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View Full Version : Sable 2015 - Upgrades/improvements/suggestions



skimask
05-14-2012, 06:06 PM
Bought a Sable-2015 awhile back (like 3 1/2 years ago!). Finally got around to getting a dedicated PC and everything needed to use it. A bit of a steep learning curve but nothing insurmountable.
Primary use (like 99%) for the machine is etching/milling PCBs, with the occasional wood/plexiglass/acrylic milling.

On the Windows side, I'm using Eagle to generate the schematics and PCB designs, PCB-Gcode to generate the tool path. Works good.

On the CNC PC side, I'm using Linux-CNC.org's EMC2 software, and that too works like a champ (except for the shutdown bug, but that could be the machine too).

The Sable 2015 is as I bought it, cheap spindle motor. I don't have a dial gauge, so I can't tell how much run-out if any is on there. I don't see any, but that doesn't mean much.
For now, I'm using cheap bits bought off eBay. 45 degree .2mm end cutter bits. Cheap enough, and when I break one, I don't cry too much.

On the table, I've mounted a square chunk of MDF, with another square chunk of MDF that's been turned basically been turned into a vacuum table (cross-drilled holes everywhere). Holds PCBs good and FLAT and I can't even pry them off without turning off the shop vac.

The machine is mounted inside a 'custom' cabinet made up of 3 layers of 7/16" OSB with R13 loose insulation stuffed in between the layers for sound deadening and the inside is lined with carpeting. Power supply, stepper controller, 'custom manual control' push buttons, all mounted on the side. Shop Vac vacuum ports on both side, with a 80mm PC fan on top to suck out the heat. Plexiglass windows on the front door, which swings up like a gull wing and is spring loaded in both open and closed positions.
And it has a handle. :)
Nice and quiet outside.
Fairly decent setup, although it looks a bit hokey.

I know the spindle motor is cheap and probably won't last long, so probably need a decent replacement there, at least have it on hand for WHEN the I have goes belly up.

How about the grease for the lead screw (?) threads? Anything special there? Wheel bearing grease?

Stepper motors are fine, NEMA 17 I think. Probably should pick up one or two spares.

I've still got a lot of playing around to do to find the right depth to cut at, speeds, and so on...but, so far, so good.

louieatienza
05-14-2012, 07:10 PM
Bought a Sable-2015 awhile back (like 3 1/2 years ago!). Finally got around to getting a dedicated PC and everything needed to use it. A bit of a steep learning curve but nothing insurmountable.
Primary use (like 99%) for the machine is etching/milling PCBs, with the occasional wood/plexiglass/acrylic milling.

On the Windows side, I'm using Eagle to generate the schematics and PCB designs, PCB-Gcode to generate the tool path. Works good.

On the CNC PC side, I'm using Linux-CNC.org's EMC2 software, and that too works like a champ (except for the shutdown bug, but that could be the machine too).

The Sable 2015 is as I bought it, cheap spindle motor. I don't have a dial gauge, so I can't tell how much run-out if any is on there. I don't see any, but that doesn't mean much.
For now, I'm using cheap bits bought off eBay. 45 degree .2mm end cutter bits. Cheap enough, and when I break one, I don't cry too much.

On the table, I've mounted a square chunk of MDF, with another square chunk of MDF that's been turned basically been turned into a vacuum table (cross-drilled holes everywhere). Holds PCBs good and FLAT and I can't even pry them off without turning off the shop vac.

The machine is mounted inside a 'custom' cabinet made up of 3 layers of 7/16" OSB with R13 loose insulation stuffed in between the layers for sound deadening and the inside is lined with carpeting. Power supply, stepper controller, 'custom manual control' push buttons, all mounted on the side. Shop Vac vacuum ports on both side, with a 80mm PC fan on top to suck out the heat. Plexiglass windows on the front door, which swings up like a gull wing and is spring loaded in both open and closed positions.
And it has a handle. :)
Nice and quiet outside.
Fairly decent setup, although it looks a bit hokey.

I know the spindle motor is cheap and probably won't last long, so probably need a decent replacement there, at least have it on hand for WHEN the I have goes belly up.

How about the grease for the lead screw (?) threads? Anything special there? Wheel bearing grease?

Stepper motors are fine, NEMA 17 I think. Probably should pick up one or two spares.

I've still got a lot of playing around to do to find the right depth to cut at, speeds, and so on...but, so far, so good.

Good luck! Some pics of your machine may help...

skimask
05-15-2012, 12:50 AM
Look for a quicky youtube video of the machine at:

Sable2015_update_and_shop.AVI - YouTube (http://youtu.be/JcnumN8LPYg)

(after a couple more hours of uploading...big sigh...gotta love living in the sticks...)

skimask
05-16-2012, 02:05 AM
Well, one small (as in big) problem...
As noted in the video, I can't get the fiberglass side of my PCBs to "stick" to my vacuum table. Can't get it to hold a good seal like the copper does. The copper side...no problem, stays PUT. Can't pry it off and double sided PCBs don't move at all during operations.

Need some good ideas on how to get the fiberglass side of a single sided PCB to hold a good seal..and I have exactly zero GOOD ideas.
Lots of silly ideas, tape, a 2nd plate double-sided stick taped to the fiberglass with the 2nd plate being sucked down to the table, and so on...

jalessi
05-16-2012, 02:25 AM
Skimask,

This may give you some idea's

V-Clamp, Vacuum clamps powered by compressed air. (http://www.vac-clamp.com/default.htm)

Jeff...

skimask
05-16-2012, 03:04 AM
Guess I'm off to the store tomorrow to find me a couple of o-rings and see what happens...
I'm cutting PCBs, so I can't be having a lot of Z axis movement that the o-rings might give me. Really tends to mess with the trace widths.

skimask
05-24-2012, 11:14 AM
Got the PCBs to "stick" nicely.
Apparently, I didn't have the surface milled flat enough AND the MDF was cracked where the fittings were installed.

So, made a new table board of 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF.

The bottom piece has 1/2" wide .1" deep interconnected air channels separated by 1" with a "ramp" cut deeper in the one end that has the air fittings attached. The air channels kinda look like a chess board, with 1/2" square lands in the middle of each air channel at the same height as the rest of the board, mainly to provide support for the upper piece when it's under vacuum.

The top piece is milled flat on top and bottom with air holes drilled thru to the bottom piece's air channels every 1/4".

Blank PCBs hold tight as long as I tape off the extra air holes. I can't pry them up with my fingers unless I grab them at a corner and they won't slide around without a fair effort.

Now the problem seems to be uneven milling.
If I set the Z just right in the middle, it's too deep near the edges... Just right at the edges and it totally misses the middle.

When I milled the top piece flat, I didn't have it under vacuum, but I can't see a piece of 3/4" MDF flexing at all since I've got plenty of support under it.
I've put a straight edge across the PCB with a flashlight shining behind it and can't see light under the edge no matter which way I place the straight edge.

AND...to add to all of this... I went to re-mill the surface flat, while under a vacuum this time, and the spindle motor wouldn't start! Took out the brushes. uh...what brushes? :D
Now I get to buy a new spindle motor.
More than one person said the spindle motor that came with this machine was dirt cheap, lots of runout, etc, and wouldn't last very long. Apparently, not very long = less than ~50 hours of run time.

Gotta like it...

Walky
05-24-2012, 10:50 PM
Here's what I did to mine (not a "Sable", but pretty much the same base model), it might give you some ideas.

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/1068443-post21.html

skimask
05-28-2012, 06:21 AM
AND...to add to all of this... I went to re-mill the surface flat, while under a vacuum this time, and the spindle motor wouldn't start! Took out the brushes. uh...what brushes? :D
Now I get to buy a new spindle motor.


Apparently, I was wrong about the brushes. I mistook melted brushes for no-brushes. All I had to do was grind off the part that kinda slagged off "downstream", clean off the commutator and away I went.
For the majority of the spindle run time in the cabinet, I didn't have a cooling fan sucking the hot air out the top of it, so I can imagine the spindle got pretty hot in there, even with it's own fan pushing air thru the motor itself (just basically recycling it's own hot air).
Maybe it'll run longer this time, maybe not. I measure the run-out and slop as best I could and couldn't detect any, but the ol' dial indicator has seen better days. Maybe it's just not reading it.
We'll find out. In the meantime, off to find a GOOD spindle motor. Any suggestions? (notice I didn't say cheap? kills me when people say things like 'know of any cheap things to buy?' and they end up buying it twice before they buy something good that lasts a good amount of time)

OCNC
05-28-2012, 07:06 AM
In the meantime, off to find a GOOD spindle motor. Any suggestions? (notice I didn't say cheap? kills me when people say things like 'know of any cheap things to buy?' and they end up buying it twice before they buy something good that lasts a good amount of time)

I looks like a Kress spindle (http://tinyurl.com/d4glpta) might work on that machine.

Chris

Walky
05-28-2012, 10:51 AM
A Bosch Colt would be nice, quite powerful and very light. To make it even better, get some precision collets for it: Precision solid carbide tools for woodworking and metal forming. (http://www.precisebits.com/)

DonFrambach
05-28-2012, 01:21 PM
Maybe just me, but I had runout problems with 2 Bosch colt spindles. Also heard that others have had problems with the plastic bearing mounts in the Bosch.

So far, I'm very happy with my Kress spindle.

skimask
05-29-2012, 10:02 AM
Ok, I've got a good starting point.
Just gotta find one with a 1.5" (~38mm) clamp...
And ~$300 is well within my price range.

mchezz
01-29-2016, 09:13 PM
Below are some links to videos of modifications and machining I performed on my Sable 2015. I have done some aluminium and wood machining. I have only had the machine for a couple of months, so more to come...
https://youtu.be/cRcb9yR76Jg

https://youtu.be/oDyFuzOAQ8A