523,811 active members*
2,506 visitors online*
Register for free
Login
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    3

    Small and rigid router

    First background. I have had for many years now a Stepcraft 2 300. I really like it, but it's starting to wear out and I'd like to have something much more rigid. I've used it to cut wood and plastics where it performs very well. It also works for aluminium if the depth of cut is low enough, but there are severe vibrations. I've also tried to mill steel but it doesn't work.

    I've looked at the available options, but there seems to be no machines which would be equally small but much more rigid.
    That's why I'm now designing a machine to build myself. I've thinking of following requirements.


    • Working space (XYZ): 300x400x150mm
    • Fixed gantry
    • Rigid enough to mill aluminum with ease and some steel with shallow depth of cut
    • Profile linear rails and ball screws
    • Stepper motors


    The working space is a bit bigger than in the old mill. I'm only making a bit bigger machine to make it more rigid.
    For now I have two questions about the design.
    I have a Kress 800 FME spindle for the Stepcraft. Could it be used in the new machine as well or should i buy a new one? The Kress seems to be quite well made but I don't want that the rigidity of the machine is wasted by light spindle.
    How to make the table? I like T-slots but cutting them in a solid piece of steel would not be an easy job to do.

    Primarily I'm building a rigid machine. I don't care if it ends up being solid steel and weighing several hundred kilograms if it just is rigid.
    I've considered using epoxy granite but I'm not willing to go that route.
    I have access to a machine shop with lathes, mills, welding equipment etc. so building the machine is not a problem.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5037

    Re: Small and rigid router

    One of these: https://www.cncstepusa.com/cnc-router-spindle-kress-800 ? It would work for wood, as long as you took light cuts with small tools. But it seems a bit out of scale for a machine that's "solid steel and weighing several hundred kilograms", especially if you wanted to cut steel. If you wanted to do engraving or something, it could be used as a secondary spindle, but I'd think the main one could be a lot bigger.

    There's a division between spindles intended for routing wood and those used for milling steel. The former go much faster but have less torque, especially at low speeds (they usually aren't recommended to run too slow, since they depend on internal fans for cooling and have hardly any torque when slow). Spindles used for steel go much slower; often they're run off a pulley cluster instead of being a single unit, which allows the motor to run at a fixed speed and multiply torque when the tool goes slower than the motor. Aluminum straddles these classes of spindle; it can be cut with fairly high RPMs., at the low range of the fast spindles or the high range of the slow ones (depending, of course, on the size of tool being used).

    As for the t-slot tables, you can buy them new (see https://www.jashmetrology.com/produc...s-base-plates/ ) or look for a used one on ebay or wherever. You can also cut them yourself in aluminum if steel seems too daunting. .
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1513

    Re: Small and rigid router

    Hi Kestis - As Awerby says you need to start at the spindle. Research and define what's needed there. It's actually the most important bit of the machine. The machine moves this around. People jump in and build a machine in the hope that the "undefined spindle" will do the job. So find the correct machine head then design the machine to suit, a much better workflow... Peter

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    3

    Re: Small and rigid router

    After all I am building a router and not a mill. A high speed spindle is the most suitable one for me. I'm not planning to cut steel with large cutter but mostly plastic and aluminum and occasionally some steel with a small bit.
    I agree that the old spindle might not be the best option. How about a small water cooled Chinese spindle motor like this? https://www.omc-stepperonline.com/cn...-cnc-vfd-motor

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1513

    Re: Small and rigid router

    I'd stay with the Kress then. If it has good bearings or get new bearings for it. If so you build the machine around the capability of the Kress plus a bit...You did say cut aluminium with ease and steel occasionally which is a mill Peter

Similar Threads

  1. Small but rigid vmc needed
    By Bradyz in forum Benchtop Machines
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-28-2016, 09:42 PM
  2. Looking for rigid desktop router
    By elektrinis in forum Want To Buy...Need help!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-23-2016, 05:30 PM
  3. Needs Advice - building a small desktop CNC rigid enough to handle metal
    By dvirb in forum Uncategorised MetalWorking Machines
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-20-2014, 10:31 PM
  4. CNC machine - small, rigid for steel?
    By craynerd in forum Uncategorised MetalWorking Machines
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-04-2013, 07:03 PM
  5. Questions -- Small CNC Router with VERY SMALL Work Area, Ideas?
    By Building in forum DIY CNC Router Table Machines
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-03-2012, 11:36 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •