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  1. #1
    Hi all,

    I'm a joiner by trade and have always been interested in working with wood/Alu but sadly don't have a workshop at the moment.
    Knowing that the router is the most versatile tool in any woodworkers (power)tool arsenal, but most things have to be jigged(lack of space for jigs), I decided I'd like to try my hand with a bench mounted CNC router. I have a "box room" upstairs which, at the moment is used for a bit of storage, which can be used for a bench mounted machine.

    Now, I don't think I'd have any trouble with designing a self build, the hardest part (before I actually turn on a machine) would be learning how to use the drawing programs (I'm currently "trying" to teach myself draftsight).

    I would like an aluminium machine to cut down on the weight, given that it would be located upstairs. I've read quite a few threads and notice that the vast majority try stay away from aluminium, preferring steel due to its superior rigidity. I also realise that lots of members say that cost is also an issue (what is saved on steel over alloy more to spend on better components), but I'm quite lucky that I have a good friend who works for a local stockholder, so procurement of materials should be ok.

    My idea initially for a strong rigid alloy base (yes, I can already hear you chuckling to yourselves lol) is to build a torsion box and have another friend who is coded, weld it all together, then to make sure it is perfectly flat, it's then back to friend 1 and his contacts to have the box surface ground on both top and bottom (just like sending a piece of wood through a planer thicknesser really).

    I also have the blessing of SWMBO for this project, she has even told me she was going to buy one of the Chinese 3020 outfits from a well known auction site!

    Anyway, I feel I've waffled on enough for now, I just hope that you are all as welcoming when I'm bending your ears with stuff that I feel I may be out of my depth with(hopefully in the very near future).

    Martin.

  2. #2
    Hi Martin welcome to the forum.
    If you give the guys an idea of the table size/working area you are looking for they will be able to set you on the right path, also go to the build logs and have a read, i am a noob to so can't offer much in the way of assistance but if Jazz pops in he might have a better idea if your ally frame is going to move following welding, you are very fortunate have the facilities you mentioned and i can't see a problem but others know better, are you living in a detached property ? could get a bit noisy.
    Good luck
    Mike

  3. #3
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the welcome.
    I meant to say the maximum footprint last night, why I didn't I don't really know! The absolute maximum footprint for the machine would be 1200mmx700mm. It would be great if the table were sat on a cabinet with some kind of extraction unit in there(I did have something similar when I rented a unit, this was a router table build though).

    You're right about noise, I have used the router in there and it is extremely loud, even with ear defenders! Fortunately we live in a semi-detached house, and the box room is the furthest room from the neighbours(they couldn't hear the router).

    I am planning on making something very simple at first, like a few name plates to get used to how things work, the I'd like to move on to wooden hand holds and fingerboards as per the photo, that climbers use to train on.
    The ones in the linked photo's were made by hand after making a jig. One of the reasons I want to build a CNC machine is that it's a heck of a lot easier to play with the design and physically make a prototype.

    Unfortunately the links are facebook links.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...51772865_n.jpg
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...99415652_n.jpg
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...86717358_n.jpg

    Martin.

  4. #4
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the welcome.
    I meant to say the maximum footprint last night, why I didn't I don't really know! The absolute maximum footprint for the machine would be 1200mmx700mm. It would be great if the table were sat on a cabinet with some kind of extraction unit in there(I did have something similar when I rented a unit, this was a router table build though).

    You're right about noise, I have used the router in there and it is extremely loud, even with ear defenders! Fortunately we live in a semi-detached house, and the box room is the furthest room from the neighbours(they couldn't hear the router).

    I am planning on making something very simple at first, like a few name plates to get used to how things work, the I'd like to move on to wooden hand holds and fingerboards as per the photo, that climbers use to train on.
    The ones in the linked photo's were made by hand after making a jig. One of the reasons I want to build a CNC machine is that it's a heck of a lot easier to play with the design and physically make a prototype.

    Unfortunately the links are facebook links.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...51772865_n.jpg
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...99415652_n.jpg
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...86717358_n.jpg

    Martin.

  5. #5
    Hi Martin,

    With those friends then your sorted and just need a decent design that's tailored to your requirements. It's not difficult really and a lot easier if you can narrow the use to a specific area like Woods, plastics etc. If your wanting a machine that cuts everything IE: Soft and Semi hard materials like Aluminium then it gets more critical regards design.
    To build an all-round-machine then really it will most likely be "Jack of all trades master of none" and it's very very difficult to build a machine that excels at everything.
    I find from experience that you get a much better machine with an easier build if you identify your Main need and build to suit that need.

    Now from what your saying wood use will be your main Use and that makes building decent DIY machine much easier has the tolerances and strength required for wood are much less than say cutting Aluminium or cutting to Very fine engraving tolerances.
    Now I'm not saying you can just throw it together and still needs certain amount of care to design and attention to build quality but the it's much less forgiving.

    If you have experienced Welders and Grinding services available then it will certainly help big time regards build accuracy you then just need a design that suits your requirement best and correct choice of components.

    Post your ideas and lets have look.!!

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Hi Jazz,

    Thanks for your advice. I've seen quite a lot of threads you've posted on and you sure do help a lot of people, for which I'm sure everyone is very grateful!(how on earth do you find time to get into the workshop? haha.

    I will try get a rough drawing knocked up in sketchup and post here on this thread. How soon I do this is entirely dependent on my nearly 2 year old daughter giving daddy time(or not turning off the computer!). I have seen links on threads on here where I can get some plugins for the parts needed which can then be added to the drawing.

    I think I would, at some point like to make an entry into machining alloys (think tax disc holder for the bike, just pretty basic stuff really) so I take your point about not being able to throw stuff together and expect excellent tolerances, but I do tend to over engineer anyway. I've done lots of concrete shuttering, so this is where the over engineering comes from.

    Anyway, thanks again Jazz, I'm sure I'll be calling on your knowledge at some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future :)

    Due to my low paid job, the build will take quite some time, but it would be well worth the wait.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Grit monkey View Post
    I've seen quite a lot of threads you've posted on and you sure do help a lot of people, for which I'm sure everyone is very grateful!(how on earth do you find time to get into the workshop? haha.
    Ah well that's the beauty of CNC.? . . .Setup. . click cycle start and walk away. Thou it does take a while to get the trust in machine to do that and walk into house.!! . . . . Often thou on an evening I'm sat in my swivel chair in workshop watching it cut while typing these replies.! . . Like Now. . Lol

    Crack on and get in-touch when your ready

    Dean.

  8. #8
    Ok, I've managed to grab a few minutes on sketchup and here is pic of the torsion box.

    The method I've used makes for an extremely rigid construction. The top and bottom would be 15mm alu, and the inside of the box would be 10mm alu with the perimeter double skinned to allow plenty for any fastenings.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	torsion box open.bmp 
Views:	118 
Size:	2.93 MB 
ID:	10320

    Ps, the overall size of the box is 1100mm x 700mm x 130mm

  9. #9
    What's your calculated weight for this monster base?
    Last edited by ~andy; 03-10-2013 at 10:55 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Grit monkey View Post
    Ok, I've managed to grab a few minutes on sketchup and here is pic of the torsion box.

    The method I've used makes for an extremely rigid construction. The top and bottom would be 15mm alu, and the inside of the box would be 10mm alu with the perimeter double skinned to allow plenty for any fastenings.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	torsion box open.bmp 
Views:	118 
Size:	2.93 MB 
ID:	10320

    Ps, the overall size of the box is 1100mm x 700mm x 130mm
    Massive OTT really and you could easily get away with half the amount of material and still be plenty strong enough. Your mate won't thank you either having to Weld that lot. . .Lol

    Also You say your short of funds do you know how much Aluminium plate costs.? . . . . Even at mate rates that much plate will cost plenty.!

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