|Project by Mark55||posted 01-16-2013 05:41 PM||7354 views||34 times favorited||20 comments|
Here it is; my revised improved Router milling machine. For those of you who did not see my other machine look at my past projects for a quick review. This is the streamlined improved updated version. I will have some videos of it posted soon so check back if you would like to see them.
This machine is a culmination of 5 years of experimenting with the concept and use of the machine. I am absolutely amazed at its capabilities. I have built 5 of these over the past few years and improved each as I went along. My main goal was to build it for a half way reasonable cost and still have an accurate machine.
The table is 22” by 48” and has 30” of movement right to left, 17” of movement front to back and the head has 15” of movement up and down. The head has an plunge feature operated by foot pedal. The head can also rotate up to 90 degrees either way. There is a rotating table feature and lathe feature not shown.
The table is driven with # 35 chain and 13 tooth sprockets. This pushes the table a little more than 2” with one turn of the handle which is needed for wood routing. Threaded rod was too slow about an 1/8 inch per turn. It is amazingly tight there is no backlash or slop in the cranks and the table is tight too.
There are stops on the table to set your cut distance and stops on the plunge feature for depth.
Because it is so big the table actually unhooks from the main machine for transportation purposes and to get it through doors.
There are many improvements on this machine. Any time you build something like this you have to take into consideration rigidity and the ability to keep all moving parts smooth and tight to keep accuracy to your work.
I solved the rigidity problem by making the frame out of 3/4 ” plywood laminated together sometimes as much as 3 layers thick and all joints are overlapped and glued. This thing is solid and has no twist what so ever.
The next big issue was the slide rails. For this I had 2 problems, because there is so much travel on the rails I needed something strong so it could handle the weight of what is being put on the table unlike a CNC machine the only weight is the router and mechanics.
Dealing with a cost issue I did not want to spend a ton of money on heavy steel rod because there is about 20 feet of it total. So I tried using 1 1/2” emc electrical conduit then sanded and polished the tubes so they were slick, this worked pretty good.
Next, the slide bearings, the obvious would be linear bearings but to get some (12) that size would be a small fortune and would not fit the slides tubes and the bottom ones would be running in saw dust a lot and could be a problem.
Anytime you build a machine out of wood you have to take into consideration expansion and contraction of the wood and how it will affect moving parts and I had that problem in some of my previous machines.
So what I did was found a manufacture that sold their 3/4” thick plastic scraps. I used this stuff for many parts. Anything you see on the machine that is black is the plastic. I machined my slide bearings and slide tube holders out of the same material, this keeps expansion and contraction to a minimum and because it is the same material it is constant with each other and it has worked really well.
I even make my own bushings for the rods for all the cranks. The reason being every type that that I have bought there was either a problem holding them in the wood or they were too sloppy. The ones I make are tight and fasten to the wood with screws because I machine a big flange on them. (By the way I machined most of the parts on my original machine).
I have shown it in woodworking clubs and to many that would like to have one. I wrestled with plans for it for a long time because I knew it wasn’t quite ready yet. It had some bugs that I have since worked out and now I am ready to release it as a kit with plans. I want other people to enjoy this thing, it opens up a whole new world to woodworking. I hope to have it ready in about 3 to 4 weeks.
-- Mark, Newton, NC. www.routermillwoodworks.weebly.com