It's very possible to build a decent machine from wood, contrary to what you're hearing.
But it won't be easy.
For one, I've never really seen any plans for a "good" wood construction machine. Just about all plans for wood machines are designed to be easy to build, and inexpensive. Neither of which lend themselves to good machines. Building a good wooden machine is not easy, and requires a lot of knowledge, skill, and time.
You also mention that your on a budget. Trying to build an inexpensive machine is another way to end up with a poor machine. Good machine require good components. This is especially true of a wood machine, where high quality components can make up for inferior construction. Anywhere you try to save money, the quality of the machine decreases.
If you can weld, then your much better off with steel. It'll be faster, cheaper, and stronger than building with wood.
And if you can't weld, buy/borrow/steal a cheap stick welder and some steel scraps (ask to rummage in the bins of a local fabrication company), watch a few YouTube videos and teach yourself to. Its time well spent to gain a new and useful skill.
Edit: I see earlier you said you could weld, so no brainer then!
Last edited by irving2008; 15-11-2014 at 04:55 AM.
When Isombard Kingdom Brunel proposed to build a ship out of iron, everyone said that would be ridiculous. It is common knowlege that iron does not float.
I feel that some similar reasoning is going on in most of the replies here.
Have any of the poster saying that wood will not work actually tried building a good router from wood?
I've been working on one for quite some time and I feel that it should be possible to get a wooden machine to work aluminium.
But it is not the easiest route to take.
Then again, people suggesting to go with steel also say it is "easier" because they are used to working with steel. But OP is used to wood.
I think that if you want to build a good machine from wood, this is what you need to do:
- Build a torsion box for both the bed and the gantry, at least 25 cm width for the gantry
- Use Bamboo or mahogany marine plywood
- apply epoxy to the sheets before working it, making sure no excess builds up on surfaces
- apply epoxy to the edges after cutting and during assembly
- use a biljard table as a flat surface for glueing the torsion boxes
All of this is not "easy" nor "cheap" but for a wooden person may be easier than going with steel...
Last edited by Sven; 15-11-2014 at 06:56 AM.
I do like the torsion box idea, it looks like it could be fun to play about and build something unusual and cool with but for now I have a whole other mountain to climb. I have to learn to build, set up and operate this machine.
I've not done any welding in a few years but I work in a brewery and we have a TIG plant that no one can use, since there's always some fabrication job needing done I've enrolled in a welding course. So building this will be practice, it was even suggested I could built it in stainless but that seems just a hint over the top.
Last edited by EddyCurrent; 15-11-2014 at 10:34 AM.Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted
The mentioned situation on wheeler dealers also has something to do with the way cars were painted back then...
(I have a wood-epoxy boat, with wood-epoxy fuel- and water tanks and very much used to working with the stuff.)
Last edited by Sven; 15-11-2014 at 11:06 AM.
I'm loving these ideas. I use to look after our water ski racing boat years ago so I can work with epoxy I've even seen boats made from balsa wood, epoxy and glass fibre. I could be tempted to do an interesting build from unusual materials another day. Keep these ideas coming my imaginations going wild here.
Eddy' did you find any drawbacks in rigidity across the y axis with your open ended design? I was thinking it had to be a box type design but you have 100x50 box section on the X axis and nothing at the ends on the Y axis. I like this idea!
15-11-2014 #18I think it's the same with these wooden machines, most I see are in the US and not subject to UK atmospheric changes.
I'm currently working on a 4x8 dual spindle wooden machine. It's very complex, with lot's of laminated materials, bonded in phenolic for rail mounting surfaces (cnc machined straight and flat), and lots of aluminum for mounting surfaces (motors and drivetrain components) and brackets. And lots of epoxy.
It's a lot more work then building with steel, but I find it easier and far more enjoyable than working with steel. But it definitely takes a lot longer, and requires a lot more thought when designing.
You can easily weld two pieces of steel together at a 90° angle, and get a very strong joint. Try to do the same with wood, and it's much more difficult, and will almost always be a weaker joint.
Wow slow down lady's no one actually said it wasn't possible to build a good router from wood.!!
I personally said wood and inparticular MDF is not a good material for a CNC machine which it isn't.. . Period.!. . . . . HASS build routers and Mills but they don't make them from MDF or Wood do they.!! . . . I never said it wasn't possible and having worked with wood all my life I know it's possible but I also know it's far from ideal and much much more work than steel.
Also carry's with it a much higher potential for failure and dissapointment even for someone compleltely used to working with wood and tooled up.
Ger is correct that most Wood based routers fail because of poor engineering or design. Often they are also compromised by the type or quality of components used and most that take the Wood route do so for budget reasons so use inferior components which just greatly compounds the issue.!
I've seen many 1000's of good builds from steel/aluminium but I've seen relatively few Good successful Wood builds.!! . . . . . For sure This doesn't mean they are not being built from wood just that they rarely last very long or are successful so don't get seen.!
There is a building product made to seal wood that has rotted to avoid having to replace it, for example in window frames. Here is a link:
MDF soaks it up like a camel at a waterhole, and it's surface gets a lot harder. It dries quickly. I would think if you bought mdf and let it stabilise, then treated your components with this stuff, and even with West System epoxy for good measure after assembly, it would all be a lot less sensitive to the humidity level.
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