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  #61  
Old Tue 18 September 2007, 23:14
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Hi Greg

Your mystery no.4 drive that went back under warranty, and which was found fault-free, have you got it working now?
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  #62  
Old Wed 19 September 2007, 05:59
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Believe it or not, I haven't even looked at it yet. Not that it takes that much time. Just have been concentrating on the table welding and rails / skate, etc. (I will have allot more free time for the MechMate come mid October)

Maybe I'll move it up the priority list and work on it this weekend. We'll see.
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  #63  
Old Fri 21 September 2007, 10:23
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Gerald,

Thanks to my air conditioning going out at the house, I've had some free time to work on that mystery Gecko (I had to be there for the service guy).

Everything is working! Well almost, all the motors turn, including the two for the X-axis (slave mode is working). The LED on that mystery Gecko does not light green. Everything seems to be working fine, just no green LED.

So, to summarize, the Gecko driver was never the problem. It was, oh, uh, lets just say operator error . It had to be a loose connection somewhere. I'm not going to worry about the driver with no green LED for now (unless someone tells me different).

Greg
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  #64  
Old Fri 21 September 2007, 10:39
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
On another note, I was asking Gerald on another thread if the weight of the main beams could be reduced by drilling holes thru out the beam. The answer was no, so on to plan B (for reasons explained below).

I am now fabricating a very nice gantry crane. I found some plans from www.synthx.com ($15) and ordered the steel this morning. Pretty simple design and fabrication should take no more than one day (two max, excluding painting). The total cost is much less than buying one (less than $900) for everything (chain hoist, trolley, etc).

Its amazing that I had to strain the lower abdominal muscle to strengthen the one between my ears.
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  #65  
Old Sat 17 November 2007, 17:49
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Greg,

Where are you? The last time we heard, you were going on an elk hunt. Did you give up building your MM?
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  #66  
Old Sun 18 November 2007, 08:00
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Hey Doug,

No, I haven't given up on the MechMate. I have given up on the "skate" though. My rail height is 1.00 inch (25.40 mm) and I just couldn't get a nice 45 degree edge. I tried everything, even Gerald's outriggers but couldn't do it. Other people we're kind enough to offer their skate/tool, but theirs was for taller rail heights and I didn't want to change the motor mounts or what ever parts change from a taller rail. So, after the holiday, I'm sending my "cut" angles (rails without 45 degree edge) to a machine shop. I know my limits, and I could spend another couple of months making another skate, but I rather build a MechMate than figuring out a tool.

I did finish my 1.5 ton Gantry crane, so moving and lifting this beast is not a problem. Also, my Steelmax steel cutting skill saw failed on me last week, so I completely dismantled the saw (a first for me), found the problem (fried brush contact spring due to loose fitting brush holder) and ordered parts and now it's operating better than when I bought it. Kinda makes up for the skate episode.

I'm currently cutting the cross channels and will be drilling holes shortly.

Nope, I'm not giving up on this baby. It is hard to watch everyone else's progress while I "putt" along, but I'll get there.

Thanks for checking up. I still check this site 3, 4, 5, 6 etc. times a day.

Greg
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  #67  
Old Sun 06 January 2008, 20:01
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
A quick picture

Here's a quick picture of progress as of tonight. I've mounted the V-rollers on the gantry and Y-car. The gantry and Y-car have been mounted on the main table. I haven't done any adjustment to the gantry or Y-car, but its amazing how well both ride.

My Z-slide should be ready Tuesday or Wednesday. Its so nice to finally get to this stage of the project.

1 6 08.jpg
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  #68  
Old Sun 06 January 2008, 20:26
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
nice looking machine. Congrats on your progress. I got my rails cut down and drilled today. I hope to look like your picture by next week. Sean
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  #69  
Old Sun 06 January 2008, 20:48
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Greg,

Beautiful work. It feels great doesn't it?
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  #70  
Old Mon 07 January 2008, 04:32
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to J.R. Hatcher
Greg, it's looking very good. Did you opt not to put the 4 braces on the 2 sides or just haven't got to it yet? The adjustable feet look very substantial what are they?
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  #71  
Old Mon 07 January 2008, 06:28
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
J.R.,

I didn't put the side bracing because the main table is fabricated from 2 inch X 3 inch [50.8mm x 76.2 mm] rectangular tubing. Those "square" welded joints have ample strength for the bending stresses.

Yes, I went over kill on the leveling feet. The insert on the bottom of the tube accepts 3/4 inch [19 mm] bolts. I just thought that the "recommended" feet (approx 200 to 300 lbs [90 to 136 KG] per foot "looked" small. Its only for looks. Also, the bigger feet cost the same as the smaller feet. Ordered from McMaster. I will get the Part Number is anyone wants it.

Sean and Doug,
Thanks. My wife is getting excited about actually cutting some wood some day.
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  #72  
Old Mon 07 January 2008, 06:35
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Greg,

Did you use Rectangle Tubing for the bed or X to X bracing?

Your table looks good.
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  #73  
Old Mon 07 January 2008, 07:14
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Niles,

If I understand your question correctly.

I used rectangular tubing for everything below the main beams and cross members. The main beams were 7 inch channel. The cross members were 3 inch channel. Both per drawing spec's.
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  #74  
Old Mon 07 January 2008, 13:40
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...and my next build will use rectangular tube for the legs and sub-frame. Easy to get locally....easy to weld.
Sean
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  #75  
Old Mon 07 January 2008, 13:50
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
And easy square cuts.
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  #76  
Old Wed 09 January 2008, 21:06
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
OK Gerald,

Enough "tom-foolery". But MM Mechanical pencils would be chick magnets

Here's my progress report for tonight: While waiting on the Z-slide from a local ( 60 miles / 96.5 Km) machine shop, (they now say Friday), I'm trying to shim my X rails for proper gantry alignment and "ride".

With no shims, only 3 V-rollers, on the gantry, make contact with the X rails for .... 80% of the rails. The other 20%, rides perfect.

I added washers (shims) to the 80% and 80% rides perfect. 20% has 3 V-roller in contact. All shims have been added to one side only.

Just some observations of an evenings spent aligning the X rails. Have not completed the process, so more tomorrow.
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  #77  
Old Wed 09 January 2008, 22:38
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Greg, good work, but don't go overboard now......

The final shimming of the x-rollers is when you get the gantry square to the x-rails. For that you need the router/spindle to be fully operational.

Yes, it is not too early to get the x-rails straight and parallel, but you will be spending time later getting all the wheels to touch all the time. Funny, but when you tension the motor springs, the last gaps disappear, and then the whole alignment process is forgotten!
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  #78  
Old Thu 10 January 2008, 06:52
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Greg,

Have you drilled your spider plate for the V rollers? I'm being held up now because the rollers opened up on me when I tightened the bolts that hold the spider plate to the car. I should have anticipated that happening. Think about it, if there is enough tolerance so that you can slide the spider plate into place, when you tighten the bolts, they're going to stretch the plate and pull the rollers farther apart. I used washers to take up the slack but there was still enough room to cause me a problem. I ended up having to grind off a couple of the nuts I had welded on to the back of the spider and reposition them.

Gerald, I had intended to start a separate thread to warn people about this but it sounded like Greg was getting close to the point where he might drill those holes so I figured I had better speak up. I'm in the process of waiting on the paint to dry in 40 degree F weather and then I was going to take some pictures and start the thread. I've also been wondering if anyone else had the same problem.

Last edited by Doug_Ford; Thu 10 January 2008 at 06:54.. Reason: to make an additional comment
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  #79  
Old Thu 10 January 2008, 08:05
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Very valid point Doug. Those holes must be drilled as "narrow" or as tight as possible. The laser markings with the triple cross-hairs was intentionally made "vague" so that the holes could be optimised. Some "gauge" plates are 4" [101.6mm], others are 100mm [3.937"], while the amount of metal removed during the V-profiling also has an influence.

Didn't someone else also grind off the nuts, plugweld the holes, and start again? I will have to say more on the drawing.

Edit: Found it: See post #41 this thread
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  #80  
Old Thu 10 January 2008, 17:01
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Gerald and Doug,

Thank you both very much. I always check the forum when getting home from the day job and before heading out to the shop. The plan for tonight was more X rail work. I'll hold off for now.

Thanks for the heads up on the spider plate Doug. Still waiting on the Z slide. Hopefully tomorrow. If it would have been done, I might have tried drilling those holes tonight.

Taking a vacation day tomorrow so I can frame up my equipment room ( I poured the foundation last weekend). It'll house the new dust collection system.
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  #81  
Old Sun 13 January 2008, 19:25
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
A little update

Still haven't received my Z slide from "that" outside source.

Geeez, I hate relying on "things" outside my control.

Anyways, finished the framing and metal shell of the equipment room. Trim should show up this week. Next weekend, I'll finish trim, and make a nice wood door for the equipment room.

If the Z slide shows up this week, I'll work on that.


If you want something interesting to read, check out Doug's thread. That dude is cranking.
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  #82  
Old Sun 13 January 2008, 19:42
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
I'd kill to have my own space to house my machine. You are really going to have a nice setup. After you said you ordered a dust collection system, I got to thinking about it and I'm probably going to do the same thing. I'm ready to cut stuff now and I don't want to take on another fairly long term project like building a cyclone and blower. Good luck with your Z plate.
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  #83  
Old Mon 14 January 2008, 06:23
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Doug,

My wife's father was a contractor/cabinet maker. Old school. Never wore dust masks, etc. Pass away at 55 from lung issues. That's probably my number one reason why I want the dust control system up and running as soon as possible. And, I guess my wife wants me around awhile longer.

If you don't want to tackle a dust collection system at this time, invest in the best, positive seal dust mask.
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  #84  
Old Wed 16 January 2008, 05:46
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Z-slide update

Finally received some calls yesterday from the machine shop that's fabricating my Z slide. Maybe today!

If Z slide is completed today, then tonight, I'll start work on slide tube. I want the Z slide so I can center punch the holes from the slide onto the tube. Trying not to get ahead of myself.

At this stage of the project, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to make sure it's not a train.
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  #85  
Old Wed 16 January 2008, 16:54
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Wooooo Hoooo

Got my Z slide. Paid $100, just for everyone else's reference.

Also received my Shuttle Pro controller. Very cool.

That's all the house/computer time I can stand, off to the shop for the evening.
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  #86  
Old Sun 27 January 2008, 18:55
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Picture Update

Here's my latest progress report.

My top connection point for the gas spring is different. It's only tack welded, so I'll finish welding and clean it up.
1-27-08 001.jpg


1-27-08 002.jpg


I'm not satisfied with the transition of the X cable chain to the Y cable chain. This will probably change.
1-27-08 003.jpg


1-27-08 004.jpg


1-27-08 005.jpg


1-27-08 007.jpg


1-27-08 008.jpg


Just another pic of the gas spring connection point.
1-27-08 009.jpg


My leveling feet. I went with a larger size foot just for aesthetics. It's the pyramid concept. The base should be larger than the top.
1-27-08 010.jpg


All I did here was to square the ends of the main channel.
1-27-08 011.jpg
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  #87  
Old Sun 27 January 2008, 20:33
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Greg,
Nicely done. You know what - I had my x chain routed the same way, then I switched it....I think I am going to switch it back to the way I had it. All the tapped holes are still in the main beams. I haven't plug welded them and repaired my "mistakes". I now have a new plan for tomorrow before I pull all the chain guides off and paint. Thanks for the inspiration.

---
...Wish I had a machine shop that would make that slide for 100 bucks. Thats cheaper than me making it in house!


Sean
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  #88  
Old Sun 27 January 2008, 23:18
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
Send a message via Skype™ to Alan_c
Greg

Very very nice, good work. I like the look of the rectangular tubing for the legs, I may go for that option myself.

Alan
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  #89  
Old Mon 28 January 2008, 04:40
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to J.R. Hatcher
That is a nice looking machine.
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  #90  
Old Mon 28 January 2008, 05:47
cobra427mnsi
Just call me: Paul
 
Leamington, Ontario
Canada
Greg
Very nice work! Looks Good. Keep the pictures coming. Oh, by the way, I like the picture of you smiling too.

Paul
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