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Hercus Lathes and Mills

Upnorth

Well-Known Member
I recently found out that I'm not the only person with Hercus machine tools on here so I thought it best to start a thread about it here.

I have a Hercus lathe and a milling machine. The mill was my start in CNC. I got it running with Mach 3 and being new to CNC found it to be way to limited in it's travels. Way to easy to overtravel and hit a stop. Beginner errors. I also had trouble with Mach 3 doing full rapid axis runaways. I ordered a bigger mill shortly after. When I finish with the lathe the mill will get a Centroid Acorn. I converted my bigger milling machine to an acorn and could not be happier with it. It just chugs along and never makes and mistakes that I didn't create on my own.

The lathe started out with a Mach 3 conversion that is now undergoing a conversion to a Centroid Acorn. Same reasons as with the mill. If anyone is considering upgrading to an acorn I do have some advice. Get everything working before you tackle the turret. I paid Centroid to update the PLC and unfortunately when you update the software you have to manually update the PLC or pay Centroid to do it. The turret is non-standard so that is why you need to manually edit the PLC. Next time I get them to edit it I will tell them to use a different colour text for the edits so I can do the entire update myself. The lathe has an air chuck and 2 turrets.

During the conversion to Mach 3 and the Acorn I used the original servos. Close enough to be adaptable versions of the original servos are available on Ebay.The resolvers were removed and replaced with AMT-102 encoders. It's likely these will not be totally successful and be replaced by a better quality encoder.

I'll post photos in the future. The machine is partially disassembled for the control update, so not presentable.
 

Darren

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I'd love to see some pics. I'm considering the Centroid All in one dc system if i convert my mill back to cnc control, as I have the DC servo's allready. Just not ready to drop 10k on it at the moment. Marty Escarga on YT did a conversion on an identical setup as mine and i really like it.
 

Upnorth

Well-Known Member
If you are talking about putting a Centroid all in 1 control on a Hercus that is major overkill. It's a good versatile control though. A friend of mine has one on his Trump CNC milling machine. It's been a trouble free workhorse for a few years now. One of the issues with the all in 1 is that upgrades in software is expensive. Acorn is much cheaper. Same software on either control. That is the main reason I went with Centroid. They have controls for anything I ever want to own from hobbyist to professional grade equipment
 

Darren

Ultra Member
Premium Member
My mill is a Kent bridgeport clone that originally came with a mitutoyo cnc conversion, which was faulty and removed. Everything else is there for a conversion back to cnc.
 

Upnorth

Well-Known Member
My mill is a Kent bridgeport clone that originally came with a mitutoyo cnc conversion, which was faulty and removed. Everything else is there for a conversion back to cnc.
Ok I see why you want the All in one control then. It has things the acorn does not. Closed loop servo control is a good upgrade from the acorn.
 
Hey @Upnorth, (or isn’t it Out-East!)

Yeah, I probably have the largest collection of Hercus CNC machines outside of their natural Australian habitat …. 1 Compulathe & 3 mills (2 V300 Compumills, & 1 PC300 re-badged as Rockford PRO3000).

All of mine are still running on their original factory controllers except for the one that I’m hoping to sell some day; the controller on that one was removed by the previous owner. Years ago I started a retrofit but lost momentum and it’s been collecting dust since…. I should really sell both of the v300’s to free up some workshop space. Rockford-Hercus.JPG 20230529_115549.jpg
 

Upnorth

Well-Known Member
Hi DanCNC. Yeah I'm still in the east. I guess I had forgotten that you were on here.

For those of you who don't know Dan he is an excellent source of information about CNC lathes.

Did you get the turrets assembled?
 
Yep, I'm here too.
I was able to get 2 complete turrets assembled and 2 partial turrets. 3 of them went back to AU (for very good $$$) and the 4th I traded for some spare Hercus electronic parts in the USA....
 
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Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member
This is my Rockford/Hercus lathe. Looking at the pictures first pic shows the computer on the left with touch screen (not useful), I bought a USB shuttle people use for video editing to handle manual panning the carriage around. It was $60USD as opposed to the nice hand remote Centroid sells but it's $400USD. I don't think the inexpensive generic ones you see on Aliexpress would work without a lot of work. The next picture is the tool changer turret close up - 8 tools theoretically but I think maybe half that practically. You can see the cut off tool I installed would interfere with the stock if you used the tool slots next it. And the replaced electronics in the back panel is the last 2 pictures. I spent quite a bit on upgrading the electronics to a centroid control and I bought new servos. @kevin.decelles uncle in law Les put it all together for me. I had it 95% working and then I had a setback by installing CNC 12 on top of CNC 11. Dumb mistake I didn't keep a backup so now I don't have a working configuration anymore. So some clean up there. I have a couple videos showing it working sort of.



 

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@Janger you’ve got one of the latest worm-gear servo turrets, it’s much better than the older 1st generation gear-motor turrets on mine.

You should invest in one of these cheap Chinese part-off tools (MGEHR1010-1.5)… I had an insert type Sandvik tool with a holder similar to yours but with the stand out and flex it was unusable. Not to mention with the forward protrusion, it is one more thing to watch out for possible collision with the chuck ! There are a few different iterations of the same tool designation, look for the shortest blade for best results.
In fact, you should invest in a full set of 10mm square shank insert type tooling... the stuff on ebay/Ali is so cheap there is no reason to use HSS
20201014_103723.jpg
Nigel (Hercus FB group) did a comparison of the cheap tool against name-brand tools… it held up pretty well. (in a later video he filed off some of the insert clamp which improved the chip evacuation issue)
 
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Upnorth

Well-Known Member
This is my Rockford/Hercus lathe. Looking at the pictures first pic shows the computer on the left with touch screen (not useful), I bought a USB shuttle people use for video editing to handle manual panning the carriage around. It was $60USD as opposed to the nice hand remote Centroid sells but it's $400USD. I don't think the inexpensive generic ones you see on Aliexpress would work without a lot of work. The next picture is the tool changer turret close up - 8 tools theoretically but I think maybe half that practically. You can see the cut off tool I installed would interfere with the stock if you used the tool slots next it. And the replaced electronics in the back panel is the last 2 pictures. I spent quite a bit on upgrading the electronics to a centroid control and I bought new servos. @kevin.decelles uncle in law Les put it all together for me. I had it 95% working and then I had a setback by installing CNC 12 on top of CNC 11. Dumb mistake I didn't keep a backup so now I don't have a working configuration anymore. So some clean up there. I have a couple videos showing it working sort of.



I'm not familiar with CNC11 but with CNC12 it automatically generates a weekly report. You should be able to get all the information you need from the report to configure CNC12.
 
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