Build Thread Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning)

Welcome to my CNC Conversion of a Wholesale Tool 3n1
I picked this up for $1050 in the crate as a refurb. from my local WT store. Wasn't really looking for a 3n1...went to buy a lathe,but couldn't pass up the price (although I should have). Quality (as expected) was low to say the least.
Lot of cons and a few pros.
Anyway I ran across this site and was hooked on the possibility of a CNC machine a home. After alot of reading I thought "I can do this". After more reading I realized I really don't need a CNC machine. But it's stuck in my head. Hardware part doesn't scare me to much...but the software does.
So be prepare for lots of questions.
I love to take pics so be prepared for a ton.
Here is my Plan:
1. Stiffen up stand and setup for coolant.
2. Add a bottom and doors for storage.
3. Make a motor and electronics cabinet.
4. Add PC case.
5. Fabricate control panel for switches and VFD panels.
6. Install tool cabinet on right side for more storage.
7. Replace both motors with 1hp 3ph units with VFD’s
8. Of course install 3 stepper motors and necessary electronics.
9. Add 2 ballscrew units. (3/4” and 1/2”)
10. Fabricate enclosure.
11. Most important do it on a TIGHT budget.


1. Stand started (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
2. Stand (2) (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
3. PC Case mounted (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
4. Front PC cover plate. (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
5. Control panel (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
6. Drain hole drilled (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
7. New mill head location (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
8. Enclosure updated (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
9. CNC PC test parts (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
10. Doors done. (Wholesale Tool 3n1 CNC Conversion (56k warning))
Day 1 right after I bought it.
A shot of the awesome drive system. The pulley on the spindle probably has around 3/8" runout. Gear drives good for .100 backlash,combine that with the couplers and half nut you can add another .200. On that note crossslide had .035 backlash.(more on that later)
Here you can really see just how flimsy the stand is.
Sheet metal brackets held the whole unit.
All cut up ready for stiffening. I will use the 2 pieces of 5" channel for the new bed mount.
* This Worklog post was generated using WorklogCreator - Version: 1.0.1.7
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I will look for the smithy guy.
Thanks. The main thing I didn't like right off the bat was the original motor location. It was always covered with chips and cutting lube (WD40). So since day one I wanted to move the motor to a more enclosed location...then just kinda snowballed from there.
I picked up the VFD,motor and adj. mount for just over $300 and that included free 2nd day air shipping. If you went with the GS1 would be little cheaper but I really like the idea of removable control panel so I can mount it within easy reach. Plus I needed to hit $300 for free shipping.
My next move is to get it mounted to the floor and level. Stand has around 1/4" twist and I'm not sure it weighs enough to pull it out so I will bolt it to the floor to pull it back square and level and over time it should settle in. That is the main reason I went with overlapping doors so if opening changed they would still work.
Today I will study linear rails and see if I can get that to work on the cross slide table.
Even though it would have been cheaper to just buy a good lathe it will be ton of fun to make a sub-par unit and get to work smooth and accurate.
Have you ever removed your spindle head?
I'm really trying to get my head around how I will tram it back in square with the bed. When I removed it there was a small shim under one corner so I'm sure it will be out during reassembly.

Sorry missed the question the first I read it. I have not removed the spindle head. How did they keep the shim in place considering that the head was supposed to pivot and would shift any shim? Any new updates?

New mill tower got finished today. Weld then ground flat...all no charge!!!! Although he did say I owed him a favor now...then showed my some rust on his truck
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Got the lathe painted today.
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I used Locktite Brushable Ceramic. This is the hardest thing I've ever used. This stuff is SO thick you can't hardly get it out of the can let alone spread it with a brush.
BUT It is a really HARD finish.
More food for thought prices for this stuff is all over the board from $37.95 to $176.00 for a 2lbs kit. I paid around $41.00 shipped.
Don't think you are getting a qt. it's 2lbs. That equates to paint just above the picture on the can and when mixed with hardener appears to be just short of 1/2 qt..
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Finish is terrible it just doesn't go on to smooth.
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Some electrical getting started. VFD mounted on back out of the way. Need to order ext cable to move panel to the front.
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Thats some interesting paint you have there Fannblade. Glad its tough cuz it sure is rough
The tower came out really nice with nice welds. Progress!

Glad its tough cuz it sure is rough
The tower came out really nice with nice welds. Progress!

I know I can't hardly look at it,kinda makes my stomach turn a little!
He did great job on the welds,he even TIG'ed the corners to give me room for bolt heads. He's going to bring a 12" precision Starett level over next week so I can get it leveled.

Little more head way today. Started putting thing back together to see how things are going to fit up. Tomorrow I will re-install spindle and work on getting motor in place.
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Fannblade,
I'm a bit confused- What is the purpose of building that extra tower and mounting the mill head on the tailstock end? You still have the same issue of too much distance from the quill to the table, plus, now you must leave the tailstock off, or lose most of your milling capacity, as the carriage will hit the tailstock long before it goes under the mill spindle.

I hear ya, there are some cons. Luckily tail stock will lift off so I can keep it out of the way when it's not needed. I plan on making a tool holder to handle all my center drilling.
I'm rarely more then 5" off the chuck so don't have much use for a live center etc.
As for the new post it's 4" shorter than the old location and that should help with height issue. I may make another one that is 4" shorter then the one I have now so I can hit the table. If doesn't work out I can always just move it back on top of the spindle.

Little update:
Got the spindle back together and the motor mounted and even had a new belt that was the right length (wrong width) so I could run in the spindle so I could recheck bearing preload.
Actually think the pulleys will work out fine as is for speed, I will need to pickup a tach to check speed.
One problem I have is spindle bearing oil since I have removed the drive gear(s) I will no longer have a splash effect to lube bearings.
My question is would there be any problem if I filled the spindle housing 1/8" to 1/4" above the bottom bearing race to give a more consistent lubrication...but that would only leave around 1" to 2" of empty space for foaming and heat. Any thoughts?

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Some shots of new shop area. It's going to be tight once it's all moved in but should be able to keep it clean and organized. In the back left corner will be the CRP4848. I bet it will be really loud with the 7' ceiling and all concrete room.
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Here is the concrete beams and floor that the door opening supports part of. Lights temped in today. Went with 110 watt high output I will probably do two more. My eyes get worse every year.
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Those hard walls and floor are going to be really loud! Like a bell loud.
You need something in the room to absorb the ring.
After you cold cut the door out your wife just might give you some extra furnishings to put in there like your bed and recliner!

Seems like she talked about that tonight when I slipped and talked about where the 48x48 was going to be. LOL
Yea I may have to use some 1" foam board and make a ceiling. I dropped a piece of flat metal today and that hurt my ears.

just a thought here you only have one entrance and is that a heater hanging on the wall? and loads of solid concrete everywhere can you cut another door in the wall opposite or parallel to the heater wall as you've no fire escape exit godforbid you ever needed it but safer than sorry....

Hmm....Maybe couple fire extinguishers are in order. You think I might have an electrical fire?
Very good point it wouldn't take long to fill with smoke. But great place during tornado season.

Hmm....Maybe couple fire extinguishers are in order. You think I might have an electrical fire?
Very good point it wouldn't take long to fill with smoke. But great place during tornado season.

Well even if it's possible to blow out through any wall even for a fire escape window(and nope wasn't thinking "you'd" cause an electrical fire) but well a window will also allow fresh air and natural light into your workshop, but gee never thought of tornado season......

Starting to come together.
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New load center mounted today.
1 - 15 amp double pole (220v)
2 - 15 amp singles
2 - 20 amp singles
Only going to run 50 amp (breaker available) in via 6 gauge wire. That should be plenty for what I will have hooked to it. Lighting and plug over counter are both on separate 20 amp circuits.
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Finally got it in!!!
Also got it level as I could using regular level a friend is going to let me borrow his 2' Starrett level to finish it out.
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Here is a shot of room location. Back in the 60's I quess they didn't care if you parked a car in the house! The garage goes right in the basement....that's a great place for exhaust fumes.
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you've been busy..... and that's the best place for the beer cooler right next to you and under the desk...

You forgot one thing....

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You forgot one thing....

Thanks...I'm looking forward to it's arrival. Did you ship it UPS?
Think I will e-mail that pic to wife at work and see how fast she calls me. LOL

Haha, at first glance it looks legit.

Did you get a chance to wire your VFD yet??

Yep those are the ones.

Finally started my buildthread: http://www.factorydaily.com/forums/bencht...ml#post1314670 (My Grizzly G9729 3 in 1 CNC Conversion)
Thanks again FannBlade, I'll be posting up some more pictures and progress soon.

@Fannblade: Would you mind providing some detail about where you put the ball-nut on the Cross-slide? I wasn't able to see this in your pictures.
It seems to me that I will have to remove some material from the casting to fit it in?
Did you mount it on the motor side?
- subok

Still using an acme screw and brass nut I put in when it was still manual. Starting to get lot of backlash now and hope to get new ballscrew installed very soon. I will be going with linear slides and hope that will give me additional room for the nut. Hoping to have my mill finished before attempting the upgrade by it needs it really bad right now.
The screw is the main reason I rarely use the mill anymore...on the lathe side it sucks up backlash pretty well since it only cuts one direction.
Let us know how it goes for you!

Ah, OK, thanks.
I will have to see if the ball-nut will fit under the table on the inside...
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Whew! going to be tight!

Subok, I put my ball nut on the left/through the flanges on the left of your image. The floating end bracket I made on the right. It fit very well and works nicely. I'll grab a picture in a few.
Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk 4

Here is a shot from underneath. I was able to put 4 threaded holes into the saddle and bolt it straight to that. Only 3 screws installed because I broke a ****ty tap inside one of them.

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Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk 4

Nice! can't wait to see the finished product!

Nice! can't wait to see the finished product!

I can't wait either.
Today I decided to move lathe to the new shop area and finish painting walls so I could get all the electrical run,cabinets moved and hang some lights.
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BUT due to my excellent foresite, planning and my immense amount of knowledge. Some dumb a** (I won't name names) was to stupid to think about how I was going to squeeze 47" deep unit through a 36" door!

PLAN B.........Learn to use tape measure!

oops!
sorry to hear that... I did that exact same thing building my first mill at my shop only to take it home and have it NOT be able to go through the garage door because it was 6" to high. And my mill weighed in at 800lbs+ to transport back and forth to work.
I feel your pain.

oops!
sorry to hear that... I did that exact same thing building my first mill at my shop only to take it home and have it NOT be able to go through the garage door because it was 6" to high. And my mill weighed in at 800lbs+ to transport back and forth to work.
I feel your pain.

Some things seem so simple!
Did you ever get it in or did you have to leave it at work?

I had to take the mill apart to get it out of the enclosure then cut all the mounts off and re-cut and weld new ones on. That gave me about 4" then I cut the top off of the enclosure and shortened it another 3". Haven't re-made the top yet but it doesn't spit much in the way of chips out the top.
I'm looking at a tool changer for it, when time permits. So I will revisit the top, after I determine what I want for a tool changer.

Got couple things done in the last few days.
Keyboard tray
E-Stop
PC hooked up
Hooked up stepper motor to make sure it would work with the PC I'm using and it worked. I did have a problem at first with stepper stopping after few seconds, come to find out I must have hit the dip switches for the amp settings...once reset all seems good.
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Motor mounted. When I ordered motor this mount was shown in "recommend" Items and was only $8.00 wasn't sure it would fit but i'm glad it did sure made life easy.
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LED fans I laying around.
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Thought this one was blue...but it will work.
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Got the control panel made today. It's 1/4" clear lexan and I painted the back with some good ol Krylon satin black for plastic.
VFD mounted.
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Not much head way. Nascar took up most of the weekend. But did add some switches while waiting out the rain delay.
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LED switches on the left:
1. PC Power
2. Reset
3. Hard drive #1
4. Hard drive #2
LED indicators
1. PC Power
2. Hard drive activity
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Filling it will oil high should be fine as long as you use the right oil. THe head on the RF-45 mill fills close to the top, but none foming oil, and a vent is needed.

Your build looks great, cant wait to see when finished.

Jess

Filling it will oil high should be fine as long as you use the right oil. THe head on the RF-45 mill fills close to the top, but none foming oil, and a vent is needed.

Your build looks great, cant wait to see when finished.

Jess

Thanks! That's how I will handle it.
Hoping to work on that in the morning. Going to get some pipe fittings, one 90 and straight with cap so I can fill it above cover plate. My plan is to set height to actual fill line to make it easy to check.
Also have a LED temp sensor I will install to keep track of oil temp. Nothing to base before temp. on but will be fun to see it heat up.
Started to hit me today that it's going to take a LONG time to wiring all this.

Great build and WOW can you paint....that's some detail with the clock cogged wheels and lightening bolt....looking forward to the progress...great build

Thanks. Keeping a keen eye on your build also.
Today:
Took spindle housing back off. I have a slight noise that I think is coming from the pulley rattling against the keyway so I'm going to add couple set screws. Just to be sure I decided to pull bearings and replace them while it's down. I'll pop in a pair of Temkins.
Gutted all the gears and stripped the paint back to bare metal...I just couldn't take looking at it another day, have bad feeling I will strip lathe in the morning.
Now that the housing is full of holes I will have to make some aluminum covers and gaskets to seal things back up. Visions of a scratch built housing roaming around in my head.
Just to make things more complicated I'm going to start planing a CNC router capable of doing aluminum. Wife said NO to the Tormach 1100!

Here is the video for the tank ends.
First part is where tank flew apart. I actually tore out the end before the video when I forgot to re-zero machine. The mishaps in the video is when I tried to save it! You can clearly see how well that worked out...almost hit me in the head. You can see near the end I was scared to turn up RPM and feed rate.
Enjoy my nightmare!!!!!!!! By the way I'm one the fourth tank as I had similar results with the replacement tank.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhlLKPtahHE]Destroying fuel tank - YouTube

You really need to not grab the swarf with your hands. Someday the swarf will hook the chuck at just the wrong time and you had might get pulled into the chuck.
Use a tool of some kind that will let go if grabbed.

You are right about that.
Plus I'm going to wire the e-stop to the VFD today.

Hello Fann,
I just recently acquired a Central Machinery (Harbor Freight) 46199 ~ 3in1 pretty much identical size to your machine about 3 weeks ago with the intent of converting to CNC (not anything close to your masterpiece, it is a true work of art). With that said, I have been doing alot of research on CNC conversion but could not find any informational or practical builds for this type of machine until I stumbled upon your post tonight. I have read up on CNC conversions and don't believe it is as daunting as I had origionaly expected. Anyway I am familiar with the company that you got the "Ballscrews" from but can you let me know what stepper motors you used for each axis and if your happy with them? I know you mentioned it eatlier in the post but not sure if you did use it, I was going heavier but don't want to if not nessesary. Also can you let me know what other vendors that you used and if you were happy with them too? If that is possible it would be greatly appreciated. Your posting was quite enjoyable to read and you gave me the inspiration to get the ball rolling ASAP so I can start "makin' chips".........
Thanks,
Michael

It looks like you have only one 5V power supply and linked the optoisolated supply connection, so does this mean you don't have the pulse bob supplied with a separate isolated power supply or am I missing something?

Guess I'm not sure. The Input rail I have it hooked to on the C11T says it's optoisolated.
Do I need more than one 5v PSU? If I understand the theory right the card just needs 2 sources of 5v to turn the card on, but I really have no idea.
You are right pulse bob is jumped off C11T do you think it needs it's own separate supply? I planed on running it's power directly from the 5v psu instead of jumping off the BOB.
Getting ready to order a 12v psu so I could easily grab another 5v.
Also ordered a tach off amazon so i can check and see how accurate the pulse card is reading.

I'm using the C32 bob and in ways it's similar to the C11T, but with the C32 PDF it does quite clearly state a separate 5V power supply is required to supply to the Optoisolated circuit.
I just looked up the specs of your bob CNC4PC and for the analogue 0-10V this is what it says “It has an optoisolated analog 0-10VDC output......”
And yes to your question you need two separate 5V PSU's one to power the Circuitry on the C11T and a separate 5V to supply power to the Optoisolated circuitry


Now this is where my understanding becomes a bit fuzzy I understand that two separate power supplies are required but not sure why, and also I’m not sure why it is important to keep components’ isolated from each other. This also seem to complicate grounding issues too as you’ve seen in the latest advice I got in my thread.

Looked at the PDF for yours and definitely talks more about general hook up then mine does. I agree not sure why it needs 2 power sources but it will make it easy to power card on and off.
Ordered another 5v and a 12v to power to 10v analog out.
Thanks for keeping me on my toes! Must have been an "oversight".....

..... an "oversight".....

aaahhhh those darn oversights just pop up anywhere
and speaking of the the analogue zero to ten volt DC (0-10VDC) which is one of the advantages like your bob I've been thinking about that and how when a bob is only powered by a 5V supply can you then get upto 10V output to control the VFD??

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