CB CNC Part 7 – Water Cooling and Drag Chain Install

In the last video I installed my stepper motors and programmed the VFD which will power my water cooled spindle. In this video I will connect all the tubing for the spindle’s cooling system and install the drag chains.

I am planning on using G 1/4 inch compression fittings which I’ve bought as a pack of six from a computer accessories supplier. That fitting happens to be the same thread as quarter inch BSP, and will secure the pvc cooling pipes to the spindle, pump and cooling radiator.

The spindle end has an M8 thread with a 1mm pitch, so I am going to have to use an adaptor. I’ve also decided to go with larger tubing because the fittings feel a little more secure than the barb verity.

I found some adaptors that happen to fit from an engineering supplies company which were advertised for an industrial lubricating system. I’ve also decided to go with larger tubing because the fittings feel a little more secure than the barb verity.

I added these to the spindle end, and then the compression fittings which will take a tube with a 10mm inner diameter and a 13mm outer diameter. I made sure not to over tightening the knurl knobs on the compression fitting when installing the tube.

I want to run the cooling tubes through the drag chain, just to keep everything neat and prevent any accident happening. But before that I will connect the cooling system all together.

I am using a larger 200mm computer case radiator, with a 180mm fan. To fit this I had to re-tap the mounting holes on the plate to the size of machine screws I had available.

The pump and fan will be powered by a 12v psu which I will eventually install into a new controller Liquid will go from the spindle to the radiator, cooled and then to the pump.

After connecting the cooling tubing together I ran them through the drag chains to feel how flexible they would be and begin imagining the appropriate way to install.

But in doing this I also realised my spindle cable which has four 1.5mm flexes was just too thick – and would limit movement.

The spindle I am using is rated to draw 5 amps so I will change the cable to one with 1mm cores, keeping the drag chain flexible.

While I wait for the EMI braiding and new cable to arrive in the post I am going to make the brackets for the drag chains, using a length of 40 by 40mm aluminium angle bar.

As I am not working form a 3D model of my machine I will have to tailor these parts to the machine itself, but measuring, cutting, drilling and hoping that they fit.

I use my vernier callipers as a marking gauge beginning from the spindle end working back to the cable entrance.

I had to dismantle some parts of the machine to fit the brackets but the process wasn’t too difficult. I mean it would have been nice to make these using a 3D printer, but I don’t have one. I have a table saw instead.

I want to fit the brackets on pre-exiting fixings, saving myself from having to make changes to the plates.

Here the 90 degree angle brackets I placed under X axis aluminium extrusion find an additional use.

I have to double up this section to hold the two end of the x and y drag chains – securing with locking nuts and m5 domed machine screws.

I am going to use the water cooling fan to draw air though the new control box that I am planning to build. This radiator – which I bought second hand can fit two sets of tubing allowing me to fantasise about a CNC farm.

I am using a drag chain which can be un-clipped and opened to make installing the wiring and tubes a lot easier.

I secure the last bracket and the machine is essentially ready to use – minus the proximity sensors and a quick install of the replacement spindle power cable.

In the future I will be make a fully loaded and future proof control box based upon the phoenix CNC controller which will run the VFD, individual stepper drivers and utilise a bit levelling probe.

I will be releasing a written accompaniment for this project once I have won and lottery and don’t have to go to work.

Thanks again to everyone who has followed and supported the build, and as usual don’t forget to sacrifice a thumb and let me know your comment and questions.

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