OK, enough talking about it, here is the log of my machine. Firstly why am I building a router ? Well, the original answer was to make timber fishing lures, I have been looking at making lures for some time, nothing like catching a fish on something you have made. Checked out plastic moulding - didn't like the idea of playing with all those chemicals. Decided on timber, looked at carving one at a time, then thought about what happens to lures, they get bitten by large fish with very sharp teeth, I needed a steady supply - hence the CNC router.
I live in a very wet part of the world, unfortunately this means that a JGRO style machine is out of the question, the humidity hovers around the 90% mark for a lot of the year, wont do much for the MDF. Decided to use steel as a frame, with ideas from the JGRO design incorporated - skate bearings, bolt on rail holders with bolts to adjust rails.
Now I must point out that machining isn't my trade, I am an electrician/data tech, so please allow for that when you take a look at the pictures.
My main thought process is to make a fairly rigid base, use acme thread initially, then if/when it gets going, look at upgrading the screws later on. Remember that I am only looking at making lures, from what I have read, this setup will do fine for that. Later on I will probably get inspired to make other stuff with the machine. I also want to keep the framework as simple as possible, uncluttered but strong.
I made the base out of 100mm by 50mm C shaped Channel, cut to length then welded together to form a rectangle. Gangtry is fixed, to help with rigidity. At the moment thats as far as I have gotten, I am using 40mm solid bright steel bar as x axis rails, 30mm for y axis, and not too sure about z yet. I intend to support the x-rails in the middle point, thinking of a triangular shaped bracket bolted onto the channel and onto the rail itself somehow to provide support, can I drill and tap the bar without weakening it too much? Thought about an 8mm hole drilled/tapped into the bar to fix to the supporting bracket, probably only half the depth of the bar. Any comments on this would be appreciated.
I am putting the skates on the inside pushing out btw.
Oh yeah, I have built the stepper constant current supplies, pc interface and stepper control boards, mounted them in an old pc tower, am waiting on getting some plugs and sockets to mount on the back for the leads to the machine.
Frame size is 1200mm by 900mm outside measurements.
Keep in mind that everything NEEDS to be EXACTLY square and parallel when building your machine. One might not think that a few thousands of an inch does not matter in construction, but any errors in measurement will show up in a completed machine.
Thanks for the comments guys, being a sparky helped with the electronics and power supply stuff, the rest I am a fish outta water (no pun intended!).
I will keep plodding away now I have something started, dunno about till I collapse ;p
I wanted to make the machine sturdy, I made a wood lathe out of steel modular type brackets (cable tray framing) and it was very unstable and wobbly, didn't want to go there again. (wasn't too upset when the cyclone obliterated it ... haha)
As for square, just tryin my best to get everything right, using adjustable rail holders should help with the fine tuning, so long as any error is within limits it should be OK.
Well, I did manage to add some bracing on the gantry today, not much I know but at least I did something...
The angle is 50mm by 50mm 5mm thick, is a bit old and rusty/dirty as you can see, but nothing some wire brushing and cold gal wont fix, besides it was free.
I know the angle is going to interfere with the horizontal bolts on the top rail, my plan is to drill a 23mm hole through the angle to allow for bolt head/socket, hopefully won't weaken the angle too much, should be OK, it is just to provide a bit extra rigidity, coupled with the rails being fixed should tie in nicely.
Priced some energy chain today, thought it might look good on the y axis cabling, but at the price, a small length of loom tube or similiar is lookin pretty good *ouch
Might try making some once the machine is up and running.
Did a little more today, finished the y axis rail holders and bolted them in place. Holders are built from 62mm steel bar, about 18mm thick.Have taken the top braces out to make it easier to work on the y axis, will bolt them in towards the end of the build.
My father in law is building the x axis rail holders for me, out of 90mm by 20mm bar, he has a small metal lathe so he is turning the 2 inch hole in the middle for me, thanks Sam
My son's 4th birthday tommorrow, going on the kuranda train, little fella is mad about trains, loves steam especially, but will be more than happy with a trip in a diesel. Not much going to happen on the router this weekend...
Managed to do a bit of cabling on the control side of things last night as well.