First chips from the new mill and DNC controller testing.

First chips from the new mill and DNC controller testing.

First chips, file io with new controller and drip feed testing to the Fanuc OM.

Cutting the first chips on the CNC Mill. I used a Titan Ausys DNC to upload code to the Mill. Tested workflow getting programs on the mill directly. I also tested drip feeding programs to the Fanuc OM.

Toolchanger finally working again!

ATC Finally working again!

Late night of work but the toolchanger is now working. The issues was a simple one. The motor that drives the toolchanger was out of phase. It was in reverse rotation. I switched L1 and L2 connections. The toolchanger for the CNC Mill now works like it should.

ATC Troubleshooting on the Excel Mill / Fanuc OM

ATC Troubleshooting on the Excel Mill

Troubleshooting the automatic toolchanger on the cnc mill.

I put some G-Code on the machine with a Titan DNC. Noticed issues getting toolchanges to happen. I went over the Fanuc Ladder determine what was happening. Finally, I decided to start tearing into the ATC to debug. I also did some more cleaning and maintenance of the toolchanger. I removed guards and the main three phase drive motor.

First Power Up of the VMC mill in the shop

First Power Up of the VMC mill in the shop

First power up of the Excel VMC CNC into the shop. Testing of the American Rotary three phase AD-20 converter with the Mill.

After verifying the three phase connection voltages and placing the high leg on non-control leg inputs of the machine I powered the machine on without issues. I did initial leveling using the bed with the center bed screws loose. All the rigging preventing table and Z axis movement was removed. I used simple green cleaner for most of the machine. The automatic tool changer area I used purple power. A fresh load of coolant will do the rest of the cleaning for me.

I did have an issue after startup with a servo drive alarm. It ended up being a fiber optic connector on the Fanuc controls. After reconnecting, everything worked fine.

Moving the VMC into the Garage.

Moving the VMC into the Garage

Moving the Excel VMC CNC into the shop. I used 1″ steel to roll the VMC into the location I wanted in the shop.

The CNC Mill was shipped on a hot shot trailer to a local yard. The yard used a large forklift to move the mill to a rollback wrecker that transported and slid the mill into the shop. I used a hydraulic mini cylinder to lift the machine and placed 1″ steel rod underneath. I shifted the machine around with a long prybar. Both the rollback wrecker and Egyptian style of moving the CNC mill worked great. I was able to place the machine exactly where I wanted it in the shop.

Putting a VMC in a home garage is dream of many and I’m so glad to have a larger VMC back in the shop. There is a lot left to do to get this in operation. Things to consider are tooling, power, air, cleaning, coolant and a few other odds and ends.

This wasn’t my first VMC and wasn’t the first large piece of equipment I’ve installed in the shop. With that being said it wasn’t much different than the first and I’d encourage anyone into a home machine shop to just plan careful and have a Plan B,C,D ready to go.

Machine moving into the home shop checklist…

1. Will it fit? (Making it thru the entry, ceiling height. etc)
2. How is it getting to the shop? (Rollback, Semi, Trailer)
3. How is it getting inside the shop? (roll on steel, machine movers, etc)
4. How am I powering it? (3 phase, 1 phase)
5. Do I have the proper tools to set the machine up? (Level, Air)
6. Do I have items to complete a test run of the machine? (Coolant, Tooling, etc)