Equipment/Boxford CNC Mill

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CNC Mill
190VMC CNC mill.jpg
Model Boxford 190VMC
Sub-category defunct
Status Returned to owner
Training requirement yes
ACnode yes
Owner Dean Forbes
Origin Loan
Location Basement, CNC area
Maintainers =CNC Team, Metalbashers

Using the CNC

  • Costs - £6 / hr spindle "on" time - usage fee goes in blue cash tin, or paid to account sort code 779112 and account number 50365968, please use your Membership ID and date of use as a reference. (this is used for development costs and maintenance of the CNC machines)
  • NOTE this is only the spindle "on" time so will typically be less than the time you are actually on the machine setting up the job.
  • Logging - please log your usage to
  • You must attend an induction
  • You will need a LDAP account to login to the machine - further information on creating an account at


  • 8 spindle speeds 350 to 3500 rpm
  • Rapid traverse rate at 100% 2000mm/min (78"/min)
  • Axis travel
    • X(longitudinal) 225mm (8.9")
    • Y(cross) 150mm (5.9")
    • Z(vertical) 140mm(5.5")
  • System resolution 0.005mm
  • Table dimensions 410 x 130mm(16.1" x 5.1")
  • Spindle to table 202mm (7.9")
  • Centre line of spindle to column 130mm (5.1")
  • Table to column 5 to 130mm (0.2" x 5.1")
  • Tee slots 2 x 10mm

Health and Saftey

  • By using this machine you are self-certifying that you are competent to do so.
  • You will not use this machine unless all safety features are in place and operational.
  • You will not use this machine if you are under the influence of drugs ar alcohol. (this will result in a life time ban)


  • 1-Jan-2016 : System is now running LinuxCNC
  • 13-Oct-2015 : System is now up and running using BCNC on Ubuntu
  • 15-May-2015 : Dean, Phil et all doing conversion to Mach3 capable machine which will involve minimal retrofiting of mill and use of a PC
  • 24-SEP-2014 : Mill works with V5 of the boxford software, need to enter administration mode in the graphical screen by pressing F10
  • 12-JUL-2014 : Connector is DB25 and almost certainly serial. It appears there is an internal g-code interpreter.
  • 10-JUL-2014 : Mill arrived, mechanics and electrics work, has a 25W serial port out the back, need to research how to interface.


  • Chip removal / coolant (compressed air or liquid pump)
  • Finalise training

More info

Boxford are said to be unhelpful regarding support and will only talk to educational users. However, they do publish spares lists and software updates.


  • Coolant / chip removal system - those chips build up fast! Either a suds pump or (quiet?) compressor/non fogging mist will be needed as the interlock prevents manual removal of chips during a program.
  • ER type collect can be had from Gloster Tooling a price has not been obtained yet the, model is EC EM16 035 on page 8 @

Not needed

  • People who take it apart and leave it in pieces
  • Experimenting carelessly. Consider it in the same light as the laser cutter, the robot arm etc. : if you want to work on it, join the official maintainers group and cooperate.


  • The cutter appears to spin off-centre
    • When slotting in the collet make sure to put it the right way in as it's got a notch which will only go in fully when aligned

Generating g-code from your designs

There are a lot of different options for preparing a g-code file which can be loaded onto the CNC to cut a design. Some examples include;

2D Packages

3D Packages

When using Fusion 360, in order to post to the Hackspace CNC machines, the "Generic EMC2" post-processor should be selected when finally saving the g-code file. LinuxCNC recognises the "ngc" file extension although any extension can be used.


Training will be run on a rolling basis with the other CNC systems and announced on the main Mailing List. You will get most out of the training and find using the machine easier if you take a look at one of the recommended packages above (or your own choice of package, we will try to accomodate).