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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after a over a year of research I have decided to build a CNC. I have opted to use some parts from a kit available on the internet and change the plans a bit to better fit my situation. I will be attempting to make this a build thread if y'all are interested. I am not sure how long it will take to complete since I will be working on it in my free time. I am tempted to make an estimate so that I can laugh at my ignorance later.

Well here we go:

Parts were delivered packaged well



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Hardware


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Spindle and freq drive


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Wooden gantry parts (kit)


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The next step is to build a table. I am going to weld up a metal subframe and top it with a 4" mdf torsion box.

More to come...
 

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Any chance you can tell us where all your parts came from? I own a CNC Shark from Rockler/NextWave Automation. 24.5" x 24.5" work space. I'm looking to upgrade to something that can handle parts up to 48" in length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The gantry is a precut kit from www.buildyourcnc.com

I ordered the black foot model.

Some of the hardware was purchased from there as well. Other parts are from various sites on the interwebs. Much of the hardware offered in the complete kit is offered cheaper directly from hardware supply companies. Also the water cooled spindle and freq drive can be purchased cheaper. Although, to me their mark up does not seem unfair and may be worth the cost to save the hassle of ordering from a bunch of different places and hoping that it all works together.

I was hoping that there would be a resource here at woodworking talk that would be able to help me make the jump on the cad/cam software. I have been reading and watching a bunch of tutorials and primers, but I have never ran a cnc before.

It seems that if I create a vector image then there is software available that will convert it to the tool path. Is this correct?
 

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The gantry is a precut kit from www.buildyourcnc.com

I ordered the black foot model.

Some of the hardware was purchased from there as well. Other parts are from various sites on the interwebs. Much of the hardware offered in the complete kit is offered cheaper directly from hardware supply companies. Also the water cooled spindle and freq drive can be purchased cheaper. Although, to me their mark up does not seem unfair and may be worth the cost to save the hassle of ordering from a bunch of different places and hoping that it all works together.

I was hoping that there would be a resource here at woodworking talk that would be able to help me make the jump on the cad/cam software. I have been reading and watching a bunch of tutorials and primers, but I have never ran a cnc before.

It seems that if I create a vector image then there is software available that will convert it to the tool path. Is this correct?
Hey Tharp prices would be nice to.. I was looking to build one also but was going to go from scratch. Your close to me and I have been wanting to stop over one day. This is just another reason to do it.

This as a build thread is a good idea.


Send me a PM with info if that sounds good to you.
 

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I have Enroute and VCarve experience. I much prefer VCarve Pro 7.0 over Enroute. Vectric.com (who makes VCarve) also sells Cut2D which will toolpath simple 2D vector lines you can import from other sources or create within it. Much cheaper and a good place to start.

What you get with VCarve Pro is carving, great sign making features, some useful 2.5d toolpathing features, and better editing. Many example videos, and free trial version at vectric.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got about $3,000.00 in hardware parts, gantry kit, freq drive, and water cooled 2.2 kW spindle. I still have to build a table, and buy software. I just decided it was cheaper to build one of these than to outsource some projects I have coming up.



rrbrown said:
Your close to me and I have been wanting to stop over one day. This is just another reason to do it.
I'll pm you my contact info.
You are welcome anytime. I didn't get to start on the table this week like I thought I would, Hopefully next week.
 

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Nice sink.Bet it's one of the most used "tools" in your shop?

May want to look into alternative spindle cooling liquids......it's a rust thing.Best of luck on your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
BWSmith said:
Nice sink.Bet it's one of the most used "tools" in your shop? .
The sinks are great, I actually have two of them in the shop. I picked them up about 2 years before I finished my shop for $75.00 from a place that went out of buisness. I wish I had 5 more.

I have not read anything on alternative cooling liquids. BESmith, would you care to point me in a direction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Finally it looks like I am going to get some shop time this weekend. Started cutting the metal for the table base.


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I am scavenging from my metal pile. Using 4" 11 gauge square tube for the legs. All I could find to cap them with was some 1/2 plate. No prob for the plasma cutter though. ;^) Gunna use 1 x 3 square tube for the apron and cross members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well finally! I got to do what I wanted to do today.


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Spent all day metal working and just about finished the base for the torsion box.

I couldn't find enough 1x3 so I had to use 1/8" 2x2 for the apron.


Adjustable legs
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That's gonna be one rugged table.. Hope you don't have to move it to often!
Why so heavy duty? is it for motion / vibration dampening?
Looks good so far..will be watching.
..Jon..
 

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Concrete has 5X the damping as steel.....rubber has 10X.

Be careful on where and how any vibration makes it's travel path.You can design it to be cancel'd "out" or slip up,and have it create a "sound bd" effect......choose the former.

Edit to add;hollow legs are filled with concrete(DP columns,etc)for both,weight and vibration damping.Carry on.

Edit #2;and can do this all day,haha.Take a cheap dial indicator and hold it up to a hollow steel leg while machine is running......watch the needle(should be obvious,this isn't good for indicator,so borrow your buddy's).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't expect a lot of vibration. The base is going to support a 5' x 10' 4 inch torsion box made with 3/4" mdf. The dividers will be on 9" centers. I have not done the material take off for the mdf yet but I know it's going to be very heavy. I also wanted the middle to be free of any columns so if I decided to put a shelf for sheet goods later I could easily do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got the table base painted. Hope to start the torsion box Monday. Work has been a bear as if late. Not much time for any fun. Anyway once the table is finished its on to assembly of the cnc. I can't wait.


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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Basically to mill wood Dandan

Sign making is a definite possibility, but I am looking forward to making router jigs, carved cabinet door panels, and just the learning process. I have never ran a cnc before.

I think it was the last issue of Fine Woodworking that had a picture, in the section that shows off other peoples work, of a set of doors that had an inlay scene completely cut with a cnc. It was a forest with the silhouette of trees and snow falling. Seeing that pushed me over the edge to learn what these machines are capable of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well the plans had some missing info on the size of the torsion box table, so I had to wait till I heard back from the cnc kit builder. I called, left posts on their message board, and emailed. I found that the best way to get answers was via email. The response was fast enough and information given was worded clear and professionally.

Well with that out of the way I started cutting the 5' x 10' sheets of mdf up



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This was a bear. The first time I have cut sheet goods this large.

The table top is 51 1/4" wide, that is about 1/2" larger than my fence allows, so I used the off cut from another cut to mark the sheet. Then I cut to an 1/8" of the line with my skilsaw, clamped the off cut back to the sheet and used it as a guide to finish up the cut with my router and a flush trim bit.


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After that it was just a series of narrow rips. When I get home today I hope to cut them to length and start assembly.



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