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Novaprops
03-21-2013, 11:06 PM
Today we ordered our first CNC machine, a CRP4896. :)

I've run CNC milling machines and lathes before, but I never really went that deep into the setup or programming.

Here's what we got:

1 x 4' x 8' Extrusion Machine Kit, Nema 34 (Pro-drive upgrade)
1 x 4-Axis Plug and Play Nema 34 System
- Cable Upgrade: (1) 12' and (3) 20' cables
1 x Complete Cable Track Kit
- Machine Size: CRP4896 4' x 8'
1 x Mach3 CNC Control Software
1 x Porter Cable 690/892 Router Mount
1 x VCarve Pro CAM Software
1 x Cut3D CAM Software
1 x Proximity Limit Switch Kit


We plan on using mostly wood and HDU, but I'd like to know people's experience with cutting aluminum on this machine, too.

What's the best material to use for spoil board, especially considering we may want to spray some coolant if we cut aluminum.

I would have liked to get Aspire straight away, but that will need to come in time. Same with a spindle. We just received our Porter Cable 892 a couple of days ago to go with this setup.

Now I need to research what end mills and router bits to get.

I'll keep this thread updated with our progress. :)

Novaprops
03-23-2013, 01:37 PM
Here's the table we have planned for this machine.

180528

alan_3301
03-23-2013, 03:09 PM
My crp4848 cuts aluminum great, but I limit depth of cut to 0.060" on slotting or the chips get stuck.
I think mdf holds up well enough if you are using wd40 as lube. Anything waterbased will swell it up.

Novaprops
03-23-2013, 04:01 PM
Thanks! :)

Novaprops
03-26-2013, 08:16 AM
I know it's not much, but the leveling mounts and t-nuts arrived yesterday for our support table.

We also bought a 2hp dust collector. I think we'll make it a two-stage.

Time to clear out our garage and turn it into our shop!

Novaprops
03-29-2013, 05:35 PM
Our extrusion will be here Monday and most of the rest shipped today. The rails and racks will ship Tuesday.

kiramunch@sympa
03-30-2013, 06:10 PM
Novaprops, could you repost the pic of your table? doesn't seem to be a pic there in your post. thanx.....

Novaprops
03-30-2013, 06:39 PM
Sure. :)

180867

kiramunch@sympa
03-30-2013, 06:49 PM
holy crap....it's beautiful! do you have any plans for this table? I would gladly pay for plans if you had them. I am going to be ordering the crp4848 kit very soon and THIS is the table I want to put it on. Excellent job!!!!

Novaprops
03-30-2013, 09:10 PM
We don't actually have plans for this table, but I'd be happy to post a diagram and description.

Give me a couple of days to get that together. :)

kiramunch@sympa
03-30-2013, 10:01 PM
Thanx Novaprops........pete

fixtureman1
03-31-2013, 10:14 AM
As for the cut 3D you may want to cancel that as the only feature that it has that Aspire doesn't is multi sided modeling.

Novaprops
03-31-2013, 01:29 PM
We're actually not getting Aspire quite yet, just Cut3d and VCarve Pro.

I want Aspire, but we'll need to wait on that for a while.

Novaprops
03-31-2013, 01:30 PM
Thanx Novaprops........pete

No problem. :)

Novaprops
04-01-2013, 12:51 PM
Our extrusion arrived today. :)

We still need to clear out most of our garage, but it feels good to know that a major component to our new machine is here. All 288lbs!

Novaprops
04-03-2013, 08:14 AM
It looks like at least part of the rest of our delivery will arrive today. There are five packages from Ahren, which we were expecting tomorrow, but something arrived in-town yesterday so we'll see what shows up at our door today.

I'm really looking forward to playing with our Vectric software while we're setting up our garage and table.

Which, BTW, I'll get posted very soon. :)

fixtureman1
04-04-2013, 08:33 AM
I would see if you could just get Aspire to start with it would save some money over time and they just came out with a new version.

cncrr
04-16-2013, 06:16 PM
:D Looking forward to watching your build. I will be starting to build a CRP4848 in the next few weeks. Like yourself, I have operated several CNC machines while working in the Navy Nuclear Industry and I also owned a commercially built CNC Router that I used in my cabinet business before I was medically retired 3 years ago. You will love the Vectric software. I have V-Carve Pro and I love it. In fact I just recieved the lastest upgrade so I can't wait to get my machine up and running.

Chuck

Novaprops
04-17-2013, 01:55 PM
Good luck! :)

I'm still waiting for my upgrade to v7. I think I need to contact them at this point.

We're still waiting for the weather to cooperate so we can clear our garage and get it ready for our new machine, but everything is here now, so I can't wait! :stickpoke

vtx1029
04-17-2013, 03:45 PM
I'd check your spam folder on your email or call them. You should have already received the download link for version 7 by now.

One suggestion on your picture of your machine. Make your spoil board or at least the one under it to go all the way to the extrusion on both sides. This will keep saw dust from piling up. FYI 3/4 thick board will not fit under the carriages, you will have to use 7/16 or 1/2.

I've been cutting sheet aluminum (2024 t3 alclad) lately building my plane. I built a removable vacuum table that I hold down the parts with. It works OK but not great.
Use Single O flute router bits on aluminum. I also found that that rubbing some bees wax on the bit before a run seems to keep it from gumming up on the bit as bad. I also found I prefer to use an Up cut bit when cutting aluminum. The times I tried using a down cut single O flute on the sheet aluminum it would gum up on the bit really fast.

good luck on your build

Novaprops
04-19-2013, 07:38 AM
Thanks for your suggestions!

We're planning on putting a surface on the support table. I know some debris will get under our spoil board this way, but it should be easy enough to clean up. Do you think that would be enough?

What would you suggest for a v-bit for cutting aluminum, if any? There are a few projects that I'd like to v-cut in aluminum, but if I need to pocket cut them I will.

Thanks again!

vtx1029
04-22-2013, 10:34 AM
Thanks for your suggestions!

We're planning on putting a surface on the support table. I know some debris will get under our spoil board this way, but it should be easy enough to clean up. Do you think that would be enough?

What would you suggest for a v-bit for cutting aluminum, if any? There are a few projects that I'd like to v-cut in aluminum, but if I need to pocket cut them I will.

Thanks again!

I wouldn't leave a gap there. I've wasted too many hours of my life fishing stuff out of small areas like that. In the end its your choice.

No idea on a V-bit in aluminum I have not tried that.

Novaprops
04-22-2013, 12:18 PM
I wouldn't leave a gap there. I've wasted too many hours of my life fishing stuff out of small areas like that. In the end its your choice.

No idea on a V-bit in aluminum I have not tried that.


Okay, we'll do that, then. No gap.

tahustvedt
04-24-2013, 02:03 PM
I do a lot of aluminum cutting as a hobby. Pyramid shaped engraving bits are very strong and don't break as easilly at the tip when working with harder materials. Example: 5 x 6mm Carbide CNC Router Pyramid 3 Face Engraving Bits 90°X 0 1mm | eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-x-6mm-Carbide-CNC-Router-Pyramid-3-face-engraving-Bits-90-x-0-1mm-/170934204011?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27cc78f66b)

I also use 1/8" single flute spiral V-bits without a radius point, and they give a slightly nicer finish, but the point wears out quicker than the pyramid shaped cutters. I always keep the work point constantly cooled with denatured alcohol dripping from a brass tube by the tool when I engrave. Normally I run 0,5 mm deep passes at around 70 ipm and roughly 15000-20000 rpm, as that's all the depth I need.

kiramunch@sympa
04-25-2013, 05:23 PM
just wondering if you got a chance to post your table dimensions/pics yet Novaprops....thanx, pete

Novaprops
04-29-2013, 01:35 PM
I'm so sorry. I've been really busy getting everything ready.

I'll try to post some diagrams later today.

Novaprops
04-30-2013, 06:23 PM
I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to work on this last night to post something. We had to go out.

I'll try tonight.

Novaprops
05-02-2013, 02:33 PM
Okay, I'm sorry this took so long for me to put together. I've just been really busy lately.

The table is constructed out of 2x4s, 4x4s, 3/4" plywood, and 1/4" plywood.

Its dimensions are 108" long, 57" wide, and 28" high. The length and width measurements include the 1/4" plywood sheathing the 2x4s, so adjust those lengths accordingly. The goal is to make the table exactly the same length and width as the base extrusions for the CRP4896.

The height does not include whatever leveling mounts you use.

I'm showing a corner in the attached pic. The 3/4" plywood is at a 4.1° angle, but you can fudge that a little. The plywood at the ends of the table are vertical.

We're using six 4x4s for legs; two on each end and two in the middle.

There will be two doors on each side for storage, and pockets on each end for tools and our computer.

Toward the bottom of the structure of the table will be more 2x4s for stability, bracing, and to hold up an inner shelf.

I'm no draftsperson, so please forgive me if my symbols are wrong on my diagram. :o

Novaprops
05-29-2013, 08:41 AM
We've finally been able to make some progress in our garage and were able to start on our table last evening.

We got a little further than this by the time we hung it up last night. Our table now has six legs and more rails.

Novaprops
05-29-2013, 12:02 PM
This is where we ended up last night.

There will be one more layer of 2x4s on the outside of the sides.

jckstrthmghty
05-29-2013, 12:22 PM
Wouldn't hurt to add some joists to tie the stringers together.

Novaprops
05-29-2013, 02:08 PM
It's on the to-do list. :)

Novaprops
05-30-2013, 11:28 AM
We made a little more progress last night.

The whole table will be clad in plywood and fiberboard so that it looks finished and to give it more stability.

The pic with the blue tape is just a test-fit of our finish pieces. The recesses will have shelves and will be where we put some of our bits on one end and computer on the other. One side of our table will have doors and a shelf on the inside to put miscellaneous equipment.

We should be finished assembling and painting by this weekend. We had to stop last night because we ran out of screws.

Novaprops
05-31-2013, 01:21 PM
A little more progress last night. We got a late start, otherwise we would have gotten more done.

cncrr
05-31-2013, 03:02 PM
Your base table is looking good, but it sure looks heavy. I have a question, Why not make your base table out of steel and weld it together? Just curious. Keep up the good work.

Novaprops
05-31-2013, 06:12 PM
Thanks! :)

Basically because we had most of the wood already.

As for weight, we wanted to make sure it was good and heavy, and stable, for running the CRP4896.

We're already planning on creating an all-metal table eventually, but for now we're using what we had on-hand.

Novaprops
06-03-2013, 08:07 AM
Our table construction is done, and we're on the painting phase now.

We discovered after the stores were closed yesterday that we didn't have any small rollers or clean brushes, so we weren't able to finish the first coat of primer, but that will happen this evening.

I'm not exactly sure how we're going to move this table into its final placement...

cncrr
06-03-2013, 02:16 PM
"I'm not exactly sure how we're going to move this table into its final placement..."

A forklift comes to mind but I'm sure you don't have one. How about 10 friends. Are you going to put a top on to cover your base so yo don't get sawdust and wood chips down inside the base?

BTW the base really looks good so far.

Novaprops
06-03-2013, 02:57 PM
Thanks!

It only weighs about 300-400lbs, so while just the two of us can't move it, with a couple more people I'm sure we could.

Our sub-spoilboard will take care of the dust and debris. It will extend edge-to-edge between the rails of our CRP4896 to there won't be any gaps.

We thought about adding a top, but honestly it won't be necessary, and would only add even more weight.

We just need to rotate it 90° and move it a few feet, so with my brother and perhaps another person we'll get it into place.

Novaprops
06-04-2013, 10:58 PM
First coat of paint!

Novaprops
06-07-2013, 07:59 AM
Perhaps one more coat of paint on the red band, then it's time to move this table into place and start assembling our CRP4896.

cncrr
06-07-2013, 11:41 AM
:banana: Well I don't know about another coat of paint but it's looking pretty good from the photo's you posted. Maybe a shiny gloss coat over the red will make it stand out more, but it sure looks OK to me.

Chuck

Novaprops
06-07-2013, 11:48 AM
My husband wants to start over on the paint. He doesn't like the finish, but I'm trying to convince him that it looks just fine.

After we get our CRP4896 built, he's probably going to cover the whole table in 1mm HIPS and wrap that in the proper vinyl colors for a perfect finish.

He's already planning our aluminum table. I just want this one done and our machine built so we can start making stuff.

Novaprops
06-07-2013, 11:54 AM
I'd like to get some silver/black GravoTac or Rowmark to create our table's logo like you would see on a car. At first it will be vinyl, though.

Gorilla83
06-07-2013, 03:19 PM
Looks great! I'm in the planning stages for a similar build, great to get some ideas here. Thanks for sharing and keep us posted.

Andrew

Novaprops
06-08-2013, 03:10 PM
Thanks!

With the help of my brother we were able to move our table into its final spot.

Assembly begins tomorrow!

Novaprops
06-08-2013, 06:49 PM
It still needs its stripes, but we ran out of black vinyl and need to pick more up.

LeeWay
06-08-2013, 07:02 PM
That is a fine looking base. I don't think you will ever have to replace it. I'm enjoying the build. Keep it up and it won't be long till cuttin time. :)

Novaprops
06-09-2013, 12:35 AM
Thanks! I'm happy with it. :)

I just saw that there's a new CNC Router Parts forum. I'll need to get this thread moved there.

We probably won't get that much done on our assembly tomorrow as we have a few other things that need to get done, but at least we'll get a start.

Novaprops
06-10-2013, 08:51 AM
Some people we know that run routers at a local sign shop are concerned that we're using wood for our base. Once we have our CRP4896 set up and everything squared and tightened, I don't think we'll have any troubles with it, but what are your opinions?

LeeWay
06-10-2013, 09:26 AM
The only issue that you could really have with wood at this point is movement when the weather changes to extremes. That and if you live in a high humidity area.
If your shop is well insulated and air conditioned though, that would help alleviate some of the atmospheric concerns. Just recalibrate it every so often. Metal also moves under drastic temp swings too though.

Novaprops
06-10-2013, 10:23 AM
We're in Minnesota, so there are temperature extremes.

We've insulated our walls, but our roof still needs it.

cncrr
06-10-2013, 12:15 PM
Like Leeway said if you try to have more of a controlled atmosphere it is better but you have to remember all materials move. I would insulate the ceiling on your shop because thats where you will loose all your heat or cooling. My shop is insulated on all walls and just by sheet rocking the ceiling this last winter made a huge difference. I will insulate the ceiling before next winter.

I'll bet that sign shops machine moves also, they just don't realize it because of the loose tolerances they are cutting on the signs. With your base you should be fine.

Chuck

Novaprops
06-10-2013, 01:48 PM
Thanks. We're planning on insulating our ceiling, too, as soon as we can.

vtx1029
06-10-2013, 05:47 PM
We're in Minnesota, so there are temperature extremes.

We've insulated our walls, but our roof still needs it.
Where about? I'm in maplewood.

Novaprops
06-10-2013, 05:55 PM
We're in South St Paul.

Novaprops
06-12-2013, 10:14 AM
We've had a slight change of plans. We were going to make the end of this machine that you can see in my last pic the front with the gantry resting at the opposite end by the window, but we've reversed that. Also, our computer will now be on a mobile cart instead of on the shelf at the front of our table. I know we won't be able to travel long distances with it, but it will make it easier to put out of the way when we're not using it. It will also allow us to cover it to protect it from dust better than if it were just on the shelf in our table.

We just realized that with our limited space we needed more access to where we'll store our substrates, and it seems that it will be easier to load the machine from the side rather than the front, so we won't be mounting our monitor, keyboard, and mouse to where we were going to as they'd now be in the way of loading this machine. I can't lift a 4x8 by myself, so being able to drag it to the side of our machine and tilting it up onto our spoilboard will be much easier for me as I'll be running this machine while my husband is at work.

Novaprops
06-15-2013, 08:44 PM
More progress, this time on our actual machine.

Novaprops
06-16-2013, 01:35 AM
The base is essentially done. We stopped because we didn't have the right tools in our garage to assemble the linear motion carriages, but we'll bring them out there first thing tomorrow.

ger21
06-16-2013, 07:50 AM
Some people we know that run routers at a local sign shop are concerned that we're using wood for our base. Once we have our CRP4896 set up and everything squared and tightened, I don't think we'll have any troubles with it, but what are your opinions?

It'll be fine.

Novaprops
06-16-2013, 10:23 PM
All we have left to go is drive components and electronics!

Building this CRP4896 has gone way faster than I thought it would. Our table took so much longer to build!

Novaprops
06-17-2013, 12:26 PM
Just some beauty shots of our progress so far and our router.

Novaprops
06-17-2013, 12:57 PM
And this is CNC Router Parts: Saturday we found out that the brackets for the front of the machine to attach the spoil board were sitting a little high. The slot wasn't milled properly, so there was no way of lowering them.

Today I emailed Ahren, just a couple hours later (I'm two hours ahead of him) I got an email saying that they'd send new ones out today. Then a few minutes after that I got an email from Mark verifying this and a USPS tracking number.

Have no doubts about CNC Router Parts, Ahren, or these machines. Top notch all around.

I'm curious to see how much their new systems are as we may end up getting one of those, too.

Novaprops
06-19-2013, 04:20 PM
Motors installed. Cable track tonight.

Novaprops
06-19-2013, 10:44 PM
Cable track and running cables done.

Novaprops
06-21-2013, 10:51 AM
Last evening I had to track back all of the cables and mark them for their specific axis. I forgot to do that the other night.

Tonight we should be able to install the limit switches and wire everything up to the box. We bought the assembled Nema 34 electronics.

I just need to contact Ahren and find out which is the A (slave) X-axis.

I'll also install Mach3 on our PC today and run the macros for the CRP4896.

I need to figure out a simple Z-zeroing tool.

Novaprops
08-04-2013, 07:45 PM
We're up and running! We've actually been running for some time now, I just haven't updated this thread. :o

My husband's friend at his job requested a Chicago Bears sign for his mancave and this is what we came up with.

It's 1.5" Signfoam pocket-routed. We cut it yesterday. It still needs paint.

cncrr
08-05-2013, 11:56 PM
Looking Good!!!!! But keep posting we like to see what you're doing.

Novaprops
08-08-2013, 03:05 PM
Thanks! :)

I have another project coming up in the next week or so that I'll post when finished on our machine.

Frankmali17
01-14-2014, 09:25 PM
Wow Wow Wow,
What an awesome build.
Congratulations it looks great...
If you can spare a moment, I would like to ask you a few questions as I am looking to build this machine in Florida. I would like to cut some plywood for cabinets and signs and other hobby stuff...
Your base looks awesome... after some time... do you feel that it is adequate or would you build something steel? I am thinking of building it like yours but with some cabinets bellow to use for storage...
Do you seem any significant wear on the linear bearing setup or the drive gears, etc...
Do you feel there is any part of the machine you would recommend upgrading on, or is something maybe inadequate?
Awesome machine guys!!!!