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Taking the CNC Plunge

Discussion in 'PRECISION-MATTHEWS' started by TomS, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Jay - sorry for not responding sooner. I just saw your post. I bought an infrared heat gun this morning. Wouldn't you know it Harbor Freight was out of stock on the $12.00 gun so I had to buy the $50.00 one. Just got done running g-code for a couple of hours and the max temp was 135 deg F. Keep in mind it's over 100F ambient here in the north state. I was guessing anything below 175F would be OK.

    Switch 4: OFF = half current and ON = full current. I switched mine to full current and the motors immediately got hot at idle so I switched it back.

    I'll post a few pictures of the parts I'm making later today. Thanks again for your help.

    Tom S
     
  2. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Sounds like you are good to go.

    Won't be long now before you want more spindle speed :grin:
     
  3. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've got the dip switches set at three amp levels below my starting point. Don't think this will be a problem unless I take deep cuts and ramp up the feed rate.

    Spindle speed is already on my list as are an enclosure to keep chips and coolant contained and a new milling vice so I don't have to share it with my manual mill. I'm sure the wish list will grow over time.

    Tom S
     
  4. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You can never have enough tooling....

    I have four vises, Three 4" vises and a 5". Two of the 4" vises are the CNC type from Shars. I use these the most. The only drawback is they are slightly different heights by about 0.003". Not a problem with soft jaws, only when using parallels. I need to have the bases ground but have yet to find someone local with a surface grinder I could use.

    Tooling plates are also good to have. I made a couple from 1/2 alum plate.

    Jay
     
  5. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As I learn more about CNC I'm sure my list will grow. Enclosure first then a vice, for sure.

    Here's a blurry picture of a harness bar side plate I'm making for my Can Am Commander. The assembly takes two plates, four roll bar clamps, and one cross tube. The side plate still needs the outside contoured. When I get that done I'll post another picture.

    Tom S
    20150616_182720 (1).jpg
     
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  6. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Finally was able to get back in the shop yesterday. After flailing along for a couple of hours I was able to figure out D2NC and profile the perimeter on the harness bar side plates.

    First, I made a fixture which was not that difficult. When I ran D2NC, input the offset data, and selected offset the screen showed a radius on the 90 degree corners. Played around with it for a long while and went back to the house and watched the videos by jumps4. After a couple of hours, and not finding an answer, I gave up and decided I'd live with the radiused corners. Well, wouldn't you know it, when I ran the g-code it cut the corners square. The screen shot must be the way D2NC illustrates the tool path for a 90 degree corner. Anyway I learned something, which is a good thing.

    I also figured out that I can save the g-code file for the roughing passes and finishing pass. This saved me from closing the g-code file and re-entering the set up info into D2NC for each part. Not to mention that in hindsight I should have machined the 1-1/2" hole and 1/4" bolt holes first, then used the fixture to machine the cutouts, chamfers, and the perimeter. I could have machined the part in two setups rather than four. Although I've been in and around machining for over 40 years my experience has been strictly manual machining. I've learned that CNC requires a different thought process. Having fun though.

    Tom S

    Here's a picture of the fixture. Could have held it in the vise but it was setup on my manual mill and I didn't want to spend the time to move it.
    20150620_153137_resized.jpg

    Part set up and ready to profile the perimeter.
    20150620_144918_resized.jpg

    Finished product. Next steps are bead blasting and painting.
    20150620_145511_resized.jpg
     
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  7. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Now that I've run a few CNC jobs I have come to the conclusion that I need to better contain the chips. Seems that I'm spending as much time cleaning up as I'm machining. So I've started on making an enclosure for my mill. I'm building it based on other enclosures I've seen on the web using the features I like best. The first order of business is to build a cover for the X and Y axis motors. While I would have liked to make the enclosure with a minimum of seams I'm limited to bending pieces 36" wide with my HF brake. Sheet metal is 24 gauge and will be attached with blind rivets and sealer at all joints. The picture below show my slow progress.

    Tom S

    Still need to make a cover for the Y axis motor.
    20150803_120653.jpg
     
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  8. jumps4

    jumps4 Global Moderator Staff Member Active Member

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    Everything Looks good Tom
    your chamfers look nice, I haven't tried that yet.
    You can get quite a pile of chips in a very short time...
    Steve
     
  9. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks Steve. Didn't realize it but CNC machining does generate lots of chips in a very short period of time. Add in the coolant factor and before you know it you've got a big mess to clean up.

    Tom S
     
  10. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Finally got the base portion of the enclosure nearly finished. This thing is huge at 43" wide by 88" long. I wanted to have enough room to clean around the mill, especially in the back, and with direct drive motors it ended up being bigger than I anticipated.

    I used sealant at all the joints when assembling the panels but still need to go back and fill in a few voids. I used 1/8" aluminum blind rivets to hold everything together.
    20150813_161429_resized.jpg

    I need to reroute the X and Y axis motor leads, limit switch wiring and lube oil feed to the distribution manifold. Next step is to build the wall panels and the doors.
    20150813_161452_resized.jpg

    Tom S
     
  11. bvd1940

    bvd1940 United States Active User Active Member

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    looks goods Tom, I have had some road blocks crop up on my conversion but hope to get back on track soon.
    Bill
     
  12. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks Bill. Don't give up just keep plugging away. It will get done. If your road blocks are related to the conversion let the forum know. We can help.

    Been working on this enclosure for a few weeks now and still not done. I have three of the panels done and five to go plus two doors. Then I need to fasten everything together to keep it from falling apart. Between my consulting business travel and my wife's insistence on traveling in the RV I haven't been able to put in the time I'd like. I guess that's why they call it a hobby.

    Tom S
     
  13. bvd1940

    bvd1940 United States Active User Active Member

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    No its not related to the conversion BUT it is related to our family, just to many things going on:( maybe next week:encourage:
    Oh well the beat goes on & on & on:)
     
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  14. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Finished up the enclosure wall panels today. Sorry but no pictures for a few days while I'm out of town. The next order of business is to make the doors. The opening is about 40" wide and 34" tall so each door will be about 24" by 36" allowing for overlap. I plan to mount a light weight sliding door track across the opening and hang the doors with door trolleys. What I need some input on is the material for the doors. Should I use Lexan, Plexiglass, tempered glass, or ??? Obviously the doors will be clear but I'm not sure what material is best suited for a flood coolant environment with chips beating on it.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Tom S
     
  15. Dan_S

    Dan_S Active User Active Member

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    For sure not glass, if you break an end mill and it goes flying, the glass will just shatter. It's costs more, but if it was me I'd go with Lexan, as its much stronger than plexi glass.
     
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  16. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    :+1: Lexan
     
  17. Eddyde

    Eddyde Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I would rule out plexiglass (acrylic) as it scratches very easily and can shatter if hit hard enough.
    Lexan is virtually unbreakable, doesn't scratch as easily as plexi but will degrade if exposed to a lot of flying chips. There is a higher grade called Lexan MR-10 that has a mar resistant coating, although, it's very expensive.
    Tempered Glass is the most scratch proof and is very break resistant and if it does, it shatters into tiny pieces. It would be possible to get injured if you were close to it if it shattered.
    I would consider making the doors out of sheet aluminum and have viewing windows in them that are a standard size of a common door lite, that way you can get either TG or even Lexan pre cut to size. You could even do a inner window of Tempered Glass and an outer one of Lexan (that's the way many bullet proof windows are constructed) and have the best of both.
     
  18. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks guys. I can buy Lexan sheet at the local big box store in the size I need. What about thickness? They have .093", .125" and .250". The .093" is in stock. The other thicknesses have to be ordered.

    Tom S
     
  19. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    I would go with the .250. Google ''plastics redding ca'' you might find much better pricing than the big box store. Many times your local glass shop will have Lexan window panes also.
     
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  20. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Be sure to check that the coolant you plan on using is compatible with polycarbonate. The coolant I prefer (Rustlick ws-5050) will attack polycarbonate and make it brittle and difficult to clean.
     
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  21. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Today I got the panels installed. Still have cleanup to do along with rerouting wiring and lube oil supply lines, and fab up coolant drains. I'll order the door material in the next couple of days.

    Tom S

    20150831_163051_resized.jpg

    20150831_162930_resized.jpg
     
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  22. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Looking good Tom!

    I am so envious of the size of your shop!!!

    Jay
     
  23. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks. As they say the bigger the shop the more junk you collect. I've got lot's of junk!

    The enclosure is huge. It's 43" deep and 88" long. Now I have to move my mill drill, lathe and work benches so I have room around the mill. It never ends!

    Tom S.
     
  24. techbuilder

    techbuilder United States Iron Registered Member

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    Hey Tom,
    Great build I really enjoyed reading the thread!
    I know this is a little old but I had a couple of quick questions.

    Did you end up going with the 1600oz steppers for the x,y and z or did you use the 4200oz stepper for the z?
    Also what are your max ipm on your cnc mill?
     
  25. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. I used 1600 oz in on X and Y and 4200 oz in on Z.

    Actually I don't remember where they are set. I recently installed double ball nuts on all axis' and I played around with the settings. I think I'm running X and Y at 100 ipm and the Z about 50 ipm. I'll check and get back to you. I did have X and Y up to 200 ipm but didn't want to run jobs at that speed. Keep in mind you have to have enough spindle rpm to use these kinds of feeds. Most of the jobs I run are under 50 ipm.

    Tom S.
     
  26. techbuilder

    techbuilder United States Iron Registered Member

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    Wow thank you for the quick response Tom!

    Unfortunately in my case due to the stepper controllers I already have that are pricey they max out at
    8amps peak so I was looking at stepper motor for the z-axis with that amp range but slightly lower and I came up with the next step down 3250oz steppers.
    Do you think that is to far under powered and will need a pully?
     
  27. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'm using a DQ2722 driver/power supply that is rated at 8.0A peak and 7.0A rated current. The 4200 oz in motor is rated 8.0A/phase but you will probably never get there unless you intend to run extremely heavy material removal rates. Another consideration is that the X and Y axis do most of the work while the majority of the Z axis load is raising and lowering the head. Another way of saying it you won't be loading the Z axis like you would the X or Y axis.

    I would go with the 4200. It moves the head up like it isn't there.

    Tom S.
     
  28. techbuilder

    techbuilder United States Iron Registered Member

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    Sweet! Thanks Tom
     
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  29. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    If you haven't already done so you might take a look at the CNC builds by jumps4 and jbolt. My conversion is based on their builds.

    Tom S.
     
  30. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As promised here are my motor settings.

    Tom S.

    X Axis Settings.PNG

    Y Axisn Settings.PNG

    Z Axis Settings.PNG
     

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