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  1. #1
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    Default Dated hardware

    Hey all, newbie here. I've been searching your forums for years for information on different equipment and tips. This is my first actual post.

    I'm shopping for a manual vertical mill for my home shop and haven't had the best luck at commercial equipment resellers.

    Once in awhile I run across an ancient CNC mill will a blown board that looks like a prime candidate for pulling the servos off and converting to a manual mill (J-head clones, Kondias, etc). These tend to have less slop and less drill marks in the beds than the typical Bridgeport that served as a drill press for the later twenty years of it's life with no regular lubrication intervals.

    Having no knowledge of CNC and putting it off until I'm ready to jump back into trying to comprehend vector-graphing, I'm under the assumption that there's some cut-off point where CNC green-screen systems are just to dated to do anything with. But I would hate to stuff a dumpster with a pile of hardware that I found out in the near future was completely adaptable to a usable current CNC setup.

    So the question is; What are the key things to look for in an old green-screen CNC system to tell if it's usable for CNC and what systems should I look into to understand what goes into trying to adapt a jurassic control system to something worth playing with?

    Just a feeler for information. I couldn't find any info while doing forum searches.

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    Sounds like more trouble than it's worth.
    Local used machinery guy has serviceable Bridgeport mills for minimal dollars.

    Old CNCs can still make money, I've got 4 of them in my shop. The newest is 1995, the oldest 1983. All of them make good parts.

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    I thought green screen was something the weatherman used.

    Maybe thats where the vector-graphing comes in.

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    If it has a screen it isn't ancient. But that doesn't mean it's worth a shit. Some are, some are not. That's what experience helps with.

    If you want a CNC buy one. If you want a manual buy one.

    They are both quite affordable in useful condition without wasting your life putzing through some kind of retrofit rabbit hole.

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    On top of what was said above, every CNC knee mill that I've seen can be used manually. No need to strip anything off. Many will use the encoders as a DRO in manual mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhajicek View Post
    On top of what was said above, every CNC knee mill that I've seen can be used manually. No need to strip anything off. Many will use the encoders as a DRO in manual mode.
    I have a CNC knee mill that has no provisions for handles. No possibility for manual use of the table or quill. It has cast aluminum way covers that extend a foot past the ends of the table.

    Anyway, that mill (1989) has a "green screen" and so does the Mori-Seiki (1981). Both run fine. If you are going to buy a CNC machine, best to buy one from a running shop. I found mine on Craigslist.

    Buy the machine that is best suited for the work at hand and is in ready-to-be-used condition.

    Bill


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