$123 for a learning purchase

Well I bought a refurbished little engraver type toy. Labeled as a 3018. I have a reoccuring job drilling big bolts down through the head to 2.4" deep and it’s a tedious duty for sure.
The plan is to play around with it making some trays out of oak first to get the hang of it, then rip it apart and go all Tim the Toolman on it. I think it’s bakelite panels now, those will turn into 3/4" aluminum plate possibly bigger to stretch the work envelope too. Going lots bigger on the hardware so rigidity will jump a good amount. The main thing is I’ll need to make a new head for it to get the 3" of planned Z travel. The drilling job takes 3 drills to do it so since tool changers are out of the question I plan to mate 3 spindles to the head for the 3 drills. Probably one motor running the spindles. Accuracy is an factor really more than hitting the same hole with the 2nd and 3rd drills. Drilling that deep will require a lot taller sides so more hefty Al plate there too.

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