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  #1  
Old Fri 23 January 2009, 09:01
DIRTRACER
Just call me: CRAIG
 
MARYLAND
United States of America
An orange beast taking shape - Maryland, USA

Hi all,
I have been observing from the shadows for several months and decided a couple of weeks ago to build a MechMate. As you all know, there are many choices out there for cnc routers but none compare to what is available here on this forum. Gerald, you have started a wonderful thing and I am both proud and excited to be a part of it! Please be easy on me; I have never posted on a forum before and am bound to make mistakes. I will learn as I go along!
The build started earlier this week with the gantry and table. Both are completed as of today and are being painted now. The y-car will be next week. I am including a picture of the table so you know that this build is for real! I have many pictures but only want to include the one until I have shrunk them down.

Craig
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File Type: jpg IMG_1888M.jpg (57.2 KB, 545 views)
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  #2  
Old Fri 23 January 2009, 09:05
servant74
Just call me: Jack
 
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
Great start!
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  #3  
Old Fri 23 January 2009, 09:19
lunaj76
Just call me: Justin #24
 
Littleton, (Colorado)
United States of America
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Your table looks great. Looking forward to the progress pictures.
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  #4  
Old Fri 23 January 2009, 09:25
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Welcome Craig! I love these surprise builds!

You don't need to shrink your pictures any more - that sample at 58kB is fine. I will increase your picture space allocation when you need it (if you are not wasting it on motorbikes and junk like that )
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  #5  
Old Fri 23 January 2009, 11:42
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Craig,

Your table looks nice. What size is it?
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  #6  
Old Fri 23 January 2009, 12:35
DIRTRACER
Just call me: CRAIG
 
MARYLAND
United States of America
Nils,
The table is sized for 4x8 plywood (primarily). Most of what will be cut will be 1/2" plywood profiles.
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  #7  
Old Sat 24 January 2009, 17:10
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Craig,

Nice jump start. Great looking table!

Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Regards,
John
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  #8  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 08:04
DIRTRACER
Just call me: CRAIG
 
MARYLAND
United States of America
The gantry is welded and now painted. I'm too ashamed to include the pic however, it's not the official color.
I ordered the guide wheels and rails (decided to buy rather than grind) from Rick at Superior Bearing and the gear racks from Standard Steel Specialty. Both were great to deal with.
Trying to decide whether or not to include prox sensors in the build. Can anyone give some insight?

Craig
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File Type: jpg IMG_1868M.jpg (67.0 KB, 465 views)
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  #9  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 08:10
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Craig,

Proximity sensors are important to help home the machine and to help shut it down when you drive it off the rails. Which you will do.

Post the picture Gerald might not like it but I haven't seen him toss anyone off the forum because the color is different.
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  #10  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 08:30
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Craig, your welding table makes me green (blue?) with envy! Hey post your pic now, so that we can get the teasing over with. It is not pink is it?
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  #11  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 10:06
DIRTRACER
Just call me: CRAIG
 
MARYLAND
United States of America
These weld tables are awesome. Almost makes me feel like I'm cheating.
As for the color Gerald, now that you mention it, I think I'll consider Pink for the y-car. I've included a picture here of the laser cut parts as well as the Yellow gantry. Going to start ordering the cabinet parts today.
Craig
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File Type: jpg MM GANTRY YELLOW.jpg (54.2 KB, 458 views)
File Type: jpg MM LASER PARTS.jpg (72.9 KB, 460 views)
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  #12  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 10:30
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Craig,

Well you are still on the forum..... That is a orange looking yellow but it will be the first. I am curious about the stuff behind the parts. They look like big steel plates? What do you do?
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  #13  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 10:56
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Hey, isn't that the most used paint in Peoria?
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  #14  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 12:02
DIRTRACER
Just call me: CRAIG
 
MARYLAND
United States of America
It is a propietary color Gerald but not the one you indicate. We manufacture commercial lawn mowing equipment. Chances are good Nils that somebody is cutting grass in your neighborhood with one of our machines. Our machines are the kind that you would see a landscaper use, not a homeowner.

And Nils you are correct. The color is orange, not yellow as I previously said.
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  #15  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 15:00
isladelobos
Just call me: Ros
 
Canary Islands
Spain
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Nice work Craig.

We wait seen your two perfect mechmates.
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  #16  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 22:06
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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Hi Craig, on proxy sensors my 2 cents worth. I have none on my machine. As I operate my machine myself, I know where I want to start, I jog to that position...zero the Z on the workpiece...also I know how big the part is I want to cut...check to see if it fit's onto my table...zero Mach-3 on this point and let it run. If I need to change a cutting bit, the machine is already on 0,0...I lift the Z-Axis, change the bit and then zero it to the workpiece hight.....this could get a new Z,0 that I tell mach-3 about and then carry on.

I have never run off the rails or cut into a clamp before...I suppose it can happen if you don't pay attention to what you are doing, but your setup is important...don't get distracted when doing this. You know where you are on the table and you should know where you are going to cut.

Good luck
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  #17  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 22:13
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Ros, although you see two sets of laser cuttings, I doubt that Craig is building two MM's now. Behind those laser cuttings you see many more laser cuttings of a much bigger size - that is similar to my real job's factory. Craig and I are lazy - we just add two sets of MM parts to our big laser cut orders in case we make some scrap by mistake.
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  #18  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 22:24
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
On the proxy switch issue, I offered my son a set of switches for his new tables and he preferred to go without. (He has operated 2 tables over the last 8 years). For him it was an issue of less complication, cables, faultfinding and expense.

The Mach3 firmware has a feature called "soft limits". You tell the machine where its limits are and it remembers that. Even if you "home" a particular job somewhere else on the table. The soft limits are remembered even when the system is switched off. The only time the soft limits get messed up is when you have moved an axis by hand while the power is off, or if you hit a clamp and the motors have to "slip".

I do think the proxies are good for finding a reference position after a "slip" event. But there my son uses the mechanical stops as the absolute reference point.
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  #19  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 20:14
DIRTRACER
Just call me: CRAIG
 
MARYLAND
United States of America
Thank you all for the input. I can see advantages both with and without the prox system. I spent a little time looking into Mach3 to understand what you were saying Gerald. Crystal clear now. Simpler seems better. Thanks again! And yes, one machine. I always cut extras I guess for the same reason Gerald said: lazy
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