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Member postings for Ed Page

Here is a list of all the postings Ed Page has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Masso CNC G3 - Worth the price?
14/05/2021 19:48:28

Thanks for the replies everyone!

Nigel B, I am mistaken, most are 1:1, there have been a few with Fanuc controls I've worked on that have had a much smaller encoder pulley, the Siemens have always been 1:1. I guess it all depends on the setup, an index pulse isn't needed at all if the encoder is powered by the backup battery.

I've looked into the Mesa and LinuxCNC, the 7I96 seems to be the winning solution so far, sounds to be the most popular choice too.

Planet CNC does sound pretty good too, and it will run on most platforms.

Only Chinese control I've run was a GSK, but they are a premium full machine control, very similar to that in the Motion control products link.

I would be curious to know if anyone has had luck with those you see on Amazon.

14/05/2021 07:37:14

I don't think it could be made any easier to get working, I believe even those with very limited knowledge could get it working within a couple of hours, those familiar to CNC an hour at most. There is a ton of information and guides on their website and diagrams for pretty much every servo and stepper drive out there. There are a few bits of information missing, or rather very hard to find. Those are things like input/ output voltage and current ratings or how fast you can pulse an output.

It boots up very fast, they say 10 seconds but it is faster than that. I will often switch it off to save power between breaks. There is no special shutdown procedure. They also say you can resume a program after a power cut within the 10 seconds. Programs can only be loaded through USB, it has to be formatted to FAT32 to work.

However, running it there are some issues. At first it ran good, parts kept good tolerances and it felt reliable. It supports threading but only G32, not G76. It also runs a very basic set of G-codes, and arc's require centre points, not an issue if you use CAM and the correct post-processor, which Fusion 360 does have.

It supports Feed/rev but that only works on linear movements, it will rapid on an arc, so you can only use linear movement, Masso doesn't seem at all concerned about fixing this issue, but it is a known issue. If you choose feed per minute then arcs will work.

It is very very very susceptible to noise which causes all USB devices to disconnect. Often switching my spindle motor on will disconnect them, which involves continuously plugging and unplugging them, ok if its not in a cabinet. The program continues to run but you cannot pause it when this is happening, fingers crossed it doesn't swarf. It is intended for all industries, if my 1HP motor unloaded will affect it then not sure how it could cope in an industrial machines electrical cabinet. You can attach a start and feed hold button totally separate to the keyboard, these will continue to work. So this doesn't make it unusable, but you will need to purchase a couple of buttons. It will be a problem if you need to change programs or offsets frequently.

The biggest issue. If you choose to do threading then it will loose its place over time. I have 40 parts to run, as in one of the pictures. 2.85" - 12 TPI thread. Every part it looses 8 thou in the Z axis. My machine is running metric, so that's exactly 0.2mm per run. Every couple of parts I have to reset the Z position, otherwise the tool will eventually crash.

It has some turning wizards, roughing OD, ID and facing including a threading wizard, these work perfect. You can edit the program on screen if it's no more than 50 lines long, which means unplug your USB and edit it on a computer instead.

Lastly it picks strange numbers to go to. For example my servos are set at 0.01mm per step, so it should be able to hit 20.01, 20.02, 20.03 etc.. For some reason say I want 20.02, it might go to 20.01 instead, but on the next run it will manage to hit 20.02. I bored out some 40 parts from 50 to 60mm, about 500 passes total, did not loose position at all. My check pass would vary up and down by 0.03mm, adjust it for the final pass and I would always hit dead on tolerance, without the check pass it would vary up and down. That could be down to variances in material hardness, or even the machines hardware.

So overall I would not recommend this controller, I wrote this review because I think it's unfair for anyone else to make the same mistake as me. On paper it looks very good, the quality looks excellent, the graphical interface is clean and easy to use. Anything requiring units per minute and non-synchronised movement it will work perfect, so for milling it would be just great. As for the lathe it is a complete disaster. Should not be released in this state.

I will try for a refund, and base my final score from that.

I hope my review passes the forums rules, this could be an expensive mistake for me and possibly others.


Lastly, is there any particular controller anyone recommends that supports threading for lathe? Ideally non PC based. I've only ever heard good things from Linux CNC, I just have no knowledge of Linux. I would also be curious to know if anyone has use those generic Chinese controls.

Edited By Ed Page on 14/05/2021 07:39:26

14/05/2021 07:37:06



This is a bit of a review / question, but of everything. Ok, so a bit of background, been a CNC machinist for 10 years, done 5 CNC conversions, all Mach 3 and 4. My current milling machine is Mach 4 running on a ESS smoothstepper. I could not get it to work properly for my lathe, it would not thread and even the ESS forum gave up on it. My mills movement runs like garbage on the latest updates, so I have to run it on an old one firmware version.

To cut the story short, anything PC based can go wrong and when it comes to restoring to its original configuration may be impossible. All the big companies, all the most successful CNC's have a version that works, a back up that will always work for that system, they never update it, instead they bring out a completely new system. So I wanted a non-PC based control, not many out there. I found Masso, all in one controller, no PC, lots of inputs, outputs, 5 axis support, even a popular Youtube channel, $650 USD. It's pricey, but sounds worth it. It has been in production for 4 years. Sponsored reviews however will only be positive.

I needed something reliable for threading, so I bought it, plus I was kind of in a panic since to get it threading. I'll try to make this review as fair and least biased as possible, but the bad bits are.... bad.

Postage was fast, took only 3 business days from Ozz to Canada. Well packaged, and the product is compact and well labelled. Wired up the power and screen, it required firmware from a USB, that which you download from their site. The firmware determines whether it is lathe, mill, plasma or how many axis, you pay for the number of axis. Installation was a piece of cake. Mine had a back-up battery error, so I opened it up, battery was good health, put it back together and never got the alarm ever again. The inside looks very well built, all of the isolators for the inputs are in sockets, so if you kill one it can be replaced. All input and outputs are on removable terminal blocks, overall the quality and feel was very good.

Setting up the motors, spindle, homing, speeds and accelerations was all very easy, no problems at all. A criticism is that the encoder input only accepts one index pulse per spindle revolution, so if you have a machine that does not have a 1:1 ratio on the encoder timing belt you will need to add an index sensor. Nearly all industrial machines I've worked on do not have a 1:1 ratio on the encoder. I used a crank position sensor for mine, thankfully I had a circuit made from another project, so it worked out.

Thread: Lathe Rigidity Issues - Modification Opinions
29/03/2021 09:03:26

I did fear the slot being close to the bottom would reduce rigidity, counter intuitive to what this thread is about. I chose studs over bolts at the back of the holder to reduce wear, / cheaper to replace, but in reality I probably would never wear them out. The base of the holder is 0.5 inch thick by 4 inch long, that would take a huge amount of effort to flex it, especially on a hobby lathe. Also consider a QCTP holder has about the same thickness underneath.

Worst case if this is a mistake then I will modify for long bolts and fill in the grooves with lead to dampen the holders. Might even do one as a comparison for my own curiosity.

29/03/2021 04:44:55


Quick update, took me all week to find a bandsaw, so I could finally cut some blocks for the holders. Also waiting on some SKF spindle bearings, surprisingly the stock ones were NSK, but full of paint flecks. Might have gone a little over-kill on the holders, but will allow most tooling setups and a second spindle. Will be keeping the stock spindle and build a second spindle to bolt to the other end of the bed, for larger stuff. Waiting on my encode too, but hopefully in another week I'll be threading. I also really hate hand tapping holes now!

21/03/2021 01:16:20


Another update on the build, finally got the top slide done, although I need to cut the bolts down. Note that the holes on the slide are offset to one end because I milled through some original holes to make the bolt pattern symetrical. I used an old HSS chamfer tool which left huge burs on the slots, they were not fun to file. Overall it looks pretty good, I turned about half the original mass into chips. The lathe also has a huge amount of travel on the slide and plenty of space for front and rear tooling.

To address a few questions and comments. Joes build on his CNC is absolutely amazing, can't wait to see it running, and really interested to see his tool changer design. Looks like he used the same supplier for his servo's as me, and that is the same spindle / servo I'm thinking about for the drive. Not worried about swarf on the screws, they have wipers, would be a little more concerned if I were doing iron or grinding. I might make a completely new head for the lathe as Hopper suggested and leave my own lathe build for another time. I'll make an adapter plate so I can swap this new head over to the other lathe in the future. I'm more concerned about spindle bore, which I need to pass 2 inch down. So my current design uses a 2.6" bore, 8 inch chuck and two 80 x 135mm taper roller bearings.

20/03/2021 04:14:35

I'll have to take a picture of the mill, it's a Fulland Mill, 1985, Taiwan machine, not sure of the model number, about the same size as a Bridgeport. Maximum spindle speed is 3500rpm, so a little limited. I did a 23mm depth of cut, 0.6mm stepover, 80 IPM, 7/16 carbide end mill. Took about 45 minutes to do the milling, and then about 1hr to do the drilling. Running on Mach4 and using fusion 360. Fusion retracts out all the way for each pass whereas Mastercam micro lifts and back traces the previous cut, I think I could have got it down to 30 minute on that software with this machine, but that's the limit, plus I can't afford Mastercam.

I think you're right in regards to the spindle bearings. I have started designing my own machine so don't want to go too crazy with this one, in terms of money. I think the external carrier would add some rigidity, but ultimately the castings will let it down. I have also considered filling all of the castings with concrete, or maybe some kind of sand/resin mix, I think that would also dampen the whole thing, wouldn't be all that expensive either.

20/03/2021 03:25:43


Little bit of milling and 62 holes later the bottom side is done.

19/03/2021 22:53:44


I should have a two updates today, the first being that I milled down the gib strips for underneath the bed. Thankfully I did not screw the scraping up as I removed 4 thou on one strip and 4.5 thou on the other. That resulted in a lift of 0.8 thou on the front and 0.2 thou on the back, slides nicely on the full length of the bed, this part is at least well ground.

I did some searching last night on standard taper bearings, so I might pick up some SKF ones or even possibly upgrade the spindle slightly as in Niels post to a beefier setup. I have a threaded mandrel which I originally used to hold the piston, then I changed jaws to hold on the outside to see if that improved it, it did not, I also used a live centre for all operations, a good quality one. I do agree my bench is a little underwhelming, but I can sort that after I've tuned the lathe. I was also joking about the welding , plus you need iron hot to weld it good.

I have done some designing for a piece to bolt onto the top slide, made from 6 x 2 x 12.5 steel, a left over, quite a lot of milling to do so hopefully I will get some pictures tonight. I chose lots of slots and tapped holes for lots of arrangements as I intend to use gang tooling. The swing over slide is now 142mm, just enough to do some 140mm diameter tubes, which I have already done without issue.

19/03/2021 06:13:04

Hi Hopper,

Yes the spindle is definitely higher than the width of the bed, plus due to the diameter of the piece I was turning the tool holder was to the front of the bed. I knew it was dodgy, but sometimes you got to do what you got to do. I really wish I had gone for the part-off blades that are adjustable, I should have known better, but now it is too late.

I totally forgot about the bed lock, and I definitely used it on all of my previous lathes. The big issue now is that it is CNC and I'll be mostly using it for threading, so while I could lock it for grooving, I definitely cannot for threading. I have about 100 threads to cut, 0.75 - 16, that will be its next challenge when I sort out the encoder. I then have some 1.5 - 12 threads to do after than. All in 4140, which is 120KSI or thereabouts.

I will see what the others say about the gibs first before I make my final decision, but I do think you might be right in that the springs will just give, shimming would also be fairly easy to do, I just hope the bed is the same thickness all the way down.

I'm probably going to remove the head in the next day or two to see how that's attached, maybe replace the bolts with some studs. Worst case I'll get some nickel rods and weld it together, disgust I might also put a tiny bit more pre-load on the headstock bearings, although haven't checked those to see if they're too tight or too loose yet, but there definitely is no play in it by hand.

19/03/2021 04:18:03

Anyway, only managed a few hours on the lathe, busy day. I took apart the saddle assembly to see if it sat on the bed correctly. Look at the pictures carefully, the vee has contact all the way down, the flat has one tiny contact patch in the corner, looks like this is a big issue. Overall not a lot of contact. I broke out the Sandvik scraper, something I've never done before. I probably took a thou off all surfaces and about 3 thou off the bad corner. Sorry no pictures, my cross-hatching technique didn't look pretty. That's all I managed, but now the slide sticks with oil suction to the bed, I also put force in every direction with a DTI to find nothing moved, I'm happy with that result.

There are two gibs underneath the bed, neither adjustable, but there is a 4 thou gap on both front and back now. I've seen a few recommendations from adjustable gibs to bearings. There isn't much room to play with but I am thinking of something spring loaded, maybe some spring steel strips with a bronze blade? Let me know your thoughts.

I really like the modifications made to the top slides, especially that milled tool post. I have a large piece of steel I'm going to work on in the next day, it will bolt directly to the top slide at its full length. I will then bolt some gang tooling to that, will update in the next 24 hours. It will reduce my swing over the slide to about 6 inches, but I can't imagine ever needing that.

So overall you get what you pay for, and this lathe is better than none at all.

19/03/2021 04:17:53


Quite the response!

I can't address everyone so I guess I will generalise the response, also, I'm originally from the UK. I've owned an old Pooles, Denford Viceroy and Harrison M250. Never had rigidity issues with any of those, but they were good old lathes. Some nice big lathes over here, like 4m long beds or more for cheap, but everything smaller is new Chinese. Going from model lathes to industrial and back to a model lathe is quite a step down. 25HP back to 1HP. Funny that I buy old HSS end mills over here for aluminum, Presto, my home town, take a guess.

I know I'm pushing the lathe a little too much, the original idea was to make one from scratch and have some castings made, wish I had now, but that is a project for another time, but now I don't have access to an industrial machine. Thankfully I will get a decent amount back when it comes to part with this lathe due to the market, plus I have all the original manual parts for it as I'd keep the servos. A little bit of info, 10 inch chuck, 3 inch spindle bore, linear rails, 10 inch swing over slide, 20 inch between centres, gang tooling, 3 or 5HP direct drive, 1500 rpm max. Which brings me to the spindle bore on lathes. If you want a 3 inch bore then you need a 10 inch chuck, that comes with a very long bed, probably over 80 inches. Some CNC's are 36 inches, but the machine is still huge and requires big power. What are peoples thoughts on a hobby / small industrial lathe with a larger spindle bore and shorter bed? I personally hate end pieces, and working at the tail stock if its something long.

So, 1 inch tools are cheap and better quality than the hobby stuff. Round tool holder because it's quicker to make it from round in a lathe rather than mill it, plus round stock is cheaper. Tool post is 3 inch round 120ksi steel. Grooving tool is set length, not adjustable. Insert is 2mm wide, feed 0.04 to 0.12mm/rev, they are intended for light turning. Slowest speed of lathe is 150rpm, but it's belt driven. I will mostly be turning between 1 to 3 inch round, the 5 inch piston was over doing it, but cheaper myself than outsourced, plus it worked out on the mill in the end. I want the lathe mostly for threading, but a 12TPI -1.5 inch thread I still think it's not rigid enough. I agree with the z axis ball screw coupler, I do have to limit the speed because of this. HSS definitely would have been an option, but at 5 inch the surface speed would have been about 200SFM, that's on low carbon steel, in my experience it would not have lasted long, 10 parts total, 2 thou tolerance. HSS is diabolical over here, all comes from China.

I took the plates off the lathe to take a look at the castings, as in the pictures, thankfully it's reasonable unlike the one in Niels post, that is pretty sketchy, can't believe someone would design something like that. I might get a 3HP servo to directly drive the lathe with a timing belt since I will need an encoder for the threading, the motor will then be used on my later CNC project, maybe 5HP depending on the price. Would love to make chips instead of razor wire!

18/03/2021 05:03:39


I'm no stranger to the forum, although not logged in for such a long time it seems I needed a new account.

I live in Canada which seems to have no market for used small lathes like the UK did, and I didn't have the room for a large lathe, so I had to purchase one new and convert it to CNC. I am a machinist by trade so the lathe is a little under-whelming. I also have a 4 axis CNC mill to make some bits on if I have to. I no longer have access to any other machining tools apart from this lathe and mill.

This lathe is the Grizzly 0602 equivalent, a pretty generic lathe design with lots of different names to it. I first removed the compound and replaced it with a new holder, made from 4140 to hold 1 inch standard lathe tools, also to make it rigid as possible. I converted it to CNC, it is running some high torque servos, runs at up to 10m/m, so it's fast. However it is not very capable in terms of rigidity. I have been making some pistons out of 1018 steel which I managed to turn at 0.4mm/rev and 10 thou DOC, that was the limit of the motor, but also shallower cuts caused vibrations. I could only hit 3 thou before the CNC conversion, it now maintains half a thou. It finally got to cutting the grooves in the pistons to find all it would do is chatter, in the end I used my 4th axis on the mill to do the grooves, but that was quite time consuming. The piston is 5 inch in diameter.

I have tightened the gib on the X-axis as tight as it should be, there is no adjustment on the saddle, the weight of the servo actually lifts it off the back ever so slightly. There is a small strip of steel bolted at the back underneath the saddle to keep it from lifting, without that the saddle would literally fall of the front. I know there are lots of solutions but I would like to know your guys opinions. Here are a few of my ideas in order of complexity.

1. Bolt a 20lb slab of lead on top of the X slide, that should dampen resonance and the weight should take out any slack. However not sure that will take slack out of the X axis, and it may put a lot more wear on the bed.

2. Mill the saddle flat, hopefully its not hardened. Bolt some linear rails on, make a new X- slide out of a chunky piece of steel. I never need to turn any more that 6 inches, and I do have a 2 x 6 x 12 piece of flat bar left over.

3. Make a completely new saddle and x-slide. Line the saddle with either plastic or bronze against the bed surface, make it very heavy, 100lbs or more total.


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