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bgriggs
01-30-2010, 05:38 PM
I decided to post a miniature version of my build log for the Rack and Pinion upgrade to the Joe's CNC 4x4 Hybrid. I won't be giving any super detailed descriptions but just enough to give you an idea of how easy the process was.

I am doing this because I really like the CNCZone community and I also Love the Joe's cnc community. Since Joe's site is a members only site, zoners miss much of the innovation that is happening daily on the Joe's site. The shear amount of information and entertainment I have gotten from Joe's site have been well worth the price of admission (plan set purchase).

Please feel free to ask questions about whatever interest you. I will not be giving the sources of products which I used unless those sources are common knowledge (Gecko, Hobbycnc, cncrouterparts, etc....).

Bill

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 05:49 PM
To start with I previously built a Joe's CNC 4x4 Hybrid. The machine used leadscrew and flange bearings to move the steppers at around 300 inches per minute. I had roughly 52" of Y axis travel and about 49" of X axis travel. Unfortunately, the Y axis tended to bind in the last 2 inches at the front of the table. This was purely due to my building and not a fault of the design. Therefore, I tended to think of 50" as being the most dependable figure to use for travel.

My son Benjamin and I completed the table in August of 2009. I used MDF in many places that called for Plastic in the original design, because The router I used to make all the parts was unreliable and I didn't want to risk my expensive plastic sheets.

I was really happy with the Hybrid's reliability. I cut a few projects with the machine and was really enjoying myself with my new hobby. However, as I mentioned earlier, people are constantly innovating and I like life on the bleeding edge.

Bill

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 06:08 PM
Several of the members of Joe's site (http://joescnc.com) began making noise about building bigger, faster versions of the Hybrid. Several folks mentioned that building a machine capable of cutting a 4'x8' sheet of plywood was what they wanted.

Big machines create several design and operations problems. Firstly, the machine has a long distance to travel from one end of the board to the other which takes time (over 30 second at 300 IPM). Secondly, the machine needs to be ridgid. Thirdly the leadscrews must not whip at high speed (meaning thicker leadscrews). Lastly, BIG machines take up BIG room.

I decided the latter reason was my single largest consideration. I didn't have room for a 12' long table in my garage, so I needed another solution.

One solution that satisfied all these needs was an upgrade to a Rack & Pinion drive system from http://cncrouterparts.com. A R&P system is capable of running at 1200 inches per minute (8 seconds from end to end). The gantry required little modification and actually ended up being lighter in weight. Lastly, R&P drives don't whip like leadscrews at high speed. The motors are geared 3:1 so they achieve high speed while still in the high torque area of the motors.

It also turns out that when you remove the leadscrews and associated bearings from the Hybrid, you gain another 12" of usable travel. My machine now reliably cuts a 62" piece, and with careful indexing I can cut a full sheet of plywood by sliding the piece further onto the table partway through the cut.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 06:25 PM
I cut new pieces to replace the existing carriages for the machine.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 06:39 PM
The cncrouterparts Rack & Pinion drives are a fine piece of engineering. The drives are relatively inexpensive and are very sturdy. When you compare the cost of the drives and rack to the cost of leadscrews and bearings the difference is less than $10. For me this was an easy decision, especially since I had a buyer for my used equipment.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 07:34 PM
After I built the new carriages I painted them with a little latex paint, left over from the latest house painting.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 07:36 PM
I used my machine to make some replacement plastic parts from HDPE plastic. The R&P modification requires many fewer plastic parts to complete (a few are missing from this photo).

Jason Marsha
01-30-2010, 07:38 PM
Everything looks great Bill, keep up the good work.

Jason

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 07:43 PM
Cncrouterparts site mentioned several site that sold Racks. I chose Mooregear for my racks because I had heard they give good service. I was glad to find that the rumers were true. Moregear gives great service. Diane, took my order and I had my racks in just a few days.

I drilled the mounting holes in my racks with a 1/4" drill bit and a homemade fence guide. Tedious but not hard.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 07:46 PM
Everything looks great Bill, keep up the good work.

Jason

Thanks Jason,

I have already completed the modification. I just didn't see anything posted elsewhere. So I figured folks would like to see it.

Bill

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 07:58 PM
After all the new parts were assembled and fit tested it was time to remove the old pieces from the machine. My Brother Drew was visiting from California and helped me with the upgrade. If fact half the neighborhood came over at one point or another in the build.

Removing all the parts took some thought because it had to be done in a specific order........ Or redone again.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 08:47 PM
After all the parts were removed, we spent some time removing all the hardware from the carriages and bearing blocks.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 08:51 PM
We transferred the hardware from the old parts to the new. Not all the hardware was used.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 08:56 PM
Here is a few of the cast of characters involved in this upgrade. My Brother Drew and our Friend Scott. My friend Jaime My son Ben and yours truly.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:04 PM
My machine uses a Hobbycnc Proboard 4 axis controller. I also use Hobbycnc motors. The controller software is Mach3 and my router is a Craftsman. I design using Vectric's Aspire software. My controlling computer is a Gateway Profile 3.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:16 PM
After we transferred the hardware, we mounted the Y axis carriages to the rails. The R&P drives were added after the carriages were mounted. I then mounted the X axis rail to the Y carriages.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:18 PM
We mounted the hardware and bearings to the X axis carriage.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:21 PM
We added the Z axis motor and slide to the X axis carriage. This is the only part of the machine with a leadscrew now.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:24 PM
We got all the bearings lined up and tightened. Mounted up the R&P drive.....
I think you can tell how well it went.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:28 PM
After we had all the parts added on it was time to clean the table surface off and plan the Cable routing. Just a quick word about some of the Modifications I have done or have planned.

The XBox 360 controller is used to Jog the machine. It features Go to Z, Rewind, Start, Stop and edge find commands.

I have auto edge finding and auto Z zero probes.

Home and Limit switches are going to be added this week along with E-stop buttons on all 4 corners. Dust collection is already in place.

I am considering adding a Cnc4pC breakout board for router on off, charge pump and second parallel port for the rotary 4th axis I plan to add.

Chinese spindle???????? Only the lord knows.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:38 PM
Here is what I did to route my wires.

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 09:40 PM
It took about a week from start to finish to upgrade the Hybrid. I am glad I did.

YouTube- r&p update_0001.wmv

Please rate the video if you like it.

Jason Marsha
01-30-2010, 09:53 PM
Excellent Video Bill, now we need to see a video of some chips flying.

Jason

bgriggs
01-30-2010, 10:17 PM
Excellent Video Bill, now we need to see a video of some chips flying.

Jason

I'll have to take one next time I cut. Will a still picture work?

Jason Marsha
01-31-2010, 07:22 PM
Pictures are always good but nothing beats a good video :D

bgriggs
02-02-2010, 07:25 AM
I guess Jason is the only one who read this.

Bill

DIYaholic
02-02-2010, 09:52 AM
There are others watching/reading over your shoulder. Being a newbie, I don't have enough knowledge to add informed comments:withstupi, but I do enjoy following the builds here and learning as much as I can. So I ask that you keep posting and let us ignorant newbies soak up as much information as possible from your experiences. Keep up the good work and please keep posting (and pictures are priceless).:cheers:

calgrdnr
02-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Bill,

I agree, you have many silent viewers :) Great job ...
I have a 14 year old daughter I have been encouraging to learn Aspire.
I can't wait for the day she wants to learn how to use the machine :) .
maybe in for a long wait. she really is a girly girl lol .
Will keep trying though. Keep up the good work .

I expect to see some finished work in the completed work section
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39271


Kent

mlabruyere
02-03-2010, 11:53 PM
I've been watching as well.....great job!

Thazul
02-04-2010, 02:04 AM
I'd say without a doubt, you have a lot of "Secret Admirers" on here.
Looks Great, Keep up the good work!

Best Regards,

Andy

bcourson
02-04-2010, 09:54 AM
Great pics and video. I see you said you will be using a Craftsman router. What type of router and do you ahve any pics of the router mounted? I have an old 1-1/2hp Craftsman #315.17491 with the start switch on the router base trigger. I'm not convinced it will work and am wondering if you are using a similar router.

Bill, Ohio

bgriggs
02-11-2010, 11:25 PM
Great pics and video. I see you said you will be using a Craftsman router. What type of router and do you ahve any pics of the router mounted? I have an old 1-1/2hp Craftsman #315.17491 with the start switch on the router base trigger. I'm not convinced it will work and am wondering if you are using a similar router.

Bill, Ohio

The router is a Craftsman 320.17542. It is a good, inexpensive router and easily replaced locally.

bgriggs
03-20-2010, 10:56 AM
I added a few additional upgrades to the machine. I made up some mounts for limit/homing switches from angle aluminum.

I also purchased an IVAC tool switch to automatically turn my dust collection system on and off. The IVAC came from Eagle America. It works well.

Bill

bgriggs
03-20-2010, 11:01 AM
I also made a fixed location for my dust collector and ran a pipe across the ceiling to the center of the table. I used Rockler hoses and also so dryer vent pipes.

bgriggs
10-07-2011, 08:09 PM
I haven't posted in a while but I thought folks might like to see my upgrade of a Seig Minimill x2 to belt drive.

Sieg Minimill X2 Belt drive upgrade kit – An easy-to-install alternative to the noisy, fragile gears on the mini mill. « Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/seig-minimill-x2-belt-dive-upgrade)

I also posted a video on youtube. The link is on that page.

bgriggs
10-09-2011, 01:20 AM
I haven't posted in a while but I thought folks might like to see my upgrade of a Seig Minimill x2 to belt drive.

Sieg Minimill X2 Belt drive upgrade kit – An easy-to-install alternative to the noisy, fragile gears on the mini mill. « Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/seig-minimill-x2-belt-dive-upgrade)

I also posted a video on youtube. The link is on that page.

I posted the second part of the video to youtube. Please check it out and leave a comment.

Minimill Belt Drive Upgrade Part Two - YouTube

Bill

bgriggs
10-12-2011, 02:53 PM
I've been following the progress of the ShapeOko Open Source CNC Router Table and Makerslide on kickstarter. ShapeOko is trying to create a $300 desktop CNC Router and Makerslide is trying to Creat open source Linear rails that are inexpensive.

These two have mashedup their projects and ShapeOko has created a Router table using the Makerslides. They made the first cuts today. Ther e is more info in my blog at

ShapeOko DIY CNC Router Table makes it’s first cut! « Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/shapeoko-diy-cnc-router-table-makes-its-first-cut)

Makerslide Starting to Ship – Open Source Linear Bearing System « Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/makerslide-starting-to-ship-open-source-linear-bearing-system)

Bill

bgriggs
10-22-2011, 01:23 PM
I just got in my supply of Makerslide Open Source Linear Bearing system. I was happy with the strength of these little rails. I think they will be a nice way to make inexpensive CNC machines and tools.

I posted a video showing some info about the Makerslides in my blog. There is also a Youtube video and links to the Cad files. Maker Masters (http://makermasters.com)

Bill

bgriggs
10-24-2011, 12:38 PM
This has just been an amazing week. First I get a chance to have parts for my Joe's upgrade cut on a Haas Machining center, then when I got home my order of Makerslide linear bearing system arrived at my door and now I am dreaming up all kinds of CNC things to make with it. Then Alibre Design 2012 is released so now I can draw up those CNC machines. Now, as if on cue Minibloq Graphical Programming environment for Arduino Beta is released (Open Source). So now I have a new way to move the steppers with Arduino.

This is cool stuff! Im sure folks will be talking about Alibre Design all over the web. But if you want a peek at Minibloq check it out. There is a link for a download .

Minibloq Beta Is Released – Open Source Graphical Programing Environment for Arduino « Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/minibloq-beta-is-released-open-source-graphical-programing-environment-for-arduino)

Here is a video I shot with my cell phone (sorry for the crappy quality) of My Gantry plates being cut on the Haas. Haas cutting Gantry sides SUNY Morrisville - YouTube

Bill

bgriggs
11-09-2011, 11:51 AM
I know this is a little off topic but do you think this motor couldbe adapted as a spindle motor?


Brushless motor BLDC 20 kW for electric plane, Test1 - YouTube

bgriggs
11-09-2011, 12:00 PM
I have started upgrading the Y axis on my Joe's CNC 4x4 Hybrid to use aluminum plates instead of the MDF and plastic plates I am currently using. I took some videos of the process while I switched out the parts and posted them on my blog and on youtube.

Some reasons that I am upgrading is that I have plans for some major changes and I wanted an all metal machine. So I am in the process of making those changes. Pardon the messy shop. Chances are I will never change.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Bill
Maker Masters (http://makermasters.com)

http://www.youtube.com/user/bgriggstwcny?feature=mhee#p/a/u/1/T7DXvdRZf1Y

atwooddon
11-09-2011, 07:47 PM
I know this is a little off topic but do you think this motor couldbe adapted as a spindle motor?


Brushless motor BLDC 20 kW for electric plane, Test1 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXI5d0Aws0Y&feature=player_embedded)

That particular motor probably would not be a good match. However, several people have converted brushless motors to be the spindle on CNC machines. Here are a couple threads discussing it in detail.

Don

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc_router_table_machines/10695-spindle_idea.html
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc_router_table_machines/129766-8_4kw_spindle_motor_bldc.html

bgriggs
11-10-2011, 02:03 AM
That particular motor probably would not be a good match. However, several people have converted brushless motors to be the spindle on CNC machines. Here are a couple threads discussing it in detail.

Don

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc_router_table_machines/10695-spindle_idea.html
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc_router_table_machines/129766-8_4kw_spindle_motor_bldc.html

My thinking was not for a high speed spindle but for a high torque low speed spindle for aluminum milling.

Bill

bgriggs
11-20-2011, 01:02 PM
Since I upgraded my machine to have aluminum axis I am selling my MDF parts. If anyone is interested contact me via PM. I have both Y carriages and the X/Z carriage.

Bill

bgriggs
04-23-2012, 07:26 PM
I got the new aluminum Y carriages installed on my machine quite a while ago and am now moving on to the X&Z carriages. I started out by making a new back plate for the Z axis from aluminum stock. I started with a 1" plate and flycut it down to 3/4" using a Bridgeport Mill at the local State College. This is my first experience learning on the Bridgeport mill. IOn this one plate I learned how to read a micrometer, Flycut, Mill, drill, tap, bore countersink and edge find. Quite a good project. BTW the plate will accept the K2 CNC router mount.

Bill

bgriggs
05-21-2012, 07:38 PM
I thought you might appreciate seeing a project that I was involved in at the local College. I was fortunate to be asked to assist as an adviser for the Mechanical Engineering Technology course at SUNY Morrisville.

The M.E.T. program is centered around teaching students how to design, machine and manufacture products. The Morrisville College M.E.T. Lab is amazing and contains everything from manual lathes and Mills, Plastic extruders, Haas machining centers and turrent lathes, Rapid prototyping machines and more.

This years project was to design and fabricate a CNC Router table. I was asked to help out because of my experience building a several router tables and because they had sen the plans I was offering. I had a blast!

The kids started by breaking into teams and each taking an axis. They learned a bunch about communication during this process as you can imagine. The did models in Solidworks and created g-code in Mastercam. All the parts were either manually machined or made in the Haas machining center.

I encourage you to get involved in the programs at your local schools if you can. The lifetime of experience you have is a great value to the students. You might just learn something too.

If you would like to read more about the project there are a few post in my blog at Maker Masters « Maker Masters (http://makermasters.com).

bgriggs
08-10-2012, 08:39 AM
One of my neighbors asked me to make a sign for here Registered Holsteins business.

I have gone through quite a learning experience making the sign. So I thought I would share what I did to make the sign by posting the process to my blog. I won't post all the gory details here but here is a teaser shot of the test piece I cut while I was trying to learn the process.

The tutorial is a series of blog post which start with this one: CNC SIGN PROJECTS - (http://www.makermasters.com/cnc-sign-project/).

I used Vectric products to make the CNC design. I used Aspire but this project could be done with VCarve Pro. I will post more pictures as the project progresses.

Bill

bgriggs
08-18-2012, 10:29 AM
Just released the fourth post in the tutorial series on CNC Sign Projects. This one deals with Photo VCarve.

CNC SIGN PROJECTS - VECTRIC PHOTOVCARVE (http://www.makermasters.com/cnc-sign-projects-photovcarve/)

Bill

Jason Marsha
08-19-2012, 11:56 AM
Great work Bill, you've been really busy. Keep up the good work

Jason

bgriggs
08-19-2012, 03:00 PM
Thanks Jason. I wouldn't be this far along without all the great folks on CNCZONE. Now I'm just trying to pass on my experiences.


Bill

bgriggs
08-29-2012, 03:28 PM
I just posted the fifth post in the CNC Sign Projects tutorial series. This one deals with Sign Layout using Vectric Aspire.

I am trying to document every step of the process from idea to sign. I will also show how I applied the finishes and prepared the wood.

Please let me know if There are any other parts you would like to see explained or if something needs more or less detail.

Bill

CNC Sign Projects - Sign Layout With Vectric Aspire - (http://www.makermasters.com/cnc-sign-projects-sign-layout-with-vectric-aspire/)

bgriggs
03-01-2013, 06:31 PM
I have been busy in the shop again since the weather warmed up a little. Now it is time for making School Play props.

Last night I made some Geese from scrap 1/2" plywood. I created the vectors by tracing a Jpeg in Aspire. Then I cut the file using a 1/8" endmill.

Bill

bgriggs
03-03-2013, 06:42 PM
I have been doing a lot of work on my router. I have been learning to machine aluminum and operate some large CNC machining centers.

I have been working on aluminum replacements for all my MDF carriages. here is what i have so far.

Bill

bgriggs
04-05-2013, 08:50 PM
I began tearing the machine apart to make the upgrades to my carriages. It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes to change things around.

I removed the Gantry and test fit the new Y axis End plates and spacers.

181171
181172

Bill

Jason Marsha
04-06-2013, 08:11 AM
Is that 3/4" aluminum? The improvements look great and should significantly improve rigidity.

Post video of your new designs in action please.

Jason

bgriggs
04-08-2013, 01:41 PM
Is that 3/4" aluminum? The improvements look great and should significantly improve rigidity.

Post video of your new designs in action please.

Jason

Thanks Jason.

Yes the plates are 3/4" Aluminum for the Y carriages. The X/Z carriage is 1/2" aluminum for weight, except the router mount slide which is 3/4". It is very Robust. I designed the parts prior to helping the local college build a Router table. Then I modified the design to use one of the concepts we developed that I really liked.

Here are links to a couple of blog posts about the project.

Students Make a CNC Router Table - Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/students-make-a-cnc-router-table)

Students Make a CNC Router Table - First time Cutting - Maker Masters (http://www.makermasters.com/students-make-a-cnc-router-table-first-time-cutting)

Students Won Best CNC Learning Project Award - (http://www.makermasters.com/students-won-best-cnc-learning-project-award)

Bill

bgriggs
06-03-2013, 01:13 AM
186800Here are a few more pictures from the upgrade. There is also more detail at ALUMINUM CNC ROUTER BUILD « (http://www.makermasters.com/aluminum-cnc-router-build).

SSN Vet
09-12-2013, 03:45 PM
great thread Bill...

You should certainly be proud of your accomplishments.

Did you ever sell of your MDF or gen 1 aluminum parts?

bgriggs
09-18-2013, 05:10 PM
great thread Bill...

You should certainly be proud of your accomplishments.

Did you ever sell of your MDF or gen 1 aluminum parts?

Thanks Matt,

I made a kit of the Warp Drive Z axis. PM me if you are looking for one. Warp Drive Project CNC Z AXIS - THE MAKERS GUIDE (http://www.themakersguide.com/home/products/warp-drive-project)

Bill

bgriggs
11-07-2013, 09:51 AM
I recently had my CNC computer hard drive controller crash. Since I needed a new motherboard I just upgraded the computer to a more modern Dell Precision tower. Since parallel ports are getting scarce I decided to upgrade to a motion control system. I got an Ethernet Smoothstepper to add to my HobbyCNC Pro board. I posted some pictures and details on my blog at Motion Control - THE MAKERS GUIDE (http://www.themakersguide.com/motion-control).

The installation was easy but the setup required attention to detail.

Bill

http://www.themakersguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/S3480006.jpg

SSN Vet
11-11-2013, 12:53 PM
Sounds like a nice upgrade Bill, congratulations. I've heard a lot of good things about the smooth steppers. Are you noticing any difference in performance?

Just out of curiosity, did you consider the CN-100 USB motion controller? (CNC4PC sells it as well as others). I mainly ask, because I don't really understand what the difference is between that and the smooth stepper.

I have one suggestion for those who choose to work with old computers instead of upgrading. Win XP SP 2. It runs so much better than SP 3. Just keep it off of the internet.

bgriggs
11-11-2013, 05:31 PM
Sounds like a nice upgrade Bill, congratulations. I've heard a lot of good things about the smooth steppers. Are you noticing any difference in performance?

Just out of curiosity, did you consider the CN-100 USB motion controller? (CNC4PC sells it as well as others). I mainly ask, because I don't really understand what the difference is between that and the smooth stepper.

I have one suggestion for those who choose to work with old computers instead of upgrading. Win XP SP 2. It runs so much better than SP 3. Just keep it off of the internet.

Matt,

I briefly looked at the CN100 USB motion controller. I didn't find enough data from folks who were using it to make me choose it. CNC4PC has good products so it is probably exactly what they say it is. You should try one and let us know.

I chose an Ethernet controller because I felt it did more and suited my needs better. Fairly soon there will be a bunch more choices on the market. Hopefully folks will share what they learn with us.

One other reason I chose to get the Smoothstepper directly from the manufacturer instead of CNC4PC was the shipping costs was much less.

Bill

SSN Vet
11-11-2013, 06:35 PM
Good to know Bill.... Good luck with your new set up

Keep us updated with any performance observations. I seem to recall reading that the Smooth Stepper condithions the pulse train signals to be a more distinctly shaped wave form.

bgriggs
12-14-2013, 09:47 PM
Good to know Bill.... Good luck with your new set up

Keep us updated with any performance observations. I seem to recall reading that the Smooth Stepper condithions the pulse train signals to be a more distinctly shaped wave form.

Matt,

It has been over a few months since I upgraded to the Ethernet Smooth Stepper and I have to say it was a good decision. The machine has been running without a hitch since I upgraded. If you want to use a modern computer or Mach4, I think it is a good reason to change.

I was worried that I might have to do something special to run the SmoothStepper with The Makers Guide Triple Edge Finder but that is not the case. It immediately recognized my probe and works just like before.

213604

Bill

bgriggs
05-18-2014, 01:04 AM
I recently was asked to make a sign for someone to display on their camper. I did the layout and got an OK from the customer. Then I began cutting and painting.

236816
236820
236818

bgriggs
05-18-2014, 01:37 AM
Next i cut the texture into the background. This was the first time I tried the texture feature in Aspire. I was sweating bullets when the big Cove bit got near the finished 3D carving, but everything was fine.
236822
Then I ran the profile cut out.
236824

bgriggs
05-19-2014, 12:28 AM
I stained the wood with a light colored stain from Minwax and sealed with Spar Varnish. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the finished sign before I delivered it. 236890

bgriggs
06-07-2014, 12:44 AM
Here is how to use tapered bits with a touch off plate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W-d5fH9XrQ&list=PLErt2Cmi1TZrzamTM3gTtqAB_SBfHLhXo&feature=share

bgriggs
06-07-2014, 12:46 AM
I recently made some stools for a student at a local college. It was a quick, fun project.

Bill
239072

ger21
06-07-2014, 08:02 AM
Here is how to use tapered bits with a touch off plate.

How accurate is this with a 3 flute bit? If one flute was perpendicular to the edge, it seems like it would not find the exact center?

bgriggs
06-07-2014, 10:00 AM
Gerry

The real answer is close enough for most wood projects. Since most people don't create tool paths that touch the edge of the work piece, most timesyou really only want a repeatable position to start from.

If you have a really weird or difficult bit like an O flute or odd number of flutes, you can always use a metal dowel pin to center instead. The center probe is only usually done once. In the job setup. It would only takes a few seconds to switch to to the bit you plan to use afterwards. Set the Z zero and cut.

I don't usually edge find again when I use multiple bits. The center of the router spindle remains the same. Just reset the bit height after tool change is all that is needed.

My suggestion is to try the 3 flute bit and check. You could also hand rotate the bitt (unplug the power first) during probe.

Bill

SSN Vet
06-11-2014, 07:26 PM
When your CNC homes to a set of limit switches and your router is cutting the perimeter of the work piece, all that's really important is that you work piece doesn't move during any of the operations. All you have to do is set up your work coordinate system (WCS) with 0,0 over the bottom left corner of the stock and go to town. If you have to execute a manual tool change, just make sure your program for that cutter references the same 0,0 point, touch off to reference your new Z and hit play.

When I set up our first CNC router at work, we used to cook all of our G-code in relative (incremental) mode and touch off the part to set 0,0. After several years of dubbing along like this, when we set up our second router we learned to run in absolute and to use G92 to set up a WCS and never looked back.

If for some reason you have to route geometry on a parts that has already been cut to their finished size, the quickest way to register to the part, IMO, is to set up a temporary fence by screwing down a 1x4 on the bottom edge of the approx. location going L to R and at the left edge running T to B. Then jog to z=0 and trim the bottom edge. Then jog down the radius of your cutter and set Y=0. Repeat for the left fence and set X=0. Now you can quickly and accurately register all of you parts to the machine by securing them tight up against the fence. Wash, rinse & repeat. :^p

I honestly don't think I've touched off of a part to set X & Y on our router in 5 years.

SSN Vet
06-11-2014, 07:31 PM
Not that I don't think that Bill's clever little gizmo isn't really slick... It is VERY clever indeed.

bgriggs
01-18-2015, 08:09 PM
Someone asked me what V Bit I was using when I made that sign. It is a Laser point bit. I wrote a blog post describing it V Groove Bits - THE MAKERS GUIDE (http://www.themakersguide.com/v-groove-bits).

Bill

bgriggs
08-24-2015, 10:22 PM
I have been pretty busy lately upgrading a Grizzly G0704 to CNC. Making more modifications to my CNC Machine and starting a podcast. The CNC Router Tips Podcast. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cncrt-03-how-to-make-cnc-signs/id1031116372?i=349831567&mt=2)

Check it out.

Bill