Thread: Gerber system 48
Thanks Stuart, I was originally going to try & repair the machine but failed miserably when it came to getting my hands on schematics so took Jazz's advice & removed all the old electronics, the porter cable router didn't work either & as it was an obsolete model anyway I decided to fit a chinese 2.2kw water cooled spindle.
I had started to build a machine before the gerber came along & had already purchased all the electronics so these just got used. The motors I had were nema 23's plus they were a tad to long. At the moment the original motors are still fitted until I can get round to making an adapter & altering the machine frame so the new motors fit.
The drivers (AM882's) are wasted at the moment as the original motors are 36v max but when the new motors are fitted I can fit the 70v power supply. Long term I am not sure what I will do with it, the Z azis isn't great with unsupported rails & thin leadscrew so that is something that might get looked at. The rest depends on how it copes generally. Having problems setting up the spindle at the moment, once that is done I can try a few test cuts.
What have you done to your machine & how do you find it generally Stuart? What sort of work are you doing with it.
I make all our prototype speaker cabinets with it, MDF 12 to 25mm and Ply Wood. I also made a special attachment to enable us to dial gauge and mill the flats on the frame that the bed sits on, the Kress cut steal no problem with a carbide cutter and lots of water with quite a fine cut depth obviously! (The exciting video of it is on Kress 1050 Mill cutting steel on a wood router.avi - YouTube, note the special jig i made in the video too ) After doing that i then milled the bed back to flat with the same fitting, its accurate to about 0.15mm now, it was over 2.5mm out when we got it. I changed the X, Y motors to Astrosyn MY257's, David @ Astrosyn was extremely helpful finding me nearly exact equivalent, they are just twice as powerful and take half the current of the old ones, it was a pleasure to do business with them .
I re bearinged the gear assemblies and ultrasoniced the linear's, managed to find a nice chap in the states that can get replacements for the 1/2" linear's too. I'm missing my bellows and still looking to source something there (at a reasonable price) but no luck yet. Looking at a post today where a chap has used a 50mm slide bearing housing to hold a Chinese spindle as its exactly 80mm, that's genius, and Zapp the supplier is just up the road from where i did my apprenticeship many moons ago so will pop in and see them when I'm next down in Poole. My most recent addition is a dust hood made from industrial door strip 2mm polythene, I think a mark 2 of it will be required!
I want to make a vaccum bed of some sort for it soon too.
Stuart, those motors are still a little on the small side for me at 1.4 Nm. The nema 23's I've got & will get round to fitting at some point are 3.1Nm. Original motors are 150oz which is just over 1Nm.
The chinese spindle I bought is mounted with one of those bearing housings, I asked on here about spindle mounts because I couldn't find a UK supplier & one of the replies was to use the housing. Haven't been able to cut anything yet but the spindle seems nice & secure. Just had to push the bearing out & cut a slot in the housing. I removed the original porter cable mount & fitted an aluminium plate in it's place & the bearing housing/mount is fitted to that.
Pretty lucky because all the bellows seem to be in good condition. Judging from the general condition of the machine I don't think it has had a really hard life, supported rails are in good condition but if I were to replace them at some point I would probably look at fitting something a bit bigger like maybe a 20mm rail.
Vacuum table might come further down the line but it would need to be fairly thin as there isn't a great deal of Z axis travel from what I can see.
For now to get me started I will just use the "T" slot clamps & see how I get on. Need to replace the acrylic strips on the bed as they are quite thin in places & as I want to resurface it to make sure it is flat I would probably be down to the aluminium in places lol.
I've got the original dust extraction fitting but not sure how good it will be, there was also a mist system for cutting but haven;t tried that yet either & not sure if I will be trying to re fit it or not at the moment.
Martin, hanks for your pm. It sounds like you are well on the the way to breathing new life into your "beast". Well done.
I made my vac table using 2 sheets of pvc (20mm & 6mm) which works really well. It does need several spaced out fixings to ensure it is flat, but that would be no problem with your slatted table. It only took a couple of hours to design and rout out and is only 26mm thick.On my small machine it has made a world of difference to the finish (much less sanding etc.) as the material, mainly thin ply which is never flat, is sucked down tightly to the bed over its whole area, whereas before I was trying to push the material down close to where it was cutting. I cannot believe the difference the vac table has madeeven though I have lost a bit travel.
Look foreward to seeing some of your new signs posted here. G.
Problem is that the gantry is already very low Geofrey, the bottom of the Z axis is only just over 50mm above the bed to start with. These machines were made to cut relatively thin substrates so no need for a high gantry. Have seen a clip on youtube where a guy had raised the gantry using a couple of aluminium blocks but it didn't look a great way to do it to me. First thing to do is get it up & running anyway, after that I can look at making changes if & when I need them.
Doubt it will get used a lot for any kind of signwork as I only work part time now & tend to do mostly vans these days.
I'm trying to fix this very same machine so I can get a job running it for a sign company. I've found a blown stud type diode/rectifier. When I get a chance to remove them I hope I can find a replacement and I believe it'll start running. But I was wondering if y'all could post a BOM of the electronics and any other specs you might have. The machine it's self is in great shape, very clean. At the moment out of the 4 LEDs only the 5vdc lights up, the other 3, 2 of which are 24vdc and mill have not lite once thou it worked about 3 yrs ago. And according to the controller station manual I should be able to return to x, y 0, 0 but with no power no go. Pics and links would be great.
If y'all can help it would be greatly appreciated.
Greg, you won't find any help or support for these machines, when I bought mine it was spares or repair. Previous owner had spent quite a lot of money trying to fix it & had no joy. He had an engineer up looking at it but the guy was seriously struggling. After I bought it I spent quite a bit of time trying to find support for it, Spandex who sold & maintained them told me they had no technical documentation for them anymore even though I was prepared to buy it.
I'm sure it would have been a fairly simple fix as the machine was running properly on 2 axis but slowly on the third like it wasn't receiving enough power but with so little info it was just easier to remove all the electronics & replace them with modern day drivers & BOB.
Basically I've got no info on the machine at all but did take a lot of pictures before I ripped the controls out.
As I was feeling a bit guilty about the lack of progress on this I have started to do some work on refurbishing the machine, had it stripped right down with the intention of repainting the frame but not going to bother with that now as it doesn't really need it.
Took me a few hours to clean the frame though, it was absolutely caked in swarf (aluminium & sawdust) mixed with a dried cutting fluid which I thought was an oil based fluid but with it being so dry I'm not sure.
Frame is now nice & clean which is how I know it doesn't really need a repaint, also stripped the old acrylic strips off the the aluminium "T" slot table bits as it was non existent in parts & generally quite thin having been resurfaced a number of times acording to the previous owner. , scrubbed them ready for new acrylic strips.
Didn't take any pictures of it stripped down but will try to remember to take some as I build it back up.
Sugar soap works well on that type of stuff and does not damage the paint :-)If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:
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