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View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: About to take the plunge



ChrisJ
05-06-2017, 06:12 PM
Hello everyone. My name is Chris. I'm based in the UK and a newcomer to CNC although I've been a woodworker (as a hobby) for some time now.

Having researched the topic for a few months now and been round the houses a bit (Ox, X-Carve, Stepcraft, CNC Step, Marchant Dice, Cau Cau, Omio) I've finally decided (I think...) to buy an AccTek AKG6090 -

1. Working area: 600*900*150 mm
2. Cast Iron body
3. T-Slot table
4. Mach3 control system
5. 1.5 KW water cooling spindle
6. X Y Taiwan TBI ball screw transmission
7. Z axis Taiwan TBI ball screw transmission
8. Taiwan CSK square rails
9. Nema23 stepper motor and Leadshine drivers
10. Fuling inverter
11. Limited switches
12. Tool sensor

Jack at Acctek has been very helpful so far and I'm just doing my research on the cost and logistics of importing/having delivered something weighing >200kg into the UK.

I wish I could have built something myself but I reckon it would take me a long time and I'd make a bit of an arse of it, tbh - besides, I've got countless woodwork projects waiting. The Acctek machine looked to be well specified so hopefully it'll be well put together too.

Anyways, I thought I'd start a thread to talk about my experience with Acctek/importing, just in case it's helpful to someone out there. I've benefited/enjoyed this and other forums so I hope I can give a little something back in return.

Cheers,

Chris

Neale
06-06-2017, 10:34 AM
Chris - first time, I think, that I have heard Acctek mentioned here. A friend of mine who runs a small business making notice boards and similar wanted a router to bring engraving and similar jobs "in house" as he had been sub-contracting this part of the work. However, he wanted more control of costs and quality, so decided to buy a machine of his own. He did consider building and had a look at my router but as this was for business and he already had a backlog of work to do on it, went for the Acctek machine. He found them good to deal with, did a lot of negotiation over spec via Skype, and ended up with one of the 6090 variants. He did go for a water-cooled 2.2KW spindle, not for the extra power but because it can take 13mm shank cutters. For example, on my own machine I have a 2" cutter with 1/2" shank that I use for light surfacing jobs, which can be very useful.

He also arranged his own transport using a UK shipping agent who took care of all the details, VAT, import duty, etc, for what was apparently a very reasonable price. Not sure who he used.

The machine took a little bit of setting up, but given that it had been in a container from China this isn't too surprising. I was able to help him with Mach3 (he bought his own licence to avoid some of the Chinese-sourced Mach3 issues like "demo licence only") which would have given him problems. For example, you have to install the touchplate support code and the instructions aren't too straightforward to follow, you need to figure out home positions and configure accordingly. However, it did come with a USB-connected external motion controller which meant that he could use a cheap old PC to drive it - no PC performance problems.

Overall, mechanically, it does the job. There are quite a few rough edges, paintwork is OK but not brilliant, some holes look as if they were drilled freehand, etc, but it worked. Only real problem was that the gantry axis home switch did not operate. We took the covers off and found that the trigger for the proximity switch was, literally, a broken tap screwed into the mounting hole complete with locknut, but it was badly out of adjustment. Can't have even worked in the factory, and I can't see how that vibrated into the hole and relocked its locknut in transit! Tweaked it, relocked nut, and it's been working fine since. Overall, then, not a perfect machine but for the price, it works and is rather more solidly built than some of the machines you mention.

Good luck!

ChrisJ
06-06-2017, 04:52 PM
Hi Neale.

Thanks very much for those comments. I'll look into the cost of upgrading the order to a 2.2kW spindle for the reasons you mention. It didn't occur to me that the 1.5kW and 2.2kW spindles would have a different capacity but the added flexibility could be very handy.

From what I've read, it seems to be a good idea to ask the seller to ship FOB and, as your friend did, get a UK shipping agent to handle the paperwork, duty, VAT and delivery at this end. I've looked at shippo.co.uk and the price looks ok but I'll get some more quotes to compare. There are a few horror stories of people getting stung with additional import-related costs that weren't apparent at the outset when the seller shipped via CIF/CFR rather than FOB terms. Incidentally, there's a lot of useful info on the Shippo website relating to importing from China - well worth checking out if that's relevant to anyone.

Re the set-up issues - forewarned is forearmed, thanks. Hopefully with some research and a bit of guidance I'll muddle through. I'd heard that AccTek offer pretty decent technical support and it seems likely I'll be in a position to comment on that in due course, given that I'm new to all this.

Hmm... that's an interesting bit of improvisation when the tap for the home switch trigger snapped off! I'm really hoping that there won't be too much of that 'Friday afternoon' attention to detail. I'll be having a very close look and will report back in due course. If the machine is well put together and works well then I'll be singing AccTek's praises, but similarly I'll also highlight any problems if I find any.

Cheers,

Chris

Lee Roberts
06-06-2017, 11:43 PM
Hi Chris, welcome to the forum.

As Neale said, not seen any Acctek conversation come up before, would be intresting to see how you get on, what you get and some shots of the machine on those friday afternoon's ;-).

Good Luck!

Olly
14-06-2017, 12:04 AM
Hi Chris

I have just joined the site, looking to retire at the end of the year and was hoping to do something like this myself. Im 56 years of age, worked as an aircraft machinist doing more conventional than CNC but have an understanding how CNC works, I may want to pick your brain for any info you may have

Thank you

Steve

Clive S
14-06-2017, 10:38 PM
Hi Chris

I have just joined the site, looking to retire at the end of the year and was hoping to do something like this myself. Im 56 years of age, worked as an aircraft machinist doing more conventional than CNC but have an understanding how CNC works, I may want to pick your brain for any info you may have

Thank you

Steve

Hi Chris and welcome to the forum if you want to start building a machine I suggest you start a build log and start asking questions and be prepared to take a bit of flack you will find that there is a good bunch on here and wiling to help

ChrisJ
15-06-2017, 09:13 AM
Hi Steve.
Great post-retirement project and I wish I had your engineering background. I'm very happy to contribute anything I've learned but just to warn you that I'm new to this game so my knowledge is pretty limited.

Re Clive's self-build comment (hello Clive) - I was toying with the idea of building a machine but from what I've read, a steel frame is preferred for reasons of strength/ rigidity/ weight/ cost, and I don't have welding skills or the tools to accurately cut chunky bits of steel box section. Is using aluminium a viable alternative or would that be starting out on the wrong foot? I'd ultimately be aiming to use my CNC for wood only, but although I'm only a simple carpenter, I am fairly exacting so if the design and execution of a self-build machine didn't give me decent reproducible accuracy, I'd be a bit gutted. The cost-effectiveness of a self build does appeal though!
Chris

Clive S
15-06-2017, 09:26 AM
Chris A 900 x 600 machine is very doable will ali profile check out some of the build logs and see what other have done.

ravihotwok
15-06-2017, 12:58 PM
welcome mate, looking forward to some updates mate

ChrisJ
19-06-2017, 06:25 PM
Thanks Clive. I took your advice and have been reading the building logs over the last 4 days. I must say, I'm hugely impressed with quality of the DIY builds and the generosity of the folk on the forum with helping one another out with advice.

It's a steep learning curve and there's a lot of information to digest, but I think I'll do a bit more homework and start a build log. I've got a few concerns - namely how to accurately cut and machine aluminium parts (e.g. gantry end plates) when I don't have a CNC, and the electronics side of things is pretty baffling at the moment, but maybe I could do it. It would be a case of 'standing on the shoulders of giants' in order to see though!

Cheers

Chris