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  #1  
Old Tue 25 September 2007, 14:18
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
WAITING OVER! #15 - Chicago, IL

Hello everyone!

I thought I'd post the progress on my 49x97 Mechmate. The project was started in the beginning of June '07 with the electrical. With the exception of a slight operator error issue,
http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3626&postcount=14
I got the motors turning. Then everything went on hold because of work. Now it is the end of September and I'm able to continue with the Mechmate.

Two weeks ago I had the steel for the table delivered. The enclosure and supplies arrived as well.

I began with the enclosure until I ran into the need for insulators for the aluminum driver support. This led me into the cutting and welding of the gantry. In addition to others I've found that I am not a welder by far. As time and welds went by I did a better job. Unfortunately the better welds are on the bottom.

Next I'll move to grinding my rails. I thought it best to take J.R.'s advice and not cut the 7" c-channel and to use as support for grinding my rails. I also decided to grind the full 20' x2 rails before cutting them down. I'm now waiting to see how Greg J. does with his skateboard as well as J.R.'s modified skateboard. Because I don't have a lathe I was thinking of using offset bushings, like the ones for the z-rail to raise and lower my skateboard.

Off to build a skateboard.

Greg M
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG5646 (Small).JPG (53.9 KB, 2253 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5647 (Small).JPG (71.9 KB, 2245 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5648 (Small).JPG (57.8 KB, 2213 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5650 (Small).JPG (45.8 KB, 2206 views)
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  #2  
Old Tue 25 September 2007, 15:23
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Greg,
Looking good.

I'm slowly, but surely making progress on the rail edge grinder (J.R.'s skate). I changed out grinders, and it helped tremendously. The skate still doesn't make that perfect edge (may not need to be perfect), so I'm adding "outrigger's". My 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch x 1/4 inch angle is supposed to arrive today (nothing as of this post).

Hopefully I'll have a finished product and pictures this weekend.

Keep the progress reports and pictures coming.

Almost forgot. The thing that helped me out the most with the welding was an auto darkening helmet. My welds improved 200%.

Greg
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  #3  
Old Thu 27 September 2007, 10:02
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Hello Everyone,

I finished my grinder mount for the $15 harbor freight baby grinder.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91223
I hope it's powerful enough. Gerald recommended a .45 cutting disk however harbor freight has a set of 10 disks for $4 that are .62. I'm going to give them a try, mostly because I already have the disks and don't have to wait to get new ones.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=45430

I've designed the carriage so that once I'm done cutting my rails I can insert it into my skate.
I was originally going to try to cut and grind the rails while they were 20' long but trying to move those things around is a nightmare. Looks like it will be 2-12' and 2'-8' pieces (should have watched J.R. more closely).

Here are some photos of the carriage and some crude drawings of the skate setup. I ordered my skate bearings yesterday. Hopefully they'll arrive soon.

Now after seeing Gerald's videos It will be hard not to try to rush the build
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG5655 (Small).JPG (45.5 KB, 2176 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5656 (Small).JPG (49.2 KB, 2175 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5657 (Small).JPG (45.5 KB, 2160 views)
File Type: jpg GregM grinder mount.jpg (43.2 KB, 2156 views)
File Type: jpg GregM skate.jpg (33.1 KB, 2150 views)
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  #4  
Old Thu 27 September 2007, 12:05
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Greg,
Your build looks awesome. Keep up the pictures, you inspire those of us who are behind you in the construction. What are your interests for the machine once its complete?
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  #5  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 12:53
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
problems

Thanks Heath The current plans for the machine are to cut out parts from hardwood for a product I want to begin selling. After telling a friend that I was building a CNC router he told me that his company uses a company in another state for signs and other things. He thinks he can get me the business, or at least a portion of it.

Here are a couple more pictures. I've mounted the grinder to a piece of channel I had laying around. Once I placed my angle iron on the channel you can see the gap between the angle and channel. This is because all the angle iron I have is bent and bowed. It may be best to mount the angles then cut them. Not sure how. Possibly a different type of skate. and then grind them.

If anybody has any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG5659 (Small).JPG (58.5 KB, 2174 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5660 (Small).JPG (61.9 KB, 2160 views)
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  #6  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 13:05
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Greg, without knowing how far your sawhorses are apart, or how much the channel may be bowed, or how much the angle is bowed, or if the angle is bowed in both directions, I am very tempted to bend the channel to meet the angle. Sound crazy?

I would consider setting a welder to 300 Amp and running a short weld from each of those holes in the channel down to the bottom edge, but I would flip it over on the sawhorses so that the weight helps with the bending . . . . . . .
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  #7  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 13:33
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Thanks for responding Gerald,

At first it sounds crazy but after thinking about it it may be enough to fix the problem. Too bad my wirefeed welder won't go that hot. Possibly a torch. The sawhorses are 48 inches apart and the channel is 70 inches long. I layed a straight edge across the channel and there is about a .030 gap so there is a slight bow in the channel adding to the bow of the angle. I thought about using a couple of v bearings mounted to the channel to help hold the angle down. The problem with that is it will make moving the angle past the grinder difficult.
I was able to find locally a grinding disk that should work. It's a Metabo superslicer extreme performance, 4.5"x.045" A60XP cat#655994000 $3.99. The manager of the Berland's house of tools said it was "the best".

Regards
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  #8  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 13:43
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Okay, I said 300 Amp because that's what I can do. You could do lower current, more runs. Inside and outside the channel. A weld bead is much more effective than a torch to shrink metal.
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  #9  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 13:46
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
You could also lay a small speedbump on the channel, under the center of the disk/grinder. The angle might rock slighty (veeerrrryyyy small angle change) but the height to disk will be consistent.
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  #10  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 13:59
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
Send a message via Skype™ to Alan_c
Hi Greg

Have a look at this prototype of mine it may help solve your problem.

Alan
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  #11  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 14:42
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Well Gerald,

I really have to thank you. Your method worked. Here is an after photo. As it worked out because I only welded around the middle 18 or so inches it created a very slight raise in the channel at the grinder. In effect creating your "speed bump". The ends (2 feet out) have about .01 gap at them but the 3 inches before and after the grinder are perfectly level. I'll begin the cutting now and keep you posted.

Thanks for the suggestion Alan but I'm going to give this a try now. Prior to reading your thread I was going to lube up the angle with silicone but thanks to Doug's reply I'll avoid that. (thanks Doug)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG5661 (Small).JPG (53.6 KB, 2131 views)
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  #12  
Old Fri 28 September 2007, 21:36
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Let those small welds be a lesson to the inexperienced . . . . . welds shrink metal and cause bending if applied off-center. More welding makes more distortion. But, you can use the distortion sometimes.

The silicon I used was for sliding the steel over wood. In general I hate silicon because it makes surfaces unpaintable.

It will always be a good idea to clean the rough "mill-scale" and rust off the metal surfaces before trying to slide them.
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  #13  
Old Sun 30 September 2007, 08:52
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Gerald,
I know all too well the problems with shrinking metal! My welding experience started out using a mig welder on some thin body sheet metal for car restorations. It sure doesnt take long to realize that you cant just run a 2 foot bead on a replacement panel and expect it to look like it should when you are done. Small welds, stagger them, let cool , then repeat process for minimal warpage.
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  #14  
Old Mon 15 October 2007, 21:46
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Rails cut down

Hello Everyone,

I finished cutting my rails over the weekend. Now that I'm done, reading all the new threads about the metal cutting blade sounds like it might be an easier approach. Although I can only imagine the cut edge would have to be dressed using a fixture similar to the one I used for cutting my rails.

I'm glad I purchased the Metabo superslicer cutting disks instead of using the Harborfreight bargain disks. I began working on my skate today. needing to cut the slots for the grinder disk and rail bearings, I didn't have enough material on the Metabo disks so I used one of the bargain harborfreight disks. What a nightmare! As you can see from the photo the Metabo disk left a very clean finish on the surface. Very small sparks during the cutting and I only used 4 disks to complete the 40 feet of angle. The Harborfreight disks threw very large sparks everywhere. I believe most of that was the cutting media itself. It also left a very poor cut in addition to using almost half a disk to cut two 5" slots.

I've finished most of the skate today and will upload more pictures tomorrow. I ran a brief test and it seemed to work well. I have to make a minor adjustment to the angle. It's off by a degree or two. I think drilling the two back screw holes out by one or two sizes will solve the problem.

More later
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File Type: jpg CIMG5663 (Small).JPG (50.1 KB, 2017 views)
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  #15  
Old Tue 16 October 2007, 23:18
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Table in progress

Here are a few more shots. The skate is all welded up and now needs to be painted and re-assembled. A shot of the table(still in progress), a shot of the 1.25" sch 40 for the table diagonals, cut down rails and fixture,the rest of the cross bearers.

I've made a few minor changes to the table design. Adding a second "shelf" for storage and choosing to bolt the table together. I still have to add the diagonal cross braces per the drawing. I've used 3/8" bolts and drilled all the holes 3/8" so everything is a very tight fit. End to end I cannot make the assembly "shake". Side to side there is a very slight amount but once the cross braces are added I'm sure the thing will be rock solid. Each of the side supports is an assembly as will be each of the ends. Each of the end supports will include one of the 10-10-302's. Once everything is aligned I'll weld the two end units cross bearers to the x rails.

Once the table is finished I'll begin the grinding of the rails. I'll be grinding them right on the X beams then cutting them to size. J.R. mentioned in one of the threads to contact him before beginning this operation. I hope he gets back soon. I'm not sure if I should bolt the rails down then grind or just clamp them in place.

More pics to come.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG5759 (Small).JPG (62.3 KB, 2009 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5761 (Small).JPG (64.5 KB, 1995 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5762 (Small).JPG (63.5 KB, 1993 views)
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  #16  
Old Wed 17 October 2007, 06:35
driller
Just call me:
 
Awesome !

I have a 1983 Cutlass Supreme

As for grinding on the unit, I think the clamps will be in the way.

Dave
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  #17  
Old Thu 18 October 2007, 19:09
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Skate is complete

Hi Everyone,

I've spent the last two days cleaning and organizing the garage to make room for this beast. Just tonight i was able to finally complete the skate.

I hope to grind the rails over the weekend. I guess I'll go ahead and drill / tap and otherwise attach the rails before grinding. I'll just leave the extra hanging out each end and cut the ends off when finished.

After attempting to drill a hole by hand in the x channel I realized how much easier it is to use the drill press. Not to mention it saves on the drill bit and the muscles. I've already drilled 152 - 3/8" holes with the same hss bit. One hand works the bit the other sprays the WD40. Can't do it like that with a hand drill.

It works out that I've attached the x channel by bolts. Now I can unbolt it and take it over to the drill press.

I'll keep you all posted on progress.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG5768 (Small).JPG (48.5 KB, 1966 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5763 (Small).JPG (50.7 KB, 1956 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG5764 (Small).JPG (50.6 KB, 1960 views)
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  #18  
Old Fri 19 October 2007, 06:32
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Greg,

Nice looking skate !!

Looking forward for progress report this weekend

Greg
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  #19  
Old Fri 19 October 2007, 08:41
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Greg,
What keeps the vertical eccentric bearings from changing it's setting. Or does the single axle bolt get loosened/re-tightened after each vertical grinding pass? I see the same arrangement on JR's and was trying to determine how to keep it from changing the depth setting.
Sean
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  #20  
Old Fri 19 October 2007, 08:58
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Hi Sean,

Just like you thought. The center bolt gets loosened, the levers move up to increase the depth of cut then they are tightened again. I never put on the handles I purchased. I just grab the vertical pieces on each side of the grinder. I still have to run another test to re-check my angle after I made the adjustment. On the down side, which shouldn't be a problem, I cannot change the disk while the grinder is in the fixture. On the bottom eccentrics I had to cut slots in the bearing supports to hold them in place while I tightened the bolts.

Greg
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  #21  
Old Tue 23 October 2007, 12:10
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Skate Design / Skate Dimensions / Bearing source

I've attached some drawings for my skate. I believe all the dims are correct. Sorry for the crude drawings. I am using Corel and not a CAD program. I should probably be learning the TurboCAD that I have but this was easier and much quicker for now . These drawings are only for the base part of the skate. The grinder mount is shown in a pic earlier in my thread. Keep in mind that the grinder mount is designed for a Harborfreight grinder. I'm sure it could easily be modified to mount a different grinder like Geralds. It also serves as the rail cutting fixture. The bearings I used (Thanks Greg J) are from
http://www.vxb.com/Merchant2/merchan...Category_Code=

Based on the current flurry of activity in the rail grinding thread I'm sure this base could be modified to use the brass screws Gerald was talking about. I think that it is a great suggestion in following the KISS concept. I only wish that thread had come up before I made my base. Cutting the small end holes proved to be quite a bear. Lots of filing.

I thought I'd be able to begin grinding my rails over the weekend but my wife had my weekend all accounted for . Plus all the drilling and tapping of the rails took longer than I expected.



Let me know if anybody finds any problems with the drawings.

Cheers!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Greg's skate bottom.jpg (16.7 KB, 1899 views)
File Type: jpg Greg's skate side and eccentric.jpg (18.3 KB, 1897 views)
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  #22  
Old Wed 24 October 2007, 16:03
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
X rails ground

I was able to grind the X rails today. I'll continue tonight with the Y rails.
Here is a photo. The perspective it was taken from makes it look uneven. Both sides are equal though with a 1mm unground portion. They are easy enough to grind, just time consuming. I had to remove the bolts and tac weld the rail to the channel to grind it.

Gerald,
Thanks for the reminder about the 203's having internal fuses. I know I've read about that but sometimes I get so focused on where I'm headed that I get tunnel vision. Instead I'll order part #9290T12 from McMaster.com. It's probably overkill but I have to pick up other things from there as well.
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File Type: jpg CIMG5886 (Small).JPG (28.9 KB, 1883 views)
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  #23  
Old Wed 24 October 2007, 16:59
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
They look gorgeous. How long did they take per angle iron?
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  #24  
Old Wed 24 October 2007, 19:33
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Hi Doug,

It's hard to say. I stopped and started so many times. Neighbor stops by... wife stops by..... ran the skate off the end and somehow put a nick in the disk ..... get phone call.....fix hole in hand.... etc. etc. I would have to say between 3 and 4 hours for a 12' rail. That would probably go faster but my Harborfreight grinder is a little under powered. For $15 what can you expect. It's what I had and couldn't justify buying a new one just for this project. I also used the Harborfreight grinding disks (bad idea). They do wear very fast so I've had to keep an eye on the edge. I used one disk (+1 before damage) to take the edge off both 12' rails and get them close then used a new disk to dress the edges.

The skate works great. Just have to remember that there is no guard on the back side.


I was wondering if you had done your rails yet or not. I'm looking forward to seeing more pics from you. How are your electronics going?
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  #25  
Old Wed 24 October 2007, 23:32
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug_Ford View Post
They look gorgeous. How long did they take per angle iron?
Less time than most of us are spending on procrastinating
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  #26  
Old Thu 25 October 2007, 11:15
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
I have an old Bridgeport vertical mill in my garage so I used it to make the rails. Unfortunately, it is pretty much worn out so I was only able to mill a 12 inch length of rail at one time and stay within .001". My mill makes a dandy drill press but milling with any accuracy is almost impossible. I'm not particularly happy with the results because I can hear the wheels clicking on the transitions where I started and stopped the milling. It obviously didn't hold .001" like I thought. Once the details for the skate get worked out, I think I'll probably make another set.
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  #27  
Old Thu 25 October 2007, 11:41
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Doug, suggest you use your milled rails now, but first to grind just the top flat face for a reference. You can grind your milled rails in-situ (if you havn't cut them short to length yet). However, I am willing to wager that re-grinding your milled rails are going to become a very low priority.

On our milled rails, we also had the tiny "defects" where the milling cutter was reset. A little draw-filing cleaned off those marks. Realise that only one out of 4 gantry/car wheels is likely to hit a "glitch" at any one time - the result at the cutter is pretty un-spectacular.
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  #28  
Old Thu 25 October 2007, 20:44
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Greald,

My first priority is to get it running and cut something. Then I'll check to see if the glitches cause flaws in my workpieces. If they don't, I'll probably live with the rails as they are. Unfortunately, I've got a perfectionist obsessive/compulsive streak which may cause me to replace them just because they aren't pretty enough.
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  #29  
Old Thu 25 October 2007, 22:22
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
The rails are finally complete!
I'm so glad that is over with. Black grinding dust all over everything.
Probably should have cleaned up the oil from the tapping before grinding. Now I have a terrible mess on the floor.
I'll post some progress pics tomorrow. I also have a short video of the grinding. When I get a chance I'll upload it to youtube.

While I was grinding I kept thinking that there has got to be a better way.

Too bad your mill didn't work so well for you Doug. You must have access to 3ph power. All the mills I've seen seem to require it. I hope the filing like Gerald mentioned works out for you.
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  #30  
Old Thu 25 October 2007, 23:05
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Greg, in your pic above, is that screw sitting in the right place? It looks too far to the right?

Grinding is dirty work - best to do it outside.
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