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Thread: A little update on my CNC ... work holding :)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,367

    A little update on my CNC ... work holding :)

    So the last couple days I've been working on my work holding capability on my machine ...

    Here are a few pics of what I got done today ... the tracks for the vertical overhang:

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    This should handle most of the long pieces.

    Then I started out on the triangle bits ... it's hard to describe just how much hardware is involved for each chunk of track ... each one gets 12 bolts so it won't flex no matter where I grab things:

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    And then mounting the triangle bits ...

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    Notice that the board overhangs the rails some - this is my attempt at keeping some of the dust off those X rails. It may prove to be futile ... but it might work out. We'll see.



    So now I'm about ready to flatten. But before I do, I think I'll dial in the screws/steppers so that all the distances mach3 says to move are actually moving that distance. Once the top surface is flat, I'll work out ensuring each axis is square.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,256
    Jason i truly admire you and what you have done. You gotta be one of the rare breed of people that given time and money can basically do anything. Have you actually stopped to reflect on this ability. That machine is looking tremendous.

    I have question though, what grade of aluminum is the track. I ask because i used some t track in a router table and found that the bolts i used to secure things have over time had a negative impact on the track guide in the area where the head pulls up. When the need arises to clamp something down the aluminum gives and the next time that area is required it plays havoc with trying to tighten something down precisely in a only slightly different location.

    So i was wondering if this is going to happen to you with that track you have. ? I mean you gotta hold things tight for milling and precise milling at that.
    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,367
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Jason i truly admire you and what you have done. You gotta be one of the rare breed of people that given time and money can basically do anything. Have you actually stopped to reflect on this ability. That machine is looking tremendous.
    Thank you for the compliments. I've been hearing that a lot lately ... to me, it's just like any other project: A series of small steps broken down and completed. I feel like the only thing I add to the mix is an obsessive personality that sticks with things quite a bit longer than other folks do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I have question though, what grade of aluminum is the track. I ask because i used some t track in a router table and found that the bolts i used to secure things have over time had a negative impact on the track guide in the area where the head pulls up. When the need arises to clamp something down the aluminum gives and the next time that area is required it plays havoc with trying to tighten something down precisely in a only slightly different location.

    So i was wondering if this is going to happen to you with that track you have. ? I mean you gotta hold things tight for milling and precise milling at that.
    Very good point - I've run into that before myself. I'm not sure what the grade of this aluminum is, but in fastening the MDF triangles down, I used the track and a pair of clamps on each leg. I really cinched them down very tightly and I didn't notice any deformation in the slots thankfully. I used to have some of Rockler's blue 5/16" stuff and it would give me trouble like you describe pretty often.

    The track I used for the vertical overhang might give me that same fit. It's some bargain stuff from Peachtree and when driving the screws to mount them I was able to deform the area under the screw head pretty severely. I'll be keeping a close eye on that stuff. Thankfully it's easier to change than the stuff I have on top.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,448
    Nice work on the hold downs Jason. I wish I had done an overhang on mine, will do so on the next one. I've thought about adding some little brushes on each side to keep them swept off ahead of the carriage.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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