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      This is currently a proof-of-concept build for a machine that can route mortise and tenon joinery, and hopefully much more. Because I will eventually need to cut tenons on 8-foot long boards, trying to do this with the more traditional CNC router that I've been building (for a long time) was not going to work.


      I put this together over the last two weekends, and there are numerous issues that I will need to work out to consider it finished, but I cut my first test piece today and it performed fairly well. There are no limit switches on this at the moment, and it will rip itself apart if I move any axis too far; I have already done it twice.

      I will add more information over the next couple of weeks.

      Update #1: 2017/07/15

      The concept works, and I'm getting somewhat accurate cuts in test pieces. However, the cuts aren't accurate enough for use. Part of the problem, because this machine does not have a lot of rigidity, is getting everything truly square. Also, because the router sits horizontally, weight is pulling the bit to a slight vertical angle. In order to combat this, I am in the process of trying to turn the vertical C-Beams around so that the moving gantry will be on the backend of the machine.

      This effort has uncovered another problem: the counterbores in the C-Beam end mounts are not only NOT flush with the end mount, each one has a slightly different depth. This is causing the two vertical C-Beams to not sit flat, and is making it very difficult for me to get each to be perfectly aligned. I've re-tapped the holes in the C-Beam--thinking that the taps were not deep enough, which was true in a couple of cases. However, holding the end caps in my hand and sitting the screws in the cap shows that it is the counterbores.

      _BI_7613.png _BI_7614.png _BI_7615.png

      Update #2: 2017/07/16

      Because of the issue that I was having with the counterbore depth in the C-Beam end mounts, I had to find a way to raise the end mount off of the table surface. I had a piece of 20x40 which I laid flat on the table on the 40mm side. I also created a bottom frame using 3 more pieces of 20x40 (each approximately 500mm in length).


      Once the frame was square, I used a 2 hole angle bracket to screw into the 20x40 and the front screws on the end mount (that are supposed to be for the C-Beam shield).


      However, because there is no support on the back of the C-Beam, it was not staying true at a 90 degree angle from the surface of my table (the top of my table saw).


      I knew I needed to recreate the "table" on the machine to hold material for both the mortise and tenon functions; in other words, to be able to clamp material flat and on its side to the machine. I added supports to the front of this table to push back against the vertical C-Beam to keep them at a true 90 degree angle.

      _BI_7640.png _BI_7643.png

      The "table" has a front and a back, so that I can clamp pieces to the front for mortise work; using the back to clamp against. Of course, that makes it more difficult to clamp pieces for tenon work, so that's another problem I will have to solve.

      Checking everything again, the machine seems to be square, except the horizontal C-Beam supporting the router, which I need to fix; it is off just a hair from side-to-side.

      This is version 1.1 of the machine.

      _BI_7638.png _BI_7641.png

      Version 1.1 Testing

      Testing the tenon job that I've created works generally well. However, it's oversized by .5mm (X) in length and .25 in width (Y). I can't tell if the gcode I generated out of VCarve pro is faulty, if the Tinyg is off, if Chilipeppr is causing me problems (it always does; I can't wait to find an alternative), or if my config is off somehow.

      Using the Acme 8mm lead screw, I've got travel per revolution setup at 8mm; which I don't think is correct. But, changing that setting results in crashing the axes. I've got more work to do to figure out what's going on.

      Testing Update - SUCCESS

      The table that I built into the machine isn't size correctly for the mortise work. I mis-measured the movement of the spindle, so I had to start taking the table apart to move the frame around. I will have to continue to work on the best setup.

      The 8mm per revolution seems to be correct. It's possible that my calipers are seriously inaccurate. I was able to successfully mill both a mortise and tenon; although, I need to work on getting the alignment correct.

      _BI_7646.png _BI_7647.png
      Tracy Ranson and RSW like this.
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  • Build Details

    Build License:
    • CC - Attribution NonCommercial - Share Alike - CC BY NC SA

    Reason for this Build

    After moving into a new house late last year, I fell behind on building my original CNC (a modified OX). Finally, with the warm weather, I am working on getting my garage built out as a workshop, but I have a need to start using some mortise & tenon joinery on projects.

    After finding Mathias Wandel, and enjoying many of his YouTube videos, I saw his Pantorouter machine. Since I had numerous spare parts, from over-ordering Ox parts, I decided to see if I could build a vertical CNC that would perform many of the same types of functions as the Pantorouter.
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