Additions/Modifications to David Steele's Solsylva CNC
I was just reading the thread Joe2006 Build by dighsx and really enjoyed his video and his tips on his build of the Joe2006 machine. I thought this would be a good place to start a thread on tips for the Solsylva CNC. I know a lot of people have modified their Solsylva machines that could help the rest of us beginners.
This is my tip:
I have cut a piece of 1/2" cold water thin wall pvc pipe down one edge to just make an opening to slip over the leadscrews. After cutting the pipe I run a piece of sandpaper down the cut edges to make sure there was not any rough spots for the lead nut to catch on. The 1/2" is just large enough to cover the leadscrews and also have enough room for the lead nut to run through. The pvc definitely protects the threads from damage and also keeps the dust from collecting on them. The length of the pipe has to be exact as the only thing holding it in place is just the pressure of the pipe between the ends of the gantry. It is easy to slip the pipe over the lead nut and threaded rod if the router in run all the way to one end of the carriage. I have run my machine for hours and have not had any problems. I have included pictures and a link to see exactly what I am talking about. I left some of my wires down to show that the pvc pipe could also be a safety device to keep the moving parts of the threaded rods enclosed. Could possibly keep something from getting entangled in the leadscrews.
Hopefully more people will add their hints, tips and suggestions to this thread.
that is a good tip for people, i know if you reach over a machine and have a loose shirt on it can get tangled in the leadscrew and wrap around it and you will loose steps and mess up your part (Ask me how I know)... lol
I see you are cutting the end pieces of my CNC Model 2006, looks cool it prob. took a little while to cut them.
Come on guys, not getting much help here. I know a lot of you have modified your Solsylva machines. I have seen many by looking around the different threads on this forum. This thread was for all of us to be able to look up changes in this one thread without searching through the whole forum. Enter your changes -good or bad. The readers can decide whether they want to change their machines or not. I see a lot of folks making a new build and this would definitely help them. They might add our changes from the beginning of their build and not have to modify their machines later.
I have added another modification to mine. I added a 1x6" shelf over the end of the machine to cover the x-axis motor, belts, and pulleys. This basically serves the same purpose as the pvc pipe in the #1 thread - to protect the belts and pulleys from us and to protect us from the belts and pulleys. I made a groove lengthways in the 1x6 to make sure the belts or pulleys did not ride on the board. I have attached a few pictures to help describe what I am talking about.
Doug, first great idea and great thread. I can see this becoming a valuable resource.
Second, thanks for sharing your ideas. Im building at the moment and will likely incorporate them into my machine.
I dont have any alterations yet except for one that didnt work! I suggest that people dont try to make their own hex coupler nuts by welding regular nuts together! It doesn't work...
I know a few others have great suggestions. Buzz made a selection of removable mounting plates for his Z carriage to allow him to use router/pen/touch probe etc and just change the plate quickly and easily. Im probably going to incorporate something similar into my build. I'll direct him to this thread, but if he hasn't posted when Im finished I'll surely put up a picture of my alterations.
I have only done a couple of small mods. One is a place to keep my wrench for my router. The next thing I did was drill a couple of holes to keep my bits in. I use only 1/8 and 1/4 right now so I only drilled one hole for each. I had backlash in my Y axis and wanted an AB nut. What I did was buy a 1/2 coupler and a couple of set screws. I drilled and tapped the set screws for 5/16. This size still alows you to use an allen wrench to install the set screws. The nut is now big enough that when you drill the mounting holes you do not have to worry about the screws hitting your leadscrew. I then just drilled and tapped a couple of holes to run in a screw to lock down the 1/2 setscrews. It was kind of a pain to set up and it had to be "broke in" but once done it works great.
My build is a Joe's type but using the dual screw belt drive (ala Solsylva) on the X, ACME 1/2-10 screws.
The woodworking parts of my construction and are largely complete and assembled, Z screw in-place, now working on the X and Y screws and drive mounting.
In considering the pulley arrangement it occurred to me that you should be able to squeeze more speed out of these things with a different pulley diameter ratio... a bigger gear at the motor. I accept there must be a torque tradeoff.
I remember reading a post about a two start screw being faster, don't know what a 2 start screw looks like but I'd have to assume it has a coarser pitch.
So is that workable?
One thing I have done on my tabletop that may be of interest is to include a 3"x12" opening so I can work the ends of boards, for example dovetails or fingerjoints. May not work but it's worth a try ain't it? I incorporated "T" nuts (went with 1/4-20 but should've gone heavier) inside the opening to accept threaded rod type clamping from the front of the machine.
I have received my Solsylva plans but haven't started building. I don't know a thing about cnc besides what I've been reading on here the last couple of weeks so this might sound either stupid or just too obvious but I'll throw it out anyway. Keep in mind that I have no intention of trying this, at least not until I become a pro like some of you guys on here. How hard would it be to install a lathe spindle or even a stepper driven 'spindle' on the x axis on this machine. Since the cutting table is open with the outboard driven gantry, it seem like one could raise the supported EMT rails to allow the gantry to clear a workpiece down the center of the x axis. Place some bearings on both end of the crossbars and rig up something to hold a round piece of stock for a simple cnc lathe. Better yet, add another stepper motor to allow you to turn any work piece into position as directed. Sorry if this is ridiculous.