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  1. #1
    Hello there,

    I'm Charles, from Ramsbottom. :-) My interests are to ultimately build a CNC router, 4'x8' bed, plywood work, with small scale aluminium capability. I have an engineering background, mainly design/stress analysis/machine performance optimisaiton, but some (non hands on machine) shopfloor experience from my days at David Brown (Huddersfield), so I've seen how it's done but without the practical experience myself - no electrics experience though. I can weld - good enough to make a frame and gantry, am interested in the 'vertical' JAZZ orientation for space saving (but would like to build in horizontal plane!, :-)). My interests in terms of usage are potentially cutting out speaker cabinet parts, plywood boat parts (stitch and glue), foil profiles (i.e. centre boards /rudders), and possibly machining high efficiency (long and narrow with high pitch) aluminium propellers for human powered boat type craft, ...and I'm sure the list will grow. I'm not sure how much Z-axis I want because the option to 3D mill blocks of foam for hulls might be useful - this could be kept to a minimum since the hull could be sliced up and layered (in Z), and stuck together afterwards, and 8ft long is a slight limitation anyway, ...but 400mm Z will probably be an acceptable compromise - I'm wondering if this can be achieved by a bed that can be removed/lowered (a head in hands moment), so the gantry doesn't have to be high up for the majority of (panel) work or the Z working at the bottom of the stroke - is it possibly for the bed to be in the middle???, so the split is 200mm above the table, plus another 200mm below when table is removed. Timescale - nothing required quickly - this is a longer term project - just need to determine design spec and typical equipment BOM & costs, spending the money ideally needs to be spread out over time if possible - budget will be whatever is required to sensibly meet the spec. - I need to avoid fixing spec and obsolesence kicking in for parts that I haven't obtained yet. I'd initially like to connect up with some other local people to go and see what they're doing - may try and contact a few. Thanks for a great forum.

    Best regards,

    Charles

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesJenkinson View Post
    400mm Z will probably be an acceptable compromise - I'm wondering if this can be achieved by a bed that can be removed/lowered (a head in hands moment), so the gantry doesn't have to be high up for the majority of (panel) work or the Z working at the bottom of the stroke - is it possibly for the bed to be in the middle???, so the split is 200mm above the table, plus another 200mm below when table is removed.
    My machine has a Z-axis with 400mm travel and the bed height, so you might want to have a look how I did it in my build log:
    http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/gantry...html#post35482

    The frame/X-axis is OK, but don't take too much notice of my gantry as there's plenty of room for improvement there.
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  3. #3
    Thank you Jonathan. I will read that. Am reading as much as I can, as soon as I can. All pointers welcome. I like to discuss things, but there's a hell of a lot of information to read first before that, which is slightly frustrating, but the way it is. Cheers, C.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesJenkinson View Post
    but there's a hell of a lot of information to read first before that, which is slightly frustrating, but the way it is. Cheers, C.
    That is true, I had the same problem, but as soon as I started to get some ideas together and crucially got some drawings uploaded from Sketchup it made my way clearer and gave other forum members something tangible to discuss and tear to pieces, which thankfully they did to my benefit.

  5. #5
    Welcome :) was near you yesterday in Bury .. it rained .. about all I can say on that subject.. have a good stay !

    Fiction is far more plausible when wrapped around a thread of truth

    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
    Not to try putting you off or saying your not capable but what your proposing at the size your proposing is very ambitous for a first build.!! . . . .Be very truthful with your self regards your abilty's and don't be afraid to ask for advise or help if at all unsure.

    After some research and when you feel you have a handle on what you want then Be patient don't rushout and buy stuff before running it by us because it's very easy to get wrong stuff.
    At the same time and contry to above "Be patient" advise Don't get to hung up on drawing stuff to the last degree just the basic design layout to check fitments etc and materials to used is all you really need then get stuck into building. Often doing too much research can have a negative affect and fry your noodle.
    Often you'll see people take months or years on design never to see it come to fruision and if it does it rarely resembles the paper design when finished.!!

    Good luck, if done correctly and patiently then it's a very rewarding journey.!

  7. #7
    Thank you Gents. Love the pragmatic advice Jazz - many things are a compromise of two contradictory ideas. I'm getting the feeling it's ambitious from reading other build/use/buy threads - but if I can't spec it to do the potential jobs, I'll never be satisfied. When my noodle is approaching fry off temperature I'll be on here, asking stuff. The timescale is the tricky one - it's normal for me to end up taking years on projects, but with an analytical eye, rather than a doing hand (which I'm trying to change), it usually ends up right first time. ...there you go, I've gone and walked right into the trap - well, you laid the bloody gauntlet, I just had to pick it up didn't I. :-)

  8. #8
    ...there is one thing. My gut feel is this is going to cost 4k to 5k. Am I in the right ball park?; because that, I.e. The spending rate (and space plus other commitments) as well as the learning curve will dictate the progress rate. If that cost is right, and I can keep momentum, I feel it'll be a 2 year (minimum) project.

  9. #9
    Hi Charles, welcome to the forum. I used to work in Rammy...at Drury Adams the foam converters, there's now a co-op i think where the factory used to be. Now live in Gloucester but come up to Accy to see the kids every other weekend.

    If you do as Jazz, Jon and Eddy say and do a bit of research then put up some designs in a build log then you'll get constructive comments (there are sometimes a few warm debates thrown in for good measure) and you'll find your understanding growing until you're confident in doing it. As jazz says don't get hung up on design as it'll waste time...read my build log if you want to see that! I'm now just getting on with the build as I've been reading others build threads and chipping in so have the confidence. Anyway enough ramblings, good luck with the build, I'll be following it with interest!
    Last edited by njhussey; 01-02-2014 at 12:45 AM.
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesJenkinson View Post
    ...there is one thing. My gut feel is this is going to cost 4k to 5k. Am I in the right ball park?; because that, I.e. The spending rate (and space plus other commitments) as well as the learning curve will dictate the progress rate. If that cost is right, and I can keep momentum, I feel it'll be a 2 year (minimum) project.
    Spot on in both cases.
    2 years is a very realistic goal for someone new to fully learn what's required to correctly design, source and build to a high standard a fully finished machine that will do everything they require without wasting money or compromising on features.!! . . . .Yes it can be done much quicker and with savy buying done cheaper but that's a good conservative time frame and budget.

    I know how easy it is on Forums to miss read what's being written and of late it seems many of my posts are being taken or twisted by some differantly to how they were intended so please don't think I was being Negative or doubting your abilty's. My words where purely to help try get over the significant task you would be taking on with this size machine has a first time builder. (I hate the word Newbie, Noob or any other way of spelling it.!!)

    I help many many people and most of those that fail or become disillusioned are those that have rushed and tried to build too large machine. Often if they do succeed in getting a machine built they are dissapointed with the results because they rushed and cut corners.

    I've said this before again thru helping many people from all walks of life.!! Those that often succeed in building the best machines are people who you'd least expect with very little to no practicle engineering experience but a desire to succeed and willingness to take advise on board.!! . . . . From the approach and words seen so far I'm sure you'll be fine. .

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