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Stephen Tashiro
05-26-2009, 11:51 PM
A guy builds a CNC router, mostly working on a small table with hand tools: Build Your Own CNC Router Machine (http://buildyourcnc.com/default.aspx) The simplicity of the videos is impressive.

Ed Barnes
06-10-2009, 1:46 PM
First of all, I have no experience with CNC but definitely have an interest in it. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this machine? What are your impressions of the kit - quality, durability, etc. What router do you use with it? I am sorry, I know these are newbie questions, but that is where I am right now. I appreciate your input.

Ed

james mcgrew
06-10-2009, 2:41 PM
i have retrofited several of my machines and think nothing of purchasing them and fitting them out, i would reccomend building one such as this or even consider joes cnc kit the experience would be worth more than the router!! i have no doubt on would have a blast doing it and it would perform and once the bug hits.............

looks complete to me all the right info is there

jim

Rob Smith
06-10-2009, 3:45 PM
Joes cnc is just about the same, and there are many people building his. I have not seen it personally, but there is a big following of his machines on the net... http://www.joescnc.com/

If you do decide to build a machine, mcmaster.com is your friend. Also, on buildyourcnc, the motor kit can be found cheaper...

Also, if you want a more rigid machine then mdf, you can build from 80/20 or go to faztec.com, and build from aluminum extrusions. The deflection over a long span is minimal and almost allows for a complete bolt together machine.

Wiring a cnc machine for stepper motors is simple, your are wiring four motors the same, which is the bulk of the wireing. I chose not to build a power supply, and bought mine from the motor manufacturer...

Anyway, theres my ramble...

james mcgrew
06-10-2009, 3:59 PM
i buy many of my motors and powersupplys from keling
www.kelinginc.net (http://www.kelinginc.net)

hang i got some extra power supplys and parts around here

jim

Ed Barnes
06-10-2009, 8:36 PM
Jim and Rob, thank you for your comments. I did spend some time this afternoon looking over joescnc.com as well as reading some of the joescnc threads on another CNC forum. He seems to have a very well designed machine and an avid following. I do enjoy the build process but finding the time to do it is a problem. Having a lot of the parts already machined and in a kit is a big plus for me. I could not find if there was an electronics and hardware kits/packages available as well. The LOML and I are planning a new home (including shop :)) which we hope to start building in about 2 yrs. She has a number of things in that project where I could see a CNC being very useful. Again, thanks for your time and comments. I am sure I will have many more questions as I move forward.

Ed

james mcgrew
06-10-2009, 10:20 PM
going cnc is one of the best things i have ever done, i can only wish i had done it sooner

jim

Rob Wright
06-10-2009, 11:37 PM
I have a Joe's 4x4 hybrid and love it. You can get all of the MDF and HDPE pieces cut in a kit form by Joe. You would need to supply the 8020 aluminum extrusions, Lead screws from McMaster, Bearings, Uni-strut, and angle iron.


Buildyourowncnc kits/machines have gone through a number of revisions. I would personally stay away from the angular bearings that ride on the aluminum. The aluminum is too soft. The angle iron that the mechmate or Joe's uses is better in my mind.

Good luck on your search. It has been a lot of fun and the journey building it was great.
120362

Ed Barnes
06-11-2009, 12:32 AM
I'm glad to hear you have the hybrid. It really looks like a good machine and can be built for a reasonable amount of $$$. I like the size and materials used in the hybrid. I may pull the trigger on ordering the plans soon. It may take some time to complete this project but am excited about the journey. Is the Hitachi 2 1/4 hp router sufficient or should one be looking to use something like a PC 7518?

Ed

james mcgrew
06-11-2009, 6:55 AM
i have had a lot of routers over the years, when it comes to routers the porter cables take all prizes, parts availability being the biggest plus!!

jim

Rob Wright
06-11-2009, 10:36 AM
I'm glad to hear you have the hybrid. It really looks like a good machine and can be built for a reasonable amount of $$$. I like the size and materials used in the hybrid. I may pull the trigger on ordering the plans soon. It may take some time to complete this project but am excited about the journey. Is the Hitachi 2 1/4 hp router sufficient or should one be looking to use something like a PC 7518?

Ed

Ed,

The Hitachi is QUIET compared to the Porter Cables. Almost all of the builders on the Joes Forum use them or have switched. We picked most of them up for $75 (I paid $59 from Reconditioned sales for a Grade C - you just need to watch the site http://www.reconditionedsales.com/Hitachi_M12VC_2-14_Peak_HP_Variable_Speed_Fixed_Base_Router___i115 9.aspx )

Only one builder has had to replace the bearings on his and he runs probably 8 hours every day with his. Plenty of power of the the cuts that we are making. A few have upgraded to some water cooled 2.2 kw, 3 phase spindles and VFD's from ebay - $550. They have been happy with how quiet and powerful they are.

Ed Barnes
06-11-2009, 11:41 AM
Rob, thanks for the link. I think "quiet" (in relative terms) will be a plus, since we will have neighbors on the side of the house with the shop. I do think I will go with a PC or Milwaukee in the router table I am building. The run times will be much shorter on the RT and shouldn't cause too much of a ruckus :D. A big thank you to you and Jim for your willingness to be so helpful. That is what makes SMC so special.

Ed

james mcgrew
06-11-2009, 3:19 PM
one would have to understand that we are in a large custom shop and probably have 150-200 small power tools around here at any time, in 26 years i have destroyed most any type i have ever seen advertised at one time or another, bosch gave us tools to use in prototyping i still have one of the first sliders and table saws they built. my point is i think long term durability and on the matter of sound we are an osha compliant shop so ear protection is required, i will agree the pc is probably louder and i am not sure i know the difference as 4 of the larger 3,25hps and 6 of the 690 routers along with the 310 laminate trimmers have been here 9 years +

one of the best investments i ever made

jim

Lee DeRaud
06-11-2009, 7:15 PM
FWIW, I just spotted this in a rather unlikely place for "woodworking" articles:
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/automate-your-home-shop

If I read the (sparse) description right, it's about a 24"x40" bed, with about 2.5" of Z-axis motion. Author claims around $1K total for this setup, with unknown amount of time spent scrounging for bargains on Ebay.

What kind of costs are we talking about for the other options mentioned in this thread?

Rob Wright
06-11-2009, 10:22 PM
Lee -
See this thread http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=107879 about the Joe's 4x4. I will say that the 4x4 is better than all of the hardware store variety of CNC's that can be found on cnczone.com in the forums.

Jim -
I fully agree with what you are saying about PC routers. I also have a number of PC690's and a 7518 in a table and another Milwaukee 5625 in a table. I love them all and wouldn't be without them.

The features of the Hitachi, for the price,(2.25 hp, variable speed, and soft start) can't be beat for our machines. The bearing are available to be replaced easily and cheaply like the PC's. Of all of the Joe's builders on the joescnc.com forum - only one bearing failure/replacement. If I were doing this for a living like you - maybe I would find out something different. My table seems to run 5 and 6 hour 3d profiling jobs fine without getting hot. Overall I am happy. Would still love to have a VFD and a spindle though!

james mcgrew
06-11-2009, 10:30 PM
purchased another cnc today, used off ebay commercial repo stripped of motors and spindle 1100$ here i go again!!!

jim

Rob Wright
06-12-2009, 12:30 AM
that's a beauty for the price. The linear slides and table are worth triple that. What's the brand? Going to outfit it with steppers or servos? Looks like a 4x4? Gotta start looking in different places on ebay for things like that! Keep us posted on the retrofit!

Ed Barnes
06-12-2009, 12:43 AM
nice find Jim. Looking forward to your rebuild on this one.

Ed

james mcgrew
06-12-2009, 5:48 AM
it came in late yesterday so far i think it was a 2x3 with the auto tool changer set p but with a single head or three head set up i think i can get 48 x 42. iy has a 4rth axis lathe as well.

jim

Chris Foley
06-15-2009, 10:21 AM
Buildyourowncnc kits/machines have gone through a number of revisions. I would personally stay away from the angular bearings that ride on the aluminum. The aluminum is too soft. The angle iron that the mechmate or Joe's uses is better in my mind.

120362

I have been looking at his site as well. I am making a sketchup model similar to his Blacktoe. The AL rails will be replaced with steel and i do not like the X-Axis mechanism altogether.

I would love to hear anyone's experience with this? I won't be buying his kits though...i have sourced all the parts much cheaper than what he has.

Chris

james mcgrew
06-15-2009, 11:05 AM
why not look at the mechmate his plans are free

jim

Chris Foley
06-16-2009, 4:23 AM
why not look at the mechmate his plans are free

jim


Jim,

Those plans seem to require lots of metal work an custom cut metal parts. The beauty of buildyourcnc methods are that it can be built with hand tools. If you watch the videos of the older versions, you can literally make out the exact dimensions from the videos.

The Blacktoe he has seems to be a nice setup. I have taken some general measurement "guesses" from his site and created a model in Sketchup. I am still tweaking this layout as I want to see all the potential problems before I cut the first piece. The short of it is that I am making my own plans based off his design. Of, course I will post the info giving his site a nice byline! :)

I am working on the X axis issues now and want to strengthen the Y Axis gantry with a lenth of 80/20. Once that is done, I will post the model for anyone that is interested.

Chris

Peter Elliott
06-21-2009, 6:45 PM
Hey Guys,

I am saving up for this one.. Another SMC guy sent me this thread in the cnczone.

The beauty is that you buy the entire kit, true bolt together system.

All extruded aluminum, no mdf and a fairly good size footprint.



Bunch of videos etc.

I have spoke to both people selling the stuff and it's seems to be a solid machine.

Also, I plan on buying the electronics kit, everything from motors, wires, power supply. Just under $500 for all, heavy duty steppers, etc.

You can do this setup for about $2K...or just under.

This is one build:
http://www.peakeff.com/beta/PostDetail.aspx?PostID=11




http://www.peakeff.com/beta/BlogEntries/11/Default_files/image003.jpg

Jim Kountz
06-21-2009, 8:14 PM
This guy has a really nice build.
www.automatedwoodworks.com

One of the nicest and fastest homebuilt CNC's Ive found yet. He did an incredible job on it and plans are available.

Im seriously looking at this one for my first build.

Hennie Helberg
07-24-2009, 12:34 PM
Hi to all I am new to this forum. Jim,Chris I have built a MechMate and I must say that it was a learning curve.It looks like a lot of laser cut parts but there are company`s on your side of the water that cuts and ship these parts.I must say that for the peaple living in the States it is much more convenient to get the parts.
The machine is sturdy and there is no problem with repeatabilaty also note that the MechMate Forum is a place where advice is available.
I still need to find my feet in this forum but if I may I would post Pick`s of projects that has been cut.

Regards from South Africa

Brian Peters
07-24-2009, 3:24 PM
The mechmate is definitely an impressive machine; much respect to Gerald and the members there as they have inspired a lot of ideas for both the cnc controllers and mechanical stuff on the machine. However the biggest drawback for a mechmate for someone like me is I have 0 experience welding and very little experience with metalwork. As an alternative the Joe's 2006 or Joe's 4x4 are very simple bolt together machines. The hybrid is much stronger and more powerful than the 06' or the other MDF machine posted in this thread and has a larger table size.

Hennie Helberg
07-25-2009, 3:04 AM
Brian, invite a couple of friends with the knowledge,supply the cold ones and a BBQ and hey you can build one:)

Mike OMelia
08-06-2009, 1:22 AM
I like the stuff I see here, but frankly, I am not an MDF fan. Crap, if your roof leaks on it, the whole thing turns into saw dust.

Tell me more about Joe's 4x4. I am also intersted in the 80/20 machine,

Mike

Jim Kountz
08-06-2009, 7:55 AM
Mike, both the 4x4 and the 80/20 machines I have seen are great machines but are incredibly slooooooooowwww. Most of these machines are lead screw driven and that is the Achilles heal of the beast. Speeds of 70-120in/min is not fast at all and quite slow actually. Belt driven machines and rack and pinion driven machines can produce much better speeds but then the trouble is making the machine robust enough to handle the higher speeds. The Mechmate is the king of DIY but can get very expensive really quick. Id love to build one and may even do so oneday but for now I need a cheaper solution. Take a look at my earlier post in this thread and check out the machine in the link I provided. I think you'll be surprised at what you find. Watch the videos and see the pics. It reveals some interesting information, well worth the time to look over.
Hope this helps!!

Rob Wright
08-06-2009, 10:35 AM
Jim - I must respectfully disagree that the Joe's CNC is slow. I run mine at 300ipm rapids, cut 3D at 225 ipm. This is with the "standard" 2 turns per inch lead screws. There is an option now for 1 turn per inch lead screws that will double the speed. Since these systems use steppers that have much better torque at lower speed, these new lead screws work out very well. There is also a few builders on the Joescnc.com forum that have rack and pinion drive that are 4x8 machines that have approached 1200 ipm. Also belt drive is not the end all - there are some issues with belt stretch. I followed the build of automatedwoodworks log on cnczone.com and it is a great machine - but there is a fair amount of welding, and the linear slides that he uses are a couple dollars each. All of this adds up quickly in the world of CNC:)

Guy Mathews
08-06-2009, 12:56 PM
Rob,

I have to agree with your statement about belt drives. My big yellow came with a belt drive on the 4th axis. I was told at the time of purchase that the belt would not break. I insisted that it would. My experience with cutter torque on a 4th axis stepper with both my Shopbot and my 10 Spindle Lyndex were on my side. I was given extra belts to appease my sense of impending doom.

After breaking 2 belts a few months later I changed my belt drive on my 4th axis to gear drive. It is also my understanding that the company is following my design for this on future 4th axis set ups. This was verbal to me on the phone so we will see what happens.

This link will show the change to gear drive. You will have to follow it down until you come to it.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=103562

Belt drive is not the end all in the world of CNC. It has a place. My X and Y are belt drive from the servo to the reduction gear, on my big yellow CAMaster and to date have given me no problems. However, experience has taught me one thing...

There's always room for problems!!!

Rob Wright
08-06-2009, 2:56 PM
Guy - I followed that thread on the 4th axis work - neat:D

You are right - I am not knocking belt drives when it is a short belt from a stepper/servo to a pinion or lead screw. I am just concerned over a few of the designs that have a long belt that is physically attached to the gantry or carriage and in a long loop. I have read a few success stories of this impelmentation on CNCzone and a few more failures with the belt stretch. At JoesCNC, Joe is working on a belt system that is psychically attached to piece of 8020, and "loose"belt is then aligned with the timing groves - there is only a few inches of belt in tension this way and was avoiding the belt stretch/elastic rebound issue. Even with the kevlar belts there is still some found. That drive was found to give 1700+ipm in tests (limited by mach3 kernel speed and 10 microstep gecko's). There is one builder currently implementing this solution for a 4x8 table. It really is an interesting design - but is being held pretty close to the chest by the Joescnc.com forum members.

Jim Kountz
08-06-2009, 5:37 PM
Jim - I must respectfully disagree that the Joe's CNC is slow. I run mine at 300ipm rapids, cut 3D at 225 ipm. This is with the "standard" 2 turns per inch lead screws. There is an option now for 1 turn per inch lead screws that will double the speed. Since these systems use steppers that have much better torque at lower speed, these new lead screws work out very well. There is also a few builders on the Joescnc.com forum that have rack and pinion drive that are 4x8 machines that have approached 1200 ipm. Also belt drive is not the end all - there are some issues with belt stretch. I followed the build of automatedwoodworks log on cnczone.com and it is a great machine - but there is a fair amount of welding, and the linear slides that he uses are a couple dollars each. All of this adds up quickly in the world of CNC:)

Rob, thanks for chiming in, always good to hear from those who have been there and done that. Those are some amazing numbers and kudos to you for achieving that kind of speed. If I may, how did you deal with the whip of the lead screws that seem to plague these systems? I have read many a posts over at cnczone where this was a major problem. And dont get me wrong, Im not saying that belt drive is the end all of CNC, in fact I didnt mean that at all. I was just saying that I have come across more success with them than failures.
Im very into this thread and look forward to hearing some more about your machine and any others. Its very cool stuff!!

Rob Wright
08-06-2009, 6:23 PM
Jim,

With the standard 2 turn lead screws at 300+ipm, I have little to no whipping. That is done by adding a second set of flange block bearings to each bearing mount at each end of the gantry( X beam) and two Y rails. This results in a two bearings mounted 5-inches apart on each end of the 5-ft lead screw. This is shown here with a before and after video on a 4x4 hybrid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDk88vqzuQY

another member has mounted dual anti-backlash nuts on each side of the 6" wide Y axis carriage

A third member has placed a bronze bushing in place of the second AB nut as outlined above.

Again - the high lead screws (1 or 2 tpi) really eliminates it from the start, that along with spending an hour or so to properly break-in and adjust the alignment goes a long way to solving those problems.

People using 8 or 16 tpi lead screws do have a big problem with whip and backlash on anything above 100ipm like you said - I know I had a solsyva that couldn't do 50ipm without shaking itself into a fault condition.