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Thread: FreeRider's Table Top MDF Machine

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    Default FreeRider's Table Top MDF Machine

    Well after having my JGRO up and running for a while I decided I wanted to design a new router to better suit my needs. It needed to be smaller, stiffer, more accurate and faster. I drew my ideas from sites like buildyourcnc and from other plans like David Steele's work and from many users on this forum.

    Main bed assembly.


    Underside with adjustment screws to tension the v-bearings onto the alum rail.


    Things turn out so much nicer on your second machine when you have a CNC to cut out all the parts .



    Bearing supports for the drive screws (5/16 All thread).


    Assembled and ready to be taken apart for finishing.




    All joints between the MDF pieces are made with cross dowels and 1.5" bolts. Nearly every bolt on the machine is a 1.5"...made assembly quick and easy.



    Finished the MDF with 2 coats of satin minwax polyurethane. Did a light sanding with 220 between coats (still wet in this pictures hence the shine).



    Reassembled and ready for testing, after I jogged the machine around and ran some test codes with a sharpie I placed it into its new and improved soundproof box (not pictured) to contain the dust and noise (which it does a phenomenal job of)!



    A quick sharpie test before I installed the milling bed onto the table top.



    Once I saw that my moving bed was close to perfectly level I cut out 2 pieces of 1/2 MDF to act as my main milling bed (a "spoil" board if you will). I laminiated the sheets together and ran counter sunk bolts thru it to hold it to the main table. I used the machine to layout a grid of 9mm holes to accept some metal blind nuts and then milled my working area (~12" x 16") down 0.1" to get a dead level surface. After that was all said and done I applied 2 coats of polyurethane to seal the MDF fibers and give the milled surface some durability. Any cuts I make I throw a small 1/8" spoil piece underneath to prevent cutting the machining bed up (I will get some pictures up shortly of the new cutting bed...its pretty sexy).

    Cutting some hold down clamps (which I laminate together to gain rigidity).



    My main design change was to increase stiffness so I could mill aluminum which I am happy to say cuts like butter with the new machine (1/8" thick in this picture).



    Overall my accuracy into wood is sitting within 2-3 thousands of an inch. The inner holes on aluminum is within 2-3 thousands as well but profiling operations on the outside seem to be further out closer to the 5-8 thousands territory. Mind you this is running with simple HDPE lead screw nuts and no backlash nuts to speak of...I will be improving this but as it stands right now it is much more accurate then I need! So far I can jog the machine 2 times as fast as the old one (~60"/min) but I still limit most of my cutting to the 30"/min territory unless I am working on a larger piece.

    Thanks to everyone for idea's and build threads! They are a great source of inspiration!

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    Congrats, that turned out very nice!



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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Lurker View Post
    Congrats, that turned out very nice!
    Thanks! I'm really satisfied with the way it works. I think this machine will now stay as my main work horse as I dont have the urge to make a better one like I did with my first CNC.

    I do have to give a solid recommendation to v-bearings tho! Sooooo much easier to setup compared to skate bearings. I have next to zero play in the bearing/track arrangement. I would say nearly all my flex in the machine comes from my skinny Z slider but even then its only measurable if I grab hold of the router and give it a good yank.



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    This "Baby Black Toe" or "Black Toe Mini" if you will was well executed. I watched the vids on how to assemble the Black Toe and probably took 50 screenshots from different angles so that I could make my own smaller version. Hit stop, replay about a hundred times to get the best screenshot too.

    In the end, I went with an 80/20 aluminum extrusion build, but that's why I found this machine interesting.



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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Lurker View Post
    This "Baby Black Toe" or "Black Toe Mini" if you will was well executed. I watched the vids on how to assemble the Black Toe and probably took 50 screenshots from different angles so that I could make my own smaller version. Hit stop, replay about a hundred times to get the best screenshot too.

    In the end, I went with an 80/20 aluminum extrusion build, but that's why I found this machine interesting.
    Thanks man! I've been over those videos quite a few times myself .

    I'd say 80% of the machine is based off off the BlackToe/BlueChick with the moving table design and gantry borrowed from David Steele's 10x9 machine and the Rockcliff units.

    I would have loved to go with 80/20 but that was a little outside my budget for this build.



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    Very nice looking machine!
    What steppers did you use?
    And what spindle? (I think that's what I mean )

    Cheers Mike



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    Wow!

    That's a Super Nice and Classy design...

    Great Job!


    John



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    Quote Originally Posted by mmcp42 View Post
    Very nice looking machine!
    What steppers did you use?
    And what spindle? (I think that's what I mean )

    Cheers Mike
    Thanks! I used a set of steppers from probotix. I believe they are ~160oz/in running off a 24v supply regulated to about 1.5amps. The spindle is just your plain wood router. Its a Hitachi M12VC which as far as I know is the quietest router you can buy. At just over 2HP it has LOADS of power and the built in speed control lets me mill aluminum at a low RPM without bogging the unit down.

    Quote Originally Posted by microcarve View Post
    Wow!

    That's a Super Nice and Classy design...

    Great Job!


    John
    Thanks Micro!

    I must say that I spent quite a lot of time reading thru your build threads for your desktop units (amazingly accurate BTW!).



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    In my quest to further increase the accuracy of my machine I think I will be measuring the runout of my router this weekend to see how accurate my current spindle is (will also measure backlash to see how my HDPE nuts are working). I've been looking at think and tinker for a while as I need some PCB milling bits and have be going back an forth about their beautiful low TIR collets...I found this thread pretty informative as well:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cn...ter_video.html

    My current accuracy is more then enough for all the work I am doing but I wouldn't mind doing some SOIC PCB milling and increasing my accuracy will help there.



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    Here are a few more pictures of the completed unit. The bed has been surfaced with the mill after drilling a grid of holes to install blind nut inserts. The odd holes between the grid hold down locations are the bolts that hold the whole milling bed to the main table.



    The new sound deadening box is quite a bit smaller then the previous box. On this version I framed the box more solid with 2x4's and made the box a solid unit (cannot be broken down for transport like the larger one could be). By making this one much more airtight I was able to even further reduce the sound.



    Once again the regular double pane lexan window to see whats going on inside. I also sat this box on top of these foam blocks we use at work for shipping heavy equipment. This really helps to isolate any vibrations from passing into the floor.



    Some nice hardwood food for the machine. I have a few projects in mind with these nice woods (Maple, Zebra Wood, Dark Walnut and Padauk).



    My first try at a 3D milling operation. I just ran 75% of the finishing pass after a waterline roughing operation so I spent a few minutes with the sandpaper to take the tooling lines out (another finishing pass at 90* would have worked as well...but I was getting impatient). Not half bad for a 1/8 endmill...I'm betting I could do alot better with a more solid material (I was using pink foam) and with a nice ball mill. What I really plan on doing is using meshes generated from my laser scanner and then milling them, a 3D photocopier if you will .





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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeRider View Post

    My first try at a 3D milling operation. I just ran 75% of the finishing pass after a waterline roughing operation so I spent a few minutes with the sandpaper to take the tooling lines out (another finishing pass at 90* would have worked as well...but I was getting impatient). Not half bad for a 1/8 endmill...I'm betting I could do alot better with a more solid material (I was using pink foam) and with a nice ball mill. What I really plan on doing is using meshes generated from my laser scanner and then milling them, a 3D photocopier if you will .

    How did you get to the back and bottom of her boob? Did you do one side and flip it over, or was this done in slices and then assembled together. It looked well assembled, I didn't see any seams, so I couldn't tell.



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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Lurker View Post
    How did you get to the back and bottom of her boob? Did you do one side and flip it over, or was this done in slices and then assembled together. It looked well assembled, I didn't see any seams, so I couldn't tell.
    Its actually only cut from one side (does that make it 2.5D?). If my better camera wasnt out of commission you would be able to see that all sides of her boobs are cut vertically...even after my sanding off the tool marks all the edges are still vertical. I would like to mill this model out of a larger block of hardwood to show people the capabilities of CNC machines. As far as I know if I build a perfect rectangular block I should be able to align it onto the mills bed then just rotate it 90* after every finished side...I will try this in foam later this week as I should have some time to tinker (just a rough test as I dont have any nice ball mills yet).

    Here is the location of the STL file if anyone wants to try a cut. The model looks very faceted but seems to cut smoothly...I'll have a better understanding off the finish once I make it a little larger:

    Basic Female Form by nicholasclewis - Thingiverse



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