[Coco] coco in a box as a Christmas display

Dave Philipsen dave at davebiz.com
Tue Dec 26 01:23:32 EST 2017

So, Gene, I have deduced that CNC is a big hobby for you.  I used to 
play around a bit with a Sherline desktop mill converted to CNC but it's 
kind of small for some of the work I want to do with it.  I'm looking to 
buy a 'DIY' CNC mill in the very near future (maybe yet this year) and 
have a few questions for you.

My intended usage is primarily for cutting control panels or instrument 
faceplates that would typically be used in audio racks (so maximum of 
17" or so in one direction.  The material would either be ABS or 
aluminum so fairly soft.  I don't think the aluminum would ever be 
thicker than .090".  I've seen a number of CNC mill kits on eBay in the 
$1,000 - 2,000 range.  Some of them come from China and others are 
shipped from the West Coast and probably are imported from China.  Some 
appear to be controlled over USB and others appear to be controlled over 
a parallel port.  I'm thinking of getting one that has working 
dimensions of approx 600mm x 400mm like this one:


Do you have any advice?  What to avoid?  What features to look for? Do 
you know of anyone who has purchased one of these Chinese mills? What 
software do you use/recommend?

This could be considered a little off-topic so feel free to respond to 
me directly if you think it's better.  Although I could see the 
possibility of playing around with a 6809-based computer in the future 
for controlling the mill.  Non real-time systems like Windows would not 
be my first choice for running a mill.  In fact, I'd probably rather use 


On 12/24/2017 9:39 PM, Gene Heskett wrote:
> Not quite 2 hours to go here in WV. Just came in from the garage, where
> I've been re-grinding the inside of a lathe spindle, back to an MT5
> taper. I think the spindle is very slightly bent, so collets for round
> material were running eccentric as much as 10 thousandths of an inch.
> Not a tolerate-able error.
> Got it about as close as I can get it, the run-out is now a bit less than
> 0.0001". That at least gives me a chance to do repeatable work.
> Now we sit and wait for grizzly to ship me an MT5 to 5C adapter, late
> this week arrival. If its that precise, then an ER-40 adapter plugs into
> that and I'm off to the races for round parts up to an inch in diameter.
> CNC is nice, without a compound toolpost holder, I can still cut any
> taper I can rig a cutting tool to reach. The computer is the compound,
> to angular accuracy's in the arc second range. The original compound was
> the victim of the lathe falling over on its front face, sometime back in
> the mists of the last 65 years. Since it weighs 1500 lbs, something is
> gonna get bent or broken when it hits the floor.
> Merry Christmas all, and have a good night if you haven't already.
> Cheers, Gene Heskett

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