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Oh no! Now I'm building a CNC?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by John Nicholas, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Having a pc- less machine would be a big plus. My 3d printer is quite capable with whatever internal processor the thing works on. I've purchased so many used pc's it's kind of sad. Mach3 has been quite useful over the years but I think I'm ready for something that can be more reliable that what I'm currently dealing with. The Xcontroller works really well for what it is and I like the plug and play aspect. Still, there's a laptop connected up to it. The dust and cold winter temps kills them off. Nothing is worse than a toolpath that goes awry on a costly chunk of wood.
     
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  2. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with you on that! Having a pc less machine to run the CNC is a giant plus!

    You are one of the big reasons I'm moving forward with this project, your openness to share ideas, thoughts and techniques for building has been an inspiration to me. I've learned so much from you over the years. Just wanted to say thank you!

    Hey... somehow I missed this yesterday....
    "I'm putting a new bed on my xcarve from the plywood I have on there. 200 dollars in T slot for 1/4-20 and a few more 2020 braces. It's not a cheap endeavor."

    I really want to use the same stuff for the base of my router for exactly all the reasons you stated about never having enough purchase to tie everything down. It will need to be an upgrade for me sometime in the future.

    Interesting place that CNC4newbie site.... they have a machine that is nearly the same size as what I'm building for $3799.00 which does not come with a router or a spindle motor, no MDF (you have to supply yourself), pretty small motors and you need a computer to run it.
    https://cnc4newbie.com/store/en/cnc-machine-kits/turnkey-systems/c4n4824tk-p109c74c75/

    I can assure you that my CNC will be built to a much higher standard than that one. Far more sturdy in every way, more powerful and certainly more high tech! Mine should come in around the $2,500. range fully complete and operational.

    At one point, I lusted after the same machine that Herb had purchased years back a Laguna... I don't recall the model number at the moment but remember it was in the $6,000. range!! Not sure, but this might be the one he bought.... they are so beautiful, powerful, solid and professional. Only it has a smaller cutting surface than the one I'm building.
    https://lagunatools.com/cnc/iq-series/iq/
     
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  3. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Tele-Afflicted

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    Herb has a Cammaster stinger not a Laguna. Very similar though.
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Glad I can be of some use around here. :). The cost of an X carve or similar is really 2300 dollars plus now. I'm intrigued by the cnc4newbies aluminum plate and anti backlash approach for about the same cost. I have their z axis and it was a big improvement. I have about 9-10 thousand dollars invested in the 4 cnc's I have here, of which really only one I am currently using. If hindsight was 2020, I would have figured out a way to buy something better back 12-13 years ago. It just wasn't available and affordable at the same time. Spending 3.5K on my pcncautomation router and finding out how poor it was...well, that was the end of spending bigger bucks. Like guitars, I have a decent all around mental picture of what I'd like if I could afford it, but I am going to just use what I have.

    Just the price of screws, gussets, t- nuts and extrusion is getting up there.
     
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  5. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the clarification! We both had the same Laguna bandsaw!!
     
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  6. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Oh man you are so helpful on so many levels!! Just know that I truly appreciate all you contribute to this forum!

    Yes, in looking at their Z Axis set ups, I'm thinking of upgrading what was already purchased.... maybe I should return my setup and buy something a bit thinner like the offerings on cnc4newbies.

    As for the difference in what was available 12 years ago to what is available today is HUGE! You were one of the pioneers in this area. Hindsight is a dangerous thing... technology advances so quickly it can be frightening.

    Honestly as long as your equipment works for you and can cut the stuff you want, you are just fine. There will always be better equipment and new technology.

    Very few of the complete CNC packages I've seen are not all that great overall, or can be outrageously expensive. For example the Laguna I linked above is over $7,000. and even then isn't big enough to do what I'm looking for... of course the one that would be big enough is far more expensive, at over $14,000. sure it has everything you could ever want in terms of features, but dang, that's a ton of money!!
    https://lagunatools.com/cnc/iq-series/iq-pro/
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Back when I first started this, the Shopbot was the emerging technology. I lusted for a Techno-Isel, which was an educational unit that was the cost of a good used car...LOL. K2 was a popular machine for luthiery and I remember a guy John Watkins commercially selling necks he made on his k2 machine. Then everybody came along and prices came down. It's a good project to do on your own. It'll be fun to see it come together.

    My first attempt at something that could cut necks and bodies.


    cncrouter.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm way behind this thread but just got my third set of bearing rails and chose on instinct.
    I'm wondering though if there is a consensus on rail length/ diameter?
    I chose 20mm x 600mm with typical end support blocks, and 20mm x 1000mm with continuous support rails.
    Earlier you said you chose 16mm x 600mm @John Nicholas ?
    Is that rail beefy enough to stay rigid carrying motors and cutting stress?
    I certainly find I'm 100% consistent in choosing excess beef and later wishing I went lighter on almost anything I design myself!
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here’s what I have for rails, 600x20 on left and 1000x20 on right.

    8EEA6520-30ED-49CC-9B96-CF5279F4A100.jpeg
     
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  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a few sets of 20 mm linear rail like that. They are pretty heavy, but it's really only the X and Z axis that the motors have to move the weight. The Y axis just sits there. Get some beefy motors and you should be OK. I have 280 on my K2 and they are 3/4" D. or so unsupported rails on lead screws 10 turns per inch.
    STEPPER MOTORS (probotix.com)
     
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  11. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    You are certainly building a very strong machine!! If my memory serves me correctly, you are building a router sled, is that correct?

    Mine is a bit lighter, as I have 1500mm x 16mm supported rails for the Y axis and 600mm x 16mm supported rails for the X Axis.

    Originally I was going to use the unsupported rails on the X Axis, but was able to return them and purchased the supported ones.

    On my X Axis the 600mm x 16mm rails will be mounted to 3/4" 6061 Aluminum, with 2 1/2" inch wide x 1/4" thick supports to create a "tray" figuring this would be very solid. Most likely it's complete overkill, but I'd prefer that over having to go back and figure out how to make it stronger!

    My knowledge base does not really extend to which is better or not, so please ask someone with far more experience than me.... I'm building my very first CNC machine and have very little experience with any of the aspects of working on these machines. But I am a voracious reader and do a bunch of research on each aspect as I'm going along. Probably not the best way to approach a project like this, but honestly if I overthought it too much no project would ever get off the starting line!!
     
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  12. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you for answering his question, my knowledge doesn't quite reach that far!

    My CNC will be using NEMA 23 425oz stepper motors... they should be more than powerful enough to move everything around. the Y Axis will have two outboard 1500mm ball screws and be driven by two of those stepper motors.

    From my limited knowledge, they should be able to move the gantry easily. But I do have a question.

    The Gantry uprights have enough room to use three bearing blocks. The plans I have use only two. Which would be better? Just an FYI, I already purchased an additional set of 4. So I was considering this for the X Axis as well.

    Of course after looking at those amazing Z Axis Sliders at cnc4newbies site, I tried to return the unit I purchased! Since it's outside the return window it has been listed on EBay... I'm not sure I will buy one of the offerings from cnc4newbies, but was looking at this 200mm offering.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T89X1N9/?tag=tdpri-20

    I'd appreciate any advice you'd be willing to offer!!
     
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  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't know if an extra set of bearings would be a benefit or not. You may want to pose the question on the CNC zone. I don't think I've personally seen 3 bearings but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    As far as the Z axis, I guess my answer would be these bearings may or may not be MIC. There are linear bearings I think made by THK and they are really expensive. If the bearings from China are knockoffs...well....who knows.

    THK LM System Linear Guide Bearing Rail RSR2ZMUUC1+120LM | eBay
     
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  14. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    I'm confident that the bearings are made in China. As are almost all the parts on most CNC's!! The question is, the bearings on the Z Plate linked above are good enough quality to last as long as the bearings in the sliders on the16mm rail and the balls in the ball-screws? They are all made in China...

    Even the ones that come from cnc4newbies doesn't list the manufacturer of the bearings.

    Literally just made a user login for CNC Zone this afternoon!! Thanks!
     
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  15. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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  16. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    If you really want to spend tons of money, just looking at parts for high quality CNC machines will lower your bank account significantly!!

    Check out this Z Axis set up I found while reading through a build on CNC Zone...

    https://www.avidcnc.com/pro-ballscrew-z-axis-p-482.html

    $649.00!!

    Was also watching a video where someone was comparing the inexpensive ball screw accuracy. They mentioned something about some German ball-screws that were some absolutely crazy high cost!!

    My goal here is to make an as accurate as possible machine on a mid-range kind of budget. So those super expensive parts are out of the question!! Most of the parts purchased will be MIC

    I'm learning a great deal about these machines. So glad that I'm digging much deeper into this stuff, some people are so very creative and amazing at building wonderful equipment.

    If any of the parts on my machine don't work or need to be "upgraded", I'm hoping that my machine will be accurate enough to make the new parts!!
     
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  17. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I u
    I use a Camaster Stinger II, myself. (the guitar stuff is a bonus...I do a lot of other things on the machine)

    ----

    Looking great, John! Chris's design is pretty decent for sure.

    I will be the contrarian about the computer thing...I often find that changes are needed with enough frequency, that being able to do them directly on my WinCNC box directly connected to my CNC saves me time. (Full disclosure, I do my actual major design work in my office in the house on my Mac...Aspire under Parallels)...but nearly 100% of the time, something needs to be fixed at least a dozen times. :D ) That said, there is no one "best" way.
     
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  18. ghostchord

    ghostchord Tele-Meister

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    Fun projects. One of these days I might build a big CNC.

    I built a small desktop CNC about 13 years ago and I was just playing with it again a few months ago. Too small for guitars or most guitar work. And run by a PC from the parallel port ;)

    My workflow is copy G code onto a flash drive, put the flash drive in this old machine that has a floppy disk, copy from the flash drive to the floppy disk, move the floppy disk to this older DOS machine with a parallel port, then run TurboCNC on that machine. But hey, at least the G-Code is generated with cutting edge cad/cam tools ;) This machine doesn't really have good dust extractions so every time you play with it it's a big freakin' mess of dust all over.

    Anyhow, since I'm just tinkering for fun and I got all this hardware sitting around ... a standalone controller is nicer. You want to have a streamlined process if you're going to be using something frequently, especially if you're making just one part.

    I used to write software for controlling big accurate machines with high performance linear motors, air bearings, sub-micron accuracy, lots of granite ;) I got to learn a lot about the mechanical and electrical designs of these beasts.
     
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  19. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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  20. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    After looking at a bunch of homegrown machines, the design Chris came up with is pretty good. Is it perfect? No, but what really is? Well unless you spend HUGE money.

    The honest truth is that I kind of slide sideways into this CNC build thing. I had to return many parts because after thinking it through, it would have been a bad idea. Which goes to show that I started with a completely different machine in mind when I began.

    To top it all off, this machine is far too "good" for my level of understanding of CAD/CAM, G-Code, Design, CNC, software and everything else. So for sure it's jumping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.

    Many mistakes will be made along the way, but if there is one thing I feel I'm really good at it's learning something new. For instance, the first designs to be attempted on this machine (after the marker trick) is to make very simple items. A small tray or a simple flat bracket, using inexpensive materials and taking my time learning how things work and get some of the mistakes out of the way.

    I've already bought a couple of packs of inexpensive CNC bits and mills so when they break, it's no big deal. This may be foolish or crazy, but I will accept advice and suggestions! But please keep the suggestion low on the economic scale and don't tell me to buy an $8,000. CNC!!
     
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