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10bulls
02-15-2005, 07:04 AM
Welcome to my first router/mill/cnc project.

With 2 young kids and busy job, build progress is not going to be meteoric. By the time the dragonlets are abed, kitchen tidied, dog walked etc, I'm doing good if I can get into the garage by 10pm (sleep deprivation permitting). I see by other posts I'm not alone in this. What is this 30ish post baby bloke thing?..."Urrrh tired...urrrgh...must...make...CNC macheeen!"

I've recently acquired a 7x12 mini lathe that I'm trying to get to grips with but my turning ability is currently only marginally better than my welding (which looks like something a bronchial volcano might spit out).

I've decided to go for an aluminium build; mainly because I'm sick of the sight of MDF after using it in a number of household projects. I still disturb the occasional drift of MDF dust when exploring the darker depths of my garage. MDF also == painting (me no likey).

So without further ado, here is a rather amateurish CAD drawing of my design
(complete with magical floating motors!)

The slides rails are from old printers, the aluminium is from some rather chunky extrusions I blagged from a local business. The Y carriage is initially going to use a pair of bushings from the printers and the X is going to use a rather shonky design I came up with using blocks with 2 pairs of roller bearings that run on the rails on their chamfered rims. A prototype I made of this tells me it should work but my rails are going to end up badly grooved and zoner Splint also points out the excessive thrust load on the bearing. I'm going to build the Y axis and gantry first so I may change my mind when I get to the X.

(I do hope I've got my X and Y nomenclature the right way round...I'd hate to come across as a dumb newbie...even if I am ;)

(the zip file contains a dxf)

Regards Andy

10bulls
02-15-2005, 08:13 AM
Progress over the weekend was not great.

I spent what little time I had farting with the table saw trying to get accurate, square cuts in the aluminium profiles. I have come to the conclusion that this is not a precision machine. Fortunately my design doesn't call for anything too accurate, apart from the 2 cross pieces for the gantry. On top of this, wifey found lots of aluminium chips in the sack of potatoes in the garage (nuts)

The 'L' profiles are actually cut offs from some hefty profile shaped a bit like |_|'''|_|
It was a bit of a buttock clenching experience feeding 4ft x 10in lengths of the half inch thick profile lengthwise down my aforementioned wobbly table saw. Yay Ear Defenders!!!

Another frustrating experience was trying to cut off blocks from a 1" by 0.5" steel bar using a cheap gadget that clamps an angle grinder to make a sort of poor man's chop saw. It works dandy on 2mm box section but took several minutes to hack, burn and wobble it's way through the solid bar.
I've since cut all the blocks using a hand hack saw which went surprisingly well in a hand crampingly sort of a way. Yay Hacksaws!!!

Attached is a picture of some of my raw ingredients.

The grey bits bottom left are the bushings for the Y slides. They are going to be a pain to mount as the bit with the mounting holes is not really flat and the only flat sides don't have enough metal to tap holes into. Learning to make accurate bushings, pillow blocks etc is definitely a priority after phase 1.

Also shown is a stepper I'm going to use initially and a servo I'd like to use eventually. The stepper is connected to PIC16F84 + L298N boards I designed a few years back. (look at the purdy spinning motor go round and round and round and...)

I like the look of the PICStep boards that Alan (Garfield2) has created and I'm hoping that if I keep telling him what an extremely clever, generous and ruggedly handsome individual he is, he may let me try his PIC Servo design :D

ViperTX
02-15-2005, 11:11 AM
Hey good work. Generally the gantry has the Xaxis and the Zaxis and the table is the Yaxis.

Got the wife, the kids, the pet....yep, been there....now gotta have some creative fun.....tools......mechanical marvels connected to electronic gizmos.....yeehaaaaa!

ger21
02-15-2005, 11:47 AM
Hey good work. Generally the gantry has the Xaxis and the Zaxis and the table is the Yaxis.



I think it's the other way around. Usually the gantry is Y and the table is X. It will work either way just fine. I've heard that the proper method is to designate the longer of the 2 axis X, and the shorter one Y.

Ferenczyg
02-15-2005, 01:08 PM
If I am not in a mistake, the explanation was in one of ballendo's post and talks about designating X not the longer axis but the one that can bear the largest raw material ;)

/F

10bulls
02-15-2005, 03:34 PM
I hadn't realised this confusion on my part would open up such a can of worms.

At peril of ruining my parts by machining them 90 degrees off I have hereby decided
to introduce a much less ambiguous naming convention.

The long axis will hence forth be called John (as in 'long'...get it?).

I decided against calling the Y axis Jesus (goes across) on the grounds it might offend and lose me some friends, so I decided upon Paul.

This results in what was my Z axis is now known as Ringo and my CNC rotary table
(should ever I be blessed to live to see it built) will be called George.

Regrettably this does limit me to building a 4 axis machine as
A) I can't remember the name of the original drummer who left and...
B) I couldn't tell you what a 5th axis might be even if one came and danced on my lap.

santiniuk
02-15-2005, 04:11 PM
Hey Andy,

Good to see you have started your thread and have added some light hearted humour to the forum. Quite entertaining !

I imagine the debate over the axis names is not over :)

I had an issue trying to get square cuts on the aluminium profile too. Thankfully I bribed a friend and he milled the ends square, (Just as well - they were not pretty)

I can sympathise with you about time and kids. Never enough to time to get the Geeky stuff done....

I look forward to following your entertaining thread.... ;)

ViperTX
02-15-2005, 04:19 PM
Well the Cartesian coordinate system doesn't care...just put big labels on your axis so when you take pics and talk about stuff everyone....well most everyone will remember the coordinate system you're using.....The only time you'll run into problems is when you go from someone elses CNC mill, to router, etc.

80/20 always does a good job on cutting their extrusions....I wonder what their local dealers use for a table saw...the blade is a triple grind carbide tipped blade.

MrBean
02-15-2005, 06:22 PM
Hi. I'm enjoying your thread. Good start. It's nice to see another UK CNC builder entering the arena. What length and diameter are those printer rods, your bearings are running on?

I've got a machine built, but it needs some fine tuning, alignment wise. Will hopefully get more done at the weekend. (kid, dog, cats, work, etc, etc....) You can see it here:.....if you're interested.

http://www.terry-is.f2s.com/

Keep the updates and pictures coming. Looking forward to watching your progress.

Regards Terry.....

trubleshtr
02-15-2005, 06:46 PM
I always use the right hand rule when describing co-ordinate systems, for fun I typed it into google and the first link below actual gives some good visuals for co-ordinate systems as well as g-code explanations.
The second link I stumbled accross is just cool, 5 axis cnc machine (home made)


http://www.media.mit.edu/physics/pedagogy/fab/cnc/CNC-mill-tutorial.html

http://www.rainnea.com/cnc.htm

trubleshtr
02-15-2005, 06:54 PM
Ooops...I made a mistake, althought the first link does provide good information, this was the link I ment to show.

http://www.utm.edu/departments/engin/lemaster/Auto%20Prod%20Sys/Lecture%2025.pdf

DAB_Design
02-15-2005, 08:12 PM
*edit* sorry noticed topic was straying a bit.

10bulls welcome. You've got one necessity that is mandatory to be a machinist.....a good sence of humor. :)

ViperTX
02-15-2005, 11:46 PM
yeah, you just have to remember which finger is which axis....which I do by thinking 2 dimensionally on graph paper....side to side is x and up and down is y.....so poking you in the eyes is z....

10bulls
02-16-2005, 05:24 AM
Good to see you have started your thread....

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm determined to try to catch up with you...It will good to have someone to share trials and tribulations with.:cheers:

How's you're build going? It's looking good so far. I'm dead jealous of your skip booty...you've got a much better class of trash in your neck o the woods.

10bulls
02-16-2005, 08:05 AM
Hi. I'm enjoying your thread. Good start.

Thanks...been following your posts too, most heartening. :cheers:


What length and diameter are those printer rods, your bearings are running on?

I have 2 x 17.9mm diameters and 2 x 17mm diameters, all around 500mm.
I may need to bolt in some supports to help with deflection...if they survive long enough!


I've got a machine built, but it needs some fine tuning, alignment wise....

Seen your stuff. If mine turns out half as well I will be pleased.
I'm looking forward to my first chips, but not relishing the calibration stage.

Just checked out your site...great stuff!

After buying the odd bit of aluminium lately my next project after this is definitely going to be a foundry...even if I only cast simple plates and bars for machining. Prepare to be brain picked on that at some point.

PCB milling, wind turbines and cooler blocks are also high on my list of 'wanna dos'. Hee Hee...I see I even have the same multimeter as you! SPOOKY!

Regards

Andy

10bulls
02-16-2005, 09:30 AM
After ruminating on how to accurately position my printer bushes on my Y (Paul) carriage, I concluded that I needed a better way of laying things out. I had put 2ft square granite surface plate on my Santa list but received some 8 year old Glenmorangie instead (Oh the things a chip sweeper must endure!)
So last night I got a little side tracked and bodged up a surface plate using a piece of glass on my table saw table and I made a surface marking gauge from vee block, 8mm printer rod and some bits I turned on the lathe. It works! Precision engineering here we come!

It was good to get some more turning practice. My lathe had been feeling a bit neglected lately as it has been a few weeks since my last practice session, when I learned to make a solid metal cylinder from a slightly larger solid metal cylinder.
After slicing my thumb last night, on the edge of the turned steel round (man that's sharp!), and bleeding over most of the drills and taps used thereafter, I
decided that the subject of my next lathe master class will be chamfering.

Attached is a photo of last nights efforts, together with a particularly fine piece of drill swarf I am rather proud of.

Also shown are the printer bushes (or is it bushings?) and Y carriage plate. My plan is to bolt the bushes to the steel blocks then bolt the blocks to the carriage allowing for some adjustment. I'm a bit worried that the bushes with flex outward so I may consider using some epoxy on the flat bottom surface (though won't be able to adjust once set) or add a sort of clamp to hold them both down.

Gotta go away for a few days now :(...no more progress til I get back.

Jay C
02-16-2005, 03:26 PM
After slicing my thumb last night, on the edge of the turned steel round (man that's sharp!), and bleeding over most of the drills and taps used thereafter, I decided that the subject of my next lathe master class will be chamfering.
Actually all you need to do is break the edge with a file while it's still in the lathe. Look here (http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_lathe/Operation/Facing/facing.htm) under Filing the Edge at the bottom of that page.

Jay

10bulls
02-23-2005, 08:47 AM
Pretty pitiful progress to report I'm afraid. After a trip to Wales to visit the dragon-in-laws for a few days, my wife and I and eldest all came down with a stomach bug kindly donated to us by youngest who had recovered from it a day or so previous. Only amusing highlight was the look of fascination on youngest as she pulled herself up and peered down the loo to see what it was that everyone was shouting at down there.


So after rugging up my simian attachments I braved the garage last night and managed to drill a few more holes. I've marked out the Y carriage and made mounting blocks for my odd shaped printer bushes. Seems to hold the bushes well, though I'll probably slosh some loctite about once everything is aligned.

Hobbiest
02-24-2005, 01:06 PM
Don't look down on yourself. Even "pitiful" progress is better than none at all. Just keep pluggin.

santiniuk
02-24-2005, 06:03 PM
I guess we picked the wrong time of year to build these crazy things Andy.

I think any progress is worth reporting so keep it coming. Sometimes sparks a discussion that gets entertaining. Just don't mention Brass Monkeys ;)

Good work on the assembly. I like the concept.

Cheers.

10bulls
02-28-2005, 07:33 AM
Wey Hey! Smug Mode :D

Finally had a few clear evenings to get in the garage and progress my little CNC folly some what.

I decided to concentrate on the Y carriage and finish that off as much as possible. I mounted the bushing blocks and made a steel block to hold the drive nut.

For sheets and giggles I tried out my 4 jaw chuck for the first time (after having to make my own mounting studs first :( ) and have found a new vista of machining possibilities opening up.
I can now face my 1" by 0.5" steel bar blocks which have been cut off by hand hack saw. No really necessary at the moment, but it makes them look cool! Another jolly was being able to square off a piece of delrin round to use as a drive nut.
I haven't quite got around to making a cube from a piece of round stock yet (as I've seen on the web), but it's such a fantastically useless thing to do I'm going to have to give it a try one day.

The drive nut block was a bit of a nightmare and chalked up 2 "kills" on my tool box. The first was a 3mm tap which I stupidly tried to tap all the way through the 0.5" steel (just...one...more...twist...DOH!) I also tried to turn a shoulder on the block to recess the mounting bolts (another pointless exercise...damn you 4 jaw chuck!) and broke a chip out of my only brazed carbide knife tool.

As I mentioned, the drive nut 'Mk 1' is just a piece of delrin. I am initially going to get the thing working using M8 threaded rod and when I grow up, I may buy some trapezoidal screws or if I discover which skips santinuk ferrets around in I may turn up a ball screw ;)

As a finishing touch I drilled and tapped 16 x M6 mounting holes on the front face of the carriage for mounting the Z (George) axis and I suspect until then, impatience will drive me to mount my dremel to it directly making a 2 axis machine for a spell.

10bulls
02-28-2005, 07:52 AM
Stand back...this man's on fire! (flame2)

Flushed with the success of finishing my Y carriage I pressed on with the gantry.

The first problem was trying to get the two 480mm cross beams trimmed square and equal lengths. These 2 pieces are the only 2 in my design I can see where this is so important. After much head scratching I discounted making jigs to mount my hand router or belt sander for trimming them back and instead, after
a test cut on some scrap, I decided to use my picture framing mitre saw. The results were borderline OK.

Next, some grooves needed to be filed in the beam ends to fit over some strengthening ribs on the aluminium profile that they will butt on to.

Much marking and drilling then ensued. I came up with a natty trick of using a piece of clear acetate (from a supermarket pizza box...yum!) placed on some graph paper, to mark out drilling templates. I could then transfer this to my pieces and poke holes through it with my scribe at the drilling points, then centre punch and centre drill.
Another little "discovery" I made is to stick a centre drill in my cordless drill rather than using my drill press for this; quite a time saver!

Drilling the 12 cross beam end holes was a pain as they were too tall for my drill press, so I clamped them to a bench and drilled them with a hand drill.

The rest of the drilling was pretty straight forward although drilling the 4 clearance holes for the rails with a 19mm spade bit at 500 rpm was a bit hairy especially as it exited right on the profile's aforementioned ribs.

I couldn't resist screwing it all together and was pleasantly surprised to see that all but one of my holes lined up and that it all feels rather ridged.
After clearing away the top of the chest freezer (my auxiliary work bench) I was startled to see it was 3:30AM and there was snow outside. So a tired but happy chip sweeper I shivered off to bed.

10bulls
02-28-2005, 08:05 AM
gantry side view

MrBean
02-28-2005, 05:54 PM
That's some good progress. Looking very nice. What with you and santiniuk making such great progress. It makes me want to start on building my second CNC. I only just got the first one running good. Once you've built one you start to think.... "Now I know it works. I could improve that, and use a larger thingy there. I need a better one of those." That's what happened with me. So I'm mulling over some ideas and collecting parts. It will be a while before I make a start, as I'm hanging out for the components that I want, instead of MDF and sellotape. I found a place about 2 miles from me that deals with scrapped industrial machines, amongst other bits and pieces, so I'm hoping to have a look around their place sometime this week, maybe next week.

Nice work, and keep the updates comming.

Regards Terry.....
www.terry-is.f2s.com

santiniuk
03-01-2005, 06:44 AM
It's good to know I'm not the only one making use of household appliances as a workbench. :)

I can highly recommend tumble driers. The only problem is somehow the aluminium swarf has found it's way inside and our clothes now sparkle with fine metallic particles !

Making good progress there 10bulls. Your on a roll...
My skips ratting has all but dried up so it's time to spend some dosh.

I see your using clamps. I struggled for a bit then noticed argos selling a 12 piece kit for £14.99. I highly recommend this set for any UK folks.

http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=3151&productId=118433&clickfrom=name

3.30am !!! That must be a record....

Keep the updates coming....

morrissp
03-01-2005, 08:36 AM
After seeing all the great stuff on here, I have started collecting parts, and have ordered the HobbyCnc board and motor combo. I have decided to use the bearings on rod for my axis travel, any idea where I can get SS tube or anything else suitable.

10bulls sorry to hijack your thread

Steve

10bulls
03-02-2005, 06:36 AM
After seeing all the great stuff on here, I have started collecting parts, and have ordered the HobbyCnc board and motor combo. I have decided to use the bearings on rod for my axis travel, any idea where I can get SS tube or anything else suitable.

10bulls sorry to hijack your threadSteve
Welcome Steve, great to see another builder emerge! I'd put money on you being 30ish, with kids and or pets and possibly a certain degree of facial hair. :D

What linear bearing design are you going to use? Don't follow mine for Pete's sake...it WILL damage your rails and probably your bearings. I'm only doing it in the interests of science and entertainment (oh, and I'm lazy!).

I've bought most of my metal stock from http://www.mkmetals.sageweb.co.uk/...very friendly and knowledgeable and happy to deal in small quantities of a large variety of
metals. For example 1" dia stainless 303 round bar from here is ~ £35/m.

ondrives.com (UK) have a good online catalogue of such stuff and other linear motion products, if your pockets are deep. I've not ordered anything from there so can't comment on how helpful they are.

Failing that, phone round nearest metal stockists or wander around your local industrial estates with some used fivers or cans of beer and ask in some likely looking units. Gas pipes, scaffolding poles, box steel etc could all be used with varying degrees of accuracy. Start a new build log thread, experiment and let us know how you get on. That's half the fun! :cheers:

10bulls
03-02-2005, 06:47 AM
...I can highly recommend tumble driers. The only problem is somehow the aluminium swarf has found it's way inside and our clothes now sparkle with fine metallic particles !...

My oldest does a lot of glitter gluing...I just blame it on her :D

...3.30am !!! That must be a record....
It's not the late nights I mind, it's the kids jumping on you at 6AM that starts to wear you down.:wee:

10bulls
03-02-2005, 06:56 AM
...I found a place about 2 miles from me that deals with scrapped industrial machines, amongst other bits and pieces, so I'm hoping to have a look around their place sometime this week, maybe next week...

Sounds like my kind of place! Care to share? (...after you've snaffled all the bargains first of course!) If I recall correctly, you're up Nottingham way? Anchor surplus is fun to mooch around in, though the've gone a bit pricey these days.
Are you going to use your foundry for your next build? That could make for a fun read! (flame2)

MrBean
03-02-2005, 07:20 AM
Sounds like my kind of place! Care to share? (...after you've snaffled all the bargains first of course!) If I recall correctly, you're up Nottingham way? Anchor surplus is fun to mooch around in, though the've gone a bit pricey these days.
Are you going to use your foundry for your next build? That could make for a fun read! (flame2)


Actually. I'm in king's lynn, Norfolk. I'd like to use the foundry to make some parts, but now I have CNC, it seems it'll be easier and more accurate to cut out parts on that, to bolt together, to make larger parts. I originally got into the foundry thing after buying the David Gingery books, "Buid your own metal working shop from scrap". I fancied a go at the lathe, but so far have found no time to get started.
This site's pretty good: http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/lathe1.html

It's a lot of effort to get set-up for a melt and pour. Aslo I seem to be collecting so much "usefull" stuff, that I'm running out of room.

Still enjoying your thread. Especially your sense of humour.

Regards Terry.....

morrissp
03-02-2005, 09:39 AM
Welcome Steve, great to see another builder emerge! I'd put money on you being 30ish, with kids and or pets and possibly a certain degree of facial hair. :D

What linear bearing design are you going to use? Don't follow mine for Pete's sake...it WILL damage your rails and probably your bearings. I'm only doing it in the interests of science and entertainment (oh, and I'm lazy!).

I've bought most of my metal stock from http://www.mkmetals.sageweb.co.uk/...very friendly and knowledgeable and happy to deal in small quantities of a large variety of
metals. For example 1" dia stainless 303 round bar from here is ~ £35/m.



Thanks for the Metal Link, I will be using tube with bearings, and will try a slightly different design to yours. As for the 30ish, bit I wish I could see 30 again.

I will try and keep up a build thread

Steve

10bulls
03-02-2005, 10:05 AM
I spent many hours on trains yesterday so, heaven forbid I actually get any work done, I managed to get my 3D model a bit more up to date. Still haven't figured out best way to position the motors and drive belts yet, but the general layout and dimensions are now closer to reality.

Work area should be around 400mm square with 50mm stroke on the Z axis.

A piece of MDF will sit on top of the two inner 20mm steel box sections as an initial table, but this and the inner box steel lengths are going to be removable. This should allow me to poke material up underneath the mill and machine ends and edges. Specifically I intend to route dove tails in this manner. This is also why the lower gantry cross piece is so high up (and far back), rather than the more traditional (and secure) flat plate underneath the bottom approach.

Those X rollers do look puny though! I going to persevere with them, but replacement bearing 'blocks' are definitely high on the list of 'first things to make'.

The zip file contains a DXF file.

10bulls
03-07-2005, 08:10 AM
As the wise man says, " when you're not sure what to do, drill a hole". Well I've adapted it slightly to suit the climate in my garage and resolved "when you're not sure what to do, cut something with a hack saw!". By the end of one midnight 'session' I had my 2 X axis end L profiles, 4 x 30mm square box steel sections and 8 x 1"x0.5" steel blocks sawn and was down to my T-shirt!

Progress slowed somewhat after that night as the 'curse of the new lathe' struck once more. Even though it is not at all necessary I decided to face the all the steel blocks in the 4 jaw chuck which was a surprisingly time consuming process for me (10 blocks..20 faces!). Although the results are OK, I'm still not happy with the final results, mostly due to my inexperience, but it has brought to light a bit of a short coming with my mini lathe. The carriage has some play in it under the forces induced by facing. I managed to adjust some play out by tightening various gibs, but I'm going to need to make a carriage locking modification for it before I'll be able to do any precision facing.

My next challenge was boring out 4 holes in the steel mounting blocks for the printer rails. I had never bored anything with my lathe before (other than my wife, whenever I go on about what I've been making), and it was quite a learning experience.

I had intended to drill the hole as big as I could with the tailstock drill chuck, then bore it out to size while still mounted in the chuck. First problem is that my chuck only goes to 10mm and the resulting hole was too small for my boring tool. So I had to drill them on my drill press to 13mm, then mount them on the lathe. This means I needed to get the hole mounted centrally in the 4 jaw chuck. I'd not needed to dial anything in on a 4 jaw chuck before and so, dial indicator to hand, another learning session commenced.

So after 2 long cold nights I had made 4 steel blocks, each with three holes in them. Oh, and a garage slowly filling with metal swarf! I just calculated that for each of the big rail mounting holes I had to shift over 3,200 cubic millimetres of steel! Around 2AM one night I nipped upstairs to use the loo (feeling freezing, tired and somewhat fed up at how slowly things were going) and was horrified to see a little trail of tiny metal coils on the bathroom floor. I bent down to brush them up, but this action dislodged another swarm of chips on the floor behind me. Bollocks! My clothes seemed to be riddled with the bloody things! Too late to fire up the vacuum cleaner and I couldn't just leave them as my youngest would no doubt see them as another crunchy tasty snack. I certainly didn't fancy explaining to my wife why fridge magnets were suddenly starting to stick to youngens nappy!

On hind sight it would have been far far easier if I'd bought a blacksmith drill and just drilled the things (and left them unfaced)...or made them out of aluminium blocks and just used a spade bit...
But at least the small repertoire of skills I am slowly acquiring has grown a little. A few more fiddly bits to do and hopefully I can start to do some assembly this week. Yipee!

10bulls
03-09-2005, 06:04 AM
Another couple of productive nights in the garage.

I spent a particularly unpleasant Monday evening 'Milling' my gantry verticals, to remove parts of the strengthening rib integral to the profiles and also to cut clearance 'channels' where the X rails and leadscrews pass. As I am not equipped for milling at all; This led me to try a number of approaches, including Dremmels, hacksaws, files...and in desperation, I even tried using a wood chisel for a spell. Best thing I found was a small coarse grinding wheel that I fitted to my cordless drill. I also managed to break my best round file in an ill conceived experiment where I mounted it too in my cordless drill.
(Wouldn't recommend it :().

At the end of that night my hands were sore and impregnated with WD-40 and aluminium powder. I could have got a job as 'hand double' for Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz! On nights like these I find myself increasingly muttering my new Mantra over and over: "This would be SOOooo much easier with a CNC machine!"

(Santinuk: What's your mates going (bribe) rate for milling? ;))

I smile wryly now at my 3D drawings, where solid metal miraculously passes straight through other solid chunks, motors float firmly in space and parts are welded immutably together with CAD-glue...gotta get me some of that!

Last night was a bit of a Hole-a-thon where I marked out and drilled 116 holes and tapping 60 of the buggers. These were for the base frame and X axis riser blocks on the corners. I was determined to get these pieces done and ended up beating my old record, clocking off at 3:50AM :tired:.

Bit knackered today, but I'm happy that most of the dirty, fiddly bits are now done. Another 4 rail mounting blocks to make, leadscrew bearing blocks, motor mounting plates and then it's assembly time! Hell, I may even sweep up in the garage!
(Note absence of Z axis bits for now...I wanna see this if this turkey will fly!)

santiniuk
03-09-2005, 09:30 AM
Another very entertaining write up 10bulls.

You remind me of the CNC equivalent of Bob Pease at National Semiconductor !
http://www.national.com/nationaltv/

(Anyone else heard of him ???)

Anyway back on track, Just think all the work on this should pay off. A lot of the items you are hand bashing will soon be able to be cut with your machine. At least thats the plan !

Where are you on the control side ? Just wondering what you went for in the end.

I think my bribes are coming to an end, Tin Man II here we come....

:)

Cheers

10bulls
03-09-2005, 11:24 AM
...You remind me of the CNC equivalent of Bob Pease at National Semiconductor !

Ha Ha! Thanks! First time I've heard of him! I can't wait to got through the archives :D
Oh my God! That's me at my desk! (see pic below)


Where are you on the control side ? Just wondering what you went for in the end.

Glad you asked! Main reason I've been killing myself nights, it to get the nitty grittys out of the way so I can start on the fun twirley round stuff.

I will attempt to make motor mounting plates that will fit both my steppers and servos. I figure I've got a good couple of weeks ahead of me with assembly, leadscrews, motor mounts and timing belt drive etc. I'll probably start testing with my servos hooked directly to DC and no feedback.

After that I'll have to dig out the old UV light box, see which PCB chemicals have eaten through their storage bottles this time and place some orders with Farnell, RS etc

I haven't rattled Garfield2's cage yet regarding PIC Servo. I figure it best to let the poor lad get on with it. I would like to go with servos from the outset but steppers are still an option.
Oh, maybe just a little shake then...
Cooeeee! Alan! How's it going mate? Do you have a partlist for PICServo...doesn't matter if it's not 100%. Thanks a bundle! :cheers:

10bulls
03-11-2005, 04:43 AM
The temptation was too great, so I spent last night assembling the beastie thus far.

I was dreading this stage a bit as being the first time it's all gone together, major design flaws should show up. As it happens there were no nasty surprises. Whew!

I have roughly aligned the Y (gantry) rails and the carriage slides a bit stiffly, but without binding. Hopefully with a more thorough alignment I can free it up a bit. I want to get hold of some dry silicon lube to see if that helps too.
Can anyone suggest a UK supplier? I'll check out RS & Farnell first I guess.
All in all I'm quite pleased with the gantry. It certainly feels rigid.

The base frame, bearing blocks and X rails were hastily thrown together and another big sigh of relief. It all lines up..., well mostly! :wee:
It certainly looks a bit more imposing than the bunch of scrap metal with holes that has been littering my workbench, for the past few weeks.
This is also the first time I have seen the X bearing design in action. Although the rails are not fixed nor aligned it appears to work in concept. We'll soon see!

There's still a heap of work to do getting the thing lined up and moving smoothly...better stock up on some 'Midnight Oil' (<breaks into song:> "how can we sleep while our beds are burning?"...)
First though, I think I'll finish off some of those 'fiddly' bits next, then give the garage a bit of a sort out...I gotta find a home for this hunk-a-junk!

MrBean
03-11-2005, 10:01 AM
Looking good...
I got some "Dry PTFE" spray from screwfix. It's meant for blades and cutters. But works wonders on my Y axis rails.

Midnight oil would be ok if used between 23:30 & 00:30. Outside of these hours the "midnight" effect of the oil becomes very volatile. A mate of mine was using "midnight" oil at around 02:00. Next thing he knew, 2 days had passed. Seems that the oil had lubed up the space-time continuum, causing him to slide into the future. Yeah, can be slippery stuff. If you must use midnight oil, then tie yourself to somethimg solid. I.E. Not my router.... :D

Regards Terry.....

xairflyer
03-11-2005, 06:50 PM
They machine is coming on well,

Looks like you have the same lathe as me from chester machine tools, most useful thing I bought in years.

Keep up the good work.

10bulls
03-14-2005, 05:40 AM
Looking good...
I got some "Dry PTFE" spray from screwfix. It's meant for blades and cutters. But works wonders on my Y axis rails.Thanks for the tip! I've had a Screwfix catalogue sitting in front of me for a while. They're always so rubbish when I want to buy something as strange as 'screws' from them, I'd not looked further. I see their drill bits (blacksmiths and forstener bits) look quite reasonable.

Midnight oil would be ok if used between 23:30 & 00:30....
You're weird! ;)

10bulls
03-14-2005, 05:57 AM
They machine is coming on well,

Looks like you have the same lathe as me from chester machine tools, most useful thing I bought in years.
Thanks!
Yeah, it's a Chester mini lathe. I wish I'd bought one years ago. I had some fun and games with missing parts but Chester were quite happy getting replacements sent out...even if they were the wrong ones.

Have you done any modifications to yours yet? There's certainly a few things that it could do with.

Congratulations with your recent successes!

santiniuk
03-23-2005, 08:36 AM
Hey 10bulls,

hows it going ?

Have the 3am nights seen the end to your cnc bashin ?

xairflyer
03-23-2005, 08:54 PM
Thanks 10bulls,

I hav'nt done any mods to the lathe yet except cut about 1" off the end of my tailstock chuck arbor, so I can use all the movement.

First mod i will do is a cam lever for the tailstock as it is difficult to get at the nut when close to the cross slide.
Great little machine for the money, another useful item is a cross slide vice (you can get them in machine mart) which converts your pilar/bench drill into a milling machine with a cutter in the chuck.

10bulls
03-29-2005, 04:10 AM
Hey 10bulls,
hows it going ?
Have the 3am nights seen the end to your cnc bashin ?
Still alive! Flu, work and family have conspired against me and put tinkering on hold for a couple of weeks. Back on the case now. Mama Dragon has taken the dragonlets to the dragon-in-laws this week and has taken the digi camera with her, so a photo update will have to wait I'm afraid.

I've made some bearing blocks (2 skate bearings with spacer between) and mounted the lead screw on the gantry, then had a few moments jolly wooshing it back and forth with my cordless drill. I'm going to mount the servo motor to it tonight which should mean the mechanics of the Y axis will be pretty much complete.

I've bought a long timing belt (T2.5 16mm wide, 1300 pitch length) to connect the 2 X-axis lead screws together using some pulleys I had.
After a *lot* of phoning round and comparing prices, the place I ordered them from was:
Transmission Developments: http://fp.transdev.plus.com/index.htm.
I was very impressed by the price, prompt delivery and large stock. I am also most grateful to the guy at APG Developments Ltd (0)1634 722420 for advice. He CNC manufactures (among other items) toothed pulleys (very reasonable price) and was most helpful and quite sympathetic to homebrew CNCing.

T2.5 profile is not ideal and I can feel some backlash with it, but I already had some pulleys and I don't think the backlash is going to cause any problems once the belts are tensioned properly. As it turned out, it wouldn't have been much more expensive to go to HTD3 profile and buy new pulleys, as the belt would have been cheaper. The belt cost ~£22 and is the single most expensive purchase on the project thus far. So there's real money invested in this enterprise now...no turning back!

10bulls
03-29-2005, 04:34 AM
...
I hav'nt done any mods to the lathe yet except cut about 1" off the end of my tailstock chuck arbor, so I can use all the movement.

First mod i will do is a cam lever for the tailstock as it is difficult to get at the nut when close to the cross slide.
Great little machine for the money, another useful item is a cross slide vice (you can get them in machine mart) which converts your pilar/bench drill into a milling machine with a cutter in the chuck.
I chopped down my chuck arbor a couple of nights ago with my trust angle grinder...much better!...gotta do my dead centre next.
I'm with you on the tailstock cam-lock, that bolt is a pain! I was going to make the one on www.mini-lathe.com.

I bought a cross slide vice a while back for that purpose, but it didn't work out. My el cheapo clarke drill press has serious play in the spindle when extended and the cross slide hits the pillar in most positions :(
I bought a vertical slide for the lathe for milling, but haven't got around to figuring how to attach it yet.:confused:

xairflyer
03-29-2005, 06:17 AM
yeh the spindle needs to fairly good and true, when I bought my bench/pillar drill I tried different makes in the shops by pushing and pulling at the chucks and got them to connect them up so I could see them spin just to see how good they were, and eventually settled for a Sealy 16 speed version which cost me £150 but it a very good drill with 16mm chuck.

10bulls
04-04-2005, 11:07 AM
I managed to squeeze in a bit of work on my machine over the past week in between work and digging my allotment ready for me 'taters (ooh!...oww!...my back!)

I made a motor mount for the gantry and mounted a likely looking servo to it. The coupling is a piece of clear PVC pipe (from the home-brew kit I think...if my nose doesn't deceive me). Ugly as sin but the screw turns around and I can send the carriage wooshing to and fro now via the servo and a car battery charger. It struggles in a few places...I still need to tweak the alignment and get some dry PFTE spray. The threaded rod is dead kinky (aren't they all!!) and results in jerky movements (as does eating too much jerky! ;)). One of the first upgrades is going to be trapezoidal leadscrew I fear.

I made another 2 bearing mounting blocks for the X axis, turned a pair of delrin drive nuts and mounted the leadscrews. I added a motor mounting plate from which the motor and belt tensioners sit atop of steel stand-offs. I went with my biggest, coolest servo for the X axis. (gotta get me an R2D2 model to sit between those X-wings!) Pulleys and belts attached it was time for another whoosh! Amazingly it all seems rather robust and the carriage moves it's full range. So that's the X and Y axis pretty much mechanically complete!! :wee:

Having got the servos mounted I'm changing tack a little and am going to go with steppers and PICSTEP. I doubt my old printer steppers will cope with my design, so I've managed to find a supplier of steppers that seems quite reasonable... ~£40 for 220Ncm and £30 for 180Ncm motors (They are both 2.5A phase, 8 wire, 1.8 step angle jobbies). Does this sound an OK UK price?
If all goes to plan, I can refit the servos when Alan kindly releases PICServo, then I'll have 3 nice steppers and drivers all ready for my lathe CNC conversion. :D

I've still got the Z axis to build. I've cut out all the aluminium plate sections, but there's some serious precision machining ahead which I'm dreading. To postpone this somewhat I'm going to get the electronics sorted first. I also intend to make another detour and finally mount my vertical slide on my lathe and have a go at using it for milling. More on that later.

xairflyer
04-04-2005, 11:23 AM
That machine is a really brute, now that I have been playing with my machine I can see I will have to start work on a new one designed to cut alluminium like yours.

MrBean
04-04-2005, 12:54 PM
Hi. That's really comming toghether well. I don't think you'll be dissapointed with the PICStep drivers. They are the single best improvement I've made to my machine. On the subject of PICStep..... If you have any trouble finding the 20Mhz resonators. I still have a few left. PM me if you need some.

Any chance of a link to the motor supplier you've found. Those prices seem OK.

Nice work on the machine so far. Keep the updates comming.


Regards Terry.....

santiniuk
04-04-2005, 04:00 PM
Wow !

You certainly haven't been hanging around 10bulls. Great progress !

I can vouch for the picstep's just don't get carried away with the LED's ;)

For me the Z-axis was one of the trickiest bits to sort but I'm sure you have something planned out already.

Keep it up, look forward to seeing this 'brute' in action.

Cheers

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:29 AM
For the past week or so I have been getting stuck into the electronics side of things.

I am going with Alan Garfield's PICStep suite as the GPL nature of it is appealing and others have been having great success with it.

So after a couple of nights etching, drilling and soldering. Plus numerous deliveries from various companies (which my wife has been eyeing with growing alarm!) I ended up with the following. I haven't got around to testing them yet as in the thick of all this, Alan (with impeccable timing) released his opto isolated
breakout board design (or OPTO-BOB as I call it!), so it was back out with the chemicals...

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:39 AM
Here is the method I employ for double sided pcb boards.

I use UV sensitive boards and a UV light box. I've read about but not tried the toner transfer method, but IMHO this is far simpler (especially for double sides) and not really any more expensive. Besides my wife is unlikely to let me within cooee distance of her iron after she saw what I did to the sink with Ferric Chloride :(...

The UV sensitive boards and various chemicals were purchased in the UK from www.megauk.com. Double sided fotoboard is fairly cheap <£2 for a 4" X 6". The most expensive part of the setup is a UV lightbox. I made mine from 4 x replacement UV tubes (again from megauk ~£4ea) connected to a 4 way fluorescent ballast (Osram QT-FH 4X14/230-240 4 x 14W) from a local electrical supplier (~£20).

The art work is printed to a transparent film. You can buy special laser film for this but I have had just as much success with cheap tracing paper.
For double sided boards print the front and back artwork.

Now for the tricky bit! Align the 2 artworks together and make sure the drill holes line up...and that they will be transferred the right way round.
The UV light box is a handy way to help line them up. When they are aligned, staple or tape along one edge to make sure they stay aligned.
Get a couple of sheets of glass cut, preferably the same size that will sit atop the lightbox with a certain degree of overhang. I use 4mm glass.
Make sure it doesn't have a UV protective coating!;)

Remove the protective film from both sides of the pcb and insert it between the two art works at the proper alignment. Sit this on top of one sheet of glass, then put the second glass sheet on top, making a glass-pcb-glass sandwich. Now clamp the two sheets of glass together. I have used strong bulldog clips, but for this run...as I was having withdrawal symptoms from hack sawing, drilling and tapping, I made some aluminium clamps.

Now lay one side on the UV lightbox and expose. Try a few test runs first to get the correct exposure time for your lightbox and boards. Mine takes about 6 mins. Now flip over the glass, taking care not to slide the glass or move the artwork at all. Now expose the other side.

That's the fun part over with...it's all down hill from now, with varying degrees of toxicity. Developing, etching, scrubbing, tinning and drilling. I won't bore you with these details...I'm sure you know...just take care!
Ferric Chloride is the urine of Satan! Do not get it on anything which could ultimately result in your untimely divorce.

The Developer solution is also surprisingly nasty...not caustic soda anymore, but caustic none the less. I stored some left overs in an empty 'White Lightening Super Strong Cider' plastic bottle on the reasoning that if the bottle could contain that fetid brew it could cope with anything. 6 months later I went to fetch my chemicals and found the developer had eaten through the bottom of the plastic bottle. Fortunately the tupperware container it was in was unscathed.

Thank you very much Alan for all the hard work you have been putting into these designs for everyone...you are one cool frood!

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:41 AM
Aligning the artwork printouts on the light UV light box (better find your shades!)

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:42 AM
Glass-pcb sandwich clamped and ready to expose...

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:43 AM
Hubble bubble toil and trouble...

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:45 AM
E voila!

10bulls
04-15-2005, 05:48 AM
Cider bottle != cautic developer containment unit :eek:

santiniuk
04-16-2005, 04:01 AM
Good detailed write up 10bulls. It's always interesting to pick up tips on how others do stuff.
I have to agree on your 'Urine of Satan' statement :)

I have tried the toner method a few times now and I was surprised how good it is once you sort out the timing / heat setting and pressure when using the iron. Like you I had to steal the iron when the wife wasn't looking !

Double sided toner transfer is yet to be done.

I presume you must be close to running the motors now, Use some good heatsinks on those LMD's if your running at high voltage / currents. They get a bit warm......

Have you tested the Optoboard yet ? - I'm missing the opto's to test mine, but I'm hoping that Alan didn't have too many Fosters when he transferred the breadboard design to final pcb's. ;)

Keep the updates coming. I'm sure your now at the hooked stage and there's no turning back !

Cheers

Garfield2
04-16-2005, 09:07 AM
Have you tested the Optoboard yet ? - I'm missing the opto's to test mine, but I'm hoping that Alan didn't have too many Fosters when he transferred the breadboard design to final pcb's. ;)


OI! I wouldn't clean my drains with that rubbish! Only Coopers or Cascade drunk in this abode! :D (I too hope that my breadboard transfered to the PCB correctly too!)

Nice work 10bulls, looking really good, much better than my pile of bits that *still* have yet to be assembled into anything.

Alan.

10bulls
04-16-2005, 11:03 AM
Who was it who said...
"Foster's is like sex in a canoe! F*ing close to water!" :D

Thanks Alan! Show us ya bits!! ;)

10bulls
04-18-2005, 06:29 AM
I'm a motor spinner again! Yay!

After a happy few late nights inhaling lead fumes I finally managed to get the opto-bob and picstep boards running and connected to the PC.
Thanks yet again Alan!

I forgot to mention one frustrating episode building the picsteps...
I was intending to program the PICS using a homebrew pic programmer based on the noppp, made many moons ago, and some software I had 'hacked' around with. I was having terrible trouble trying to program some PICs I had lying around. Convinced my programming setup was just shonky I went and blew yet more cash on a fancy new USB PIC programmer / debugger. ...And...Still no joy :eek:!
Staring despondently at a rather expensive heap of wires it suddenly dawned...the PICs I had lying in my drawer were PIC16F628's and NOT PIC16F628A's (different beasts). (chair)

Another big milestone for me is getting Mach2 installed and using that to spin the motors. In theory, all I need to do now is to make some stepper motor mounts and I should have a 2 axis machine. I had heard Mach2 was pretty slick. Now I've actually had a play with it I am most impressed. Can't wait to start using it in anger (or better yet, a state of sophoric joy :D)

Garfield2
04-18-2005, 06:49 AM
Convinced my programming setup was just shonky I went and blew yet more cash on a fancy new USB PIC programmer / debugger. ...And...Still no joy :eek:!
Staring despondently at a rather expensive heap of wires it suddenly dawned...the PICs I had lying in my drawer were PIC16F628's and NOT PIC16F628A's (different beasts). (chair)


Wow you bought an ICD2! I've always wanted to get one of them, but can never justify the price tag. I have to live with this buggy USB thing that works 99% of the time but has some "character building" traits sometimes. Plus the in-circuit debugging feature would be cool to play with.

I'm glad they're all working for you now though! Can't wait to see you machine movin' and groovin'

Cheers,
Alan

10bulls
04-18-2005, 07:04 AM
*Shhhh* don't let the wife hear! (If I get another delivery of bits this month I'm in deep doo doo!)
I like the ICD2. I've been beating my head against a brick wall with my home made job for so long, I didn't need much of an excuse.
Shame it looks so gay though! The basic unit is ~£90 over here....(thats about $3,000 Australian ;))

Garfield2
04-18-2005, 07:22 AM
The basic unit is ~£90 over here....(thats about $3,000 Australian ;))

Hardy-har! At least we can *play* cricket (let's not mention the rugby).. :D

10bulls
04-20-2005, 04:58 AM
Help!

What am I doing wrong?

I am trying to figure out stepper motor speed from Mach2 motor tuning.

I have set velocity at 9 units/s and steps/unit = 100.
This is about as fast as my stepper will go with a noddy 12V power supply.
So I guess the motor is running at 900 steps/s.

I am using PICStep with both jumpers on opto-bob (is this 1/8 step ?)
So for a 1.8 degree stepper at 1/8 stepping then this is 1600 steps/rev (how am I doing?).

So I then get revs/s = 900 / 1600 = 0.5625 revs/s = 33.75 rpm.

This is way off and I can tell that the motor is going at near a few hundred rpm.
If I take the factor of 8 out for microstepping I get 270rpm which seems about right.
But I'm sure microstepping should be in the calculation !?.

What am I missing?

santiniuk
04-20-2005, 05:38 AM
Andy,

With both jumpers on this is full step. With no jumpers this is 1/8 step.

10bulls
04-20-2005, 05:46 AM
Yep...thanks...I just discovered that! ;)
Now velocity = 50u/s, Steps/unit=200, rpm=375...
Much happier! :) Thing I was missing == lack of sleep!

10bulls
04-21-2005, 09:47 PM
Getting close now!

I got bored of watching one stepper motor 'virtually' mill an outline of roadrunner, whilst wired up at my desk and decided I needed to get out more...So off to the garage I went!

I removed the servo motors and adapted the motor mounts to hold my new stepper motors. I also added an oldham coupler to the gantry lead screw. The PVC pipe worked, but looked a bit cheesy and was a pig to remove the motor.

Just a little bit of wiring to do and......
zzzzzz

10bulls
04-22-2005, 06:45 PM
Meep Meep!

Yep...it is alive! Connected it all up, made a cup of really strong tea and set it going. hey presto! It's been a long couple of months tinkering, but moments like this make it worth it. :banana:

One thing that took me by surprise was the 'musicality' of the thing. No dampening and sitting on a wooden table it hummed and thrummed to a beat that would do Kraftwerk proud.

Running on a 12V car battery charger at the moment and getting about 22ipm
rapids with a 1.5mm pitch threaded rod lead screw (half that on the X axis with 2:1 belt drive). PICSteps barely warm...nice one Alan!. Gonna rig up a 35V psu next and see how fast it will go.

Garfield2
04-22-2005, 06:58 PM
Yep...it is alive! Connected it all up, made a cup of really strong tea and set it going. hey presto! It's been a long couple of months tinkering, but moments like this make it worth it. :banana:

Well done! Looks awesome!



One thing that took me by surprise was the 'musicality' of the thing. No dampening and sitting on a wooden table it hummed and thrummed to a beat that would do Kraftwerk proud.

Indeed micro-stepped motors are very musical aren't they. I swear I hear that sound in all sorts of movies for folly.



Running on a 12V car battery charger at the moment and getting about 22ipm
rapids with a 1.5mm pitch threaded rod lead screw (half that on the X axis with 2:1 belt drive). PICSteps barely warm...nice one Alan!. Gonna rig up a 35V psu next and see how fast it will go.

Well guard that opto-bob with your life, since it's the only "working" one in existance. :D

Alan.

10bulls
04-24-2005, 06:40 PM
Here is the first attempt at my controller.

Power supply is a 2x25V torroid wired in parallel (should be good for 20A).
Budget cutbacks led me to raid my scrap pile for the largest caps I could see.
7 x 5600uFs will give me 2.5V ripple voltage at 10A which should be OK.
Under moderate load, the supply reads about 39V DC.

All in an old PC case. Loads of room and a nice 5V 12V pc power supply to boot! The big empty space is waiting for me to build up the other 2 picsteps.

Needs a nice front and rear panel, but that can wait until I can make them with the machine. Cold cathodes will too have to wait.

I was hoping to see a dramatic improvement in speed, but although the motors would go faster, they still stalled in places at the same speeds as the 12V supply. I'm not overly surprised as I have still not done any tweaking and alignment of the mechanics.

santiniuk
04-25-2005, 12:17 PM
Finally I get round to replying !

Cracking work, turned around in record time. It's great to see I'm not the only saddo that made an XY pen plotter first :) It's a good buzz isn't it.

I'm sure that capacitor 'Bank' will be fine, fits together quite nice in that pc case.

Is that a genuine intel P3 heatsink I can see ???

I cannot remember what you have set the current limit to on yours but I can vouch that at 3A 35V those LMD's get a little warm.

I'm surprised you didn't notice a speed difference when you used that Toroidal supply. I think I reset my Mach2 settings on velocity as I gained a huge speed improvement.

I see your planning another 2 picsteps. Are you going for a 4-axis beast ? Should be cool.

Guard that 'OptoBob' I'll find out where you live ;)

(I have put my cnc work on hold at the moment. Garage is full of building stuff until my new one is built....)

Keep it up....

10bulls
04-25-2005, 08:30 PM
Is that a genuine intel P3 heatsink I can see ???
HeHe...P2 actually...fits all 4 LMDs almost perfect, plus a fan. I'm running mine at 2.95A so it all helps.

I'm surprised you didn't notice a speed difference...
I've a can of dry PFTE lube handy and plan to give it all a thorough tweaking once the Z axis is built. Wibbly threaded rod screws and tight Delrin AB nuts
also do my poor steppers no favours at the droopy end of the torque curve.
How many rpms are you getting from your steppers? What torque rating were they again?
When I make the other 2 picsteps I'll do some speed tests on free standing motors.

I see your planning another 2 picsteps. Are you going for a 4-axis beast ? Should be cool.
One spare for now, but I'm hoping to make a rotary axis a little down the track.

Guard that 'OptoBob' I'll find out where you live ;)
Have you *still* not got that working?! Maybe electrons lose a bit of umph the closer you get to the North pole!? ;)

(I have put my cnc work on hold at the moment. Garage is full of building stuff until my new one is built....)
I've seen your pit! Is that all just for your shed? Nice! I see you've already got the moat installed to keep the family out!

10bulls
05-19-2005, 07:30 AM
Well its been a while since my last update.
Progress has been in fits and starts. I built another pair of picsteps to add to my controller box, all ready for Z and later A axis; Tidied the garage; Then turned my attention to the Z axis.

I must admit I had not been looking forward to the Z axis. Partly because I didn't have a clear plan of what I wanted to do but mostly because it would involve lots of fiddly and precise machining, which I wasn't sure I was ready for.

I decided early on that the original printer rod I had earmarked for the Z was too short to cut into 2 and still give a useable stroke. My eyes alighted on a jig I'd picked up ages ago to clamp onto a hand drill to drill perpendicular holes..a bit like a router mount. This had a couple of chucky chrome slide rods, not very smooth finish, but good enough I figured. No sooner than you could say 'Now what did I use that for again...?', the rods were liberated and incorporated in my design.

After that, I got my groove back and progress became quite rapid (for me that is). I decided on boring some leaded bronze bushings for the slide bearings. After much agonising and pansying about on the best way to make a bushing, I followed sound advise from Mcgyver and just bored the things on my 3 jaw chuck. Worked a treat.

I considered making bushing mounting blocks, but as the bush walls are so thick and I'm very lazy, I decided just to tap straight into them to mount the carriage plate. I'm not 100% happy about this, but figure I can revisit things like this when I'm better equipped to make such fancies a la CNC.

So here are the results.
I was running out of steam towards the end and the tool mount blocks are rough as a badger's arse...but I can revisit them...blah...blah

Rather frustratingly, having got this far, I'm going to be tied up with other commitments for a week or so, so I won't be able to give the machine a 3D test drive till then !!!
:violin:

MrBean
05-19-2005, 10:03 AM
That looks pretty impressive. Nice job. I can't wait to see how the machine performs.

Regards Terry.....

CNCRob
05-20-2005, 10:03 PM
It's looking great 10bulls, Glad to see you make another post MrBean. I haven't seen your name for a while and I was beginning to wonder what happened to you. I really like your website also.

10bulls
06-11-2005, 07:10 PM
In what seemed like an insurmountable series of obstacles, including work, holidays, screaming babies, pregnant dogs, broken PC's and an unusually large amount of grass (...of the mowing kind!), I finally managed to get my machine pieced together for it's first proper trial.

To be honest, I didn't mean to run the thing. I've still got heaps of alignment to sort out. At the moment I'm using my tried and trusted method of 'leaving one of the bearing rods a bit wobbly', to prevent it binding rigid.

So Z axis was duly lofted and mounted onto the bossom of the Y axis (for that is what I'm calling it today). 20 AMPS at 40 Volts sat throbbing on the bench nearby, eager to respond to my every signal.

I'd managed to claw back my notebook after being pressganged into replacing the most important PC in the house - my wifes! (see paragraph 1).

All the players were poised ready to perform, but alas! There was no score! No Script! No Muse! So off to the CncZone to search for that cool head gcode my friends Beany and Santini had paraded with much smuggness.

There were a few ignominious momemts as I tried to coerce Mach2 into executing the script somewhere in the vacinity of where I'd stuck some foam for it to cut. Smug mode started to set in as the roughing hacked into the foam and the hidden face began to emerge.

My swagger was delt a minor blow when I realised I'd neglected to measure the depth of the foam and that the projected end depth was currently residing about 6mm under the surface of my cutting table. :eek: With much cunning and wit I stopped the program, just as the cutter broke through the bottom of the foam. This was offset somewhat when I loaded the finishing program and watched agape as this program plunged directly to the original intended depth and gave my ball nose mill bit it's first taste of wood. It seemed the machine was enjoying itself, so I though best to leave it have it's fun and finish the script to completion.

So behold the mighty sculpture I hold before you, cleft from purest styrene.
I think I'm going to enjoy this Hobby! :D

MrBean
06-11-2005, 07:32 PM
Hey. It's really great to see you made it this far. The head came out really good.
I've "bean" away from the cnc zone for a while. I'm busy on the wind turbine project at the moment. Coming here seems to make time pass at 3 times it's normal speed. I found I was spending too much time chatting about doing things and not actually doing them. No to mention babies etc...
I'm really pleaased that your machine's working so well. Do you have any projects in mind for the CNC, or is it just cool to have for those jobs that come along now and again?

Hats off to you. Nice job.

Regards Terry.....

LeeWay
06-12-2005, 09:14 AM
Excellent! That looks great. Dontcha just love it when a plan comes together? :)
I know you are liking the results, especially with a loose machine.
Looks like it will be getting very precise results when its tweaked.

I find that the CNC router build is much like becoming a parent for the first time. You can't wait till its done. You have high expectations. You are always scared to death that you will do something wrong. The research and new knowledge necessary to complete the whole project is far more than expected. Budgets can get lost fast. The satisfaction of a completed project far outweighs all the growing pains, difficulties and setbacks.
In the same vein, I imagine a second one will be much easier than the first.

Congrats on the machine. Let us know how it goes when you have her all tweaked and ready for the world.

10bulls
06-14-2005, 08:06 AM
Thanks Lee!
Twas a bit *too* loose to start with. On my first face program run, one of the bolts holding my z axis rods fell off. Health and Safety would have been a tad horrified seing me, alan key in hand, trying to refit it as the program chugged on.
The CNC router / kid analogy is a brilliant one! You also forgot to mention they're noisey, dirty and keep you awake until silly hours of the morning. But at the end of the day you'll put on display anything they make, with great pride...no matter how crappy it is! :)

santiniuk
06-19-2005, 05:01 PM
Well don't you just love it when a plan comes together :)

Great to see your in action, unfortunately it's all down hill from now on mate. It starts with the face and in no time at all you will be cutting wooden bears and the all time peak of the house numbers !

So now that your beast is moving what plans are next ? Any improvements planned or changes ?

Must say the Z-axis looks the biz.

Keep it up.

Cheers

10bulls
07-12-2005, 09:08 AM
Just a quick update

The machine is now aligned and rigid. This went much better than I expected. I decided early on, not to bother with adjustment blocks on rails etc and I was afraid this would come back to bite me. However, all the rail mounting blocks were easily tuned by slackening the mounting bolts and hitting the blocks with a small hammer until they came into line, while measuring with a digital calliper.

I did splash out on a new larger digital calliper (300mm) which was useful getting the rods parallel. Although the Y rails were ~500mm apart, I discovered I could use the top of the calliper and the 'depth gauge' part to measure up to ~600mm spans.

I had a rethink and redesign of the Y rail bearings (BTW, I think I have switch axis on you a few times now...the gantry is now the X axis and up and down the table is now the Y axis...pay attention, I will be asking questions afterwards!!)
Rather than having 2 bearings on top and 2 on the bottom, I put a single bearing on top, sensibly running on it's flat, and kept the lower 2 bearings
shonkily running on their edges. This way the top bearing takes all the weight and runs more smoothly and the lower 2 prevent lateral movement and can gouge away happily at my rods.

So, I thought to myself somewhat in disbelief. I've got a working CNC machine.......Now what ?.....Software...that's what!
I'm in the process of moving from AutoCAD to Solidworks whilst getting up to speed with various cam software and learning more of the ways of Mach3.
I'm starting to think making the machine was the easy part!

I'm finally at the stage where I can make 3D CAD drawing and carry them through to toolpaths and g-code. I've attached a picture of my first 'Product' piece. This was machined using 3D toolpaths, put I've since rewritten it as a 2.5D which goes much faster.

I had a minor hiccup over the weekend due to an overheating controller.
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11751
You can see my auxiliary cooling system in the background of one of the pictures.

The other BIG learning curve I'm on is the basic milling part. Feed rates and work holding are my primary concerns at the moment.
I was hoping to carve the 'BOO' keying in 0.5" aluminium over the weekend, but my feed rates are way off and my 4 flute 3mm mill bit quickly clags with molten aluminium. I haven't spent much time trying to resolve this but I've a few things to try in a spare moment.

All in all, I'm very pleased with my machine. I've decided not to upgrade it too much as I'd like to get on with a few hundred other projects I have on the back burner. However, one part that I think I will replace is the threaded rod lead screws with some thicker trapezoidal threaded rods. The fine pitch on these are just too slow...not to mention wobbly.

All the big changes I want to make to address speed, cutting area and strength I will reserve for Mk II.

10bulls
07-22-2005, 06:16 AM
I have made my first CNC built addition to the mill - a tool mount for my trend wood router, made in MDF. Painted with aluminium wood primer, coz it's good stuff...not to try to kid you this was an aluminium fab...honest!

Although I said I would be very surprised if this could mill aluminium, deep down I was hoping it would and had a number of projects in mind that depended on this. I was a bit down in the mouth then, when my initial ali experiments using a 4 flute end mill were flops. Basically I couldn't feed fast enough or reduce my spindle speed low enough to prevent the metal melting...unless I took very fine cuts which would take ages to machine anything.

I was keen to try out some single flute TCT router bits I had procured, but alas the 1/4" shanks would not fit in the 6mm collet of my die grinder. Hence the desire to make a tool mount for my wood router. A welcome side affect of this is that I can now remove the tool holder without having to disassemble the whole Z axis. The trend router is horribly noisy though, compared to the quality die grinder.

I was quite pleased with my tool mount, right up until the point when I went to mount it and discovered I had not left enough clearance between the router body and the stepper mounting plate. Removing the top router cover is a quick bodge but I'll have to make a new tool mount before health and safety get on to me again (...or the motor bushes SPROOING!! out). Also the MDF is starting to split on the front of the clamp already. But other than that it works just dandy!

I was very pleased then to discover that the single flute TCT bits work just as well as others had mentioned. Yippee!! All the aluminium projects are now back on the drawing board. First of all is going to be an ali replacement for this tool mount. I've attached a couple of shots of my attempts at circular pockets 'before' and 'after'. I didn't clamp down the ali hard enough, so it did slip a bit, but not bad for a first attempt.

10bulls
08-16-2005, 07:33 AM
Well it's chaos here as per usual. In between the mad antics of kids, work and animals I did manage to get a few bits and pieces done on my machine.

Buoyed by the success of my aluminium cutting experiments I produced an ali version of my trend router tool mount. And not a moment too soon. On the last few cuts of the base part, one of the motor bushes started to sproing out. With the new ali mount in place I could replace the cover and the tool was held much more rigidly.

Happy with this mount I quickly banged off another version for my dewalt die grinder.

I cut all these with the single flute TCT router bits. A 3mm for 1/4" plate and a 4mm for 1/2". I was running the router pretty fast (not sure of rpms) and was feeding at 200mm/min, cutting at 0.5mm per pass. The chips come off as nice 'glitter' sized flakes. I squirted WD40 on occasionally, but it seems to cut dry OK.

10bulls
08-16-2005, 07:35 AM
I have also tidied my driver box, adding 2 fans to keep the picsteps nice and cool.

Inspired by Santini's 'CNC driver case modding', I decided to cut 2 square fan holes using the machine. The hardest part was figuring out how to clamp the case lid down, but after that and a bit of hand written gcode it was easy peasy.
The 1.5mm steel was cut using a 3mm 4 flute end mill on the dewalt at 200mm/min again, 0.5mm feed and some cutting oil.

I was very happy having the ability to machine aluminium...and now SHEET STEEL!!! Woo hooo!! :banana:

10bulls
08-16-2005, 07:38 AM
I have also made proper plug, sockets and cables for the motors. These use rugged, colour coded 4 pole XLR (PA type) connectors.
Red inline plug/socket farnell # 8629080, 8629234 - £1.45
Panel mount socket #211497 £2.54 10A rated.

I made 4 x 3m 'extension' leads using 4 core, 10A shielded mains cable
(farnell #3853299, £1.40 pm), with an XLR plug and socket at either end (which will allow them to be daisy chained)
These are all nice and robust and I can keep my driver box much further away from the router. The cable is also surprisingly flexible.

And I now also have an E-Stop button. (another farnell purchase #7712600 £4.79)...and yes...it has been used!

10bulls
08-16-2005, 07:40 AM
There was some general tinkering done to the machine. I flipped the gantry around, so the Y stepper is at the back of the machine now, giving me much better access to the table and increased work area some what. I have also bodged up a spring loaded AB nut arrangement for the Y axis.

And last but not least a sexy gyration wireless keyboard for jogging 'up at the coal face'.
Still many more refinements to do, but it's starting to feel more like a useful tool rather than a midnight tinkering project.

damae
08-16-2005, 04:33 PM
Looking good! Is that box with the yellow knob an e-stop? Or is it a joystick jog control?

robe_uk
08-16-2005, 04:53 PM
Looking great 10bulls, your machines looks capable of some serious work.
I must get back to mine (sometime :p )

santiniuk
08-16-2005, 05:14 PM
Top Stuff !

Good to see your finding the machine a useful tool Andy. The XLR plugs look the Biz. (I'm now wishing I had used those).

Any chance of posting the Gcode for the Die Grinder clamps ? I may have a use for them.

The machine looks so compact, quite impressive how you knocked that together from the bits you had.

Keep it up...

Are you sure you need an emergency stop button ;)

Cheers

10bulls
08-16-2005, 05:56 PM
Looking good! Is that box with the yellow knob an e-stop? Or is it a joystick jog control?
Just an e-stop...actually just a push pull switch which is much cheaper!

10bulls
08-16-2005, 06:17 PM
...The XLR plugs look the Biz. (I'm now wishing I had used those).
Yeah, i'd recomend them...and best of all, you can pretend to be a roady when you plug them all in....TWOO....ONE..TOOOO

Any chance of posting the Gcode for the Die Grinder clamps ? I may have a use for them.Good luck, they may need some explaining though...

Are you sure you need an emergency stop button ;)
Yes :(

Garfield2
08-16-2005, 07:02 PM
Yeah, i'd recomend them...and best of all, you can pretend to be a roady when you plug them all in....TWOO....ONE..TOOOO

Heheh, no you can't feel like a roadie until you've made your entire machine from Nashua 357 gaffa.


Yes :(

Geeze, that's some serious torque you've got there. Well done!

Cheers,
Alan.

10bulls
09-12-2005, 07:42 PM
As it's coming up to what is starting to become a monthly update, I'd like to share the fun I have been having with PCB isolation routing with my machine. A full write up can be found here (http://www.brusselsprout.org/PCB-Routing/).
Please excuse the website...like my router it is small and amaturish ;)

Garfield2
09-12-2005, 08:03 PM
As it's coming up to what is starting to become a monthly update, I'd like to share the fun I have been having with PCB isolation routing with my machine. A full write up can be found here (http://www.brusselsprout.org/PCB-Routing/).
Please excuse the website...like my router it is small and amaturish ;)

Bloody hell that's some nice work!

I'd say more, but I'm still sleepy after staying up till 4am to watch the Aussies loose the Ashes. :(

Alan.

10bulls
09-13-2005, 05:25 AM
Bloody hell that's some nice work!...Thanks for the artwork!...I'll let you know if the daughter board works!

I'd say more, but I'm still sleepy after staying up till 4am to watch the Aussies loose the Ashes. :(Having dual citizenship means my allegiances tend to shift towards whoever is winning at the time. :D This tends to make me a bit schizophrenic, but I stopped counting my mental dysfunctions as it upsets my arithmophobia ;)

ynneb
09-13-2005, 05:30 AM
For some reason I have not been following this thread. Possibly the title made me think it was not a seriuos thread.

I love your linear bearing setup. I had often thought if that would work.
Excellent job. From now on Ill be looking in.

EDIT: Sheesh, now that Ive looked at the earlier pictures too I must say I really have missed out. I Love it

I will certainly be copying some of your ideas when I build my third machine.

10bulls
09-13-2005, 05:47 AM
For some reason I have not been following this thread. Possibly the title made me think it was not a seriuos thread.
This hobby is all about grownups playing with noisy and preferably dangerous toys. Who wants to get all serious about it? ;)

I love your linear bearing setup. I had often thought if that would work.
Excellent job.
No one was more surprised than me that it works as well as it does. The twin screws help greatly though in keeping it rigid.

From now on Ill be looking in.
Honour to have you aboard sir! Excuse the mess and watch out for the pile of scrap in the corner.

BTW: My daughter just started school and their classes are named after Dinosaurs...guess who's gcode I'm going to be trying out soon!

Cold Fusion
09-13-2005, 07:13 PM
Who says that the adults get to have all the fun?

Seriously, congrats on getting the machine working. I too skipped over this thread due to the title, but just recently started reading it.

10bulls
09-14-2005, 08:18 AM
Who says that the adults get to have all the fun?
Ha Ha! My apologies master Fusion...from the amazing stuff you've built (not to mention your entrepreneurialism), I forget you are a "dustbin lid" (http://www.notam02.no/motherboard/atexts/cockdic.html) ;)

Garfield2
09-14-2005, 08:37 AM
I forget you are a "dustbin lid" (http://www.notam02.no/motherboard/atexts/cockdic.html) ;)

At least you didn't refer to him as a "septic tank" (http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/cgi-bin/res.pl?keyword=Septic+Tank&offset=0) :D

Alan.

Evodyne
09-14-2005, 09:03 PM
What's wrong with being a septic tank? Compared to some of the things the ex has called me it's almost, well, complimentary! :D

geoffd
09-21-2005, 04:37 PM
I've just started to research building my own CNC Mill and came across your thread. A fantastic job and a real inspiration. All I have to do now is find the right scrap yards!

Geoff (a CNC novice).
PS. I live in Dept 66 Franc, so if anyone knows any good machine / electronics scrapyards etc. in Dept 66 or 13 drop me a line.

10bulls
09-21-2005, 04:57 PM
I've just started to research building my own CNC Mill and came across your thread. A fantastic job and a real inspiration. All I have to do now is find the right scrap yards!
Thank you very much for the kind words geoff.
Be sure to start a build log...it's great seeing how other people solve the same problems and fun to seeing the CNC mania slowly take over all their waking lives :D

As well as scrappies, try local industrial units. I managed to get some pretty huge aluminium profiles for free just by asking. Once you explain what you are trying to do people are generally sympathetic (apart from the ones who think you are a lunatic ;))

Good luck and happy tinkering!

MrBean
09-21-2005, 05:48 PM
Once you explain what you are trying to do people are generally sympathetic (apart from the ones who think you are a lunatic )

That'll be just about everybody then.

I used to be normal. Watching TV with the missus of an evening, taking the dog for walks, etc.... Now I spend my life in the garage, and if I'm not in there, I'm usually thinking about what I need to do, once I do get in there. Help.... I've been assimilated by the CNC people.
Beats being a couch potato tho'.

Regards Terry.

10bulls
11-18-2005, 04:52 PM
Well rather than attending to my machine as I should, I got a bit side tracked writing some code to drive the thing. If anyone is interested, the application is available here http://www.brusselsprout.org/CAMBAM/.

I've also opened a thread in Coding to discuss it here...
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14963

i_am_fubar
04-04-2006, 07:25 AM
Everyone's always going on about how the missus and the kids get in the way of good old engineering.... I suffer the opposite, I'm (kinda still) a kid, and its my parents that shout at me at 2am when I start grinding...

Sam.

10bulls
04-04-2006, 08:07 AM
Ha Ha!
When you reach adulthood you're automatically granted a licence to be whingy and hypocritical. Don't worry, when your time comes you'll be sent a memo and information booklet : "1001 things to moan about now you're an old-git".

Just ignore us old folk and get on with your creations. We'll be dead soon anyway! :D

Greolt
05-13-2006, 10:13 AM
I have just read through your account of building your CNC.

Well I admit it, I mostly looked at the pictures :) :rolleyes: , and as a newb deciding what I am going to build
your blog has me even more inspired.

Thanks for taking the time. Greolt

bigz1
05-13-2006, 11:29 AM
Great build(only just found the this thread). Cant wait until I see you bulid a 'Pete Best' axis router.

Liam

PS I too am up till 3am in morning(e-bay bidding for cheap US parts), only 1 kid, 2 cats but the will have a new arrival by June.

10bulls
05-13-2006, 07:53 PM
...Well I admit it, I mostly looked at the pictures :) :rolleyes: , ...Life's too short to stuff a mushroom! As graddad used to say. Then again, he was completely bonkers.

and as a newb deciding what I am going to build your blog has me even more inspired.W00t! (...as those whipper-snapper-hackers would say!)

10bulls
05-13-2006, 08:03 PM
Great build(only just found the this thread). Cant wait until I see you bulid a 'Pete Best' axis router.Thanks! Ha Ha, you obviously did read the text! ...have a sticker!

PS I too am up till 3am in morning(e-bay bidding for cheap US parts),Good luck!

....only 1 kid, 2 cats but the will have a new arrival by June.Kid, cat or CNC machine?

bigz1
05-13-2006, 08:32 PM
You still up aswell. Ha Ha. Kid and Cnc. One to block out the noise of the other.

You can occasionaly find some of your Grandads favourite mushrooms in my local park. :p

Good nite.

10bulls
03-20-2007, 01:58 PM
Big things are afoot here at the moment.

Some of these big things depend heavily on my CNC mk I machine so I'm about to start a minor overhaul of the aforementioned beastie.

First off, I've started to transplant my machine lower down into the frame I made for it long, long ago. I am hoping eventually to enclose the frame to keep down dust and noise. Another benefit is I can sit my lathe on top of the frame and free up some space from the drilling/lathing/grinding/propane torching end of the garage which is suffering from a bad case of entropy at the moment.

Unfortunately, in the process of manhandling my router into it's new home I snapped the Y-axis T2.5 timing belt. I ordered a new one today but while I was at it I ordered an HTD5 belt of similar length and a few pulleys. The cost of the HTD5 + 3 pulleys was about the same as just the T2.5 belt so when I have time I may move over to that.

I've got lots of minor and major improvements planned but I need to get the thing working nicely as soon as possible. I planning to do a lot of aluminium milling and possibly some steel. With a view to this I am replacing my current chipboard router top with an 8mm steel plate. Here is a picture cutting the plate on my new favourite tool (metal bandsaw).

I'm also putting together a coolant pump setup.

Cold late nights in the garage, here we come!

MrBean
03-20-2007, 03:06 PM
Hey 10bulls.... Long cold nights in the garage. Sounds like fun....
I know what's comming next. You'll get something really inspiring on the boil, and I'll get the bug again, which in turn will lead me to finish my own neglected CNC projects.
If you could just wait 'till it's a bit warmer before you get anything too inspirational posted, I'd be grateful.

It's good to see that you're at it again though. :)

Regards Terry.

10bulls
03-26-2007, 05:33 AM
I had my first 3:30AM garage session of the year on Friday and managed to progress my machine overhaul a little. I really don't mind doing late nights but with hungry babies squawking at 4AM and the dawn chorus of "DAAA-DEEEE! I'VE HAD A POOOO-OOOO!" at 6AM make me a little weary. :tired:

The coolant system is all working now. It basically consists of a 12V bilge pump that has seen a fair bit of use over the years and spent a couple of those years living at the bottom of my water butts. The coolant nozzles and magnetic base were the only thing I needed to buy which wasn't much (oh, and some coolant oil).

So now armed with coolant I started to fix my new toolplate. I first temporary clamped it then CNC drilled 5 x 3.2mm pilot holes either side of the 10mm plate and through the frame. It took a little tweaking of feed rates and retracts to get this running smoothly but drilling through 13mm of steel with a 3.2mm hss drill bit is something I'd find somewhat difficult to do even manually with a drill press.

Next I wanted to open up the hole and counter bore it to accept a M6 cap screw. I could have done a couple of circle pockets but wanted to experiment a bit with spiral toolpaths so I knocked up a CamBam script to generate 2 spiral toolpaths. The toopaths and the coolant worked a treat and the milled finished looks great. I'm using a 4 flute end mill and taking things very easy with feeds (~50mm/min).

Cutting PC cases was one thing, but being able to mill 10mm steel or more on a machine made from scrap alumnium and printer bits makes me very happy! :banana:

Oh, the first picture is of a minor disaster I had when the collect grip mecahnism of my die grinder broke. For now I am resorting to using 2 spanners to change tools.

aspenelm
03-28-2007, 11:19 AM
that's cool. I would never have thought that machine could do any kind of steel. Did you finish the tool plate? I assume it will have a grid of tapped holes. Also when you do your spiral, does it finish off with a flat pass? or is it not needed?
Jim.

10bulls
03-28-2007, 11:45 AM
that's cool. I would never have thought that machine could do any kind of steel. Did you finish the tool plate? I assume it will have a grid of tapped holes. Also when you do your spiral, does it finish off with a flat pass? or is it not needed?
Jim.
I was surprised at the steel milling too. Coolant is a wonderful thing.
Just for an experiment I moved the coolant away from the bit for a second or two and the bit started to steam and hiss.

I finished the toolplate mounting holes. In the end I used 3 spirals:first to mill the counter bore, then a 6mm hole through the 10mm plate, and finally a 5mm hole continued another 6mm to drill through the steel box section frame.
All I had to do was then run my M6 tap in my cordless screw driver through and the plate could be bolted down. All without having to remove the plate.
Each hole took about 5 mins to mill.

At first I forgot to do a flat bottom pass. Well spotted Jim! As I refined the process I put that in. I intend to put this in CamBam somehow for drilling operations.

The toolplate is off again now. I plan to face mill the tops of the box steel frame, then face the area of the bottom of the toolplate that sits on the frame. Finally I'll flip it over, bolt it back down and face the top of it and add coolant channels and drains and true the edges. I don't want to drill too much into the worktop. I'm going to try to get away with just a few holes for a vice and various mounting jigs.
I want to see if those switchable magnetic bases are any good for hold downs.

10bulls
03-30-2007, 06:51 AM
Flushed with the success of my spiral bolt holes I thought I'd have an experiment with an alternative facing toolpath. This is sort of a squashed spiral.
Basically the toolpath does 35mm loops and moves along slowly at the same time. I'm hoping this will leave a nice smooth finish and look a little nicer than cricket pitch stripes as MrBean describes them. Being limited to 6mm end mills at the moment due to my collet size, it's a bit like a poor mans fly cutter...hmmm

I have attached the latest CamBam script and a picture of the toolpath.

I have also added a few more pictures and a little bit of shaky video to my web pages: http://www.brusselsprout.org/CNC/smasher

aspenelm
03-30-2007, 11:36 AM
that's pretty slick, your poor mans fly cutter. I wonder what happens in the case of a misaligned machine, if this produces better results than a normal fly cutter. what's next?!

santiniuk
03-30-2007, 11:47 AM
Hey Bulls some pretty nifty work there.

Watching with interest. I'm in the Beano trap. I'm gagging to get something going !

Keep flying the flag. Your showing how flexible Cambam is and can be.

Oh regarding the spindle lock nut breakage. Join the club.... All of us now :(

Cheers !

10bulls
03-30-2007, 06:37 PM
Just a quick update and a couple of more pictures.

The frame is now faced and the worktop is bolted back down ready for it's facing operation tomorrow (...and probably the next day).

It's nice to have the lathe back a bit closer to hand....now where to attach the steppers??

CNCkitsandBITS
03-30-2007, 07:22 PM
Oh regarding the spindle lock nut breakage. Join the club.... All of us now :(

Cheers !

You lads damaging your nuts? Need to watch that :eek:

John

MrBean
03-30-2007, 07:24 PM
Hehe. I led the way in nut breaking. A pioneer, you might say.
Damn spanners....

10bulls
03-31-2007, 01:16 PM
You lads damaging your nuts? Need to watch that :eek:

John
No mean feat when you have nuts of steel like us.

Makes your eyes water though. Even worse than nut lock although that can be relieved through massage. (nuts)

10bulls
04-02-2007, 09:59 AM
Best laid plans and all that...

The spiral facing started off promising but unfortunately on the first sweep across the plate, ran aground on a mounting cap screw that was a little too high.
I was kind of hoping to flatten the heads of the cap screw as well but discovered the hard way that the hardening on them is pretty good. That was my only 6mm end mill so some more are on order today.

It's also shown up the main problems with my mill in that there's a lot of chatter and flex in the Z and X axis which spoilt the spiral pattern in a lot of places. I'm not overly worried at this though as it's my upcoming modifications which will hopefully reduce this somewhat. If I can get the plate reasonably flat I may put a grinding wheel in the spindle and run that over lightly to smooth out the chatter marks.

I also made a little kilt to deflect the rather prodigious spindle splash. It may look like a skirt but my router was still a bit upset about the ignominy of having to wear a nappy. So, like a true highlander he now sports a kilt to protect the world from spatter from his nozzle.

Oldmanandhistoy
04-02-2007, 11:17 AM
I also made a little kilt to deflect the rather prodigious spindle splash. It may look like a skirt but my router was still a bit upset about the ignominy of having to wear a nappy. So, like a true highlander he now sports a kilt to protect the world from spatter from his nozzle.

Hi,

That’s a strange tartan; what clan you from?:)

I’m half Scottish and from a royal clan that was ejected by other lesser clans. :boxing: Notice I said other (wedge)

John

10bulls
04-02-2007, 11:33 AM
...
That’s a strange tartan; what clan you from?:)
...
It's the lesser known MacKayeKea clan tartan...ejected by the others for strutting the highlands clad in semi transparant blue PVC drawer liner and worrying the grazing hagis with their spattery nozzles.

Oldmanandhistoy
04-02-2007, 11:54 AM
It's the lesser known MacKayeKea clan tartan...ejected by the others for strutting the highlands clad in semi transparant blue PVC drawer liner and worrying the grazing hagis with their spattery nozzles.

Wish I never asked now.:)

10bulls
04-19-2007, 05:35 AM
Do you ever get those jobs that you start and it ends up becoming six or more?

All I wanted to do was add a steel workplate to my machine. OK, first of all I needed the coolant. Tick. that wasn't too painful.
Right, then there was the spiral facing tangent on CamBam....

I ran into a bit of a show stopper problem in that my main die grinder spindle developed (or always had) a bad case of spindle slop. It would jiggle up and down a fraction of a mm or so. I'm pretty sure this is what was causing ugly chatter marks on surfacing. It was especially pronounced around dropoffs especially the screw holes. The cutter would hit those, drop down a little bit then hit the other side. It would then either cut a bit and slowly drift up or occaisionally just keep going. Attached is a picture of a rather nice milled trench. Not particularly where I want it though. :(

I think my end bearing (a 6000) is knackered. I'll replace it, but I need a spindle NOW NOW NOW! I gotta make my daughter a present and I blew the brushes on my other spare router (a trend). (another job for the todo list).
In diagnosing this I had to ask (,and I pray to god I never have to utter the words again), MrBean (who has the same big die grinder), to go and "give his shaft a yank". "Nice and stiff", was MrBeans reply.

Now what? OK, I have a spare die grinder. A baby dewalt. 500W, smaller neck and 27k rpm. The bearings also feel nice and tight. By a stroke of luck, the neck diameter was nearly identical to the trend so I set to hacking that apart one night when I should have been doing better things (like sleeping :tired: ). I did go off on another tangent even with this in that the mounting hole was slightly too small so I decided to attach it to a face plate on my lathe and open it up. I've never used the faceplate before so that needed facing before I could start. Remarkably nothing flew off at high rpm and I got the baby banana spindle all mounted and working.

Problem. The baby dewalt has no speed controller. It's 27krpm or nothing baby! At that speed my spindle spatter is prodigious I can assure you!
:drowning:

OK, so I'm almost there but somehow I need to conjure up a speed controller in the next day or two. I have some TRIACS here as recomended by my electronics brain in a jar santini. :stickpoke

I built a pic controlled light dimmer using a triac years ago so I could just dust off that project and upgrade the pics and triac. But that does mean getting my PIC developement set up again....and on it goes.

Or I could just cheat and pull a speed controller out of something else (the trend maybe :rolleyes: . I've been eyeing up it's spindle bearings collet etc as well...I was thinking of attaching that to an induction motor :bat: ....NO STOP IT!

You see what I mean?! And everything thing I touch these days seems to be like that! This is not an isolated case.

Rant over

thkoutsidthebox
04-19-2007, 05:50 AM
Sounds like your having lots of fun!! :D

santiniuk
04-19-2007, 07:53 AM
I know you won't want to hear this Bull's but I yanked my shaft too...

Like Mr Beans, It's a stiffy too :banana:

10bulls
04-19-2007, 11:07 AM
Like Mr Beans, It's a stiffy too :banana:

hmmm....I must just have worn mine out by over use.

The 6001 bearing looks replaceable, I figured out how to get the end part of the shaft out. There is a spider coupler one end that looks like it unscrews and circle clips holding the bearings on (the top bearing will need to some off too).
I've attached a picture.

BTW: I just checked my trend router and the slop in that is nearly 1mm :eek:

I'm glad you turned up Mr Santini, you're just the man I need!

I've got a tube of BTA16 triacs sitting here. I've also just pulled apart my trend and the speed controller in that is a BTA06 with some sort of RC timing circuit.

I was thinking of taking the two motor leads off the BTA06 triac (pins 1 & 2) and feed that into the powerlead of the baby grinder.
This is just to get me out of a hole until I get round to making a pic based pwm controller using the BTA16 and mount in in my driver box.

OK chucky egg, nice to see you're up and at 'em ;)

:cheers:

santiniuk
04-19-2007, 03:17 PM
Andy,

The BTA06 are 6A devices and should be more than adequate for that little spindle you have.

As you say swapping the output leads over should work fine. You may find the the speed range isn't linear when you turn the pot but it should get you out of the mess your in ;)

Good luck.

greybeard
04-19-2007, 04:34 PM
Do you ever get those jobs that you start and it ends up becoming six or more?


Or as we say here "... and this is the house that Jack built".


John :tired:

10bulls
04-19-2007, 06:44 PM
:banana: :banana: :banana:

I'm back in action! I gutted the trend and procured the speed controller. This does indeed work fine with the die grinder. I have a working spindle again and a nice tight one at that! Thank you very much Santini, you're flasher than michael jackson! :rainfro:

I also found out my pic triac experiment I made over 6 years ago.
I think all I need to do is replace the weeney triac with the BTA16 and it should work! I can then work on the firmware to handle PWM signals rather than the up and down buttons at present.

Right! Tick! What's next on the list? :boxing:

10bulls
05-29-2007, 09:05 PM
I finally made some progress getting my steel work plate milled and drilled.

I've done a bit of a write up of it here...

http://www.brusselsprout.org/CNC/steel/

I did make rather a meal of it, but I did use the excercise as a test bed for some of the new features I've added to the latest version of CamBam (http://www.brusselsprout.org/CAMBAM/).

And remember...I snap my tools so you don't have to! :D

10bulls
07-10-2007, 09:24 PM
I finally got around to upgrading my M8 leadscrews to M12 and put on some nice shiny new AB nuts (thank you MrBean!).
And once again, the machine is helping to upgrade itself. :rainfro:

There has been much improvement and I'm keen to press on now with some other upgrades I have planned.
Y backlash has gone from a good percent of a millimeter to 0.004mm.
Y speed has gone from 200mm/min to 420mm/min.

More gory details and shaky video can be found here
http://www.brusselsprout.org/CNC/smasher/y-leadscrews.htm

10bulls
07-16-2007, 11:15 AM
I recently splashed out on a shiny new spindle from Germany.

A Kress 1050 FME Fräsmotoren from these guys http://www.cnc-plus.de/.

I was a bit worried when I heard reports of someone having problems with noise and bearings.

As it turned out, this is a wonderful motor.

It is very quiet and the constant speed controller keeps the rpms constant even at low speed under load.

The bearings are very tight and one test I put it to was to finish resurfacing my construction grade steel worktop. I decided not to pansy about this time and took off a 0.5mm pass with a nice new 6mm carbide bit, coolant, gave it plenty of welly and stood well back. The finish is not brilliant, but with 1/3mm Z backlash and flex, not too surprising. But the kress stood up well and shifted off the crusty top layer with ease. The worktop has gone from being rather humped to usuably flat and rather shiny.

The thing that really sold it to me was the collet range. From 2mm to 10mm, I can use my 1/8th 'turbo shank' bits, 6mm end mills, 1/4" wood router stuff, then 8mm and 10mm collets for more serious stuff. My dial indicator fits the 8mm collet with ease, allowing me to calibrate my machine much more easily than before. With 10mm I could use slit saws or even my boring bar from my lathe. Great adventures await! :D.

Best of all was the great service from www.cnc-plus.de. My emails were answered promptly. The goods were with me in around a week. And to top it off, they even included some sweeties and a pen. I was even in the good books with the kids and the missus (she loves pens).
I give them a 5 banana rating [:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:] rating :)

I am in no way affiliated with kress or cnc-plus.de. I'm just zis guy...you know?

Oh, and before you ask epineh, the answer is 'Yes'.

Mike F
07-16-2007, 02:00 PM
I'm glad you are pleased with your purchase. It may well be that the 1050watt version is better and has better bearings than the 500watt version I had, and don't forget, it was some five years ago I was using mine, and I did put it through some pretty arduous projects. I hope yours holds up well and I am sure the extra power will help enormously.

Good luck - 0.5mm in steel :eek: that's a lot even if you're cutting very slowly. What was your cutting speed?

Mike

10bulls
07-16-2007, 04:17 PM
It may well be that the 1050watt version is better and has better bearings than the 500watt version I had, and don't forget, it was some five years ago I was using mine...
Yes, and also individual machines do vary. My dewalt die grinder is a lovely piece of kit, but of a few people I know using them without problems, I'm the only one who had bearing problems. Bearings are cheap though, I have a couple of replacements and just need a few moments to fits them.

Good luck - 0.5mm in steel :eek: that's a lot even if you're cutting very slowly. What was your cutting speed?
From memory I was starting at 80mm/min, but used feed override to take it to 120mm/min. The biggest limiting factor was noise. Much faster than that and the whole house gets headaches, especially as the cutter dulled. I needed to be a bit aggressive, to get under the outer crust of steel. Too light cuts and the cutter tended to just ride up over the steel making horrid screechy noises.
As soon as my carbide cutter collection replenishes I want to make some more interesting pieces in some better quality BMS stock I have lying around.