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Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by selkov, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. selkov

    selkov New
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    I have never tried to build a CNC anything before. Gathering the needed knowledge is hard. There is a wealth of information out there for those that already know most of it but as I have no basis it ALL confuses me.

    I have in mind what is a simple project I am sure for any of you but to me its like Mt Everest. I am a hands on learner so without the benefit of one to hold and take apart I am intimidated .

    I would like to add a router on a x/y axis to my lathe. I have an overall width [the lathe] of 48" with a need to travel about thirty from left to right. The working depth is about 11". The needed travel there is only 3". The router needs to be able to be mounted at a right angle to the mounting plate.

    I have no problem assembling or even designing [by looks not components] this tool. What I need help on is in selecting the proper components and perhaps someone to review my plans for omissions prior to my committing too this project.

    The questions that come to mind are:
    Stepper vs servo motors?
    What type of track?
    What type of lead screw?
    what type of controller board - usb? xpro?
    Break out boxes?
    Software options?

    I am hoping that some one here will take pity on me and mentor me in this project.
     
  2. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Selkov,

    Welcome to the forum.

    An awful lot depends on the financial budget you have available.

    A stepper motor setup is a whole lot cheaper than servo's.
    My choice would be to use the highest quality track (linear rail) I could afford.
    Ballscrews are best but some of the Chinese imports can be dire.
    Perhaps check out PlanetCNC for the controller or the Gecko G540 maybe.
    There is lots of free CAD/CAM software available to get you started.

    I started out from scratch and learn't as I progressed so I know it is all a bit confusing to begin with but the more reading you do the more it starts to become clear.

    Tweakie.
     
  3. selkov

    selkov New
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    How do you feel about belts vs screws?
    And how powerful is a 500w spindle compared to a router?
     
  4. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Each have their own merits.
    Ballscrews will enable more cutting torque and greater accuracy - belts are cheaper, easier to align etc.
    A 500W spindle would be quieter than a router but may have considerably less torque and top speed.

    Tweakie.
     
  5. selkov

    selkov New
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    My limited knowledge here does not suffice to decide. I can get a 500W spindle for the same as a 2Hp router. I know the capabilities of the router as i have used many. But no comparison on the spindle. I expect the most difficult task I would ask of the spindle would be to cut a v-groove to a depth of 3/4".
    And even though i would not attempt to do that in less than three passes I'd like to know:
    Would that be taxing the spindle?
    Would it do well at 3/8?
    Or is 1/4" even to much?
     
  6. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    It’s difficult, if not impossible, to give you definitive answers because every machine / application is different.

    The example shown here http://www.openbuilds.com/resources/v-carving-and-engraving-for-free.37/ is 10 – 12 mm deep and effortlessly completed with a spindle of about 500 Watts (my VFD is presently set to limit current to 2.5 Amps). I really like the silence of spindles but for larger jobs I have an interchangeable Bosch router and wear the ear defenders. I have found that hardwoods such a Teak, Oak, etc. are a lot better to work with than softwoods (or MDF) but it is still ‘horses for courses’.


    Tweakie.
     

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