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Thread: problem solved

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180

    problem solved

    Problem… the fully assembled 700lb 56 x 40 x 70 bot arrived in a huge crate bolted to a pallet, but I had to get it through a standard 32 inch wide door and down a flight of steps to my basement shop. So first thing I did was disassemble it into small enough and light enough chunks that could be carried through the door and down into the shop. Once there I reassembled it, realigned it to factory specs and then wired it to 220V service. I managed to keep all of the wiring for the stepper motors etc coming from the control box that mounts on the side of the bot hooked up throughout the entire move. Here is the bot in several major pieces on my cellar floor.



    The idea was to rebuild the base, and then set the main top section back onto it. Although another guy (my neighbor who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time) and I were able to work that main section with the Y and Z axis down into the shop, while my wife and his wife trailed behind us tethered by wires carrying the control box and stepper motor, it was too heavy to lift high enough to set it back down on the base. So after I rebuilt the base I ratcheted the top gantry section up a foot at a time keeping blocking and horses underneath in case something went wrong.




    Added a second set of racheting hold downs (little extra insurance, just in case) and then removed safety net underneath (scary part) while the better half helped steady the top since it was front heavy and would not hang level by itself as I slid the base under, lined everything up and slowly lowered it into place.



    Bolted it all together, attached control box and switches etc and wired for 220V, then ran a 110V line from the box to an outlet (controlled by the control box) I mounted on the back of the bot for the router.


    Spent an evening meticulously lining up the axis so all were dead on square to each other again, and then bolted a plywood base to the aluminum table. 1 ¼ inch thick plywood (3/4 and ½ glued together) with plenty of T slots for holding down jigs/wood etc. Then I built a quick and dirty base for the computer under it, and a table to the right of it for the keyboard/monitor and a little desk space. Point of all this is… there is usually a way to get through most problems with a little head scratching.

    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,831
    I was going to say "Nice, but watizzit?"
    Instead I Googled it.
    Still "Nice". But that's an understatement.
    Looks like a very amazing piece of equipment that is extremely versatile. Congratulations. Do send pictures as you make stuff with it.
    I love your shop, it looks well used. A used shop is a loved shop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I was going to say "Nice, but watizzit?"
    Instead I Googled it.
    Still "Nice". But that's an understatement.
    Looks like a very amazing piece of equipment that is extremely versatile. Congratulations. Do send pictures as you make stuff with it.
    I love your shop, it looks well used. A used shop is a loved shop.
    Sorry Frank... you're right, I never actually posted the model number etc. This is a Shopbot BT32alpha, the smallest CNC Shopbot makes. For those who might not know, a CNC (computer numericaly controlled) router is basically just that, a computer controlled router. The computer controls the movement of the router in 3 axis, called x, y and z. In this model, the x axis is the table which moves in and out, the y axis is the gantry from which the router hangs from, and moves left to right, and the z axis is the router itself moving up and down. You program the computer to control the movement of the router which then cuts/bores/carves etc a design or pattern into the wood secured on the table. There is definatly a learning curve to these things, but it's not rocket science by any means. If you're even halfway computer literate, you will be up and running in no time, as most (like the Shopbots) come with plenty of software tools that make it much easier to get where you're going. In my case, this was a business investment in my fledgling woodshop business. In 5 years when I retire I plan on doing this full time. I'm learning the CNC ropes now so I can ramp up to that end slowly, eventually into serious semi-production mode, learning as I go.
    Last edited by Dave Kauffman; 06-10-2008 at 04:38 PM.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    You sneaky so and so! I didn't know you were getting a ShopBot.

    Congrats, Dave. That thing has the potential to be quite a moneymaker.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,831
    There is a market for custom gunstock duplicating. My enterprise in that direction failed because I bought a hunka junka instead of something like your Bot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
    Posts
    499
    Dave, very cool.....

    What exactly are you planning to produce?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    dave dont tell then untill you get it patented or they will steal your nest egg i can see that you got a plan and that is the frist step in the right direction.. i dont think that could do a gunstock frank but it has many other capabilities.. you just need to understand puter talk... congrats dave and enjoy the learning curve.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    dave dont tell then untill you get it patented or they will steal your nest egg i can see that you got a plan and that is the frist step in the right direction.. i dont think that could do a gunstock frank but it has many other capabilities.. you just need to understand puter talk... congrats dave and enjoy the learning curve.
    Thanks guys for the encouragement. Actually I plan to use the bot at least in the beginning to semi-mass produce some of the things I do now, like the somewhat labor intenstive cracker holder I posted once and showed how I made them. It's been one of my biggerst money makers, and with the bot I think I can not only semi-mass produce a better product with closer tolerances, but most importantly do it faster. Time is the biggest enemy to making a profit in my shop now, as it is in many. Bottom line is, I bought it to automate some of the things I do by hand or with dedicated jigs now, but modify that jig or design a new one, and then use that jig on the bot instead of the router table. You can load up a bot table with say 30 blanks (situated exactly on a template or jig) and then push the button and have the bot do the whole table at once, one at a time.

    Eventually I do have plans to make all wooden gear clocks, similar to the Thomas wooden clock, and the bot would make the gears and such once I dialed all that in. That's the rub... time to design the jigs and write the programs (but I ain't complaining). There is indeed a learning curve for more creative things like intricate wooden gears. Still, the Shopbots do come with enough good software to do that kind of thing no problem, and as far as tolerances, even small gears are within its capability with the right bit. So I'm going to try and tackle it.

    Larry, Frank, there are some fellows that do make custom gunstocks on a 3D bot like this one, but you are right, I understand that it would be a challenge. Tricky stuff, about as complicated as 3D CNC gets with all the angles and curves you will be routing on something like a gunstock.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

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