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View Full Version : Help choosing basic hand tools and workbench



goldtop
10-03-2016, 09:52 PM
As per my previous posts, I'm new to CNC, moving from pillar drill/etc.

So I have a CNC router lined up, exact dimensions to follow, but it weighs in at about 110kg and has a work area of 450x875mm. It's a desktop router, so I will need a suitable workbench - right now I use the basic benches you find at BigDug/Machine Mart. Something like this one: https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-cwb300ls-heavy-duty-workbench-with-shel/

JazzCNC advised that this type of bench isn't strong enough. Any advice on something that's going to be sturdy enough to cope?

I also need to get some basic engineering hand tools, as there will be a new need to measure. For example, the actual sheet thickness will matter more than it has done (I've been drilling it manually). I've also seen mention of Engineer's square, etc.

I did look for a sticky on basic workshop tool suggestions, but couldn't find one. If I've overlooked it, let me know.

m_c
10-03-2016, 11:16 PM
I'd be inclined to make my own workbench using some suitable wood. Basic legs/frame from something like 4x2, then top it of with something equally sturdy, like 6 or 8x1.5. You could use plywood, but without lots of bracing underneath it'll sag.
I've got a couple workbenches made from building site leftovers following the above construction, and they've handled a lot more than a 100kg!

Off course, depending on how enthusiastically Jazz has tuned the router, you may need to add a couple diagonal braces to stop the whole lot wobbling around.


Generally a reasonable set of digital verniers for measuring are good. I wouldn't say you'd have much use for squares on a CNC router. I do use them occasionally for setting up jigs on my milling machines, but with a router, I'd imagine you'll have a sacrificial board on it anyway, so screwing on a strip of wood so it's roughly square, then running a cutter down the length to get it spot on will be easier.

What you want to think about are what jobs you're going to be doing, and think through the process, and what tools/equipment you'll need at each stage.
How are you going to mount the material/workpiece?
Does the material/workpiece have to aligned/mounted in a certain position?
Will there be enough clearance for the spindle/cutter?

You'll probably want to do a search for workholding to get an idea of different methods, as there is not really one ideal way. It's more a case of experimenting and finding out what works for what you're trying to do, with the equipment available.

Tools/equipment vary for individual peoples requirements, so there's not really a generic list. I know I've got quite a number of tools in the workshop I've bought because I thought they'd come in handy, but they're still in their original packaging, which is why I'd rather not tell people what they'll need without knowing what they're trying to do.

As for suppliers, for somebody with little experience, Arc Euro Trade sells good quality reasonably priced tools. They're not usually the cheapest, but they avoid the ebay gamble of questionable quality cheap tools, and are certainly not supplying premium brand priced tools.

JAZZCNC
10-03-2016, 11:34 PM
Off course, depending on how enthusiastically Jazz has tuned the router, you may need to add a couple diagonal braces to stop the whole lot wobbling around.

MC I tune them to Rock whole Sheds so whimpy bench aint much challenge. .:hysterical:

Clive S
11-03-2016, 12:27 AM
As have been said 4x2 frame (2x4) for the folks over the pond, with diagonal brace and 40mm kitchen worktop.

As regards tools I would buy them as needed but a vernier is a big help. Its always good to get them for birthdays:encouragement:

Boyan Silyavski
11-03-2016, 09:26 AM
here are my thoughts on the basic router bits you will need for starters and general jobs- post #6 (http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/9546-End-mills-starter-kit?p=76873#post76873)

add to that some surfacing bits - http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/9622-Surfacing-bit-and-t-slot-bit

The best bit to figure things out is the 3mm or 1/8, as its cheap, so if you break it its not a big deal. Then move onto bigger ones. The typical bit i use at home is 6mm, its cheap, its strong, it has small kerf so less material waste

goldtop
11-03-2016, 01:10 PM
Thanks chaps. I was famous at school for making the class' worse ever birdbox (not a solitary tit ever bothered with it when it was hung in the garden). So I won't be embarassing myself by trying to make a workbench. ;-) Sure, it looks so easy in the videos, but...

Had a look on ebay and most don't have such sturdy legs as 4x2", but this type seems better than most: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281942662716 - and I sould certainly be able to add some additional diagonals for bracing, if necessary. I could also replace the relatively thin top with a kitchen worktop, as suggested above.

17908

On bits, the #1 most common job for me is a board with lots of round 2.9mm holes and then a much smaller number of 3.5mm and 10mm holes. So for machining speed I was planning to make the 2.9mm bit my 'go-to' and buy them in some quantity.

goldtop
11-03-2016, 01:13 PM
Forgot to say that the bench and machine will sit in a corner so I could bolt the bench to two sides of the unit (typical breeze-block walls), if that would help with rigidity or help to manage the machine's movements?

Clive S
11-03-2016, 02:00 PM
Forgot to say that the bench and machine will sit in a corner so I could bolt the bench to two sides of the unit (typical breeze-block walls), if that would help with rigidity or help to manage the machine's movements?That will be fine , as you say if it starts moving just but an L bracket to the wall.

Have you priced it up at 6' x 30" wide?

Lee Roberts
11-03-2016, 08:21 PM
Thanks chaps. I was famous at school for making the class' worse ever birdbox (not a solitary tit ever bothered with it when it was hung in the garden). So I won't be embarassing myself by trying to make a workbench. ;-) Sure, it looks so easy in the videos, but...

Had a look on ebay and most don't have such sturdy legs as 4x2", but this type seems better than most: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281942662716 - and I sould certainly be able to add some additional diagonals for bracing, if necessary. I could also replace the relatively thin top with a kitchen worktop, as suggested above.

17908

On bits, the #1 most common job for me is a board with lots of round 2.9mm holes and then a much smaller number of 3.5mm and 10mm holes. So for machining speed I was planning to make the 2.9mm bit my 'go-to' and buy them in some quantity.
Sod cnc, i'm gonna start building work benches and nock them out on eBay, mine is 7x3 and a very similar design, material came to about 45 !!!

.Me

goldtop
11-03-2016, 08:57 PM
That will be fine , as you say if it starts moving just but an L bracket to the wall.

Have you priced it up at 6' x 30" wide?

Inspired by Jazz, I'll put a sign on the door; "When this shed's a-rockin, don't come knockin".

Haven't priced it up yet, just rounded up some Ebayers who have what look like suitable benches.

Lee - I hear you, and I'm more than happy to offer you 90 for your bench. :D

Lee Roberts
11-03-2016, 09:12 PM
Inspired by Jazz, I'll put a sign on the door; "When this shed's a-rockin, don't come knockin".

Haven't priced it up yet, just rounded up some Ebayers who have what look like suitable benches.

Lee - I hear you, and I'm more than happy to offer you 90 for your bench. :D
Only reason I got involved was because i hoped to offer you that i would build you what's in the pic, for material cost only.

However your 3 hours away so I think the logistics have killed it, I know a half pallet will be about 60...

3x2 will be fine it's the cross bracing that will count, mine has ply sides sides and triangles on the back top corners half the leg length in both directions, it's solid as a rock I can assure you...no need for a slege hammer to crack an egg.

Two years old, 12 months weathered (was an outside work horse while I built my workshop) and 24 months later is still as strong as the day I built it.

Are you sure you can't be tempted to built your own, if you get the wood yard to cut to size all you got a do is screw/bolt it together?

.Me

Clive S
12-03-2016, 12:01 AM
Inspired by Jazz, I'll put a sign on the door; "When this shed's a-rockin, don't come knockin".

Haven't priced it up yet, just rounded up some Ebayers who have what look like suitable benches.

Lee - I hear you, and I'm more than happy to offer you 90 for your bench. :DAnd theirs me thinking that a stand came with the router:stupid:

JAZZCNC
12-03-2016, 04:55 PM
And theirs me thinking that a stand came with the router:stupid:

Well if it did you forgot to bring it.!!. . . :hysterical:

goldtop
12-03-2016, 09:51 PM
Only reason I got involved was because i hoped to offer you that i would build you what's in the pic, for material cost only.

However your 3 hours away so I think the logistics have killed it, I know a half pallet will be about 60...

3x2 will be fine it's the cross bracing that will count, mine has ply sides sides and triangles on the back top corners half the leg length in both directions, it's solid as a rock I can assure you...no need for a slege hammer to crack an egg.

Two years old, 12 months weathered (was an outside work horse while I built my workshop) and 24 months later is still as strong as the day I built it.

Are you sure you can't be tempted to built your own, if you get the wood yard to cut to size all you got a do is screw/bolt it together?

.Me

Misunderstanding. Wasn't aware you were offering to build it (and thanks on that anyway).

I know that most guys here can knock simple stuff like this up PDQ. Now I feel inadequate! ;-)