My "new" Hardinge HNC running LinuxCNC's Enhanced Machine Controller

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I've finished the conversion of my "new" lathe and it is working well. The lathe is a late-70s model and was controlled by a computer (with no CPU) that is in a box taller than me. It originally would read punched paper tape, reading one motion instruction at a time and executing it, then reading the next step from the tape.

Like many machine tools this age, the machine itself is still good, but the computer parts, if they are working at all, require constant attention to keep running. That's where Free software comes in. This machine uses Mesa's m5i20 controller to interface with the original servo amplifiers running the original servo motors. I also reused some original transformers, isolators, contactors, all the air and lube setup, and the resolvers (thanks to Pico Systems's resolver convertor).

I took a video of it making a neat little part. This is a knob for a panel mount encoder, knurled and bored carefully to .1975 for a press fit on the encoder shaft. To finish the top where it was parted, a second facing operation will be run. The shoulder at the bottom (facing us on the two knobs lying down) is .4375 to fit a 7/16 collet for the second operation.

You can see at the end before cutoff, I have it open the collet and use the parting tool to pull the stock out. Then when cutoff completes, it is ready to start the next cycle with no messing around. At the end of the video I grab the part and start the next run. The image above shows just how they come off the machine.


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