1. #1
    Steve J here, overlooking the Olympic village in an old warehouse in Hackney, London UK. Tinkering with various homebuilt machinery, setting myself up to go into manufacturing custom digital clocks and art made by machines.

    Current CNC mill is undergoing reconstruction after learning via trial and error that unsupported rails are pretty wonky, and that I could have used rubber bands for similar accuracy. Alu frame could do with cross bracing as well as possibly reducing the size. Cut a few parts, but have a few accuracy errors in my standalone custom CPU stepper driver to fix before doing some serious work.

    Fairly technically minded in the computer side, making my own Windows applications and designing PCBs with microcontrollers to do various jobs. If I ever get the time then I'll make things available if I think it'll be of any use to people.

    Have fun in CNC!
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  2. Hi stevejcv, welcome to MYCNCUK. Please take the time to view the FAQ section for answers to questions you may have, if your building a new machine be sure to start a new build log detailing your progress !

  3. The above is an auto msg.

    Welcome to the forums steve, i'm also hoping to build an ali frame cnc like yours some time this "<" side of christmas.

    Where did you buy your framing from ?, how do you find the Trend Unit overall ?

    Please do share anything you feel may help others on here :), i look forward to seeing some of your creations.

  4. #4
    Hi Lee,

    The framing is FlexLink XD structural aluminium from RS components. It's a little pricey, certainly the t-slot nuts and angle brackets aren't cheap, but it's convenient for me as RS are just down the road. All held together by M5 hex bolts.

    The Trend T3 router which I got from Rutlands.co.uk is a handy size and weight, pretty powerful and multispeed. My only complaint is being limited to 6mm, 6.35mm and 8mm collets, of which I've lost the 6mm collet and cannot find a cheap replacement. So that limits the selection of mills I can use quite drastically. I was going to add a rev-counter to it so I can accurately measure speed, but that's on hold at the moment.

    I have an ER20 collet set and chuck which I intend to make a cnc mount for, and either use the router to power it via belt or get some other high power motor or servo linked up to it. So I'll be documenting that as I go along.

  5. Well it’s a good job you came to the right place then, I have got some 1/4" to 1/8" collets coming from the USA. As luck would have it if you’re interested I have not ordered them yet, they are about 10 each and designed to fit our kind or spindles.

    I’ve got a Ferm FBF-6E, from what I can see and what the internet suggests the Trend T3 units are basically a re-badged version of the Ferm.

    Now if you look on eBay you will see the Trend T3 up for 55 or something very close to that. Now this Ferm unit cost me 10 + 8 postage, tonight I have just found another seller who has also done me the same deal, this time I paid 15 all in.

    Fair enough these units are both second hand but as luck would have it both have not really had much use according to the sellers, what I’m getting at is they seem to be a good price if you’re willing to look for them. The Ferm FBF-6E ok it’s an older (3 years?) unit but all I have done is re-greased the bearings, the bushings are still well over half left on them.

    I’ve not checked but I’m guessing the bearings are the 608ZZ type so easy to source and replace.

    The sellers seem to be listing these units on auctions rather than "Buy it Now" on eBay, all I did was email them offering 10 paid via PayPal and I would take care of DHL collecting them. Maybe I got lucky twice :), I have seen a number of these units going over eBay for the last few weeks now, I’ve just also been sold a Trend T3 tonight for 20, same situation again.

    If your reading this and about to buy a Trend T3 Unit for your machine, take some time first and look for the Ferm unit, if they are not on a "Buy It Now" in your price range, email the seller you never know what you can pick up, takes 2min's to email the seller ! And as tonight shows you could do the same and possibly get yourself a T3 cheap.

    Ok getting back on track, so yea I’m also in the same boat with regards to being limited to cutters with 1/4" shank. You can find them on eBay but you’ve just got to spend a bit of time looking.

    I managed to find a seller who had some dormer end mills up for sale with 1/4" shanks, 2,2.5,3,3.5,4 and also 5mm I took the lot off him as I do like my dormer tooling, I think he's got the half sizes left and 3-4 of the 5mm as I didn’t want them all, his link is here .

    I’ve also found this ebay item you may want to look at, works out 3 each.

    I don’t know of Clarkson so I wasn’t to sure if they would be up to much so I only ordered 1 pack, if they turn out to be ok ill more then likely buy some more at that price.

    Coming back to the 1/4" to 1/8" collets, here is the link to the ebay listing so 1/8" is 3.175mm so I’m hoping these collets ADAPTORS as he’s calling them will take/hold a 3mm shank. I’ve also emailed this guy asking if he can just send me x2 of the 1/4" to 1/8" as the listing is for a 1/4" to 1/4" and a 1/4" to 1/8" and he is willing to do that, so if you want to grab two of them give him an email.

    The other thing to note is I also have the sizes of these collets and they are the same size as my 1/4" collets in all dimensions.

    Below is links to small cutters with 6mm or 3mm shanks on them, the prices are ok I guess.

    1.00 mm Solid Carbide 3 Flute End mill
    Carbide Miniature Burrs- 3.00mm Shank

    The above have 3mm shanks.

    5/64" (1.98mm) Long Series End mills Clarkson Cutters

    Coming back to the collets ADAPTORS, I’ve arranged a bulk price with the seller as I’ve got a feeling we are not the only ones who could make use of these. Let me know if you’re interested in buying some and ill speed up on ordering them from him.

    I'll be looking up the Ali frame on RS's website in a just a mo. Hopefully you can make some use of the information above.

  6. What one did you order skit? I also noted that one of the Kress collets would also fit but im not sure how well it would work.

  7. DOH!,

    Ok so a google for "Trend T3 3mm" and there is about 5 links on the first results page to choose from. Nice one skit, i need to stop using ebay so much !

  8. #8
    Cheers for the info folks!

    It's wierd how google returns results as I had already searched for Trend T3 collets with no success, but as soon as I add '3mm' then I suddenly get hits. And now google knows what sites I've just looked at then I can't fail to turn up successive hits.

    Still tempted to replace the T3 with a lightweight brushless motor though, I notice RC motors are getting quite powerful and performance tight. Seems like a fair amount of research to do before going down that route though.

  9. I had the same results steve with google, you maybe better off going for an AC motor and inverter over DC as they are low voltage and high current.

    They are a bit bulky but cheap and you can control the speed easy, use a small AC three phase motor and an inverter for 250 and you now have a 1KW varible speed spindle.

    If you use a DC motor you will need aditional electronics to control the speed and high current dc drives are not that cheap. All depends what you want really.


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