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View Poll Results: If you only have an option of fitting one machine to the gantry, what would it be?

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  • Router

    334 80.10%
  • Dremel

    41 9.83%
  • Something else (please specify what)

    42 10.07%
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  1. #1
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    Router or dremel?

    Ok, I have a budget and it'll only stretch to ONE machine.

    What do I buy? A router or a dremel-type tool? Any other ideas?

    I'd want to be able to do PCBs as well as wood (for redesigning and reworking my machine). Working with aluminium is similar to wood so I guess the same machine would cover both?

    Is 1000W enough? Variable speed is a must I guess?


    If the answer is "router" then what bits can be used with routers? Are they specific to routers?

  2. #2
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    Personally I'd go with a variable speed router and not cut too tight on the budget corner. If you plan to ever do any heavy cutting at all the larger spindle and bearings of the router will be a big plus. Paying a bit more to get one with collet capacity larger than the 1/4" on the cheapies will also help by making possible use of larger tooling such as fly cutters.



    Tiger

  3. #3
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    I was thinking of going for the best machine my budget would stretch to so I don't have to buy a new one a few months down then line when it starts showing its weaknesses. So that's why only one is an option. I'd rather have one proper machine than two cheapies.

  4. #4
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    Dremel's are absolutely not the way to go. They are weak, and have lots of play and run-out in the spindle shaft.
    Probably the best way to go is the RotoZip by Bosch. They have a variable speed model, and the quality of the new Bosch ones is very good indeed.
    It sounds like you are going for a smallish router, so the larger 1/2" collet machines would be too big and heavy for your application anyway.
    There are any number of bits you can use in your router. The most common one you will likely use on wood is a 1/4" spiral up-cutting router bit, also known as an endmill. The upwards spiral draws the cut chips up and out of the cut preventing clogging of your bit and burning of the material you are cutting.
    For your PCB's, you will likely go with a smaller diameter tool, 1/8" or even 1/16" and smaller of course for drilling the holes.
    Colin

  5. #5
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    I wonder if my machine will handle a router with a 1/2" spindle ? Hopefully!
    Those new Bosch Cobas ( 1 hp trimrouter) look pretty cool.

  6. #6
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    Ok I bought a router. It has 6 and 8mm collets. And I think when the time comes to have something thicker than 8mm it shouldn't be a big problem to make new collets or even fit a drill chuck to it.

  7. #7
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed_R
    I wonder if my machine will handle a router with a 1/2" spindle ? Hopefully!
    Those new Bosch Cobas ( 1 hp trimrouter) look pretty cool.
    You mean the Colt?
    Gerry

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  8. #8
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    yeah that's it, the Colt.

  9. #9
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    Cool I decided to use a Makita Die Grinder

    When i designed my router, I decided to use a Makita Die Grinder #906H, 30,000 RPM dual bearing spindle, easy to repair, made from solit cast aluminum, not plastic! But most of all is was very slender, at 2.8" diameter!

    I took the spindle nose casting off and used my lathe to turn it round, to make it easier to clamp on to!

    The spindle has a maximum of 1/4" dimeter collet, but I made a reducer for 3/16" and 1/8" shank endmills and bits!

    Dremel's are really nice, and not as noisy as my die grinder, but the ergonomic handle designs are impossible to clamp on to!

    In my opinion!
    Eric
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  10. #10
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    A cartridge spindle...

  11. #11
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    Just bought the COlt, it bolts up fine to the carriage and its' got a variable speed. I guess I am limiting myself to 1/4 inch shafts and reducers but since my machine isn't all that fast anyway I don't think I'll be spinning many big bits.

  12. #12
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    The best inexpensive spindle I've found is the er16 spindle made by Sherline. I bought two and both had less than .0005 runout 1/2" from the collet end. Certainly these are not for hard work but if you have enough time and are looking strictly for precision, it can't be beat for the price. Cheap speed would be a mini mill head from littlemachineshop.com with some work. Never a dremel.

  13. #13
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    Does the er16 spndel do well with router bits? I'm cutting wood almost exclusively and that usually requires a higher rpm due to the bit geometry.

  14. #14
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    Slow would be the keyword. You would have to lessen the preload and the precision a little, but up to a 3/8" shaft router bits could be used at 10k. I think the pcb's would look tighter with the er16 and precision cutting of aluminum would be best served with the Sherline.

  15. #15
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    Other than my DW610 router (all metal) I would like to try the Kress 900 watt. It seems to be quite popular in Europe but is hard to find in the USA.

    Jason

  16. #16
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    I am completely new to the subject and this forum so please excuse the naivety.
    What i have in mind is a CNC router to produce complex shapes such as [cabriol legs, leaf patterns etc]in say 1 1/2 material [wood].

    As tolerances in wood are relatively course, 1/16" is generally acceptable could the basic machine structure be made from seasoned wood ?

    I have read a couple,one actually, articles on programming which essentially referred to operation in in linear axis modes .For complex shapes would it be required to build a pattern and run a stylus on the pattern and somehow introduce this to the computer so that it can replicate the pattern to the cutterheads at a later time .Or does the stylus follow the patern and the cutterhead run on a real time basis .

    I realize you guys are for the most part whizzes at this stuff and I understand if these questions are probably basic to you .That being the case please offer a suitable text that an utter novice could get answers to these basic problems .

    I am a custom woodworker and basically long in the tooth most of the linear stuff I can easily do with the complex forms the first one is interesting by the time you get to the twelth you start wishing for a bloody earthquake or such.......

  17. #17
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    I have read a couple,one actually, articles on programming which essentially referred to operation in in linear axis modes .For complex shapes would it be required to build a pattern and run a stylus on the pattern and somehow introduce this to the computer so that it can replicate the pattern to the cutterheads at a later time .Or does the stylus follow the patern and the cutterhead run on a real time basis .
    Mike, there are a couple ways to go about it. The way you mention, you use a probe in the machine. The machine basically probes your pattern, in a grid that you specify, and records the coordinates of you pattern. You then use a CAD or CAM program to turn that coordinate data (called a point cloud) into a 3D model. Then use a CAM program to generate toolpaths for the 3D model. Probing can take a very long time.

    The other way is to just create the model in a CAD program, and let the CAM program create the toolpaths from that model. This way no pattern is needed, but you'll may need good CAD skills, depending on how complex the part is.

    PS. if you have a question with a different topic, please start a new thread in the appropriate forum. Thanks.
    Gerry

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  18. #18
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    Proxon is good for small works, that's the one I use, but it takes only small bits (0.3 to 3 mm). Should be ok for PCB, but I have not tried yet. It can do nice with MDF up to 8mm thick and may be more. It work slowly in plexiglass. I broke a bit in aluminium because of a bad G code. Didn't tried another before I get more experienced.
    I plan to upgrade for the Kress, witch is nice on its own and should to a great job even in hard wood. It takes 6mm, 8mm or 1/4 inch, other diameter could be find in gearmany.

    D. BOEGNER

    P.S. Excuse me for my poor english!

  19. #19
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    [FONT= Comic Sans MS]I would like to use my existingto cut makita 3HP router using 1/2" bits to cut the basic shape after which to get the more tight corners a small bit would be necessary .

    Basically I would like the machine to produce a small batch [say 20 items] repetative blank ready for hand carving. The more detail the better . I could run the small bits using the dremel but personally have always considered it as a toy, if I was going to use something of that ilk I would probably use a laminate trimmer with a 1/4" shank capability .

    My current project is a highly carved wooden chandelier with 20 arms .The initial hogging would be with the arms laying flat . If anything more was done it would most likely require the arms to be rotated first 90 degrees ,then at 180 degrees to do the initial carving cuts.

    I haven't even thought about automating the basic shaft as most wood lathes do not have the adjustable controls that engine laths have .

  20. #20
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    hi Didier, The harder the material you are milling the more torque is required. so either the feed rate or the depth of cut has to be reduced.Keeping the feed rate and the depth of cut is going to result in high lateral loads on the bit which can cause it to break.

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