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  1. #1
    Ok well I feel it's time to stand up and say something about this Stupidly excessive over building and Micro examining of build process's Ie Epoxy leveling going off on the forum.!!

    So first let me say this is little rant is mostly for the sake of those sat on the side lines looking to get into DIY CNC. I'm not having a dig at any one individual and if you have the means to build like this then good luck to anyone doing so.

    BUT I feel this flurry of Excessive over building using steel plate etc and the micro examining and unrealistic expectations of Epoxy leveling will be putting people sat on the said lines off building.
    While I don't have an issue with over building to some degree the current levels being seen on the forum for the intended use of the machines are rediculously OTT and really not needed. Those doing so just don't know it yet.!

    So to those Sat looking in on DIY CNC and thinking to build please don't let these OTT builds deter you from building because it's perfectly possible to build great machine without going excessive on build structure.
    Obviously there needs to be some degree of strength and steel is a good cheap material but perfectly fine machines can be built without using it. Aluminium profile for instance is great and easy to work with material it just costs more money. Wood can be Ok if done right but not something I'd encourage.!

    Now please don't let this sound like I'm trying putting anyone off using steel because I wouldn't and normally the one urging it to be used.
    What I am asking for is a reality Check on the Level of build strength and size of material being used for the Purpose of the machine. Also a calming down and realisation of the accurecy needed for the purpose of use. Ie Wood,plastics etc doesn't need 0.001mm levels of accurecy.

    Most OTT machines are being built and used as wood routers with occasional Aluminium use with a relatively low powered 2.2Kw Spindle. The structure is hugely out of proportion to the use and spindle power available which in affect is wasteful. The excess cost could be better spent else where.
    The levels of accurecy that are being strived for are really not required for the use the machines are being put too. So again this is time and effort wasted. ( I very nuch doubt they are reaching or able to measure the accurecy they seem to think they are measuring, but thats another story.!!)

    Time to get real folks and realise that for DIY use this level of building is just wasteful of time and money.

    Message to Newbie's is don't be put off building. Good design and attention to detail along with wise component selection is far more important than a Massively built frame. It can be done relatively cheaply and give perfect results for many years it just needs careful prep and research along with asking lots of questions.

    Happy new year building to all.!! (Now I'm going to hide and get my flack jacket on.! )
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 29-12-2014 at 03:11 PM.

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Time to get real folks and realise that for DIY use this level of building is just wasteful of time and money.
    You've used this term, DIY, many times before, and what you say about it here is true, but maybe some people are trying to build a 'professional' machine ?
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

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  5. #3
    Not forgetting that real machinists use steel...not ali! There's no such thing as over built and when I build somthing, I always over build, with in reason of course. Code may say 4x2 but there's no reason not to use bigger if you can.

    Build what you want, but be sure it's capable of what you require, as it's about DIY this the only thing left to say is, enjoy doing your project and don't forget, not everyone has a problem having to rebuild once they find their feet and some have that intension anyway, they just may not say that.

    .Me
    Last edited by Lee Roberts; 29-12-2014 at 04:02 PM.
    .Me

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  7. #4
    Yep, as I have said before you cant easily design every element of a machine without masses of engineering know how and expensive FEA software so the best approach is to over engineer the frame.

    Bear in mind that it is often cheap and easy to pickup large section off cuts and the only true freebee is time so building massive frames that take awhile will be a cost saving for most people.

    Most of the overbuilding seems to be from advice on here anyway ;0)

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  9. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    You've used this term, DIY, many times before, and what you say about it here is true, but maybe some people are trying to build a 'professional' machine ?
    Yes I'm fully aware of that Eddy but in which case they are doing it wrong anyway.? 200Kg Gantry with cheap 2.2Kw router is no use or ornament as a professional machine and woe fully under powered for the strength of the machine.
    Same goes for anyone building a moving gantry router style machine to mill steel or aluminium to a professional level. Compleltely wrong choice of machine.!!
    In 95% of the cases on the forum most are not building with professional intents but to be the best it can be. Which is fine but it can be all that with the components used and still be built with much less strength and fuss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Roberts View Post
    Not forgetting that real machinists use steel...not ali!
    Well that explains why you used MDF then. . . . But actually professional machines Milling machines mostly use Cast Iron or Man made composite materials along with aluminium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Roberts View Post
    There's no such thing as over built and when I build somthing, I always over build, with in reason of course. Code may say 4x2 but there's no reason not to use bigger if you can.
    Well depends on the design doesn't it.? Space shuttle wouldn't have got far if that was over built would it.!

    My point isn't about over building and the " Within reason" comment is very apapt.!
    Those over built machines are not within reason they are well OTT for work they are being used for.

    BUT My point is that these builds WILL BE OFF PUTTING to new potential builders and I'm not trying to discourage anyone from Over building "With in Reason" and more trying to encourage and let those sat on the side lines know that it isn't required or needed to build like this to get a very capable machine.

    You of all people should be encouraging the same NOT jumping on me.! . . After all this forum as been made what it is by mostly DIY Members.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 29-12-2014 at 05:01 PM.

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  11. #6
    If all you want to do is build a good, functional, CNC router, then I absolutely agree with you, Jazz. For example, despite the fact that the usual minimum steel section that people seem to use is 60x60x5 - minimum! - my machine is built from 50x50x3, and it seems plenty strong enough to me. There does seem to be a lot of over-building going on. Maybe I'll be proved wrong later...

    As I mentioned in the "epoxy levelling" thread I started, my welded steel frame, with its 1.5mm or so dip in the X rails, would be perfectly usable after one coat of levelling epoxy. No question, and I've said as much in that thread. One of the reasons I have spent time measuring is just to verify that. However, I'm retired, I'm not doing this to make money, and at various times I've described myself as an engineer, a mathematician, and a scientist. Wearing my engineer's hat ("an engineer is someone who can do for five bob what any damn fool can do for a pound") I'm right beside you. Swapping to mathematician/scientist, though, I can't help asking "How? Why? What?" In other words - that looks interesting, I wonder if...? We can apply scientific method to building CNC routers, or at least aspects of their design and construction, and maybe something useful will pop out. Or maybe it won't. Is it useful to suggest, based on what I see at present, that two thin layers of epoxy might be better than one thick one? But that one will be good enough for most practical purposes anyway? You are also quite correct that I don't know exactly how accurate my measurements are, although in the best scientific tradition I've described how I made them, and also tried to double-check the method. Is that better than proceeding in ignorance? My father was always saying, "You do it like that because that's how I've always done it." I've always had a problem with that attitude...

    I'm also quite convinced that nothing I can say will change the views of anyone else anyway, but in a nice, quiet, corner of the forum us airy-fairy types can argue pointlessly amongst ourselves without disturbing the real workers

    BTW, I also do listen to other opinions, if they're backed up by reasonable evidence or results. That's why I have a CSMIO/IP-M and three EM806 on order for the new machine to replace the vanilla BOB and analogue drivers I was going to salvage from my old MDF-built router. I wouldn't even bother measuring accuracy on that machine - by the time you've pulled the tape measure to the end of the bed, the starting point has moved...
    Oh, and there's a big smiley face to cover this whole post - I just can't find one big enough! I am very grateful to all who have posted here in the last couple of years and from whom I've learnt a lot.
    Last edited by Neale; 29-12-2014 at 04:55 PM.

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  13. #7
    I think part of the blame is the way the forum works, the same questions keep cominmg round e.g. MDF built machines.
    It would be better if there were discreet sections where discussion could take place, for example, 'Router Frames'
    In that section there would be discussion to the n'th degree about frames, new users could take a look and use information to build their own frame to whatever level they wanted. There would be no posts like "MDF frames are shite" because there would be a sub section under 'Router Frames' for that. Same would apply to other components of the machine.
    Things like Rails, Spindle, etc. would have their own sections.

    Router Type Machines
    . Frames
    ... Steel
    ... Wood
    ... Aluminium
    Gantry
    Bed
    Z axis


    Edit: I'm thinking back to my Lego machine idea where you pick'n'mix your parts from the various sub sections of the forum.

    For example I would submit drawings for my frame and gantry for anyone to download, tweak, build but at the moment I think they would just get lost in the mountain of info.
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 29-12-2014 at 07:47 PM.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

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  15. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    If all you want to do is build a good, functional, CNC router, then I absolutely agree with you, Jazz. For example, despite the fact that the usual minimum steel section that people seem to use is 60x60x5 - minimum! - my machine is built from 50x50x3, and it seems plenty strong enough to me. There does seem to be a lot of over-building going on. Maybe I'll be proved wrong later...
    Exactly my point it's more than enough for 95% of DIY builds and you won't be proved wrong I'm 100% sure of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    Swapping to mathematician/scientist, though, I can't help asking "How? Why? What?" In other words - that looks interesting, I wonder if...? We can apply scientific method to building CNC routers, or at least aspects of their design and construction, and maybe something useful will pop out. Or maybe it won't. Is it useful to suggest, based on what I see at present, that two thin layers of epoxy might be better than one thick one? But that one will be good enough for most practical purposes anyway? You are also quite correct that I don't know exactly how accurate my measurements are, although in the best scientific tradition I've described how I made them, and also tried to double-check the method.
    Nothing wrong with Scientific and taking measurements etc but completely pointless if it can't accurately be verified and at this size of machine then it can't be with a spirit level and tape measure!! (Making a point not having a go at you there.!). . . . BUT I can tell you what will tell you 100%.? Cut something with the bugger.!!

    If it's out then it will just mean simple case of shimming or adjustment if you have had the good sense to build adjustment into the machine.
    This is what I mean about good design beating over building every time at DIY level. Also lets make no mistake we 99% of members are DIY level no matter what those up there own arse's like to think.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 29-12-2014 at 05:23 PM.

  16. #9
    Jazz, I totally agree with what you are saying. I got on here a few months back with the intention to build a small very sturdy router from alu and after calculating the cost and seeing the nice solid steel builds and not fully understanding remarks like "use larger profile" and "extra weight might be a good", things got out of hand... You over design one bit and then you strengthen something else to be in line with that and before you know it your are caught up in a viscous cycle of adding more strength and weight. The other issue is that parts are MUCH larger in real life than the CAD drawing suggested but at that point its a bit too late. I did not see this coming but to give you a good example, I had to fit a hook to the roof trusses and buy a chain block just to get my gantry on an off my machine while I'm building it, so how wrong is that for a little DIY router. Well, for me there's no turning back now and it will be finished like that and maybe I can do a future version 2 in a more sensible manner.

    I wish someone could get hold of a drawing of the Datron M8 gantry and post that on here as a reference of what the ultimate steel gantry looks like. I bet you one does not need a chain block to lift that gantry.

    I think classifying the build threads into 4 classes: Wood, Alu, Steel and OTT Wackjob is a good suggestion.

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  18. #10
    Jazz, I totally agree with what you are saying. I got on here a few months back with the intention to build a small very sturdy router from alu and after calculating the cost and seeing the nice solid steel builds and not fully understanding remarks like "use larger profile" and "extra weight might be a good", things got out of hand
    Etc etc. I for one agree completely that if you're not careful things can get a bit out of hand. Its alright trying to measure to the nth degree in the morning and then when the sun comes out in the afternoon (or in the case in England when the big wood burner gets going) the whole machine has expanded and the first lot of measurements go out the window.

    I do realise that different people see things in different ways but as Dean has pointed out we have to be careful not to put people off in what is achievable to the average Joe Blogs trying to build a machine in his garage with just basic tools and I would suspect there are quite a few folk out there wanting to build a machine having never even been in a true machine shop.

    I could not have built my router without the help of some of the truly helpful guys on here.
    So lets keep it light. As this forum is a mine of information and I have met some really nice and genuine people on here. Happy New Year ..Clive
    Last edited by Clive S; 29-12-2014 at 10:44 PM. Reason: Grammer

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