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  1. #1
    RobC's Avatar
    Lives in manchester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 25. Received thanks 6 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    A bit of a backstory as I'm posting this towards the end of the build so to fill in the missing. I don't have an amazing amount of tooling or swathes of knowledge, my 21 years on this planet has taught me enough and boy have I enjoyed the learning curve. Just over a year ago I purchased a ML7-r from a family friend which along with a startrite pillar drill has been the backbone of this build.

    So just using visual scale moore and wright calipers and the trusty punch I hit the ground running with an order of 150x300x10mm steel plates with my sketches in hand. A simple task just drilling out 20 holes for the 4 bearing blocks.

    Next up came the main gantry plate, 120x600x10mm steel again. So another boat load of holes drilled and tapped. My order of the 600mm linear rails arrived and thus we started to mount them and we get to this stage.
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    I luckily managed to get some 80mm box section with 4mm walls which was damaged fencing posts, so whilst in work I cut them down salvaging the good bits which saved me quite a bit of money. Now my welding skills are something in another league, they are pretty bad so hence the steel went away to a friend who did a very nice job of keeping it flat and to my amazement very true indeed. Now the only problem was he ran out of rods before finishing it all completely but the bulk was done to a standard which I was happy with, as long as it penetrated and was strong looks didn't bother me.

    So the 1000mm rails arrived courteous of a nice £37 import tax from DHL, drilled another boat load of holes, tapped then fitted the rails.
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    Priming the steelwork and trying to get it to dry faster via a gas torch.
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    Now this is where I found out my motor mount wasn't going to fit my Z axis carriage. So, off it comes and another order in for aluminium plates and we re-design in F360. So a new new Z axis with a larger carriage and much smoother overall thanks to the arrival of some transfer punches (should of known about them years ago, they are brilliant!).

    I spent rather a long time waiting for the ballscrews to arrive, something along the means of 2 months dealing back and forth with a seller from China who I'm pretty sure didn't dispatch my item until after trying twice more I cancelled the order and with a new seller had at least one ballscrew within a matter of days. It was the Y-axis 600mm ballscrew. Mounted the screw and such we get to this stage.
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    Weeks pass and finally the remaining ballscrews arrive, now this was a massive headache for me to fathom out where and how I am going to mount them to the framework and then connect to the gantry. So I went for the step bit and had some fun chewing my way into the framework trying to keep the holes as small as possible to try and retain the rigidity.
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    The next problem was the fact of mounting two of the the support brackets as they stuck out 19mm from the framework. So, to the lathe we go and turn down some aluminium spacer rods that sit behind the block and contact the frame.
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    Now the method of fitting to the gantry I had another steel plate fastened to the gantry side plates that runs directly below the framework and is then bolted to the ballscrews. A simple but another headache job with my limited machines. I have to admit I cocked up on the gantry side plates as you may see there is holes all over the place due to me not allowing for the steel plate below the frame that bolts into the side plates (for me these plates will be the first things to be replaced with thicker aluminium ones cut on the machine once I have it tuned and working)

    And so, a rather large jump to the next relevant image. In between all this work I was constructing a completely bespoke new bench for the lathe and router. The router will have it's own airtight section to keep my lungs free from dust. The motor and VFD arrived (water cooled 2.2kw spindle), I was not expecting them to weigh so much and was astounded at the quality of the spindle. So I fired them up to my amazement on how little noise there was.

    Clamped onto the Z-axis is the mount with the stage of trying to find where it is trammed in and I can then start to drill some more holes.
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    So the spindle was mounted and checked how it fared in reference to travel on Z with under a thou run out.

    Now this image here Is my most recent, I am now fiddling around with Mach 3 trying to find the best settings.
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    There is still plenty left to do such as finishing the compartment, installing sound tiles, finally mounting the frame to the bench,perspex windows, cable/hose management, PWM to the VFD, completing the electrical box and adding fans, wiring the micro switches to the breakout board and then the spoil board.
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  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to RobC For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Well, done Rob. Looking great so far.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to routercnc For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    EmilW's Avatar
    Lives in Skövde, Sweden. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 2. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    A good first build.
    It looks solid =)

    A tip: Its easier if you design/build in a 3d program first. That way you know if it will fit and won't have to redo it as many times.

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  7. #4
    RobC's Avatar
    Lives in manchester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 25. Received thanks 6 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    I did just didn't take note of the spindle mount size sadly, live and learn!

  8. #5
    Nice one Rob, another machine for the radar :)

    I like your workshop hutch style unit for the monitor and so on, are those storage/organisers the same as mine from B&M Stores?

    Good luck going forward!
    .Me

  9. #6
    RobC's Avatar
    Lives in manchester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 25. Received thanks 6 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    The monitor just fitted and it wasn't even designed for it but hey it's staying in there now.

    They are indeed from B&M. I cleared out the store twice, £4 a pop is damn good price and for the quality people need to know about them as they are superb!

  10. #7
    I like the desk/cabinet setup you've built.

    What's the goal with this in terms of what you intend to machine? I'm always impressed with people that manage to built workable machines by hand too - I'm spoiled in the sense that I've only ever tried to build machines of any description using other machines!

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Zeeflyboy For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    RobC's Avatar
    Lives in manchester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 25. Received thanks 6 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeflyboy View Post
    I like the desk/cabinet setup you've built.

    What's the goal with this in terms of what you intend to machine? I'm always impressed with people that manage to built workable machines by hand too - I'm spoiled in the sense that I've only ever tried to build machines of any description using other machines!
    My initial plan was to use it to make my own balsa aircraft kits as I can easily then make large models with precision but now looking at using it to make signs and other things to try and make some money where possible so I can upgrade it by using itself to mark drilling points and such.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #9
    RobC's Avatar
    Lives in manchester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 25. Received thanks 6 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    A little more done this morning, trying to appease the neighbours and my own ears I've installed some sound tiles I had lying around for months. Fitted new doors and sealed the windows in plus also around the doors so it's an air tight fit, cut but yet to mount the spoil board. Next up is wiring the end stops.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #10
    RobC's Avatar
    Lives in manchester, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 25. Received thanks 6 times, giving thanks to others 4 times.
    So, I've had it running for just under a week. Learnt quite a bit of mach3 settings, had numerous crashes, many thrown spanners and the one thing i've noticed is that I need more Z. I've been chewing through all sorts of woods and then tried Ali to my surprise it cut it very well. So I've ordered all new pieces of ali plate to re-build the gantry as I hate the current steel one. So £93 lighter I've got 20mm stock on the way to re-make the sides and the span plus the Z-axis plate from 10mm. Now I've got my machine running I'll use it to upgrade itself by doing all the cutting instead of me going round with a set of calipers and punch trying to get them accurate. So a few different things with this upgraded set, M6 bolts to fasten the sides to the span instead of m5's, all the bolts will be sunk into the sides to create a flush finish and the nema 23 has a rebate to sit flush also.

    Would anyone have any recommendations to any possible further modifications that may benefit it at all or anything I maybe doing wrong with this design?

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