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View Full Version : Need help, buy or build to cut steel, stainless steel, titanium etc



fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 12:37 AM
Hey everyone, I am not sure if this question was asked on this forum before but if it wasn't I believe this post will be beneficial to the noobs like me who are trying to get into the CNC world in the future. I am looking to buy or build a small scale CNC milling machine which is stable and durable enough to cut steel,stainless steel, titanium etc. I am a bicycle frame builder by trade and I am looking to up my game by manufacturing unique and custom bike parts for my frames. This means having the ability to build bikes from ground up and bring back the bike building industry back to the UK. The price is not the issue as long as the machine doesn't resemble something like a small spaceship. Something like a desktop version will be so ideal for my workshop but the sad thing is I can't seem to find anything online that will fit this criteria. Milling machines/engravers are only good for wood and plastics so they are not good for me. The only steel/stainless steel cutting machines I have seen are like industrial scale, which honestly is very impractical for what I need it to od. So this is why I am on this forum to ask for your help and see if someone amongst you have a solution? Thanks

irving2008
02-02-2014, 01:25 AM
There are lots of CNC milling machines that could meet your needs but you need to clarify what parts you need to machine. Are you talking about small items such as stems, gear hangers, headset recesses or larger items such as the ends of tubes or maybe jig parts?

What's your budget?

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 10:37 AM
There are lots of CNC milling machines that could meet your needs but you need to clarify what parts you need to machine. Are you talking about small items such as stems, gear hangers, headset recesses or larger items such as the ends of tubes or maybe jig parts?

What's your budget?

The price is not an issue in this case. What I don't want is water cutting or plasma router as it is not practical for something like my workshop. Small scale yet powerful is something I am ready to invest in. The sort of parts I will be building will include dropouts, braze ons, sprockets, gear hangers out of materials like titanium, chromoly and stainless steel. So yeah small parts but I would like the machine to mill a surface area of 0.5m x 0.5m allowing me to make jig parts if necessary. For a jig I currently own something called a jiggernaut The Jiggernaut Frame Jig (http://www.flatpackfoundry.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50). Now I would like the machine to replicate this jig in the future. So still small scale and not something that weighs a couple of tons. Cheers

george uk
02-02-2014, 11:56 AM
Hi there

I usedto have a carting track so i get some of your needs, we used to pay a local firm to make the parts we wanted.

To save you a bit of reading and headscratching. direct your reading to the following directions.

1. Your spindle needs to be powerful enough to cut them materials at low speed but high torque. ( just meens matching your spindle to your needs when you purchase ). You will probebly find most ebay spindles to fast

2. You should be able to easly beat the resolution your looking for ( accuracy ) with a basic machine.

Some other point to consider.

You can build the cnc parts you need, on top an old machine, if you can find a good old fixed router machine that will run the router at the speeds and power you need, you can fit the XYZ to that. But, building your own new is relatively easy.

Depending on your table design, you could add a cheep plasma cutting head to it for the few times that it would be usfull, then have a spindle head for cutting/milling or other needs.

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 12:31 PM
Hi there

I usedto have a carting track so i get some of your needs, we used to pay a local firm to make the parts we wanted.

To save you a bit of reading and headscratching. direct your reading to the following directions.

1. Your spindle needs to be powerful enough to cut them materials at low speed but high torque. ( just meens matching your spindle to your needs when you purchase ). You will probebly find most ebay spindles to fast

2. You should be able to easly beat the resolution your looking for ( accuracy ) with a basic machine.

Some other point to consider.

You can build the cnc parts you need, on top an old machine, if you can find a good old fixed router machine that will run the router at the speeds and power you need, you can fit the XYZ to that. But, building your own new is relatively easy.

Depending on your table design, you could add a cheep plasma cutting head to it for the few times that it would be usfull, then have a spindle head for cutting/milling or other needs.

Thanks for a detailed reply George. I believe something with high torque, low speed and deep cutting will be an ideal cutter for my purpose. One thing that I do lack expertise in is designing something of this scale. For example I have never worked with any CNC device before but I ready to learn. So say if I had the parts and plans to build one then it will be relatively simple for me to assemble but to design the parts and then getting the parts made would be something I cannot do and I don't think I have the time and resources to learn at this stage. The best thing would be for me to ask you guys as what small scale machines do you guys have and what will you guys do to improve it? Thanks

deisel
02-02-2014, 01:15 PM
if it were me depending on the size of the parts and given the material you want to cut (you say small scale machine)id be looking at mill conversions to cnc ,theres a few conversion threads on here to give you some insight on whats involved.
by all means look at building one, if you can weld, something fixed gantry would be favourite with a proper spindle.

george uk
02-02-2014, 01:31 PM
hi


For example I have never worked with any CNC device before but I ready to learn, a lot of the knowledge you have for your current job fit in quite well. maybe a good idea to register for the meshcam email lessons in cnc, it gives you a good all round understanding from the machine to the bits,


So say if I had the parts and plans to build one then it will be relatively simple for me to assemble

this is a good place to start, http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/gantry-router-build-logs/6484-sufficiently-strong-machine.html


The best thing would be for me to ask you guys as what small scale machines do you guys have and what will you guys do to improve it.

perhaps you will get the best advise if you describe or show examples of the parts you want to cut. the angles you require on some of the parts may make a difference to what advice you get.

If you have an example of a complex part you wish to be able to machine, post it, it will give the more experienced machinest on here an idea of what you will need.

as well as above, i would consider thinking about it in the following order

1. machine cutting area, what is the maximum travel you need in XYZ ( largest part you will build )
2. whats the toughest material you think you may use

understanding the above, will allow people to give you advice on the parts like motors, drivers, screws and pitches, electronics and general design.

on the more compex side, will any of your parts require a turret ( side spinning spindle for milling or threads ect ), or a 4th axis. If you not sure about this, post examples of the parts

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 02:24 PM
maybe a good idea to register for the meshcam email lessons in cnc, it gives you a good all round understanding from the machine to the bits

I will. Thanks


this is a good place to start, A sufficiently strong machine (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/gantry-router-build-logs/6484-sufficiently-strong-machine.html)

I believe these guys made all the parts from scratch. Not sure if I have the resources or the background to be able to design my own parts but will keep reading


If you have an example of a complex part you wish to be able to machine, post it, it will give the more experienced machinest on here an idea of what you will need.

The things that I am most interested in making are these DROPOUTS :: Nova Cycles Supply Inc. (http://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle-frame-tubing/DROPOUTS/), BMX Sprockets | BMX Sprocket | Sprocket Sizes | Evans Cycles (http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/bmx/sprockets), maybe Road Cranksets | Chain Reaction Cycles (http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cranksets/road-cranksets) etc.

The emphasis is on making these parts custom to each bikes. Making original parts and choosing the best material for it.


1. machine cutting area, what is the maximum travel you need in XYZ ( largest part you will build )
2. whats the toughest material you think you may use

1. x-axis = 500mm y-axis 500mm z-axis= 150mm
2. Stainless steel and titanium


on the more compex side, will any of your parts require a turret ( side spinning spindle for milling or threads ect ), or a 4th axis. If you not sure about this, post examples of the parts

Not sure yet but i think it won't be necessary for the part I will be producing

george uk
02-02-2014, 04:20 PM
all good


2. Stainless steel and titanium

That shows you will need a decent water capacity for cooling ( or cooling liquid ), and run offs for the cooling in the bed, a pump, and probably a card that can controll the pump.


The things that I am most interested in making are these DROPOUTS :: Nova Cycles Supply Inc. (http://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle-frame-tubing/DROPOUTS/), BMX Sprockets | BMX Sprocket | Sprocket Sizes | Evans Cycles (http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/bmx/sprockets), maybe Road Cranksets | Chain Reaction Cycles (http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cranksets/road-cranksets) etc.

the standard sprockets should not be a problem, the more complex one, you would be better asking one of the more experiences users if they can achieve them required angles using bits, or if considerations for a B/C head strapped to the table would be the way forward from the start

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 04:39 PM
That shows you will need a decent water capacity for cooling ( or cooling liquid ), and run offs for the cooling in the bed, a pump, and probably a card that can controll the pump.

If I add all these components up will I still be able to achieve something of a reasonable size+weight that I could fit in my 12x8 shed? Or do I have to find an industrial unit to run this sort of machine? I know I am asking for a lot here but if you think I am being impractical then I guess I will have to leave this bizarre obsession of mine lo.

george uk
02-02-2014, 04:49 PM
no, its easily doable small, and compact, especially for what you need, all i meant above is you will need a water tank underneath and a suitable water pump ( 40 ). The other bit i say about the card and the pump, there is lots and lots of driver cards out there, when yopu have worked out what inputs and outputs you will need for your machine, then you will get good advice on what cards you need to run the motors.

At the moment, wait for one of the others to answer this


the standard sprockets should not be a problem, the more complex one, you would be better asking one of the more experiences users if they can achieve them required angles using bits, or if considerations for a B/C head strapped to the table would be the way forward from the start

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 04:51 PM
Excellent. Thanks for your constructive reply man. Cheers

irving2008
02-02-2014, 08:05 PM
hmmm, sprockets and cranksets are usually forged and then cnc machining used to clean them up. they aren't machined from solid and not entirely sure why you'd want to make custom ones anyway. those could be a little ambitious. dropouts & gearhangers and lugs are probable contenders (though I'm not fully convinced about the latter)

for machining SS or titanium IMHO you'd be better off with a cnc mill rather than a router, as the key to machining hard materials accurately is rigidity but for that you will need something bigger than will fit in a 12 x 8 shed. the machine in the 'sufficiently strong' thread is very good but I'd have my doubts about its ability to machine SS or titanium. SS is 4 - 5 times harder and titanium is 2 - 3 times harder to machine than aluminium.

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 08:27 PM
Well to be honest I don't think I will be making cranksets (it was just an idea) but sprockets for bmx and single speeds are usually made in cnc milling machines. I am not at all interested in making lugs but dropouts and gear hangers is something where I will be using this machine a lot.


as the key to machining hard materials accurately is rigidity but for that you will need something bigger than will fit in a 12 x 8 shed. the machine in the 'sufficiently strong' thread is very good but I'd have my doubts about its ability to machine SS or titanium. SS is 4 - 5 times harder and titanium is 2 - 3 times harder to machine than aluminium.

That was my original worry really whether something this powerful could be done on a small scale or not? I guess there is no middle ground then small machines are only good for wood and plastics and only large scale industrial machines are only good for ss and titanium. Oh well I will wait for what others have to say and then maybe leave this ambition of mine alone. Cheers

JAZZCNC
02-02-2014, 08:45 PM
Irvings correct when it comes to milling Titamium and even SS your into a massively differant machine to any router based machine you'll see on here.
To Mill SS or and Ti to any sort of acceptable standard you will need massive flood coolant and machine twice the ridgidty of Jonathans best effort.

Considering you have no experience of building or designing a machine then I strongly suggest you Forget the Idea for cutting this type of material because your on a hiding to nothing. Even if you gave someone like me the Challenge I'd have to sit think long and hard the best way achieve the strength you'd require and I can 100% guarantee it wouldn't be a moving Gantry router based machine.

Much better would be to buy some "Old Iron" Milling machine and retro fit it for Cnc. Still a challenge in it's self for a first timer to CNC but do-able.

If you do still want to go down the DIY build route then compleltely Forget moving Gantry style machine and look to Fixed Gantry machine. Keep the size to an absolute minimum required and build it MASSIVE strong. The larger the machine the hard that is to achive and very quickly becomes expensive has every thing has to scale up to match Ie, Motors, drives, Psu etc. It will need very good flood cooling so you will want it fully enclosed or get your self a good Mac and weelies.!!

It can be done but the machine required will be need to be several times stronger than you'll find around here and it will need someone with good engineering experience to build it accurately. You will also need Machinery to help achieve building it.

Don't think me being Negative here I'm being Honest and realistic with you.!!. . . . . . I could easily Blow smoke up your arse and say "Ye it's easy get on wi it" but I'd be a complete liar because it will be far from it.

Wish you Good luck if you do carry.

fatguyslim
02-02-2014, 09:40 PM
Irvings correct when it comes to milling Titamium and even SS your into a massively differant machine to any router based machine you'll see on here.
To Mill SS or and Ti to any sort of acceptable standard you will need massive flood coolant and machine twice the ridgidty of Jonathans best effort.

Considering you have no experience of building or designing a machine then I strongly suggest you Forget the Idea for cutting this type of material because your on a hiding to nothing. Even if you gave someone like me the Challenge I'd have to sit think long and hard the best way achieve the strength you'd require and I can 100% guarantee it wouldn't be a moving Gantry router based machine.

Much better would be to buy some "Old Iron" Milling machine and retro fit it for Cnc. Still a challenge in it's self for a first timer to CNC but do-able.

If you do still want to go down the DIY build route then compleltely Forget moving Gantry style machine and look to Fixed Gantry machine. Keep the size to an absolute minimum required and build it MASSIVE strong. The larger the machine the hard that is to achive and very quickly becomes expensive has every thing has to scale up to match Ie, Motors, drives, Psu etc. It will need very good flood cooling so you will want it fully enclosed or get your self a good Mac and weelies.!!

It can be done but the machine required will be need to be several times stronger than you'll find around here and it will need someone with good engineering experience to build it accurately. You will also need Machinery to help achieve building it.

Don't think me being Negative here I'm being Honest and realistic with you.!!. . . . . . I could easily Blow smoke up your arse and say "Ye it's easy get on wi it" but I'd be a complete liar because it will be far from it.

Wish you Good luck if you do carry.

Fantastic reply man. I like the fact you are being honest straight up with me so I am dropping this fantasy. I guess for now I might just stick to what I know and will revisit this idea in the future perhaps. Thanks guys you have all been very helpful

george uk
02-02-2014, 09:51 PM
hi

i agree with most of what jazz says, perhaps just not the way he puts it.

now i see what you need, i would consider retrofitting a second hand industrial mill/router with cnc componants.

about what is your budget, dont be discouraged yet. i would say, second hand mill 500-3000 ebay, cnc motors cards bits 500-1000.

JAZZCNC
02-02-2014, 10:10 PM
hi

i agree with most of what jazz says, perhaps just not the way he puts it.

WTF wrong with how I put it.? . . . It tells it the way it is.! . . . . . F@~ had enough you lot and twisting how things are written you can go BoL@&$ I'll keep my experience to my self in future.!

george uk
02-02-2014, 10:15 PM
can i also add, dont get to discouraged about cutting hard material with cnc machine.

It just means slow spindle speeds/cooling and long job times, but for what your doing, that would not be a problem, you may be able to pull off what you need for around 1000, 3000 would be easyer, 4000/5000 you could do it without worry

Wadkin LS Router - damaged | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wadkin-LS-Router-damaged-/181249710742?pt=UK_BOI_Building_Materials_Supplies _Carpentry_Woodwork_ET&hash=item2a33531a96)
WADKIN LS OVERHEAD PIN ROUTER 3 PHASE WORK HORSE LOTS OF PINS AND COLLETS | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WADKIN-LS-OVERHEAD-PIN-ROUTER-3-PHASE-WORK-HORSE-LOTS-OF-PINS-AND-COLLETS-/161194782253?pt=UK_BOI_Building_Materials_Supplies _Carpentry_Woodwork_ET&hash=item2587f52e2d)

a good example of a cheap starting frames you could retrofit. look around, you might find one that you can gear the spindle to the right speed for you.

Then fix XY to that solid table top,

EddyCurrent
02-02-2014, 10:15 PM
Fantastic reply man. I like the fact you are being honest straight up with me so I am dropping this fantasy. I guess for now I might just stick to what I know and will revisit this idea in the future perhaps. Thanks guys you have all been very helpful

Jazz, the OP said this, so go with this comment and forget the other, it's just easier.

george uk
02-02-2014, 10:37 PM
WTF wrong with how I put it.? . . . It tells it the way it is.! . . .

Nothing Jazz, your just not very encouraging, but i, like most, prefare people to be direct like you, thats not in anyway a criticism.

in his first post he says


I am a bicycle frame builder by trade and I am looking to up my game .
Thats a skill set what is directly would lend itself to building a decent CNC machine, he is a buisness trying to solve a problem with a machine, that means he will commited to doing it


http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by JAZZCNC http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/workshop-equipment/7112-need-help-post54502.html#post54502)Irvings correct when it comes to milling Titamium and even SS your into a massively differant machine to any router based machine you'll see on here.

To Mill SS or and Ti to any sort of acceptable standard you will need massive flood coolant and machine twice the ridgidty of Jonathans best effort.

i suggested jonathans machine early on when he said he wanted a general cnc machine, and thats a great machine for anyone to start with. Its after that, when he showed what parts and what material, i would not have suggested that because clearly, a milling machine is more appropriate.

Jonathan
02-02-2014, 10:53 PM
Cutting stainless steel and titanium with a 500x500mm machining area is definitely challenging, especially if you need to do a lot of it on a limited budget. However, if we're only talking about a few parts a week (so speed is not an issue), then I wouldn't rule it out altogether. The machine mentioned earlier is about the size you need and was designed to be 'sufficiently strong' to cut mild steel (not stainless). Although I've not tested it much, at least from a stiffness point of view it does appear to meet that specification. I measured the stiffness of that machine (parallel to the X and Y axes) and it's comparable to my milling machine (http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/clarke-cmd1225d-milling-drilling-machine) - i.e stiffer in one axis and a bit weaker in the other. Stainless steel and titanium both require a (relatively) low speed spindle, so for me to try cutting these at any reasonable rate would require a different spindle. However, since the stiffness is similar to my milling machine and I know that my milling machine tolerates cutting stainless steel, I can be reasonably confident in predicting that the 'sufficiently strong' machine would be able to cut stainless steel with the right spindle. Just to emphasize - I don't mean it would cut at a high rate but quick enough to be useful for the occasional part. Looking for a big enough milling machine would still be you best bet, but you'll need a lot of space for it.

Perhaps the main difficulty with cutting titanium and stainless steel, compared to aluminum, is that in addition to being much harder materials they also work harden. This limits the extent to which you can get away with just taking smaller cuts, so the machine must meet a certain level of stiffness before you can do anything useful (except perhaps engraving).

JAZZCNC
02-02-2014, 11:43 PM
Jazz, the OP said this, so go with this comment and forget the other, it's just easier.

Eddy it's hard when I get Folks who only 6weeks ago didn't know the differance between nema23 & nema 24 motors and pointing someone to Bloody Pin routers to Mill Titanium telling me I'm being negative just because I give somebody who freely commented they have no experience with CNC a very realistic idea of what there about to get into.!

Helping hisn't always about helping to build.? Sometimes it's in peoples best interests not to build and look at alternative solutions and in this case I feel it's in OP best interest not to build.

I'm just starting to get slightly pissed off that my words are being taken out of context and twisted into something completely differant.!!

Clive S
02-02-2014, 11:47 PM
post 1 Something like a desktop version will be so ideal for my workshop but the sad thing is I can't seem to find anything online that will fit this criteria. and post 3 gear hangers out of materials like titanium, chromoly and stainless steel. So yeah small parts but I would like the machine to mill a surface area of 0.5m x 0.5m allowing me to make jig parts if necessary.

george uk If you had read the posts you might have seen the criteria for the machine So a big lump of iron won't fit the bill ..Clive

george uk
03-02-2014, 01:28 AM
Clive, i agree ( accept what your saying ) , i was just chatting to get an understanding of what he needed any why

As sooin as i see he needed to cut hard material, by here http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/workshop-equipment/7112-need-help.html#post54478 i recomened he gets other more experienced machinests opinions on cutting that. I do know were my limits are and i would not advise anyone byond what i am confident myself in.

But, i persevered . because he said, 1. it was for a business 2. Money was not a worry. He also mentioned that he might want to machine some jig parts. I looked at all what he had posted, and thought them machines would be a very good starting base for what he needed to do.

One of them pin router tables i pointed to 300, for a mill base, thats got a workable area close to what he needs. they are rock solid. It would be easy to mount XY on that and motorise the Z and be strong enough mill. apart from the spindle, 700 extra should do the job at a push.


Eddy it's hard when I get Folks who only 6weeks ago didn't know the differance between nema23 & nema 24 motors a

Ok Jazz, i will bite. I openly asked what the main differences were apart from just higher rating, and got the answer. I was also from the start it was suggested that i was looking at a too powerful motor ( nema 32 ), but the further i have got down my plan, the more they seem the correct choice. I will know over the next week or so, as the frame is assembled so i can test the Y design.

Point 2 ( i said i will bite ).


I'm being negative just because I give somebody who freely commented they have no experience with CNC a very realistic idea of what there about to get into.!

He clearly has the skill set BUILD OR UPGRADE the mechanical side of a CNC machine. He builds frames for a living, when someone like this says they have no cnc experience/understanding, it usually just means they dont understand the motor movements to the computer relationship. the Computer Numeric Control part.

any you will notice, that i recommended that he look at meshcam, as that gives a none cnc person, an easy to understand look at ( visualisation ) possible machining limits. Very easy to learn and pick up and free for a month.

I still stand by what i suggested. but dont wish to be confrontational, just clear

kingcreaky
03-02-2014, 10:25 AM
Welcome to the forum fatguyslim.

"I think" you need to catch the CNC bug!!. once you have caught it, it changes your perspective on how you go about doing any job. Your initial requirements are a perhaps a little High for somebody starting out, but that doesn't mean that you should just give up. There is a entire other world just round the corner, that as you say, will vastly aid your goals. Perhaps see if you can buy yourself a cheap machine that meets your storage & workshop space requirements for now. Something that perhaps is only any good for cutting wood and plastic. That way you can learn the software experiment and see just how powerful it is.

Then, once you have a little confidence, you will see just how easy material you think "wont ever bend" bends and flex's before your very eyes, and its with this hands on experience you will be able to see clearer the points that have been made above. Then, Like some of the more experienced members have suggested, I would buy myself a solid milling machine.. something off ebay etc, as a milling machine, then convert it to cnc, that sounds like a huge job to a newbie.. which is why im suggesting you buy yourself something small so you catch the bug learn the concepts, then you can use your "hands on" skills previously described to convert a machine to your ultimate requirements.

They come up often enough, you buy it cheap learn all about it, no doubt you will be able to sell it on once you have finished playing!

Im perhaps too far away (leicester) but you would be welcome to come and play with my wood router which although nothing like your requirements, would give you the enthusiasm you need to get on with it.

Please dont give up, or put it off. I wish you all the best.

JAZZCNC
03-02-2014, 05:51 PM
Ok lets just backup here.!! . . . First George sorry for Snapping I was out of order for that, but of late it seems my words are being twisted out of context.
To be accused of being Discouraging is somewhat insulting to me because often I'm the first to Chim up and encourage people, freely giving advise and often getting involved in some way or another off forum. (Which for the Record I'm going to offer my Hand to Fatguyslim via PM.)

I never said give up on CNC I merely gave a very realistic dose of reality to someone with no experience. I also gave some very good Alternatives and recommendations on correct machine design if the guy did continue down the DIY CNC route. . . I then wished him Luck.!!

So Between this and other Post's where what I'm posting gets twisted or misread I've decided I'll be taking a back seat from now on and refrain from posting. I'll be around just not offering advice. (well not publicly anyway)

Happy CNC-ing to all. .:thumsup:

(Oh before those that feel the need say it.! This is not me throwing the Teddy out the Pram it's me saying enough is enough and I don't need the hassle.!!)

fatguyslim
03-02-2014, 09:01 PM
I would like to add that I wasn't discouraged by what Jazz said. It was in fact very good straight forward reply. Not just that but everyone who has contributed to this post has been very helpful. This is by far a very active forum, I never knew how big this community is? Ok so lets start off with a budget... I would like to add that I am happy to spend anywhere in the region of 5k-10K. And if it happens to cost more to achieve small yet then yes I can stretch a bit more. The reason I got on this forum was to learn if someone has build something of this sort before or if anyone is currently working on one? But I take it this is a whole different ball game.

To give you guys a bit more background on what I do... I make bike frames out of bamboo. Currently my frames are going through BS/EN testing so soon they will be up for sale. Now the whole cycling frame industry only caters for steel frame builders and aluminium frame builders in general. All major carbon frame companies machine their own frame ends as far as I know. S for someone like me I am looking to make custom parts for each frame. I use carbon for my joints and to align carbon properly to compensate for all various stresses I need something custom every time. Now if you imagine asking a metal cutting company to cut just a couple of these parts every time I need a frame it will end up costing me quite a bit over and over (sometimes they don't even do it and simply say no lol).

I get told from my friend's that I am at early stage of this thing so I shouldn't be looking into CNC machines but I believe that is bullocks as I know how powerful and useful these machines can be. I don't just wan to limit myself to frame building but rather use this machine to create new things and maybe a bit of prototyping here and there. So yeah now you know the story. And if anyone is up for the challenge to build something this "nuts" then I will be happy to pay them for their services. Cheers

routercnc
03-02-2014, 09:04 PM
Hi Fatguyslim,

I'm not sure if the few last posts have piqued your interest again or not, so this question may not be relevant.

But if you were to design and make your own bike bits for these higher stress areas and sell them to the public where do you stand in terms of liability in case of failure? Would you need to carry out your own stress and durability analysis on those safety critical items, and is that something you were planning anyway?

EDIT: Crossed with your post. Ignore - BS/EN testing mentioned in your post . . . apologies.

fatguyslim
03-02-2014, 09:07 PM
Hi Fatguyslim,

I'm not sure if the few last posts have piqued your interest again or not, so this question may not be relevant.

But if you were to design and make your own bike bits for these higher stress areas and sell them to the public where do you stand in terms of liability in case of failure? Would you need to carry out your own stress and durability analysis on those safety critical items, and is that something you were planning anyway?

Not sure if you read my last post but my bikes are currently going through BS/EN testing for MTB, Road and City frame so if they pass this testing then i can get public liability insurance for my bikes.

routercnc
03-02-2014, 09:12 PM
... I make bike frames out of bamboo.

Was that you in the paper recently (article in a Derby paper which in-laws brought down with them on their recent visit) having had a bamboo bike stolen, then later recovered it at some dodgy market?

Bit rare to have a bamboo bike so thought it worth asking . . .

fatguyslim
03-02-2014, 09:15 PM
Was that you in the paper recently (article in a Derby paper which in-laws brought down with them on their recent visit) having had a bamboo bike stolen, then later recovered it at some dodgy market?

Bit rare to have a bamboo bike so thought it worth asking . . .

No this company you are talking about is based in Scarborough. My designs are different from them and use different technique. Will be posting some of my frames here in the future if you want?

FatFreddie
03-02-2014, 09:34 PM
No this company you are talking about is based in Scarborough. My designs are different from them and use different technique. Will be posting some of my frames here in the future if you want?
I'd certainly be interested to see them - I meddled with steel frame building and carbon fibre handlebars back in the late 80s and like to see innovations in bike design.

gavztheouch
03-02-2014, 09:52 PM
Has anyone ever machined stainless or titanium? I have a feeling even a Bridgeport knee mill would struggle and that is way beyond the strength of a home brew cnc. Would it be possible to use something softer and then have it induction hardend after machining?

fatguyslim
03-02-2014, 10:40 PM
I'd certainly be interested to see them - I meddled with steel frame building and carbon fibre handlebars back in the late 80s and like to see innovations in bike design.

Some real innovation going on in the carbon market but carbon is too stiff ride and road bike industry won't sway from it no matter what you come out with. People are obsessed with the weight of the bike, they refuse to loose few kilos on their body yet they love to pay 6000 for something that weighs few grams less than a 3000 bike. Oh well I can keep going on and on about this lol.

Lee Roberts
03-02-2014, 11:11 PM
Will be posting some of my frames here in the future if you want?

Ok count me in, i'm intrigued to see your designs and how these things are made.

There was a similar story to this one on here long ago, a lad wanted to work with carbon fiber. He was also advised that it would require a decent machine, that carbon fiber was a very unforgiving material to be working with and not to expect much tool life from cutters.

From what I can remember he went on to build a machine, the last memories I have are of watching his YouTube videos, of the machine making parts with carbon fiber as the stock material !

I look forward to seeing this one come to fruition fatguy, I think you’ve already had the sound advice you need at this stage so won’t add to it.

Stay positive, nothing is imposable and good luck for the future.!

.Me

EddyCurrent
04-02-2014, 11:36 AM
There's also these Woodelo | Performance Wooden Bicycles (http://woodelo.ie/) on here STONEY CNC · ROUTER SYSTEMS BLOG (http://stoneycnc.co.uk/StoneyCNCtestimonials.html)

FatFreddie
04-02-2014, 11:58 AM
Has anyone ever machined stainless or titanium? I have a feeling even a Bridgeport knee mill would struggle and that is way beyond the strength of a home brew cnc. Would it be possible to use something softer and then have it induction hardend after machining?

The description "stainless" covers a very wide range of alloys - some are quite easy to machine, others difficult. A Bridgeport in decent nick shouldn't have any problem with most varieties in the sizes we're talking about here. I've cut it on a horrible Clarkes combi lathe / mill and while the finish wasn't like glass it was ok, The chuck is still covered with the residue from the vaporised coolant though (no flood coolant, just a hand held spray) :-)

Similarly, Titanium comes in a wide variety of alloys and tempers but a good quality mill should cut most of the alloys ok if you get your setup correct (cooling, fixturing, tooling, feed rates etc).

http://www.kennametal.com/content/dam/kennametal/kennametal/common/Resources/Catalogs-Literature/Industry%20Solutions/Titanium_material_machining_guide_Aerospace.pdf.

george uk
04-02-2014, 11:40 PM
hi

the following machine IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH FOR U.

but am posting it so you can see what space you can fit a quite accurate machine. this machine with the correct motors, probebly a decent bit of kit if you fancy prototyping on a small space.

maybe give you some design ideas
5 Axis Engraving Machine Supporting Frame Unit Ball Screw CNC 3040 Router Table | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-Axis-Engraving-Machine-Supporting-Frame-Unit-Ball-Screw-CNC-3040-Router-Table-/251378251993?pt=UK_BOI_Metalworking_Milling_Weldin g_Metalworking_Supplies_ET&hash=item3a874fb8d9)

irving2008
05-02-2014, 03:57 PM
Some real innovation going on in the carbon market but carbon is too stiff ride and road bike industry won't sway from it no matter what you come out with. People are obsessed with the weight of the bike, they refuse to loose few kilos on their body yet they love to pay 6000 for something that weighs few grams less than a 3000 bike. Oh well I can keep going on and on about this lol.

ohhh can of worms -> opening time lol. But I'm in agreement with you re weights v costs and the power of marketing. When I was able to ride a bike I loved my ali frame/carbon forks/carbon monostay road bike @ 8.5kg, so not the lightest but light enough. I tried many full carbon but never liked the 'feel', the stiffness was great when putting the power down but tiring for long rides on uk road surfaces. For longer rides you couldn't beat my Condor Fratello steel tourer. It was almost as light @ 9kg but the feel was very different and took the worst out of the road surfaces. Of course the wheelset is just as important as the frame for ride quality...

fatguyslim
08-02-2014, 09:20 AM
ohhh can of worms -> opening time lol. But I'm in agreement with you re weights v costs and the power of marketing. When I was able to ride a bike I loved my ali frame/carbon forks/carbon monostay road bike @ 8.5kg, so not the lightest but light enough. I tried many full carbon but never liked the 'feel', the stiffness was great when putting the power down but tiring for long rides on uk road surfaces. For longer rides you couldn't beat my Condor Fratello steel tourer. It was almost as light @ 9kg but the feel was very different and took the worst out of the road surfaces. Of course the wheelset is just as important as the frame for ride quality...

In that case you will love bamboo bikes not just because I build them lol but also the fact that you can go for long rides on bamboo with little to no fatigue. Steel can go through high number of fatigue cycles before it deforms completely so it is a good choice for touring bikes still but bamboo is a pure beast it goes millions of cycles before anything happens to it. I have a bamboo fixie that ride quite often and trust me going uphill is a joy on this bike than a struggle. It is a very interesting material to work with to be honest. I will in near future offer hiring service here in york for people to try bamboo bikes and give feedback as to what they think about it. Will be posting my frames when I get the testing through so yeah keep an eye out lol. Cheers

irving2008
08-02-2014, 11:37 PM
Sadly I won't be riding a bike any time soon... (see here (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/general-discussion/5327-new-life-irving-reborn-after-near-fatal-accident.html)) but a bamboo semi-recumbent trike... Hmmm :)