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CNC Wood Turning Lathe

CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby servant74 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:46 pm

One suggestion is to consider putting a stepper motor to replace the lathe head motor, and turn your piece slowly but accurately, and use a router as a tool to mill it to shape.

Basically either put your 'lathe' aligned with the X or Y axis, just to make it easier to program.

http://turningaround.org/MechMate/Mechmate.htm

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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby LegacyHeirloom » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:10 pm

I would suggest you use a large stepper motor to provide power for your turning, attached to a planetary gear reduction to add torque to your turning drive. I would also suggest using different drive attachments than the conventional spur drive with the point center on the tail stock.

Instead of lead screw, or optional sprocket and chain, I would suggest using rack and pinion gearing for movement of the Gantry and spindle carriage.
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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby Awesomeness » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:02 pm

I don't remember anyone posting on these forums that had a CNC lathe. However, you should be able to make a lathe CNC fairly easily, as long as it's a metal-style lathe that has cranks to move the tool around (as opposed to a wood lathe that just uses a tool rest and you work by eye). You could make a wood toolrest-style lathe into CNC too, but you'd have to build a frame/gantry for the tools to move around on. I can't think of any reason you couldn't use square-shank cutting tools designed for metalworking on wood.
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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby servant74 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:22 pm

Some years ago in a now defunct Robot Builder type magazine, they did an article on a guy that did organ rebuilding and needed LOTS of wood turned knobs for stops. He took a small desktop metal lathe and turned it into an awesome knob turner. If I remember right, it used a metal lathe type tool and used it for cutting the maple or walnut (or whatever). I think it even fed in more wood after it did a cutoff of a knob and stopped when the dowel they were turning it from got to short.

Still a great hack and done 10+ years ago (if my memory serves me). I used to have that mag, but can't place my hands on it.

Also, I went to a ShopBot Jamboree in Austin TX a few years ago. One guy had a stepper motor hooked as an indexer and turned footballs and bats with raised or sunken lettering on them. The trick he showed us was to calculate the desired finished nominal diameter, then take that circumference and use that as the X axis length (the X was hooked temporarily to the indexing stepper), and just used his router to first make the stock round a bit larger than the nominal diameter. Then basically routed it as a sign would be, on all the axis. X is the nominal diameter, Y is the 'length' of the item to be turned, and Z is zeroed at the top of the material rather than at table level. .. If this isn't clear enough, let me know, I will go into more detail if you need it.
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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby newcncer » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:24 am

Dang, that seems soooooo easy. Now I think i'm going to order another stepper motor and give it a try. Sounds like you would have to adjust your steps per inch depending on diameter, But for simple cuts/engraving it should work!

I'm geeked.

So I should be able to plug my new stepper into my X axis, adjust the steps per inch, and start cutting right?

I'm already behind on projects with the Christmas season approaching, but this sounds awesome.
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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby Rushwind » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:21 pm

My understanding is that there is a G-code command to compensate for diameter. I can't remember which one it is, but it's used when working on CNC lathes for exactly this purpose.
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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby bajaru » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:55 pm

If you build it, I hope you'll post pictures!

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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby Awesomeness » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:13 pm

I don't think Servant's method will work at all. We've had this discussion before in a post somewhere, and I drew a picture to illustrate why. You can do single-depth engravings that way, but you can't use that method at all for multi-depth or 3D operations on a rotary surface. At the time, someone posted a link to a cheap tool that would wrap toolpaths for you.

All that is for a rotary index axis though, not a "lathe" as this thread's title suggests. A free-turning lathe is a totally different thing.

EDIT: Here's the post... viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1721&start=10#p8306
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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby bajaru » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:16 am

Dang, that was a few months ago already! My, how time flies! Feels like just last week I bought that Craftsman Router Crafter thing. Haven't done a darn thing with it yet...

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Re: CNC Wood Turning Lathe

Postby LegacyHeirloom » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:27 am

corey wrote:Doing some research for CNC wood turning lathe... would love some help... novice when it comes to the electronics (motors, controllers, etc.)... my biggest concern is the motor for the spindle... any direction would be helpful... would also love to see some input on options for lead screw... sprocket and chain? opinions?thanks...


Why not consider the use of rack and pinion, or roller and pinion? roller and pinion, has zero backlash...
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