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-   -   Table welded, parts shopping going well - Dundee, MI (

GregA Fri 12 October 2007 13:53

Table welded, parts shopping going well - Dundee, MI
Hey all, thanks for this amazing resource. I am winding up construction for an automated candle machine(inline container filling a considerably different operation than CNC molded candles). An experience (cutting and grinding with the die grinder) which has reassured me that, yes, I can build a CNC router. I plan to build two (at least!) of these devices. The first one will be a traditional router. The additional pieces will be automated candle robots.

I imagine I will be able to solve all the problems I face, however, I am open to ideas (and consulting fees) for the problems of, wick crimping and cutting, metered mold filling, and pick and place operations for the finished candles.

Anyhow, I expect to place my first order for materials in the next week or so, and will try and present a more or less complete diary of my progress.

Thanks again for the amazing resource!

driller Fri 12 October 2007 14:22

Sounds like an exciting project !

wick crimping, cutting and metered filling don't have to be hard and the pick and place sounds like the really fun part !


smreish Fri 12 October 2007 18:25

Welcome to the "most fun you will have doing real work" in a while. I'll be honest...the day job is getting in the way with my progress! Good luck...we will all be watching.

GregA Mon 15 October 2007 08:04

Ok just got off the phone with steel supply. The two big 8" pieces of channel will cost me $157, From the phone call, they will miter cut it for "about $20 or something like that".

The three inch channel priced out at $333, I will be cutting that my self. I will find the blade today, and fit it to my old broken down miter saw. I know an abrasive blade will work, but I am wondering about those newer steel cutting blades promising faster and cleaner cuts...

Still need to find a supplier for the steel tube, as I live in the shadow of Detroit I am not expecting much trouble. Perhaps the custom motorcycle shop down the street? ;)

Need to contact my friend with the welding kit, and have a building party this weekend. I wonder if I need to get some co2, beer?

The steel supply place (Salenbien Welding Services 734-529-3280) referred me to a laser cutter (Precision Laser 419-943-4350) who was willing to talk to me. (sometimes they treat me like I am PITA when I ask basic questions) whom I will e-mail the specifications when I return to my office this afternoon. If that doesn't work out I could always buy one of those kits... that are already bent.

Hmmmm... meandering... You are the guy working in a cnc cutting service and a client sends you plans for a cnc machine... How does that make you feel?

Another side thought... Last time I used my drill press it saw service mixing about 20k lbs of resin. So I really need a new drill press. My machine building buddies say skip the drill press, and just get a mill, suffer the old worn out drill press. What do you guys think?

Well my plate is full this week (at least) but I have determined the best drive system for me is the Gecko 202's, and the PMDX-122. I guess I have to select motors and power supply still before I can get my kitchen table simulation working.

Maybe I have pictures of me grinding and welding steel next week!

Marc Shlaes Mon 15 October 2007 08:17

Based on GregJ's statements about the SteelMax saw and blades, I got one. IT IS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cuts through 1/4" (6mm) steel like butter. NO KIDDING. When you are done, the work is cool to the touch. It seems very weird.

Dirk Mon 15 October 2007 08:30

I too had to give a circular steel saw a try. I got lucky and picked up an Evolution 9" saw in almost new condition for 112.00 plus shipping off Ebay. It is very hard to believe how easily it will cut through metal without burrs or heat. Made a believer out of me.

smreish Mon 15 October 2007 09:34

If it works that well....maybe you just saved yourself a HUGE grinding step in making the rails. With a few long straight edges, I bet you could cut down the vertical leg to the required height before 45 degree grinding really quick. Now I must go buy one!

Marc Shlaes Mon 15 October 2007 10:19


That is exactly my plan. My advice: GET ONE!

domino11 Mon 15 October 2007 13:08

I was talking to a company called Precision Laser in Canada. Is that the same outfit you are talking to? Just wondered. They could cut the profiles for me but didnt do any of the bending. Let me know what you find.

Gerald D Mon 15 October 2007 13:16

One of my staff was going to work for a laser/bending company in Canada,, but the deal fell through. They look too big for this project, but they might be able to refer you to someone else.

GregA Mon 15 October 2007 19:27

How do those new blades work? Would it be possible to fit it to a table saw and cut the angle iron rails directly? I could make that cut in wood all day long on a table saw.

Alan_c Tue 16 October 2007 00:43

Hi Greg

These new blades run at a much slower speed (1500 - 1800 rpm I think) so one would usually have to use the saw machine designed to take those blades. There is nothing stopping you from changing the pulleys on the saw to reduce the speed but those are pretty expensive blades to "experiment" on.

The evolution machines have reduction gearboxes to increase torque and reduce speed.


Gerald D Tue 16 October 2007 01:42

I get very seriously worried when it looks like folk are going to run blades (or router bits) too fast. All tools must be used at the correct speeds - go too fast and those things fly to pieces and kill you.

GregA Tue 16 October 2007 06:15


smreish Tue 16 October 2007 14:24

steelmax copy found for 99 bucks
MM fans!
I just got back from the HarborFreight. They now stock a Generic version of the 7.25" steelmax metal cutting saw w/blade for 99 dollars. Add, the 20% off coupon and you have a saw for a pretty good price. I haven't tried it...but for the price, it's worth a try.


GregA Tue 16 October 2007 16:46

Man, why did you have to go and point me at a catalog with mini mills in it? why? Why? WHY!

Iv'e already allocated all my money to be spent over the next bunch of months!

Marc Shlaes Tue 16 October 2007 16:52

Watch eBay. I got a real SteelMax for 99 bucks!

WTI Tue 23 October 2007 15:57


We are about an hour away from you guys. If we can be of any assistance to you please feel free to call us.

There are a few others in the area building the MM too. Maybe we could all go in together on getting the rails ground (which appears to be the hardest part of the whole job).

It's great to find more local people, maybe we will have to start a MM club.



GregA Wed 24 October 2007 16:52

I am stalled... for the moment. I received the PITA treatment from precision laser. I have a friend who works in a welding company, he says he will send the parts off with the next that they send in a couple of weeks. I plan on getting started on the table... Well I wanted to work on it last weekend. Maybe I get it going this weekend.

If you need the laser cut parts, let me know. Save a few dollars on shipping.

Also, if you manage to sell or need to move one let me know, I have a panel truck that can hold the mechmate as specified. I even have a winch that we could use to load and unload it up and down the ramps on a couple of dollys.

GregA Mon 07 January 2008 00:34

Im back and flush with cash from xmas bonus
Man retail and the work that goes on november and december. First stop a metal cutting saw!

cobra427mnsi Mon 07 January 2008 05:47

Hi Greg

I live in Leamington, Ontario, which is about 30 minutes from the bridge. I have just started the process of reading, researching and ordering parts for a MM. Did you ever get your buddy to send in the laser cut files with his next order? I plan on calling four laser cut places, today. They are listed in the Yellow Pages in Windsor. If I get a positive response, I will visit them with the DXF drawings and files for pricing. Will let you know.


GregA Mon 07 January 2008 11:26


I am back at the beginning (probably a good thing, as my build location has changed)

I have the money, now, so I am going to begin with the more expensive indoor part at this time. The motors and controllers, I have been researching parts today, and will probably be ordering them by the end of week.

GregA Mon 07 January 2008 12:41

Well, I guess that is commitment. I just spent a wad of cash on kitchen table parts. Antek powersupply(are they a real company? they answered phone with "hello?"), gecko drives, and PDMD-122, and am trying to purchase motors from camtronics.

I will purchase everything else locally.

Boy I miss the ease and security of ordering from someone like Amazon...

GregA Tue 08 January 2008 03:17

Fell asleep too early, now awake too early. Guess I'll work on building stuff...

Reading through the threads I found this Link thanks to Gerald:

Once I have my initial run parts and am ready to make my my offering to the magic smoke gods I will order the panel and sub panel from there. I hope Gerald doesn't mind, but I will be attempting to replicate his work.

My initial design will be for a router, however I will size the control box to upgrade to a spindle later on.

I am vacillating on my motor selection at the moment, as I can purchase exactly the motor I need from Oriental Motor, without the scary small business internet purchasing requirements.

I am headed to toolsupply today for some parts for the mill.

Robert M Tue 08 January 2008 05:36

Nice to see that your all pump & CHARGED UP !
Good luck on your built & shopping spree

GregA Tue 08 January 2008 07:56

And here come the motors.

GregA Tue 08 January 2008 13:17

Geckos have shippied as well. Also, even though the sale is over Gecko gave me the discount prices rather than the list prices on their web site.

cobra427mnsi Tue 08 January 2008 14:10


I'm excited for you. It's just like a second Christmas. Was the sale price on the Gekos the price listed in the "general" post area ($127.00 US) I am on the verge of ordering stuff. Just haven't made that final leap (commitment) in my mind yet. I dropped the laser cut files off at 5 places now for a price quote. I received one quote back. I sent them the files for the geared motor options including the skate parts plus the 1/4" thick piece that attaches to the grinder for cutting the angle iron down to 1" for a total of 25 pieces. Price was $630.00 Canadian that included the bending. I am not too far from you. If I can help in some way, let me know.


GregA Tue 08 January 2008 22:39


Wow, You could give me the phone number of the place that returned your phone call;) That would be awesome! I was getting the PITA treatment everywhere I tried, and was dreading the foot work. Also, I tend to be a hard charger about these things, and if you wanted to show up to a build and tell me not to rush things, that would be very helpful indeed.

Right now it looks like the final installation and build site will be in a warehouse in Toledo. I am arranging for a shield gas welder, for nice spatter free welds. Also there are several other people who will be helping out from time to time, as they are interested as well.

my email is Drop me an email.

On Edit: The economic situation here is that, I will probably buy all the frame and gantry parts cut to length, as the welding shop where I am ordering materials is willing to cut and deburr them for $20 an hour. I don't think I can do it for that.

GregA Tue 08 January 2008 22:46

PDMD-122 has shipped.

Now if the power supply place was a real company all is good;)

Looks like it is time to start build my extra parts order for the housing, even if I don't order the enclosure yet.

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