Not a big poster but have fun reading through many peoples building experience. I am trying to build my first cnc mill project and am running into some hurdles.
First off I just bought a slab of MIC-6 alumnium which I will machine with 1/4-20 holes every corner of a square inch this will be my table top.
I am using a PM Bearings XY stage that I found at a yard sale. This stage is supposedly $6000+ can hold up to 1000lbs and is accurate in both axis to .0001. My first big hurdle will be what to set the table on? I was thinking some of the smaller gauge I beam (keep in mind that I want this to be somewhat portable). I was also thinking of building the gantry (correct me if I am using the wrong terms) out of the same concept as a burgmaster drill press with two columns that I can fasten the spindle to. What will control my Z axis is a linear rail made by rexroth has 11'' of travel. The table itself has only an rough area of 6 square inches that can be covered by the spindle.
I am really open to ideas on this one. I have already wired up my case for holding the PSU and 3 IMS Stepper drivers. The table itself has limits switches built in that need to be wired up. I also need some ideas for what type of servo to use I have a 48v dynetic servo that seems underpowered.
My goal here is to be able to cut stainless possibly if at all possible and maybe add a fourth axis in later stages if everything works out.
You may want to think about how you are orienting your axes. If you were to mount the XY table with one axis vertically, you could have 4" of X travel, 4" of Z travel, and 11" of Y travel. So the spindle would be mounted to the table of the 2 axis stage, while the work is mounted to the single axis travel stage. You would need to make a right angle bracket out of 1/2" or so plates to mount the base of the XZ to the longer travel Y axis. This would rotate your work envelope,and could make it more useful.
Keep posting pictures, I'd like to see how your machine turns out. I've been playing with a similar idea for quite a while now, but never have the time to work on it. Take a look here:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8673 (Portable Engraver/Micro Mill?)
One the the Dover spindles is visible in one of the pictures also.