Upgrading Motor on Mini Mill

I haven’t done much with the mini mill lately. Partly because I was underwhelmed with the cutting torque and thereby the time it took to do any cutting. I was only able to take very small cuts at a time without the motor controller tripping out on over current.

So, after some research, I saw where several people had used old treadmill motors to build Lathes. I decided this was the way to go, to upgrade my mill.

I found a decent deal on facebook for a used, working treadmill for $50.

Luckily, I found it had one of the larger 2.9 peak HP motors and larger controller. However, one of the down sides of this upgrade was the larger style controller requires a PWM input. On the treadmill that comes from another computer built in to the head of the unit. This would be very cumbersome to use, given it’s size and all of the inputs that would have to be used to make it work. Not to mention it would dwarf my mill.

So the solution was to use an Arduino Micro-controller to read a potentiometer and output the PWM signal to the controller board. Luckily I wasn’t the first person that had this idea and thanks to the great write up of 3 brothers at https://sonsofinvention.wordpress.com/tag/mc-2100-motor-controller/ I was up and running in no time.

Below is the video blog of the project

More to come…