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  1. #1
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    New 2x4' router build

    Hello everyone, my first post here. Have ordered the Pro 4824 and will document the build here. First CNC although I did play in the past with the Millright M3 (10x10" MDF with moving table, DeWalt router, Arduino Grbl, NEMA 17) that, however, I found ill-suited for my goals beyond learning the very basics. I am a hobbyist/maker, working out of a suburban 3-car garage with a pretty complete hobbyist wood shop and basic welding setup (fixturing top and AC/DC TIG welder). My goals for the CNC are to cut Baltic birch plywood, MDF, and sheet aluminum (1/8" 6061 T6) for various jigs/fixtures, small cabinets, and aluminum welding projects.

    Have ordered the smallest Pro setup for budgetary reasons, but have expansion in mind, and intend to get a water table and Hypertherm Powermax 45XP to cut mild steel plate (have ordered the extended Z axis to allow room for the spindle AND the plasma torch). Also considering expansion to 4x4' (or less likely, 4x8', as my space is severely restricted).

    The first 11 boxes have just arrived from Avid, and the extrusion will be shipped next week. Very excited to begin the build.

    Here comes my first question. I have not yet decided upon a base -- buy the Avid legs or weld my own. Pretty set on 4x4' though. Right now am debating between a flat 4x4' frame from 1.5x1/8" angle then add the verticals versus building two identical welded leg units like the picture and connect them with welded or bolted-on spans.

    Any general advice on what to do, or what not to do is very much appreciated.

    - - - Updated - - -


  2. #2
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Hi Keon - I think it's a bit light for a frame. 2" square heavy wall will be better. The machine will move around quite a bit if the frame/base is too light (unless you screw it to the floor) . Plus I think combining plasma, water table with a router will be a pain. One process is really dirty the other is really clean so you end up going one way or the other. The Pro model is way too good for a plasma so I expect you will tend to keep it clean. So then use the Pro to make a plasma machine....Peter

  3. #3
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Thank you Peter, will upsize the tube. Is there any value in filling it with leadshot?
    As for the plasma table, I don't yet have the powermax, and haven't decided how to set it up. Can a spoilboard be mounted on top of the watertable and removed for plasma action?

  4. #4
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Hi Keon - spoilboards are usually cheap material like MDF. MDF and liquids do not go well together. I suggest you search through the forum and see if anyone has done this and see how the outcome worked. . Personally I think no. All mechanical parts need to be made the correct size in the beginning. The machine frame is definitely part of the machine. My first router used 25mmx3mm thick square tubing and it bounced around the floor sometimes. I then made a heavy plywood bench for it so I had shelves and storage and its solid now, no movement. So do some more research on similar tables eg from the router supplier and look at their sizing. Lead shot would be expensive? cheers Peter

  5. #5

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    Make that base as heavy and rigid as possible. Filling it with lead will help with allowing you higher acceleration. I am adding weight to mine.

    I was you a year ago. Exactly same situation. PM me if you want to talk

  6. #6
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Another option to lead is epoxy granite, which many heavy machine builders have used. Search for “epoxy granite machine base”.

  7. #7
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Quote Originally Posted by blitzer View Post
    Make that base as heavy and rigid as possible. Filling it with lead will help with allowing you higher acceleration. I am adding weight to mine.

    I was you a year ago. Exactly same situation. PM me if you want to talk
    What base did you end up building? Did you expand the work area? Thanks for the offer will reach out with other questions.

    Do you, or anyone else, have sizes for the plasma water table. Want to avoid building a base now only to have problems fitting the water table later.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Quote Originally Posted by koenbro View Post
    What base did you end up building? Did you expand the work area? Thanks for the offer will reach out with other questions.

    Do you, or anyone else, have sizes for the plasma water table. Want to avoid building a base now only to have problems fitting the water table later.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    It is a mix of steel and wood for strength and vibration absorption. Would have preferred a big weld up job, but I don't have a rig for that.

    Like the attached image but with an extra steel support in the middle and wood all around covering it from top to bottom.

  9. #9
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    I bought 2x2" steel tube w/ .083" wall and will make the base with 2 braces on each face like in the first post. Was debating between .083" and .12" wall tube choices at the steel dealer, went with the lighter one because I think I can weld it and make is solid. Then I can bolt it to the cement slab if needed -- got from McMaster a set of adjustable leveling feet that bolt into the ground. Maybe even attach to studs in wall? Hope I won't regret the choice (.12 would be 50% heavier after all).

  10. #10
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Another question I am torn about is expansion and future proofing. I got the 2x4' for budget reasons and have not yet assembled it. I would like to have plasma as an option and do not want to constantly swap in and out the spindle and the plasma torch; that's why I got the extended (wider) gantry. As I am learning more, I would like to build a combo table; for example a 4x4' with half as a plasma/water table and half with MDF spoilboard.

    Called Avid CNCRP and learned that although my table is expandable I might have been better off going that size upfront. Also NEMA 23 is not upgradable to NEMA 34; you have to replace the electronics, control box, the whole thing. I am not in a production environment, so slower rapids are going to be OK. Just I wish I had known that when I bought mine. Nonetheless, I think NEMA 23 will be fine.

    That leaves the question of having a 2x4 table now and expand or building it 4x4 upfront. Can't imagine that adding the Y axis aT-slot and rails is going to be as good as a continuous stretch of both.

    Any opinion and advice?

  11. #11
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    I am looking for a mist coolant system for cutting aluminum sheets (up to 1/8"), and am considering buying this one. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/1324k52


  12. #12
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Quote Originally Posted by koenbro View Post
    I am looking for a mist coolant system for cutting aluminum sheets (up to 1/8"), and am considering buying this one. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/1324k52

    This one works well and costs a lot less. You will need a reservoir, but a cheap plastic bucket will do. https://www.amazon.com/Noga-10974-MC...s%2C207&sr=8-2


  13. #13
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Very helpful, thank you. What coolant do you use or recommend?



  14. #14
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Quote Originally Posted by koenbro View Post
    Very helpful, thank you. What coolant do you use or recommend?





    I use KoolRite 2290, which I bought on Amazon. It's a water soluble oil. The mix ratio is printed on the 1 gallon jug I purchased. It goes far. If you can capture the used liquid, you can strain and reuse it. Makes it even more economical. I have a small mill and mainly cut aluminum, although I also do some steel. It has worked fine for me. I especially like that it doesn't cause my mill to rust.

    Gary

  15. #15
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    I built my mist coolant system for about $100.

    Used this mist unit from amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Was running a bit heavy on the coolant in this video, Koolmist77.

    https://youtu.be/2ySVbcFHSpE


  16. #16
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    So the progress today: I assembled the base (extrusion) and cut the 2x2" tube for the legs.
    Then tack welded the frame on which extrusion will sit, and checked that it was square and flat:


    Encouraged by this I welded up the pieces:

    But then it was not flat anymore, basically folded across one diagonal, by about 3-4mm. So I cut up two welds that shrunk too much:

    And lo and behold, the frame flattened out (to within garage tolerances). Pretty cool!


    Chastened by this, I only tacked the legs, with braces 3 inches above the bottom. Will attach the legs to the frame tomorrow, then add the cross braces on the other two sides.


    This is the progress thus far:


    Then it was time to close up shop for the day:


    But not before I ordered the coolant from McMaster- Carr.

  17. #17
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Today I woke up early, and tacked up the legs and the cross beams and added the adjustable legs:



    So the base is now half-way done. I would welcome any suggestion on how to organize its volume for storage; can't afford to let it go to waste.



    Will most probably add a cross beam to create a 6" top shelf. Half of the width will be for a shelf for temporary storage, the other half will be a drawer, or something like that. I do like having a shelf under the work area to put stuff out of the way, like on my fixturing tables:



    Any advice? Thank you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF7571.jpg  

  18. #18
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    After a few days of work and family-mandated pause, I resumed working on the build today, and made some progress:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF7585.jpg  

  19. #19
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    Hi Keonbro - Unfortunately I don't think you can future proof these things, as we don't know what the future brings or needs. But you can use your 2x4 to make the next machine and next machine once the future unfolds. Peter

  20. #20
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    Re: New 2x4' router build

    So I finished the build, sorted the cables, wired up the electronics, and everything started up.
    Still left to do:
    1. a cabinet for accessories. This will also allow the attachment of the two electronic control boxes. The cabinet should also add some weight to the base.
    2. figure out the homing. It looks odd to the extreme left, no longer over the base.



    3. Reattach the spindle in a lower position; I think it's too high


    Observations:
    1. Assembly was easy. This is really a quality kit, and Avid CNC Router Parts deserves recognition for the mature design, thoughtful documentation and logical packing. Very pleased with it.
    2. The build is really optimized for their 8020 leg kit, and I wish Avid were more clear in the documentation about this. When one makes a custom base, it is not clear that the bottom of the right back-front extrusion will need to be accessed later for the cable tray brackets. If I had known this, I could have shifted the frame element a couple of inches inward (towards the center). BUt I did not so got stuck at that stage and needed to quickly throw together a bracket of my own to attach to teh inside of the extrusion, and account for the fact that the base is wider (2") than the extrusion (40mm).



    So again, I'd recommend Avid to put in a caution for those not using their 8020 leg kit so one can plan for it. Same applies for the attachment of the control boxes.

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