The Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine supports 1/4” tooling and comes with an ER-11 collet with a 1/4” diameter. When installing a new tool, you’ll need to go through the automated process in our Bantam Tools Desktop Milling Machine Software to measure the vertical distance between the tooltip and the collet, so that the machine knows where the tip of the tool is in space. This is called “locating” the tool.
Note: Nonconductive tools cannot be located automatically, so make sure your tool is conductive (HSS and carbide tools are; others may not be).
Follow these steps to install and locate a tool on your Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine:
- In the Initial Setup tab select your tool from the dropdown.
- Then go to the Jog tab and click the Install Tool button. The spindle will move to the center of the Desktop CNC Milling Machine.
- Loosen the collet nut about halfway.
- Slide the tool (with 1/4” shank) into the collet all the way until it stops. Then back off ever so slightly.
- Use your fingers to tighten the collet nut with the tool inserted.
- Then use the collet wrenches that come with the machine to tighten the tool until it’s snug, but be careful not to over tighten it.
- Click Next, and the spindle will move to the default tool touch-off location at the front right corner of the bed. Confirm that nothing is blocking the tool, and then click Start.
Note: You can move the tool from the default position using the jog wheel before clicking Start.
You’re done! The tool is installed and the software has located the tip of the tool in space. Once you’ve attached your material to the bed, set your material dimensions, and loaded a plan into the software, you can begin milling.
To remove a tool: Use the smaller collet wrench to hold the spindle in place while loosening the collet nut with the larger collet wrench. If possible, use your finger to hold onto the tool while loosening so that it doesn’t fall from the collet.
Tips for Inserting 1/8” and 6 mm Tooling
If your plan calls for tooling with a 1/8” or 6 mm shank diameter, you’ll need to use an ER-11 collet suited for smaller tooling. It’s important to note that some tools are longer than others, and tools can be inserted into the collet at different depths. The 1/4” tools that we stock typically have an overall length of 2”, whereas 1/8” tools typically have an overall length of 1.5.” Subsequently, most 1/8” tooling, when fully inserted into the collet––as we recommend for 1/4” tools––won’t reach the top of the bed to perform a successful tool touch-off if it’s inserted 3/4” into the collet. You’ll need to have the smaller tool stick out slightly more than your 1/4” tooling.