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7x10, 7x12, 7x14 Mini-Lathe Information
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BACKLASH AND LEAD ACCURACY
What is backlash
and why does it matter? What about lead accuracy? How does it affect me
and my machine? Or in other words... "In search of 'perfection'"
Also: Ballscrew and ACME Leadscrew Accuracy
- BACKLASH IN A MANUAL WORLD
- CNC TO
- OTHER DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS AND THE
PROS AND CONS
Since this site focuses mainly on the Sieg-made
mills of the mini (and soon the small) size, we'll use this as our frame
You bought the mini-mill for under $500 and
now want to go down the path to upgrade your manually-operated machine to
CNC so that you can cut complex 3D shapes and 2D circles and such. But you
also expect that if you tell the machine to go 1" in some direction, it
better well do just that! (Not to mention that you also want it to come
back home just as accurately).
While you can achieve just that, it
most likely won't happen without great expense and some major work to your
So... If you can "deal" with errors of +/-
0.005" (get out your digital caliper and measure that distance), you can
have a really pleasant experience without feeling too light in the
To give you an idea of just how much
precision you can get, semi off-the-shelf screws can have lead accuracies of 0.0005
in./ft. This means that in a span of 12 inches (or 1 foot), your actual distance traveled could be 1" - 0.0005" = 0.9995". Time to get your
digital caliper out again and measure 0.0005"! If you're digital caliper
is like mine (the cheap import from China sold by Harbor Freight - there's
nothing wrong with that...), the scales' accuracy is +/- 0.001" and you
really won't be able to read that tiny, tiny linear increment even though
the stated resolution is 0.0005".
The point here is that while you can
certainly get very accurate, it all depends on how much you want to spend
and to what lengths you're willing to go to in order to achieve that. Not
an easy decision but an important one to make before you start
spending your money.
Looking for mini-mill help and how-tos? How about lathe help and how-tos?We're prototyping a benchtop CNC vertical mill using the DigiSpeed-XL interface card for Mach, Dart Controls and KB Electronics KBIC/KBMM 90VDC motor controllers, 1.5HP treadmill motor from Surplus Center and a R8-spindle head from the X2 mini-mill - not to mention Gecko servo drives and an entirely closed-loop system. Come take a look!
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