By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

The Shaper that Returned - in NC Style...

Joe's ALBA 2S fitted with Numerical Control..

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Joseph Noci 110/08/2017 19:15:07
649 forum posts
877 photos

My ALBA 2S NC fitment is almost done. Still some wiring, and then the broken vertical slide dovetails still to fix - that is in progress as well - awaiting a large (65mm diameter!) dovetail cutter from Germany. Decided not to try the rout of making a cutter anymore..

Steppers are being fitted to the X and Z axes, with a STM processor based NUCLEO (Arduino style) controller to drive it all. Can set up X and Z autofeed in increments of 0.005mm, and can set up the start and end feed as well. Has a DRO for X and Z, and jog control of the RAM ( via 3phase VFD) to position the RAM easily for stroke adjustment. Also has bull gear sensors for RAM full forward and rearward position, so as to know when to do autofeed.

Autofeed is set to occur when the RAM reaches 5mm from the rear position of the return stroke - feeding 2mm on X axis takes 500milliseconds. Setting the start of cut to be 15mm from the RAM rear position allows for a feed of 10mm before the tool reaches the workpiece, at the max cut speeds on the ALBA. A large stepper (14NM) is used for X drive..So, no feed while retracting the tool across the workpiece, no numbing the cutting edge, no scoring the workpiece..

The machine can be set to cut from a start to a specific endpoint ( set on the DRO), the retract the RAM to the rear, and stop.

It cannot connect to a PC with MACH2,3 or whatever - NC only, not CNC..

A lot of fun, this stuff!

side view1.jpg

Broaching keyways in the stepper pulleys:

broaching pulleys.jpg

And keyways in the leadscrews.

x leadscrew keyway.jpg

CAD layout for control panel

control panel cad layout.jpg

Engraving and Routing Control panel fascia

panel engraving.jpg

panel routing done.jpg

Controls fitted to panel.

fitted control panel.jpg

Rear wiring of panel

control panel wiring.jpg

Stepper Power supply and VFD.

power box vfd.jpg

RAM position sensors

ram sensors1.jpg

ram sensors2.jpg

sensors in place.jpg

14NM Stepper on X axis

x stepper 14nm.jpg

full frontal.jpg

side view2.jpg

New Bronze dovetails started...

Ballscrew for Z, with 4NM stepper

z screw and stepper.jpg

That's dragging and old shaper into the 21st century!

Next will hopefully be a post on it cutting..


Muzzer10/08/2017 19:39:02
2904 forum posts
448 photos

Excellent rate of progress and workmanship there!

I see the quadrature pickups (proximity sensors?) on the ram gear. Are the additional bits added to create an index marker?


IanT10/08/2017 19:43:47
1513 forum posts
142 photos

That's really interesting Joseph.

I've been thinking of adding a simple (stepper motor) feed function to my Adept, rather than the traditional mechanical ratchet - but nothing on this level or complexity. Please keep us up to date on your progress...



David Standing 110/08/2017 20:35:03
1288 forum posts
48 photos

Like pretty much everything I have seen you do - excellent!

Joseph Noci 110/08/2017 20:44:04
649 forum posts
877 photos

Hi Murray,

Those are inductive proximity sensors - they are spaced 180deg apart on RAM movement, ie, one detects when the RAM is fully extended, the other when ( nearly) fully retracted. I was not sure if the X axis autofeed would be quick enough to do when the RAM reaches the rear position, so hedged bets with the forward sensor which would allow feed to occur during RAM retract..So, an index sensor of sorts - front and back.


IHello anT -

The 'complexity' comes almost for free in the software - add a few sensors for position detection and then the software can do anything! Just one thing - for the X Axis ( cross feed) it is quite surprising how large a stepper motor is needed to do the feed reliably - I did torque measurements on the feed - using weights on the end of a lever arm attached to the X leadscrew, and came up with around 8NM first thing on a COLD morning, and 5NM when the sun had warmed the shop up after 6 hours or so..That table is weighty, and the slides are not exactly free of friction! I tried a 9NM motor, but it could not accelerate that mass quickly enough to do a 5mm feed at the end of the RAM retract, in time before the next cut. If you are still content to feed during the retract ( as shapers do..) then you have much more time and can feed more slowly.

The stepper I used is large - 115mmx115mmx130mm - its shaft is 20mm diameter..



Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 10/08/2017 20:46:38

Neil Wyatt10/08/2017 21:57:08
17742 forum posts
698 photos
77 articles

Blimey Joe, you're a fast worker!


Ian P10/08/2017 22:39:18
2354 forum posts
98 photos

I'm astounded at the rate of progress you achieve on the projects you have shown here, I cannot imagine how you manage to eat and sleep!

Apart from the sheer quality of your workmanship, there is a very wide range of skills involved, I can see, software, electronics design/hardware, panel design, sheetmetal work, painting/surface finishing, CAD skills, photography, the list goes on.... and those are only the ones we know about.

I know that even if I had all the facilities needed I could never produce a fraction of your output, I could probably do each aspect reasonably well but could never use them all at the same time. I also admire the fact that your projects look finished (once I get something working and nearly finished, it tends to stay nearly finished for ever!)

I am in awe of your skills and enjoy reading about your projects.

Ian P

Ady111/08/2017 00:19:00
3649 forum posts
514 photos


Thanks for sharing Joe

John McNamara11/08/2017 16:28:39
1311 forum posts
113 photos

Hi Joseph

Gee that is a nice piece of work, I don't have a shaper but really admire your attention to finish, the detailing is amazing, way better than when it was new I suspect.

I do have a small 6 x 12" hand operated Asian built surface grinder. With a few changes your control system would work well for manual grinders as well. Its not tool room quality machine but OK,

I was surprised to see that Tormach use the same machine as the base for their simple NC (Not full CNC) driven control system. Its the same machine dressed up with a bit of sheet metal.

I got mine secondhand, the 70mm x 800mm square cast iron plate came with it. Gee was that hard to shift.

There is a video on you tube showing the Tormach unit in use, I like the way the travels are set using mechanical stops. No programming!



All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest