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  #1  
Old Tue 09 March 2010, 23:45
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
New Build Planning Stages/Pricing - Perth, Western Australia

Hi All,
After quite a bit of deliberation and years of simply "wanting a CNC router", I have finally decided that the Mechmate is the way to go and my official "planning stage" has begun. After looking at a few other designs (some of which are $$$ just to get the plans), the Mechmate just seems to be the best of the lot!

Before going much further, i would just like to take the opportunity to pass on my thanks to the guys responsible for designing the machine as well as the many people helping others by sharing info and experiences by posting in the forums. You guys truly are a credit to the community and without the wealth of information (or even the plans) being shared here, I would never have gained the confidence to start a project on this scale.

Ok, onto my first questions about the MM, or more specifically has anyone got recommendations of places in Australia to source the steel and laser cut parts....

I will probably just go through my local Midalia for the "length stock" but I need to confirm with them if they are willing to do precision cutting, as I have a real aversion to trying to cut things square and within tolerances. I would rather pay a bit more to get things accurately cut to length than trying to do it myself and buggering it up. As people know, steel ain't cheap in Australia (which kinda sux since we probably produce the most iron ore)!

Can anyone recommend someone to get in contact with to source the laser cut parts, i read here that Rick (mixon) was cutting these but couldn't find any contact details for him. Is he still doing this?

I see that most people are grinding the X/Y rails down by hand. I would have thought having the V on the top of the rails within the required tolerance would be one of the most important aspect of getting the car to move smoothly over the X axis, and that it would be very difficult achieving this by hand. Are people using some kind of angle jig for grinding the rails or is it actually easier than it seems to get it right?

Well I think that's about it for now, any responses appreciated.
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  #2  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 00:20
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
I tried to edit this into the first post, but the 30min restriction prevented me from doing so...

A bit about myself. I am in my late 20's and a father of 2 beautiful girls, who are a real handful (as most parents would understand). I work in the mining industry operating heavy machine's and am fortunate enough to only work half the year (you've gotta love the mining rosters!) so I get a fair bit of time at home to tinker with stuff like this. I am originally from a computer background (before going to mining) and still love working (or should I say playing) with my computers, so I am quite eager to get the construction done so I can start playing around with the electronic side of things. I actually dabble in a bit a loudspeaker design and my primary purpose of building this machine will be to produce high quality, but more importantly accurate, speaker enclosures out of MDF (3/4" and thicker). If the build works out well enough (and I have no doubt that it will :|) I will probably look at a bit of small time contract work for a few local cabinetmakers to try and recover some of the build costs. I don't have any CNC building experience so I have a lot of learning ahead of me.

I did a bit of looking around and couldn't find any others, so hopefully I will end up with the first MM on the west coast of AU.

This is a bit of a CNC noobie question, but how do people fix their stock to the finished machines when cutting, is the MDF/plywood top a sacrificial one that you fix your wood to with screws or is there a better way of stopping the stock from moving?

Last edited by rwo; Wed 10 March 2010 at 00:32..
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  #3  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 00:36
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Welcome rwo, (how do you pronounce that?) you came to the right place!
You can start by reading through the "sticky" thread at the top of every topics. There are a wealth of information in this forum, most of your questions (inclusing those that you just posted & even those that you may have) would had been answered many times over with greater details then one could ask for. That will save you lots of time waiting for trivial answers.
You don't have to wait till the completion of the steel fabrication before getting your fingers on the electronics parts, you can start a Kitchen Table Project for that.
You sure go through a lot of trouble just to cut your speaker panels through & square by building a CNC router for it...
BUT who said one must be rational with their hobby!
Happy reading & looking forward to your build progress.
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  #4  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 00:45
Zouave
Just call me: Eric #115
 
Sacramento, CA
United States of America
Hi Rwo! Welcome to the forums. :-) I'm getting started too, thought I'd drop you a post, since we'll probably end up doing fairly similar stuff. One of my friends is something of an audiophile, and has begged me into making him some custom speaker enclosures once I have my Mechmate up and running. Saw that you were planning on doing similar things. So good luck with your's, hope it goes well! I'll keep an eye on here and see how you're doing.
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  #5  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 04:26
Lonedawg75
Just call me: Leon
 
Adelaide
Australia
Welcome rwo!

To answer a Q or 2... Rick is well priced for the laser cut parts, you might be able to get them cheaper but not by much and also you never know how acurate they will be.

As for the steel for the table.. I hope the suppliers in WA are better than the ones in SA .. after speaking to the "salesperson" ack.. and asking him if the steel could be cut with a decent amount of accuracy he said "no worries.. if not in a hurry and you can wait a day or 2 more then we can give u 1-2mm accuracy" well after getting the steel and looking at the ends I could have cut them better with a hammer and chisel.. not happy after the cost of steel and cuts..

If you have access to a Cold Cut Saw/Metal Bandsaw.. "hammer and chisel".. then I suggest buying lengths and doing it yourself!

Otherwise for the other components Homann is great for the geckos and BoB, MattyZee has a MM up and running and has some design enhancements upcoming, also the handy Chai VFD Plugin if you get a spindle from him.

Oh and as for the rails yer it seems like a chore but if you take your time on them or have a friend with a mill then it isnt so bad.. or go the bought v rail system and the optional plans .. premade vrail isnt "that much" more really but depends on the budget!

All up welcome to the forums and nice to see another Aussie!

<ps> One day I will have time off work to finish the build!

(edit) The MM is still cheaper and more sturdy than anything under 25K in Oz..

Last edited by Lonedawg75; Wed 10 March 2010 at 04:28.. Reason: Ooops!
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  #6  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 05:11
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Welcome to the group !! We are looking forward to your build.

PM rnixon for Laser Cut Parts in Australia.

Mike
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  #7  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 18:58
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
Ok, so I found the search button and I am all over the grind assembly for the rails now. Still looks to be hard work to achieve the .2mm accuracy even while using the head. I think the purchased rails may be the go, does anyone know a bearing supplier who deals in the stuff in Au?

I have been in contact with Rick re the laser parts, still waiting to confirm some shipping costs but that should be good to go by the looks of it. I was dreading the laser cutting bits as it would be quite easy to splash out hundred's of $'s to a cutting company only to have them come back in less then perfect condition.

Thanks for your info there Lonedawg75. How do you end up dealing with the inaccurate steel, did you make do with it or refuse delivery?

Initially I was thinking of using my 3612C, but I like the idea of electronic spindle speed control through MattyZee's plugin so I may can the router idea and go the spindle instead. Stil haven't put a great deal of thought into the electronics yet, trying to get the construction up and running first.

Unfortunately I don't have access to a cold cut saw (only drop saw which probably wouldn't be accurate enough). I might give the local hire mob a call and see if they hire them out.

So my first $'s are pretty close to leaving the bank so I guess my build has officially begun

Last edited by rwo; Wed 10 March 2010 at 19:23..
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  #8  
Old Wed 10 March 2010, 19:58
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Hi rwo

There can be some savings shopping offshore, so maybe consider letting the mailman doing some of the walking for you. The other side of the coin is there are plenty of traps in shopping OS so that is where the forum can be of great assistance, so use it to see where others got a good deal or service.

Don't want to disappoint you but you are not the only West Coast AU builder, take the search challenge and find him in the forum.

Bearings - Rick at Superior Bearings in the USA can supply the V wheels and concentric's for the build, but I believe for the grinding skate local bearings are readily available.
You will probably need all that six months off and more with a wife, a few kids and a CNC project in the shed, all the best to you with your project.

regards
Ross

Last edited by Surfcnc; Wed 10 March 2010 at 20:07..
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  #9  
Old Thu 11 March 2010, 04:06
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfcnc View Post
Hi rwo

....

Don't want to disappoint you but you are not the only West Coast AU builder, take the search challenge and find him in the forum.

...
Ahh spewing, I did search in the completed builds but couldn't find anything. Ok i'll take a stab and say probably the first South West AU build!

Time to hit the forums for a bit of reading....
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  #10  
Old Thu 11 March 2010, 05:03
clarson66
Just call me: Chris & Leon #100
 
Adelaide
Australia
Hi RWO,
Welcome, Chris here I'm the other half of the Chris & Leon build (lonedawg75).
I took all the steel back and got them to cut all new full lengths and we are waiting to by a new saw so we can do the cuts oursleves. There is a Cold saw on ebay for $325 + post or local tool shops should have a small metal bandsaw for around $350. Or hope you can find a steel yard that has a nice cold saw and doesn't mind doing accurate cuts. We just found it hard to get anyone to gaurantee accurate cuts some quoted up to 5mm tolerance.
So at the moment we just have a bloody big pile of bits

Chris
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  #11  
Old Thu 11 March 2010, 09:35
jehayes
Just call me: Joe #53
 
Whidbey Island, Washington
United States of America
Welcome RWO: Sounds like you are off to the races with your build. Remember, everything you need to know is in the forums!

All the best

Joe
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  #12  
Old Thu 11 March 2010, 18:52
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
RWO, I used abrasive disc chop saw. It does take some care to avoid burning the motor & attention in cutting straight but they turn out real nice. So other members use Oxy-acetylene torch for the job.
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  #13  
Old Sat 13 March 2010, 05:59
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
OK, well I have been pricing some steel up over the weekend and boy did I receive a rude shock when I went through the Midalia Price list.

If I were to buy the steel in full lengths (obvisouly not the preferred method as I would be paying for a fair bit of waste) from Midalia my total would come in at $3292.17
Midalia list a 180 x 75 Mild Steel Channel (I assume this is C Channel) at mass of 20.9kg/m at $915.75 for a 12m length! Add another $100 odd if I go to the 200 x 75 channels. Am I looking at the wrong channel or something (pricing from page 4 of their price list)?

I was expecting a price of around $1500 for steel after reading posts of people paying about $1100, so any other reccomendations of places to buy steel on the west coast?

Last edited by rwo; Sat 13 March 2010 at 06:13..
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  #14  
Old Sat 13 March 2010, 06:42
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Keep shopping until you can find a supplier that will sell cut lengths as a minimum starting point. After that, ensure the steel they intend to supply is reasonably straight and not too rusty. Your original estimates are realistic, with probably $1500 as a maximum. Tapered Flange Channel will be much harder to work with for the mechmate build so as Parallel Flange Channel is available here in Australia make sure it is also a specification you make to the supplier for the large X beams and the Y cross braces (Gerald's plans specify it anyway).

If you have Onesteel over there try them.

Regards
Ross
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  #15  
Old Sat 13 March 2010, 07:26
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
Sent 2 more email quote requests out so will wait and see what happens with them.

I think we do have onesteel so I will try them next week.

The search continues....
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  #16  
Old Sat 13 March 2010, 09:33
jehayes
Just call me: Joe #53
 
Whidbey Island, Washington
United States of America
rwo: Wow! I think I paid about $600 for all my steel (cut to length) when I started my build last year. At today's US$/AU$ exchange rate that is only about AU$650. Maybe I should go into the steel exporting business! (Specializing in supplying steel to MechMates in Australia!)

BTW - I just realized what a great name MechMates would be for a MM club down under!
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  #17  
Old Sat 13 March 2010, 11:47
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
Rwo, steel is one of those areas where old school techniques like using the telephone can be much more cost effective than online quotes. Or a visit to their office, wearing your best grubby workman / hobo clothes. You should definitely be able to get the steel for under $1500.
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  #18  
Old Sun 14 March 2010, 03:34
AuS MaDDoG
Just call me: Tony #71
 
Brisbane
Australia
Hi rwo,

Welcome to the land of MechMate, good to see another Aussie coming onboard, soon be enough of us to start an Aussie MechMate Group
Shop around for your steel, as surfcnc has said $1500 should be max!! I had all the steel supplied, pre cut and deliverd for approx $1200 to $1300 for our MechMates ( Skippy & AuS MaDDoG) although I did end up purchasing a Cold Saw to cut the lengths more accurate and to cut all the mitres for the braces, well worth it though as it made the job very easy.
As bradm has said goi and see them and wear appropriate cloths you might just get everything at a trade price!!
Good luck and good luck with your build!!

Cheers

Tony
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  #19  
Old Sun 14 March 2010, 15:36
jude
Just call me: Jude #48
 
sydney
Australia
Rwo, I suggest you fax all the steel retailers in your area for a quote for the complete steel order. I have included a shopping list and prices for the steel and also electronics in my build pages (jude#48). You will need to work through each page of your printed MM plans to do the shopping list.
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  #20  
Old Tue 16 March 2010, 21:31
rwo
Just call me: rwo
 
Perth
Australia
I got one quote back, $1618.80 cut and delivered, $300 was cutting and delivery so that makes about $1300 for steel which seems a bit closer to the mark. $200 for delivery might seem high but we do live in a country area so we always get screwed on that (I may still pick it up myself yet anyway). I am still waiting for confirmation on if they will guarantee the accuracy of the cuts otherwise I will end up cutting myself too.

Has anyone had success with pre-cut stuff being being accurate or am I better off hiring a cold saw to do it myself?

Still waiting on 2 more for comparison.

Aus MaDDog: I was reading through your thread the other day and it looks like you build is coming along well, I particularly like the console

jude: In your thread on post 11 you had a pic of the table up-side down. How did you go about flipping it over? I was thinking this would be the best/easiest way to weld it up.

Last edited by rwo; Tue 16 March 2010 at 21:41..
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  #21  
Old Wed 17 March 2010, 12:45
jude
Just call me: Jude #48
 
sydney
Australia
Those steel prices seem closer to the mark. I had most of the steel cut to length and they were spot on, and cut squarer than what I can with my cutoff saw. When you get the steel home you will have to clean the mill scale off, I found the "Brumby Flap Discs" from Bunnings did it easy, much better than wire wheels. Flippng the table over, I used a winch.
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  #22  
Old Thu 13 May 2010, 03:28
David Bryant
Just call me: David #99
 
Western Australia
Australia
Hi
rwo

Where did you end up getting the steel from in Perth?
Can you send me the list you bought please?
Thanks
David
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