A Small MicroProto Systems MicroMill 2000 HD/LE

Copyright 2013 by James P. Riser





After coming out of a restaurant one afternoon, I noticed that there was a pawn shop next door to it. I had not visited a pawn shop in over 40 years - so I thought I would check it out. Right inside the door was this:

A MicroProto MicroMill 2000 HD/LE!


It was complete. The controller was in their display case.

As one who loves business gambles, I decided to buy it and see if I could get it running. It looked like new.

Below are several pictures of my new MicroMill. I decided to run this machine with a module from http://www.super-tech.com/ as it converts a USB signal to the parallel interface required by the controller and comes with an interesting software program. Here are several views of the mill.




This little cnc machine requires a parallel connector to run it. Newer computers do not come with parallel ports - so a solution was required. I could go old school with an old computer or go new school with USB. I chose to go new school.

The CamPod and SuperCamXp package looked like this when it arrived.


The included USB cable plugged into the front of the CamPod unit.


This is the back side of the controller.


The parallel cable attached as shown here.

The SuperCamXp software installed smoothly on both WindowsXP and 7. You may download a trial of the software from this site http://www.super-tech.com/

I chose this adapter system because it will allow using the little MicroMill with newer computers and the software should do what I want to do easily.

And here are the collets.


This is the label on one of the stepper motors.


This is a 1/4 hp motor - plenty of power for my jobs.


A tooling board under construction - to protect mill table and for clamping.


Here is the tooling board all threaded and mounted on the mill.


The left side with a couple hold down clamps and a small vise.


And the right side with clamps and another small matching vise (for longer pieces).


The assorted lengths of screws are for adjusting for different stock thicknesses and for mounting the clamps. The brass item is explained below.

An Easy Method for Tool Changing on the Taig CNC Milling Machine

Designed by James P. Riser

Tool changing on the small Taig CNC milling machine can be time consuming and requiring another set of the "surface" for each new tool installed. I came up with this simple solution which allows setting tool height for one tool and quickly and easily transferring this height to all tools as they get installed.

This solution is especially suited to the Taig as its headstock has mounting slots on its body. I shall first describe the easy construction then how to use this handy device.


I chose brass as I wanted a soft metal for this job - a metal that would not mess up the headstock slot. The brass used is 1/2" diameter 360 brass. Two steel oval nuts were milled narrower so that they would fit the slot in the side of the headstock. After milling, the burrs were ground away.

The end of the brass rod was squared off in the lathe and center drilled then drilled.

This end hole was threaded 1/4" - 20 tpi.

The completed tool is shown below. The brass strip at the end is held in place by a 1/4" - 20 tpi hex head screw. A knob head screw attaches to the oval nut.

A 1/2" long section of brass was end drilled to allow the screw to pass though to the second oval nut. This is shown in place on the images below. This assembly forms an adjustable stop for the above tool.


On the left is seen the brass rod of the new tool seated into the slot. The curve of the bar's diameter allows the slot to align the brass. It can be tightened into any desired position with the knob.

A ball end mill is in the machine.

In the right image it can be seen that the brass tool has been raised up to just kiss the end mill. It is tightened in this position and the stop is allowed to slide down to the top of the brass tool. The stop is then tightened with its knob.





It is now possible to remove the brass tool and set the "surface" to run your CNC program. When it comes to the place in the program where a tool change is called for, the cutter being used can be dropped out, a new cutter very loosely installed, the brass tool slid up to the stop and locked into position. The new cutter can be allowed to merely drop down to rest on the brass tool and be tightened into the collet. It is now at the same position as the original tool. The brass tool can be removed and the CNC program resumed. This will work even if a different size of collet needs to be installed along with the new cutter.

Nothing could be simpler, cheaper, nor faster.

Here is a close-up view of the stop and the brass tool in the raised position.

Here is a cutter just kissing the brass plate.

The final item is shown below.

The relay switch box for controlling the spindle/collant/vacuum by software.

Things have come together nicely and I am ready to cut material.

OK, first job with this little gem was one in which I needed to drill thousands of small holes in very specific locations on lengths of square aluminum bar.

I drilled with cutting oil and things were a mess - chips and oil all over the machine.


Here is a close-up of part of the job.

I decided to add a chip pan for collecting chips and oil. This would keep things better contained.

Notice that I have drilled handle holes for the double vise setup.


Barely visible in the back left pan corner is the drain petcock.


The third hole in front allows me to move the right vise 1" to the right.


To better contain chips and splash, I added a removable aluminum plate.


The removable front plate looks like this.

Additional views with the two shields in place:



I also have a shorter rear shield for working close to the tooling board.


Using the slick SuperCamXp software required only a series of points for drilling the holes.


The holes were all peck drilled in .050" increments.


OK, my drip system is completed.

I have set it up so that I may blow air only or ...


Cutting oil/lubricant.

The small air compressor is used to blow chips away when cutting dry. The plastic bottle will contain the cutting oil.

The two small valves control both air and oil flows.


Control of the air or oil flow to the cutting tip.

This new system eliminates the need to dab on cutting oil or to brush away dry chips.