1. #1
    Hello all,

    I'm Kevin from Derry and I am brand new to CNC machines. My full-time job is in graphic design and I have been a keen wood-work hobbyist for well over 20 years now and I'm well versed in hand-routing with templates and guides. I have wanted a CNC machine for many years and this week I finally took the plunge. I bought the Chinese 4-Axis 6040 sxcnc machine from eBay (Portsmouth) mainly for V-carving and cutting MDF & Ply. I am having problems getting the machine to run correctly. I think the problem I am having is backlash. The gantry freezes and gets stuck at times, particularly at higher feed rates and when cutting circles. I managed to get a decent cut at 20mm/min but I suspect this may cause tools to dull quickly. I'm wondering whether I should just get a refund and look for something better or even better again, build one! I'd really like to build one but I'm afraid that a DIY machine would be less accurate or more troublesome. If it was something that could be easily rectified I would happily keep the 6040 for now as it is probably a good starting point but I'd definitely like something a bit bigger sooner or later. Any thoughts and/or advice would be most welcome. I also look forward to contributing to the community and sharing some of my designs. I'd be open to lending a hand with the software/design side of things if anyone is interested. I'd really love to visit someone's CNC shop and meet anyone like-minded in Ireland! I'd be happy to return the favour although I don't have much to show just yet!
    I'm looking for a Dust Collection system too so please PM me if anyone has something for sale.

    Thanks, Kevin.

  2. #2
    Kevin Welcome to the forum. Get ready for a bit of flack but take it all with a pinch of salt they are a good bunch on here and very willing to help.
    Can you post a spec of your machine ie has it been built with ball screws and what spindle does it have and what software are you running etc. as that would help to track down any faults . 20mm/min is very slow for wood. ..Clive

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Clive S View Post
    20mm/min is very slow for wood. ..Clive
    I think this is whats called an under statement Clive.!!. . .LOL.

    Kevin if you can get a refund then I advise you to do so. No matter how much effort you put into it you Can't make silk purse out of sow's ear and it will always be what it is.!!

    If you feel you have the skills to DIY then go for it because you'll get a machine that does exactly what you want and for much less than buying quality off the shelf machine.
    It's not difficult if you go about building in the right manner. Don't be rushing into building, do plenty of research and reading others build threads. Find a design that suits your needs. Don't try to reinvent the wheel, there's no shame in copying any machine design you like. All machines are some hybrid of another in some way and there's only so many ways to build these things.!
    Ask questions and when you think you know the answer then ask again just to be sure you really do understand.!
    DONT buy anything until you 100% know for sure it's correct for your machine and again ask if not sure.!

    Building isn't has difficult as you might imagine and Anything you can't make your self can be made for you by someone else if needed. It may just cost you a little more but you'll still save in the long run and end up with a custom machine designed for your exact requirements.

    Good luck which ever direction you take.!

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  6. #4
    Hi Clive,

    It sure is nice to get such a warm reception and a gracious offer of assistance, thank you very much.

    I have been on a few forums in my day so I'm sure I will get on just fine!

    The only thing resembling branding on this is the 6040 name from the eBay listing.

    The specs are as follows;

    • Effective working travel: 580(X)mm*400(Y)mm*65(Z)mm
    • Frame materials: 6061 aluminum alloy + 6063 Industrial aluminum
    • Driving units X,Y&Z: 1605 ball screws
    • Sliding units Y axis: Dia.20mm chrome plate shafts
    • Sliding units Z axis: Dia.13mm chrome plate shafts
    • Stepping motor type: 57 two-phase 3A ,super-low noise ,NEW
    • Spindle motor: 800W water cooling VFD spindle, 24000RPM
    • Principal axis collet: ER11/3.175 collet
    • Spindle speed: 24000rpm/min (PWM stepless speed regulation)
    • Control unit: Triaxial one-piece drive + ring variable power + PWM speed
    • Control unit: Toroidal transformer + PWM psu module + TB6560 drive board
    • Control Software: Mach 3

    I have the 4-Axis Model but I intend to use only 3 most of the time so I haven't experimented with the 4th yet.
    At the minute I'm using Mach3 and PyCam and Adobe Illustrator.

    Thanks again,


    Quote Originally Posted by Clive S View Post
    Kevin Welcome to the forum. Get ready for a bit of flack but take it all with a pinch of salt they are a good bunch on here and very willing to help.
    Can you post a spec of your machine ie has it been built with ball screws and what spindle does it have and what software are you running etc. as that would help to track down any faults . 20mm/min is very slow for wood. ..Clive

  7. #5
    Well you have one of the better ones which uses water cooled spindles but unfortunately using the TB based drive which is not so desirable.!

    These machines are OK for learning but if you try to push it too hard then it will break at some point.
    If you can't return it then my advise is use it to learn on. Don't expect the world from it, treat it gentle then sell it at your soonest opertunity.
    Then either buy or build a better machine. DON'T try to upgrade or make it better you'll just be throwing good money away that can be better spent on DIY build worth having.!
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 30-04-2015 at 02:42 PM.

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  9. #6

    Thanks a lot for your great advice. I have contacted the eBay seller and initiated the return. Fingers crossed all goes well!

    As you say, worst case scenario I will use it to learn on and shift it on if need be.

    So... A CNC kit!

    Where do I begin?!

    Around 2ft x 4ft would suit me.

    I'd like a kit as I have a fair amount to learn so best keep things simple. No point reinventing the wheel as you rightly mentioned.

    Would I be better going for an off the shelf kit or is there a way to hire folks on here to build it for me?

    Any suggestions for a nice kit would be most welcome. I'm afraid of making another unsound purchase.

    Thanks again, Kevin.

  10. #7
    Ok well welcome aboard the DIY build train.!!

    Kit's well there aren't really any good ones that I know about. Most kits are either low strength affairs or aimed at those who want to start really cheap and build using MDF or Wood using cheap components like threaded rod etc. All best avoided.!!

    In my experience the best route is to look at other machine designs and Copy some or all of it.
    Work out what portion of the build you can make your self and the parts you can't then have made by others. I make everything from single parts to full machines for people and there are others on here who will do the same or at least make parts for you.

    If you can work with steel then building the frame from Steel box section is by far the cheapist way and very strong. If not then using aluminium extrusion is another good alternative but does cost more money.
    Parts of the machine like the Z axis which people often struggle with you can have machined by others. Same with Motor mounts etc.

    Electronics and wiring is an area that scares people but don't be afraid it's not nearly hard as it appears if done correctly, using correct electronics. The forum can help here with advise and guide you in the right direction.

    Again BEST advise is DONT BUY ANYTHING until you have done some research and looking around to find the design that suits you. Then ask questions or advise on anything you are thinking to buy.

    You'll be tempted to look towards Kits for the electronics but don't be.? Most are mis-matched and not suited to a balanced machine.
    The electronics are the heart of the machine so using quality components that are matched will give you balanced machine that is reliable and accurate.
    Cheap electronics are false economy in long run and come with high potential for hair pulling frustration. Best avoided IME.!!

    So look around to get an idea of what tickles your fancy. Then start a build thread and throw up your design or idea and start asking questions.

    I help lots of people and understand some don't want to go thru this process or have time for build threads so I'll PM you my Email in case you don't want to go public and phone number if you want a chat for advise. I'd rather offer this than see someone shy away from building or worse buy expensive rubbish!!
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 30-04-2015 at 08:34 PM.

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  12. #8
    HI from Roscommon.

    Nice to see some Irish CNC owners appearing. If you are ever near Roscommon feel free to pay a visit.


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  14. #9
    I think there are quite a few cnc'ers on this forum from Ireland. Clive


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