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Got Free Interact 1 Mk1

AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Put it back together and make it run before you bother with cleaning. You don't want to spray stuff in places that were not meant to be open

Simple green, hot water

Thanks for the info, i think the APC i have is very similar to "Simple Green".

Any info on the tool holders?

Thanks

Alex
 

neilho

Titanium
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Location
Vershire, Vermont
Ditto on the Simple Green with water rinse...
I was under the impression with this machine i could have multiple tool holders loaded with tools and swap those out? Could someone explain a bit better how the setup works?
Yes, you can do that. Your quick release tooling system was made by Erickson. It's nominally NMTB30 taper, but the toolholders also need consistent tool flange thickness to lock reliably. The NMTB standard doesn't specify the flange thickness closely enough, but Erickson does. Other mfgers tooling are hit or miss, mostly miss, even though the tapers match. Ericksons are commonly available here in the US for $30 or so each on eBay, possibly also in the UK, as there were a lot of Interacts made there with the Erickson system.

There's a hook type wrench to turn that locking collar. Perhaps that's among the tools from the original owner?

Another handy accessory is a Spin-L-Mate, which is a spindle taper cleaner. Was $30 or so US, quite a while ago.

Good to read you got your machine home safely. And I'm very glad you didn't run the ballnut off the leadscrew.
 
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AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Ditto on the Simple Green with water rinse...

Yes, you can do that. Your quick release tooling system was made by Erickson. It's nominally NMTB30 taper, but the toolholders also need consistent tool flange thickness to lock reliably. The NMTB standard doesn't specify the flange thickness closely enough, but Erickson does. Other mfgers tooling are hit or miss, mostly miss, even though the tapers match. Ericksons are commonly available here in the US for $30 or so each on eBay, possibly also in the UK, as there were a lot of Interacts made there with the Erickson system.

There's a hook type wrench to turn that locking collar. Perhaps that's among the tools from the original owner?

Another handy accessory is a Spin-L-Mate, which is a spindle taper cleaner. Was $30 or so US, quite a while ago.

Good to read you got your machine home safely. And I'm very glad you didn't run the ballnut off the leadscrew.

Thanks for the information there that was exactly what i needed, NMTB30 is hitting a lot of results, at least now i can hunt around for some holders.

Yes i can see in the documentation there is a lot of attention paid to using toolholders with the correct gauge line distance.

Unsure on the collar wrench, i will check the box but we have many different types in the drawer at work, one of them might fit, if not i can get one.

Those Spin-L Mates look cool! Can't find one over here it seems but maybe i can 3D Print one, the blades look like a thin teflon material?

Hopefully i will have some updates this weekend for you guys.

Thanks again

Alex
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Too late to be of any help with this move, but I've had to deal with the low door scenario several times.

It seems to me as though staring at the machine for about an hour always leads to a way to use the machine to disassemble and re-assemble itself.

Get it turned on and atleast able to jog the axis.
Make a mount to bolt to the table and support the spindle nose/quill. Give it a little slop, like .01"
Lower Z (raise knee in your case). Zero Y axis relative display. Move Y negative.
Support spindle with the mount you fabrilated.
Unbolt the headstock/Z ways/whatever from the main casting.
Jog Y positive.
Raise Z or lower knee to desired height.
Jog Y negative until you get to zero.
Bolt it back on in a lower position or make a shipping bracket. Somehow you hold The head solidly.

Probably overkill for this little machine, but it's a slick way of doing it. I have moved a 108" tall machine through an 83" door this way.
 

AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Well guys, on Sunday i managed to get a few spare hours to go and clean the machine. I didnt realise actually how grimey it was until now. Its actually more of a blue grey than a green grey!

I followed your advice on using an APC and water, worked very well but still very time consuming. I rinsed the machine down a final time and then did my best to blow all water from the machine using compressed air and then coat everything i could see in a light oil film. Hoping to get the machine down to my house next weekend hopefully. The machine definitely needs painting in a lot of places to bring it up to scratch again.

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Also a bonus i found the Parameter list in the electronics cabinet! Its dated 1990, does this mean thats when the machine was commissioned or likely an adaption to the existing ones? I thought it would be older than 90'. Also typical of me i spilt Fanta on it on the way home -_-

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Also ordered a bunch of tool holders and various other bits online, here are a couple of pics i got with the machine, these QC30 Spindle Nuts seem to be worth some decent £££ Online, although these are missing the bolts?

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As you can see from my pictures the threads in the aluminium bracket that hold the speed adjustment fork (thing?) are partially stripped, im planning to helicoil these unless there is a better alternative?

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I used compressed air to clean out the pulley housing, didnt want to spray any cleaner in there.

Thanks

Alex
 

neilho

Titanium
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Location
Vershire, Vermont
A direct drive belt arrangement and a VFD will make the variable speed mechanisms a lot simpler. No variable speed drive to repair, no air control necessary, no speed change air motor needed, it can be a single phase machine and spindle speed changes can be made in the program. (Now it has to be done manually.) That's if the machine control is retrofitted.

If the machine isn't retrofitted? Ditto ;)

Somewhere on the net this has been documented for the DC spindle drive. This version is a lot easier to do. The solenoids are due for replacement (30 years being a good service life) and are very nearly unobtainable.

Good to have the parameters list. The electrical schematics were also stored in that pocket inside the electrical cabinet door. Hopefully, you have those too.

Did any manuals come with the machine?
 
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AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
A direct drive belt arrangement and a VFD will make the variable speed mechanisms a lot simpler. No variable speed drive to repair, no air control necessary, no speed change air motor needed, it can be a single phase machine and spindle speed changes can be made in the program. (Now it has to be done manually.) That's if the machine control is retrofitted.

If the machine isn't retrofitted? Ditto ;)

Somewhere on the net this has been documented for the DC spindle drive. This version is a lot easier to do. The solenoids are due for replacement (30 years being a good service life) and are very nearly unobtainable.

Good to have the parameters list. The electrical schematics were also stored in that pocket inside the electrical cabinet door. Hopefully, you have those too.

Did any manuals come with the machine?

That was the plan with the VFD and spindle, i have a spare 2.2kw VFD from an existing project i plan to use.

This machine has the wind wheel for adjusting the spindle speed currently, so im guessing those solenoids do not exist for me?

A friend of mine who is a very capable electrical engineer (most of his talk is waaaaayyy over my head) mentioned about trying to run the spindle in some kind of medium speed to get the most RPM & Maintain the most Torque. He has a few projects for the mill so im hoping he will be of great assistance to me in any retrofit work.

Yes the schematics were also in the pocket, i have 2 programming & Maintenance manuals as well as many additional A1 Blown up physical drawings. If anyone is interest in these i can upload them. I also have an original brochure and many other drawings, if i get time tomorrow i will upload some pictures.

Thanks

Alex
 

AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Hello guys, not much of an update to be honest. I finally got the mill to my placer and in the garage. Much easier as i paid a guy with a van which had a small crane to drop it right outside the garage door and then rolled it in on bars.
First task was to get it in position. I opted to remove the electrical cabinet and i will mount this to the wall next to it. this lets me push it ~40cm closer to the wall.

I ordered a new bearing for the top of the spindle pulley as this one seemed to have a bit of play in it. I've been going around the machine finishing the cleaning, this thing is so needlessly dirty, been used over and over without any cleaning, pushed a lot of dirt in under the wipers etc. Also knocking off some of the flash rust that came as a result of it sitting outside for a few weeks (even though it was shrink wrapped). A good opportunity to get a basic understanding of its assembly.

In position:

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The condition of my ways, i believe this is fairly good?:

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Couple of questions if i may:

- The Knee Handle / Screw has a Gauge on it, the plastic is shot and there appears to be an oiler on top of it? When i turn the handle none of the dial moves with it, does this mean its broken internally? Whats the deal with this.
- Im super eager to get the machine fully re-assembled this weekend and powered up, studying one of the diagrams it seems that the input transformer can be configured for different input voltages? Can this be configured for 230v Single Phase or only 230v 3P?
- Failing re-configuring the transformer, i saw mentioned on another thread in this forum that you can feed 230v directly to the feed of the servo amps, is that correct? Will that give me full functionality aside from of course the 3P Spindle Motor?

Whilst cleaning the machine i wanted to have a look at the X / Y Joystick as the previous owner said the button to switch from Fast Travel / Touch Off Speed was broken, upon further inspection the wires that feed down inside from that button to the main body of the joystick are snapped, can i simply re-join these? Does the button actually fail, and has he torn the wires whilst attempting to fix it? Alternatively is there a modern replacement for the whole item? I see its just an assembly of microswitches inside. they seem massively expensive to replace ($600). So id like to fix this one or replace with a modern alternative if possible.

Lastly, my felt wipers have seen much better days, if i were to cut some new ones myself, does anyone know which type of felt is best, are there modern alternative rubber wiper blades like you see on linear carriages?

Thanks

Alex
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
Motor is 3 phase
everything else is single phase
Do NOT feed power to the amps
Leave the wiring be and everything but the spindle will run. YOu need a phase converter or VFD.
THe vari speed setup is the same as a regular bridgeport except the drive motor is upside down
I would repair it and later figure out how you want to control speed.
 

AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Motor is 3 phase
everything else is single phase
Do NOT feed power to the amps
Leave the wiring be and everything but the spindle will run. YOu need a phase converter or VFD.
THe vari speed setup is the same as a regular bridgeport except the drive motor is upside down
I would repair it and later figure out how you want to control speed.

How do you wire a 3 Phase Transformer with single Phase Wiring? Or do you skip the Transformer and wire to the 230 output of that transformer?
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I have no personal experience with this mill, but I think you're going about it right. The others are on track in regards to the drawbacks of a lack of tool-changer, and time/money investment into an obsolete machine, BUT that doesn't mean the machine can't make you money or earn it's keep in some other way. It being free is a big part of its value as well. Sure a newer better machine with a tool changer is 1000% better, but that doesn't mean this one isn't an improvement from a CNC router or a manual mill. There's a reason why home-brew CNC conversions are not common in the professional world, but they are out there and there are scenarios where they can make fiscal sense If you're willing to put the labor in with minimal return.

The notion that you should wait for something better is wise, but the good deals don't always turn up in a timely affordable manner. Keep your eyes open, but in the mean-time if you can get this one going, you'll be making better parts NOW while you look for the machine that will make even better parts later. If the time/money issue works out for you, then a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.

Home-brew CNC jobs don't get along with most of the PM crowd, so the control/retrofit aspect of this mill would likely be better served on a different forum. However the core machine and general mechanics are fine here (IMO). Lots of knowledge to be learned and shared here.

Even if you had been able to get this mill to your location in one piece, the state it's in I think merits digging into it to confirm condition and get it properly cleaned. There's lots of different solutions for cleaning up machines like this, but in general it would be best to avoid total saturation or submersion of the electrical components. If it was me I'd first go over everything with a brush and shop vac. Get all the loose dry stuff first. Next move to a mild degreaser with a rag and sprayer. If it's water based though, just remember that you need to be able to totally dry it and replace the lubricant film over parts that the degreaser has broken down. If that doesn't get things clean, try something like mineral spirits, It's a little harsher, but it doesn't totally break down petroleum like a mater based degreaser does. It'll soften dry grease and oil, but can still leave a thin film behind when it dries (if you aren't too aggressive with it). I'd try to pump some mineral spirits or thin oil through the lubrication system and see if it seeps out of the ball screw bearings. If it does, an external scrub and wipe down is all you need, if not there could be bigger issues that will require you to take them apart. Ball screws are definitely something to study up on disassembly, cleaning, inspection, BEFORE jumping into them.
 

neilho

Titanium
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Location
Vershire, Vermont
The condition of my ways, i believe this is fairly good?:

Friggin' excellent! (That's American for yes!)
Couple of questions if i may:

- The Knee Handle / Screw has a Gauge on it, the plastic is shot and there appears to be an oiler on top of it? When i turn the handle none of the dial moves with it, does this mean its broken internally? Whats the deal with this.

What you're thinking may be an oiler may be the remains of the knurled hand screw that locks the dials to the handle extension. Get that sorted and the dials will turn with the handle.
 

AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Friggin' excellent! (That's American for yes!)


What you're thinking may be an oiler may be the remains of the knurled hand screw that locks the dials to the handle extension. Get that sorted and the dials will turn with the handle.

I have forgotten to take a picture of it, but the perspex cover which covers the Dial has what looks like an oiler mounted in it. A ballbearing fitted to it directly inline with a whole under it. Ill take a picture later when i get in.

Ok so progress, i have mostly re-assembled the machine, nearly gave myself a hernia lifting the spindle / Pulley housing on, as well as the Z Axis Assembly. Engine Hoist couldnt get in there nor would go high enough to make it work so i had no choice but to lift by hand. Wasn't as bad as i imagined intially.

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Z Axis Joystick was damaged, a wire had been pulled from the microswitch on the back, this probably happened during either of the moves. Luckily i had a bag of spare ones from my 3D Printers laying around so quickly replaced it.

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I know for many people here this will be a simple task but i needed assistance with wiring the control to 230v Single Phase, my engineer friend came to my rescue. The primary on the transformer should be moved over to to the correct terminal.

Screenshot-20221009-171308.jpg


After this you can disconnect and cap the wires that go into the bottom of the TFU1 & TFU2 Fuses, after you have done this take your Neutral from your plug to the bottom of TFU1 and the Live to the bottom of TFU2.

Screenshot-20221009-171520-Gallery.jpg


The controller powered up but at first it was erratic, DRO readouts were flickering and changing numbers. I powered down the machine, checked all the connections (I had forgotten to connect the Z Axis Servo & Encoder Wires during re-assembly). I also put 3 new batteries in the TNC145, and moved the earth from the 3 Pin Plug from ESS on the transformer to a Earth on the cabinet. One or all of these things corrected the erratic behaviour.

Unfortunately the VDU is broken, i have read online one of the amps in it has probably failed or something, luckily i met a nice guy on the facebook group who is going to donate me his old one that he took out when he retrofitted his.

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On a separate note, i ordered some NT30 ER32 Tool Holders from China, according to the drawing they should have been compatible for the QC30, however they arrived incorrect. They refunded me the cost and let me keep the tool holders, having recently bought my first lathe i set out to try and modify them to work.

The flange was much too thick, on my existing Erickson too holder that came with the machine, the flange was ~8.2 - 8.8mm (IIRC this was a few weeks ago now), i used a grooving / parting tool to rework the flange, by putting a 4mm Groove in at that position, and also reduce the tool holder body down to 35mm to match the Erickson one. I then reduced the rest of the flange slightly so that it would happily fit inside the nut (non - essential).

HOWEVER, my tool holder refuses to go far enough into the nut for the retaining (dogs, clips, correct name???) to slide over the flange, i even reduced the flange a further ~0.5mm bit by bit but it still wont grab it.

Measuring and comparing the rest of the tool holders they seem pretty much identical, i must be missing something obvious here? Possibly the taper is incorrect and binding part way into the bore? Suggestions welcome, i will probably have to buy the expensive ones from Poland @ £90 a holder.

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Dont judge my machinist skills on the lathe, this is the first thing i ever did with it!!

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Thanks

Alex
 

AlexD911

Plastic
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Yes its a line, i read a thread on CNCZone where a user replied to a problem thread stating it will be one of the deflection amps (vertical one) that needs replacing as the beam is only being stretched in one plane. This is a bit out of my depth though and im advised CRT's are super high voltage typically.

Thanks

Alex
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
I guess what I am saying is the high voltage is good, which is the hard part, so don't throw it away
Heidenhain monitors are heidenhain specific.
They are similar to MGA monitors from old, old, old PCs but the logic is inverted. I have an old monitor sitting here that I can use in an emergency, when you wire it into the control video out it shows inverted, bright background, visible retrace, but you can see what is going on anyway
 








 
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