Well it's been a while since I've updated the website! That doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything ;) I've compiled a few things into one post... Check it out!

First up - I've done a few things to try and remove flexing from the gantry - still unsuccessful as there's still just a little bit of flex - I'm pretty sure it's all in the Y Axis - I can see the AL bars twist and the wheels on the round rod I think are moving just a hair too, which a hair here translates into a big move at the end of the bit! so I want to get rid of it... I'll be heading down to the metal supplier this week sometime to get some 1/4" X 5" X 36" cold rolled steel plate and I will be swapping out the aluminum bars with it... if THAT twists then I'll have to go thicker I guess... Anyway - here's a good picture of the current machine!


Here you can see that I've "put together" the two Y bars and bolted them together with some thin steel to try and remove the twisting - it worked a little but not enough... You can also see my temporary set up for my new 4th Axis - I'm direct driving the chuck while I make some timing belts (see below). and last but not least you can see the new configuration of the Z axis - parts are still made out of MDF whilst I make sure these will work for what I want and then I'll make them out of aluminum :) although the MDF is working great as it is, really - I *could* leave it like that and probably will for a bit

Oh and yes, there's a new router there - a cheapo Harbor Freight one... I bought it to try and see if the router speed control would allow me to mill aluminum at a slower speed (milling at full router speed now and I know it's not "optimum") but don't waste your time on that idea - the router speed controller slows the bit down for sure, but nearly any load and the motor stalls :(

I'm working on an electric motor idea and I may build my own spindle - maybe ;)

OK, next up! Timing Pulleys... I bought Bob Adams program for making timing pulleys and it works great! I'm just making a few out of MDF because I had some round pieces after cutting the holes for the HF router and I figured I could use them to test the 4th axis and the program before I make them out of aluminum :)

Here's a few pictures and videos for you to check out!

in this picture you can see the set up for the test in MDF

Here's three timing pulleys fresh off the machine!

and here's a look at the belt (note I did not have the exact bit size I need to make these so they are a little off...)

and here's a video (the best part!) HERE
and a video of me testing the pulleys :) HERE

OK I got one more thing for this update and we're done! - nothing too crazy, I just wanted to show off a part I made in aluminum. In the picture you can see the temporary vise set up, kinda hobo, but hey, what have I done that isn't ;)

{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/MillingAL2.jpg{/rokbox} {rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/LinearBearingCarriage.jpg{/rokbox} {rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/LinearBearingCarriage2.jpg{/rokbox} {rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/LinearBearingCarriage3.jpg{/rokbox}

OK That's it for today! Oh except for this LAST thing - I made a few cool wooden gears too, just for fun :)


OK, hopefully I'll have some cool projects worth showing very soon!