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cleyte Tue 06 April 2010 18:03

First Project Completed! #106 - NL Canada
Hi to all Mechmate forum members.

My name is Clayton and I live in Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland, Canada. I have been a "silent" member of the "Mechmate family" since November and from the first day that I discovered the machine, I was hooked. I knew at that very moment that I would be building a MechMate. Thanks to Gerald for an incredible design and to all contributors who have helped ease the fabrication for others. I will be walking in a "well beaten path" as I build my MM.

I am trades teacher (Residential Construction, Design and Fabrication, Electricity) at a local high school. My evenings and weekends are spent building kitchen/bath cabinets. My wife, Caroline, is also a teacher (Adult Education) and we have one child, Ashley, who just graduated as a Registered Nurse.

For the past few months I have been reading practically everthing that has been written by other members. As said many times, the forum is the plan. At first glance, the information is overwhelming. I had a tendency to follow ongoing discussions before having a firm grasp of the build as a whole. After a short while I began to see the underlying structure. The information is categorized according to building stages and major issues. It was there that I focussed my initial attention. I am now able "to see the forest for the trees".

Now that I have stepped out of the shadows, I hope that my build and contributions will be to the benefit of the group. I will certainly need the help and advice of others.


domino11 Tue 06 April 2010 21:20

Welcome Clayton. Hope your build goes well.
Say hi to Glenda for me. :)

MetalHead Tue 06 April 2010 21:59

Welcome !!!

cleyte Wed 07 April 2010 04:26

Thanks Heath.

The bent parts you provided are of excellent quality. I will say hi to Glenda for you when I see her.

Thanks Mike,

I am enjoying everthing this forum has to offer.


Robert M Wed 07 April 2010 05:57

Clayton, Welcom « in the day light » :D

Sorry to admit, by mistake I have deleted your PM after advising I’d reply on a later date as I was over my head & missing time !
If I remember part of it correctly, one thing you’re seeking for, is supplier contact in Canada !?
All my electro component came mostly from US suppliers talked & recommended by others experience in this Forum. ( IE : PMDX, AutomationDirect, FactoryMation, Markertek for XLR….and on). On you may want to look at since they have some locations here in Canada but not certain if some in your region, is Newark…I personly did not deal with them, but worth looking at their web site !

Well, wishing you good luck with you build & project, and as you discover, reading lot’S from this forum is the KEY secret ingredient.
BUT, as I & other realize soon enough, we know we have read it somewhere, just can’t find the needed info when you need it as there is soooo much of it. Then, as I & other aften do, ask us from you thread come to your rescue, and someone will gladly point you were needed !!

Another KEY thing many are in NEED FOR… my friend, PHOTOS as you go on….. :rolleyes:

Amicalement, Robert ;)

cleyte Wed 07 April 2010 08:16

Hi Robert.

I have put together an order to Igus (through the same rep for you area) and also to Factorymation. I have not completed the order because I am still researching.

Another request I had was concerning your circuit drawing. I attempted to zoom in and follow the logic but the quaility is poor. I notice that others have posted in PDF format which allows for enlarged views while retaining picture quality. Can you repost the image in a format that would permit "zooming"?

Thanks, Clayton

Robert M Sat 17 April 2010 05:21

Where did you purchase the pushbutton boxes on your machine?

Hi Clayton,
Bought those localy at some supply store !

cleyte Tue 27 April 2010 10:37

Neutrik connectors and shielding
I am considering using Neutrik connectors at the control box and motors. I have seen it done by several members here and the outcome looks very professional.

I have a question regarding maintaining continuity of the cable shield at the control box. Does the body of the connector get attached to the shield when a 4 core connector is used? Could I use a 5 core connector and use one pin for the sheild?

Please advise.


cleyte Fri 28 May 2010 17:43

Skate roller
1 Attachment(s)
I am been giving some thought to the upcoming rail grinding. To avoid the grooves that gets worn into the bolts and the possibly into the referencing surface on the rails, I have seen some builders install bearings.

In my search for something "simpler", I wonder if a transfer ball roller could work. This version has an 8mm stud that could be adjusted to control height.

The unit is available at:


AuS MaDDoG Fri 28 May 2010 17:47


Someone on the forums has used this method on a jig for the cutting of the rails, I do remember seeing some photos of his setup, I just cannot remember which thread or who's build it was. They did appear to work for him so should be all good.

Good luck!!


cleyte Fri 28 May 2010 17:53

Hi Tony,

I have seen transfer rollers used to reduce friction when moving the grinder back and forth to cut down the angle to the correct height. However, I have not seen them used to grind the rails. I am considering using two of them (instead of the hardened bolts) and have them ride on top of the rail.


Kobus_Joubert Fri 28 May 2010 23:07

I think Alan_C used them. Post #45

Check this

cleyte Mon 04 April 2011 15:10

3 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone,

My build has started. I have already completed much of the base table and will post pictures as soon as I can. In the meantime, I have attached three CAD drawings of my machine. Others may find them useful. Keep in mind that I am using I beam rather than C channel for the main beams and legs.

Attachment 11452

Attachment 11453

Attachment 11454

isladelobos Mon 04 April 2011 18:07

Yeah Clayton.

Im following the same base table design. Thanks for the Dxf's.
It is like Buibui's table.

cleyte Mon 04 April 2011 18:37

Hi Ros,

Yes, Buibui's table has been a great influence. I have left an opening in the front approx. 50" so I can store sheet goods underneath. I am in the process of adding gussett plates to prevent/reduce movement.

HomeMadeCnc Wed 06 April 2011 10:08

Nice to see folks on the rock are interested! Keep going its the best tool in my shop!


cleyte Thu 12 May 2011 16:35

Fear Not The Grinding Of the Rails
8 Attachment(s)
I thought it would be best to begin my build with the item that was giving me great concern. I knew that purchasing v rails was an option (allbeit expensive) but I also wanted the experience of creating them myself.

I first set up a work area using my x beams, saw horses and some 5/8" melamine coated particle board.

Attachment 11752

I then attached the ginder and skate base to a another piece of melamine. As we all know, melamine coated sheets can slide over each other quite easily. The feet that I will use later, served as handles.

Attachment 11753

The setup worked nearly as well as a panel crafter!!! I had the four rails ( two 14' and two 8') cut down in a few hours. I purchased 2 1/2" x 2 1\2" rails and could only use a portion of the cutting disk before the front of the skate made contact. My only mistake - in my haste to get going I forgot to guard the cutting wheel. A guard, shown above, was fabricated using a piece of dywall corner.

Attachment 11756

A few passes with a grinding wheel created the final height.

Attachment 11759

I then turned my attention to creating the bevels on top of the rail. Not wanting a bolt to rub on the top of the rail, I created a simple guide bearing setup. I cut two small pieces of flat stock, created a slot in each with my chop saw, cut a bolt in half and welded the ends to the plate to mount the bearings. It was done in about 30 minutes.

Attachment 11754

Attachment 11755

This setup requires that you have extra rail at the ends as the bearing are farther from the disk than the bolts.

With the rails done, it was time for the z slide. I paid over $100 for 3 feet of hardened ground plate. I did not want to mess this up but the rail grinding experience allowed me to go on.

I cut two pieces of 1/4" plate to place at each end to let the bearings run past the ends of the z plate. To ensure all remained straight, I clamped it all to some lefft over rail.

Attachment 11757

The final product :

Attachment 11758

With a little fine sanding with 400 grit paper and a sanding block, the rails are better than I could have imagined. I am pleased to say the least. While I did not do it all in one setting, I spent approx. 12 hours on the task.

The skate is worth its weight in golden v rail!!!:D

Thanks Gerald and others.

smreish Thu 12 May 2011 16:42

Ahhh. a very nice chronograph of rail grinding. Your done, but a quicker way of getting the V profile is to use 36 grit / then 80 grit sandpaper with a rigid backing plate. The sandpaper doesn't glaze like the grinding disks. But, it appears you had the right skew angle and have perfect results.



Robert M Mon 16 May 2011 13:00

Glad to see your still in this…nice progress…..
Keep in those follow ups !
Hey…Congrats !!
Later…. Robert ;)

cleyte Wed 24 April 2013 19:27

Mechmate for Newfoundland comes to life!!!!
1 Attachment(s)
Hi all.

I could wait no longer. My machine is alive and cutting. There are a few details that need some tidying up but a paying job required that I get things done in a hurry.

Here she is ....

cleyte Wed 24 April 2013 19:30

1 Attachment(s)
The paying job I mentioned is a range hood cover in an existing kitchen. Here is the front of it.

HomeMadeCnc Wed 24 April 2013 20:32

Nice Job.

darren salyer Wed 24 April 2013 20:38

sweet. looks like a serial number is in order.

domino11 Wed 24 April 2013 20:49

Nice Job Clayton! :)
Sounds like serial number time!

cleyte Wed 24 April 2013 21:03

Thanks everyone.

@Heath: Its nice to hear from you at this point in my build. If you can recall, my build started quite awhile ago with a few shipments that arrived with your help. It was much appreciated.


domino11 Wed 24 April 2013 21:11

I remember quite well. Say Hi to Glenda for me! :)

MetalHead Thu 25 April 2013 04:57

Congrats Glad to see you make $$$ already !!!

You get #106

cleyte Thu 25 April 2013 05:26

Thanks Mike,

#106 - Will have to get that serial number on vinyl and place it on my machine.

As you can see from the photo, the cables to the z-slide are being supported by a wooden dowel. I did not have enough of the IGUS chain but I have it on order. Also, you can see my not-so-effective dust extraction on the table in the background.


jhiggins7 Thu 25 April 2013 14:55

Updated Builder's Log

Here's the Updated Builder's Log with your entry added. Please provide the dimensions of your MechMate for the Builder's Log.

cleyte Thu 25 April 2013 19:59

Hi John,

My machine is 120" x 60". Its very rewarding to get to this point and see the entry in the table.


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