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  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    17

    Smile Taig 2019 with Gecko 540 on the way

    This is my first post here. About eight years ago was my first (and only) experience with milling. It was for a school project to make a water cooled computer, and the mill was used for the block that sits on the CPU. Ever since I've wanted to do more with a CNC mill but couldn't afford to since the mill at school was about $15,000. You can imagine my excitement when I found the Taig for less than $2,000 with the steppers and controller! Its not cheap but its also not $15,000, know what I mean? I just never knew something like the Taig existed until a few weeks ago. Attached are some images of that water cooled computer I made back in school. Pretty basic but it was a good learning experience.

    I'd like to use EMC2 to control the Taig since I've got several years of experience with Linux. My first projects will be some PC boards, camera mount for the motorcycle, and some electronics project enclosures. I never really learned the whole pipeline for a CNC project or if I did I've forgotten since then. Any suggestions for books about hobby CNC milling or the Taig in particular? I figure its worth doing right this time around and learn everything from the ground up. Glad to be part of the forum, I've found lots of good information here the last few weeks. Cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails block2.jpg   mill1.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Jan 2007
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    21
    Welcome to the club, you have just taken a huge step forward in your life! (Well, maybe not that huge). Anyway, there is lots of knowledge out there and CNC or even just conventional machining is such a huge topic... my two pieces of advise:

    1) Really take the time to know and understand the proper feeds and speeds for your machine. Remember, much of the textbook knowledge applies to machines like the one you learned on, not so much for our little Taigs.

    2) Don't be lazy when designing and programming parts. A few extra minutes to get your NC program just right can save a lot of time and headaches out in the shop. Remember, bits (the computer kind) are "free" while bits (the metal kind) are not.

    Cheers,

    -Chris

  3. #3
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    Jan 2010
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    Congrats on picking up a Taig - it is a fantastic little machine.

    I would agree with Chris - a lot of the equations that give you feeds and speeds don't apply well to the Taig. I always try to start conservatively.

    You might want to pick up some inexpensive machining wax for your first parts. I'd also recommend doing "air cuts" by zeroing your z axis 1/4" or so above your work surface - that lets you see if you are getting what you expect.

    Check out Nick Carters website:
    www.cartertools.com

    It has a lot of great information.

    I haven't found a book that I really like, so I don't really have a recommendation there. But I would say I have learned a lot of great stuff machining with plastics. Here are a few recommendations and things to watch out for:

    * when your machine arrives, adjust the backlash and lube your lead screws (you can find info about this on the carter website)

    * I don't know EMC2 (I am using Mach3 like a lot of other folks out there) but take the time to set up your motor tuning correctly

    * if you haven't already, but a dial indicator so you can measure backlash and set parts up squarely

    * consider buying a toolmaker's vise (3 or 4") to replace the mediocre one included with the machine

    * plunging: set your plunging speed really low if you have to plunge into your material. If you can, try and set your g-code to ramp or helix in to the plunge rather than go directly down. Also, if you can plunge outside the material and come in from the side, that is even better. If you get a lot of vibration while plunging, drop the speed or try one of the other options.

    * feeds and speeds. This is where you are going to learn a lot for your machine. There are equations for chip load. Generally they are assuming a really stiff machine, so the feeds usually calculate pretty high. Try to keep the chip load roughly the same, but drop the feed rate down (this means you will also have to drop your spindle speed). Take the time to get this right and you will have a nice finish and you won't melt plastic or stall out on metal.

    * This goes without saying, but be safe! Before I touch anything near my machine, I trip the reset and pull the power plug off the motor. It might be a bit overboard, but I like my fingers.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
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    194
    I've been using my Taig with EMC2 and it works very nicely. My controller is different, but it was pretty easy to setup using stepconf and some experimentation. You need to set backlash compensation manually in the .ini configuration file.

    A friend who also has a Taig and uses Mach3 was visiting quickly this weekend and I showed him around EMC2. He was impressed with the 3D toolpath view that EMC2 with Axis gives you.

    The only Mach3 feature that I miss on EMC is being able to jog using keyboard controls at different speeds. In Mach3 you can rapid jog using shift-arrows, or slow jog just using the arrows. In EMC2 you need to adjust the jog rate slider to change this.

    One downside to using EMC is that I haven't found good CAM software for Linux. I do my CAM work on a Windows laptop, then copy the gCode file to a file server and read it from there on my EMC2 machine. Using two machines is beneficial even when running Mach3 because it leaves the machine running the controller to concentrate on that one role. The computer that runs the controller doesn't need to be anything fancy or expensive...you can probably find a suitable one for free or very cheap. I'm using a ~6 year old Pentium 4 with a 30gb hard disk and 1gb of ram for EMC2.

    I think you'll enjoy your Taig. I've only had one a little more than a week, but I'm enjoying it so far and learning a lot.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the information and welcoming! I'll be sure to heed the suggestions and I'll check out Mach3 too. Cheers!

  6. #6
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    Feb 2010
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    The mill arrived today. Overall I'm very impressed by the robustness of it and the rigidity! The steppers and G540 arrive early next week from Deepgrove. I don't think the folding table "workbench" I'm using now will be stable enough so this weekend I'm going to build a basic 2x4 workbench for it but with a reinforced and thicker top board (http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/w...below20xl.html). When its up and running I'll post again. Cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_3413.jpg   IMG_3414.jpg   IMG_3415.jpg   IMG_3418.jpg   IMG_3420.jpg  

    IMG_3424.jpg  

  7. #7
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    Dec 2008
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    36

    Question

    Awesome! I am getting a taig real soon too, the transaction is in pending at this very moment!

    How long did it take to arive? from ordering over paypal to showing up at the door..
    Was it pretty common sense setting it up? Was the instructions fairly descriptive/intuitive?

    Im really apreciate the pictures im getting so excited!

  8. #8
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    For me, the mill showed up really quickly and the steppers and controller showed up a few days later.

    The mill is very easy to put together (as I remember it was only in two parts?). You will want to have a decent machinist's square on hand to help get the headstock square to the table.

    There isn't much in the way of instruction included in the mill and other stuff as I recall, but the deepgroove website and carter tools website are excellent resources. Pretty much everything you need to know to get up and running.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2007
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    21

    I would check the backlash

    Congrats! You must be excited--seeing those pictures brought back some good memories. One thing that I would recommend doing when the machine is still new that I didn't do is to measure the backlash on all three axes (use a test indicator). These machines are well adjusted from the factory for the most part, however I would check and make sure your backlash is within an acceptable range (do some research, but probably something like .002 - .005 in, the lower the better). You can adjust backlash following the instructions on Nick Carter's Taig site. If you haven't been briefed on software backlash compensation yet, do some research on the topic. If you can get your backlash low enough you can avoid software compensation all together, which is by most measures a good thing.

    I would also slide the saddle and table by hand while the leadscrews are disconnected so that you can get a feel for how the gibs are adjusted at the factory. I know it is difficult to take the time to check everything when you just want to start making chips, but it is probably better to make adjustments before anything has worn too much, if necessary.

    -Chris

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by klaymonster View Post
    Awesome! I am getting a taig real soon too, the transaction is in pending at this very moment!

    How long did it take to arive? from ordering over paypal to showing up at the door..
    Was it pretty common sense setting it up? Was the instructions fairly descriptive/intuitive?

    Im really apreciate the pictures im getting so excited!
    Everything that themedulla said. I think the mill comes directly from Arizona, and the steppers and controller come from New Jersey, so in California the mill comes much sooner than the steppers and controllers.

    ChrisPDX, I saw the backlash adjustment stuff on Nick's site but it wasn't very detailed. Not sure how the indicator is used to determine the backlash. Do you know of any links that have more detail? Cheers!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisPDX View Post
    Congrats! You must be excited--seeing those pictures brought back some good memories. One thing that I would recommend doing when the machine is still new that I didn't do is to measure the backlash on all three axes (use a test indicator). These machines are well adjusted from the factory for the most part, however I would check and make sure your backlash is within an acceptable range (do some research, but probably something like .002 - .005 in, the lower the better). You can adjust backlash following the instructions on Nick Carter's Taig site. If you haven't been briefed on software backlash compensation yet, do some research on the topic. If you can get your backlash low enough you can avoid software compensation all together, which is by most measures a good thing.

    I would also slide the saddle and table by hand while the leadscrews are disconnected so that you can get a feel for how the gibs are adjusted at the factory. I know it is difficult to take the time to check everything when you just want to start making chips, but it is probably better to make adjustments before anything has worn too much, if necessary.

    -Chris
    Ignore my earlier post, I just found this which has more detail and it makes more sense now.

    http://www.krupin.net/serendipity/in...djustment.html

  12. #12
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1729
    I'll have to show you my camera mount I made for snowboarding, I also wanted to make some Gig-Ram heatsinks along with a water cooled blocked. But I don't know. Nice stuff.


    My CPU design was essentially the same as yours. Nice.

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