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  1. #1
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    Hi All

    Its been a while since I popped in here, I am working on a new milling machine build. This not a light weight design. It has been designed to work with steel or Aluminium depending on the spindle fitted.

    Alas the thread describing making i will be huge by the time it is finished so posting on multiple forums is difficult.

    I have posted it at another place nearby. https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/for...?th=139042&p=1

    You may find it interesting.

    Regards
    John

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to John McNamara For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Hi John
    Thanks for the heads up, i have been thinking about this for some time and a couple of years ago composite guy promised some info on construction but this was never forthcoming, i will be following with interest.
    Regards
    Mike

  4. #3
    Thanks for the pointer.
    Very interesting so far, looking forward to the rest.
    Cheers

  5. #4
    John, looks like a great build.

    If you don't mind sharing, where in Aus are you? I'm in Melbourne.

    I'm in the early design stages of a DIY mill. Manual conversions are troublesome, and true CNC machines are either tiny or very large and not feasible in the home shop / garage.

    I'm planning a steel weldment, stress relieved and machined +/- ground. This is partly because I've struggled to find clear recipes for epoxy granite and don't really want to spend months experimenting. I may use epoxy granite to fill voids and add mass.
    I'm looking at doing a planer style mill - double columns, with the gantry moving up and down on the columns. This avoids the long lever arm Z axis, but is a bit more complex to align.

    I have a couple of comments and questions about your build:

    I really like the rail alignment cams - did you make these or buy them? They are going to be great for both alignment and increasing mounting strength of the rails.

    The Z axis travel seems a bit short compared to your other travels. What sort of spindle / tool holder are you going to use?

    What was the cost of the laser cut steel? Do they cost it per cm cutting length or similar? I'm interesting in getting a milling head and gantry beam laser cut. I'll probably use square hollow section for the base however.
    Last edited by pippin88; 16-11-2018 at 11:46 PM.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    John, looks like a great build.

    If you don't mind sharing, where in Aus are you? I'm in Melbourne.

    I'm in the early design stages of a DIY mill. Manual conversions are troublesome, and true CNC machines are either tiny or very large and not feasible in the home shop / garage.

    I'm planning a steel weldment, stress relieved and machined +/- ground. This is partly because I've struggled to find clear recipes for epoxy granite and don't really want to spend months experimenting. I may use epoxy granite to fill voids and add mass.
    I'm looking at doing a planer style mill - double columns, with the gantry moving up and down on the columns. This avoids the long lever arm Z axis, but is a bit more complex to align.

    I have a couple of comments and questions about your build:

    I really like the rail alignment cams - did you make these or buy them? They are going to be great for both alignment and increasing mounting strength of the rails.

    The Z axis travel seems a bit short compared to your other travels. What sort of spindle / tool holder are you going to use?

    What was the cost of the laser cut steel? Do they cost it per cm cutting length or similar? I'm interesting in getting a milling head and gantry beam laser cut. I'll probably use square hollow section for the base however.
    Hi
    I am in Melbourne 3122

    John1147 at big pond .net.au

    You will have to edit the address above I guess you know how.
    If you email your phone number I will give you a call :)

  7. #6
    Hi
    Most laser cutters provide the mild steel and cutting at a quoted price. Many will also have Stainless and Aluminium Etc.
    It is not possible to work out the cost on the basis of so much a millimeter.

    The main thing is to provide properly drawn 2D files, usually DXF files. The part outline must not have any breaks or overlapping lines, All holes must also be closed. (And nothing else in the file) Each part should have its own file. Don't try to nest the parts yourself in a big file.

    Laser cutters are pretty busy businesses, If you provide good files you will be charged as a professional. If you cant provide files some will draw the parts for you, be prepared for a shock when they quote to do this.

    Just email your requirements and the file set in a Zip file and most will reply with a quote in a day or two. (A separate zip file should be used for each material type and thickness. this avoids confusion) It is OK to have a short discussion when starting with them asking if they have any special requirements.

    I really like the rail alignment cams - did you make these or buy them? They are going to be great for both alignment and increasing mounting strength of the rails.
    [
    I had them laser cut from 4mm steel they cost about 50c each the laser cutter provided the material

    The Z axis travel seems a bit short compared to your other travels. What sort of spindle / tool holder are you going to use?

    I drew in an Asian high speed spindle fine for Aluminium Brass and plastics and fairly low cost. I also plan to build a 30 or 40 taper spindle, Possibly using the high speed 2000 rpm spindle with a 4 to one reduction belt drive. I also have a large Manual V Mill, It is easy to make the Z axis taller I decided not to as this machine will be used for smaller parts. Shorter = less deflection

    What was the cost of the laser cut steel? Do they cost it per cm cutting length or similar? I'm interesting in getting a milling head and gantry beam laser cut. I'll probably use square hollow section for the base however.
    Laser cutting cost of the machine parts was about $500 including material plus the molds that cost more I am sharing the cost of the molds. 160+ part files is a lot quite a few of the parts were in multiples. looking at it that way the cost per part is modest. FWIW the cost per kg of parts was AUD $3.85 All up inc GST/VAT. I would not try to use that figure it will depend on the mix of parts, OK I guess as a ballpark.
    Last edited by John McNamara; 17-11-2018 at 03:59 AM.

  8. #7
    John,

    Thanks for the info.

    I've sent you an email.

  9. #8
    Nick's Avatar
    Lives in East Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 1 Week Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 12. Received thanks 3 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    Nice build, following with interest, I am also doing an epoxy build. The laser cut moulds look very neat.

    Have you decided on your epoxy % and aggregate mix? Will you be vibrating the molds?

    Nick

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Nice build, following with interest, I am also doing an epoxy build. The laser cut moulds look very neat.

    Have you decided on your epoxy % and aggregate mix? Will you be vibrating the molds?

    Nick
    Hi Nick
    I will not be vibrating the molds, some sit on a surface plate that is used to provide a flat plane. I will be tamping the mix down in 25-50mm layers.

    The Mix will be nominally 12% epoxy by volume. When I do the pour I will do a test just before to make sure the stone and sand batch has not changed.

    Page down this post of a previous pour.

    https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/for...p?th=51617&p=3

    The objective is to use the least amount of epoxy.

    I plan to pour over the weekend if all goes well.

    Regards
    J
    Last edited by John McNamara; 21-11-2018 at 07:17 AM.

  11. #10
    Hi All

    At last the first casting has been poured
    Link below.

    I will be very interested to see how accurate the cast in position rail supports are.

    I will strip the mold later this week.

    Regards
    John

    https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/for...?th=139042&p=2

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