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Power feeds for Chinese mills

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Dave Sawdon 109/11/2020 11:28:59
22 forum posts
3 photos

I recently bought a Warco WM18B and am now wondering about power feed for the table and (maybe) the column.

The Warco price for a power table feed is over £350, which seems rather OTT for a motor, speed control and attachments. I'd prefer not to spend weeks designing and making something, but are there any other options? I think most use would be for quickly moving the table between regions (it's quite a long table), rather than during milling, so something quite crude would probably do.

I don't think a power raise/lower is available for the column, but it would be a useful addition.

David Maynard 409/11/2020 11:31:34
14 forum posts
2 photos

Ade's Workshop on YouTube has recently done just this. A long series of videos......

ChrisB09/11/2020 11:46:22
645 forum posts
207 photos

Have a look at this thread: **LINK**

You can skip the clutch part to simplify things. Nothing wrong with Ade's powerfeed, but I believe a direct drive rather than belt drive is simpler and more compact.

As for raising and lowering the column, I plan to use a similar motor controlled by the same speed controller, a switch will select which axis to move.

This is what mine looks like in operation.

Edited By ChrisB on 09/11/2020 11:55:31

mechman4809/11/2020 12:11:03
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2933 forum posts
460 photos

Have a look in my album 'X axis drive' I've used a 12v two speed wiper motor, a PWM with speed controller from eBay, & a spare 1/4 drive universal joint + spare sockets modified to be spring loaded; crude but it works fine for me.

George.

Roger Best09/11/2020 20:46:08
293 forum posts
31 photos

That's great George.

I have wondered why people keep jumping to steppers and fancy tech. Those of us with model railways probably prefer a simpler way forward.

Dave Sawdon - the 18B is a new "hot" model - how about a review? wink

Paul Lousick09/11/2020 22:18:13
1844 forum posts
659 photos

The Warco power feed also incorporates a gearbox as well as a motor and speed control but at £350 is OTT and the same units are available on ebay for much less but you will not have the backup of a local supplier.

Paul.

 

power feed.jpg

Edited By JasonB on 10/11/2020 07:06:05

ChrisB10/11/2020 06:48:42
645 forum posts
207 photos
Posted by Roger Best on 09/11/2020 20:46:08:

That's great George.

I have wondered why people keep jumping to steppers and fancy tech. Those of us with model railways probably prefer a simpler way forward.

What's the fancy tech in a stepper motor power feed? It's ok if you prefer to recycle a wiper motor and adapt it to yours, but there's nothong to wonder about people using alternate more up to date methods...each to their own I suppose?

David Holloway 510/11/2020 08:16:33
3 forum posts

Just a thought on Warco mill power feeds. . I bought a new VM mill and also a power feed via Warco. It is a unit made in China of course . Sitting down one evening the power tripped off . Traced it back to the power feed armature . Total short circuit . Bang went £350 No joy trying to obtain a new armature and it seems these are considered a throw away item. I found an almost identical unit, brand new on that "selling website" for £125 . An identical amount of fitting required for the new one required as the old expensive unit. Ho hum..

Alan Wood 410/11/2020 09:46:13
204 forum posts
12 photos

I have just finished fitting steppers to my Myford VMB manual mill.

Write up here.

Alan

john fletcher 110/11/2020 10:54:33
718 forum posts

Some twenty or more years ago I made a power table feed for my Naerok bench top mill, using an up and down car window motor, g/box gears from a redundant photo copier, dog clutch and home brew speed controller from a circuit in ME. I have forward, reverse and speed control, at almost zero cost as I think all the electronic components came from a washing machine speed board. and it has never let me down. If any one has any ideas on how to power the up down of the head or making the machine into a boring one, I would like to communicate with them. John

Dave Sawdon 110/11/2020 13:43:55
22 forum posts
3 photos

David Holloway 5: eBay item number EDIT Deleted see CofC  is tempting, is this similar to the one you bought?

I haven't used a power feed since doing a short course on a Bridgeport 35+ years ago. I presume the type with a bevel gear (and appear to hang off the lead screw) don't have clutches, so do they cause a lot of drag when the table is moved manually?

Edited to say: On reflection, the sort of power feed with a bevel gear probably hangs down too far for a WM18B

Edited By Dave Sawdon 1 on 10/11/2020 14:30:17

Edited By JasonB on 10/11/2020 14:51:12

Roger Best10/11/2020 17:14:46
293 forum posts
31 photos

Awesome write-up Alan. yes

Roger Best10/11/2020 17:42:36
293 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by ChrisB on 10/11/2020 06:48:42:
Posted by Roger Best on 09/11/2020 20:46:08:

That's great George.

I have wondered why people keep jumping to steppers and fancy tech. Those of us with model railways probably prefer a simpler way forward.

What's the fancy tech in a stepper motor power feed? It's ok if you prefer to recycle a wiper motor and adapt it to yours, but there's nothong to wonder about people using alternate more up to date methods...each to their own I suppose?

Obviously Chris you are right about steppers being controllable and readily available, and easy for those who understand the drivers.

I will admit to an unpleasant formative experience building a 5-axis CNC that blew up the drivers every time I made a goof in the programming, they where less sophisticated in those days.

My interest in wiper motors is firstly that I have one in the loft and secondly that I feel we only need two or three speeds for most use; fast traverse, stock removal and finish milling/flycutting. The other parameter, spindle speed, is usually readily and accurately adjustable to fit the application. So a simple drive does the job.

What do people think?

john fletcher 110/11/2020 18:23:39
718 forum posts

Rodger, check that your wiper motor will reverse, some won't, wiper motors are really durable. If you send me a PM, I will send you a copy of the simple electronic speed control which I used. For forward and reverse I use a double pole double throw change over switch. The dog clutch dis-engages the motor drive, so that I use the mill manually. John

Martin Connelly10/11/2020 18:56:43
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1853 forum posts
197 photos

Clearly Roger you haven't been paying attention to any threads regarding feed rates to suit the tool in use if you think one speed fits all.

Martin C

Roger Best10/11/2020 19:58:34
293 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by Martin Connelly on 10/11/2020 18:56:43:

Clearly Roger you haven't been paying attention to any threads regarding feed rates to suit the tool in use if you think one speed fits all.

Martin C

None whatsoever, I am only worried about surface speed, which is determined by the spindle, and gives surface finish along the grooves, and the pitch of the surface finish across the grooves, within the power limits of the machine obviously. I am not worried about reducing machining time by a few minutes, but that is just my, simple world view. smiley

What we are discussing is the requirements and specification for any drive, which informs the decision to make or buy.

How important is total flexibility? If traverse rate is so important why don't drives for manual mills have speedometers?dont know

JasonB10/11/2020 20:07:55
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21315 forum posts
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Posted by Roger Best on 10/11/2020 19:58:34:

None whatsoever, I am only worried about surface speed, which is determined by the spindle, and gives surface finish along the grooves, and the pitch of the surface finish across the grooves, within the power limits of the machine obviously. I am not worried about reducing machining time by a few minutes, but that is just my, simple world view. smiley

 

So how would that work with a single tooth flycutter, or 2, 3 or 4 flute milling cutters. each would leave a different "pitch" for your single feed rate.wink 2

The good mills with inbuilt power feeds have a table of ratessmile p

It's probably easier to wire up with a pot that will give variable speed than it is to have switching for set rates. You then have the option to leave it it one position or make use of the vari speed.

 

Edited By JasonB on 10/11/2020 20:10:28

Roger Best10/11/2020 20:17:39
293 forum posts
31 photos

The simple answer is change the spindle speed, so that the cut is of appropriate size.

Modern electronic controls have 25:1 speed adjustment, its not difficult.

How many speeds do you use Jason, which are the most useful?

JasonB10/11/2020 20:38:05
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21315 forum posts
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I change spindle speed to suit the material, cutter diameter and cutter material so could be running anywhere between 100rpm on say a HSS slitting saw to upto my max of 5000rpm on 6mm or less carbide cutters just on mild steel

Feeds would be based on chip load so as that is calculated with spindle speed, number of teeth, type of cut and rigidity of cutter could be anything from 30mm/min to 600mm/min. For exampleI would feed a 6 insert facemill at maybe 12 times what I would a similar diameter flycutter with HSS insert, if I slowed the insert cutter to give the same "pitch" as the flycutter chip load would be so small I would be rubbing which blunts the inserts.

Roger Best10/11/2020 20:44:36
293 forum posts
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yes

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