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Tools of the Trade If you have a question about what tools we use in creating our trucks here. Also discuss any tool experiences you have, the good the bad and the ugly! Hand tools to all out CNC machines!


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  #16  
Old 10-02-2012, 01:12 PM
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Great that you will have soon something to play with! What kind of parts are going to make on this?


I've been thinking of buying something for myself for a long time but still haven't done the last step. I don't know when I will do it :S
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  #17  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:23 PM
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I'm a woodworker, so the things I do with it will be related to my profession. I probably won't do anything RC-related. Theoretically, there's a lot I could do with it in that vein, though. Chassis, suspension parts, etc. would be the most logical, but I don't see myself doing that.
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2012, 09:59 PM
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Last update for 2012.

Well, I wanted to have my machine at least in-hand if not outright functioning by this time, and like always I didn't make it. Work is so overwhelming that my health has been seriously compromised, and then there's nothing after the current job. Kinda looking bleak in my little corner. Things will hopefully get back to an even keel and I can get this moving along again, probably with an ETA of Q2 2013.
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2013, 11:54 PM
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Well, I've been doing some more number crunching. This time I'm closer to actual costs, so here they are. But before that, Zenbot CNC has a new size available as of Feb 2013: the 2448. I'm going to compare it to the CNC Router Parts 2' x 4'.

Zenbot CNC 2448:
  • Zenbot 2448 3-axis CNC router with HDPE chassis, Gecko G540 4-axis controller, Mach 3 software, 285oz./in. NEMA 23 steppers - $2,347 (direct)
  • UPS Ground S&H to AK - $604
  • Hitachi M12vc 2.5HP variable speed production router - $120 (Amazon)
  • KentCNC standard dust shoe for M12vc router - $135 (KentCNC)
$3,206 - cutters, vacuum, computer, CAD software not included.


CNC Router Parts 2' x 4' machine:
  • CNC Router Parts 2' x 4' complete hardware set with NEMA 23 fittings - $2,000 (CNCRouterParts)
  • CNC Router Parts 80mm spindle mount - $95 (CNCRouterParts)
  • CNC Router Parts Complete Cable Track kit - $200 (CNCRouterParts)
  • GMT 80mm 2.2kW (3HP) brushless water-cooled spindle, uses ER20 collet - $435 (UgraCNC)
  • Hitachi WJ200 2.2kW 220V/1PH VFD - $440 (UgraCNC)
  • Hitachi WJ200 Frequency Control Potentiometer (gives me analog control of spindle speed) - $30 (UgraCNC)
  • ER20 1/2" and 1/4" collets, clamping nut - $37 (UgraCNC)
  • Heat Exchanger 2X dual 120mm fan radiator - $75 (UgraCNC)
  • 158Gal/Hr water pump - $20 (UgraCNC)
  • Artsoft Mach 3 CAM software + "Mill Add-On" - $215 (UgraCNC)
  • KentCNC standard dust shoe for 80mm spindle - $135 (KentCNC)
  • NEMA 23 570oz./in. 3-axis stepper motor/controller kit - $543 (KellingCNC)
$4,225 - cutters, vacuum, computer, CAD software, and SHIPPING COSTS not included.

Okay, so there's roughly $1,000 difference (I expect that it will be more once shipping is figured into the CNCRP components). The CNC Router Parts machine gives me access to bigger steppers (570oz./in. vs 285oz./in.; also I can go up to the NEMA 34s if I need to for an extra $150 on the hardware set, and the motors are about $300 more from Kelling CNC), a far more rigid chassis (8020 Aluminum extrusions vs. HDPE), and I have chosen a 3HP spindle vs. the make-do Hitachi M12vc.

I'm prepared for the total price for each to creep up another $500 to $1,000 once every little thing has been fully accounted for because I know that I'm forgetting several items. Anyway, this is where I am. In the long run, I'd so much rather get the better machine first. If all I'm doing is wood and HDPE/UHMW, then the Zenbot is fine, but I expect to be doing some aluminum, and rigidity is going to become a serious issue quickly. That 8020 extrusion isn't going to flex like the HDPE frame will.

Being broke sucks.

EDIT:

If I do the CNC Router Parts rig, but forego the water-cooled spindle at first (upgrade to that later) and use the Hitachi M12vc instead (probably several), the prices are pretty close to identical (granted shipping still hasn't been figured on the CNCRP stuff yet). Here's what it looks like:
  • CNC Router Parts 2' x 4' complete hardware set with NEMA 23 fittings - $2,000 (CNCRouterParts)
  • CNC Router Parts M12vc router mount - $95 (CNCRouterParts)
  • CNC Router Parts Complete Cable Track kit - $200 (CNCRouterParts)
  • Hitachi M12vc 2.5HP variable speed production router - $120 (Amazon)
  • Artsoft Mach 3 CAM software + "Mill Add-On" - $215 (UgraCNC)
  • KentCNC standard dust shoe for M12vc router - $135 (KentCNC)
  • NEMA 23 570oz./in. 3-axis stepper motor/controller kit - $543 (KellingCNC)
$3,308 and this is with a more rigid chassis and steppers with twice the power. Even if the shipping is another $600 to $700, I think this might be worth it.
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2013, 12:55 AM
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Sounds pretty high end price wise... The table itself look bulletproof.

I think your definitely better off with stronger motors / electronics in the long run. The cost difference isn't enough to worry / justify smaller motors.
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  #21  
Old 03-14-2013, 01:24 AM
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That's what I'm thinking. I figure even if I don't get the water-cooled spindle, I'm still ahead with an aluminum frame rig with beefier steppers. I chose the NEMA 23 570s since the cost was pretty good and they're the most powerful 23-sized units Kelling sells. If I move to the NEMA 34s, they start at 640 oz./in. and go up to 1,805 oz./in. Part of me would like to go ahead and configure my kit from CNC Router Parts with the 34-sized steppers because retrofitting after the thing is built might prove to be a huge pain. On the other hand, it's quite an increase in price ($150 for the kit, and another ~ $180 for the Kelling motor/driver set with 640s [my estimate was a little high in my previous post]). I'm not sure at what point the stepper strength hits a point of diminishing returns.

As for price, a good tablesaw, like a Powermatic Model PM2000 or a Delta Unisaw, would be similar. Granted, this is a different kind of tool, but in a shop scenario its price is about on par with other core tools. I'm going to be building guitars, various art pieces, complex carvings, and other intricate routing jobs where building router templates is too time consuming or impractical. I've decided that 2' x 4' is going to be perfect. The smaller unit I thought about before is really just too small.
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:22 PM
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I am thinking of just building a Rockcliff model D myself. But then my budget isn't half what your planning on spending.

http://www.rockcliffmachine.com/
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  #23  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:46 PM
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I don't want to spend that much, believe me. Cost may yet prevent me from completing this.
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  #24  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:00 AM
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I am seriously thinking of making mine arduino controlled like my 3d printer. If possible it bypasses a LOT of expensive hardware / software. Still doing a lot of research of whether its worth while doing...
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:11 AM
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I believe Arduino control is how Ben Heckendorn did his portable CNC router. I can't remember - I have the video tucked away somewhere and I don't have the bandwidth to spool it up off YouTube, so I can't verify that. Here it is anyway.



I think he still uses a computer for certain parts of the cutting process, though.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnarok View Post
I believe Arduino control is how Ben Heckendorn did his portable CNC router. I can't remember - I have the video tucked away somewhere and I don't have the bandwidth to spool it up off YouTube, so I can't verify that. Here it is anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56YIwNz4QYM


I think he still uses a computer for certain parts of the cutting process, though.
Thank's I'd forgotten about that episode. That's exactly what I am looking for. I have 3 of those arduino uno boards already.

The reason that he was using a computer is that he didn't do the mods required to run the arduino by itself. (pretty much add a screen, encoder and sdcard, and then turn them on in the firmware) Assuming the firmware he uses is using the stock arduino library's.

Running off to find the build thread...
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  #27  
Old 03-15-2013, 04:32 PM
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As a side note that may not go anywhere, I've been looking at Excitech CNCs distributed by Kelling CNC/Automation Technologies, specifically the KL6060 "desktop." All aluminum, 28" x 28" work area, and $1,500. All I have to do is provide a controller and spindle/router. I'd probably replace the motors too. 282 oz./in.? I'd rather have their 570 oz./in. units, and I could upgrade the motors and add the required controller in one $580 shot.

EDIT: No. Just…no.
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  #28  
Old 03-16-2013, 01:21 AM
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OC, to go back to something you brought up earlier, I gotta say that the RockcliffCNCs do look good. As far as "build-from-plans" rigs go, I like the looks of this a lot better than the Solsylva. After a bunch of studying, the only thing I dislike about the Solsylva is the use of belts - I'd rather do direct-drive Acme thread or R&P. The larger Rockcliff uses Acme rods.

Here's a thread over at CNCZone about a relative of the Chinese Soviet Sweatshop Special I mentioned in my last post. http://www.cnczone.com/forums/chines...40_router.html I'm studying it pretty closely. I found one CNCZ user that said it was the biggest lump of dump he'd ever run across. I have a Chinese master controller for my music rig, and I'm very displeased with it, and I fear another experience of similar nature with a much more expensive piece of equipment.

EDIT: As I dig deeper and deeper, I should probably run as fast and far away from those units as possible.

Something else I'm contemplating: in an earlier post I mentioned that just going with a kit or semi-complete unit was going to be less of a headache than making my own from zero or using plans as a starting point. I think I'm about to 180 on that one, or at least toy with the idea of homebrewing it. I can definitely get the machine I want with all the features I want and need from a manufacturer, but it's so far out of my budget that it makes all of this a non-starter. I have no problem building the thing out of 3/4" or 1" HDPE at first as long as I replace the frame with aluminum at a later date (maybe bamboo? - check out YouTube user "slomove" - it's pretty cool).
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:04 AM
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I'm really digging the Joe CNC 4' x 4' as well.

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I think I'd want to try to transpose the dimensions to 2' x 3' instead of the full 4' x 4'. I wouldn't worry about it if I had more space to dedicate to this.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:39 PM
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Here's a vid I just watched showing the assembly of a Rockcliff. It's MDF, which I'd avoid using at all costs. However, this is a very informative video for the first 3 or so minutes. One gets to see that it's a pretty quick assembly of the axes once everything is cut and hardware is bolted up.



I might go this route, and if I do it'll be HDPE or aluminum. It looks like a really nice medium-duty machine that could work well for my early stuff, and a lot of my later stuff. A CNCRouterParts or Joe's CNC Hybrid is still where I'd like to end up, but this might be the perfect transition machine.
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