MechMate CNC Router Forum

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jessyjames Sun 17 October 2010 15:06

I get the bone head award today and they will keep coming I am sure. I got the angle grinder skate and thanks... looks great.

Ok the problem is that I didn't go with the recommended grinder and went with the "Milwaukee 6148-30 4-1/2-Inch Small Angle Grinder" As I take off the guard and try to put on the skate the circular hole that is cut out in the middle of the skate has a bigger diameter than what my grinder is. Does this mean that I have to fabricate something to the skate that has a smaller diameter circle so that the retaining nut can secure the skate to the grinder?

I know this explanation is horrible but I do not have a camera right now because the charger walked away from me so no picture is available....

Any help would be appreciated.


bradm Sun 17 October 2010 15:57

James, I have a 6148 as well. The skate is held to the grinder by the screws, not a retaining nut. IIRC, you remove the screws that hold the face of the grinding head on, and run them through the skate plate and back in - I think you have to get slightly longer screws.

jessyjames Sun 17 October 2010 17:51

Brad Im looking but having a hard time taking some components off. Will have to look at some schmatics to see how to disassemble the grinder.. Although that something inside is telling me I went way in left field with understanding your explanation.. Pictures are worth a thousand words... lol

Stay tuned... Pathetic I am

smreish Sun 17 October 2010 19:10

This might help explain how to mount small grinder to skate parts.


jessyjames Sun 17 October 2010 19:51

Sean as always thanks. I did try what was shown but it looks like the skate that I purchased has a 1.85" diameter hole and is just a bit too small to fit over the motor shaft.. I might just have to do it like Gerald did and forget about the skate that I got from Metal Mike.

Again thanks for the help. It sure feels good to finally get back on the build instead of looking for a job all this time.. Now that that is handled I can resume this great design. :)


smreish Sun 17 October 2010 20:22

James. Get a dremel cone grinder and chuck it up on a drill press or drill and grind it open. I had to open it up for my ryobi too. Tskes about ten minutes and 5 bucks.

Regnar Sun 17 October 2010 21:33

The $9.99 4 1/2" Orange angle grinder from Harbor Freight will fit it just fine. The grinder lasted me all my rails and was able to keep my Dewalt angle grinder in good condition. I dont normally abuse tools but I beat the hell out of the Harbor Freight angle grinder and it lasted up to when I needed it. Then I swapped it out for a new one.

jessyjames Sun 30 January 2011 09:49

Still haven't really touched the rails as of yet. I am working on Travis' skate and its a slow go. I started fabricating my I-beam base and learning to weld has been a fun progress. Here you will find some pics of the build so far. Still lots to do but it's exciting to be building something once again.

Now some questions for you guys if you do not mind.

1. I have 6 legs for my base. Do I level these and make sure they are all on the same plane before drilling any of my holes for the panels to attach to? Or could I mark off from the top of the leg down to a known point and attach all my panels that way and then worry about leveling the legs.. I can see in my minds eye that it wouldn't matter at this point as long as I keep that same measurement for each leg and panel.. Of course I know it needs to be leveled and that is what I am doing this morning.

2. I pulled diagonals to get the base squared up and I am within a 1/16" of an inch. I believe this is OK and I am sure this can be adjusted a bit more. So before I get the rail I-beam to sit on my table legs this should all be squared up correct? I'm sure it needs to be but would like reassurance.

3. Now the I-beam rail will be sitting on 3 legs. I was thinking of welding a 3/8" plate to sit on top of the I-beam leg and then I would drill 4 holes to attach the I-beam rail to it. Does this sound like what some of you guys did who built the I-beam mechmate?

4. I didn't construct this table upside down because I didn't have the I-beam rails yet so I started with the base and was planning to sit it on top after the fact. You see any problems with this?

So with that said this is my next plan of attack if you guys think is wise.

I will weld on the 3/8" plates that go onto the table legs. Than I will also do that somehow to the bottom of the legs for the leveling feet. Next I will get the I-beam and sit it onto the legs and level that the best I can.

Now a side note.... My base is currently 133.25" inches or so from leg to leg in length and I was thinking of taking a 24' I-beam and cutting it right in half to give me 12' pieces. Than I would have that stick out the front of my table by roughly 12" give or take. Does that sound OK. Of course the biggest sheet goods that I will be cutting is 49" x 97". The extra space is for a 4th axis in the future....

My base right now from outside of legs is: 68 1/2"W X 133 1/2"L

I'm out of wind now and sorry for the long post as I should of broken it down a bit..



jessyjames Sun 30 January 2011 14:01

Oh also I was wondering how to make my pictures bigger on this forum.. I read the guidelines and the sizing but I lose all detail when I upload them to the forum. I noticed many builders pictures are quite large looking and I would like to be able to do that. Any secrets guys would be great so that I can upload the pictures.....

Thanks once again,

jessyjames Sun 30 January 2011 21:21

3 Attachment(s)
Some pictures

jessyjames Sun 30 January 2011 21:25

4 Attachment(s)
Some more pics again...

jessyjames Sun 30 January 2011 21:34

4 Attachment(s)
They keep coming...

jessyjames Sun 30 January 2011 21:39

4 Attachment(s)
You guessed it...

Travish Mon 31 January 2011 12:13

Looking Good James! Nice Job!

What size machine are you shooting for?

I had fun learning to weld I must say.


jessyjames Mon 31 January 2011 12:18

Not sure on the size Travis. I just wanna cut 4' x 8' sheets of mdf or ply. Figured I would make it bigger than that for the 4th axis and a flat surface for whatever else. Could you tell me what your base dimensions are from outside of i-beams both ways? Curious where my stands up to yours...

Anyways thanks for the comment Travis. I am really starting to love welding.


Travish Mon 31 January 2011 16:56


mine ended up at 68.375" wide, but remember, I did mine a little different. My rails are flush with the beams side and do not hang over like the plans. My rack is stuck to the bottom side of the I-beam so all 3 pcs are flush. Double/triple check your numbers before you cut the gantry tubes.

Regnar Mon 31 January 2011 19:32

James, The build is looking good.

When your X I beams show up I would start building upside down. You can place the beams on the ground and get the square and parallel very easily. Place your plates in your leg position and drill and bolt them down. Place your whole leg assembly on top of the plates that are attached to the beams. Once again make sure you beams and legs are square and parallel. Tack weld all the legs to the plates and the weld them in place. While you have everything upside down and on the ground be sure to drill all your Y axis supports bolt holes. If your table ends up like mine you will have around 40 holes to drill under there. Not and easy feat to do upside down.

My table ended up being 69 3/4 outside of the I beams. 71 1/8 on the outside of the X rails. I do have a fair amount of overlap on the side and I forget how I came about that number but I have a feeling it had to do with using as much metal and not having scrap. Better to have a little extra than a little less. ;)

MetalHead Mon 31 January 2011 21:37

Great looking welds !!! What did you weld those with ??

jessyjames Mon 31 January 2011 22:09

Oh Nice Title For My Thread !!! Thanks Mike

Travis thanks for those measurements and your advice. I too will be doing what you did keeping everything flush.

Regnar thanks for sharing your assembly strategy and experience. I have slowed down a bit on my base and am going to see about getting the beams. I figured even if my base isn't a 100% perfect the beams can be tweaked to get it just right... although shooting for 100% percent has always been my goal and nemesis...

Mike thanks a lot for the compliments on the welds. I was a bit surprised to get any kudos for the way they looked from anyone here. As my first time I think they are ok but really I should give all credit to the new first welder that I ever purchased. Its all mig. Millermatic 211 with 25/75 mixture. A antique care fabricator that I work with insisted on me purchasing a tig and learning it that way but I saw him work the tig and got scared.. Three things at once kinda shied me away. In all though he was impressed by my welds too which I don't understand. Maybe because I was a caulker for a glazing company that technique has helped.

In any event I am hooked now on the Mechmate design. My current machine has proved to hold its own but this is going to be leaps and bounds in comparison..

Once again thanks guys.


MetalHead Mon 31 January 2011 22:13

I have its big brother. Millermatic 252. What wire are you running? Also what setting was it on... Note always write the good settings down. They will vary depending on a lot of factors, but you had your machine dialed in .... even if it was luck. :D

jessyjames Mon 31 January 2011 23:04


1/8" material...
.030 Wire
Setting on 6
Wire Feed on 60
Gas Mixture set @ 26

Note this is running on 110v

I will write that setting down for future use.. Did not even think about that..


MetalHead Tue 01 February 2011 18:28

Good to get a small pad and keep it close to the machine. You could then make some small laminated sheets that you can put next to the welder for future refrence.

jessyjames Fri 11 February 2011 08:19

Well my metal is costing me an arm and a leg. I called to see if my local scrap yard had some 8" x 15lb I-beam and they didn't in a 12' length. So I was forced to call a local metal supplier and I got a 24' piece, which will be cut into two 12' pieces for... wait for it.... $366.87 usd

So that really sucks. As it stands I have spent $670.00 for the base so far. Add the 366.87 and well its getting up there. I still have to purchase the y-carriage metal as well as the kit from Mike and purchase some leveling feet...

Boy on a cash as it comes basis this really sucks.. Wish the wifey would throw me some credit cards but looking for a house is trumping that idea.

Anyways once my I-beam for the rails comes in I will figure out how to incorporate that with my already put together base.

Stay tuned.


Castone Fri 11 February 2011 16:05

Nice looking build, steel prices are really going up this year, some are saying as much as 66% we have already seen a 20% increase so far this year.

jessyjames Thu 17 March 2011 20:56

Sure am getting pretty upset with my grinder setup for the rails. I cut a piece of steel as a base and than used the top portion of the angle sled to mark locations so that I can weld nuts to the steel base. Then I threaded the 5/16" bolts that I am using from the bottom and stuck the skate onto the bolts and pushed it down, while my grinder was attached, and the head of my grinder bottomed out to the steel base which prevented me to get the required height to cut my angle iron. I know a picture would be worth a thousand words but I'm too upset to do anything right now. Well not too upset but just disappointed in myself.

Anyways I'm going to cry now.... Be back later to try something different.


randy Wed 23 March 2011 20:30

Things are looking good James. Its good to see you over here and building a quality machine. Just take your time and enjoy the ride, it will pay off. Keep up the good work. :)


jessyjames Wed 23 March 2011 23:48

That's my boy RJ. Good to hear from you too. Thanks for the encouragement buddy.


jessyjames Wed 01 June 2011 19:34

Ok... Any takers on letting me see their machine to help me get motivated? I would like to see someones who lives relatively close to Reno, Nevada... USA

I have a working cnc machine right now and would really like to see if it is worth all the effort and expense to continue on with my Mechmate build... Yes its worth it I know but still would like to see someones.

Regnar Wed 01 June 2011 19:44

James if you are ever in the Tampa Fl area I would be happy to show you the machine. I know I couldn't finish up the machine without Nils and Jimmys motivational trips.

domino11 Wed 01 June 2011 21:16

We should have a Camp Mechmate! :)

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