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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > DIY CNC Router Table Machines > Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds
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  1. #21
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    First and foremost this is my journey. I appreciate all the input to date as I learn some thing new.
    I don't expect to fail, but if I do, I will know why I shouldn’t have gone down this route(!) I would love to mill brass and Al, but can't justify it for once off punches. My wife is a book binder and we could go to the guild and use their lettering sets, but that would involve driving half way across our great city.
    Unfortunately life just got busy again so I wont get to try making chips ( or more accurately MDF dust) until mid week.
    Thanx.
    M.

  2. #22
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Quote Originally Posted by kool-lites View Post
    First and foremost this is my journey. I appreciate all the input to date as I learn some thing new.
    I don't expect to fail, but if I do, I will know why I shouldn’t have gone down this route(!) I would love to mill brass and Al, but can't justify it for once off punches. My wife is a book binder and we could go to the guild and use their lettering sets, but that would involve driving half way across our great city.
    Unfortunately life just got busy again so I wont get to try making chips ( or more accurately MDF dust) until mid week.
    Thanx.
    M.
    I think you have the right attitude. In the CNC world, you will always find a wide range of opinion from "utter rubbish" to "gee whiz" about any machine or process. The reality is that even the worst machines can be made to do some amazing things if you work at it. I have a little extruded aluminum VWheel CNC router that you will find people saying can't do anything. Yet, I've been able to make a number of really nice things with it. Granted, it took more time than the big boys. If you stick at it and don't push the machine too hard you will likely be able to do what you want. By far your biggest challenge is the learning curve, not the machine. Good luck and please report back with show and tell when you get some results. I (and lots of others, I suspect) am very interested in the outcome.

  3. #23
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Quote Originally Posted by philba View Post
    If you are using it with a GRBL controller, you'll need to edit the preamble sequence.
    Ok this is the next item on my agenda.

    Sent from my INE-LX2 using Tapatalk

  4. #24
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Thought I would share the output some F-Engarave files I will be playing with - my initials in a couple of fonts.
    The plan us to route these in MDF. then I migh try some poycarbonate sheet.

  5. #25
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Hi,
    kool!!

    When it comes to polycarbonate sheet there are a couple of tricks that might help.

    You must realize that plastics, ALL plastics are very poor conductors of heat. Any heat generated by cutting, and by definition cutting
    is a heat generating process, will stay in the cutzone. With sufficient heat build up the plastic will become 'sticky' and the cut
    quality will go out the window.

    Your machine probably does not have coolant but flood cooling would help a lot with the heat build up. In absence of flood cooling
    mist cooling is good and a way less fluid volume and therefore easier to contain. In absence of mist cooling air blast is next best.
    I was going to say cool air blast, but you are in Aussie, whatever air blast you can get!.

    The air blast and/or coolant methods not only take heat out of the material but blow/flush the chips out of the cutzone. Re-cutting
    chips is a sure way to increase heat build up and ruin surface quality in not only plastics but ALL materials.

    If you detect temperature rise in the material when you are cutting, 'feed hold' and wait for 60 seconds for the heat to dissipate and
    then 'cycle start' again.

    Craig

  6. #26
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    One other significant thing you need to do is to flip the graphic.What you have there will produce a mirror image of what you are after.There is a button for that within F-engrave.

  7. #27
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    One other significant thing you need to do is to flip the graphic.What you have there will produce a mirror image of what you are after.There is a button for that within F-engrave.
    That was a bit of a "D'Oh of course" moment. Duely flipped.
    I got to route my first peice today - it looks good, but it is not routing to the depth I am expecting, it looks like ti about 1/3 the actual depth.

    Also the hold downs are shonky.

    So far so good.

  8. #28
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    The hold downs shouldn't be too hard to improve on.The cutting depth could be either a machine calibration error or an F-engrave input error.Some questions about F-engrave settings;in the V-carve settings box was the value in the Cut Depth Limit Box correctly specified?Was the tool type correctly checked?One further question is how did you establish the Z datum height?

    If these hurdles can be overcome you should soon be cutting the patterns you want to the depth that you want.It must be encouraging to see a nicely machined item come off the machine,even if the depth is a bit out,so imagine how much more satisfying it will be when its exactly right.

  9. #29
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    I finally got arround to some serious time with the little router.
    Fixed my in ability to use the hold downs
    Routed some MDF.
    Attachment 435262
    But I definitey need to calibrate the unit as the finished product is about 1/2 the actual size.
    I am using grblControl - but I can't see any way to add a callibration factor
    I fired up the lazer writer driver to swap the Z dirrection, but again there doesn't seem to a place change the calibration.
    Any pointers where I should look next.

    F-Engrave has a G Code header of G17 G64 P0.001 M3 S3000 - what does this mean and how do I determine if it is correct?
    Thank you for your continued support
    Matthew

  10. #30
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    I can't help with calibrating GRBL.I can interpret the program header though.

    G17 operating in the XY plane
    G64 level of precision (or deviation from perfection) P 0.001 thats how much it should deviate
    M3 spindle start
    S3000 spindle speed specified

    Thats a very low spindle speed for a router.

  11. #31
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Go into Settings/General Settings in F-Engrave and you can edit what it puts into the G-Code header. I have just G17 and M3 in mine. Just M5 (spindle off) in G-Code postscript.

    To calibrate your GRBL machine you need to be able to modify the GRBL settings. Read this page in the GRBL wiki.. For each axis, you will jog a known distance, say 100 mm and measure how far it actually goes. If you command 100 and get 50, then you need to double the steps per mm. $100, $101, or $102 for X, Y or Z, respectively. The precise formula is new_steps = existing_steps * commanded_distance/actual_distance. The farther you can jog the axis, the better your accuracy.

  12. #32
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Philba, thanx for the details.
    I had already measure the travel of 150 steps gor x & y and 50 steps for z.
    Can I create a file with similar content to the following and sent it to the controller?

    $0=10
    $1=25
    $2=0
    $3=0
    $4=0
    $5=0
    $6=0
    $10=255
    $11=0.010
    $12=0.002
    $13=0
    $20=0
    $21=0
    $22=0
    $23=0
    $24=25.000
    $25=500.000
    $26=250
    $27=1.000
    $30=1000
    $31=0
    $32=0
    $100=250.000
    $101=250.000
    $102=250.000
    $110=500.000
    $111=500.000
    $112=500.000
    $120=10.000
    $121=10.000
    $122=10.000
    $130=200.000
    $131=200.000
    $132=200.000
    ok

    Sent from my INE-LX2 using Tapatalk

  13. #33
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    No, you just tell the GRBL controller what $100, $101 and $102 is. It will then remember it even after shutting down. The wiki page shows what you have to do.

    I'm not familiar with GRBLControl but it should let you talk directly to the arduino running GRBL. Then you just send $100=150 to set the X Axis steps per mm.

  14. #34
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Quote Originally Posted by philba View Post
    No, you just tell the GRBL controller what $100, $101 and $102 is. It will then remember it even after shutting down. The wiki page shows what you have to do.

    I'm not familiar with GRBLControl but it should let you talk directly to the arduino running GRBL. Then you just send $100=150 to set the X Axis steps per mm.
    grblControl has a Console window.
    Typing in $$ gives the controller setting.
    Attachment 435284
    As can be seen x, y and z are set to 200 steps per mm.

  15. #35
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    I think you need to factor in the thread pitch somewhere.200 steps per revolution is very common,but it would only give 200 steps/mm with a one mm thread pitch.The early posts showed a machine that I would estimate to have a 5mm pitch on X and Y.Have you measured the travel on each axis for one revolution of the screw?

  16. #36
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    The procedure I gave allows you to figure out the steps per mm (measure actual jog distance vs expected and use that ratio to modify the existing number). Then use $100= in the console window to set it for the X axis. $101 and $102 for Y and Z.

  17. #37
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    Quote Originally Posted by philba View Post
    The procedure I gave allows you to figure out the steps per mm (measure actual jog distance vs expected and use that ratio to modify the existing number). Then use $100= in the console window to set it for the X axis. $101 and $102 for Y and Z.
    Philba
    Thank you - I had a little difficulty understanding how to comman a distance, however when I realised jogging 10 units actually jogging 10mm, all became clear.

    I am happy to advise today my little routed in calibrated within 0.1 mm
    Matthew

  18. #38
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    It is fun to watch your progress. Congratulations.

    I wonder if a good quality baltic birch plywood might eventually make a passable mold for your work vs MDF.

    My perception is that the main advantage of MDF is dimensional consistency, but it isn't very tough.

    Locally I was able to purchase some 13 ply / 18mm thick baltic birch with a maple outer ply layer. It is also very consistent, but dramatically harder and tougher than MDF.

  19. #39
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    Re: Small Desktop Router for Leather Molds

    F-Engrave has a G Code header of G17 G64 P0.001 M3 S3000 - what does this mean and how do I determine if it is correct?
    G64 P0.001 has no meaning in grbl. It looks like your g-code sender just skips over that instead of spotting the error. It shouldn't matter.
    It can be removed in F-engrave general settings if you like.

    It looks like you're enjoying the journey. Good luck and keep going.
    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.

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