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Thread: A mostly Aluminum Solsylva

  1. #1
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    A mostly Aluminum Solsylva

    I was planing to build a Joe's 4 x 4 Hybrid, but as I looked at the plans, and it's foot print, I decided to start smaller. (we'll be moving out of our house to remodel soon, portable is good)

    I don't own many tools so the mostly cross cut and standard lumber in the Solsylva 25 x 25 seemed perfect, and it should be able to cut everything for the Joe's when I get there.

    As I started planing I found a great deal on 1/8" 2 x 5" Aluminum Tube and thought it would be pretty straight forward to use it in place of the 2x4s.

    Most recently, I've cut a deal, I'm going to deliver some of the Aluminum Tube to a friend who has a TIG welder, he'll weld me up a frame for the bed.

    I've been working on it for a week or so, bought a Drill Press and borrowed a miter saw. Here's a shot of the bits so far. I've got one of the pipe slides attached, and have cut a lot of Aluminum Tube, and some plate, I was thinking of using the plate instead of 1x4 and 1x6, but have concluded that would be silly, to thick, to heavy, and to thick to TIG weld nicely my friend says.

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -cnc_bits-jpg  


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    That should make a pretty nice one. Especially with TIG welded joints.

    Wherever you need to put bolts through it you may want to consider making tube spacers for sleeves or sliding close fitting blocks of hardwood into the area that the bolts go through the tubes. It doesn't take a lot of tightening to see the walls bow inward without some sort of support inside.

    Try it on a sample piece of tubing without supports first, and then decide whether the supports are needed or not.

    I didn't care for the pine 2x4 construction called for in the Solsylva 25x37 plans and used red oak for my 1st build with no regrets.

    CarveOne

    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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    I've been thinking about that a bit, I was thinking either wood inserts as you say or tapping some of the 3/4 Aluminum I got. I can get my hand inside so I may you the bolt method suggested in the plans and put fender washer and nuts inside as well so I don't get "squeeze" pressure on the tubes.



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    Build Update

    I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped over the long weekend, but the welds are beautiful, and man is it solid, no strength or stiffness problems here. Attaching a shot of the welds and the base and rails as it currently stands.
    Hope to get motion going this week.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -tig_welds-jpg   -router_post_welding-jpg  


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    Got some more done,
    Built the Y axis and used the Aluminum tube as the gantry. I also decided to try v-bearings instead of pipe, I'm hopping that works out.

    On the Z axis I screwed up the bearing placement on the right, I've since reversed it.

    Pete

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -y-rails-jpg   -z-carriage-jpg  


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    Well, I have been working on and with my CNC since I last posted. I've spent enough time with it to see the most chronic problems. It's a great design for a trim router and I've been able to cut mdf and wood, tried a 3D carving and even have cut some Aluminum, but I'm seeing the limitations of the wood pieces, and to some extent the trim router.
    Here's what it looks like currently.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0030-jpg   -p1100239-jpg  


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    A few more pics

    You can see the crude yet effective hole in the back to allow for longer stock and also the clamps helping hold the t-slot down, don't know what I was thinking when I used wood screws on those.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -p1100324-jpg   -p1100325-jpg  


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    Hi otto_pjm,

    You had a few questions in your PM to me about my Z axis construction details. These photos should help. By posting them here for reference purposes it should keep us from having to jump forums so much during discussions about it.

    My bearings are mounted in a bearing plate that has a shoulder in the hole that is used to make the bearing captive by the shoulder of the ACME screw adapter's shoulder and the collar. The ACME screw is pinned into the 1/2" hole in the adapter with a small roll pin. The hole is about 1" deep and is a snug fit over the ACME screw so that there is very good axial alignment of the adapter and screw. These adapters are made on my lathe. They are a close slip fit to the bearing's inside diameter.

    The disassembled adapter is for the motor end as it has a 1/4" shank for the DumpsterCNC coupler. The lower end adapter is the same other than it does not have the 1/4" shank. The rail is a piece of 1/4" x 3" precision ground cold rolled steel only because I did not realize that it was not plain CRS until I got the bill from the local Fastenal store when I picked it up. The cncrouterparts.com carriages sure do run smoothly on it.

    The other two views should show everything but the anti-backlash nut and its mount.

    Thanks for your interest in it.

    CarveOne

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -dscn1802-jpg   -dscn1806-jpg   -dscn1807-jpg  
    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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    The new Z-axis

    CarveOne,

    Thanks so much for your support.
    For anyone else wondering I've been discussing a new Z-axis with CarveOne and he's graciously agreed to allow me to model my design on his and answer questions about how he did it.

    My goal is to try and use as many "stock" parts as possible as I have neither the tools nor experience using them that CarveOne has. I'm planning to use Rockler MultiTrack as both the spine / column and the slide of the Z axis.


    Sketch of my plans - MultiTrack

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0067-jpg   -rockler_multitrack_no_dim-jpg  


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by otto_pjm View Post
    CarveOne,

    Thanks so much for your support.
    For anyone else wondering I've been discussing a new Z-axis with CarveOne and he's graciously agreed to allow me to model my design on his and answer questions about how he did it.

    My goal is to try and use as many "stock" parts as possible as I have neither the tools nor experience using them that CarveOne has. I'm planning to use Rockler MultiTrack as both the spine / column and the slide of the Z axis.


    Sketch of my plans - MultiTrack
    You can get bearing plates from cncrouterparts.com and you don't need to use the lead screw adapters that I machined for my design. There is also a drawing on Ahren's site that has become a reference for many other builds. You can make these things as complicated or as simple as you wish to. My Z axis is very similar to one that buick455 did back when Ahren first came out with his bearing carriages. It made sense to me and functions as I wanted mine to be. I just used lower cost steel angle and 1" x 2" steel box tube instead of 8020 extrusion.

    CarveOne

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -buick455-z-axis-jpg  
    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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    Quote Originally Posted by CarveOne View Post
    You can get bearing plates from cncrouterparts.com and you don't need to use the lead screw adapters that I machined for my design. There is also a drawing on Ahren's site that has become a reference for many other builds. You can make these things as complicated or as simple as you wish to. My Z axis is very similar to one that buick455 did back when Ahren first came out with his bearing carriages. It made sense to me and functions as I wanted mine to be. I just used lower cost steel angle and 1" x 2" steel box tube instead of 8020 extrusion.

    CarveOne
    Thanks CarveOne,

    I've been checking out cncrouterparts and a few other sites. I'm going to try and start simply, at least what I consider simple . I'll be able to get some parts, nuts and bearings from my old Z - Axis once I swap it out, so I'll likely use some parts that are just good enough to make sure I have the right clearances etc and that everything moves as expected first. To that end I think I'll be making fuel line and hose clamp collars to prototype and then re-use the Acme nuts I have on the existing axis when I take it apart. (I have an odd sized 3/8 Acme 1 start for my X-axis and my Z-axis right now, and was using a single nut as the leadnut on the Z-axis. For the new one I bought a leadnut from dumpstercnc that's has a < 1" footprint, so that will get attached to the Z-slide with some angle. As someone on one of the Joe's lists pointed out the this lead screw

    from cncrouterparts would fit my Multitrack t-slot exactly, but I had ordered the other leadnut, and would rather stay with 3/8 rod for now.

    I unfortunately will be side tracked for awhile replacing the bed on my CNC as the hold down system is just not up to holding aluminum, or even wood all that well. I'm redesigning the bed, and it's likely overkill, but I'd rather not have this problem again. I'm also hoping to build a rotary 4th axis into the front and be able to dovetail there as well, so I'm going to make the bed in two pieces, so the front can be easily removed to use the rotary or dovetail option. The exposed frame is show below. I'm going to add some 1/8" aluminum to the edges of the base bed board and some to support the t-slot nuts and hold downs for the MDF spoil board as well.

    Pete

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -bed_removed-jpg  


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by otto_pjm View Post
    -snip-

    "I'm redesigning the bed, and it's likely overkill,"

    Pete
    I have no experience with Ahren's ACME nuts, as I already had DumpsterCNC nuts for both of my machines when I found out about these. I like the way they mount though.

    So far as I've seen with these CNC router machines there is no such thing as overkill, or too expensive. It's all too expensive for me, but I struggle to get the things I need to feed my CNC habit anyway. I have managed to build a much better and faster machine than I ever expected when I started it 1-1/2 years ago. It will continue to evolve into a steel frame machine by year end if I can manage it.

    Your machine will evolve also. Swapping out parts to continually improve your machine is one way to do it but it becomes more expensive over time. You learn a lot by doing it that way though. I surely have.

    CarveOne

    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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