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  1. #61
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik F View Post
    To test out if the extrusions under the rails will help me get things right, I am going to design some parts I can 3d print out of polycarbonate blend I have on hand. If they work well enough I may just leave them in place, also if they work well I will post up a link to the file for others to print or have printed. I'm trying to decide how extensive I want to make them...for example making them so you can adjust "toe in / toe out" as far as flatness goes. On my last and final attempt to parallel the rails, I had one rail tightened down and it rolled very smoothly with the other rail loose...when I tried the same test with the rails reversed (swapped tight and loose rails) the action was back to being with much more drag...seemed odd to me.
    Erik,

    Yes, the results of your test seem odd. Sounds to me like one or both of the rails isn't perfectly straight. Not that odd, though. I've searched for, but never found, a manufacturing tolerance for straightness. I also seem to recall one vendor commenting on its website that the rails may not be perfectly straight 'out of the box,' so to speak. I believe that is why having a milled reference edge is preferred for rail mounting. You can clamp the rail to the edge and tighten it down. I used custom jigs and a precision straight edge when I set mine, but I had a relatively flat surface to work from. Apparently, you don't.

    I do not believe anything you can make on a 3d printer is going to be up to the task of making an adequate linear rail surface. IMO, printed parts may be fine for making prototypes for testing, but not for a solution. I can't imagine plastic being even close to rigid enough. Also, not much strength for screw holding and threads holding up under vibration. However, making prototypes for testing purposes seems like a perfect diagnostic approach and modeling for a permanent solution.

    Here's a reference source that includes information for mounting linear rails. You may find it useful. https://www.hiwin.com/pdf/linear_guideways.pdf

    Gary

  2. #62
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    So are the rails and blocks sold as matched sets or can you buy the bearing blocks sold separate?
    This depends on the grade matched rails and bearings have a numbers lasered etched on the rail and Bearing, regular standard linear rails because they have running clearance you can get replacement's, if needed, I will post some photos of matched Rails and Bearings in a few days, as I'm away from my shop
    Mactec54

  3. #63
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    This depends on the grade matched rails and bearings have a numbers lasered etched on the rail and Bearing, regular standard linear rails because they have running clearance you can get replacement's, if needed, I will post some photos of matched Rails and Bearings in a few days, as I'm away from my shop
    Enjoy your vacation Thanks for checking.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by GME View Post
    Erik,

    Yes, the results of your test seem odd. Sounds to me like one or both of the rails isn't perfectly straight. Not that odd, though. I've searched for, but never found, a manufacturing tolerance for straightness. I also seem to recall one vendor commenting on its website that the rails may not be perfectly straight 'out of the box,' so to speak. I believe that is why having a milled reference edge is preferred for rail mounting. You can clamp the rail to the edge and tighten it down. I used custom jigs and a precision straight edge when I set mine, but I had a relatively flat surface to work from. Apparently, you don't.

    I do not believe anything you can make on a 3d printer is going to be up to the task of making an adequate linear rail surface. IMO, printed parts may be fine for making prototypes for testing, but not for a solution. I can't imagine plastic being even close to rigid enough. Also, not much strength for screw holding and threads holding up under vibration. However, making prototypes for testing purposes seems like a perfect diagnostic approach and modeling for a permanent solution.

    Here's a reference source that includes information for mounting linear rails. You may find it useful. https://www.hiwin.com/pdf/linear_guideways.pdf

    Gary
    Thanks I will check out the link. Just as an exercise in frustration I decided instead of just loosening the bolts for the rails I would take them completely out of one side. Then I wanted to see if I could get the rails lined up regardless of the mounting holes. I found I couldn't get the movement I needed without loosening the gantry bolts and taking off the braces...I have to tell you the braces are pretty ugly...kind of looks like when you were 10 yrs old and you needed to make the hole bigger...you just wiggle the drill around...that is how these holes looked...not surprised but the disappointment never seems to end.
    The good news is with the gantry free on one side and the rails parallel...the gantry roles quite nicely...I wouldn't say glides...but roles. If I gave it a shove it would role for a good foot after that. Where as before...it was almost like the brakes were dragging...a shove would move it but it would stop right away. Unfortunately there is only about 4 or 5 bolts that line up in the rail to the frame when it's like that. Putting all the bolts back in resulted in the same old out by about a 1/16th from end to end. I did decide to not torque the rails down. I tightened them to where they would stop and gave them another 1/8th of a turn or so and even with the rails not quite parallel the results where pretty smooth movement. I will go back tomorrow and get the rails back lined up and just put in the only bolts that fit...kinda sad what seems like such good potential is such a pile of crap.

  5. #65
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik F View Post
    Thanks I will check out the link. Just as an exercise in frustration I decided instead of just loosening the bolts for the rails I would take them completely out of one side. Then I wanted to see if I could get the rails lined up regardless of the mounting holes. I found I couldn't get the movement I needed without loosening the gantry bolts and taking off the braces...I have to tell you the braces are pretty ugly...kind of looks like when you were 10 yrs old and you needed to make the hole bigger...you just wiggle the drill around...that is how these holes looked...not surprised but the disappointment never seems to end.
    The good news is with the gantry free on one side and the rails parallel...the gantry roles quite nicely...I wouldn't say glides...but roles. If I gave it a shove it would role for a good foot after that. Where as before...it was almost like the brakes were dragging...a shove would move it but it would stop right away. Unfortunately there is only about 4 or 5 bolts that line up in the rail to the frame when it's like that. Putting all the bolts back in resulted in the same old out by about a 1/16th from end to end. I did decide to not torque the rails down. I tightened them to where they would stop and gave them another 1/8th of a turn or so and even with the rails not quite parallel the results where pretty smooth movement. I will go back tomorrow and get the rails back lined up and just put in the only bolts that fit...kinda sad what seems like such good potential is such a pile of crap.

    Seems like your experience was the same as mine. I saw a welded frame and a lot of hype on the website about how well built it was. I fell in love on the spot. What a great machine! Going to exceed my every expectation. Yeah, right. When the machine arrived, the first thing I saw after removing the OxBox were washers between the welded on mounting plate and the aluminum interface plate. At that moment, I knew the machine had serious problems. As you've seen, it was downhill from there. Pretty much everything I checked as way off. Still, I was in love, and as they say, "love conquers all." Well, after spending far too much time trying to come up with fixes, I remembered one of life's lessons. Love at first sight is mostly lust at first sight and doesn't last. I knew I would come to hate the Saturn 2 and rue the day I ever laid eyes on it. So, I declared it a totally defective fail, sent it back. Fortunately, I came to my senses pretty quickly and was able to get my money back. I feel so bad for you.

    I guess I didn't recall that the 2 x 4s used a steel gantry, but used bolt-on braces rather than welded ones used on the 4 x 4s. My first machine was the Fineline 4 x 4 standard kit with an upgraded 3" x 6" aluminum extrusion gantry with the 1/4" aluminum angle and the 1" x 2" angle braces. Looks like the quality of the angle brace has gone to the devil as well. My angle braces were fine. I didn't much like the design, so I designed my own braces, which make a much more rigid connection.

    Maybe a first step would be to replace the steel gantry with an 80/20 3060 aluminum extrusion.. Dan (NTL) did that on his. However, the angle brace setup Nate uses does not allow adjustability, when it comes to trying to square the gantry. My design takes care of all that. If you haven't looked at my build thread yet, you may want to. You can see how I did it. Unfortunately it takes a mill, or a rigid CNC to make the parts. My bench top is a manual mill. It took days to make the parts. I got quotes for the parts. They would have cost almost as much as I paid for my mill - crazy expensive. That's why I made them.

    If I were to give my gantry a good shove, I doubt it would roll for a foot. However, I have medium load bearings, so the tolerances are closer and it won't roll as freely. It's smooth as silk, but stiffer. Yours are almost certainly a light preload, which is what the Chinese typically use in theirs. Nothing wrong with a light preload. It's pretty common.

    Odd that you have to loosen one side of the gantry, with the rails loose, to get free movement. Something's obviously out of line. I'm wondering whether the gantry is bowed up or down. That would explain what you are seeing. The bow would throw the mounting surfaces out of plane, and that, in turn, would cause a binding point. If you have a reliable straight edge, you could check it out. In a pinch, you could also stretch a piece of wire over the top and under the bottom and see what you get. You would need to remove the gantry, though. If you still think you want to rehabilitate the machine, it needs to be done.

    At some point, you should take some photos and post them. Too much trying to visualize the issues in my head to be of much help, and I'm not alone. Not hard to do with a cell phone. I have a camera, but have taken some with a cell. Download the pics or email them to your computer and your on your way.

    Gary

  6. #66
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Of course the $7000 question, is Nate or FLA still in business?? This site link is still active on his website so current owners with issues can come here and comment or complain. Just wondering.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Of course the $7000 question, is Nate or FLA still in business?? This site link is still active on his website so current owners with issues can come here and comment or complain. Just wondering.
    See the attached pictures. Nate now is a Edward Jones financial advisor. His profile shows that he was president of Fineline until 2018.

  8. #68
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Its more or less common knowledge that FLA was not his full time job. But is surprising is that as of June 2018 he now longer lists on his Resume FLA or was that the date the above was prepared and shared on the internet?
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  9. #69
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    https://photos.app.goo.gl/fSTkWVUZpBMZViw68
    Here is a link to pics. They are of the extreme ends of the rails and the brace holes. This is with the rails parallel to the accuracy of my tape measure and eyeball.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Its more or less common knowledge that FLA was not his full time job. But is surprising is that as of June 2018 he now longer lists on his Resume FLA or was that the date the above was prepared and shared on the internet?
    I just grabbed the screenshot this morning

  10. #70
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Well if you really want to fix this right, my suggestion above and from 6 months ago and I still believe to be a good solution. Your going to need to do better than a tape measure and an eyeball. You can make I think is called a witness stick only using some drill stock or flat CR steel and dial indicator. A piece cut to a pre- defined length and the dial indicator mounted on the other end. No its not precision only to a few thousands but better than trial and error as your doing now. Gary GME posted a link above that can give you other ideas.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Well if you really want to fix this right, my suggestion above and from 6 months ago and I still believe to be a good solution. Your going to need to do better than a tape measure and an eyeball. You can make I think is called a witness stick only using some drill stock or flat CR steel and dial indicator. A piece cut to a pre- defined length and the dial indicator mounted on the other end. No its not precision only to a few thousands but better than trial and error as your doing now. Gary GME posted a link above that can give you other ideas.
    Yeah, as of right now was really trying to see if there were maybe a few bolt holes that were holding me back from being able to wack this thing into alignment but seems it's just way to jacked up to use the original holes. My plan was to get some aluminum stock and use it as a spacer to get them perfect. But I will also figure a way out to mount an indicator on there too. I think Dan mentioned filling in the holes. Would I be able to do that with just a mig welder since it shouldn't be that much heat? I can get my hands on a mig...and get by but have no idea how to tig.

  12. #72

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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Yes you can mig them, just take your time and bounce around do one hole then go to the other side and don't let it heat up. It's pretty thick material but like I said do a hole let it cool down do a different hole on the other side and so on. Also make sure you grind the powder coat all the way off around the holes so the weld doesn't get contaminated.

  13. #73
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Only issue with MIG welding the holes shut is the welded area is going to be harder than the steel used. You will have great difficultly drilling and tapping new holes without breaking a drill bit or tap. Yes I have done TIG welding and IF I did that I would use stainless rod which would be tougher than carbon steel rod but flows a lot faster and easier. With TIG the metal would have to be absolutely clean.

    So this machine is a 2x4 foot and was done prior to the Saturn 2. Can you post a picture of your machine?
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  14. #74
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    I will take some pics when I get home tonight. It basically is a Saturn 2 but has the Saturn 1 bracing instead of the welded bracing

  15. #75

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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik F View Post
    I will take some pics when I get home tonight. It basically is a Saturn 2 but has the Saturn 1 bracing instead of the welded bracing
    It's the same as my machine.

    George is right about a tig welder being better, you still can use a mig if you drill out the holes so you are only drilling into the weld it's just going to be harder to drill through. Another option is to drill out the suspect holes oversized tap them with a bigger size use a long bolt that you can thread in to where it bottoms out in the tube, apply loctite cut the head off the bolt and grind it flush, then drill and tap the bolt aka plug. No heat involved no welding just a drill, tap, grinder, loctite some labor and some choice words for fineline that you will be thinking about while working on it. .

  16. #76
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ntl View Post
    It's the same as my machine.

    George is right about a tig welder being better, you still can use a mig if you drill out the holes so you are only drilling into the weld it's just going to be harder to drill through. Another option is to drill out the suspect holes oversized tap them with a bigger size use a long bolt that you can thread in to where it bottoms out in the tube, apply loctite cut the head off the bolt and grind it flush, then drill and tap the bolt aka plug. No heat involved no welding just a drill, tap, grinder, loctite some labor and some choice words for fineline that you will be thinking about while working on it. .
    Some of the mounting holes look like they are off enough that it would take a pretty large oversize bolt to be able to then drill and tap it.

    Ditto on the MIG weld plug being a beast to drill and tap. Without a magnetic drill press, (or maybe even with one) I question whether you could pull it off.

    TIG is definitely a better option, but it takes practice to do it right. If you've never done it, you'll spend most of your time on a grinding wheel cleaning and sharpening your tungstens. If you have a friend with a TIG and willingness to help you out, I wouldn't be inclined to use stainless rod. (Sorry Bill, and no disrespect meant. I suspect you and I have probably had different experiences). Stainless is a dog to drill and tap. It work hardens something awful. I've filled my share of holes with my TIG, but I have to admit that I've never tried creating a plug to be drilled and tapped. So, I can't say whether you would get the same hardening problems problems with the TIG as with a MIG.

    I guess I'd be inclined to go back to suggestions made on my Saturn 2 build thread. Forget the existing threaded holes. Add a plate, whether it's steel or aluminum, drill the rail mounting holes in it, and create slotted holes closer to the edges of the plate for mounting it. The slotted holes will give you lateral adjustability for mounting the plate and getting the linear rails parallel to each other. I believe Dan (NTL) suggested adding set screws get the plates in the same plane. Were I doing it, once I had the plate where I wanted them, I would inject a special epoxy under the plates to fill any gaps and provide more support - like the expanses between the set screws where you would experience flex. This is way different than epoxy leveling, which is more likely to fail than succeed. This is just using epoxy as a filler material between two fixed surfaces. You would leave the set screws in place to continue fulfilling their support duties.

    Another thread to look at is Jack/Ponder Labs Saturn 2 build thread. Lots of suggestions there too and you reading them will save having to repeat them here. Here's the link: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/finel...cnc-forum.html.



    Erik, I see what you mean about the aluminum angle braces. I would have to try really hard to mess them up as badly as yours. The size of the burrs is considerable, and are probably enough to cause some degree of binding them the brace is tightened down. They are clearly indicative of the holes in the braces not lining up in either the holes in the gantry, holes in the interface plates, or both. It might help to file off the burr back to flat surfaces, but you shouldn't hold your breath. Cannot hurt to try, though. No out-of-pocket costs and minimal effort involved.

    I'm still thinking you may be better off scrapping the steel gantry and going with a 3060 80/20 extrusion. the 3060 profile is pretty pricey, but in the aluminum extrusion world, it's about as good as you are going to find. The metric counterpart is slightly larger (80mm x 160mm) in most every way. Although marginally so, it should be a bit stiffer than the imperial. I went with the 80mm x 160mm extrusion, but for reasons unrelated to stiffness or strength. I'd add a 3/8" interface that mounts to the underside of the gantry and mounts to the top of the interface plate that mounts to the linear rail bearings. If you do it like I did, you have a huge amount of adustability for square. It also allows you to fabricate angle bracing that is far superior than the 1" x 2" braces yours came with. Your angle braces might actually work with an extrusion gantry. That's what they were used on originally.

    Gary

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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    So this machine is a 2x4 foot and was done prior to the Saturn 2. Can you post a picture of your machine?

    Bill, I don't think so. Recall that David Falkner's Saturn used an extrusion gantry with the same angle braces as Erik. When it went to Saturn 2, the gantry moved from aluminum to steel, but the revision did not include welded angle braces and mounting plates like the 4 x 4. The current version is a sort of hybrid. Here's a picture from the FLA website:



    Gary

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    Another long day at work. Sorry will try and get pics tomorrow.

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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    I thought David had the first Saturn 2 or one of the first anyway. Stainless in metal that thin as used on the frame anyway would not be an issue to drill and tap, If you have the proper sharp drill and tap was a 2 flute gun tap as I use. But my suggestion from months ago was the plate with slotted mounting holes. No need to weld and re-drill existing. Wether its ground flat or not is not an issue but as long is your machinist is doing the slotted holes a little surface grinding would be no big deal.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  20. #80
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    Re: Fineline Shutdown or Perpetrating a Fraud!!

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    I thought David had the first Saturn 2 or one of the first anyway. Stainless in metal that thin as used on the frame anyway would not be an issue to drill and tap, If you have the proper sharp drill and tap was a 2 flute gun tap as I use. But my suggestion from months ago was the plate with slotted mounting holes. No need to weld and re-drill existing. Wether its ground flat or not is not an issue but as long is your machinist is doing the slotted holes a little surface grinding would be no big deal.
    Bill, I went back and checked David's build thread. Looks like it his is a Saturn, not Saturn 2. He identified it as a Saturn and his has the extrusion gantry (vs. the Saturn 2's steel gantry).

    I agree with the slotted holes idea, although there is no need to fill/redrill any of the holes. Rather, just shift the rails to the front or rear a little and start over with mounting holes. Unfortunately, that doesn't solve all the problems. There is still the problem of the dished face of the tubing. There is also the problem of drilling/tapping 2 parallel lines of holes. 25mm linear rails have very little adjustability. The mounting hole is 7mm and the mounting screw is 6mm, so only about .040" difference. I don't trust that I could reliably get that straight of a line freehand. It would be tough, even if you had a magnetic drill press - you would still have to get it aligned correctly for each hole. Blow it for one hole and you're back to plug welding and redrilling/tapping. That makes the slotted holes look much more attractive - even though it also means paying a machine shop to make the plates. You still need a larger mill, because you will be dealing with multiple vises and multiple set ups to get full length plates. 5 feet+ is way more X axis travel than you find on a typical knee mill and a lot of VMCs.

    All-in-all, it's a tough situation. The deficiencies in the frame, mounting surfaces and parallelism can probably be accommodated, but at what cost?

    SUGGESTION: Erik, draw the fix and take to some machine shops for estimates. That way, you know what you are up against cost wise, and whether it's financial feasible for you. Remember, you still may have some issues with the gantry that need addressing. Given what Nate or his machine shop did to the angle braces suggest something will need to addressed there as well.

    Gary

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