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Tormach DIY 4th Axis is complete!

The 4th axis is complete and operational. I will make a new motor mount as well as guard the cables running from the cabinet to the motor. I will post a follow up once that is done. The bill of materials is below.


Stepper Driver –

Nema 23 –

Rotary Table –

Coupler –

Nema 34 (all but 6”) –

Quantity Part Number Manufacturer Part Number Description
1 A16047-ND 54123-1 CONN SEALING BOOT 13 BLACK
1 A122396-ND 211870-2 CONN SEALING COVER 13 BLACK
10 A31987-ND 1-66099-5 CONN PIN 16-18AWG TIN CRIMP
10 A31988-ND 1-66101-9 CONN SOCKET 16-18AWG TIN CRIMP


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Tormach Pathpilot IO upgrade

I have been finding myself wanting to more out of my Tormach Pathpilot controller. Such as adding a stack light. This takes more IOs than Tormach leaves available to the user. However, I happen to know that Tormach uses the Mesa 5I25 FPGA card which has many more IOs available through the P2 header. We must tap into that and the simplest way is to install a DB25 to IDC26 cable which cost $5. I also made a video as I do a short run through on how to install the cable on the 5i25 card in the controller so that I can access IOs 17 to 33.

I will go through how to edit the .hal file in the near future. 

Mesa 5I25 Manual

DB25F-IDC26 Cables

DB25 Breakout board

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Kitamura MyCenter Zero LinuxCNC Retrofit.

I attempted to repair my machine but I have found the simplest way was to just start fresh. This machine was state of the art in 1989. 28 years later we have better options.

In 1989 the electronics cabinet and the operator control panel where stuffed full. In 2017 I have ample room to work and allow for airflow.

I am using Delta servos on all 3 axes. The Z-axis includes a brake to hold the head up when not under power or during Estop. The spindle will be driven by a Delta VFD. These will be run via a Mesa 7I93 Ethernet and Mesa 7I77 cards. I also have a Mesa 7I76 (stepper) card that I may use to interface the Spindle VFD and use the extra I/O for the tool changer. All of these will be controlled by LinuxCNC on an industrial panel mount touch screen via ethernet.

Follow me on Instagram for in process updates. I ocasionally post videos to Youtube also.

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11×26 Lathe CNC Conversion

I have the 3 phase Leeson motor hooked up to the Teco L510 VFD. It is running strong. I suggest this modig=fication even if you do not intend to convert to CNC. You can hook up a potentiometer to control the speed from the panel or just adjust it at the VFD. I have the stand offs turned. Now I just need to machine the mounts for the steppers and ball screws.