johnsmachines

machines which I have made, am making, or intend to make, and some other stuff. If you find this site interesting, please leave a comment. I read every comment and respond to most.

BOXFORD CNC LATHE (4)

Some videos and pics of some stuff made on the Boxford.

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CNC is great for multiples.  These are oil cups with ME threads.

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Steam engine link

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Ball end handle for a small lathe

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The finish on the distal end was suboptimal.

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First step in making Watts parallel motion links for the beam engine. 

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Base for a Jan Ridders Stirling engine

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The steam control cock and butterfly valve.  The body of the top valve and both handles were CNC’d.

If you have found this little series of blogs about the lathe CNC conversion interesting, and would like to see a similar blog about how I got an ancient CNC mill working, let me know.  Leave some feedback.

BOXFORD CNC LATHE (3)

Some more photos of the Boxford, after the conversion.  Sounds like the Damascus Road doesn’t it.  Going CNC is almost an epiphany.

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This is the wireless MPG controller.  The lathe can be controlled from across the room, using the MPG and the wireless mouse and keyboard.  The MPG even has an Estop kill button, along with the one on the lathe.

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The new setup.  Normally the keyboard and mouse sit under the screen to avoid swarf.  Note the multitude of LED and halogen lights.  I need those these days.

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The old Dell sits underneath, along with other bits and pieces.  The trolley has been very useful, as the lathe is progressively expelled from different rooms by SWMBO.

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One drawer of tool holders, collets, inserts etc.  The other drawer is not so tidy.

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The Dickson toolpost, and Diamond tangential tool.

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The ER32 collet chuck.  Much more accurate than the Burnerd 3 jaw chuck.  The mounting plate and backing plate were made by me to a design by Stuart Tankard.

If this conversion is of interest to you, look out for a technical description of the process in an article by Stuart Tankard to be published next year in Australian Model Engineer.

BOXFORD CNC LATHE (2)

This is the list of components and prices (AUD 2013) which was required to update the electronics so the Boxford 125 TCL would run on Mach3 and Windows.

Breakout board  C11  $129

Index pulse board  C3  $26

Gecko stepper drivers G251  $68 x2

Relays, relay bases, parallel port cable, Estop button   ~$80

Power supply  $30

Wireless MPG   from China  Ebay  $129

Heat sinks and adhesive   $20

Other cables, connectors, power sockets  ~$100

PC (an old Dell, running XP Pro, perfectly adequate for Mach 3)   free

Flat screen     free,  wireless keyboard and mouse  free.

Support arm for Screen  $60

Trolley  $200

It all adds up to $AUD910.   Plus the original $1500 for the lathe.  That is pretty inexpensive for a quality CNC lathe.  I am told that the Boxford retailed for about $30,000 in 1985!

Some before and after photos of the conversion…

 

 

 

 

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The back of the lathe opened, showing the old electricals  The spindle motor is top right.

 

The electricals after the conversion.

The electricals after the conversion.  Some of the old components were retained.  The lights are on the breakout board.