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Thread: Power X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe

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    Power X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe

    Today I present 2 projects, one inspired from the other. A built in power unit for the mill's X table axis and a second hand held remote unit that works on the lathe slides and Y axis of mill.

    Part I: (power X Axis for the mill)

    A while back I made this power X axis for my mill. Special thanks to Mr.PragmaticLee who made one in a you tube video and inspired me. See that at bottom of thread.

    Parts to do this are very cheap! Motor was $17.95, controller about $12, power supply about $10, etc...I used the same motor and controller that he did in the video but I built mine a bit different from there. I chose to keep the motor and all of it's working at or below the table height. I noticed even the commercial units tend to sit above the table and that might be a problem if you have to mill a long piece some day (rare but...) so I made that change. I also came up with my own type of engaging mechanism using stuff I had lying around. (many ways to do that, consult your scrap box! lol) I made the top panel over the motor from some 1/4 inch plexi for fun because I had it. You get to watch the parts turning if your that bored or amuse easily. lol I also added limit switches to the table to shut things down before crashing into the stops at the end of travel if I get distracted. (not that I would do that!)

    For the control box, I had some stainless rectangular tube so I used that. The ends are capped with 1/4 aluminum.

    Power X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7829.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7830.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7832.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7828.jpg

    Part II: (remote hand held power unit, mill Y axis, lathe slides)

    The above worked so good, the other day when I was cranking and cranking on my lathe's compound slide while doing a small taper, I got a new idea and thought it's time that I invent something so I made a similar "hand held" power unit using the same parts! This also works great! It uses another motor and controller (same exact parts) and I built an identical control box for this one that is not bolted down so you can move it close to where you are working. This motor shaft has an end piece that is changeable and I will have 3 different tips for it. These just slip right over the existing handle. The one shown fits my mini lathe compound slide handle but I will make a slightly larger one to fit the cross slide handle and also one to use for the Y axis on the mill.

    I have heard of others using hand drills for this but when I tried that approach, I noticed it very hard to control the speed. Not a problem with this setup.

    The wire harness will get a plastic loom to cover those wires. I will probably make one other improvement as well. I think I will put a momentary on-off-on switch right on the motor. As it is now, you hold the motor with one hand and have your other hand at the control box. It works this way but I think it will feel more in control with the switch right there leaving one hand free to hold your beer or to hit the stop in an emergency. (just kidding about the beer!)

    I highly recommend these mods, they both work great and were a lot of fun to build.

    Power X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7822.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7823.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7824.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7825.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7826.jpgPower X axis for mill PLUS remote power unit for the lathe-dscn7827.jpg


    Below is the video of MrPragmaticLee building his:

    Last edited by bobs409; 05-04-2017 at 02:07 PM.

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    Thanks bobs409! We've added your Powered X Axis to our Machining category,
    as well as to your builder page: bobs409's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Thanks bobs409! We've added your Handheld Power Crank to our Machining category,
    as well as to your builder page: bobs409's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Your power feed looks real good. I made mine a lot rougher looking. It works OK though. I am in the process of making a speed controller for mine right now. Sometimes I want it to go a little slower than it does.

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    What did you use for a box to put your controler in ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nextofkin View Post
    What did you use for a box to put your controler in ?
    That was cut from a piece of 3 x 2 thinwall stainless rectangular tube I have here. I made end caps from aluminum to enclose it.

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    Very nice. I am currently in the process of making an X-axis mini-mill power feed, also inspired by the same youtube videos. I, too, am designing it to be below table-top-level. I did recently machine a large piece that would have interfered with above-table-level obstructions. (It was an extended bed for my mini-lathe.) I am designing a completely different engagement mechanism, though. I'll try to post something when I get it finished.

    I particularly like your hand-held version. I now have another project... Excellent idea to mount the momentary CW/off/CCW switch on the motor. Probably leave the speed controls and display in a box that sits on the bench.


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