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  #31  
Old Fri 09 October 2015, 05:02
Robert M
Just call me: Robert
 
Lac-Brome, Qc
Canada
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Happy for you....now the fun starts !
Congrats
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  #32  
Old Fri 09 October 2015, 05:29
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Chuck - Looks like you get #125 !! Congrats on your build !!
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  #33  
Old Fri 09 October 2015, 06:16
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Builder's Log Update

Chuck,

Congratulations on completing your MechMate and earning serial #125. It's a great feeling isn't it?

Here is the Updated Builder' Log with your entry added.

Your table dimensions appear to accommodate a full sheet of MDF. That would make them 97" x 49". Is that correct? Or if not, please let me know what the actual cutting dimensions are.
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  #34  
Old Fri 09 October 2015, 13:37
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
Yay! I'm number 125! Thanks!

I'm pretty excited about having it working. UPS just dropped off my cable carriers & more bits & pieces from McMaster.

Working area 104 x 54". That's enough for a 4x8' plywood jig and some clamping area all around that I can still access with the cutter for whatever reason.

I'm still trying to think through my clamping options. My MM's new home has very limited power, so the vacuum table will have to wait. I have holes & Tee nuts in the bottom of my table every 10", thinking I can use nylon screws to hold down my primary jig which is built from a pc of 4x8x 3/4 ply. I'm thinking I'll put some 8020 T-slot around the cutting area, maybe with 1" of clearance so I can surface the table without worrying about the track.

I'll be moving the physical stop on my Z axis so any cutter I'm likely to use can't reach down to my T-nuts in the table.

Last night I was playing with Ger's 2010 Screenset. It looks like it will take care of lots of work flow questions.

Overall, I'm within about $500 of my budget (excluding hiring a friend who is a FAR BETTER and faster metal worker than me).

I've mentioned this before- I'm SUPER impressed with the detail and accuracy of the plans, and the information available here on the forum. When I started this, I knew a little about metal working, electronics wiring, logic controls/software, etc, but certainly not enough to build a machine. I've spent many hours trying to be able to define the problems or questions I had. I pretty much always found the answer once I knew what I was trying to ask. Thanks!
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  #35  
Old Fri 09 October 2015, 18:21
IMMark
Just call me: Mark #119
 
Columbus Ohio
United States of America
Congrats on #125, enjoy!
Mark
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  #36  
Old Fri 09 October 2015, 19:24
lonestaral
Just call me: Al #114
 
Isarn
Thailand
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Well done #125, have fun.
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  #37  
Old Sat 10 October 2015, 14:28
Andrew_standen
Just call me: Andrew #109
 
Dorset
United Kingdom
Congratulations. .
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  #38  
Old Sun 11 October 2015, 20:34
Tom Ayres
Just call me: Tom #117
 
Bassett (VA)
United States of America
Welcome to the After Life, congrats Chuck!
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  #39  
Old Thu 15 October 2015, 18:43
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Chuck,
Congratulations and thank you for the kudo's to the community and Gerald's design.
It's nice to see so many machines online and cutting in this forum!
Sean
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  #40  
Old Mon 19 October 2015, 06:12
pblackburn
Just call me: Pete #98
 
South-Central Pennsylvania
United States of America
Congratulations to #125
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  #41  
Old Mon 19 October 2015, 07:19
racedirector
Just call me: Bruce #122
 
New South Wales
Australia
Well done on #125, welcome to the club! Now get cutting and enjoying your new beast
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  #42  
Old Fri 23 October 2015, 20:53
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Congrats to #125 from #101.
Well done, sir.
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  #43  
Old Thu 29 October 2015, 12:55
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
I had some fun yesterday. First I cut a test piece- 1/2 of a kayak paddle at 20% size. Everything went perfectly.

Next I tested the safety systems of the MM. It was not an intentional test. I started to cut a full size paddle. About 1 second into the cut the gantry lifted and everything came to a nice ESTOP. Apparently I messed up my tool path somewhere. My lead in ramp was in the wrong place, my depth of cut was WAAAY too deep, and my cut speed WAAAY too fast for cutting that deeply. I'll have to see exactly what went wrong. I suspect I just loaded the wrong file. No harm, no foul. It's best not to play with giant power tools when I'm running on very little sleep.

I did the only reasonable thing- I declared victory, and a beer, and tried to get some sleep.
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  #44  
Old Thu 29 October 2015, 15:03
Tom Ayres
Just call me: Tom #117
 
Bassett (VA)
United States of America
Good Attitude!
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  #45  
Old Sun 08 November 2015, 19:21
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
SUCCESS


This afternoon I was able to put in some quality time with the MM. I'm going to like this beast. I've just started to play with the potential feeds & speeds.

The first complete kayak paddle cut in about the same time as I was able to get on a ShopBot Alpha with a (4hp?) Columbo spindle. By my third paddle, I'm cutting in about 40% of the time of the ShopBot. Compared to the SB, I can take cuts about twice as deep with the MM, at about the same ips, without the chatter.

My Bosch 1617evs router is performing MUCH better than I hoped. I may still upgrade to a spindle in hopes of quieting things, but so far the router is working great.
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  #46  
Old Mon 09 November 2015, 04:39
Robert M
Just call me: Robert
 
Lac-Brome, Qc
Canada
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Great to read all is better then expected !
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  #47  
Old Thu 03 December 2015, 13:43
pblackburn
Just call me: Pete #98
 
South-Central Pennsylvania
United States of America
How are things progressing with the time you have spent with the Mate now?
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  #48  
Old Thu 10 December 2015, 17:24
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
I'm learning bunches.

So far, all problems have been user errors. It's a steep learning curve ;-) I've not bothered with fine tuning/set up yet. My parts are well within the tolerance I need, so until I'm bored, we are definitely good enough. I have a few people who want more precision work, so get there sometime.

My Bosch 1617 router is performing admirably, but I have to keep the RPM's too high or I stall it. I'll likely order a Chinese 2.2kw spindle soon. I even have access to an unused 220v 30 amp breaker.

My most recent additions have been 2 remote E-Stop systems. One is just a simple remote with a key fob control. The other is built on an Arduino board & WiFi shield so I can E-stop via the web. The eventual plan is to have a webcam monitoring the machine. All of this is separate from my control computer.

The next addition will be a laser crosshair, so I can get a quick confirmation that I'm using the correct offset. Maybe it will prevent me from chewing through my jig next time... Maybe
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  #49  
Old Sat 23 January 2016, 15:34
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
I just finished installing a HY 2.2kw spindle & VFD. If anybody is looking, the instructions are here. And here for the VFD settings. Confirm & understand all the settings before you do anything. It looks like not all the settings from the link are needed (or wanted).

Pro tip (which I'm sure many already know)-
Actually enter the set up numbers into Mach3's ports/pins setting screens, don't just confirm them. I lost a full day until it hit me that I should try ACTUALLY ENTERING THE NUMBERS, instead of just seeing if they were correct.

Sales are coming in, and I've not been trying. Now that the MM seems fully functional, it's time for some serious sellin'
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  #50  
Old Sat 23 January 2016, 15:39
Robert M
Just call me: Robert
 
Lac-Brome, Qc
Canada
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Great to hear about you and your recent developments !
Also good to read your having nice business growth !
All the best, keep on posting
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  #51  
Old Sun 24 January 2016, 13:11
Nikonauts
Just call me: Nikonauts
 
Johore
Malaysia
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Sales are coming in, and I've not been trying. Now that the MM seems fully functional, it's time for some serious sellin'
Yeay! Now, that got me itching... I contemplated on building a Mechmate like 7 years ago, before finally gave up (budget/skill/time constraint, etc.).

I'm determined to finish it this time.

7 years.... I hope I could get sales as quick as you!
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  #52  
Old Sun 08 May 2016, 20:18
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
Random update-
MM is running great, Chinese spindle not so great.

During my warm up routine for the spindle, a bearing started talking to me today. I did the only reasonable thing, and ignored it. It did quiet down once under load.

Tomorrow I'll order up another spindle and hope I have better luck. Then I'll (hopefully) rebuild the old one and have a back up unit.
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  #53  
Old Sun 08 May 2016, 20:20
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikonauts View Post
Yeay! Now, that got me itching... I contemplated on building a Mechmate like 7 years ago, before finally gave up (budget/skill/time constraint, etc.).

I'm determined to finish it this time.

7 years.... I hope I could get sales as quick as you!
The lack of skill didn't stop me. Stubborn is a poor substitute, but I have plenty
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  #54  
Old Tue 10 May 2016, 01:05
danilom
Just call me: Danilo #64
 
Novi Sad
Serbia
Some chinese spindles come with plain radial bearings instead of AC for lower pair , friend of mine ordered cheap AC to replace and had a lot of runout. Tried Timken 6005-C3 deep groove and his spindle is running true 0.01mm and the bearings are holding well for the last couple of months cutting every day.
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  #55  
Old Thu 12 May 2016, 16:48
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
Thanks Danilo!
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  #56  
Old Fri 09 February 2018, 13:04
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
Another occasional update-

Much chaos here- illnesses & death in the family :-( Not much time to play, or work. I'm finally back at it.

My 2.2 kw spindle bearings are sounding angry, so I ordered another spindle. Once it's here, I'll swap it out and see about replacing the bearings in the old one. It looks like decent bearings are going to cost considerably more than an entire Chinese spindle, so I may just keep buying spindles & keep a back up on hand.

A local branch of a BIG company tracked me down to cut some plastic for them. Not fun, but it pays well. I'll take the money. I had to build a vacuum table, which is working great for just being powered by a big shop vac. Now that I have a vac table, I couldn't see a reason not to have a drag knife (my other business is a custom canvas shop. I spend too much time cutting strips of stuff!). It just showed up. I would have made one, but it would have cost me too much lost work. New toy!

Question-
How can I Estop my machine if the spindle stalls? I'm using the HY controller, PMDX-126, and Mach3. Internet searches have not helped. I lost a piece this morning due to the power to the spindle being lost, but the machine pressing on regardless.

edit- I think I just needed to ask the question to find the answer....

I think I just had the wrong hotkey code. Here is the answer, I think: http://www.cnczone.com/forums/mach-s...top-reset.html

Last edited by ChuckS; Fri 09 February 2018 at 13:12..
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  #57  
Old Fri 09 February 2018, 13:36
Robert M
Just call me: Robert
 
Lac-Brome, Qc
Canada
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Sorry for you "chaos" ...mate !
Wishing you sanity through all this !

Out of interest, how many hr ( approx) your spindle has / had before....telling you he's angry !?

Love to read when one ask a question....for then, seeing self answered
All the best,

Last edited by Robert M; Fri 09 February 2018 at 13:38..
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  #58  
Old Fri 09 February 2018, 13:53
pblackburn
Just call me: Pete #98
 
South-Central Pennsylvania
United States of America
There is a spindle repair company in Massachusetts that sells a decent Chinese spindle. You can get the bearings off ebay from them from their ebay store.
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  #59  
Old Fri 09 February 2018, 16:25
ChuckS
Just call me: Chuck #125
 
Mt Clemens, MI
United States of America
I just checked the maintenance log in Mach3. 1600 machine hours, 0 hours on the spindle. Hmmmm.

That spindle has been on the machine since May of 2016. I don't have a good guess as to number of use hours. I'm curious.... I'll poke thru my VFD manual and see if there is a number in the VFD somewhere.

I'll check out the repair company in Mass. Thanks!
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  #60  
Old Fri 09 February 2018, 17:37
pblackburn
Just call me: Pete #98
 
South-Central Pennsylvania
United States of America
Make sure of the dimensions of the bearings and contact them with any questions about the bearings. Here is their store on eBay http://stores.ebay.com/Precision-Bearings-Plus
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