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      The laser is far closer to completion than its build thread would suggest, there are a pile of mill conversion components sitting on a bench, and I'm four years into DIY VMC research, so I'm gonna go ahead and start this to have a dumping spot. I'm not shooting this conversion for Youtube- I think there are quite enough of those, and who really wants to watch a video on this stuff anyway?- so this should be more of a traditional progress-as-it-comes build thread.

      The mill as it currently stands:


      Glass scale XY DRO, but no other major modifications. I'll use these for calibration, and for characterising the ballscrews if I end up needing to move to LinuxCNC (I'll add a z-axis scale in that case, of course). The plywood pyramid is concrete-filled. Made a surprisingly big difference, as I recall. I may end up needing to remove it (or chop the bench legs down, more likely) to fit the modifications to the head under the basement ceiling joists/plumbing!

      I got the G0758 over the G0704 because it had enough of the same heavier-duty features with just enough travel to be useable and is light enough at 150lb that I can pick it up and move it around as I need to. The G0704 is a significant investment in terms of moving it around and installing moving equipment for it, even though it's not much more expensive in and of itself (or wasn't, before the tariffs). At the time I was used to the awful milling adaptor for the lathe, too, so literally anything was a massive improvement.

      Some of you may recall at the time I was doing a ton of ground-up DIY machine building research, lots of weldment-heat-treating and epoxy granite research (I've read the ENTIRE thread on CNCZone... :cool: But didn't take notes :duh:), but I came to the same conclusion as many others... If you don't have a budget of around $10-15,000, just buy a benchtop mill and convert it. If you get a larger capacity class, you'll even have enough z-travel to lose to linear rails, since you already have ground ways to mount them on!

      It is, and always was, a temporary machine. Keeping it under $1000 made sense given that I also needed to buy my Lincoln Square Wave 200 TIG welder (to complete my Glorious Triumvirate Of Fabrication v1.0) at the time, also not an insignificant investment. One day it'll probably get linear rails and become a small plate-maker, where the reduction in z-travel is irrelevant.

      The pile of stuff:


      ZYLTech 550mm 1205 C7 antibacklash screw (X)
      ZYLTech 300mm 1605 C7 antibacklash screw (Y)
      Banggood 360mm 1605 C7 antibacklash screw (Z) (jury's out on this one, but it feels ok)

      Automation Technologies 110VAC NEMA34 1700oz-in/12Nm hybrid stepper/controller kit
      RATTMMOTOR (JSS-Motor) NEMA34 4.5Nm hybrid stepper & HSS86 controller (similar to a Leadshine HBS86H) (2x)

      Meanwell 48V 12.5A power supply

      Baomain 100mm x 50mm ~150psi pneumatic cylinder
      Baomain 2-way 5-port 12V solenoid valve

      ...And other associated detritus like couplers and limit switches. So you get the general idea here.


      Current thoughts and considerations in the thread. I'll update here as I actually get stuff done.
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