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timberlinemd Tue 27 April 2010 20:05

My table sucks ... and it awesome !! #66 - Arizona USA
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I started my build with the electronics. The only modifications I made to the plans are to provide for a low voltage (24v AC) circuit for the E-Stops. I’m using the Gecko G-540 all-in-one BOB and motor drivers. I resurrected an old Windows 2000 computer I had in storage and formatted the drive to insure a clean machine. I downloaded Mach3’s free demo version and played around with it. My CADD program will be VisualCadd and the VisualCadd forum has I member that created a CAM program that I will be using for my machine.

When I started gathering parts for the electronics I needed an enclosure to put it all in. I felt that $100+ US was pretty steep for a box so I started looking in second hand stores. I found a gutted electrical service box for $5.00 US and while I was at this store I bought a medical cart donated to them by the local hospital for $30.00 US!! This thing must have cost thousands when it was new. I will be able to put my computer on the cart, which is mobile, and a 25’ printer cable running to the power panel, which will be attached to the machines base. The panel measures only 14”W x 18”H x 4”D. I have a 3 phase rotary converter in my shop, which will handle up to a 7-1/2 HP motor. I designed the power panel to be 3 phase in the future will I covert the machine to a spindle. Right now I will be using a very old (first generation) 3 HP Makita router. Same one as Gerald’s, but an older model. In the US it is customary to have a separate power disconnect to higher voltage machinery. I decided that I would stay with this typed of set-up, so the power panel doesn’t have an ‘off’ switch. Before voltage goes to the power panel there will be a separate disconnect box that will have a ‘pull-out’ to break the circuit going to the power panel.

timberlinemd Tue 27 April 2010 20:07

Motors turning
I tried to complete my ‘kitchen table’ test, but I couldn’t get the Gecko G-540 to give me a green light with the ‘charge pump’ set to the ON position. Everything I did was according to all the information available on the forum as well as the rest of the Internet. To those that may have the same set-up that I do you will be appreciative of the fix I discovered for this problem.
My computer has a 7ZM motherboard by Gigabyte with an AMI BIOS. The BIOS allows for the necessary printer port setting of EPP to allow the G-540 to work. But the BIOS doesn’t actually do anything by switching to the EPP state. They didn’t connect a program to the EPP software switch!! There is nothing in the BIOS to change the printer port to an EPP state!! The only fix is to ‘Flash the BIOS’ with the most current software. This task can be DANGEROUS so proceed with caution! I’m sure there are other motherboards with the same BIOS so be on the lookout.

After I got my G-540 to ‘go green’ with the BIOS fix, I was able to get my motors turning. However, Murphy’s Law kicked in and I couldn’t get the second X-axis (a-axis on the G-540) to reverse direction. I looked into everything, but after eliminating all the easy stuff, I disassembled the G-540 and switched two of the internal drives. This showed that one of the drives of the G-540 was faulty. I contacted Gecko drive and I was very pleased by their service policy. I bought this unit from one the members here on the forum, used, and I relayed this info to Gecko. The told me it didn’t matter. If the drive was faulty they would fix/replace at no cost to me (except I paid to have it shipped to them). The turn-around time was less than a week. Now all the motors are turning correctly.

timberlinemd Tue 27 April 2010 20:09

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I bought a used Lincoln AC welder at an estate sale for $125.00 US. I have never welded anything in my life! Time to teach this old dog some new tricks. After about a week of practicing with the welder I decided to assemble the Y-car. Like I said I’m no welder, but at least it’s done and the car is square, plum, parallel and level.

timberlinemd Tue 27 April 2010 20:11

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I tried out the ‘skate’ today. More time spent in the set-up than the grinding. JR’s skate dose an amazing job for rail grinding.

timberlinemd Wed 28 April 2010 00:04

Spider missing bent tab for limit stops
My spider is missing the bent tab for the limit stops. I'm thinking that I will weld a small tab to the spider. Does anyone know what the dimensions of this tab should be?

swatkins Wed 28 April 2010 00:09

I can measure for you tommorow....

Hillbillie Wed 28 April 2010 09:08

Originally Posted by timberlinemd View Post
I bought a used Lincoln AC welder at an estate sale for $125.00 US. I have never welded anything in my life! Time to teach this old dog some new tricks. After about a week of practicing with the welder I decided to assemble the Y-car. Like I said I’m no welder, but at least it’s done and the car is square, plum, parallel and level.
Well it looks like this "old dog" is doing a good job. Keep pictures coming.

swatkins Wed 28 April 2010 13:00

There is a close up of the tab in the third picture of this post...

The tab on my spider is .600" wide and protrudes out from the surface of the plate .310" ... I had to file down my tab because it was slightly touching the back of the stiffener tube. I would think that the .310" dimension is not too critical as you can file it down if too long or place a few washers under the head of the limit bolts if it is too short...

domino11 Wed 28 April 2010 20:12

Nice progress Steve!

timberlinemd Wed 28 April 2010 21:52

Steve- Thanks for the info. I will cut up some stock and weld a tab to the spider.

timberlinemd Fri 30 April 2010 22:18

Rail cutting
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Today I began to cut the rails down. I haven’t done allot of metal work. Been in the wood end along time. I discovered that using an abrasive disk to cut metal, one should try to keep the metal from getting too hot or the disk will not cut any longer. When I first set up to cross cut the angle, I set one leg of the angle up and against the back fence of the saw. This allowed me to cut the leg standing vertically very quickly but when the disk met the bottom leg lying horizontally and flat to the saw table, the disk cut very slowly and the metal got very hot. By turning the angle upside down so that the ‘V’ was inverted, I was able to cut the metal faster without it getting over heated.

I built a ‘sled’ for the skate and used the main beam for a flat surface. Taking light cuts all the way across the rail kept the metal from getting too hot and kept the sparks flying. I ordered the 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” angle iron. Gerald has remarked that the rail height has to be a maximum of 2” in order to allow the skate to get close enough to cut all the way through the angle. I found that if I used a new 4-1/2” disk towards the end of the cut, I could get almost thru. Then I bent the top of the angle a little with an 18” pipe wrench. This gave me room to cut some more. I could get all the way through the steel without having to cut the metal twice!

UPS came and delivered the cable chain.

Tomorrow I will be grinding the rails.

timberlinemd Sun 09 May 2010 00:54

More progress...
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I got the rails ground, but burnt up my old 10” miter saw cutting the rails to their final size. Used a friends 14” cut-off saw to finish the job. Harbor Freight will be having a sale on their 14” cut-off saw on the 13th, so I will have to wait a few more days to grab one. I cut down the gantry tubes while I was using my friend’s saw. I found that the saw would not cut the tubes very close to the 1mm square tolerance that is called for in the plans. I cut them slightly longer and clamped them together and finished the job by using my edge sander. I also was able to assemble the Z-Slide into the Y-car and adjust the rollers. Very nice! Tomorrow I will be drilling the tubes, rails and clamp strip.

swatkins Sat 15 May 2010 22:13

Looks like it is coming along nicely :)

timberlinemd Mon 17 May 2010 21:56

More progress
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Well, I got the rails, gantry tubes and clamp strips drilled and tapped. I laid out the gantry and welded it together. My friend who lent me his cut off saw while I waited for the Harbor Freight sale also let me use his auto-darkening helmet to weld up the gantry. He told me that once I use one I wouldn’t be able to go back to a regular welding helmet. He was right! What a difference!
I did some pre-assembly to see how the Y-car would track on the rails. Works very nicely:)
I picked up a new 14” metal cut off saw at Harbor Freight that was on sale. They also had an auto-darkening welders helmet on sale, got that too. Cut up some parts for the table and made a router mount out of some of the left over cross member channel. I mounted the router in the car and added the Z-motor. I did a little motor tuning in Mach3 and wired the Z-axis and watched the Z jog up and down. It works!!:D
Cut some more parts for the table, including the main beam. I’m starting to run out of the small assembly stuff to do and will have to start the main table. That’s when the hardest part of my build will have to be done… cleaning out an area in the shop to put the beast:eek:

timberlinemd Sun 13 June 2010 22:33

Main Table
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Ok, it's been awhile, but I have been able to get rid of some stuff to make room for the main table. When my day job doesn't get in the way I have been able to work on the table and here are some pic's of the progress. I have put casters on the table so when I retract the adjustable feet I can roll the beast. Then a little adjustment of the feet downward and the beast is firm and level. :D

timberlinemd Wed 16 June 2010 19:32

Rolling on the X,Y & Z rails
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I was able to get the X,Y & Z rails mounted and rolling on the table, gantry and Z slide. Will mount motors tomorrow.

KenC Wed 16 June 2010 22:22

Great progress. You are very close to dust making now.

Keep em coming!

Gerald D Thu 17 June 2010 02:18

Nice progress!

That trolley jack reminds me of our table moving method. ;)

timberlinemd Tue 22 June 2010 19:00

The Computer has taken control!
:D I have mounted the motors and taken the beast for a test drive. Did some jogging and then ran the 'roadrunner' program to see what it looks like with a computer in control. This is all done without the router turning. Very nice!!

Question: It is 101 degrees F (38C) ambeint. After some jogging and running the 'roadrunner' program motor tempetures at the housing was 122F (50C). My motors are the PK296A2A-SG7.2, wired unipolar. Is this normal?

Also, I need only reverse polarity on only one of the 'A' or 'B' coils to change motor rotation, correct?

timberlinemd Tue 22 June 2010 21:22

I searched the forum and found all the answers to may questions:)

MetalHead Wed 23 June 2010 04:53

Cool !!! Sounds like you are making great progress!!!

timberlinemd Thu 07 October 2010 18:58

Finished Painting!
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It has been a few months since my last post. The weather here has finally dropped below the 100-degree mark. Most of July was at 110 degrees (43c). August was mostly 105 degrees (40.5c). And September mostly just above 100 degrees (38c). Not very good for painting outside.
Today it was only 87 degrees (30.5c). Perfect!:D

timberlinemd Fri 08 October 2010 16:26

MechMate Contol Center ready for action!
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Here are some more pics.

Kobus_Joubert Sat 09 October 2010 11:46

One thing about the dry sunshine area where you live....NICE CLEAR PICTURES.....looking good :)

smreish Sat 09 October 2010 13:04

....HEY LOOK, a homage' to Gerald! There's a bin in the background. :D

Nice work

BTW, Steve it looks like you know your tools. A Beismeyer fence on the table saw...maybe an overarm router in the distance....nice home shop.

Gerald D Sat 09 October 2010 14:45

That "cart" was the first thing I noticed! :D

timberlinemd Sat 09 October 2010 15:30

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The 'homage' to Gerald is the decals provided by Mike AKA 'MetalHead' attached to my machine. I will stamp the serial number between the two flags after I'm able to do my first cuts.

It even glows in the dark!:D

PS. The machine in the backround is a feeder for the 7-1/2hp 3ph shaper I use to make doors.

timberlinemd Sat 09 October 2010 15:34

Spoil Board
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Can anyone tell me if now would be the oppertune time to glue down the spoil board?

Regnar Sat 09 October 2010 16:37

I have read a Notched Trowel works good. I think Gerald is the one who recommended that but I could be wrong.

Edit: I was right here is the thread

timberlinemd Mon 18 October 2010 20:47

Almost Ready!
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I finished the wiring today and started to look into the dust collection system. Tomorrow I think I will be ready for a test drive. Then on to the final adjustments of the X,Y,Z. If I can get the 'roadrunner' cut, I will post tommorrow. That will qualify me for a serial number, right?:rolleyes:

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