Converting an “old” manual milling machine into Cnc machine

Retrofitting my Old Russian manual milling machine to CNC.

A Conversion project of a large metalworking machine including the upgrade form old to ballscrew spindels.

The basis of my conversion project I chose a MC-51 Lugansk manual milling machine.
A heavy manual milling machine from the Ukraine and very well built, and in my case a favorable basis for the conversion and upgrade.
The basic acme thread spindels of the machines where very crude, and useless for my CNC needs and required accuracy.
The acme thread Leadscrews had an brass locknuts for (somewhat) limited backlash.

I’ve changed them for quality ballscrews spindels, that came from an old CNC grinder.
The ballscrews are now directly controlled by stepper motors with a torque of 12 NM.

The machine is also upgraded with a Z-axis that runs on Hiwin HGW25CC linear guides.
The millinghead is mounted on the hiwin linear guides.

The X axis and Y axis are equipped with new ball screws with a diameter of 30mm and lubrication of the guides.

The drive of the milling head has been replaced by a direct drive, making use of a 1.5 Kw tecknomotor 12000 / 18000 rpm.

The machine achieves a speed of 6000 rpm and a maximum speed of 600mm/min on the table.

The machine and all the extra parts I bought secondhand.
All metalworking operations where performed by a Vario Option BF 20L, and that was a challenge for the small metalworking machine
It was the biggest project I’ve done with this machine from china.
The BF20 has had a hard time ….. and is now used for manual use only.

Machines produce the components of larger and more accurate CNC machines, a form of technical evolution of the machine itself.

The total construction time was about 5 months. until now ..





  1. Kevin McClain
    May 20, 2017

    I have a Abean milling machine I would like to convert to a CNC can you help me with, if not do you know of someone that could
    Thanks for any help you could give me

    • admin
      January 29, 2018

      hi kevin, look for a local cnc forum in your area. there you will find the help you need. Greetings

  2. Jeff Banes
    August 3, 2018

    You have achieved some great feat over there. First congratulations on that. It wasn’t a easy project, was it?
    My one question is how did you manage to control the thing electronically, which inputs did you insert and which software did you use, or create a new one?
    Manual milling machines being converted to cnc machines using such simple tools is a great task.


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