1. #1
    My journey began quite a while ago with me being asked to produce curved panels for various projects in the workshop.
    Pressing the panels in the vacuum bag is not difficult. However, producing good quality molds with repeatable accuracy is. Using a bandsaw and sander is a good start but when we need a flowing curve then to reduce some of the radiuses by say 5mm and repeat again and again we begin to lose the will to live.

    So, my big idea was to buy a CNC machine. Great, lets find out how much they cost and what else is needed to get going. Simple answers seemed to be £15K ++ and be generally confused by lots of techno garble. NO. Stop canít spend that on a machine to Ďplay withí said the wife Ė Yorkshire folk that we are. Sulk, for a few days think for a few days, You Tube itÖ Ooh build your own! Take a bit more time over the costs, take time to learn about some of the drawing packages and best of all if Iíve made it, I can repair it when it breaks Ė in theory.

    After lots of internet research, (sadly not finding this forum until I was quite a way through my build) a cunning plan was hatched to build a machine in the garage in my spare time. Without going through my build point by point I decided to build a 3 axis router with a working bed of 3200 x 1400mm. Hopefully this should cover most things from stair strings to panel work (not jumbo boards because I cant lift them on my own) and it would be nice if I could do some dovetailing over the end in the future.

    I have used rack and pinion for the X and Y axis mainly because of the size of the machine. I did read that ball screws can whip at longer lengths, but I canít back that up with any experience, although the more I look around the Ďtop endí machines seem to use that system.

    For control I have used the CS Labs IPM controller with Lead shine 4 x EM806 drivers. Control software is Mach 3, but I find it difficult to follow. However, there is a lot of information out there for Mach 3. Although I like the look of the new Sim CNC software from CS Labs Ė we shall wait and see on that one for now.

    The machine breathes! It moves on the Y and Z axis, Iím waiting for some parts to be available again for the X axis then need to work on the limit sensors etcÖ A past customer has also donated a vacuum pump - creating another job. I need to find some advice on size of spindle to fit, Iím thinking 5.5kw Teknomotor QTC, if this is enough power to cut oak stair strings.

    So thatís it up to press. I have included a couple of photos. Any advice is welcome and much appreciated.
    Many thanks

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 1,356. Received thanks 132 times, giving thanks to others 65 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wooddesign View Post
    My journey began quite a while ago with me being asked to produce curved panels for various projects in the workshop.
    Pressing the panels in the vacuum bag is not difficult. However, producing good quality molds with repeatable accuracy is. Using a bandsaw and sander is a good start but when we need a flowing curve then to reduce some of the radiuses by say 5mm and repeat again and again we begin to lose the will to live.

    So, my big idea was to buy a CNC machine. Great, lets find out how much they cost and what else is needed to get going. Simple answers seemed to be £15K ++ and be generally confused by lots of techno garble. NO. Stop can’t spend that on a machine to ‘play with’ said the wife – Yorkshire folk that we are. Sulk, for a few days think for a few days, You Tube it… Ooh build your own! Take a bit more time over the costs, take time to learn about some of the drawing packages and best of all if I’ve made it, I can repair it when it breaks – in theory.

    After lots of internet research, (sadly not finding this forum until I was quite a way through my build) a cunning plan was hatched to build a machine in the garage in my spare time. Without going through my build point by point I decided to build a 3 axis router with a working bed of 3200 x 1400mm. Hopefully this should cover most things from stair strings to panel work (not jumbo boards because I cant lift them on my own) and it would be nice if I could do some dovetailing over the end in the future.

    I have used rack and pinion for the X and Y axis mainly because of the size of the machine. I did read that ball screws can whip at longer lengths, but I can’t back that up with any experience, although the more I look around the ‘top end’ machines seem to use that system.

    For control I have used the CS Labs IPM controller with Lead shine 4 x EM806 drivers. Control software is Mach 3, but I find it difficult to follow. However, there is a lot of information out there for Mach 3. Although I like the look of the new Sim CNC software from CS Labs – we shall wait and see on that one for now.

    The machine breathes! It moves on the Y and Z axis, I’m waiting for some parts to be available again for the X axis then need to work on the limit sensors etc… A past customer has also donated a vacuum pump - creating another job. I need to find some advice on size of spindle to fit, I’m thinking 5.5kw Teknomotor QTC, if this is enough power to cut oak stair strings.

    So that’s it up to press. I have included a couple of photos. Any advice is welcome and much appreciated.
    Many thanks

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image1 (3).jpeg 
Views:	74 
Size:	86.2 KB 
ID:	25471
    Well done.

    A 5.5 KW Teknomotor will work well. I use a 6.8 KW HSD spindle (very similar) for aluminium (and could do wood etc) - just tune your cutting paths to suit you machine's ability. Where are you buying the spindle from - I might be able to help you source one.

  3. #3
    Hi Chaz,

    Thanks for the encouragement. Pleased to hear you think that the teknomotor might work. Take the point about cutting speeds etc.... Iíd looked at HSD spindles but they seem to cater more for auto tool changing spindles, I thought.... I was looking at buying from Damen CNC.

    Thanks again
    Steve

  4. #4
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 1,356. Received thanks 132 times, giving thanks to others 65 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wooddesign View Post
    Hi Chaz,

    Thanks for the encouragement. Pleased to hear you think that the teknomotor might work. Take the point about cutting speeds etc.... I’d looked at HSD spindles but they seem to cater more for auto tool changing spindles, I thought.... I was looking at buying from Damen CNC.

    Thanks again
    Steve
    Ok, good. That is where I'd also suggest to buy.

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