Monday, November 4, 2013

Birthday! - Setting up the CNC Mill

Yesterday was my birthday.  My present to myself was a Spectralight 0200 CNC Mill from eBay and an small metal casting foundry set.  I picked up the mill last week and installed it Sunday night.

The Mill is based on a Sherline 5400.  The one I bought has a 3/8's inch Jacob's chuck and a small milling vice.  What's awesome about this one is that it didn't require any fritzing.  It had a PC with the control software installed, the software, the interface card, the control box and the mill.  It was literally plug and play.  I was _really_ excited to get it in and set up.

The good news:  It worked!

I didn't have any end mills, so I bought a HSS 1/8" Spiral cutting wood bit.  I chucked it up.  (Crap, it didn't include a chuck key.) and mounted a piece of pink foam in the vice.  (Crap, I don't know how a machinist vice works.).  Then I turned the spindle on (Wait, it isn't working.  Here, let me screw that connector a little tighter) and jogged around in the foam to make a cut!  (Success!)

The bad news:  [It worked] ... for about 15 minutes.
The Y axis stopped moving.  I can see the Y axis stepper turning, but the slide doesn't move.  I pulled it apart and the leadscrew was pulling out of the thrust bearing that holds it in place.  I pulled the Sherline parts manual and it looks like there is a socket head cap screw in there that must have failed

Specifically, I think that my 67115 has come out of the leadscrew or my 67105 has busted.  Back at the mill there is a big rubber something that is wrapped around my 67105 coupler.  I don't know if it's just a safety don't-put-your-finger-in-this thing or if it is some sort of vibration dampener.  I didn't get another chance to work on it this weekend, but it's my first priority for next weekend.

I am giddily excited about this.  There are so many things I want to make now!

p.s. My son's first question was "Can I try?".  His second was "Can we make an AR with this?" :)

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