Discussion:
Any Tormach users about?
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SteamboatEd Haas
2016-05-12 20:20:53 UTC
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Getting the feel for the Tormach 440; an interesting machine! Not the most powerful spindle and it doesn't reverse so it's no good for tapping, but it's a sweet design. Hoping to add ATC when it becomes available, hopefully end of yr.
It doesn't use Mach 3, (which I'd finally become used to) but Path Pilot instead. Still a bit of struggle to get that one working right. Fortunately I've got a pal who writes code for a living and he's being my 'brains' while I figure it all out.
Jon Elson
2016-05-13 01:59:47 UTC
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Post by SteamboatEd Haas
Getting the feel for the Tormach 440; an interesting machine! Not the most
powerful spindle and it doesn't reverse so it's no good for tapping, but
it's a sweet design. Hoping to add ATC when it becomes available,
hopefully end of yr.
It doesn't use Mach 3, (which I'd finally become used to) but Path Pilot
instead. Still a bit of struggle to get that one working right.
Fortunately I've got a pal who writes code for a living and he's being my
'brains' while I figure it all out.
"Path Pilot" is Tormach's "skin" for LinuxCNC - or maybe Machinekit, which
is largely the same. Any particular problems you are having with it?

You might want to join the LinuxCNC user's group at
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/emc-users

Also, check out the web site at
http://www.linuxcnc.org/

There's a wiki, forums and a place to download documentation.

I've been using EMC since 1998, and stuck with it from EMC to EMC2 to
LinuxCNC.

Jon
Gunner Asch
2016-05-14 07:21:20 UTC
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Post by Jon Elson
Post by SteamboatEd Haas
Getting the feel for the Tormach 440; an interesting machine! Not the most
powerful spindle and it doesn't reverse so it's no good for tapping, but
it's a sweet design. Hoping to add ATC when it becomes available,
hopefully end of yr.
It doesn't use Mach 3, (which I'd finally become used to) but Path Pilot
instead. Still a bit of struggle to get that one working right.
Fortunately I've got a pal who writes code for a living and he's being my
'brains' while I figure it all out.
"Path Pilot" is Tormach's "skin" for LinuxCNC - or maybe Machinekit, which
is largely the same. Any particular problems you are having with it?
You might want to join the LinuxCNC user's group at
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/emc-users
Also, check out the web site at
http://www.linuxcnc.org/
There's a wiki, forums and a place to download documentation.
I've been using EMC since 1998, and stuck with it from EMC to EMC2 to
LinuxCNC.
Jon
Why doesnt it do reverse?
Jon Elson
2016-05-14 17:50:38 UTC
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Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Jon Elson
I've been using EMC since 1998, and stuck with it from EMC to EMC2 to
LinuxCNC.
Jon
Why doesnt it do reverse?
Reverse? Reverse what?

Reverse the toolpath, as in back out several moves in a wire EDM manuever?
There is a very recent version that has this feature. it may be only in
Machinekit, and not in the regular LinuxCNC, I don't quite remember. But,
this feature has been developed. It only will reverse about 20 G-code
blocks, I think.

If reverse toolpath is not what you are thinking about, then please clarify.

Jon
Bob Wilson
2016-05-14 19:03:33 UTC
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Post by Jon Elson
Post by Gunner Asch
Why doesnt it do reverse?
Reverse? Reverse what?
Maybe reversing means putting material back on???
Gunner Asch
2016-05-14 20:02:08 UTC
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Post by Jon Elson
Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Jon Elson
I've been using EMC since 1998, and stuck with it from EMC to EMC2 to
LinuxCNC.
Jon
Why doesnt it do reverse?
Reverse? Reverse what?
Reverse the toolpath, as in back out several moves in a wire EDM manuever?
There is a very recent version that has this feature. it may be only in
Machinekit, and not in the regular LinuxCNC, I don't quite remember. But,
this feature has been developed. It only will reverse about 20 G-code
blocks, I think.
If reverse toolpath is not what you are thinking about, then please clarify.
Jon
He said the spindle wouldnt reverse so he couldnt tap with it.

Gunner
Jon Elson
2016-05-15 04:16:00 UTC
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Post by Gunner Asch
He said the spindle wouldnt reverse so he couldnt tap with it.
Well, you need a spindle drive that is reversible, and a connection to the
control to command that. If the Tormach machine just has two spindle
contactors, that is not going to reverse smoothly enough with a tap deep in
the workpiece.

I just rigid tapped 100 holes in 2-56 and 6-32 sizes on my Bridgeport with
LinuxCNC. I have an encoder rigged into the bull gear in the head
(Bridgeport heads do not allow a standard encoder to be easily fitted).
And, I have a VFD with forward and reverse commmands rigged to two digital
outputs on my digital I/O board. To make sure the reversal is smooth, I
have a software filter in line with the speed command, so the VFD ramps down
to low speed before the command to reverse it.

I make some production parts that have 4-40 holes in them, and have done
thousands of them with rigid tapping, using combo drill-taps, which make it
extremely fast and easy.

I don;t know the Tormach machines very well, although I've attended a couple
meetings at their shop. So, I don't know how they deal with spindle
reversing, etc.

Jon
Gunner Asch
2016-05-15 05:46:25 UTC
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Post by Jon Elson
Post by Gunner Asch
He said the spindle wouldnt reverse so he couldnt tap with it.
Well, you need a spindle drive that is reversible, and a connection to the
control to command that. If the Tormach machine just has two spindle
contactors, that is not going to reverse smoothly enough with a tap deep in
the workpiece.
Simply adding a low cost VFD in place of those 2 contactors would seem
to make the most sense, no matter what.
Post by Jon Elson
I just rigid tapped 100 holes in 2-56 and 6-32 sizes on my Bridgeport with
LinuxCNC. I have an encoder rigged into the bull gear in the head
(Bridgeport heads do not allow a standard encoder to be easily fitted).
There are some easy to machine encoder attachments for the BP.
Basically a pair of 1:1 pulleys that offsets the encoder to the side
of the spindle, leaving a hole in the center for the draw bolt to do
its work. The setup may look a bit odd..but it does work nicely. Can
be easily done in the home shop in an afternoon.
Post by Jon Elson
And, I have a VFD with forward and reverse commmands rigged to two digital
outputs on my digital I/O board. To make sure the reversal is smooth, I
have a software filter in line with the speed command, so the VFD ramps down
to low speed before the command to reverse it.
One shouldn't be straight tapping at any thing more than about 250 rpm
at MAXIMUM except in the highest dollar, tightest CNC machines. I've
tapped at 3000 rpm...yeah..it can be done..but you have better have
either a BIG braking resistor and a tapping attachment...or you will
bust a fair amount of taps.
Post by Jon Elson
I make some production parts that have 4-40 holes in them, and have done
thousands of them with rigid tapping, using combo drill-taps, which make it
extremely fast and easy.
Ayup..they work well enough.
Post by Jon Elson
I don;t know the Tormach machines very well, although I've attended a couple
meetings at their shop. So, I don't know how they deal with spindle
reversing, etc.
Jon
A standard sliding tap holder using the 70/30 method is what most of
my clients have settled on, both in mills and in lathes...CNC stuff

Tapmatic gets the manual stuff most of the time.

Gunner
Gunner Asch
2016-05-15 06:33:42 UTC
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Post by Gunner Asch
There are some easy to machine encoder attachments for the BP.
Basically a pair of 1:1 pulleys that offsets the encoder to the side
of the spindle, leaving a hole in the center for the draw bolt to do
its work. The setup may look a bit odd..but it does work nicely. Can
be easily done in the home shop in an afternoon.
I should clarify..those pulleys are mounted at the TOP of the head.

Gunner
Jon Elson
2016-05-15 16:10:27 UTC
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Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Gunner Asch
There are some easy to machine encoder attachments for the BP.
Basically a pair of 1:1 pulleys that offsets the encoder to the side
of the spindle, leaving a hole in the center for the draw bolt to do
its work. The setup may look a bit odd..but it does work nicely. Can
be easily done in the home shop in an afternoon.
I should clarify..those pulleys are mounted at the TOP of the head.
I have about a 3" section of hex bolt on the end of my drawbar. When the
quill is extended, that completely disappears down into the head. On the
1J, there is a bearing for the cone pulley, that moves up and down about a
quarter inch to engage/disengage the direct drive clutch. This always runs
at input pulley speed, so when in back gear, it is NOT running at spindle
speed, but about 6X spindle speed. So, you can't take the encoder off that.
The outer spline for the spindle is WAY down in the hole.

I'm having trouble imagining how such a thing could be fitted to a 1J. Two
ways - you could have a long tume that somehow attaches to the bull
gear/outer spline, passes through the whole cone pulley assembly and allows
the drawbar to pass inside it.

Or, attach a tube to the top of the spindle, with a flat so the drawbar
clamps it in place. The problem is if the drawbar is loosened, the tube
will not be centered. This would slide up and down with the quill, so
that's another problem.

My solution works great for the 1J without the mickey-mouse mechanical
issues, and doesn't interfere with the drawbar at all.

I thought it was a cool way to solve the problem, so that's why I published
it on the web.

Jon
Gunner Asch
2016-05-15 19:52:57 UTC
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Post by Jon Elson
Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Gunner Asch
There are some easy to machine encoder attachments for the BP.
Basically a pair of 1:1 pulleys that offsets the encoder to the side
of the spindle, leaving a hole in the center for the draw bolt to do
its work. The setup may look a bit odd..but it does work nicely. Can
be easily done in the home shop in an afternoon.
I should clarify..those pulleys are mounted at the TOP of the head.
I have about a 3" section of hex bolt on the end of my drawbar. When the
quill is extended, that completely disappears down into the head. On the
1J, there is a bearing for the cone pulley, that moves up and down about a
quarter inch to engage/disengage the direct drive clutch. This always runs
at input pulley speed, so when in back gear, it is NOT running at spindle
speed, but about 6X spindle speed. So, you can't take the encoder off that.
The outer spline for the spindle is WAY down in the hole.
I'm having trouble imagining how such a thing could be fitted to a 1J. Two
ways - you could have a long tume that somehow attaches to the bull
gear/outer spline, passes through the whole cone pulley assembly and allows
the drawbar to pass inside it.
Or, attach a tube to the top of the spindle, with a flat so the drawbar
clamps it in place. The problem is if the drawbar is loosened, the tube
will not be centered. This would slide up and down with the quill, so
that's another problem.
My solution works great for the 1J without the mickey-mouse mechanical
issues, and doesn't interfere with the drawbar at all.
I thought it was a cool way to solve the problem, so that's why I published
it on the web.
Jon
Got a link Jon? Sounds interesting.

The top bearing in the encoder mounts Ive seen..top bearing in the
head is removed, and a larger center hole is installed, to support a
hollow bar that is setscrewed to the draw tube and it runs on the draw
tube. The pulley is installed just clearing the top of the head, and
the encoder and pully is bolted to the side of the head. Ill see if I
can find a couple photos.


Gunner
Jon Elson
2016-05-16 04:20:58 UTC
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Post by Gunner Asch
Got a link Jon? Sounds interesting.
http://pico-systems.com/bridge_spindle.html


Sorry, messages passing in the night.

Jon

Jon Elson
2016-05-15 16:01:25 UTC
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Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Jon Elson
Post by Gunner Asch
He said the spindle wouldnt reverse so he couldnt tap with it.
Well, you need a spindle drive that is reversible, and a connection to the
control to command that. If the Tormach machine just has two spindle
contactors, that is not going to reverse smoothly enough with a tap deep
in the workpiece.
Simply adding a low cost VFD in place of those 2 contactors would seem
to make the most sense, no matter what.
And, I'm sure a number of their machines have exactly that.
Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Jon Elson
I just rigid tapped 100 holes in 2-56 and 6-32 sizes on my Bridgeport with
LinuxCNC. I have an encoder rigged into the bull gear in the head
(Bridgeport heads do not allow a standard encoder to be easily fitted).
There are some easy to machine encoder attachments for the BP.
Basically a pair of 1:1 pulleys that offsets the encoder to the side
of the spindle, leaving a hole in the center for the draw bolt to do
its work. The setup may look a bit odd..but it does work nicely. Can
be easily done in the home shop in an afternoon.
Well, I rolled my own:
http://pico-systems.com/bridge_spindle.html
On the 1J Bridgeport, the bull gear doesn't move. On the 2J, the bull gear
moves up and down on a spline to engage the back gear, so this gets more
complicated.
Post by Gunner Asch
Post by Jon Elson
And, I have a VFD with forward and reverse commmands rigged to two digital
outputs on my digital I/O board. To make sure the reversal is smooth, I
have a software filter in line with the speed command, so the VFD ramps
down to low speed before the command to reverse it.
One shouldn't be straight tapping at any thing more than about 250 rpm
at MAXIMUM except in the highest dollar, tightest CNC machines. I've
tapped at 3000 rpm...yeah..it can be done..but you have better have
either a BIG braking resistor and a tapping attachment...or you will
bust a fair amount of taps.
I use machine taps and combo drill-taps. I do 4-40 and smaller at 1000 RPM.
I've done THOUSANDS of 4-40 holes using the same tap. I break a tap once in
a while when I forget some step in the setup, otherwise I keep using the
same tap until I make a mistake. If the first hole is good, the rest of the
job goes fine. I use alum-tap from Wibro, fantastic tapping fluid.
Post by Gunner Asch
A standard sliding tap holder using the 70/30 method is what most of
my clients have settled on, both in mills and in lathes...CNC stuff
I used a Procunier "CNC" tapping head for a while, it has the reversing
gears and clutch that engage for push and pull on the tap holder. It worked
quite well, but was a VERY long extension from the spindle, and had to be
set just right in the collet so it didn't wobble.

Jon
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