Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Speed Control Wired, Lathe Mounted

Got back to work today on the lathe. My drive pulleys came in as expected with the belt.

I am using two headstock pulleys because the shaft on the motor is 5/8". The pulley is not bored all the way through. Because of this the lathe sat too far to the right on the mounting board when the pulleys were aligned back to front. Therefore I decided to rotate the left side motor bracket 180 degrees and move the right hand bracket two inches to the left. The motor overhangs the board on the left about 3" now but the lathe fits perfectly. After i did that I got back to hard wiring everything and fitting it in the box. I added a power switch, a fuse holder and mounted the box on the board. I finally bolted the lathe on the board.

I still haven't got a knob for the speed controller potentiometer but everything works great. I want to add a power light but I'm going to have to look around for something small because the box is kind of crowded. Going to order a 4 jaw chuck this week and some cutting bits so I can start making some chips.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lathe Drive Install

My Minarik speed controller arrived over the weekend so today I decided to get some work done. First thing was to hook everything up without switches or enclosures just to determine that everything works.

(Please disregard the dates on the photos as my camera's been acting up)

I'm happy to say that everything worked great the first time i plugged it in. I only had a simple schematic to work with but I did work in electronics for many years so that does help. Next, I had to screw down the steel sheeting on the mounting board as the glue I used was not as strong as I thought.

The sheeting is now on there solid although as you can tell by the picture, the sheet is easily marred and scratched. After this, I tackled the motor mounts. Two metal brackets from Home Depot did the trick.

I purposely let the left hand bracket overhang because I'm thinking of installing a goose neck halogen spotlight there. Here's the motor mounted:

I like the way the mounting system came out. The motor pivots on 1/2" bolts which allows for belt tightening. Finally, I started installing the speed controller in a box and gave the motor another test run to see how the mount holds up.

I'm excited about this motor/controller combo. The motor is very smooth running with very minimal vibration. I turned it way down to a crawl and the torque on the shaft was amazing. I couldn't stop it with my hand. UPS will be here today with my drive pulleys and belt so I will be installing those and finally mounting the lathe to the board. I also have to finish hard wiring everything. Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Motor Found!

Well Ebay came through again. I got a great deal on this Leeson 1/4 HP TEFC 2.5 Amp 90VDC motor. It was been used to power a conveyor. The plug on it is not an AC plug. It's some kind of strange DC plug. The motor is a lot bigger than I thought. The output shaft is 5/8" diameter keyed. Took me an hour to wrestle that pulley off. I will be installing the Taig pulley set on it.

This is the controller I ordered from Surplus Center for variable speed control of the motor. These are the specs:
  • Input: 115 or 230 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Armature voltage (115 VAC IN): 0-90 VDC
  • Armature voltage (230 VAC IN): 0-180 VDC
  • 5 Amps output, 10 Amps w/heatsink
  • 1/8 Hp to 1 Hp @ 90 VDC
  • 1/4 Hp to 2 Hp @ 180 VDC
  • 1% regulation over 60:1 speed range
  • Size 4-5/16" x 3-19/32" x 1-19/32"

This controller and motor combination should work great. I expect the lathe to have plenty of power for any type of operation I may attempt. As soon as I get everything running, I'll post an update.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Desktop

This is where all the action will be. You can see the Taig Microlathe in it's current state. It's actually not bolted down yet, just sitting there. I purchased the basic kit. All the initial lapping has been done. The mounting board is a 12"x 24" shelf purchased at Lowes. I added a sheet of 22 gauge steel on top for durability. I was going to use the motor in the upper left corner which came out of an old electric scooter. I decided against it however because the power supply would have to be rated at 40 amps which is huge. I have the battery and charger that goes with it but the battery (Seen on upper right corner of desk) weighs a ton and I would have to constantly be recharging it. I'm hunting on Ebay for a suitable motor.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Beginning

This blog will detail my adventures in home machining. As the title of the Blog suggests, all work will be literally done on a desktop. I will be living in an apartment for the foreseeable future so all my equipment will be geared towards the smaller end of the spectrum. To get started, I have selected a Taig Microlathe. In this size range it's pretty hard to beat the bang for the buck. Budget plays a big part in my plans so I will attempt to make some mods to the lathe as well as build some tooling to keep costs down. My plan is to build some projects from existing plans and to try my hand at designing my own. Steam, I.C., and sterling type engines are all fair game. Stay tuned for more as I get tooled up and ready to go.