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OXENlarged, or: How To Build A CNC Router in The Jungle and Stay (relatively) Sane

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Zootalaws, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    #1 Zootalaws, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
    asb_79 likes this.
  2. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    Having just received a sort of 'Dear John' letter from OpenBuilds, telling me they can't ship my extrusions because they are too big (you would think they would have known that, right?) this is going to have to be re-thought.

    Well, they can ship them, if I pony up another $130+ - but then I may as well buy longer v-trak and get the machine I want.

    So, until this is sorted out, this build is on hold.

    Thanks OpenBuilds Parts Store - your efficiency and attention to detail have made my day.
     
  3. Robert Hummel

    Robert Hummel Custom Builder
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    I'm sure Mark will resolve your issue and things will work out in the end.
    I have always bin left with a smile even with hic-ups during orders and for a new company that basically exploded Un-expectedly I'd say they handled things well and professional.

    It does suck though I understand, just waisted a load of cash on the new laser v boards because a small company said they could but in the end their little train went bang!
     
    Mark Carew likes this.
  4. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    There is no issue as far as they are concerned... they did offer to cut the extrusion in half, which would be about as useful as a chocolate fireplace.
     
  5. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    To be fair, it sounds like the automated shipping calculator was what made the promise that couldn't be kept. The shipping calculator is a stock program they have no control over nor any way of knowing if it is correct.
     
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  6. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    That sounds like complete bull to me, as a developer of e-commerce systems.
     
    #6 Zootalaws, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  7. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    Thanks to the tender mercies of the USPS, no extrusions will be shipped from the US...

    Instead, my machine has now grown from 4x4 to a full 8x4, thanks to Colin from Robocutters in the UK.
     
  8. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    After a number of issues, we are now back on track with the following:

    1500 x 2500 platform - hopefully it will be able to cut full ply/MDF sheets. If not, it will be close - it will certainly be big enough to take them.
    2.2kw water-cooled spindle - I think it's going to be too big/heavy/deflective. I can get a smaller one if I have to... really over-spec'd that one, considering the heaviest material I will be cutting will be 18mm MDF. The weight of the spindle is huge. Add in a ridiculously heavy aluminium mount and it's reaching 10kg. Going to have to be inventive with bonding the gantry together. I've bought extra extrusion, just in case.
    3.0kw VFD - went over-spec because the price was within pissing distance and I've read that it's better to have power in hand.
    TinyG controller
    370oz Nema23 steppers for X&Y, Nema17 for Z - as I will mostly be cutting sheet goods without a lot of pockets/drill holes, the weight/problems associated with a small Z-axis may not be as much as I am worried it is.

    After trialling a ton of different apps, I have decided on my (initial) tools - Sketchup, CamBam and tgFX/Chilipeppr (not sure about chilipeppr, internet isn't the most reliable here in the 3rd world).

    Total cost, excluding computers and a bench to sit the thing on is in excess of US$2500, but a lot of that is in freight - nearly $1000 to date.

    Because we live in a vast house and only occupy a couple of rooms, I am setting it up in the 'maids' bedroom which is next to the lounge room. It's a decent size - about 8m square - but doesn't have any AC. Currently it contains my shelving and hobby bench (8x4) and given that the bench is nearly the size of the router, there is plenty of room. I've invested in a cyclone dust collector system that should keep most of the noxious wood particles out of the air, but at the moment it's very much a 'suck it and see' project. It may be that my wife goes mental with the dust and I get banished to the (very hot and sweaty and insect-laden) shed.

    Checking all the shipping updates, it looks like the majority of my components will arrive next week. Time to order some timber to make a table.
     
  9. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    I bet at least your hardwood will be a lot cheaper than here. :thumbsup:
    You get a CNC job, and pop out and cut down a tree or something!! :D
    Easy :cool:

    Gray
     
  10. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    You don't want to know how cheap.. it's ridiculous.

    Our main timber is Philippine Mahogany - Meranti. It's not great wood for finish and it does eat your tools up a bit, but it's strong as heck and heavy.

    The biggest issue we have is getting straight/dry pieces - they cut it and ship it, no kiln drying and it is only as dry as it got sitting on the floor. I spend hours at the timber merchants picking out straight bits.
     
  11. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Would a solar kiln work in your part of the world?
     
  12. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    I imagine so - but we have ridiculously high humidity and I don't have any flattening/dimensioning tools - and am unlikely to get any. I looked at importing a simple thicknesser from the UK and it was going to run a couple of grand. Easier to get to work with my big plane.

    And as soon as you make any sort of box, insects move in and occupy it. I learned that with my smokehouse - now it just stands open all day for the critters to move in and out of. When I get ready to use it, I give it 10 minutes of smoke with all the vents open and the door ajar, to give the ants and beetles and lizards time to move house.
     
  13. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    Like manna from heaven - the gods of the big birds in the sky have opened up and delivered to me 12 very large pieces of aluminium and some very nicely cut aluminium plates, brass anti-backlash nuts and various pulleys and belts.

    Not all without stress, though - still no hardware to tie it all together and I am missing some aluminium 40x20 sections for the cross-frame strengthening. No doubt it will turn up in due course.

    Bought a nice 100-tooth TCT saw blade for my drop saw today and an industrial vac I picked up for a song, ordered the MDF for my table and placed an order for a couple of hundred dollars worth of end mills... it's been an expensive process.

    Tomorrow the build starts in earnest - after I finish clearing out the room and the wood arrives. Time to charge up the drill!

    If anyone is looking at building an Ox, I can absolutely recommend Anthony ( @asb_79 ) for a source of aluminium gantry and end plates - they are very nicely made. His z-axis brass anti-backlash nut is superb, too.
     
  14. asb_79

    asb_79 Veteran
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    @Zootalaws looking forward to seeing your big Ox take shape.
     
  15. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    So, from making sure I wasn't at home for when Mr. Cockup calls, to sitting glumly contemplating himself perched on the end of my workbench... I forgot to order one bloody component. It would have to be one that I can't do without - or substitute... the low-profile 55mm screws that the Z-axis wheels mount to and that spearate the two X-axis plates.

    What a maroon!

    Still, as the Ball n'Chain says, 'It'll give you more time to clean up, rather than playing Meccano in the lounge and making a mess'. She's all heart, that woman.

    I think the answer is to drill the plate and use a countersunk screw. The 'joiner' screws aren't a problem. There is no problem with clearance for the two pieces that straddle the cross-gantry extrusion and I just found today that I can get crappy quality and expensive M5 bolts locally that will hold it together until something nicer arrives in the post. (expensive isn't the word... US$1.55 ea for an M5 50mm bolt - not even a hex drive, a spanner jobbie - and the nut is extra...).
     
  16. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Sorry, but I just had to laugh. :D

    The nut was extra!!!!!! :ROFL::ROFL::ROFL::ROFL::ROFL::ROFL:

    That has to be the Funniest, and the Saddest thing on this Forum for a long long time.

    You really do make us all appreciate what an easy time we have here. :cool:
    You must be soooo hardened to the situation. :thumbsup:


    Good Luck
    Gray
     
  17. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    I've given up worrying about it.

    The only thing that stops me crying at the cost is knowing that there isn't another CNC router in the country, so the market is wide open for me to recoup my costs...
     
    Robert Hummel likes this.
  18. Paruk

    Paruk Master
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    Where about are you in Asia? Philippines?
     
  19. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    Brunei - I am sure there are more than a thousand CNC machines in the Philippines.
     
  20. Paruk

    Paruk Master
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    Here in Thailand there are also many CNC machines, good thing is that hardly anyone knows or understands how to properly operate them.
     
  21. Paruk

    Paruk Master
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    Brunei is part of ASEAN and borders to Malaysia. Isn't it easy to get cheaper materials from or through Malaysia?
     
  22. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    Nope. You would think so, but it isn't.

    My borders with Malaysia are even more third-world than Brunei. Sabah and Sarawak have no engineering base.

    I could get from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, but they are more expensive than sourcing from China and without a decent mail-order service, not feasible.

    I tried Misumi in both Malaysia and Singapore, but they proved to be ridiculously expensive. Eye-wateringly so. And their shipping charges were greater than from the US, Europe or China. Just ridiculous, really.

    ASEAN is great when you are doing B2B on a large scale, but as an end-user, hopeless.

    And I'm sure that if you lived in KL or Singapore, there are a dozen stores selling the kinds of things I am after, but not being local, that knowledge is unavailable to me. Then there is a language barrier.

    It's easier and cheaper to buy from China, mostly.
     
  23. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    So, after looking at many different options, the answer was to buy the missing hardware from the Openbuilds parts store and opt for their Express shipping - which actually does get here in pretty short order.

    Unlike regular mail, USPS express comes to a courier-like office in town, that rings you up and tells you it has arrived and you can come and pick it up.

    We have primitive mail here - there is no home delivery for anything other than envelopes and magazines. anything else, even a 2cm x 3cm 'packet', you have to drive into the capital and go to the central post office, queue to let them know you are here to pick up your parcel, take a number and then wait while the PO staff fumble about finding it... like PO workers worldwide, they are in no hurry... then... you have to queue at the customs counter to take a number, then take a seat and in time, you go and open your parcel under the steely gaze of the customs officer who 'apprises' your goods and decides how much duty you have to pay. Don't piss them off (as I once did, arguing about the category of a component) or they will slap a big duty % on or worse, confiscate your goods. I am now on smiling terms with them after living here for nearly 5 years and typically I pay 5% or less, but still have to go through the interminable process.

    And Murphy makes the rules - I got home the other day after picking up my Arduino and Openbuilds parcels, to find two new cards in my letterbox telling me there were two more parcels to pick up... they can wait, I'm done with the PO for this week :)
     
  24. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    I'd be rethinking ACME rod or belt drive with that monstrosity on top, though it could be that only working grainless, knotless wood will make life that much easier.

    I'm looking forward to seeing it run on standard V-Slot, too. My 1.5kW plans got an upgrade to supported linear rail and ballscrews, whereupon the price started its meteoric rise. :p

    You should probably look into vibration damping too. Aluminium's the worst at transmitting vibration. It'll be noisy as hell and you might lose steps.
     
  25. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    I'm not committed to the spindle. Kress have offered me a great deal on a new unit straight out of Germany, so if I think the whole gantry is going to be too massy, I won't use it.

    If I am going to work timber, it will be hardwood - no knots, straight grain. It's all I can buy anyway.
     
  26. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    I'm looking at working with metal, so mass is exactly my goal, both for damping and stiffness. It's going to be a concrete monster, but I don't have to move the gantry so it's fine. For a basic router board that kind of overengineering is probably unnecessary.

    I'd be thinking hard about the Kress deal and figuring out what I could make with all the "spare" hardware I had lying around!
     
  27. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Hi Zoot.
    What's the deal from Kress. I'm seriously considering the:-
    Kress 1050 FME-1 at £221.71 from CNC4You
    Not cheap!
    Gray
     
  28. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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    You won't get it - its because there are no Kress distributors in SE Asia, I can buy direct - no VAT, no markup.

    Although... I have seen them for around 150ish Euro direct from Germany... gimme a sec.
     
  29. Zootalaws

    Zootalaws Veteran
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  30. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    You right my friend. They are certainly much cheaper from Germany, even with the added taxes.
    I know where I'll be going for mine now.

    Gray
     

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