, Intercon conversational software making life pretty easy for basic tasks... This was miles and miles ahead of Prototrak back in 1998!
    I've had a little play on a Trak mill and was underwhelmed. But somehow Prototrak took off... I think they had better marketing. Newer Trak mills look much much better, but you need to be this side of 2010 in age...
    Last edited by Munkul; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:49 AM.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

  18. #11
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    Re: New toy

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    When I said "any monkey with a CNC mill can make a sprocket", I didn't know you'd purchased a new mill
    I read your post and was thinking, "not this monkey, not yet anyway"

    I know it's possible, but would take me about a day to write it in conversational!

    I need some CAM software to play with, then I can generate code from a CAD drawing.
    Last edited by Munkul; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:47 AM.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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  20. #12
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    Re: New toy

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    It's running MS DOS, old CNC7 software, not even fully updated, but at this point, it's not worth it.
    You 100% want to get someone to image the drive. Mine is the M39 version and uses Compact Flash as the hard drive. I used CloneZilla to make the drive image. I temporarily plugged in an additional card reader to make the image. I'm running the Linux version of CNC10.

    I upgraded the image to add compression tapping capability. Later, when I added a spindle encoder in an attempt to add rigid tapping Centroid provided me with a temporary key to ensure it would work. That's when I learned that the ISA card wasn't 100% compatible with the latest release. I bought a used PCI controller card off Ebay with the idea of upgrading but I still need to send the card back to Centroid to transfer my license keys.

    I don't know that the CNC7 supports compression tapping without a license upgrade but here is a homemade tapping head I made. It's worked great. I ended up with a bunch of DA180 tool holders so I made a couple tap holders to fit.

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  22. #13
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    Re: New toy

    Centroid seems great for this sort of tweaking and upgrading. Mine doesn't have rigid tapping or a spindle encoder, but i don't do enough tapping to care anyway. Can always get a tapping head or run it down with a loose quill.
    It does however have the 4th axis unlocked...I'm semi interested in getting hold of a suitable setup. I need a B axis indexing table anyways. Probably just settle for manual, for the use it will get.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

  23. #14
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    Re: New toy

    I am still eating dirt and trying to master the 4 1/2 grinder. It is pretty.

  24. #15
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    Re: New toy

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    It does however have the 4th axis unlocked...I'm semi interested in getting hold of a suitable setup. I need a B axis indexing table anyways. Probably just settle for manual, for the use it will get.
    When you decide to hook up the 4th axis let me know and I'll take some pictures. I mostly use mine as an indexer, and not very often. I last used it to make bevel gears from fiber reinforced delrin. I've been meaning to fit it with a chuck which would likely make it a lot more convenient to use. I also have a HAAS 5C indexer and I really like it. I've been toying with setting it up to plug into the 4th axis on the Centroid as it's a LOT easier to put on the table. The big rotary axis weighs about 350 lbs and I have to use the crane to put it in place.

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