Australia To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) Help!


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Thread: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) Help!

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    Default To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) Help!

    I have just spent 2 days researching small CNC routers for cutting wooden gears (from plywood or hardwood) and am more confused at the end than when I started. Chinese machines are cheap but seem too hit and miss on the quality front. American machines are very expensive given the exchange rate and freight costs, although the Next Wave Automation CNC PIRANHA FX BASE UNIT at $1600 (US) seems pretty reasonable. Has anyone had any experience using CNC routers for such an application (especially this machine - or any machine)? I recently built a device for accurately controlling the 3D motion of a camera and could use the circuitry for controlling the stepper motors in such a machine if I build one. Can anyone suggest a good Australian source for components , especially the linear drive parts? There are dozens of books on building CNC routers - can anyone suggest a good one? One could easily spend a fortune on books alone.

    Thanks folks!

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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    If you want to build one you first need to have metal working skills...…...without that, just buy one...……..an EBAY 3020 (300MM x 200MM x 60MM) will cost under a grand all up.

    What is the actual work envelope you need to cut the GEARS.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    Quote Originally Posted by Mervyn Mitchell View Post
    I have just spent 2 days researching small CNC routers for cutting wooden gears (from plywood or hardwood) and am more confused at the end than when I started. Chinese machines are cheap but seem too hit and miss on the quality front. American machines are very expensive given the exchange rate and freight costs, although the Next Wave Automation CNC PIRANHA FX BASE UNIT at $1600 (US) seems pretty reasonable. Has anyone had any experience using CNC routers for such an application (especially this machine - or any machine)? I recently built a device for accurately controlling the 3D motion of a camera and could use the circuitry for controlling the stepper motors in such a machine if I build one. Can anyone suggest a good Australian source for components , especially the linear drive parts? There are dozens of books on building CNC routers - can anyone suggest a good one? One could easily spend a fortune on books alone.

    Thanks folks!
    After using Chinese CNC 3040 I can say it was hard to make it work, as expected at the beginning. Lots of trial and error, realignment, loose cables, making axis perpendicular etc. But after taking the learning curve I am pretty satisfied, except that machine working area is (too) small. You will find quickly, that more working area is nice, once you start CNC adventure. Next time I will consider Ox or X-carve or R7.

    Building own machine is also an option, check this building log here: GHQP Projects

    Good luck - Seb.

    Wys?ane z mojego SM-G930F przy u?yciu Tapatalka



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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    I guess it depends if you want to build a CNC or build clocks.
    As far as bed size I would want about 3 inches all round the part I am cutting out. Next if you are doing clock gears will you then decide to do clock frame or clock faces that are bigger, that will need bigger bed size.



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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    Agreed with SteveWill.

    Time for shed dabblers like myself at home spent on getting the machine behaving is still good time. If you're in the business of making clocks, though, that time is complete waste and with cheap imports there's going to be lots of it both setting up AND keeping the thing running. A commercial machine with a local rep may cost $10k vs a $1000 import but that's only what, a couple of weeks paying someone who knows what they're doing to get it to actually do what you want? And when a driver fries itself etc, you're now waiting 3 weeks of down time for a replacement. And so on.

    You'll also need to decide whether you're going to have the resolution you need for cutting gears flat ie routing them flat on the bed, so the minimum radius of any inside/concave 'corners' will be a squeak larger than your smallest endmill's. If not, you may need to look at adding a 4th axis and working with a slitting saw or something like that - bearing in mind the minimum spindle RPM of most of the cheap imports is way, way too high for any but the tiniest radius saws.



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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    Has anyone had any experience using CNC routers for such an application (especially this machine - or any machine)?
    A bit of experience yes, success not so much but I have learned a few things. This is Brian Law's clock 22 in functioning but incomplete condition. Summer is short here so it's hard to be in the shop.
    To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears)  Help!-clock22-jpg
    Some of the finest examples out there are cut on scroll saws so micron accuracy isn't needed. My homebuilt cnc router is reasonably accurate so the amount of fiddling and fussing to get the clockworks running smoothly was a bit of a surprise. Smaller pinions may require small diameter end mills to cut to drawing but the good news is it's usually okay to cut away extra material, teeth bottoming is the real killer.
    A lathe would help for spools etc but it can be done without.

    You didn't mention if this is a hobby or a business. If it's a hobby a Chinese 6040 should be at least as capable as a scroll saw and a whole lot more efficient and repeatable.
    btw: I've never seen a Chinese router except in ads so don't take this as a testimonial

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    Hi, the end game is do you want to make wooden gears with precise to the micron tooth accuracy or as has been said as good as a scroll saw?

    If a scroll saw accuracy is good enough then welcome to the world of 2mm carbide end mill cutting on a cheapish CNC router.....size to suit your budget.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H

    How much do you want to spend??



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    Default Re: To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears) H



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To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears)  Help!

To Build or Buy (a small CNC router for precision cutting of wood clock gears)  Help!