5' x 5' CNC Router Build

Darren Wright

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After looking at the z axis, I found the bearing model numbers and ordered another set.
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I may just remove the old plate and use the 1/2" piece I bought to connect directly to the bearings and screw nut. I would need to trim about a half inch off the bottom piece to clear it though, probably between the two black lines, center of the two holes they pass by.
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The linear bearings are about 2.5" long, so I'll lose about 3.5" overall of travel, leaving a little over 8" of z travel. I will have some space to play with in where the spindle sets in its mount as well. Probably can swindle 10" to 12" overall between it and length of bits used.
 

Darren Wright

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Just been working on cables mostly. I also got the new bearings to beef up the z axis.

FedEx showed up today with a knick in the door. The poor delivery lady was wanting help getting the HF Bandsaw off the truck. Good thing I was working from home, or I wouldn't have gotten it today. I'll cut her some slack, it did weigh in at 145 lbs. ;)
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The base was a bit flimsy, until things we're bolted up. I had to use some clamps to keep it from spreading while putting the saw on top.
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I still have some assembly and then to tune it up.
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It's not as tall as it looks, the vertical table will only be about 33" off the floor, I may build a mobile base for this.
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Darren Wright

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Today over lunch I went up and finished installing the belt and housing, then tightened things up. I found the bell housing on the motor to be dented up pretty good, so removed it and massaged some of those back out.
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I also pulled open the gear box to check for burrs on the gears, found a couple of small ones on the spiral and filed them off, but not as bad as some I've seen on youtube reviews.
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I also was able to square up the vise and do a quick cut with it. I'm pretty happy with the cut, but will be adding some shielding to direct some of the shavings into a bucket.
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Tonight I pulled apart the z axis to install the new bearings, but one bearing had a snapped bolt, so ordered another set of bearings.
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I did pull the end plate and cut if off for clearance of the new z plate.
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I just tested the layout of the new plate and should still have about 10" of travel, so maybe up to 12" of z axis depending on bits used and the position of the spindle in the mount.
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Darren Wright

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Yesterday I had a little shop time before the grand kids came. I finished up the main power switch installation to the cabinet.
It is an outdoor enclosure mounted behind the side panel with an extension ring for it on the outer side of the panel with the paddle switch.
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I left enough slack to be able to remove it with the side panel for working on components inside.
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This is the main power, not the emergency switch(es), I have two of those being mounted, one on the front of the machine and one on top of the control panel.
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I also worked on the layout of bearings for the X axis and creating the new Z/Spindle plate. I'm using some existing threaded holes that are of the right spacing, but will be drilled out for through holes.
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T
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The Z Axis I've added the new bearings with oil zerks and used the old mounting plate for transferring drill holes for bearing/nut mounts.
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There is about 9.5" of movement, but will should have about 12" overall with being able to adjust the spindle and length of bits used.
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I'm just waiting on new screws to show up from amazon to finish things up.
 

Darren Wright

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I finished drilling holes for bearings, but still waiting on some additional screws and bolts to arrive.
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I went ahead and mocked up the gantry rails with the z-axis to get some final measurements.
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I should be able to go with 12" of clearance between the table and bottom of the gantry rails (x axis). I'm planning on several extra tapped holes for the spindle mount to be able to move it up/down a few inches.
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Here is the updated drawing using the new measurement for the gantry rails. The bottom rails of the gantry are 10" long, they look a bit short from this perspective, but should be wide enough hopefully. I may extend them to 12" though.
5x5Version2.png

BTW, I forgot how much nicer it is doing layouts with Dykem on metal. Most of the drilling layouts were done using my calipers, setting them to the correct distance and doing a scratch off of a straight edge. Makes for really clean layouts to work with.
 
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Darren Wright

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I didn't get the bolts I needed for the spindle mount, but the tap did arrive. I drilled the mount holes first, then used transfer punches to mark holes on the plate.
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I plan to add some additional holes for moving the mount upward on the z axis plate. I'll wait to have the bolts to attach the mount using the bottom holes on it, then use the transfer punches to mark the upper holes on each side. I'll be able to move up/down in 3/4" increments if need be.
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I'm planning to layout the z axis rails with the ball screw next on the rectangular steel they will be mounted on.
 
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Don Baer

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"I didn't get the bolts I needed for the spindle mount, but the tap did arrive. "....... seems to be some interruptions in the supply chain I an waiting on 10 items to finish up my machoine some of the stuff they are saying wont be here for another month... :oops:

You built is coming along great it's going to be a beast.:lurk::lurk:
 

Darren Wright

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"I didn't get the bolts I needed for the spindle mount, but the tap did arrive. "....... seems to be some interruptions in the supply chain I an waiting on 10 items to finish up my machoine some of the stuff they are saying wont be here for another month... :oops:

You built is coming along great it's going to be a beast.:lurk::lurk:
Thanks. It's supposed to be in the 70s here today and tomorrow, so hope to get some hours in at the shop to keep it rolling along.
 

Darren Wright

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I got the bolts I've been waiting on so mounted the spindle to get an idea of what my actual z travel and gantry clearance would be. I've got some room on where the spindle mount clamps down on the spindle at, so it looks I can easily do a 12" clearance on the gantry. Fully extended the spindle collet is at about 10 3/4" so some room for the bit to extend out. Fully retracted I can get the collet above 12" by sliding the spindle up in its mount.
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So I got an early start at worky work and cut out early to get the gantry framing started. I did a layout of the z axis on the rails, then added the ball screw to determine it's mounting.
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I determined that I needed to add some steel for the pillow block bearings to mount them. I did a little tuning on the HF metal band saw the other day and got it cutting pretty square.
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So a few holes/thread taps later, 40 of them in total, the X axis rails are mounted to the gantry. I've got it all clamped down to tack weld the next time I work on it. I had to order bolts for the pillow block bearings too.
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Darren Wright

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So I have to say, the HF horizontal/vertical band saw is totally worth the $250 if you have much metal work to do. So far it's cut every piece squarely and to the exact correct length. Tonight I put it into the vertical position to cut some corners off a piece and it worked like a champ. They were small enough pieces I didn't bother putting the table on, just free handed the cuts.

After work today I broke out the welder and tacked up the gantry frame. For the X axis ball screw and motor I needed to cut a hole in the side for the shaft/coupling to go through. Since I needed to add a piece of angle iron for the motor to mount to, I just square cut the hole. I plan to box it in with sheet metal to keep dust and chips out of the inside of the frame. The angle iron adds a bit of support to the edge of the upright since the hole was right up to the edge of the rectangular tubing.
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The gantry rollers will be mounted on some 5/8" x 3" aluminum stock I had in the scrap bin. I'll pre-drill some holes in the gantry "feet" and once I have the table welded up will square it up and transfer punch the holes to the aluminum to drill/tap for mounting. Using the aluminum plates will allow me to mount some cross braces during weld-up of the table to assure it's squared up and things are moving smoothly.
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Oh, the square blanks with Xs on them will be at the bottom of the legs, I'll drill them out in the center and weld some 1/2" nuts for leg levelers on them (1/2" carriage bolts).
 

Leo Voisine

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View attachment 110094

Here is the updated drawing using the new measurement for the gantry rails. The bottom rails of the gantry are 10" long, they look a bit short from this perspective, but should be wide enough hopefully. I may extend them to 12" though.


BTW, I forgot how much nicer it is doing layouts with Dykem on metal. Most of the drilling layouts were done using my calipers, setting them to the correct distance and doing a scratch off of a straight edge. Makes for really clean layouts to work with.
Darren, I was going to hold my tongue, but.

I just don't like the distance between the cutting action and the support trucks on the Z axis slide. That is a LOT of unsupported distance. Mine is like that also but not as bad as yours. One of my TO DO things to do is fix that. It is a weak point.. You will see it as chatter an screaming bits. Whatever you can do to minimize that the better you will be. Gussets, reinforce make it stiffer.
 

Darren Wright

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Darren, I was going to hold my tongue, but.

I just don't like the distance between the cutting action and the support trucks on the Z axis slide. That is a LOT of unsupported distance. Mine is like that also but not as bad as yours. One of my TO DO things to do is fix that. It is a weak point.. You will see it as chatter an screaming bits. Whatever you can do to minimize that the better you will be. Gussets, reinforce make it stiffer.
No worries. It's a concern of mine too, but will just have to see how it works. I was thinking I may add some 1/2" x 2" plate to the sides and box it if I'm seeing any flex or chatter. I did try pulling/pushing on it while fully extended and bolted to the steel frame I was actually lifting the back of the steel frame off the table slightly and didn't see any noticeable flex in the extended plate.
 

Leo Voisine

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No worries. It's a concern of mine too, but will just have to see how it works. I was thinking I may add some 1/2" x 2" plate to the sides and box it if I'm seeing any flex or chatter. I did try pulling/pushing on it while fully extended and bolted to the steel frame I was actually lifting the back of the steel frame off the table slightly and didn't see any noticeable flex in the extended plate.
Eyes cannot "see" flexing. Up and Down or side to side is not what I see, it is fore and aft. Mount an indicator to something sticking out of the spindle. Something like a 1/4" solid steel rod and use a fish scale then pull the rod. See how flex per pound you get. Boxing it will help for sure. I have not measured mine, but I just believe mine is flexing. Was thinking of something like a box as well.
 

Darren Wright

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Today the table started to get assembled.

I started with drilling the plates for the y axis bearings, then doing the layout of the Y axis rails to drill and tap for mounting holes. I attached the bearings to their plate, then clamped the two together to create the proper spacing. The top rails of the table were also clamped, then I centered the rails and clamped them for transfer punching the hole centers.
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It took a couple of hours, but got all 40 holes drilled/tapped by lunch.
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The gantry base pieces will be drilled before welding to the gantry, but I'll wait until the table is assembled and sit them on the bearing plates to transfer punch the holes to it for drilling/tapping to attach the gantry to them. This will give me some room for error.
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After lunch I drilled out the bottom plates for the legs, then welded 1/2-13 nuts to them and the plates to the bottom of the legs.
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I'm just using carriage bolts for levelers for now.
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Lastly I started assembly of the side panels of the table. I got both tacked up tonight.
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I have a few more pieces to weld on, but they came out really well. I'll do the final welds after the cross members are installed.
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Next will be cutting plates to attach cross-members to. All will be bolted to the side panels so that the table can be disassembled if need be.
 
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