Help understanding how real life works

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    Member minipower's Avatar
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    Default Help understanding how real life works

    Making an informed decision to buy a machine that I can use for my largely varying needs, that I can use to the best of my limited ability. Understanding the differences between the types of machines. C-frame - fixed gantry - moving gantry

    Looking for verification that I'm I understanding whats going on with these tools. Of course looking for info, so I pick a machine that will give me the best bang for my buck.

    For the lack of a better term. Hobby grade. Not asking the can-of-worms question. What is the best "" insert blank "" machine for me.

    I understand there is always a compromise for any type of machine. Choosing the type of machine that fits my non production use for those " I wish I had this - or - If I had "this" I would be able to do it , with 1 that I can afford and not be to overkill. To add real life experience to my Google searching and reading.

    Opening up my ability to DIY. A way to use what I have and modifying what I have into what I need.


    The C-frame machines use a smaller footprint, allows high precision. The downside is the machines weight it needs for it's precision. The cost of new and used machines, with, but not able to find smaller machines in my hobby grade needs.

    A moving gantry machines has a larger foot print. Also needing to be aware of weight and momentum of the moving gantry. Working with / around the gantry's higher center of gravity inertia / momentum. The costs can be lower then all the others. 1 great plus is I can find machines in the hobby grade size, which I can upgrade with my growing needs.

    Lastly the fixed gantry / bridge machine has about the same footprint of the moving gantry. Lowering the high center of gravity inertia to the lower moving work bed. Again the downside of not able to find smaller inexpensive machines that I feel confidant to upgrade to my needs.

    Is my I close to summing up the differences of these machines ¿?¿

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  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    The real question is: What will you be doing with the machine?

    What materials will you want to machine?

    What is the required work envelope?

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Hello Jim. I forgot to include those.

    Most likely I will be shaping things like foam, plastic, wood and soft metal. Hoping to face and square up steel parts. A big part of my decision is " Can I upgrade the machine "as my skill level increases.
    A lot of the work will be making pieces I need in modifying cars to making molds and PCB's.

    Having a large work area would be nice. I don't see any reason for an Industrial machine.

    Being able to use the machine in multiple ways. Like drill press - router - planer - engraver - cutting - milling



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    If you want a machine that can handle facing operations in steel, that rules out all the hobbyist machines except the C-frame type. You can't use a router for this; you need a milling machine. It sounds like a vertical mill with a horizontal attachment would probably come closest to checking all your boxes. How big it has to be is the main question left. This probably won't do everything you want it to, but generally those special-purpose machines exist for good reasons. I suppose you could use your mill to surface wood, for example, but it won't work as well as a planer.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    You can do small work on a large machine, but you can't do large work on a small machine.

    I agree with Andrew, a knee mill sounds like it would best fit your needs. It is ''possible'' to plane wood on a milling machine, but it really doesn't work very well. However I do occasionally work with plywood or MDF on my knee mill. The real limitation for woodworking on a machine primarily designed for metalworking is the spindle speed, which on a Bridgeport and clones range from 60 to 4200 RPM. Typically woodworking machines have spindle speeds about 4x the maximum spindle speeds on metalworking machines. (this is not a totally correct statement with modern high end machines, >$100K).

    For fine engraving on my mill, I use a 50K RPM air pencil grinder (Harbor Freight, ~$20) And I have seen people hang wood routers or a Rotozip on the quill of a milling machine for woodworking.

    Standard knee mill sizes come in 9x42'' to 10x52'' tables, most have a maximum Z clearance of about 16'' table to quill. With X/Y travels of about 25x12 to 33x14. These weigh in at 2050 to about 3500 lbs.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Member machinehop5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Quote Originally Posted by minipower View Post

    Is my I close to summing up the differences of these machines
    ...dear Uncle Sam.

    Please stop the machines...lol


    Owell



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    You guys are telling me all the wrong stuff.. I you to tell me that I can have my cake and eat it too lol

    I totally understand the reasons and purpose of specialty \ for purpose machines. Do 1 thing very very good, compared to doing multiple things good enough. Being humble - I don't have the skill or experience for those machines. I'm afraid it would be like buying a Ferrari to drive to the super market. Plus my shed don't have the room for 1 of each machine and I don't want to spend big money electric bill to run those machines.

    Putting me in the 3 - 4 - 5 axis hobby machines. They all seem to be the moving gantry type. 99% of the forum post's are a good 10 years old. Not really many up to date discussions. I see these hobby machines are categorized by their bed size. I.E 3040 - 6040 - 6090.

    Hoping I would be able to do surface planing / truing up -- having to do many passes -- with these type of bits

    https://www.google.com/search?q=surf...h=688&biw=1043



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    "Hoping I would be able to do surface planing / truing up -- having to do many passes -- with these type of bits

    https://www.google.com/search?q=surf...h=688&biw=1043 "

    You could surface wood with those tools and a CNC router. But steel - no way. You'd mess up your steel and destroy the tool.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Am I at least correctly summing up the different machine types ¿?



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    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Quote Originally Posted by minipower View Post
    Am I at least correctly summing up the different machine types ¿?
    More or less. But don't confuse machines that are designed for woodworking with machines that are designed for metal working.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Right on. Knowing that makes me feel better.

    Looking around I see a lot of aluminum beige colored machines with round rails. It seems strange that so many people are selling the same machine.

    I don't know if the were purchased decades ago and still selling off their stock or their copies of copies.

    The square linear rails would be a better choice than round. But don't see those beige machines offered with the square linear rails. They do have a few spindle's, so there is a upgrade path, also the controller can be upgraded.



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Hi,
    you need to decide whether you are wedded to the idea of machining steel.

    Machining steel requires low speed spindles (3000-4000 rpm) with high torque, ideally 10Nm or better for endmills up to
    1/2inch diameter. Such a motor/spindle combination is going to weigh tens if not hundreds of pounds.

    To control the cutting forces of a spindle requires a very rigid machine, usually many hundreds of pounds of cast iron.

    If you decide steel capability is NOT required then some of the better gantry/router types would work for you. They will do aluminum
    at a push.....but not steel.

    Craig



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    low speed spindles with high torque

    Like the difference between a high speed low torque fiber blade chop saw and low speed high torque cold cut saw.


    As I said earlier. I keep seeing beige machines everywhere and noticed another machine being sold by a company
    https://www.china-cncrouter.com -- https://www.chinacnczone.com/

    Looks like they're using both web pages for the 1 company.

    Their selling to normal 3040 -- 6040 -- 6090 machines, but also a knee / c-frame machines, built out of aluminum



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    I'm liking this chinacnc place more. They sell the different types of machines, plus they make steel versions of them. My utility bed brain should be able to upgrade as I grow.



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    From your experience. Would you be able to better say the pro's and con's of the 2 choices ¿

    I'm on the fence about which machine would best suit my needs. The aluminum machine would flex more and the steel machine will have a sturdier frame that would allow me to do more.

    My intuition says, because it has a more robust weight with the more stable base. The knee / c-frame machine is inherently more precise.




    The moving gantry machine might be a little faster at the expense of precision. But it has a larger work area.



    I think it would be easier for me too work around the lesser precision then the smaller work area.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help understanding how real life works-steel-6040-knee-png   Help understanding how real life works-newest-steel-6090-stone-per-metallo-metal  


  16. #16
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    At least the little 4 (5?) axis machine kind of looks like a milling machine rather than a router.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    From the sounds of it, 90% of what you want to do will be covered by a CNC router. I would consider getting a decent CNC router (skip the round rails) and maybe a small manual kneemill for facing steel. I see used Grizzly mills all the time for relatively reasonable prices. They can be upgraded to CNC.

    You didn't say what your budget is so it's all just fantasy until you have to write check.



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Hi,
    the baby bed mill, the first one, looks best but it still has a high speed low torque spindle, and spindles of that description are not useful in steel.

    As I posted earlier you need to decide if milling steel is REQUIRED. If it is required then a RF45 or Grizzly type mill is where you need to go.
    If steel capability is not required then a CNC router will be fine......but a CNC router, of any reasonable cost, will NOT do steel.

    Craig



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    Default Re: Help understanding how real life works

    Thank you gentleman. Your input is helping more then you know. Yeah, the steel is idea seems to be on the fanciful side. I might have set my mind on the gantry style.

    I can picture me being able to do more with it. I might be able to mod it too a large 3d printer and low powered laser engraver. Those would have to what until I have enough time on it and familiarize with the machine.

    I'm slightly impressed with this company. I emailed them last night and they quickly replied.Yes that sounds big whoop. It's their Lunar New Year Festival, the whole of Asia shuts down for 2 weeks.

    Lol So I have a few more days to change my mind a couple times before purchasing.

    Who knows. I may find a way to turn this into a spindle... GOD I love OverKill lol



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help understanding how real life works-img-20210211-wa0000-jpg  


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