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  1. #1
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    Mar 2004
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    Newb to DIY CNC, any help

    Hi,
    I run a small buisness who manufacture custom guitars, i make most of them for myself. I recently went on a course on how to use Denford mills and have recently decided that i want to build (or have built) my own.

    I am not sure how hard they are to design - are there any websites that can help to explain HOW to design.

    Or -

    I would be willing to pay someone 30% ontop of material costs to build me a machine, *fee negotiable*

    I live in the UK so if any one is interested please post back and discuss.

    Regards,
    John Fowles

  2. #2
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    So no one can help?

  3. #3
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    I take you will need a wood router to make the guitars? A good place to start would be the cnc-router section of this site, there are many professional quality machines in there, with plenty of ideas to get you going. Once you have some ideas, then come back and check them out with the pros. If you live anywhere near Southampton, you are more than welcome to stop by my place and take a look at my machine, a home-built 4' x 2' cnc router. You will find that the prices of almost everything you need are way cheaper in the USA, so think about importing them. Items from ball-screws, to bearings and servo's can be had for big discounts over there. Don't discount ebay either, as there are bargains to be had. I hope this helps!

  4. #4
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    Thanks kong, i have been having a look. I was speaking to a plan designer, the guy who invented Pipedream. He was very anti social, and the second i noted that i came from the UK that was it.

  5. #5
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    I know who you mean! Anyhow, I think you'll find the help here is far better quality, and it's free YGM by the way.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, definitley! How many revisions of your machine did you have to go through? The reason i ask is because a few plan websites try to scare you saying, how many times will you have to build your system before you get it right. Im like :-O. .

  7. #7
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    Sep 2003
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    John,
    I'm one of those builders that didn't buy a plan, but just took bits and pieces of designs I liked and tried to incorporate them into my machine. People building their first machines frequently change the design as they go.
    Like many other builders I wanted the biggest and most rigid machine I could make. And also like many others that didn’t have access to a shop full of metal working tools and the skills that went with it, I will use this first machine to build my second machine.
    When I was infected by this CNC virus I didn’t have a cad program so I did all my designing on large sheets of paper this worked out OK, but revisions meant do it all over again or cut and paste pieces of paper. About half way through construction and before I got top the Z axis I bought a cad program. That is the BEST way to design, revisions are a piece of cake.

    I heard all the talk about roller blade bearings and gas pipe, bought a pair of skates and took the bearings out and mounted them on my movable gantry. The bearings turned to be a very inferior brand and didn’t even hold up moving the gantry back and forth while I was making adjustments. Bought some good bearings off the internet.
    Mounted the new bearings on the gantry and soon realized that my movable gantry was too heavy for 1” gas pipe.
    This called for a major design change, to a movable table instead of a movable gantry. I really like this better because the gantry is fixed and there is much less chance for system flex. And you are moving much less weight back and forth. This reduced the workable table size, but still big enough for the time being.
    The Z and Y axis are Thomson type bearings but the movable table (X) axis is on 1” gas pipes using roller bearings. I have supported the gas pipe under the working area in an attempt to keep it from flexing.

    Where am I at now? The mechanicals are all done and motors mounted. Looking for a power supply, plus I have bee side tracked on many other outside projects.

    Would I go this route again? Yes, I’m retired and that means less cash, and I’m not desperate to complete it at a fixed time. Woodworking was my hobby but now metal is creeping into my interest.

    If money wasn’t a factor I would buy the best plans, but probably would still modify them.

    Hope you can glean something out of these ramblings.
    Hager

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice, Im no stranger to CAD. I was the team manager + primary designer of the F1 in Schools team. We designed cars that would be fired down a track with CO2 cartridges as the power source. Our team won Fastest car in the UK (out of 240 other teams) best engineered (no thanks to the awful denford micromills) and we won overall winners internationally (beating u yanks) ;D

    Im going to take what i discovered while using the denfords, copy some design ideas. Get rid of what i hate (i.e. saftey features) and make what i want!

    Thanks guys

    I will keep you all posted

  9. #9
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    HI

    Hi tbcsoul.
    Glen from southend in essex here just about to start mine. Yes the u.s are cheeper try looking at www.hobbycnc.com they sell plans i got a set from him the other day then i brought www.kellyware.com his software.
    i do however like www.cheapcnc.com his design though.
    The stepper drivers i brought from Quazar electronics. £9.00 per stepper driver plus the vat.
    Leadscrew ive been playing with B&Q s rod 8mm. Got the shafts from ondrives.
    MDF is a good bed but i got an offcut of worktop from homebase last week for £5.


    Hope this helps a bit
    glen

    Southend
    U.K

  10. #10
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    How large a machine do you want to build?
    How much money do you want to spend?
    How heavy is the material you want to cut?

    If you are wanting to cut guitar bodies, you will need a rather large, fast, and rigid machine. The type of machine I never recomend to first time builders. Smaller, slower machines are easier to build, cheaper, and great for learning (and you will learn a lot). I know no one want's to build two, but your chances for succuss are much higher if you start small. The "production" machine will turn out much better too, because you learn from your mistakes.

    Maybe that's not what you want to hear, however it is true as a general rule of thumb.

    Crawl, walk, then run.

    Eric
    I wish it wouldn't crash.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by tbcsoul
    Thanks for the advice, Im no stranger to CAD. I was the team manager + primary designer of the F1 in Schools team. We designed cars that would be fired down a track with CO2 cartridges as the power source. Our team won Fastest car in the UK (out of 240 other teams) best engineered (no thanks to the awful denford micromills) and we won overall winners internationally (beating u yanks) ;D

    tbcsoul where can I find info on those cars?? That sounds like something I could get into! Is there a website?

    Mike

    Im going to take what i discovered while using the denfords, copy some design ideas. Get rid of what i hate (i.e. saftey features) and make what i want!

    Thanks guys

    I will keep you all posted
    No greater love can a man have than this, that he give his life for a friend.

  12. #12
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    http://www.f1inschools.us/

    I will post all our teams work for you to look at, although its called F1 in SCHOOLS, i have been racing for many years now and it is all possible without help + support from schools. The only thing you would need to buy would be the CO2 cartidges, if you are in america it is easy to get them from a company called pitsco.

    But just a little warning, these beasts are faaast, our car cleared a 80ft track in 1.003 seconds. Only saftey you need to consider is that the car should be tied down onto the track with a piece of wire.

    > The extension project from this is to build an actual F1 car, which if i get this CAM machine built i am planning i will be entering. At the end you race other universities. Very, VERY exciting! And i arnet even taking engineering at college!

    Thanks guys

    Eric - The budget can be around £1500 for first prototype. As I explained above, i am also looking to cut aluminium and other metals as part of this new project. Would it be more sensible to make a smaller CAM machine and just speicialise it to 1 job?

    Thanks Ed

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