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Thread: help for cnc retrofitting for my lathe

  1. #1
    aliasgar_1989 is offline Plastic
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    Default help for cnc retrofitting for my lathe

    i have this conventional lathe which we have in our workshop for quite some years now and one day i read this article in a magazine convert your lathe to low cost cnc which got me quite excited since the lathe had been lying idle for quite some time and a retrofitted cnc would help to experiment with new ideas. I mailed this particular company for a quotation for my lathe with bed width of 9inches and length of 40inches and the quotation i got was a shock they quoted me Rs.3,50,000 which converts to around $7600 which was way beyond my budget i just couldnt afford it so i started searching the net for other companies who would provide me a reasonable retrofitting kit or plans for the same and havent been successful as of yet but in the process i hit upon many do it yourself cnc retrofit suggestions and plans like dak engineers & sterlingsteele but the thing is they all talk about mini lathe conversions so i said lets gather a little more info on cnc retrofit kits and i figured out quite a few things but i still need help for eg. like should i use stepper motors instead of servo since my budget is low and what should the torque range be or what nema motor should i use should i buy stepper motors with dual shaft and use an encoder for feedback and what about the leadscrew should i do away with them and replace them with ball screws or i could use them and what about the motor on the cross slide and i do get few jobs for threading so how to fix an encoder on the spindle in all i am still a novice when it comes to retrofitting and have no idea what to do with a small pocket i cant afford $7600 and i have been sitting around quite a few days browsing for the same so i thought of asking in this forum for suggestions and ideas hope there is someone out there who can help

  2. #2
    cncbrit is offline Hot Rolled
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    Bad idea, best to get the lathe running as good as it will, get a nice toolpost etc, then when you are done with it sell it and buy a functional CNC lathe. Where you are now to where you are going is just down hill. If the lathe is not useful, sell it any way and buy a non functioning CNC lathe, then you have a good starting point to retrofit from.
    jdj likes this.

  3. #3
    Gary E is offline Diamond
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    You should be able to buy some real cheeeeeeep parts in your local stores...
    save some money or rupies or whatever.....

    Common guy....BUY A NEW OR AT LEAST A RUNNING OLD USED ONE......
    jdj likes this.

  4. #4
    aliasgar_1989 is offline Plastic
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncbrit View Post
    Bad idea, best to get the lathe running as good as it will, get a nice toolpost etc, then when you are done with it sell it and buy a functional CNC lathe. Where you are now to where you are going is just down hill. If the lathe is not useful, sell it any way and buy a non functioning CNC lathe, then you have a good starting point to retrofit from.
    i appreciate your suggestion but the thing is i was just thinking of getting my lathe retrofitted and about buying a used cnc lathe i had rather not it will be more expensive than retrofitting also the lathe is in excellent condition nor do i need to buy any parts for it from any local store all i wanted was to know if anyone could guide me for retrofitting or suggest sites which provide plans for the same and i guess i should listen to you and drop the idea for good anyways thanks for your suggestions ......

  5. #5
    3t3d is offline Titanium
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    By the time you find some servo motors, and ball screws and servo motor drivers, and a computer, and the brackets, and the couplers, and the interface, and more and more stuff until you have spent way more than a used CNC lathe..

    It REALLY is cheaper to find a used CNC lathe that no longer runs, and fix it up.
    It sounds like a good idea at first to just convert the lathe that you have, but by the time you actually do get all the parts you need, and they do not Quite work just right...

    Finding a used machine is a better idea. It was designed to be a CNC lathe from the beginning.

    You can maybe control that used cnc lathe with Mach software. Very inexpensive.

    But the ball screws and servos and wiring and all the bits are cheapest if you buy a used machine with all the bits already attached to it.

    And to repeat someone else, a running manual lathe will usually sell for more than a non running CNC lathe.
    So selling yours,. and buying an old CNC lathe will be cheaper in two ways.

  6. #6
    ions82 is offline Stainless
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    There's GOTTA be some old CNC lathes lying around India. In the past few years, I've come across more than one instance in which buyers from India were snapping up all sorts of old CNC machinery (running or not) and having it shipped back.

    As has been said, you'd be much better off either starting with an old CNC lathe or just getting a running machine. There's a reason the only info you can find on lathe retrofits is for mini lathes and other hobby-type machines. It's because it's just not worth it to try and add ballscrews to a conventional lathe. A CONTROL retrofit is one thing. Adding ALL the necessary components for CNC is a completely different story.

  7. #7
    aliasgar_1989 is offline Plastic
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    thank you all(ions82,3t3d,garyE,cncBrit) for your advice maybe you are right only that i was obsessed with the idea of retrofitting but now i should know better...........once again thank you all for your advice and suggestions i will search for a used cnc lathe which is a little easy on my pocket even if nonfunctional and then start from scratch to make it functional

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