Having spent a good deal of time looking around and pondering, oh the pondering, I've come to the conclusion that the best way to start a CNC router build is to buy a mill:
1) My b&Q bench drill must have over 0.5mm runout, it needs to be replaced
2) The ability to machine the basic motor blocks and possibly bearing housings required for the router vs the cost of buying ready made just about covers the total cost of the mill.
3) At least some of the tooling bought for the mill will be compatible with the router.
4) It would appear to be a cost effective introduction to the type of operations a CNC router can perform.
Why X1 size or more specifically, weight? Simple practicalities of moving it around.
Why the Super X1L? I think the extended X travel will come in useful. That and the price, the Taig/Peatol offers good travel but appears expensive.
Why a mill and not a lathe? Mostly familiarity with the basic form factor, ie I know feck all about lathes. Also, the big attraction of a lathe in this instance would be the ability to machine ballscrew ends, for this I'd need, say, 20mm through hole (?) which puts the lathe above the C1 class (?) - too heavy.
That's the introduction over with, please let me know if any of the above is mistaken. I'm not an engineer, every time I try to get into an engineer mind set I start thinking with a Yorkshire accent and suffer irresistible cravings for tea and hobnobs.
Arc Euro now have the X1L in stock so onto the point of this post, what common parts/standard accessories to buy?
1) Preparation. I'm happy to pay the money but I don't like the 2 months lead time.
2) Spare gears. I guess motor gear X1-10 is the one most likely to break, any advice?
3) Set of parallels and maybe a pair of 1-2-3 blocks.
4) 6mm MT2 end mill holder - just for starters.
5) Set of MT2 collets or...
6) A MT2/ER?? chuck with a set of ER?? collets (ER20 sound about right? could go up to ER32! )
7) Set of clamps.
8) Tea and biscuits.
Better get back to work :( I'll sort out some mill bits and I'll investigate boring arbors/heads and fly cutters later.
Personally to start with I would get some morse 2 collets, the er32 collet holder will limit the z travel.
Next get a couple of vices, one rotateable base the other a possible 4" with as little height as possible because sure as eggs is eggs you will want to mill something BIG.
As to the rest just as when needed.
I think you can be to premature when trying to forestall future needs just as I did with my lathe I bought a full set of morse3 collets for my lathe -- never been outer the box!!
The Following User Says Thank You to ptjw7uk For This Useful Post:
.John S -
The Following User Says Thank You to John S For This Useful Post:
I have no feel for tooling height yet, many thanks. Swivel vice, nice idea, or maybe a rotary table thing - then height would suffer... Off to ebay, I may be some time :)
Straight to the heart of the matter :) I foresee a Christmas full of biscuit tins, I like biscuit tins
1) Pass....I didn't get it for my C3 lathe.
2) I'd just get that if it does break. It doesn't seem that likely to happen to me.
3) Good plan, can be pricey though. I often just use a suitable block of wood/steel.
4) I guess so yeah...
5) MT collets are tedious to change if your cutters have different shank sizes since you have to keep undoing the drawbar etc. That's why I went for ER16 (from eBay) on my mill...
6) As above
7) Definately! Shop around for them - they can vary in price a lot. I got mine from the 'Midlands model engineering exhibition' which was really cheap.
Boring head / flycutter I'd buy if/when you need it since no doubt you'll decide to convert this to CNC in due course which will make the former much less useful. If not then a boring head is clearly for friend for making bearing mounts...can also use it as a flycutter.
Rotary tables are dead useful, I use mine a lot. Even now I've converted to CNC I still use it as the 4th axis (great for making pulleys). If you're going to get one then I'd advise 6", not 4". 4 is just too small to easily clamp stuff, be that a chuck or whatever you're milling.
Hope that helps...
The Following User Says Thank You to Jonathan For This Useful Post:
More good advice, thanks a lot Jonathan :)
Parallels... I find these invaluable.. 123 blocks less so... keep an eye out on eBay, I picked up a good set of 10 x 6" x 1/8" parallels for about £25.... and a pair of 12" x 1.5" x 1" for £15
heh, I had no idea there was any such thing as parallels until a few months ago. "What are they for then? Ooo! Nice"
Well, everything was making sense, then I started to look for a vice which lead to further understanding of clearance height along with skewing jaws, lifting jaws, the need or otherwise for a swivel. The list goes on, in fact some seem happy just clamping to the table :o
On possible vice candidate is the Vertex 'angle fixed' VA4 http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/info_VA4.html, looking around it comes highly recommended but is out of stock in various places just now. Axminster do something that appears to be a re-badged Vertex http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster...07/?src=kelkoo, I'm not sure about this, I mean it's white for a start, lol, it's also a good £40 less than the Chronos price, this doesn't sound right.
The other main candidate would be a 80 or 100mm precision tool vice a'la http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalo.../Machine-Vices. These appear to be an acquired taste and require some sort of clamping arrangement to be contrived. Back to pondering.
Are you the same John S who started the yahoo X1,2,3 group? Many thanks if so.
Last edited by ecat; 05-10-2010 at 12:08 AM.
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