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melissa Wed 03 March 2010 19:24

Boxes, Clamps and Thien Dust Collector! #83 - Brighton ON CA
3 Attachment(s)
Hi all,

I feel like I'm in the same boat as some around here... idle for two years, collecting parts, and finally getting underway. Table size will be 5100mm x 1900mm, which is the longest practical length I can get from 20' steel for the X rails.

Some of the parts that arrived recently:

Quanmax KEMX-2130 mini-ITX motherboard. Pentium 4, 1.6 GHz with 2GB of memory. This will be located in the control box. The ATX power supply is about the same size as the ATX connector.

Next, one of the four Vexta motors from TRI-R in Brampton (Heath, you were right -- Mark's a great guy to deal with!).

And the PMDX BOB and two of the four geckos.

Not pictured is my new welder (Miller 211 -- I like it a LOT more than the the stick welder it replaced! :) ).

More news as the build progresses. It's finally getting warmer here in Ontario, so my workshop isn't quite so cold anymore (it's not heated).


swatkins Wed 03 March 2010 21:34

It looks like your on your way! That MIller is going to be a good machine ( I have had 3 so far ) and will serve you well :)

domino11 Thu 04 March 2010 00:17

Great to see you are geting started Melissa! Let me know if I can be of any help to you.

Robert M Thu 04 March 2010 06:11

Hey Melissa, welcome aboard….
Wishing you a nice, fun but mostly a smooth sailing on this great move !
Amicalement, Robert ;)

KenC Thu 04 March 2010 06:22

Hi Melissa, All journey starts with the 1st step. Enjoy your journey & we'll be your best mate all along.

PS, watch out for the 1900mm width, I got trap into maximizing material usage to build biggest working area possible like you did & end up with a table that is soo wide that it looks wrong, you may want to have a closer look at that size & see if you really need the size..

MetalHead Thu 04 March 2010 06:41

Good advice Ken ..

I have learned (mostly the hard way) that I myself tend to over build things and that is a wide table unless the plan is to include an indexer on the X Axis :D


KenC Thu 04 March 2010 06:55

Just returning the good advices I got here.

I have the tendency to over build & doing the long way round. BUT I would not know until I get there....:D Gerald got senses into me at the very last moment before I start welding em up. The credit goes to Gerald. (.... again...)

Now I'm really caution when I do any major alteration to the Mechmate plan...

Even for indexer, I will ask myself "Is it really necessary to be that long???" "Do I need to turn anything bigger the 300mm Diameter??" BUT it is futile to ask myself "do you need the A-axis..."

If you really need it for your specific application then there will be no 2 ways about it.

Hope this helps

melissa Sat 06 March 2010 17:31

First steel question...
I have a quantity of steel channel, which I purchased second-hand as racking for my workshop. It was previously used as pallet racking, so it's a bit banged up in places.

I'm hoping to use the channel for the cross bearers (10 10 302), but I have two questions.

First, it's a lighter density than recommended: 6.1 kg/m, versus the 7 kg/m specified in the plans. The dimensions are also a hair smaller (76mm x 35mm, instead of 76mm x 38mm). Is that close enough to still work?

Second, they're all a bit bent in the 76mm dimension. For the planned width of my table, the centre of the table would be down about 3mm from the edges. Is that close enough that the initial table surfacing will take care of any irregularities?


Gerald D Sat 06 March 2010 21:26

Melissa, that is close enough. Just use one extra cross-bearer and tighten up the spacing accordingly.

KenC Sat 06 March 2010 23:17

That is exactly what I used. I made the c/c spacing at 400mm. As far as I know, I can jump on it without any worries. ;) Oh yes, I weights about 100kg.

Johannescnc Sun 07 March 2010 03:25

you can also shim up the places as needed... 3mm? still struggle with my new system of measurement .. :rolleyes:

KenC Sun 07 March 2010 04:05

John, I don't think that is necessary for the cross bearer.

you are getting there with your metric. Where I'm from, metric & Imp are used freely & well mixed... Here is how we tell the old shop keeper when we need a 3mm plate.
" 1/8th plate not full thickness." then he will hand me a 3mm plate.
" 3/8th bolt 2" long, MM size, fine thread " & I'll get a M8x1.0 50mm long hex head bolt.

melissa Sun 07 March 2010 09:06

I'm glad to hear that this steel channel will work. For 16 cross-bearers, it'll save me about $500 on steel.

I'm still trying to figure out the delivery part for the rest of the steel -- the two vendors I talked to said I need to have a means to mechanically unload (i.e. forklift). I may need to go talk to one of the neighbouring farmers to see if he'll help with his tractor :).


KenC Sun 07 March 2010 21:22

Have you consider a pair of extra hands?. When I took delivery of my steel, it took 2 of us, (the truck driver & me ) to unload.

melissa Sun 07 March 2010 22:06

The steel company I spoke to in person actually told me their insurance company forbids manual unloading.

Personally, I think that might just be a good idea -- at least for the main beams, at 300 lbs each :eek:. 150 lbs is more than I'm willing (or able) to lift.


KenC Sun 07 March 2010 22:53

If you go the brute force way, that may break someone's back lifting a 300lb steel. Our normal approach is to utilise mechanical leverage & skids. We didn't even lift the beam in the air, at least one part of the steel is always on solid ground/support as pivot/swivel point. We swivel/swing it around to shift sideways, then push & pull using a piece of plywood (or what ever that comes in handy) as skid. And yes, we move one at a time. If you must, a long pry bar comes in handy too. No sweat.
BUT if you can get hold of machine to help out, that would be the easiest way out.

melissa Wed 31 March 2010 18:22

next steel question
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Way back when I ordered my lasercut parts from Heath, the shipping company accidentally sent my parts first to Calgary, then back to Toronto (7000km round-trip). At the time, it looked like they were all OK.

But... when I recently inspected them closely, I found the y-car had been bent because of all the handling :mad:.

I've attached two photos showing where it's bent, with a 12" ruler for scale. Should this be fairly easy to straighten out? I do have a hydraulic shop press that could be used, as well as normal "percussive maintenance" (a hammer :) ).


bradm Wed 31 March 2010 18:34

I would say that the flatness of that surface is non-critical - it's the relationship of the other four structural elements that defines the accuracy of the cutterhead to the V wheels.

So, I would try to straighten that "by hand", possibly with two boards and a couple of clamps, maybe mild percussive maintenance, but in general relying on the assembly process of the car to bring it back into line. So get it roughly right, acknowledge that it's non-critical, and proceed with assembly. Use clamps as required to push it into place before welding.

domino11 Wed 31 March 2010 18:56

Thats too bad we did not catch that right away. Brad sounds right on the money as what to do. When you go to weld in the end plates, as long as you have it in the ballpark, you can clamp the end plates to the top and it will straighten out the last little bit. The end plates will not bend in that direction.

cvriv.charles Wed 31 March 2010 22:11

As they said,... thats not a problem. Thats easily flattened out. plus once you go through the process of welding all the pieces to it,... it will be true and straight. But i mean,... its up to you on how true and straight it will be when your done:D

MetalHead Wed 31 March 2010 22:14

Ditto - just work it by hand first to take the bends out of the metal. Then when you put all the parts together it will be straight.

Gerald D Wed 31 March 2010 22:27

"percussive maintenance" is in order, but use a rubber mallet. It is a very minor and quick correction with a rubber mallet.

melissa Fri 30 April 2010 10:42

steel delivered!
3 Attachment(s)
My steel was delivered this morning. There's more here than for just the MechMate -- the first project will be a gantry crane, which will help me to build the MechMate itself.

I sent out a request for quote to three vendors in the area. Good thing, too -- prices varied considerably. I had a few issues getting the steel unloaded, fortunately I live close to a scrapyard (who has several forklifts), and he helped me unload the truck on about 10 minute's notice.

Total weight delivered here is just shy of 3000 lbs. The cross bearers are not pictured (they're behind the workshop, delivered back in January).


camilleg Fri 30 April 2010 10:55

I bet if you magnetized all that, next year's Bay of Quinte charts would need a special correction of magnetic north.

The magnolia's looking quite happy about the state of things, too!

cvriv.charles Fri 30 April 2010 17:33

Thats a nice garage you have there.

MJCMendonca Wed 07 July 2010 11:24

Hey Melissa, nice garage indeed. I assume it will be housing your MechMate?
Also, I noticed you have a sailboat there on a cradle! I'm also a sailor, have a Beneteau 331 at Port Credit Harbour Marina. We should go sailing and talk about the MechMate when you are in the Toronto area!


MetalHead Thu 08 July 2010 07:03

I that you looking at the steel....???

I can see that smile from the back of your head :D

camilleg Tue 28 September 2010 12:33

> the first project will be a gantry crane, which will help me to build the MechMate itself.

BTW, Melissa's finished the crane. What's scary is that something bright yellow and 4x10x10 feet can be overlooked in his workshop.

melissa Wed 20 October 2010 23:51

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Here's a photo of the crane. It clears the overhead lights by less than an inch. I'm really glad I went for the fancy polyurethane wheels -- it rolls really nicely.

The trolley and the chain hoist are both from princess auto (on sale). Wheels from Busy Bee, as is the drill press in the foreground. I thought about getting an electric hoist, but figured that when dealing with things this heavy, slower is better!

melissa Thu 21 October 2010 00:00

Steel moves into the workshop...
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All my steel spent the summer sitting outside while I worked on other projects :(. After that time, it all had a nice patina of rust. I cleaned the worst off with a knotted cup brush in my angle grinder, and then proceeded to move it into the workshop.

The main beams were a headache, at 300 pounds each. I could move them sideways (one end at a time) using a hand truck, but lengthwise was a problem. The solution was to attach two C-clamps to one end, and use the tractor to drag them into the workshop :D.

Once inside, moving dollies made them easi(er) to move around. The crane is a pleasure to use... a straight lift of 300 pounds is no issue at all. Mind you, it's rated for 2 tons, so I should hope not!

I built some extra wooden sawhorses for this project. URL available on request.

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