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Thread: New Machine Build - Massive CNC router for timber components

  1. #41
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    Default Re: New Machine Build - Massive CNC router for timber components

    Hi ftech/Rick - Yes packaging sizes for some connections is the worry. But making a snug fit bolt is easy if you use epoxy to set the hole. In this way you set up your frame with std clearance holes or slightly oversize holes. Use two bolts or 3 in each side to provide geometric stiffness as well as strength, in this case three smaller bolts vs one big bolt and then adjust frame and snug up the bolts until happy. Then undo each bolt and place some epoxy into the hole then tighten up to correct torque. Now you have a snug fit connection plus some adherence in the epoxy. If the joint is something you want to come apart then wax the components prior to assemble. Or use a soldering iron and heat the bolt to undo in future.

    Another approach is to use solder for the connections. There are many soft solders in the 50-100MPa strength range that melt at 250-300C. This is easy to achieve using a cheap propane torch. So after you have your important parts machined straight you could assemble the frame and solder the steel SHS bits together quite easily and have at least half the strength of the welded frame yet be very stiff as solder is metal. This means you can use butt joints for the connections, Butted hollow sections create stiff joints. Bolted connections tend to be planar and will have a soft direction. If the section is thick which for a machine frame gives it weight then I'd expect the joint to be near as strong as the welded joint if say you are running small welds to prevent distortion. But it would be clearly strong enough for the application. Peter

    George - Have you found a stress relief company nearby? This will be an important part of your build!!

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    Default Re: New Machine Build - Massive CNC router for timber components

    Even if you're going to be building a machine from scratch that suits your exact needs, I would encourage you to buy a used CNC router.

    Get your hands on one now, because you can use it immediately to help get yourself up to speed on how to use CNC in your business, train staff and prototype your processes.

    Consider it part of the build cost of the new machine and consider that money well spent. A deficient machine will inform you in a thousand ways about what you want in your purpose built one. You can even modify it as you go along.

    At the end of the process you can sell it and recoup some of your costs, or you may find it useful for secondary operations. I use my "sheet" style machine to flatten slabs, cut mortices and tennons in large stock. Operations that I no longer have to use dedicated machines for.

    It's faster and more accurate than traditional woodworking machines, obviously, but there is a huge space between traditional tools and a state of the art timber cutting CNC. A space that is often overlooked. Do you use patterns? You could be cutting those on the CNC.

    If it won't cut your long parts you'll still be able to cut your short pieces. It also might be easy enough to come up with a system that would allow you to index pieces longer than the machine bed. You could pack the bed and cut multiple parts per cycle.

    If your machine build has any delays, the temporary machine will boost your productivity in the interim.



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    Default Re: New Machine Build - Massive CNC router for timber components

    I have to agree with post #43 if the topic is looked at from a business point of view.A used machine would get you running in a matter of a week or two and you could start earning money with it.The mental exercise of designing a machine for work that you believe will come along in the future can continue while you are producing parts for the present customers and if ,or when , the big jobs show up you will be a long way ahead of starting from scratch and the money earned in the meantime will be on hand.

    In fact it might even be a good time to review the market and see if there are any 5 axis machines on offer as they can tilt and thus get around bigger jobs than a 3 axis machine with a very long tool.The type of accuracy needed for joinery is not as demanding as for aerospace work and a machine that has been slipping out of tight tolerance work could have years of life in a joinery environment.



  4. #44
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    Default Re: New Machine Build - Massive CNC router for timber components

    Hi All - I've been looking for the place that the "rivet" image I placed earlier came from. I've finally found it!! It's the Newark Penn Station. Looks a grand structure. Arches in two directions lovely. Got to have a riveted machine frame next time....Peter

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