Control System for Multiple Stepper Motors
Code Version 22

When you start the machine, the splash screen is shown as on the right. Touching one of the buttons on the top row will take you to that screen. You can click on the respective button on this page to get more details on what each does.

This is a sophisticated program, so give it a few minutes to load.

If you are new to using this machine, I recommend you start with the Main screen. You will have a lot to learn there before moving to other screens.

Using Version 21 or Prior?
Version 22 introduced new screen designs, so if you are using a version of the code which is 21 or lower, click here to see the help screens for those versions.

The version you are using shows in the lower left corner of the opening screen. "V022" is shown here, denoting the use of version 22. For version upgrades, click here.

The links below are intended to help the ornamental turner perform activities which are commonly performed on the MDF Rose Engine lathe. Special thanks to the Nerds of Woodworking for their help in compiling these. This list will be expanded as time permits for adding the documentation.

Index of Activities and Other Key Information


As you use the controls for operating the MDF Rose Engine Lathe, the axes referenced follow the convention as shown below.

Some have questioned this convention, in particular the Z axis being aligned the way that it is. But, whilst this may not seem to follow the Cartesian coordinates you learned in school, it actually does. This approach is based on the axes as envisioned from the object being turned, not the viewer. And, more importantly, this is an industry standard for lathe work.

Lathe Axes
Axis Comments
X Movement on this axis is horizontal movement across the end of the object being shaped on the lathe.

This movement is accomplished by use of the cross slide or other similar mechanism.
Y This axis does not typically have movement. Instead, it is typically a measurement of the vertical placement of the cutter in the quick change tool post.

Movement on this axis can happen if a straight-line chuck is used; however this is pretty advanced stuff.

Motion on the Y axis is not typically managed by the control system; however, one of the other axes could be used. For example, if a stepper motor is used on the straight-line chuck to move the object up and down, then that stepper motor could be controlled as if it were the X (or Z or B) axis. The user will just have to manage the change in their thinking as they use the control system.
Z Movement on this axis is horizontal movement along the side of the object being shaped on the lathe.

This movement is accomplished by use of the cross slide or other similar mechanism.

  • The spindle rotates about the Z axis.
  • Pumping is movement along the Z axis.
B This is not truly an axis per se. Rather, The controls provide for rotation about the Y axis.

This movement is accomplished by use of the spherical slide or other similar mechanism.

Limit Switches

Limit switches can be used, but only from the Main Screen or One Screen.

More information about the implementation of limit switches is on the limit switches config page.

Note: These pages are setup for split screen viewing to allow for keeping the program's screen image fixed whilst scrolling the textual information. Because of that, the pages don't work well on small screens like hand phones.

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