1

Topic: Introduction

Hi guys, I'm Paul.

Not Ron and I'm definitely not a Sir like my user name might imply. SirRon is just my surname backwards.

I thought it might be a good idea to start a topic in which people can introduce themselves, so I'll start.

As already mentioned I'm Paul and I'm from Hoppers Crossing in Victoria.

I have a mechanical back ground having done a fitting and turning apprenticeship at GAF ( Government Aircraft Factories ) during my four years there I spent two years in the tool room and one year in the machine shop operating large 5 axis CNC's machining aircraft components.

I then moved to Toyota working in the Press Shop Maintenance, maintaining and repairing presses and automation equipment.

Nearly two years ago, after nearly 23 years at Toyota I moved to Boeing Aerostructures Australia ( which is where GAF used to be ) and I now assemble components for the 787 Dreamliner.

A few months ago while searching eBay for prices on a small CNC to machine Perspex for LED lighting, I found Eugene's kit and purchased one, but unfortunately due to a recent lack of free time its not finished yet.

With only the wiring left to do I hope it wont be much longer.

I have since found heaps of project ideas on YouTube so I cant wait to get my kit finished. Check out the topic " Show Us What You're Made "

That's enough about me.

It's over to you, Introduce yourself

2 (edited by csbpmg 2014-06-18 21:22:43)

Re: Introduction

Hi Guys,
My names David from Eltham.
I had been looking around for about 12months at getting a CNC for various little jobs when I discovered the plywood kit.
My background is in building of Exhibition stands and television sets so the advantages of being able to do complex shapes now became a lot easier.. I still need to learn the software side a bit better but the more I play around the easier its getting.
My table is a 1250 x 2500 cutting size and is a steel one which I made up.

My machine has done just on a years work now with a few small issues more related to me learning the do's and don'ts of the software(tuning motors) wiring (do it neater next time which I just have) and the maintenance(grub screws came loose on the X axis) 

I have gone thru the ozito router after about 70 odd hrs and have done the 2.2kw with VFD conversion which is now a bucket load quiter so I can now talk on my phone without needing to leave the building now.
Next major project is a large vacuum table which will be started over the next week or to so I will update you all with progress pics etc..

3

Re: Introduction

Greetings!

As you guessed by now, I'm Alistair and I'm based in Charters Towers, QLD.

I have a degree in software engineering and I spent about 8 years in the IT industry as a programmer for my own company. About 3 years ago I got out and pursued another career. My engineering itch isn't being scratched now and it was around the same time I started looking into CNC machines.

About a year ago I started chatting with Eugene via email about his plywood kits. I wanted something that had an element of DIY to it as I need to scratch the "maker" itch! I come from an engineering background (software rather than hardware, but the headspace is the same) so Eugene's solution, among the sea of scary looking MDF builds and non-metric plans, really caught my attention. Especially the use of steel rails. There really is some value in a kit that talks about going to bunnings for stuff!

So, I finished my build back in November last year. My father, Flipside, purchased a kit about a month prior to me. I helped him put his kit together in August 2013, when I went to visit.

Right now I have a 1800x650 work area (1800x1200 table), but it really is too big for my needs. I am in the process of designing a new torsion box to give me a 900x600 work area. I am going to incorporate everything I have learnt about the machine and didn't know to do first time around. I'll post on my build log thread as I go. The best part? I can cut all the ribs using my current machine! It really is an awesome capability.

I also have the spindle upgrade kit, which will be installed when the new table is done. The entire process will end up being a complete rebuild really.

As far as what I want the CNC for, currently my interest is with using the Donek Tools Drag Knife for some projects I have in the works. I currently run a side business, Rule & Make, and the plan was to make use of the drag knife for some products.

Anyway, that's all about me. Nice to meet everyone.

4

Re: Introduction

Hi,

I'm Hicks.  I've got a little sheet metal shop in Greenbank, which is just out of Brisbane to the south west.  I manufacture round steel trailer mudguards.  The main part of the process requires MDF moulds (or bucks) to form the mudguards on.  Previously I have made them by hand, with each one taking around 40 hours or so, plus have the little "quirks" in each piece that trying to hand make 24 identical pieces brings with it.  I will also add a plasma attachment so I can cut sheets of steel that are wider than my 1200mm guillotine.

I originally thought of building my own kit, as I am an Electronics tech by trade and have a good set of metal working skills too.  Just the amount of design time and then getting it right was very daunting.  A commercial turn key system was too expensive.  I purchased the steel kit as I like to go  a little overboard with everything I do.  I fabricated a steel table from the scrap bin, with a 1500mm x 3000mm cutting area.  This will allow me too split big steel sheets if that's all my supplier has.  If I was just doing timber I could have got away with a 900mm x 500mm table.

It's taken 6 months (so much for a Christmas break project) to get to the wiring stage.  I have half a dozen jobs waiting and am constantly seeing other things this machine could do.

I can't wait to get chips (and sparks) flying!

5

Re: Introduction

Hi Guys,

Ben McKenzie from Camperdown Victoria.  Formally a qualified Prosthetist/Orthotist and worked in that field for quite a while before retraining as a secondary teacher with methods being Math/Science/Technology.  Had about 6 years out of teaching, share-farming on a dairy property and have begun teaching again this year.  Interests include fabricating, composites, design and technology, electronics, and now CAD/CAM.

My school (Camperdown College) asked me for curriculum ideas that would set us a part from the other local schools and I suggested we get a CNC.  After a fair bit of research and discussion with Eugene, we commissioned XYZ-CNC to build a turn-key unit based on the steel gantry/mill head and modular tables.  Eugene delivered and installed the complete system.

We have had the machine since early this year and being completely new to this there was quite a few gaps in my knowledge!  So far though we have it running well and have used it to complement student's existing woodwork.  I.e. personalised engraving, small prototyping of senior students models, mass production of junior school models and some new signs and numbers around the school.  Next semester I have a dedicated subject to CAD and the CNC. 

I am looking forward to expanding our collective knowledge, I have been completely 2D and hope to get into some 3D towards the end of the year.  The first model for the students will be a ping pong ball gun!  I will be using Google Sketchup Make with 2D tools plug in and a DXF file plugin.  I have gone with this as it's free and the students already use Sketchup occasionally.  Next year I am intending to trial 2D Design from Techsoft as it is an all in one program that students can do their own tool paths etc.

Looking very forward to conversing with you guys, I'm working on a speeds and feed Excel Spreadsheet that works with our system and various end mills.  Once I have it formatted a bit better I am happy to share and have your opinions.  Feel free to check out our machine on YouTube.  Search Camperdown College CNC!!

Thanks, Ben

6 (edited by Flipside 2014-07-17 11:46:12)

Re: Introduction

Hi
I  live in northern Tasmania about 40 km North of Launceston and I enjoy making things  .I have made instruments (Musical) for a few years and the CNC allows for some interesting inlays and accurate fret slots, things that do take a lot of time normally.I have changed to the 2.2kw spindle for accuracy and the noise level is greatly reduced .I think if I built the kit again I would take more time with the torsion box, as mine is not flat and that is a pain . I have thought about using a vacuum hold but have not yet  figured how to incorporate it. I think a drop in box has merit ,so I am interested to see what you guys come up with . Cheers Phill

7

Re: Introduction

Hi everyone.
I've not long bought a plywood kit and 2 module table from eBay as an "unfinished project" and I'm looking forward to finishing it off and getting started. Unfortunately I need to get concrete in the shed first so I have some where to set it up and at the moment it is too wet to even think about it so I am playing with software, setting up a PC to drive it and just generally getting my head around things.
I did a couple of units of auto-cad at Uni about 15 years ago and have not used it since so I am super rusty, but the basics are coming back.
As I live in a rural area I am interested in doing signs for farm gates and the like as well as a few bits and pieces for bee keeping which is another interest of mine.
Cheers.
Paul.

8

Re: Introduction

ben.mckenzie wrote:

Hi Guys,

Ben McKenzie from Camperdown Victoria.  Formally a qualified Prosthetist/Orthotist and worked in that field for quite a while before retraining as a secondary teacher with methods being Math/Science/Technology.  Had about 6 years out of teaching, share-farming on a dairy property and have begun teaching again this year.  Interests include fabricating, composites, design and technology, electronics, and now CAD/CAM.

My school (Camperdown College) asked me for curriculum ideas that would set us a part from the other local schools and I suggested we get a CNC.  After a fair bit of research and discussion with Eugene, we commissioned XYZ-CNC to build a turn-key unit based on the steel gantry/mill head and modular tables.  Eugene delivered and installed the complete system.

We have had the machine since early this year and being completely new to this there was quite a few gaps in my knowledge!  So far though we have it running well and have used it to complement student's existing woodwork.  I.e. personalised engraving, small prototyping of senior students models, mass production of junior school models and some new signs and numbers around the school.  Next semester I have a dedicated subject to CAD and the CNC. 

I am looking forward to expanding our collective knowledge, I have been completely 2D and hope to get into some 3D towards the end of the year.  The first model for the students will be a ping pong ball gun!  I will be using Google Sketchup Make with 2D tools plug in and a DXF file plugin.  I have gone with this as it's free and the students already use Sketchup occasionally.  Next year I am intending to trial 2D Design from Techsoft as it is an all in one program that students can do their own tool paths etc.

Looking very forward to conversing with you guys, I'm working on a speeds and feed Excel Spreadsheet that works with our system and various end mills.  Once I have it formatted a bit better I am happy to share and have your opinions.  Feel free to check out our machine on YouTube.  Search Camperdown College CNC!!

Thanks, Ben

Hi Ben.
I live not far from Camperdown in Kennedys Creek which is south of Simpson.
Is there any chance I could drop by and see the school's machine in action and have a chat at some point?
Cheers.
Paul.

9

Re: Introduction

Hello to all...My name is Mike and I am from America...I have a small shop for woodworking and some limited metal working...I designed and built my own cnc router several years ago for machining up to full sheets of plywood...Since then I found Eugene's machine design and watched all of the available videos that I could locate...
Eugene, in my opinion what you have designed and built is the most aesthetically pleasing DIY system I know of, at least I find it to be so...Equally important it the engineering you have put into your design...You have done an excellent job...Again, and in my opinion, your machine design is a thing of beauty and functionality...If I were to build another router table, I would follow your concepts, but alas, I have been retired (Mechanical Engineering)  for quite some time and the machine I have does as it was designed to do...
I use the same motors, chain driven and Gecko G-540 but without any gear reduction...My machine is much like me, slow in comparison to your design...I would like to put some gear reduction on my machine, but cannot find a supplier of the gearing that is relatively inexpensive...If you have any suggestions as to where to find such a supplier please let me know...
In closing my most sincere compliments to you Eugene on your design and best wishes to all the members of this forum...

Mike Maxfield

10

Re: Introduction

Hi Mike

Thanks for the kudos and sorry for the slow reply. I've always believed "form follows function", so after the machine design was finished mechanically, I just needed to use a little imagination to make it look good.

In regards to gearing, I buy my parts from Chris at http://ausxmods.com.au/. While they are inexpensive, they will require you to re-design your machine as they are separate components, not a "bolt in" unit. And I'm sure you are aware that gears, by their very nature will reduce the speed of your machine, so if you describe your machine as being "slow" currently, it will be considerably slower when geared. The flip side of course, is that your torque and resolution will increase, so as long as you have control over your spindle RPM, you should be able to cut efficiently.

11

Re: Introduction

Eugene,
    Thank you for your reply and the link you sent...I should have been more clear in my comparison between your machine design and mine...Your machine is similar to a race horse, a thing of beauty, that looks fast even when standing still...Mine is a double box beam design, kind of clunky but functional, it looks so slow that one must have a stationary object in its background in order to see any movement (lol think WW1 tank design)...
    I do not really need a fast production machine for anything that I contemplate making on it, but with my design there have been a couple past instances when I would have liked to have the increased torque...For the greatest part I am satisfied with what I have for doing those jobs I intend to take on...
    You can't count yourself as fortunate, you have a keen eye for application of aesthetics to mechanical design...One does not have to look around too far to see designs which are probably mechanically sound and functional but lack a final eye-candy...There are not that many designers around that can put both together into a single design (in comparison to the whole of engineering people)...At least that was what I have observed over the years...
    Anyway, in closing, my compliments to you are well deserved...Keep up the great work...

Best wishes

Mike Maxfield

12

Re: Introduction

Hi Guys,

I am Nick. I am in Docklands, Melbourne. I am a trained boat builder/shipwright who runs a business in Docklands where we teach boat building and provide the facilities for others to build their own projects.

I have been designing plywood kit boats for a number of years now. Aside from kit boat there are any number of tasks suit to a cnc machine. I believed a cnc machine would be out of my reach but thanks to Eugene I was able to purchase one from him recently. It is a fully complete machine, basically a turn key setup.

I have so much to cut and draw for cutting now! It's hard to get back to all the sanding waiting for me now on the boats....

Nick.

13

Re: Introduction

Hi. My name is Cathii.

I left school and decided, despite my parents protests, that university wasn't for me and went and got a job as an apprentice diesel mechanic in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. Whilst doing my apprenticeship the fitter/boiler maker that I worked with taught me to mill and turn parts for old agricultural machines where the prospect of picking up an off the shelf spare was next to none. After working as a mechanic for five years, being bitten by dugites on three separate occasions and working in the middle of a field on a broken down header (abandoned in the paddock for 2 months) half full of grain, rats and snakes on a 48.7°C day I packed up my tools and said goodbye to being a mechanic. Since that time I have worked as a truck driver, forklift driver, in IT (both support and programming), went to uni and got a bachelors of nothing useful, a prop and set designer/builder, lighting tech/rigger and most recently as a train driver for the electric suburban trains here in Melbourne.

My daughter and I plan to use this cnc mostly for art purposes although my partner has put in orders for some cabinets to be made to house the ever increasing tech gadgetry in their study (seriously that place looks a lot like Cape Canaveral!). So many ideas and such a big learning curve ahead of us smile

Happy building.

14 (edited by Nicholas 2016-07-16 16:53:17)

Re: Introduction

Hi there,
I'm Nicholas.
I'm a commercial Sculptor. A lot for the theatre industry, a bit of Film and Telly, the Dispaly industry, some public art, some specialised and trick props. I designed childrens playgrounds for a Landscape Architect for a number of years.
I've used a number of CAD packages for quite a while, but never CAM. Reading through the SheetCAM and Mach3 manuals there's quite a bit to absorb. My brain works in pictures, and I have, as they say, "poor reading habits". :-) So I might be posting some questions that seem obvious to you.

In the mean time I'm building the machine in my spare time with some modifications to make it easier to convert between Routing and Plasma.

I'll start posting some of the construction in the Build Logs area of the Forum.

Bye for now,
N.

15

Re: Introduction

Hey Eugene
my name is Dave . I just got hold of one of your old kits off a mate who was updating.
just wondering if I can get a copy of the wiring diagram as he has lost it. he said he thinks the cnc came with a disk but he can`t find it.
any help will be much appreciated so I can get this baby running.
Thanks mate
Dave

16

Re: Introduction

Hey Dave
There's been a number of different versions sold over the years and each one had several changes throughout.
Email me a pic of the one you have and I'll send the wiring diagram.