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Birth of a 4-axis CNC machine #3: How lovely are the feet!

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Blog entry by DS posted 610 days ago 3785 reads 0 times favorited 58 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Putting it together - a start, anyways. Part 3 of Birth of a 4-axis CNC machine series Part 4: Linear Rails - WOO HOO! - eBay doesn't totally suck after all. »

Okay, so I finally had to spend some money on this project…

I knew I needed a good foundation on this beast of a machine I am going to build, so I went about looking for a suitable set of leveler feet for it.
What I decided on turned out to be fairly cost effective and appropriately substantial to handle the anticipated load I’m going to put on this thing.

For $26.99 I found a set of four Billiard table legs on Amazon which looked like they would mount up perfectly to my machine.

When compared to the furniture levelers, there was no comparison. 6” diameter cast metal feet with a chrome finish—Nice!


First thing I had to do was to flip the frame upside down and drill a 1/2” hole through the bottom of the rail.


I added the T-slot nuts into the rail and screwed the mounting plate to the bottom of the rail. For this I had to shorten the screws a bit as they bottomed out before tightening the plate. That proved to be the most time consuming part as all I had was a cut-off disk in my dremel for the task.


The feet threaded right into the mounting plate and they are very secure.


Once all four feet were attached I flipped the frame back over.

Voila! It’s starting to look like something.

I still need to true up the framework, but that will be a relatively simple task, now that I have adjustable feet for it.

My next big purchase are the THK rails for the main X axis. They are 65” long and cost around $500.00 for the pair. This might seem overkill, but I intend on this thing being very accurate and tight toleranced.

It will be one of many substantial investments into this future CNC machine.
Thanks for following along! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251



58 comments so far

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4746 posts in 2479 days


#1 posted 609 days ago

Good move. Good idea.

Are you planing to add a skin to the sides to prevent racking? I have not ever worked with those extrusions so maybe it’s not a problem. (?)

Man, this is fun to watch.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15652 posts in 2815 days


#2 posted 609 days ago

I love watching guys who are as talented and determined as you do their stuff. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the end.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1017 days


#3 posted 609 days ago

Actually, I have some 3/4” MDO plywood that I will likely use to enclose the upper portion of the sides. I don’t think it is necessary for racking, but it will help keep the dust and chips from spraying everywhere. It certainly will add strength to the unit and not hurt in that regard.

Mainly, I just want to make sure that it won’t be in the way of any future components before I add it to the framework.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7618 posts in 2649 days


#4 posted 609 days ago

It’s nice to be able to see a true trip into the future…

Thank you for the blow by blow description of your project!

You’re doing a First Class job of it!

Happy Thanksgiving to Y’all too!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3591 posts in 1965 days


#5 posted 609 days ago

Yes, these extrusions are really wonderful!

You are making good progress. Is this going to be a gantry type? Have you decided on the motors? How about a PLC for control like Laguna uses on the CNC. Too many questions!

When I was working we used T slot and 80/20 material almost as much as paper. Our model shop stocked some material, was set up to cut the end connector mounts, and even developed some innovative components for our internal use. I was fortunate to be able to use this material in a number of application because the are very cost effective.

Adding the MDO will also make it sound real nice when the motors kick in!

I see that you haven’t solved the racking problem yet and since you aren’t using the the end connectors. adding gusset plates to the corners will help, the longer the better. Typically the gusset are added on the outside but they can be cut to fit on the inside also.

Are you going to add casters too as this will become heavy when the actual CNC hardware is attached?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1017 days


#6 posted 609 days ago

Yes, there will be a gantry for the Y and Z axis.

No, there will not be casters. This will be installed in place and not moved.

I’ve seen the T-slot gussets and will be likely using a few on the gantry to help rigidize it. I keep wondering if MDO gussets would be just as effective in certain areas.

Yes, there will be an external controller, though axis interpolation will likely happen on a PC and not in a PLC. (I won’t know for sure until I get to look at the controller’s manual, but I don’t think it will be smart enough for interpolation.)

I’m putting together quite the wish list of parts in my Amazon queue. They will be purchased as the budget allows. I’ve selected motors, the controller, gussets, THK rails, the 4th axis jaw, mount and motor, and I just recently found a tail stock that will mount nicely too. I still need to find a nice rack and pinion setup for the X-axis. I’ve seen some, but nothing that suits my application yet.

As I go, I keep finding better parts and swapping them out on my wish list. The goal is to get the best value parts possible on this machine without breaking the bank.

As money allows, and the build progresses, I will pull the trigger on the next parts needed in the build from my wish list.

Thanks for your interest.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12884 posts in 1272 days


#7 posted 609 days ago

Looking good!

Are you doing a build log on CNCZone.com???
CNCRouterParts.com has mechanical drive parts, well pretty much everything to build a CNCRouter & entire machine kits available.

Looking forward to following along on your journey!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

8968 posts in 957 days


#8 posted 609 days ago

I’m mesmerized…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View whitewulf's profile

whitewulf

438 posts in 1534 days


#9 posted 609 days ago

Are you building a wood router or mill for metals ? Steppers/ servos?
Not sure I understand the thinking behind “rack & pinion” on X-axis?
Is it going to use Open/Closed loop?

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12884 posts in 1272 days


#10 posted 609 days ago

Rack & Pinion: Rack is attached to the frame, while the motor & pinion is on the axis to be moved.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3591 posts in 1965 days


#11 posted 609 days ago

DIYaholic is right and has a good photo of the implementation of rack and pinion. That’s the way a lot on CNCs, including mine are done, and it appears to be a good solution. I have seen implementations of the lead screw but not as often and I think the thrust bearings may become an issue under heavy loads.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12884 posts in 1272 days


#12 posted 609 days ago

oldnovice said: ”DIYaholic is right…”

I don’t hear that too often, actually at all!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3591 posts in 1965 days


#13 posted 609 days ago

DIYaholic you must be married ….. that’s a joke son! But when your right you are right!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

8968 posts in 957 days


#14 posted 609 days ago

Now his head is going to swell 3 times its size…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1017 days


#15 posted 607 days ago

DIY —thanks. I’ve actually looked at that Rack and Pinion setup. So far, it seems the most promising.
The main thing is getting components the sizes that I need. It looks like I’ll be using one and a half lengths of gear track to fit this together.

I’m also hoping to eliminate the rubber belt from this assembly as it introduces a small “backlash” into the axis when changing directions. I’m shooting for 0.0005” repeatability spec, which means no rubber drive belts in the major axis’. Of course, this is subject to change as the budget allows, or rather, doesn’t allow.

oldnovice mentioned using a lead screw, (or a ball screw), but my X axis will have 64” of travel, which is a bit long for an unsupported lead screw—it will wobble. (I’ve seen this on an DIY machine before.) Since my Y and Z axis’ are fairly short, a ball screw is currently my choice for these axis’.

whitewulf, this will be for working wood – though, plastics and non ferrous metals could be managed well enough on this machine. Initially, this will be an open loop setup. I was, just this morning, looking at encoders for some of the functions, but, I’m not yet sure if I will need them. There will be home switches on each of the axis’ which will allow some correction for missed steps.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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