Monday, March 7, 2011

Taig lathe cabinet - completed

Today I took advantage of some time away from work during the public holiday to bolt the Taig lathe to the new stand.

Some history...

Figure 1 - original lathe stand

I bought the original Taig lathe from an amateur pyrotechnician in Brisbane in 2001 (or was it 2000?) The motor which came with it was a salvaged unit from a washing machine.

I modified the motor mount to retain the pillow block and 1/2" shaft, but mounted the motor and jackshaft on a set of sliding mounts which gave me a clutch in the form of a "belt unloader".

Figure 2 - motor mount and jackshaft on sliding mechanism

I put a drawer underneath the 18mm (3/4") MDF top sheet and used it this way ever since. In the meanwhile a removalist broke the jackshaft mounts, the motor board started a gradual twist (compensated for by inserting popsticks under the motor mounting), and the bearings in the motor started to fail.

Figure 3 - tail stock view of old stand

The motor controls (on-off switch) is mounted in the front of the white icecream container screwed to the baseboard - inside the icecream container is the start capacitor and the wiring out to the motor. - real high tech.

Over the past 5 years I commenced modifying the lathe by adding a leadscrew and halfnuts, converting the tool post and tail stock socket screws to thumb bolts, and building accessories.

Figure 4 - the conversion of socket screws to thumb bolts

So after essentially 10 years, this 12-14 year old lathe is getting a new cabinet and drive

That was the past - now here is the future...

Figure 5 - the new cabinet with Taig lathe in place

Electrical highlights
300W DC PM motor driven via a PWM VSD (Pulse Width Modulated) (Variable Speed Drive)
NVR and E-stop safety circuitry (No-Volts Relay)
4 switched GPOs onboard

Powered from a single 240VAC IEC power cord

Figure 6 - electrical cabinet

Mechanical features
Metal cabinet with enough "meat" to permit drilling and tapping accessories anywhere I want.
Swarf tray with gate in floor
magnetic metal base for DTI, etc
motor mount has a "belt unloader"
All painted up in "Bender gray" except the 4mm thick metal baseplate

The motor mount is loosely based on the Nick Carter design, but modified for my purposes with a cam operated unloader mechanism.

Figure 7 - the motor mount in the "unloaded" position

The control panel represented an interesting amount of work which will be covered in greater detail later. one of the fun parts was the logos and labelling - the frustrating parts was doing the wiring to a suitable standard which permitted easy construction, and repairs.

Figure 8 - close up of control panel

In all, about one month's work over weekends, and the odd day here and there (mornings during shift rostered days.) - estimated total labour time would  be 100 hours
The wiring took about 3 days since I had to redo some of it when my neighbour offered some advice on how to make it better for someone else to fault find in.
Everything except the motor and some electrical components was either constructed, or salvaged - the out of pocket expenses were around $200, and a large chunk of that was for the power supply.

I will do up some articles which highlight the construction process, with focus on the various components/ skills, but in the mean time I'm going to enjoy using this "reborn" lathe.

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