Build thread: Mac's Momus X2S


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Thread: Build thread: Mac's Momus X2S

  1. #1
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    Default Build thread: Mac's Momus X2S

    Hello everyone,
    welcome to yet another Momus build thread, this is my 1st though.
    This one is going to be a little bit crazy and perhaps overly ambitious, but please enjoy... :-)

    First of all: *** Thank you, Bob! ***
    Your Momus is great platform that is just awesome in may ways, not just in functional aspects but also economical to build.

    What I am trying to do with this machine is to come up with a specialized Momus that make it into a tool for tasks that a common woodworker runs into all the time, and perhaps some more!

    One of these things is end grain routing, to easily make CNC joinery elements, such as dove tails and finger joints, etc.
    If you're not sure what that entails, this is where the workpiece is sitting vertically inside the machine, instead of laying it flat onto the spoilboard.
    This requires an opening in bottom of the machine bed to insert the workpiece from underneath the machine and clamp it there securely.

    I also want to utilize the machine to do bigger carving jobs, such as making signs, etc., so it had to become much longer than the original.
    Currently, I'm still going for the belt driven approach on the x-axis, to see how that works out in terms of repeatability with a Kevlar belt, but I've already looked at other options.
    Perhaps a Bell-Everman drive or a spindle, this will be a retrofit later on.

    Another thing I wanted to be possible within the cutting envelope was a way to do full "in the round" carvings. Think pens and garden knomes ;-)
    The idea here is to add a 4th axis in the shape of a trunion type arrangement.
    I'm not there yet in the design, but theoretically that could be a stepper driven mini lathe-chuck, on a removable base that fits into the bed with a corresponding tailstock on the other end to hold the rotating workpiece securely from both ends.
    These are just crazy visions so far, even an automatic tool changer system using a standard router is something I'm seriously thinking about too.
    For the above, I needed a little more Z-axis travel which caused the whole machine to become higher.
    Being a somewhat seasoned woodworker, dust collection is a really big issue for me that I intend to incorporate into the machine too.

    In a nutshell, these are the major dimensional mods that are present in my version of the Momus:
    - Raised the machine bed by 3.5", which caused the z-axis to be longer, allowing for more travel.
    - Increased the length of the bed to about 6 feet.

    Other mechanical improvements:
    - Aluminum spacers inside the gantry tube as created by Charlie (cwelkie), thank you!!! :-)
    - Z-Axis spacer block replacement by solid adapter plate with spacer bars, also originally designed by Charlie
    - Z-Axis thrust bearing implementation as suggested by Bob.
    - Different cable management system using energy track chains (still finalizing that part)

    Of course, all that called for a totally different cover design.

    For the actual build, here is where I'm at right now:
    Been at it a few weeks already, I started with building up a model of the entire machine in Sketchup using Bob's plans and made my modifications.
    All the metal work on the gantry and the carriage is done, that was quite a ride. I will post some pictures on that journey later. :-)
    The rails are next on the metal work menu, but I'm still torn between precision ground or cold rolled rails.
    I still haven't picked a supplier for the precision ground rails, most of what you can find online is O1 tool steel and that stuff is pretty darn HARD to work with.
    I'm kind of freaked out thinking about the number of holes that need to be drilled and tapped into O1 hardened steel, so go figure...
    Right now, I just started the woodworking part of it and am working on the supporting table, yay! :-)

    About this table:
    Having watched many of the existin Momus videos, I noticed something that bothered me a whole lot:
    Some of the machines that have been built are shaking violently as the gantry/carriage moves around at higher speeds.
    Trying to solve this problem to start with, lead me to design a super ridgid workbench style base table that the machine will rest on.
    It's a tank, I tried to make it as heavy/sturdy as I could...
    Being this heavy, I still wanted to be able to move it around easily in the shop if needed, so the table rests on four retracable casters from Rockler.
    Also from Rockler, each leg has a furniture leveler that allows the machine to be stable on the floor while in use.

    I tried to keep the table at a width that would allow it to go through a standard American door (~30 inches) if needed.
    The Momus itself will not fit through a door at that orientation (32.5" wide), I figured I could strip the whole thing down and get the base through seperately by flipping it up if needed.
    Lol, I almost think the decision by Bob to make the depth of the original Momus 27.5" had something to do with the witdh of American doors, because that's just about the width of getting something through a door easily without taking the door off the hinges... Did it?

    I've talked to Bob while modeling the inital version of the machine and got a number of good pointers from him on how to improve it and what he was thinking about for V3.
    @Bob: Very special thanks on the new z-axis thrust bearing design you shared. That seems to work great and attached are pictures on what that came out to with the part numbers of the INA bearings and washers I ended up using.

    Here are some pictures of what went on so far, enjoy... :-)
    --
    Mac


    2013-05-02 19_07_41-MomusX2.skp - SketchUp by mkloberg, on Flickr


    0005-Base by mkloberg, on Flickr


    0006-Closeup by mkloberg, on Flickr


    0003-InitialRender by mkloberg, on Flickr


    2013-03-17 22_25_44-MomusX2.skp - SketchUp by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130306_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130412_007 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130412_015 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130418_002 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130418_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130418_007 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130429_009 by mkloberg, on Flickr

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  2. #2
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    This is beautiful! I'm very much looking forward to your build progression. I also admire your level of skill with sketchup! Did you hand-cut all the aluminum? I see a dog bone on some of the plate inside corners which to me screams CNC cut, or a person who understands corner stresses .

    Keep posting pictures, both of the metal and wood work, its looking great.



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    Thanks again, for the kind words. :-)
    To answer your question: No, there was no CNC involved in mfg'ing the parts - everything so far I made in my one-car garage shop(!) which is also home to our washing machine and the dryer,lol. The drill press sits on top of the washing machine and I'm practically screaming for more space every day, but money is always tight...

    Perhaps I can make a large number of garden gnomes on the Momus to pay for a bigger shop, hehe. I'm aready trying to train my GF in 3D design for making cool models to run on the machine. Design is already her daily job, but in the 2D world (Illustrator).

    Anyways, I've got some serious catching up to do with this build thread because I waited too long to start it, I guess.
    I'm already several weeks into the build and what you see above are only the highlights. Inspired by awesome detail in the threads of previous builders, I will try to do the same.

    I've kind of grouped the pictures together by topic and will post them up until the thread is up to present time, then I will post more as progress is made.
    Enjoy :-)
    Mac

    Last edited by Mac.CNC; 05-08-2013 at 01:47 AM.


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    So I started the build several weeks ago, here is some more detail, trying to get the thread up to current events :-)

    For my background, I've been woodworking for several years now but haven't done anyting this extensive with metal in general lately, so all this was somewhat new to me too. Bob's manual helped there a lot, some of his methods and tips on how to work with aluminum are pure gold.
    I've had some experience with aluminum over the years and have gone through an extensive apprenticeship in metalworking about 25 years ago in Germany, so some of the techniques and processes I still remembered from way back then.

    The very first thing I did was to make a holder for the various taps and drill bits used in this project, very handy and helps keep things tidy (helps with picking the wrong drill for the wrong hole too). I've done that a lot with other woodworking projects too, so that was a natural thing to start with for me.
    It's just a piece of Cherry scrap wood I had laying around in the shop:


    WP_20130307_002 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Most of these are Dewalt pilot point drills available as a set at your local hardware store, I can highly recommend these.
    They don't wear out all that quick in aluminum and track very good because of the pilot point.

    This is my marking setup, I had everying before starting the project, except for the granite stone.
    I got that thing off e-bay for relatively cheap before starting because I remembered how important the stone is for marking from my apprenticeship.
    This will also help with aligning the carriage square, because the stone is guaranteed to be dead flat.


    WP_20130306_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    All the aluminum cutting was done with a cheapo Chinese 10' miter saw from Harbor Freight (about $100 after 20% off coupon ;-).
    The other option would have been to try to cut it on this old 20 inch Rockwell Bandsaw here, but that thing is alreay 60 years old and I'm a bit worried about getting aluminum chips into its tires... I resaw veneer on this thing, so that might screw things up later on ;-)
    Back to the the miter saw, I've used this thing for a few years now with wood only and it has its special issues (wobbly shaft, poor dust collection, etc). Turns out that it was just poorly adjusted and after putting a high quality aluminum targeted blade (Oshlun, $45 on Amazon Prime) into this crappy saw, it turned out some high quality, and repetable cuts. I also used the Olson wax stick heavily, as Bob recommended in the manual.


    WP_20130507_002 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130306_008 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130306_009 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    That sheet of MDF to the right of the saw is to shield the rest of the shop from the flying aluminum chips by the way, holy crap - that stuff flies everywhere. You probably won't believe this, but I've seen tiny aluminum particles hover in the air actually. Strange... Almost as bad as the dust from cutting MDF in a way. Makes you want to put on a dust mask while cutting this stuff. While cutting the pieces I also got into trouble with my GF, because that stuff stuck to my shoes and got tracked all over the house.
    She made me wear two pairs of shoes, one pair for the shop and one pair for the house changing them at the door to the shop. That worked out pretty good, still kinda funny... :-)

    Last edited by Mac.CNC; 05-08-2013 at 01:44 AM.


  5. #5
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    The method I used to cut the Aluminum involved only the cheapo miter saw and a Porter Cable sanding station I've had in the shop all along.
    For the cuts, I applied plenty of the wax stick to the blade and made sure the shop vac was going to suck most of the aluminum chips out of the saw, more or less like damage control because the stuff was flying everywhere to begin with.
    Alignment of the parts in the saw was fairly easy, I just picked a tooth that cuts on the right side of the blade and shifted the blade as close up to the scribed line as possible.
    That took a little practice at first, but soon I got the hang of it and got darn close to the target dimension down the road.
    The blade still seemed to wobble a bit, so I marked one of the right side teeth black that seemed to be on the top of the wobble with permanent marker and I ended up doing all the cutting alignment with that one "Black Tooth", lol.


    WP_20130307_005 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    I found that most of the time using this techinique, the cut was extremely close to the target dimension.


    WP_20130308_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr



  6. #6
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    To square the ends of the cut pieces, I was thinking about filing them by hand but the sheer number of these areas made me think of a different method.
    I have a Porter Cable sanding station that I use all the time for woodworking, so I tried to put a 8" 80 grid sanding disk in there, running some aluminum scraps against it.
    That worked out really well, with nearly no wear on the disk, just a lot of heat building up on the work piece, this gets really hot in no time.
    Nevertheless, I finished all pieces that way with very good results. I found out that one pass on the disk with light pressure equates to removal of material of about 2 thousands of an inch.
    Knowing this, I was able to make the parts almost dead nuts in terms of lenght and perfectly square after fiddling around with the angle of the support plate on the grinder to get that square to the disk. The stupid thing is that you have to take off the support plate to change worn out disks and realign everything again. I went through 3 80 grid disks in this project.


    WP_20130324_005 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    While grinding carefully, I always kept an eye on the squareness of the part.
    Sometimes that would reqire ajustments on the grinder, etc.:


    WP_20130324_006 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    On a few occations, my fingers got so hot that it hurt using this method, lol.
    The results were very good though, on some of the parts - hit or miss, I hit the target dimension to the last digit :


    WP_20130324_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Last edited by Mac.CNC; 05-08-2013 at 12:26 AM.


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    At some point I was confronted with cuttting the main Z-Axis plate (mod).
    I got a little bit scared at first of making this part and thought a few times of contracting this out to a local machine shop, but then I tried it anways.
    The problem was that the dimensions of the plate are in a way that you can't clamp this or cut it on the miter saw. The only other option would have been by hand, with a hacksaw, but I didn't feel like that. Then I thought about my trusty Bosh Jig-Saw: Just clamping the stock on the corner of the desk and having at it, worked out great, at first I thought it would not, I've never used this saw on metal before, but it did make a really nice cut, using a standard metal blade that comes with the saw.
    Amazing .... :-)


    WP_20130330_003 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130330_005 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Last edited by Mac.CNC; 05-08-2013 at 01:24 AM.


  8. #8
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    At that point, most of the major aluminum parts were cut an marked, ready for drilling:


    WP_20130330_002 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Half way through the centering drilling process, I noticed that my old trusty benchtop drill press was a little bit too weak for this project.


    WP_20130306_006 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    I've done everything in woodworking for the past few years on this thing without noticing a problem, but now two different problems surfaced: For metal, the runout on this press is too much, making the workpiece trying to wobble inside the vise. What made it worse was that the flimsy table would give away and actually bend down when trying to drill into the Momus parts.

    Long story short, I had to find a sturdier drill press (to go on top of the washing machine ;-).

    After some running around, I found a floor model from our local Sears store and they were willing to let it go for $120. After that I sold my old one for $50 on Craigslist, it took two weeks but someone showed up finally and took it. That was a nice upgrade for little extra money.
    I had to shorten the column of the new drill press to make it fit in the shop, under the cabinets, but that's another story.


    WP_20130325_003 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Checking alignment and runout of the new drill-press:

    WP_20130325_005 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130325_007 by mkloberg, on Flickr



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    Your innovation and adaptation is remarkable!
    Build and modify on!

    -=Doug

    "IT ≠ IQ " Starwalt 1999


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    Thanks Doug :-)


    All the holes were center punched at this point, so I drilled pilot holes using a small center hole drill into all parts.
    The part with the dogbone that Freerider mentioned earlier is the lower Z-axis thrust bearing support plate.


    WP_20130407_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    I was taught it helps to spin the center hole drill backwards a little by hand by applying light pressure to give the part an inital location.


    WP_20130309_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Then the drilling and tapping started, that took me a few evenings. For a drilling and tapping lubricant, I used Tap-Magic for Aluminum and that very liberally. It's great stuff.


    WP_20130313_011 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Some parts can be drilled clamped together in the vise.


    WP_20130401_002 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Making the y-axis motor mounts with a hole saw. Tip here: DO take Bobs advice from the manual, and drill the chip clearing holes first - I forgot about that and the hole saw got clogged with chips all the time.


    WP_20130404_002 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    You can see the marred surface of the cut because of that oversight, so I had to clean that up with a file afterwards.


    WP_20130404_003 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Part 13 was fun to make too, but fortunately Bob provides an alternate design for this in plan you can choose to cut the clearance corners or not.
    I went for it and that went reasonably well with a hacksaw, file and some elbow grease.


    WP_20130405_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130405_005 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Note that there are two strips or cork glued on the vise jaws. This helps a lot with preventing surface damage to the aluminum parts.
    You can get self adhesive cork on rolls in the hardware store. Usually it's used to line kitchen drawers.


    WP_20130406_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Last edited by Mac.CNC; 05-09-2013 at 07:22 AM.


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    Then I countersunk and c-bored the neccessary holes so all holes were ready for tapping now.
    I remembered a handy little tool called a tap-guide (few dollars on Amazon).
    It's basically a little cylinder with a spring loaded pin that is held in your drill press chuck.
    The pointy end of the pin fits into a divit on top of your tap handle.
    To use it, you set up the part to tap in the dril press, align the pointy end over hole and just lower the table to a point where the tap with the handle fits between the hole and the pin.
    Then applying light pressure with the drill press chuck so that the spring is loaded, start tapping.
    That, and a spritz of the tap-magic fluid made tapping the holes really painless, so I thought I'd share this little trick with those that are not aware of this handy little helper tool. :-)


    WP_20130318_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    After the tapping was done, I cut, drilled and filed the openings on the gantry tube.
    I used the same sanding process as shown earlier to square up the ends.
    That took a while, because of the odd shape of the tube, but I got pretty close on that as well :-)


    WP_20130409_006 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Then I went ahead and brushed, buffed and polished the parts because I figured that would take ony a few minutes per part.
    For brushing, I used these sanding sponges you can get at the hardware store for cheap (150/220 grid, doesn't matter all that much).


    WP_20130507_003 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Since the parts still had tap-magic all over it, that make for a neat wet sanding process.
    You may want to wear some latex finishing gloves for that, the buffing and polishing, that got kind of messy.
    For buffing, I used a felt wheel on my bench grinder with green buffing compound.
    For cleaning and polishing, I used regular kitchen towels, white shop rags and a product called 882 Liquid Metal Polish from Duragloss.


    WP_20130411_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    I suppose any chrome/metal type automtive polishing product might do, but this stuff really made the parts shine almost like chrome (available from Northern Tool).
    Meanwhile the motors, the belt, the thrust bearings and some other odds and ends arrived at the shop.


    WP_20130407_003 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Up to the next step, which was making the studs and cutting the z-axis screw.
    I started to clean the stainless steel rods by holding them in a cordless drill running in reverse and wiping the dirt off with a rag and some goof-off.
    That made them really shiny, cleared the threads of all debris that came with them and got all the shipping grease off.
    I guess that seems like another "prettyfying" step, but I figured it's important and helps the thread locking compound to get a solid grip in the threads later on.


    WP_20130407_005 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    What a difference that made (top before, below after) :-)


    WP_20130407_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    For cutting and chamfering it was then off to the mini lathe.


    WP_20130407_008 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130408_004 by mkloberg, on Flickr


    WP_20130408_003 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Next up was cutting the z-axis screw, same process.


    WP_20130418_001 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    So far so good and pretty much ready for a dry run assembly.


    WP_20130408_011 by mkloberg, on Flickr

    Last edited by Mac.CNC; 05-09-2013 at 12:22 PM.


  12. #12
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    Excellent documentation and I wondered how you got all your parts soooo pretty. Makes for nice 'curb appeal'.

    A tap guide was employed in my build also. Actually I would drill the hole, change the tool to the tap guide, tap the hole, move to the next.
    It was SLOW but it made sure I was tapping on the center I drilled.

    +1 on the chip clearance holes for the Z motor support.
    I left them ugly to remind me to do better next time.

    -=Doug

    "IT ≠ IQ " Starwalt 1999


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Build thread: Mac's Momus X2S

Build thread: Mac's Momus X2S