CNC conversions with [Bob]

[Bob Berg] emailed in to request that we take a look at his website. We did, and we liked what we saw! [Bob] has done a couple CNC mill conversions and documented the process quite thoroughly.

The first one listed on his site is a Sieg x-3, seen above. [Bob] explains that the first thing he did when he received it was tore it apart and  cleaned it meticulously. We’re not sure if [Bob] was being insanely neat, or if he bought a used dirty unit. Either way, you can’t argue that a nice clean machine is the way to start. After a short while using it the way it was, he added a digital read out for a little more accuracy. From there, he went for a fully motorized conversion.

Keep looking around his site. There is another full build (a lather master RF45) as well as some miscellaneous other projects that are quite interesting.

6 thoughts on “CNC conversions with [Bob]

  1. “[Bob] explains that the first thing he did when he received it was tore it apart and cleaned it meticulously. We’re not sure if [Bob] was being insanely neat, or if he bought a used dirty unit.”

    Neither. The factory ‘grease’ that’s used in these things is pretty much worthless. It eventually separates into ‘solids’ and oil and no longer lubricates properly. These are often coated with a light grease (cosmoline?) to prevent rust during shipment/storage. This stuff makes a horrible mess, so I’m not surprised he took the time to clean it off.

    1. Agreed. I got one of these new too. The factory grease is for anti-corrosion only. More like a wax really. And it’s sticky too.

      I used moly grease on the shafts and light machine oil on the gybes on mine. I figured they probably won’t last long anyway as they are something like plain old mild steel by the looks of them.

      1. I actually left the orignal on and only wiped off what I could get to.. that was, until the spindle in the head ‘locked up’ and I realized that the grease had actually hardened.

        Most of the gibs on mine are just cast iron. I’m not even sure if they’re steel. The machine is made by Northern Machine and Tool (made in China), so the quality is even lower than usual. It works, but it’s not necessarily pretty. ;)

  2. I have read other users of the imported from China machine tools say the tool are”OK” but it’s key to disassemble them for a good cleaning out of casting sand, and metal left behind from the machining processes during the construction of the tool. Evidently the manufacturers don’t have that on the priority list. A sort of planned obsolescence, who knows?

  3. A well-documented build.

    I just finished a CNC conversion myself, using the smaller but much cheaper Proxxon MF70. If you’re thinking of doing a conversion I can recommend this. Plenty of documented builds out there inclucing the one that inspired me here

    I’m very impressed with the accuracy of mine. It was intended for PCB milling and I’ve already produced a much nicer PCB for version 1.1 of the Pee Light that was featured here on Hackaday a while ago.

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