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  1. #1
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    Default Is it a crazy idea to add computer controlled servo motors to an OD Grinder?

    Take an old Brown & Sharpe #3 universal grinder. Replace the motor for the table and the headstock with servo motors, change out some of the other wiring to support this and then have computer controlled rotation and table movment. That's the high level idea, but the actual work would probably be very involved.

    But when it was done I imagine you would be able to precision grind a leadscrew on this thing.

    13676_8747713.jpg
    Last edited by SirRage; 01-29-2018 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Adding a more descriptive title.

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    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...-about-307648/

    "Is this a crazy stupid title or what ?"

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    I'm not too familiar with the machine. Is it possible to tilt the spindle? If not, I don't think it will work.

    Paolo

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirRage View Post
    That's the high level idea, but the actual work would probably be very involved.
    Yeah, only remove the word "probably" and replace it with "most certainly".

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRage View Post
    But when it was done I imagine you would be able to precision grind a leadscrew on this thing.
    Not really. As already noted, the head would need to rotate to match the helix angle of the thread you are grinding. But what the hell, if you're already reinventing the wheel, why not make the head tilt as well?

    BUT, Wouldn't it be way easier to simply buy a good used thread grinder instead? I see them come up at auction sometimes and they usually don't sell for all that much. Certainly a lot less than this menagerie stands to cost.

    As for rebuilding a grinder and adding a computer controller being a crazy stupid idea, no, not at all. In fact there are companies that do that everyday for a living and do very well. You would be a better judge of how their capabilities compare to yours than I would, so if you think you are up for it, by all means go for it.

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    Having low and high spindle speed now..One could add a spindle speed control for better wheel speed when wheel get to smaller diameter.

    The cross and long travel having a ball screw could have a target stop and a tarry added..Good.
    The cross could have a target- back away- come in for finish. Or back away and wheel dress.. both good.
    Running table travels CNC ..Good.

    *The iron(basic machine)is world class and none better..adding controls would make it modern day.

    QT: [able to precision grind a leadscrew on this thing.] With the right dresser and with having a stepping motor at the work head.likely to the length of between centers..

    *Agree you should go back and change the title so people can search to find this is about a B&S grinder.

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    I tried to edit the title but it didn't change when I did =(

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    An old quote in the bike world comes to mind.
    "With enough money you can make a road racer out of a coffee table."
    Certainly it is possible but may be a deep learning experience which is all very good in my book.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirRage View Post
    Take an old Brown & Sharpe #3 universal grinder. Replace the motor for the table and the headstock with servo motors, change out some of the other wiring to support this and then have computer controlled rotation and table movment. That's the high level idea, but the actual work would probably be very involved.

    But when it was done I imagine you would be able to precision grind a leadscrew on this thing.

    13676_8747713.jpg
    Legendary Parker-Majestic manual SG's morphed into similar goods.

    Or at least their NAME survived as such. They were not alone, of course.

    The prices might provide a hint it isn't necessarily easy to do well:

    Home

    Those are not even the small tip of a very large iceberg in the abrasives world, either.

    At the prices one can JF buy precision leadscrews? Smallholder could starve to death before he found a lucrative niche. Biological thing, that, "imagine" can be. Not technological.

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    Having added steppers to a Harig 6 x 12 Y and Z axis, X left hydraulic. It is alot of work to do, 40% mechanical, 60% software and interface.

    Learning to write code in any unknown language is the real challenge.

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    One shop out west is adding CNC stepping motors and ball screws to old Warner Swaseys and making machines that are world class kick-but machines..Go figure...old iron that flies..

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    One shop out west is adding CNC stepping motors and ball screws to old Warner Swaseys and making machines that are world class kick-but machines..Go figure...old iron that flies..
    Akin to scraping barnacles off the hull of an Iowa-class warship and feeding the boilers a lighter and cleaner grade of fuel. They set new speed records two human generations after they first left the yards, brand-new.

    That particular W&S "Old Iron" were world-class kick-ass to start with.

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    I was trained as a grinder-hand ~2006. Being in the detroit area was the reason I assumed we had a mess of Parker Majestic surface grinders. Only later after I left the trade did I really begin to appreciate the quality of the machines was paramount. We had Blanchards, Blohms, Jones and Shipman universal grinders,Studer, Moore (NASA retrofit) G18 CNC grinders etc..

    At one point of another I learned how to operate each machine. When I started there I had zero machine tool experience and they had to teach me that a "tenth" was not .1"!

    After learning to be a pretty decent grinder-hand, my boss (who was my trainer) would bring me parts that needed to both be accurate and very attractive. I was proud that he brought me the parts rather than the old salts that had decades of experience. Damn proud. Pissed a few of the old timers off I will tell you!

    I finished re-scraping a manual PM #2 SG a couple years ago. Table was out left to right by .015"! must have had something heavy on one end for a long time or other similar nonsense.

    I bought a (bad servodrive) PM CNC ID grinder at HGR, missing the workhead. I had a spare PM workhead that I rebuilt for another PM manual grinder, so I put that on the CNC ID grinder. I am currently looking for a wheelhead or spindle for the grinder (OD) so that I can continue with completing the conversion over to a CNC OD grinder.

    I have put on steppers and have it controlled by mach 3. Original ballscrews are ion good nick.

    the biggest issue with a home-brew CNC grinder conversion is- no grinder specific control screen for mach3. requiring macro programming or such to achieve even 1/20th of the functionality you would want from a real CNC grinder.

    I contintinue with my retrofit regardless of this issue. Beggars cant be choosers. The Iron was only 400.00 and I cant afford an actual grinder control.

    Interesting discussion!

    Nate in Ann Arbor.


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