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About a week after I had purchased a new x3 mill from Arc Euro Trade, I spotted this Boxford 260 VMC cnc mill on ebay and to my surprise I won it at a bargain price! so the x3 cnc conversion will be put on hold until I can assess this machine. I don't have the room to accomodate both machines, so one may have to eventually go. To be honest, I am not sure which machine will come out on top.

I like the Boxfords enclosure with its clear plastic doors and windows which will stop most of the coolant and swarf from getting all over the workshop.
This is every bit as solid as my Orac lathe. It has a central lubrication system operated manually. simply lift the plunger and let it fall and all the main points will get a dose of oil.
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Boxford 260 VMC CNC Milling Machine
The Retrofit
Firstly, I removed All of the old electronics including the tool carosel with its stepper motor (which was the only thing that worked) leaving plenty of space inside.
I have not made a terribly neat job with the wiring, but it works! I kept the original power supply and made sure I used screened cables, keeping them routed away from any power cables.



This is a shot after the conversion showing an sieg X3 dc speed controller.it has a forward/ reverse switch and speed pot. as well as the yellow fault light and fuse
The stepper drivers were replaced with 3 units from Arc Euro Trade.



Limit Switches

My aim was to fit limit switches to all three axies and my main aim was to keep them as far from the oil and swarf as possible. This has only partially been completed. the x and y switches are in place but not wired up. i actually do not think they are really needed. the main bed is strong and over travel just results in stalled motors. so i have yet to connect them up to the main PC.
For the Y axis , I bolted a steel bar to the moving part which entered a hole in the rear compartment. Here two limit switches could be positioned well away from all the oil etc.


My machine came with a Easychange Quick change tooling chuck. Unfortunatly, the tool holders were all missing. On investigation, I Found that they were made by Coventy Toolholders Ltd and although not cheap, I decided to order a few end mill holders to try out. They happen to be very easy to change over and it may even be possible to copy and make my own when I get my Orac cnc lathe up and running.
Up and running
i have had this running for about a year now although not used it a great deal. Enough to test its capabilities. it will cut most materials including steel, the biggest item was machining a groove in the underside of my X3 mill to accept the new ballnut.
Orac cnc lathe
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Update May 2009
I have decided that the Boxford will have to go soon due to lack of space and too many other projects!
so please keep an eye on my ebay items for its sale.