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  #1  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 10:48
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Table all painted and ready for motors & electricals - eastern Iowa, US

Hello to all,

By way of introduction, my name is Jeff and I live in Eastern Iowa, USA. I found this site a couple of weeks ago and I can't believe what a great community of people have come together here. I have been interested in CNC machining for some time and I think now the bug has really bitten me.

I am employed with a plastics manufacturing company and I started and ran, for a number of years, our company's Machinery Development group. I have since moved on to other, more administrative responsibilities, but in my heart, I really love machinery and manufacturing and doing things with machinery.

A few years ago we purchased a couple of CNC routing machines from a company called CNT Motion. They were pretty good servo routing machines and a good value I think. However, after seeing and working with these machines for awhile, my primary thought was that we could build these machines ourselves. But, we never did and I have always had a desire to build one. So, I thought, why not build one for myself to put in my shop at home. Now, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it once I get it done, but I know there will be some great, fun projects...

Also, my son Erick, who is 16 years old, has also joined this site. He has shown some interest in Engineering as a career and he and I have agreed to work on this project together. I would really love to be able to expose him to and help him learn the many skills that are needed to build a nice CNC machine such as the MechMate.

So, for us, the journey has begun. We are thinking that we will build a 1250mm X 1250mm machine. With the added 50mm in both the X and Y axis, we should cover 48" X 48" material pretty effectively and the machine won't take up too much room in my already crowded shop.

As we move forward I will start a build thread to share our experience with the rest of the community here.

So for now, hello again from Jeff and Erick!

Last edited by jeffa; Fri 12 December 2008 at 10:53..
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  #2  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 12:05
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Welcome Jeff & Erick!

Erick, don't be shy to get your own username and post here independently - you might have to finish the machine all by yourself.

Be careful of adding 50mm in all directions....I have already done that on the design.
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  #3  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 13:03
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Thanks Gerald,

What a wonderful job you have done here.

I think Erick has already gotten his own user name and hopefully he won't be too shy to post his comments and questions.

With regard to the machine size, if we build to 1250 X 1250 we should end up with 1300 X 1300 based on your included 50mm? Am I understanding correctly?

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #4  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 13:22
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
If you choose your X and Y dimensions on the drawings as 1250 x 1250, the center of the router will be able to move a distance of 1350mm, going 50mm beyond each edge of the 1250.
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  #5  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 13:52
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Gerald,

Okay, I get it now. I'm just a little slow sometimes . So you design adds 100mm to the chosen X and Y dimensions?

Thanks again,

Jeff
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  #6  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 14:08
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Yes, I add 100mm of movement to the chosen X & Y.

In an extreme case, you might have a 100mm diameter "cutter", and then you will only just be able to run that "cutter" around the edge of the table.
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  #7  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 14:15
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Gerald,

Sorry to be such a pest this early in my membership, but I am wondering if we want a little more Z, i.e. using the 350mm Z travel design, what height of Main Longitudnal Beam would you recommend?

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #8  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 14:27
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Jeff,
Welcome to the forum. The original design uses 6" beams, but you could use an 8" beam to gain more clearance along with the 14" Z option.
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  #9  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 21:03
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
 
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
Jeff,

Welcome.

Where are you in eastern Iowa? I am from Moline, IL and I will probably be there for Christmas. Not totally sure yet. If you are close to Moline, we could possibly hook up for a chat. Let me know.

Regards,

Marc
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  #10  
Old Fri 12 December 2008, 21:06
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
See the note at the bottom right of the first drawing 10 00 000 A B.

"Add 150mm [6"] for 10 40 014 A Z-slide (increases flex, reduces cut quality)"

ie. you would need 300mm [12"] beams to fully use the 350mm [14"] stroke, at the expense of increased flex and reduced cut quality. However, you could use tall beams and a removable "table box" lying on the table to raise boards up nearer to the gantry.
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  #11  
Old Sat 13 December 2008, 17:59
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Marc,

We live just a little North of Clinton, Iowa. Probably about 50 minutes North of Moline.

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #12  
Old Sat 13 December 2008, 18:02
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Gerald,

I think we've desided to build a table with an X axis of 1850mm and a Y axis of 1250mm. I also think we'll use an 8" Main Beam height and the 14" Z axis. Getting some materials on order now.

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #13  
Old Sun 14 December 2008, 01:27
Lex
Just call me: Johan #56
 
Empangeni KwaZuluNatal
South Africa
Welcome Jeff & Erick,
Shy person myself! Draughtsmen are very sensitive to critisism. On this forum it is always constructive and helpful. Here i useally only felt hurt for vyf minutes after.
So please ask.
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  #14  
Old Mon 15 December 2008, 12:31
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Thanks Lex,

Shopping for these kinds of Christmas presents is as fun as it gets. However, my MasterCard is now suffering a little .


Regards,

Jeff
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  #15  
Old Tue 16 December 2008, 20:08
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
First Things First...

All,

Well, first the easy part. Here's Erick with his first task...print out all of the drawings, 3-hole punch them and put them in a binder so we can try to keep things straight...wishful thinking I know...

Best regards,

Jeff
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 001_640x480.jpg (174.7 KB, 1103 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 002_640x480.jpg (182.6 KB, 1102 views)
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  #16  
Old Tue 16 December 2008, 20:15
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Starting to get some parts...

All,

Here are our first parts starting to arrive care of Mr. Mclain. What a nice job on these laser cut and bent parts. Joe, you made this part way too easy.

Joe, thanks for all you help, great quality parts and super quick service.

Best regards,

Jeff
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 003_640x480.jpg (178.4 KB, 1084 views)
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  #17  
Old Tue 16 December 2008, 20:23
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Motors delivered today...

All,

Well, the motors arrived today from Oriental Motor. We purchased the PK296A2A-SG7.2. We thought we'd better open up the laser cut parts and the motors and lay everything out. I turned on the heat in the shop tonight so hopefully we'll be able to start working tomorrow night.

We got hit with 5" of snow today and we're suppose to get some freezing rain tomorrow. I'm trying to remember why I live in Iowa...

Best regards,

Jeff
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 004_640x480.jpg (195.3 KB, 1085 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 005_640x480.jpg (164.5 KB, 1086 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 006_640x480.jpg (161.6 KB, 1079 views)
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  #18  
Old Tue 16 December 2008, 23:56
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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Good luck with the build. This looks like another top notch MM in the making. Very nice clean workshop.
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  #19  
Old Sat 20 December 2008, 17:14
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
All,

We received our steel order earlier in the week. You may notice I ordered rectangular tube instead of round tube for the base cross braces and angle braces.

Best Regards,

Jeff and Erick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 007_640x480_607x455.jpg (151.2 KB, 983 views)
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  #20  
Old Sat 20 December 2008, 17:21
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
All,

Here's a good Saturday project.

We were able to get most all of the steel cut to size today.

Erick is now an expert cold saw operator.

Regards,

Jeff and Erick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 008_640x480_607x455.jpg (155.6 KB, 967 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 009_640x480_607x455.jpg (144.9 KB, 964 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 010_640x480_607x455.jpg (156.0 KB, 958 views)
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  #21  
Old Sat 20 December 2008, 17:48
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Well, we had a nice surprise today after we got our steel parts unloaded.

The 203V drives arrived today from Geckodrive.

Regards,

Jeff
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 011_640x480_607x455.jpg (130.1 KB, 959 views)
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  #22  
Old Sat 20 December 2008, 17:52
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Jeff / Erick

Very nice start and lots of pictures.... we like pictures and we like people building or cutting.

Enjoy
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  #23  
Old Sun 21 December 2008, 10:54
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Jeff and Erick,
Looking good. That sure is a nice looking shop you have there.
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  #24  
Old Sun 21 December 2008, 11:09
javeria
Just call me: Irfan #33
 
Bangalore
India
Jeff and Eric - the pics look soooo good.

and you guys are progressing so fast - looks like I am limping

best of luck

RGDS
Irfan
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  #25  
Old Sun 21 December 2008, 11:16
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Heath,

Thanks, the first couple of shots with the laser cut parts and the motors are in our shop. We cut the steel to length using the shop and saw which belongs to the company for whom I work.

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #26  
Old Sun 28 December 2008, 20:22
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
All,

It's back to work tomorrow after a long holiday weekend. Here's wishing everyone a happy New Year.

We drilled and drilled and drilled this weekend. After spending enough time on the drill press, I decided to clean off my welding bench (long overdue) and start some of the welding. Just to get warmed up after a long time away from the welder, I started on the legs, welding the 1/4" plates to the bottom of each leg. Next I got ready to weld the Y-car. That will be tomorrow night's project.

Here are a few more pics...

Regards,

Jeff & Erick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 013.jpg (164.0 KB, 900 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 014.jpg (137.6 KB, 898 views)
File Type: jpg MechMate01_ 012.jpg (159.0 KB, 900 views)
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  #27  
Old Mon 29 December 2008, 23:07
lunaj76
Just call me: Justin #24
 
Littleton, (Colorado)
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to lunaj76
Looking good guys! Are the red jigs also magnetic?
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  #28  
Old Tue 30 December 2008, 02:44
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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As long as that is the only red color on the machine... good going.
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  #29  
Old Tue 30 December 2008, 08:06
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Justin,

Yes, the red jigs you see are magnetic welding squares. I think you can get them anywhere welding supplys are sold. I bought this pair at Harbor Freight. Like everything there, they were really inexpensive and they worked really well for welding the Y-car last night.

Thanks,

Jeff & Erick

Last edited by jeffa; Tue 30 December 2008 at 08:15..
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  #30  
Old Tue 30 December 2008, 08:13
jeffa
Just call me: Jeff
 
Iowa
United States of America
Kobus,

The 'red' is all gone already (I picked-up a few cans of blue yesterday). We welded the Y-car assembly last night. I have never worked with laser cut and bent parts before. The design is really great (thanks again Gerald). The parts snapped together perfectly and the welded assembly method went really well. I'll post some more pictures soon. We will begin work on the X-gantry tonight.

Regards,

Jeff & Erick
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