Started out in vocational school at 16 and imeditaley hated CNCs. :) Thought i would never use them and would only be a manual machinist. I qucikly found out that CNC made stuff alot easier, especially the CAD side of CNC. My math has always been horable, next to spelling. :) So finding out about CAD systems turned me toward CNCs.
20 years later i still enjoy the manuals but when it comes to sumthin with a timely setup and complexity, I go for CNC. Hints the reason i built my mill drill . ;)
Converting and Retrofitting was totally new to me just a few years ago. But at a shop i onced worked at, had some tired machines. And getting the boss to spend money was like pulling teeth. :)
Then i found out about the whole DIY CNC world and was amazed at all the stuff out there.
I got in touch with Brian from Mach3 and quickly got alot of info and direction. After this i gave the boss a price figure for one of the knee mills that already had a stepper system (that was totaly bogus) and he agreed. Got schooled pretty quick. :) First flip of the switch after new retrofit and POP magical smoke!! :( I fried one of the new Geckodrives. Actually before it was all said and done I fried 2.
Talked to Gecko and they suspected X axis motor shorted and gave a couple of tests and lastly suggested opening it up to look inside. But after i fried 2 drives i went for broke and put my last drive on X axis and all was fine!?!?
After taking the motor apart a little piece of winding fell on the floor.!! Problem found. You could see where it had shorted across inside. Boss then opted for 3 new motors.
It was worth it. Ended up one of the best machines he had.
And also Retro-ed another mill with AC servo setup from Majestic Machinery. Then built a CNC HotWire and finally the Converted Mill/Drill i have at home.