||In 2019, I build a metal lathe from materials that I found
at our local industrial scrap yard.
As I live in an area where high-tech equipment is manufactured, the local scrap yards reflect this: you can find lots of scrap metal from CNC machining left-overs, and occasionally scrapped prototypes or older industrial equipment like pick & place machines, industrial printers etc. containing gears, linear guide rails, servo motors and other useful mechanical stuff.
The lathe is powered by a 3HP motor from an old tread mill.
provides more info how I build this lathe. Although the lathe is relatively
small, the 3HP motor with tacho-feedback provides high torque, also at low
RPM. The base is not as rigid as the heavy lathes, so chatter will happen
In 2020, I added a vertical mill to the lathe, again using materials from the industrial scrap yard. This video describes how I made this mill.
Milling generates a lot of vibration, and I now understand why mills are made from heavy cast iron. My simple lightweight construction generates more chatter, so when milling metal, I need to make light cuts. Milling aluminium works well, and the surface finish looks good. The X-Y table lead screw backlash needs to be minimized, and every bolt needs to be fixed with Loctite.
I used the free
Google Sketchup 8 software for making the 3D CAD drawings. You can download
the complete lathe & mill 3D file here.
The electrical speed control schematics and design notes are shown below.
The Picaxe 20x2 firmware .bas file can be downloaded