I have a 1985 Wells
Index CNC milling machine. This machine
worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week for decades. Back around 1999 or
so I met
Mark Maki who was the owner of a machine shop called NC Dimensioning.
The mill was located at 21110
Nordhoff St Ste J, Chatsworth, CA 91311
in an industrial complex where it was from the day he first bought it
around 1986 or 1987. He ran the machine until the day I got it. His
shop is now closed unfortunately.
helped Mark on a few projects, and eventually flew out there for a week
him with some electronics. During our conversation, he said that he was
to scrap out the
Wells Index to make room for a newer
I was likeWHAT???
He said that nobody used a machine
like this professionally anymore... so he
was going to bust it up
and sell it for scrap.
( Seriously ??? )
I asked what he would sell it to me
for... and he said that because of
I gave him... I could have it. I
just needed to figure out how to
get a 3500 pound machine and a 1200 pound controller home. Well... I
was going to strip out the controller... only keep the power supply...
pounds went away. Then since I worked in telecommunications, I called
buddies literally right down the street, and got them to bring it to St
Louis... for a case of beer.
In St Louis I got the machine running... and we had build sessions
Friday night...(FNBS) the ROBOMO robot
group usually kept me pretty busy making
parts. When I moved to Texas in 2008 or so, I was forced to leave my
storage as I had no place for it here. Time passed (slowly), and
bought a house, and I started to get the funds together to move the
here so I could finally have my shop back.
I'm making a series of videos as I make progress... and I wanted a
I could have them all in one place so that someone like YOU could
and see what the current status is... and my efforts to get here.
The Move - May, 2014
Once I got the mill back to Texas, we needed to connect it all up and
test out the
power... it had not been run in over 5 years. Everything needed to be
tested, aligned, and rebuilt to get it running right.
Power Testing - June, 2014
With the power section working properly, it was time to set up the
electronics and begin getting some functionality to the machine again.
I had decided to pull the old PC (Now an antique running
Windows 95) and replace it with a Dell Optiplex running LinuixCNC.
you are interested in setting up your own machine, you can find all the
details for setting it up and programming it, and you
can download the install CD or DVD files for FREE here: http://www.linuxcnc.org/
Setting up the Mill, Update #2 - July 5th, 2014
Soon the mill was set up and responding to basic G-Code
now it needed a full test... cutting steel.
Cutting Steel - Update #3, July 13, 2014
There is only one way to test a milling machine... you need to make a
part. I decided to use the machine to fix some steel parts I had made
by hand that needed to be corrected. When I made them, one of
the holes was improperly positioned and didn't fit right. I turned the
circular hole into an oval and was able to salvage all the parts.
Eve's Doll Project - Using the A-Axis to position complex
Eve wanted to be able to accurately drill the arm and leg holes in her
doll. We explored one possible way to do this using the A-Axis to turn
Shop Tour - October 2015
Here is a tour of the shop from October 26, 2014... Eve is giving me a
bit of grief...
Probe Fail - November 18, 2014
I was trying to get the probe to work... my graphic on the screen was
fine... but not detecting when I actually used a probe routine like
G38.2 for example. I figured it out... the signal needed to be linked
not just to my graphic... but to an internal prbe signal. (motion.probe-input)
Once I did that... it worked great. If you want to see the posts, they
are on the LinuxCNC Forum.
Home Sweet Home - Update #4, January 7, 2015
As I was building, I had people ask what kinds of motors and
electronics I was using... so I put this together to explain how the
quadrature encoders work.
Quadrature Encoders - January 13, 2015
Now that the machine is working well and cutting parts... I need to add
a real touch probe so that I can do insanely accurate measurements and
adjustments. This will allow me for example to center on a hole to
re-drill it larger without taking hours of setup time.
The Touch Probe Part 1 of 2 - January 26, 2015
Touch Probe Part 2 of 2 - Testing the machine - January 27,
I am still working on my probe routines... finding that while
things may work just perfect today... on another material I may have
issues and need to put in time-delay or tweak the code a but. It can be
fustrating... but I do enjoy it as a puzzle, and get a lot of
satisfaction from solving it.
Making iWeights with CNC
The GoPro cameras are a bit light for the iGlide camera stabilizers
unless you have the waterproof case on them. As the case blocks a lot
of sound, I like to use the lighter open frame. I had to design a
simple weight that mounts under the platform. Now I can make these with
CNC much faster.