Bridgeport Boss 5 Retrofit.

02 Aug 2016 18:55 - 02 Aug 2016 19:13 #78302 by eman5oh
Here is my Boss 5 Linux cnc Conversion. The machine is running the original steppers driven with gecko drives and a power supply made from the original transformer a caps from the machine. The spindle is run via vfd and the interfacing is done with a Mesa 5i25/7i76 combo. I am running gmccapy with a touch screen on the machine. Below is a link to an album with pictures of the machine being moved and during various stages of the retrofit.

Last Edit: 02 Aug 2016 19:13 by eman5oh.
03 Aug 2016 17:24 #78331 by tommylight
That penguin just won't get up !!! Lazy bastard !!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Nice to see people giving new life to old hardware. I did a retrofit of an old plasma cutter for a customer, man was he pleased after using it for the first time. He was amazed at how easy it is now to just draw something and have the machine cutting it in minutes, instead of wasting the whole day for simple things.
Keep up the good work,
The following user(s) said Thank You: eman5oh
03 Aug 2016 17:49 #78332 by eman5oh
I was looking at doing a G0704 and then found this mill near by. In the end it cost less money and I think it will be a more capable machine. I plan to remove the vari drive and run it with a set of fixed pullies with hi and lo range with t he vfd. I also want to add an spindle encoder for tapping., maybe some AC servos in the future..... never done
07 Aug 2016 20:22 #78456 by 5axisormore
The Boss is a lot beefier machine. The only down side is the limited quill travel vs the G0704. looks good. I have a friend who has a Boss that I keep wondering about getting. Did yours come with Universal Quick Switch or Kennametal style tooling?
07 Aug 2016 23:10 #78464 by eman5oh
It has the Kennametal Quick Change 30 spindle. I have started collecting tool holder for it. Having the quill for the z rather than a column is a draw back but is made up for by haveing the knee adjustment and quite a bit more travel in the Y.
08 Aug 2016 20:04 #78502 by 5axisormore
My ill spent youth was on Boss 3,4 and 5 machines with Kennametal tooling. We programmed with a calculator and Teletype. I have a Lagun with an Anilam Crusader II control and Universal Quick Switch tooling. They both work well for tooling. Mine is getting switched to Linux with the 6i25/7i77 board I have sitting on the bench. The coolest part of the Bridgeport is the odometers on the X and Y axis. Makes setup really nice. We always checked them before each part to make sure we hadn't missed a few steps on tough cuts.

16 Aug 2016 17:30 #78895 by Duc
Does your spindle have a thru hole on the shaft?

I love my convert Boss but I do make one hell of a mess in the garage from the coolant system.
23 Nov 2016 10:08 #83157 by 5axisormore
The Universal Quick Switch was a solid spindle. No through hole. I actually looked at my friends Boss 5 the other day and was talking to him about getting it running. He has a pair of HAAS mills and a HAAS twin spindle lathe with live tooling, but no Y-axis. So, the Boss is actually just taking up space. I bought back my Hardinge HNC that he had bought about 17 years ago from me, so I could probably get the mill. I was looking at it for a 4th axis engraving setup for some parts I help him with occasionally. His Boss has the Erickson Spindle, which is pretty strong, but the Universal collets were more precise in my experience. My Lagun has a chip tray that sits on top of the base and catches a lot of the chips, but I have thought about making an enclosure that would have an 1/8 inch plate welded to pads or rails almost like a pallet, and build a cabinet on top of that to fully enclose the machine, then just have a door or two to access it like a conventional CNC mill. You could put studs through the pads and bolt the machine to the pads. Better than the ancient Kearney and Trecker horizontals, which had a coolant dam around the table, but we used shower curtains on bent conduit around machine to keep the mess down.
23 Nov 2016 13:01 #83161 by eman5oh
I missed the notification for this post, but my spindle does have a though hole in it. I have read other say that they did not but mine does and a few other have them with the through hole. I have no idea if this is the spindle that mill shipped from the factory with but I do know that had been apart before I purchased the mill.
25 Nov 2016 22:03 #83317 by 5axisormore
Does it use a drawbar, or the quick change nut on the bottom of the spindle? I will check Ed's machine today when I am up there. There really shouldn't need to be a hole in there. there are a lot of machines that used the NTMA style tapers and the drawbar with an air drawbar using air impact type arrangement when the drawbar went to tool change position, but most of the early Bridgeports used the quick release spinldle lower nuts. Some people liked the Erickson better because they were less prone rattling loose on heavy cuts. I never found it to be an issue for the Universal Kwik Switch, and for drilling, didn't find a need to wrench the closer. I did on milling, but still never had an issue with it.
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