CNC Boxford Lathe

  1. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Forum Supporter

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    UK London
    I have the VMC version of that and no you can’t get the software. Ex school and software only licensed for education. Last time I looked Mach3 was the favourite, interesting to see Mach5 being discussed now. Again, last time I looked it was several hundred quid to rip out the guts and do the conversion.

    probably cheaper now tho!
     
  2. indy4x

    indy4x Forum Supporter

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    I have one, the PC that is with the Boxford software on it.

    I acquired it a while ago and in my usual fashion its on the to do list but not a priority

    PC does power on but requires an XT keyboard as it fails the POST test without it. Don't have one but did try an XT to PS2 adaptor plugged into a PS2 to USB adaptor but that was as far as I got as it didn't work then other projects got in the way

    It was my intention to clone the hard drive and then pop the clone in another machine

    I also have the original Boxford manual for the lathe

    I believe the G code used by Boxford does not follow industry standards not that I know what they mean, my BIL browsed through the manual and picked up on it

    If you really want to stick with the original Boxford electronics I can try and clone the hard drive for you
     
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  3. indy4x

    indy4x Forum Supporter

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  4. James1979 Forum Supporter

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    Funny enough I've been looking at these on ebay.

    have you or anyone else in here managed a mach3 conversion?
     
  5. indy4x

    indy4x Forum Supporter

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    I haven't even started, its way down the project list but always on the lookout for info to help
     
  6. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Forum Supporter

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    I still have a couple of those things (a Boxford and Denford cnc mill/micromill) and still haven't plucked up the courage to have a go at a conversion.

    Right time of year for it and with the advent of so much cnc stuff hitting the consumer market, I hazard a guess a conversion would be super cheap. On the plus side, these were very expensively made machines and the physical structure is excellent. Pair that up with some cheap electronics and they have the makings of a superb little cnc device.

    FWIW I wouldn't want to use one with the OEM software, even if you could get it running on Windows 95 (or a BBC Micro!) it would make your life a misery!
     
  7. indy4x

    indy4x Forum Supporter

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    Yeah, while I have the PC, I think it's Win95, both the mill and lathe have 'issues' with the Boxford electronics. If I try anything in manual mode it just errors. I could try sorting that out but TBH it makes more sense just to rip it all out and go modern

    I have seen posts where peps have kept the Boxford drive motors and worked out how to hook them up to modern controllers and this is the route I'd like to take
     
  8. Hopefuldave Intergalactic pot-mender

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    LinuxCNC is more work to get running, but a) free and b) more versatile, e.g. basic Mach3 doesn't even do threading...

    Dave H. (the other one)
     
  9. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    It does.
     
  10. Hopefuldave Intergalactic pot-mender

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    Not the freebie/trial version... At least, not when I was looking at it a few years ago?

    Dave H. (the other one)
     
  11. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    Not the free one but then you said Linux is free thus implying Mach3 paid version was what you were talking about ;)
     
  12. Hopefuldave Intergalactic pot-mender

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  13. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    Lots of people had issues and still do with threading with Mach3 using the parallel port.
    The main issue was that they had underpowered spindles that slowed when cutting but also had VFDs that tried to compensate.
    So what happened is Mach compensates when it sees the slowdown and the VFD does too then Mach sees the spindle going faster so compensates etc etc.

    No doubt about it that Linux is a better system in that it is real time, well better than Mach3 using the PP anyway, but with that comes a steep learning curve.
    When I looked at Linux CNC it was years ago, wasn't even called LinuxCNC at the time, I forget what it was. Anyway there was absolutely no support at that time, you asked a question and you got a snotty reply.
    I think now it is much better supported and with the likes of Tormach using it I think support/help has moved on quite a bit.
     
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  14. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    Here is my lathe doing a thread when I first retrofitted it (12+ years ago) , this was with the parallel port, you can tell because of the slow rapids :D Later I put the SmoothStepper on it then the Ethernet Smoothstepper and it ran that way for many a year. Just over a year ago I fitted one of the Chinese standalone controls and I must admit I like it a lot but still miss the customisability of Mach3
    Anyway 7 mins or so in it is doing a thread.

     
  15. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

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    That’s a simple conversion to Mach 3 if the stepper motors arrived in good nick.
     
  16. citizen kane Member

    Messages:
    206
    UK Hampshire
    I've made some progress, I manged to get it up onto the bench in the corner of the garage. Next on the list was a sheet large enough to cover it, job done, out of sight out of mind.

    Resurrection of this thread has made me feel terribly guilty, in my defence the arrival of a new milling machine has push the lathe onto the back burner. I did find a company that will update the stepper drive system so you can use Mach 3 but its about £500.

    I will eventually get around to it but its that learning curve, seems rather steep to me at the moment.
     
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  17. indy4x

    indy4x Forum Supporter

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    @citizen kane no need to feel guilty, I got as far as making a stand for both the mill and the lathe, both stands are on castors so I can move them around. The stands allow the lathe to sit under the mill, bit like a nest of tables. Threw some large silica gel bags inside and that's as far as I got :laughing:

    As always, too many projects and not enough time
     
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