I went ahead and bought what appears to be one of the best drivers out there, the MX3660 from AutomationTechnology Inc.Wishing to build out the enclosure myself I was very pleased with their help when I ran into problems.
After careful assembly I was ready to complete the machining center. I decided to add the lathe to the rolling bench already dedicated to the mill. The reason I got the 3rd motor is so that I can someday (if necessary) get into thread turning or Rotary Table work.
I welded up a small table to suspend the lathe over the LCD screen. I had assumed that I would use a second computer for the lathe but then I ran across a 15 year old 25pin A - B box! So with a single load of Mach3 (using different start-ups) I have one computer and two drivers (with completely different pin-outs,) but by switching from A to B and opening either the Mill or the Turn versions of Mach3 I can jump between machines and the different loads of Mach3 are saved unique.
Ultimately I like the drivers under the table and the whole thing is contained on the one rolling bench.
Someday I will either take the driver out of the old Sherline computer box or better yet get another MX3660! But for now I think I will leave it and start making stuff again!
Someday is here!
After careful consideration I saw that the A-B box was between the wrong components, and so I built one that would go between the MX driver and either machine instead of between the computer and two different drivers.
Obviously the 12 year old Sherline controller buried inside a huge old computer box was annoying and having perfect success with the MX I decided to swap it out with one of those office style Dell computers with XP I got used from the Grosse Pointe Public School system. .
The middle row is the XYZ in from the MX, above and below are the XYZ out to one machine or the other. Finding the 12 pin switches was a little trouble but the physical and visual logic of the design is hard to beat.
Now I am very happy with the this new set-up, the MX is of course smoother and more quiet on the mill then the old Sherline too.
The whole machining center is more compact and I got to throw out the other computer after stripping the guts out of it.