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Starting My CNC Table



weldingtwopotatoes
06-20-2010, 01:32 AM
Well a couple of weeks ago I received my steppers, power supply and driver board. Hopefully in the next month I'll be able to get the table together. I'm building a basic table using square tubing for the rails with skate bearings for the slides. The only thing left for me to decide is how I'm going to do the Z axis. I unburied an old computer to dedicate to running the table; I have it setup to dual boot Ubuntu and XP so I can mess around with both emc2 and mach3. As I go along I'll be posting some pictures to this thread. Oh yea and I'll be welding it together with my trusty Longevity 520D as well as using it to run the plasma once finished.

Gadget
06-20-2010, 05:53 AM
Sounds like you have a good plan WTP. If you need any help with the EMC2 let me know. I have been using it for over a year now and think it's great. (free is good too). Will you be using the table for plasma cutting or just routing? If plasma cutting you will need to shield everything well due to the HF of the plasma cutter.
Dan

KHK
06-20-2010, 08:55 AM
Cool!! Sounds like you are on your way...

I have some left over parts that are yours just for thr shipping cost.
Two 1/2 in ground shaft, about 12 in long (Z axis???)
One bearing slide about 23 in long (Z axis??)
Let me know if you want them.

weldingtwopotatoes
06-20-2010, 11:14 PM
Dan: I do have a couple of setup questions in reference to EMC2. The settings are more confusing than with mach3, I was able to get mach3 running no problem but EMC2 asks for some things that mach3 never asked for and I don't have a clue what to put in. I have to go back through EMC2's setup and write down what it's asking for and relay them here on the board. I can't remember what it is off of the top of my head, something to do with the speed of the stepper driver. I definitely want to get EMC2 working though because I'm only using the demo version of mach3 and I would prefer to not have an additional expense and just use EMC2.

I'm going to be doing plasma cutting only with the table and I totally forgot about protecting the electronics from HF interference from the plasma. Do you have suggestions in regards to this? How did you do your shielding? I don't even know what material to use. I was just going to put the driver board and power supply into a project box.

Keith: Thanks for the offer; I'll definitely take you up on that. Your machine looks amazing my machine will be more like the ghetto third cousin to yours but as long as it gets the job done than I'm fine with it. I'm basing it on some builds that I saw on cnczone so I think it should work fine. Thanks so much for the help on the Z axis I'll send you a PM to work out the details.

Gadget
06-21-2010, 02:19 PM
WTP,
When you have the details I will be happy to help.

KHK
06-21-2010, 05:44 PM
I received your PM but it was all messed up.

Gadget
06-21-2010, 08:36 PM
I'm going to be doing plasma cutting only with the table and I totally forgot about protecting the electronics from HF interference from the plasma. Do you have suggestions in regards to this? How did you do your shielding? I don't even know what material to use. I was just going to put the driver board and power supply into a project box.


I'll put a post up tomorrow with photos showing how I shielded my CNC table for plasma use.

minnfatz
06-22-2010, 11:26 AM
I am interested to see how your build goes also. I recently purchased a build your own table from Precision Plasma. I ordered the motors and controls from CandCNC and they should be here this week. Right now the long pole in the tent is the Weldall 200PI. I will be using Mach 3 and Sheetcam. I can't wait to get started cutting and welding parts.

weldingtwopotatoes
06-23-2010, 12:14 PM
Gadget: So I booted up Ubuntu again to get the info that I was confused about. When setting up EMC2 it asks for information about the driver that is being used. It has many popular drivers (Gecko, Compumotor etc) that can be selected and then the option for "other".

I purchased a generic Chinese made driver so I would have to go with the "other" option. This is were I'm confused if you choose "other" you have to fill in information for "Step Time", "Step Space", "Direction Hold" and "Direction Setup". All fields are rated in nano seconds. The default is 5000ns for all fields. I tried to get an idea of what to put in by selecting some of the predefined drivers but they were all over the map, from 200ns to 20,000ns. So that wasn't any help.

I'm thinking of just plugging in the driver and stepper motors and seeing what happens with the default of 5000ns? I don't want to damage anything though? Although I don't think that it would damage anything but I'm not sure. When I was setting up Mach3 I didn't have to enter this information and I don't understand why?

Thank you for your help.

Gadget
06-23-2010, 05:57 PM
You can safely start with the defaults to see how it works WTP. There is a section in the setup wizard that will allow you to test the movement of the motors with the setup selected. You can tweak for best performance and select test to see how the changes worked.
There is also a utility for testing the computer speed adjustment. I'll have to look up the name but basically you run this utility and put the computer through a lot of activities (internet, disk access, graphics) while the utility is running, it will give you a number for setting the speed of the computer to punch in to the EMC setup. It's been awhile since I ran my setup and I will have to look at mine again to refresh my memory. I will try to get to this later this evening and will post another reply here.
I can also send you my config file if you want to look at it, let me know if you want to do that.
Mach as I recall has speed and acceleration settings but I really think you can fine tune EMC a bit better. You are correct in using the "other" option, that will allow you to set the program to best fit your motors and controllers. There is also a pretty comprehensive setup guide on the EMC2 website that may help.
I will be online later this evening (after about 8:30 EST) if you want to use the chat window for direct communication. I have a PC in the house with EMC on it and can go through the setup with you live.
Dan

weldingtwopotatoes
06-30-2010, 08:04 PM
Gadget: Thanks for the offer of walking through the setup on the live chat. I logged in for a second to try and catch you but just as soon as I logged in a friend stopped by who I promised I’d help get his deck and yard fixed up and ready for a party on the 4th, so I had to go.

As for EMC2 I’m familiar with the utility that you run and then put the computer through the paces to get the computers response time but that’s different than what I’m talking about. The part that I’m referring to has to do with the stepper motor driver boards response time. It sounds like the defaults will probably work fine; unfortunately I won’t be able to get to it to see if it works until after the holiday.

I will be picking up the last pieces of metal that I need for the table tomorrow and I should have time next week to start welding pieces together, so the table should start taking shape here soon.

Thank you,
Corey

Gadget
06-30-2010, 08:10 PM
Good luck Corey, I'm sure you will do well with the table and getting EMC2 configured. I will go through the setup on a test machine to refresh my memory so I can help.
I need a test machine in the house to test my GCode anyway.
Dan

KHK
06-30-2010, 09:36 PM
FYI when I did the final welding on my table I had some warp age. I had to use some shim stock to get every square and plumb.

weldingtwopotatoes
07-16-2010, 12:32 AM
I threw out my back the week after 4th of July (I'm way to young to be saying that but after a car accident a couple of years ago my back has never been the same) so I haven't gotten very far with the project but I have tomorrow and most of the weekend free so I should be able to make a dent in this project. I'm going to be taking photos as I go along so hopefully others can gain something from my build like I have gained from the photos of others builds.

KHK: Thanks for the heads up, I've thought about the warpage and hopefully I won't have too much problem with it. I'm going to be doing short welds and leaving plenty of time for the metal to cool at each point. In addition I've planned out how I’m going to weld it so that the welds will counterbalance the welds done on the opposite side. Or at least that's the idea; we’ll see how it works out.

Gadget
07-16-2010, 05:48 AM
Good luck, can't wait to see the photos.

weldingtwopotatoes
07-18-2010, 02:21 AM
So here are a couple of photos. It's just the cut pieces for the table and a test rail. I decided to build a test rail before going any further with the CNC build. Although I've seen several builds that use this type of rail, I've never seen one in action in person and I wanted to know that it would work. Plus, I am going to use this test rail on another project so it was a win/win.

The rail works quite well. It's a bit tedious getting it assembled and tighten up. Trying to find the sweet spot between having some slop and having it too tight took a little doing because there are so many spots to tighten down on, its easy to have it a little out of whack, but once you get everything lined up evenly and tightened evenly it seems to work well. Plus it should work better if I sand the rail smooth and put a little way oil on their.


1713

1714

Gadget
07-18-2010, 08:06 AM
Looks like a good start.

Charley Davidson
07-18-2010, 09:11 AM
Gonna go over to my friends house today or tomorrow that just built one with some input and help ( they gave him the right torch for cnc use) from Thermodyne. Not real sure if would want me to post any pics though as he is going to manufacture these.

This thread really interests me as I'm gonna want one in the near future for more art work type projects.
Nice work so far keep us updated with detailed pics Thanks

weldingtwopotatoes
07-19-2010, 12:41 AM
Got the cutting surface pieces welded together today. I did a real bonehead move when cutting the pieces. The angle pieces shown in the picture above, that are parallel to the square tubing were supposed to be the same length as the square tubing. So I had to weld on an extra 6 inches to each side. Turned out well, didn’t finish until after it got dark so I’ll get a picture of that posted later this week.

I need to swing by the metal supplier and get a piece of metal strap to make brackets so the legs can bolt onto the cutting bed. Otherwise id have the legs on it too. I want the legs to detach instead of welded on for future ease of moving. Otherwise this thing would be a pain to have to move.

I’m Arc welding the table together even though Mig welding it would be faster. I just thought it would be neat for it to be Longevity built since it will be Longevity powered. Plus I don’t do all that much Arc welding so I could use the practice anyways. I really blew the vertical up welds that I tried; vertical down was ok and flat was fine.

Charley: If you get a chance to take some snap shots of that CNC build it’s always appreciated to see different builds.

22lambo
07-19-2010, 01:36 AM
Can't wait to see the final project! I always wanted a CNC :(

Gadget
07-19-2010, 06:29 AM
Can't wait to see the final project! I always wanted a CNC :(

There are quite a few plans out there for making a CNC table. You can assemble one for around a grand which really isn't too bad. Of course that doesn't include the plasma cutter.

22lambo
07-19-2010, 09:06 AM
There are quite a few plans out there for making a CNC table. You can assemble one for around a grand which really isn't too bad. Of course that doesn't include the plasma cutter.

Sounds awesome but only thing is I am 16 and it's difficult to get $1000. Also I would rather spend that money on something else but it would be really cool to have one though.

Gadget
07-19-2010, 04:06 PM
Point taken, maybe someday you will be ready for one.

22lambo
07-19-2010, 08:26 PM
Point taken, maybe someday you will be ready for one.

When I get older I want to have a garage or shop with all these tools so when ever I come up with an idea (which is quite often), I can make it on the spot.

Sorry for hijacking the thread!

Gadget
07-20-2010, 06:39 AM
When I get older I want to have a garage or shop with all these tools so when ever I come up with an idea (which is quite often), I can make it on the spot.

Sorry for hijacking the thread!

I'm guilty of hijacking threads myself.
Dan

weldingtwopotatoes
07-21-2010, 11:52 PM
When I get older I want to have a garage or shop with all these tools so when ever I come up with an idea (which is quite often), I can make it on the spot.

Sorry for hijacking the thread!


No worries, I wish I got involved with this stuff when I was 16. I know a guy that got a job at a local wine tank company when he was 16, 12 years later he's the shop foreman and making very good money. Welding is a great profession to go into if your thinking along those lines, if not it's still a great skill to have.

22lambo
07-22-2010, 12:08 AM
No worries, I wish I got involved with this stuff when I was 16. I know a guy that got a job at a local wine tank company when he was 16, 12 years later he's the shop foreman and making very good money. Welding is a great profession to go into if your thinking along those lines, if not it's still a great skill to have.

Yep, welding is a great skill and welders can get paid well too. I love working with my hands and want a career that involve doing that.

jakazz
07-22-2010, 09:21 AM
Yeah I would like to have even known about cnc at 16.........@#$%@#$%@#$%@#$% there wasnt even cell phones out then, and lets not even speak of the the internet and all the resources on here

22lambo
07-23-2010, 12:24 AM
Yeah I would like to have even known about cnc at 16.........@#$%@#$%@#$%@#$% there wasnt even cell phones out then, and lets not even speak of the the internet and all the resources on here

I am very thankful for the knowledge and resources I have :)

weldingtwopotatoes
07-23-2010, 08:39 PM
Here's a photo of the cutting bed welded together with the 6 inch angle extensions welded to each end. I'd have the legs done too but the power switch to my welder broke. The switch is stuck in the ON position. The switch will move but it won't snap to the off position, so tomorrow I'm going to call Longevity. I took the case off and it doesn't look to difficult to swap out the switch so hopefully they will just send me a replacement switch and I will change it out myself.


I could keep using the machine but I donít feel comfortable plug in and unplugging a 220 plug with the machine on. As it was I didnít feel very comfortable having to unplug the machine while it was on but I had no other choice. I didnít know what to expect considering sometimes when plugging and unplugging things on 110 youíll get a quick spark.




1723

SICFabrications
07-30-2010, 12:21 AM
any progress on either the cnc table or the welder repair?

weldingtwopotatoes
07-30-2010, 07:41 PM
I've attached a photo of were I'm at on the CNC. I have the legs bolted to the cutting bed. No progress yet on the welder repair. To be honest I'm a little disappointed in the whole thing. First about the switch going out in the first place and Simon told me it would "probably go out on Monday". I live only a couple of hours north of them and I havenít received it and itís now Friday. As an example I ordered some brewing supplies on Wednesday from Williams Brewing which is in San Leandro, it was sent ground and I got it the next day. So I don't know what the deal is with the switch or when I'll receive it.

At this point, Iím going to be gone next week for a family reunion so if it shows up I wonít be able to get to it until the following week.



1742

weldingtwopotatoes
07-30-2010, 07:45 PM
I forgot to mention about the photo above, I'm going to take some 1" angle pieces cut about 3" long and tack them into the angle frame that's in the photo leaving enough room between them to slip pieces of 1/8" strap between them to make up the cutting surface.

SICFabrications
07-30-2010, 09:29 PM
if i had the time, i would like to build cnc plasma table... Right now, i just have a burn table with a duplicator.... It uses a flame torch, but after switching from acetylene to propylene , mapp gas, it cuts very well....for a manual table...lol...

weldingtwopotatoes
07-31-2010, 08:07 PM
SICFabrications: You have a nice list of toys there, I looked at your website and your work looks amazing. If you ever decided to do a CNC I'm sure you could put it together rather quickly.

SICFabrications
08-01-2010, 12:15 AM
building the frame and table would be no problem.... it's the electronics, automation and actuators that i have problems with... its a little hard for me to admit my own difficulties and short comings, but there it is. i leave the automation to someone a little more computer savvy... i could figure it out, just dont have time to do so

---------- Post added at 01:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:13 AM ----------


SICFabrications: You have a nice list of toys there, I looked at your website and your work looks amazing.

thanks for that!

weldingtwopotatoes
08-02-2010, 02:32 AM
I understand not having the time, it was probably about a month ago that I said I wanted to have this thing done in a month and all I've done is weld a few pieces of angle together and attached the legs. I thought this summer was going to be wide open for doing projects but it’s amazing how quickly my summer free time has been filled with other stuff that I wasn't expecting. My new goal is to have the thing together by the end of summer. We’ll see how that goes.

As for the electronics, I was a little worried about understand it myself but it’s really not that complicated. All be it all I've done so far is spin the motors unattached to anything but the computer program setup wasn't difficult. In addition it would be even easier if I was willing to put a little more money into it but considering it’s just for hobby purposes I couldn't justify that to my self so I'm trying to do the cheapest build possible, which means a few more hoops to jump through.

weldingtwopotatoes
08-08-2010, 09:54 PM
So the replacement switch arrived while I was gone to my family reunion. Now that I have the welder working again I can get back to getting this thing built.

ISKI
11-05-2010, 12:04 PM
How do you know which stepper motors the hobby CNC driver board can operate?

Gadget
11-05-2010, 01:07 PM
The HobbyCNC website has the information needed to determine what motors run with the board. Basically it comes down to whether they are bipolar or not and the current the motors require. Another consideration is the number of wire leads from the motor. The website will explain these terms if they are unfamiliar to you. www.hobbycnc.com

KHK
11-05-2010, 09:21 PM
I think it took me 8 or 9 months to complete mine. All the "OTHER PROJECTS" got in the way, plus it was necessary to spread the $$ over many months

ISKI
11-08-2010, 06:46 AM
This is great information. I'm sure that a good part of the time was spent deciding which part to buy, and then testing the operation. I just glad that I can copy what you have have already tested.

Iggy

brucer
12-29-2010, 08:16 PM
you guys sure you have to dedicate a computer for ubuntu? you can install ubuntu on windows just like any other program, basicly you boot up windows then run ubuntu in windows.. i'm not sure if the emc2 software will run like this or not.. might be something you guys could try anyways.... ubuntu is a nice os anyways, if more programs would start using the linux platform i would use it as my main os anyways.. ubuntu 10.04 is about as nice of an os as they come..

Gadget
12-29-2010, 08:50 PM
I think you would have latency problems running Ubuntu in Windows. I think you might be able to compile EMC2 into Windows though but I'll bet it won't be easy.
Ubuntu 10.04 has quite a repository of programs now, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Sheetcam has a Linux install too.
Dan

Charley Davidson
12-29-2010, 09:12 PM
Seems Mr.Gadget has hijacked your pictures lol when I click the link it takes me to pics of his oil burner Hmmmmm

Gadget
12-30-2010, 07:15 AM
What link is that Charley, I want to look into that.
I looked back and found the link, this was not something done intentionally. I have notified Simon of the issue to have the developers look into it. We can't have our images cross referenced or it will get confusing fast.
Dan

ISKI
12-30-2010, 12:26 PM
Maybe it's my oil burner. The front where the burner fits in had cracked, and I just finished welding it. Now I need to find a new fire box.

Gadget
12-30-2010, 03:12 PM
I figured out the image issue. The image for that post was lost in the hack attack. The database lost the reference to the attachment number and started handing out numbers from the last good post (prior to hack) all numbers assigned after that started incrementing over what would have been images but were lost. So new images may have a number the same as one of the lost images and show up in odd places. Hope that makes sense, it is perfectly clear to me ;-) Bottom line, you may see new images in old posts for awhile. Once we get to image numbers that don't link to lost images things should straighten out.
Dan

Charley Davidson
12-30-2010, 04:16 PM
I figured that was the deal as I've seen it before from another forum on my own pics, was just trying to be funny Gadget about the hijacking thing

Gadget
12-30-2010, 04:23 PM
No problem Charley. I did want to figure out why this happened though.