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  #1  
Old Tue 22 May 2007, 11:37
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Dust foot and custom clamps done #3 - Conway, AR

I've been reading the messages on this website for about a month or so to make sure I didn't ask questions that have already been answered. This site is the best.

Thanks Gerald for being so generous with your time and knowledge. Instead of setting up a business and making money off of us, you've chosen to help a bunch of strangers. I'm truly in awe. If you ever decide to visit my area, you have a free place to stay for as long as you like.

There are also a bunch of other people on this site who have been generous with their time and knowledge and I don't want to forget them so thanks to you also.
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  #2  
Old Tue 22 May 2007, 11:49
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Welcome Doug!

Whenever I get such an offer of free accommodation, I quickly check to see if a nice exotic location is involved. See, this is the nefarious plot behind my "generosity" - I am building a virtual retirement home. One day when I am really old and cranky (and incontinent) I will sell my house and go and live off all you kind folk
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  #3  
Old Mon 16 July 2007, 21:13
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Update

Gerald,

I wanted to give you an update on the status of my Mechmate.

Attached is a picture of the X-beams, legs, and bracing that I finished welding and painting. Also, I have attached a photo of my setup for cutting down the side of my angle iron. That was some hard work because I didn't have any help but I finally finished. My last 11 foot stick probably took me only a little over an hour to do.

Although I ordered some oil hardening steel for the rollers, I think I will make them out of mild steel after reading some of your posts on the subject. I'll let you know how they work out.

Thanks again for all of your help. You're a hell of a great guy.

Doug
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sides.jpg (95.2 KB, 2523 views)
File Type: jpg grinder for angle iron.jpg (143.5 KB, 2514 views)
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  #4  
Old Tue 17 July 2007, 01:41
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Some nice re-cycling there Doug - looks good!

(Like the trestles with the non slip tops and handles too)
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  #5  
Old Sun 14 October 2007, 10:59
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Yesterday, I finished painting my machine. Al the mechanicals are done except for machining the router mounting bracket. Once I get everything reassembled and the Mechmate logo attached - probably two weeks - I'll post pictures.
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  #6  
Old Sun 14 October 2007, 12:41
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Doug,
I can't wait to see your finished product. I will be on the fast track build here in florida. I hope to have a completed machine before Thanksgiving.
I am certain I will want to compare notes.
Congratulations on getting to the finish line!
Sean
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  #7  
Old Fri 19 October 2007, 18:45
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Thanks Sean but I started with the mechanical stuff first so I still have to wire it up. A couple of months ago, I checked and it seems like most guys are taking approximately 9-10 months to make their first cut. At that rate, I'll probably start cutting in Feb 08.
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  #8  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 18:30
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
I Couldn't Wait Any Longer

These aren't very good pics. My garage is crowded, the camera is a cheap one and the sun is going down but I promised to post some pictures.

Right now, I'm in the middle of running the cables and wiring up the control box. I tried to do it on the kitchen table like Gerald recommends but I found out that my wife wasn't going to put up with that.

The pinions I ordered were 35 tooth. That caused me to have to countersink the top two bolts and mill the slot so the motor will swing low enough to clear the rack if I need to disengage it.

My control box is only just beginning to get wired. Lots of wires missing so don't critique the quality of my work yet.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Table1.jpg (51.2 KB, 2259 views)
File Type: jpg Table2.jpg (71.5 KB, 2260 views)
File Type: jpg Z Axis & Motors.jpg (29.0 KB, 2243 views)
File Type: jpg Control Box.jpg (51.1 KB, 2239 views)
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  #9  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 19:35
Jay W
Just call me: Jay
 
Atlanta, GA
United States of America
Doug,

That is really looking great! I can only say I wish I was that far along.....
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  #10  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 21:09
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Nicely done! ...and it's blue! Doug, is your machine the 4' x 8' size? It looks so nice, neat and compact. Great to see you uploaded the pictures...I was hoping you would have them up for reference before I got to far along. I was anxious to compare notes on your installation of the geared stepper motors.
Side note:
Did you use 2 runs of 1" or 3/4" conduit to make that corner on the y carriage like JR?
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  #11  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 21:50
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Thanks Jay and Sean. I built it to cut 4X8 sheets and that's 3/4 inch conduit. Don't cut your's yet until I can see if all the cables fit in it. I'll let you know within a couple of weeks. I can already see that the sharp corners are going to be tough so I'd probably recommend that you bend your's. I wasn't able to bend mine because of clearance problems at the corner of the gantry.
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  #12  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 21:52
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Doug,
Thanks for the quick reply. By the way...did you get your contactor working?
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  #13  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 22:02
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Good stuff Doug!

Are those pinions really 35 tooth? I seem to count 40+ in the photos. The double-sided tape also looks rather prominent (thick) - that could have been another reason the motors sit low.

I only realise now it is a good idea to countersink the top two geared motor screws even if the motor sits level - as you say, we want to be able to drop the motors for fault-finding. (My lack of experience on geared motors is showing)

I really like the small footprint Antek power supply - it makes the control box much more spacious.
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  #14  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 22:25
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Thanks Gerald. I was worried about what you might say. I just went out in the garage and counted them and they are 35 tooth pinions. The tape is the 2mm thick stuff. I clamped the racks with G clamps to make sure it held well but it didn't compress much.

When I ordered the power supply from Antek, John remembered you. So did the guys at PMDX when I went there. I like the PS too but I wish I had mounted it a little more toward the edge to give myself more room to work on the PMDX terminals.

With your sharp eyes, you probably noticed what looked like some rough places on the horizontal surface of the X axis rail in the pic with my truck in the background. It is actually smooth. Those are metal shavings from drilling holes to mount the cable boxes. Yes, the control box door was shut at the time so it isn't metal shavings that are messing up the contactor.

Sean: I haven't worked on it yet. My garage is dark and cold after the sun goes down so I quit for the evening.
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  #15  
Old Sat 10 November 2007, 22:54
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Looking good Doug.

The contactor I have is the Teco cn16. Haven't got it hooked up yet but my a1-a2 resistance is 139 ohms. Hope this helps.

Keep those pics coming.

I can relate to your comment about Geralds eyes. I worry every time I post a picture. But then I think about the fact that if there is a problem that he'll catch it before it's too late. It's kind of like long distance quality control.
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  #16  
Old Sun 11 November 2007, 03:00
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Hey guys, don't make me nervous to say what I see - you don't want me to go all soft do you? The only thing I noticed that was missing was the licence plate on your truck - you don't have laser gun cops? We have private contractors with laser guns (and other devices) who earn a percentage of the fines they collect.

(The 2mm tape is correct - just looked more obvious in the pic.)
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  #17  
Old Sun 11 November 2007, 07:10
cncgrinder
Just call me: .
 
.
United States of America
Most states in the USA only require you to have a plate on the back of the vehicle.
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  #18  
Old Sun 11 November 2007, 13:34
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
Send a message via Skype™ to Alan_c
Very nice Doug

Good progress and neat work (wives just dont understand do they mine even refers to my project as "the other woman")
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  #19  
Old Sun 11 November 2007, 19:19
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Gerald: I'm holding that space open until you to create a MM license plate.

Alan: Thanks. I can understand my wife's objection. In the past, I've had more than my fair share of accidents so she likes to keep me confined to either the garage or the back yard to minimize collateral damage.
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  #20  
Old Mon 12 November 2007, 08:10
Abdul
Just call me: Abdul
 
Karachi
Pakistan
Alan,
Ha ha very true about wives,

Dough,
Very nice, neatly done. Appritiate more pics.
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  #21  
Old Mon 12 November 2007, 08:39
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Thanks Abdul. My machine is just a standard Mechmate. Nothing unique about it. Is there anything in particular that you would like me to take a picture of?
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  #22  
Old Mon 12 November 2007, 19:13
Abdul
Just call me: Abdul
 
Karachi
Pakistan
I appritiate pic of control box from top, so much people doing it differently, and I think you are not installing fan also. I love to see blue paint.
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  #23  
Old Mon 12 November 2007, 20:47
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Okay. It will probably be this weekend though before I can take the pic. I am using a fan. It is the black object under the Geckos.
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  #24  
Old Sun 25 November 2007, 17:29
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
It's cold here this weekend and my wife took pity on me and let me bring the control panel in the kitchen for a little while so I got a little more done on it.

Attached is the photo from the top that Abdul asked for. Keep in mind that it is a long way from finished. I have pin connectors to add and some other stuff to do after I receive my ratcheting crimper in the mail. And I want to zip tie some of the wires together to make it a little neater.

Also, attached are photos of the router bracket I made over the last week. I should have taken pictures of it before I mounted it on the Z axis. I milled slots to capture the square nuts so I only need an allen head to make adjustments rather than an allen head wrench and a wrench for the nuts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Unfinished Control Panel Top View.jpg (67.3 KB, 2072 views)
File Type: jpg Router Bracket Sideview.jpg (25.2 KB, 2054 views)
File Type: jpg Router Bracket Angled View.JPG (43.6 KB, 2045 views)
File Type: jpg Router Bracket Topview.jpg (25.4 KB, 2058 views)
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  #25  
Old Sun 25 November 2007, 18:04
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Doug,

Your build is looking very good.

I have a couple questions:

It looks like your Main Logitudinal Beams C Channel is about 10" high. Is that correct?

It also looks like you used rectangular tubing for your cross bearings for the table. Are they 2" or 3"?

Why did you decided to use tubing for the cross bearings.

Thanks
Nils
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  #26  
Old Sun 25 November 2007, 20:01
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Hey Nils,

Thanks. The main beams are 8 inches high. The rectangular crossmembers are 2"X4" tube. I purchased the main longitudinal beams for another project that I never got around to working on and they were laying in my backyard. I found the 2"X4" tube at a local steel scrapyard the first weekend that I downloaded the plans. They were close in size to the channel Gerald used in the plans so I decided to buy them for 15 cents per pound rather than buy new channel for more money. Plus, their length was almost perfect so I had very little waste. I bought all they had and ended up with 4 extras that I plan to use for my next MM. I'm guessing that a local company had mis-cut them because they were new.
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  #27  
Old Sun 25 November 2007, 20:12
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Wow Doug,

Really looking good! Wish I had the time to get back to work on my machine. Did I read that you had made the mount for your router? It looks fantastic. Is that the Milwaukee router? Are you interested in making another mount?
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  #28  
Old Sun 25 November 2007, 20:30
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Yes. I made it. Unfortunately, it took me three days and cost me almost as much in raw materials as the ready made brackets!!! I wish I could help you out but....
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  #29  
Old Sun 25 November 2007, 23:57
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Very nice Doug!

Please check that your router bracket does not foul 10 20 451/2 (y-car against the end-stop, z-slide near top).
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  #30  
Old Mon 26 November 2007, 07:23
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Doug,

Nice machine!! Bet you can't wait to start cutting

Keep the pic's coming.
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