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Alternate ATC systems

12/1/23       
BH Davis  Member

Website: http://www.bhdavis.net
I would love to have an ATC on my 4x8 upgraded Precix retirement CNC. The cost though is well beyond any realistic return on a machine that I use primarily for my enjoyment and a few marketable retirement projects.

I've looked for used spindles and even at the Chinese HSD ES915/ES919 clone imports. While enticing I think that class of spindle is a bit too heavy for my gantry anyway. Z-lift weight can be countered but overall spindle weight remains an issue.

Also I'm aware that there is a spindle out there (I don't recall the brand) that has a quick change collet/nut arrangement where your tool is premounted in that assembly and with a allen wrench you swap out these assemblies. I suppose that's worth a look see but from what I originally saw on them I wasn't that excited.

So what I'm toying with is coming up with a mechanical removal system for the spindle nut on my Perske 5hp spindle. A few people have done this and there are some videos on YouTube of the results. Since this is a retirement situation I don't really have to worry about the ridiculous amount of time it would take to develop such a system. I need to keep out from under my wife's feet anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdT5LD6asIc

So I'm wondering if anyone in the Woodweb world has done or seen something like this. I've started drawing up design concepts and am at a point where any good ideas could be incorporated.

While this is for my non-significantly profit making situation I imagine others out there still making a living with their routers on a small shop scale might also be interested.

Thanks,
BH Davis

12/2/23       #2: Alternate ATC systems ...
Jim Anderson

That is an interesting video. I wonder how many tries before they determined how many turns on the collet nut to hold the tool while moving, but release it when pulled out. The obvious downside is the limited tool size (all the same shank size).
You said you have a 5HP collet spindle, there are 5HP ATC Spindles out there with a similar weight. Of course you would need a few other components to complete the conversion but it can be done with a little difficulty. I successfully have done it on a couple of machines.

12/2/23       #3: Alternate ATC systems ...
BH Davis  Member

Website: http://www.bhdavis.net

Jim,

I too have done this before. In the late 90's I built an ATC system on my first Digital Tool 5x10 router. I used a 5 hp HSD ES915 spindle and a slew of opto isolation relays, air solenoids and both line and low voltage relays. Thing worked great for several years before I sold it and upgraded to a new machine.

That's why I'm willing to undertake this project. That original build was way more complex than this would be. This just has a few twists and turns to sort out.

Thanks for the input.
BH Davis


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