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Z axis (knee) power feed recomendations

Discussion in 'BRIDGEPORT MACHINES INC. & B'PORT CLONES' started by alloy, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. alloy

    alloy Always looking for the next tool score H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have a Kent 4VK mill that's about 3200lbs. About the size of a series II Bridgeport and am looking at a power feed for the knee. Sales have been good lately and I'm tired of cranking that heavy knee up and down all the time. I would rather work smarter than harder any day as I spend a lot of time lately on my mill.

    A Servo brand is out of the question at $1200 so that leaves import brands. I've read a lot about them and have seen quotes that they are just as good as the Servo brand feeds. But I don't know the people that posted that and wanted to ask here where I trust people to help me spend my hard earned money.

    The knee is pretty heavy and all I've seen are 150lb torque feeds. I'm not sure id there are 200lb ones or not.

    I welcome your comments.

    Was looking at this one on Ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Power-Feed-...474773?hash=item1eb3dab915:g:0xQAAOSwCEdYUBzo
     
  2. Holescreek

    Holescreek Active User Active Member

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    I make my own version of this drill adapter for my mills and use a 1/2" corded hand drill to spin it. If I'm just drilling I leave it set up and raise and lower the table as needed. If I'm milling I slip it off and put the handle on for fine adjustments. I've made the adapters for other style mills for a friend, it's just the concept of using a drill to do the hard work.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bridgeport-...754398?hash=item1a23eb049e:g:jHQAAOSwopRYfYSU
     
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  3. Rick_B

    Rick_B United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've got one of the adapters that holescreek showed (not sure if it is his or not). It works great and is a reasonable alternative to a power feed - in my opinin
    Rick
     
  4. Terry Lingle

    Terry Lingle Canada Swarf Registered Member

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    I made a power feed for my mill from a 1/2 inch electric drill and a couple of chain sprockets to reduce the speed by a factor of two.
    it is hard mounted with the drill back along the "tube that the raise shaft runs in. I made an extension for the hand crank so I could use it for fine adjustments.
    Caution if you do this be sure to remove the hand crank from the operating position when you are not using it.
    The drill trigger was replaced with a remote forward- off-reverse switch and a dimmer used as a speed control.
    Before I started fabricating I tested using the drill to drive the table raise /lower directly and found that it would overload and try to release the magic smoke at low speeds.. The drill is a Milwaukee 1/2 inch 800 rpm model IIRC and with the 2:1 reduction it is not overpowered.
     
  5. talvare

    talvare United States Ted A H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I made one for my BP a few years ago. Purchased a gear head motor, sprockets and chain on eBay and fabricated the rest of the pieces. I made it with an adjustable clutch so that it can be set so that nothing gets damaged if I get stupid and run the knee too far in either direction. Also, the clutch can be completely released with about 1/4 turn of the hub (shown in the photo with the handle in one of the holes) and the knee can be operated manually with a 1" socket and ratchet. It works very well and I think I've got less than $100 invested.

    DSCN0871_01.JPG DSCN0869_01.JPG DSCN0865_01.JPG
    Ted
     
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  6. Holescreek

    Holescreek Active User Active Member

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    How do you make fine adjustments for milling with power feed units? I haven't seen one that has an extension shaft for the crank handle.
     
  7. Terry Lingle

    Terry Lingle Canada Swarf Registered Member

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    on mine I machined an extention drive that has the driven sprocket melded onto it the regular crank handle fits onto the extension the same as it used to fit on the knee drive just be sure to remove it before you use the power drive. I have a chain gaurd on mine so it is a little complicated to get a picture of the drive extension but I will take a couple of pictures of it with the original drive handle in place.
     
  8. Holescreek

    Holescreek Active User Active Member

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    Just found some pics of mine:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. alloy

    alloy Always looking for the next tool score H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I picked up one of those adapters. Its for sale cheap now. Only used once.

    My Milwaukee fuel 1/2" drill doesn't have enough power to lift the knee.
     
  10. Kroll

    Kroll United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Like the adapter ideal,if you can find one of those older American made Milwaukee Angle Drills I bet it will have enough torque to raise/lower the knee.Plumbers would use these drills with screw type wood bits to punch holes for pipes.And it being angle drill it would not stick out as far as the other drill.Just another ideal----kroll
    [​IMG]
     
  11. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I would look at the Align power feeds, I have two on my mill and they work very well. They are made in Taiwan and I find things like the switches and body to be more solid than some of the cheaper modes I have seen. They are less than 1/3 the price of the servo, and I have found them very well made and have had no issues. You might check prices with some of the milling machine importers like Kent, Acra , etc. or some of the distributors like Penn Tools as to models and specifics.
    http://www.penntoolco.com/al-500pz
    http://www.align.com.tw/manuals-en/powerfeed/

    20170314_084911.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  12. alloy

    alloy Always looking for the next tool score H-M Supporter-Premium

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    No one that I can find has an import type 200 power feed clone for the knee. A 150
    isn't powerful enough.

    Before i sold my Bridgeport I had the Kent sitting beside it and it made the Bridgeport look like a 1/2 size machine.
     
  13. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Wait till you crank that Shizuoka knee up, I cranked it up about 8 inches and had to take a break halfway through. ;) We might want to design a power feed for it.

    The specs on that Align look much like the Servo 200, but ya never know.
     
  14. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As Jim mentioned, the Align 500PZ states higher continuous and maximum torque rating then the Servo 200. Alternate would be to use something like a Bodine gear motor with a belt drive or possibly a 90 degree drive. I have done this with their 3 Phase gear motors with a VFD and it was pretty much unstoppable on a Z drive.
    Align Power Feed Torque:
    Continuous 150 in-lb, Max 650 in-lb

    Servo 200 Power Feed Torque:
    Peak Torque 200 in.- lb. / 22.6 NM torque
    Intermittent Torque: 150 in.- lb. / 17.0 NM
    Continuous Torque: 120 in.- lb. / 13.0 NM
     

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