Where have you been, fatty?
After sulking for the last couple of months over the cunning stunt Autodesk have pulled, resigning my shiny new 4th axis to the back shelf, I've been planning how to pull myself out of this pit of self pity and get on with something in the workshop.
It's not just been the sulking that's kept me away from the machines. I've been under the Domestic Manager's cosh, making some progress on the main bathroom refit. So far I've:
- Completely stripped out 2-3 layers of old tiles.
- Replastered all the walls
- Repainted all the walls
- Completely replaced the ancient tongue and groove flooring
- Totally replumbed the hot, cold, heating, waste and soil pipes
- Fitted a new spa bath with Mira Bluetooth electronic thermostatic filler
- Fitted a fancy Roca karzi and wall mounted basin unit
- Installed a 2m x 0.7m walk-in shower with Grohe thermostatic control
- Installed shower panels at both ends of the room (alongside the bath and inside the shower)
- Fitted 2m x 1.4m glass shower panel
- (Almost) fitted tongue and groove PVC flooring
- Replaced the door and replaced much of the door frame and architraves
- Fitted new LED downlights in place of the halogen things that need replacing every few months.
- Swap the cross slide leadscrew for a 12 or 16mm(?) ballscrew, with a timing pulley on the far (back) end, driven by a servo motor. By dropping the motor through a belt, it will clear the cross slide and allow a 3:1 reduction.
- Fit a DRO encoder scale on the side of the cross slide. I'm always rather dismissive of people who believe closing the loop at the machine slide level can magically eliminate backlash and any other mechanical shortcomings. You need to get that right before you try to close any loops electronically.
- Fit a ballscrew behind the bed to operate the X axis (carriage), as there's no room left at the front given all the leadscrews etc and the apron cluttering up the space. The only place you could fit one at the front would be so far down, away from the saddle that there would be all manner of issues with the saddle rocking as the ballscrew changed direction.
- Fit a DRO scale alongside the X axis ballscrew. Again, this isn't some magic panacea but with a well assembled carriage assembly, there shouldn't be a lot of backlash to try to compensate.
- I may try to allow manual operation by some means, such as a disconnector on the X axis ballscrew but if my experience is anything like The Shiz and the Bridgeport, the wireless MPG makes the handwheels pretty much obsolete unless you plan to make something quick and dirty like a toilet roll holder.
Now to modify the mounting plate for the larger motor. Or more accurately, to replace the plate, as the motor foot mounting holes coincide with the existing slots in the original plate. Luckily I seem to have some 3/8" loominum plate that is almost exactly the right size.