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  #1  
Old Mon 19 May 2014, 21:15
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Parts arrived !!! Time to get to work !! - Pennsylvania USA

Hello .... I have been lurking here for a week but have been watching your machines on youtube for about a year. I have a small diy 2x4 router made by another man and a Phoenix cnc wood lathe. Also have a Bridgeport series 1 mill awaiting retrofit..... but the Mechmate project is going on the front burner. I took some tech school cnc courses a few years ago and since then have been accumulating all this equipment. Also have a Taiwan 1236 lathe to convert to cnc.

I will include some pics later. I am a woodworker and wannabe metal worker.

Glad to be here !!!

Now I am already off to start my build thread since I just bought a Mechmate laser kit on ebay (won it about 45 minutes ago)
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  #2  
Old Mon 19 May 2014, 21:31
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Mechmate for a Cheapskate

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cheapskate

I just won this on ebay less than an hour ago.... A complete laser cut/bent kit along with plans and 4 v-groove bearings. Got it for $400 including free shipping

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161301259726...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT



I also have a logitrol mill retrofit kit I bought on ebay a while back. It has Gecko 201 drivers.

Soooooooo I am off .... except my laser kit is still in California awaiting shipment


Last edited by Rapid; Mon 19 May 2014 at 21:35..
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  #3  
Old Mon 19 May 2014, 21:55
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
.... I will be making a $100 donation ..... since the plans are not to be resold

I am sure i will get over $100 worth of advice before I am done building

.... boy this is really exciting. I had been contemplating building a clone EZ-Router ... but decided having plans and pre cut parts would save a lot of engineering (and expensive experimenting)
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  #4  
Old Mon 19 May 2014, 22:37
parrulho
Just call me: Paulo #108
 
willemstad
Netherlands Antilles
Welcome!

nice push, you will not regret it.
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  #5  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 04:09
Tom Ayres
Just call me: Tom #117
 
Bassett (VA)
United States of America
Welcome to the MechMate family. I suggest Read, Read, Read. There's plenty of help if you can not figure things out but it won't be handed to you. Most of all enjoy the experience!
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  #6  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 06:33
IMMark
Just call me: Mark #119
 
Columbus Ohio
United States of America
Welcome aboard....looking forward to a fast build from you....given your name
Mark
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  #7  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 06:38
lonestaral
Just call me: Al #114
 
Isarn
Thailand
Send a message via Skype™ to lonestaral
Welcome G0.
Full speed ahead but don't forget to read a lot.
A lot of experience and advise are on tap.
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  #8  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 06:45
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Thanks !

I think I will buy the paint today ! Probably John Deere Green .... I see another builder painted his JD Green with yellow lettering and pin stripe. (I like to get the cart before the horse !!!)

So now I have laser kit, electronics including computer with XP, and paint ....so when I get my laser kit I will start on the Y car and start looking for deals on steel

I will be using the Mechmate commercially and may go longer than a 48 x 96 ... maybe will consider 144 in length

I have Linux on the 2x8 router I bought a month ago .... so far I like it. I am using Cambam to generate code. I do have the ability to write blocks of code for easy parts or to edit Cam programs. I think I will run Linux on the Mechmate also.

Last edited by Rapid; Tue 20 May 2014 at 06:48..
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  #9  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 08:16
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
5' x 12' is a wonderful size if you have the room for it.
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  #10  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 08:36
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
I'll second what Sean said...
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  #11  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 10:20
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Thanks for the advise on table size. darren it was your remarks in another thread that inspired me to think about more table capacity. Being able to set up clamping fixtures on one end and still having enough space to do a 4x8 would be a big plus. I will be making solid hardwood furniture parts and would be great to let the clamping fixtures in place while cutting 4x8 sheets.

I will consider 5 foot wide also.... but I need some rational for justifying the extra width.

I am wondering about how much Z movement I will need.... and should I consider modifying the table side rails so that I have a bit more clearance under the gantry. I would love to have the same capacity as the Shopbots.

For now I am building the Y car .... but I need to decide on table size so I can start looking for deals on steel.

..........................

My build should go well since I am blessed with machines to do the fabricating.

I have a series 1 manual Bridgeport with a decent amount of tooling. I have an Atlas 12 x 36 quick change metal lathe with all of the attachments. I have a small band saw but my neighbor has a real nice large capacity one with coolant. I have a friend who will do the welding for me.

... and I have a good spray painting outfit !

I will soon need to purchase a skate.
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  #12  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 10:36
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
I see there is a "General MM-Build" thread for discussing capacities. I noticed the MM is designed primarily for cutting sheets and so clearance under the gantry is limited ... but I want as much clearance as the MM design might allow.

....suggestions ?
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  #13  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 10:41
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
I suggest you keep reading.
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  #14  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 12:29
rcboats1
Just call me: Kelly
 
Everett (WA)
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid View Post

I will soon need to purchase a skate.
The skate is part of the laser cut and bent kit that you bought.
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  #15  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 13:23
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...The height over/under gantry is determined by mainly by:

- c - channel used as main support beams (or other structural shape)

Typically, this yields a roughly 10" overbed height...which translates to a 4" usable cutting depth.

MANY other variations may be found in the forums.
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  #16  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 14:53
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Baltic Birch plywood comes in 5x5 sheets. Theres your rational.
NOW, don't expect us to design your machine for you....
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  #17  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 15:08
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...and MDF comes standard 5x8, 5x10 and 5x12 sheets.
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  #18  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 16:09
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
darren could I stop by to make a few notes and measurements
BTW the cnc Bridgeport I will be retrofitting came from the vo-tech school in Hannibal Missouri (it was a 12 hour drive from here)

smreish .... thanks

.... I happen to have an mdf plant about 15 miles from here.

5 x 12 it will be .... more steel to buy and a lot more rail grinding

rcboats1 thanks for the skate info

KenC I need to keep reading ....
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  #19  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 19:12
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
11 hr. drive for a few measurements? Sure.
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  #20  
Old Tue 20 May 2014, 20:31
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Well I have been reading.... and there is a lot of good information here which if heeded will result in a better build. Some of these threads are huge with over 500 posts so takes some time to get it done.

I wasn't thinking I would build a 5 x 12 but I have room in my shop for it. My local Shopbot competitors have 4 x 8 machines so my extra capacity might land me some work that they can not do.

Thanks to every who responded to my thread .... your advice is appreciated.

My laser kit is paid for and en route from California. I can't wait to examine the plans. I will be purchasing a second set of plans from Metalheads site .... I will have a good copy for in the office and another copy to get greasy and dirty in the shop.
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  #21  
Old Wed 21 May 2014, 01:11
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Nice to know you took my "keep-reading" advise positively

You should tame your expectation too,
1) it only cost very little in comparison to build bigger than you really need, BUT the built challenges do increase with size.
2) with 5x 12 sheet you may need extra handling equipment.
3) Don't just read the forum, study the plans too.
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  #22  
Old Wed 21 May 2014, 08:51
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
The ability to make that custom 12' counter top insert with all the fancy curves that the designer wanted has been of great benefit.

I made for this one client, floor-to-ceiling screen panels that needed to be one piece.

Ceiling height was 11'-6". I was the only person in town that could do it at the time.

Bigger should be plus!
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  #23  
Old Wed 21 May 2014, 17:14
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Thinking outside of the box

Decisions and more decisions.....
Should I build a bolt-together table or weld-together table. Since I have been reading and reading and reading even more ... I see advantages to both methods but I am leaning toward welded.

.... and then I came up with this hybrid of the two methods... Weld the table top together. Then make a base consisting of legs and cross beams and braces. This base would bolt together at the corners so that the base can be broke down into four sections and the table top would bolt to the base.

I also learned from all this reading that I should design the base so that the area under the table can be used for storage. A 5 x 12 makes for a lot of storage space !!!

The location I have for the MM is 14 feet by 30 feet with concrete floor and garage door at one end. I could live with a totally welded table and base but should I ever need to move it the bolt-together and welded-together hybrid would be quite nice.

Last edited by Rapid; Wed 21 May 2014 at 17:19..
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  #24  
Old Thu 22 May 2014, 00:01
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
I built my 5x20 plasma bed bolt-together, didn't bother to take them apart when I moved it. Just get a fork lift & off it went.
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  #25  
Old Thu 22 May 2014, 06:43
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
If I were to move mine, I would hate the thought of disassembly.
When I've moved it, a couple car dollies and a floor jack work great.
Some of the Camaster guys have theirs delivered by truck, back a flatbed tow truck up to the tailgate, wheel the machine onto the flatbed, then tilt the flatbed to the ground to offload.
There is a video somewhere on their site of the process.
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  #26  
Old Thu 22 May 2014, 08:16
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
I use 3 of these. for precise movement.
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  #27  
Old Thu 22 May 2014, 22:09
pblackburn
Just call me: Pete #98
 
South-Central Pennsylvania
United States of America
I built mine as bolt together. I can transport easily the Y Car and Gantry together, the X side, the B side, front/rear ties and the individual crossbearers. I do not have a forklift so this was planned forethought as I know it will be moved to another location later.
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  #28  
Old Fri 23 May 2014, 11:09
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
I built all of my like Pete.
Sides welded.
End gates welded.
Cross bearers bolted.

I will tell you that the bolted crossbearer did allow for me do a very special job for a client. They brought over prebuilt boxes that they wanted engraved/3d modeled on the face.

I Unbolted the center section, lowered the table with longer bolts, and cut away. Thus allowing me about 24" under gantry.

Best
Sean
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  #29  
Old Fri 23 May 2014, 11:15
IMMark
Just call me: Mark #119
 
Columbus Ohio
United States of America
Although I haven't used it yet, it was Sean's build that inspired my decision to do a similar build. Table is all welded, except that of the 9 cross supports, the middle seven are removable. This does not help if the machine were to be moved (which will be someone else's problem, because I plan to be dead and buried in a nice mechmate carved box at that point).
Mark
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  #30  
Old Fri 23 May 2014, 11:38
Rapid
Just call me: Rapid
 
Pennsylvania
United States of America
Sometimes I wonder why I read this Forum ... is it to get technical information or to find someones funny BS

I'm thinking I will mount my Mechmate on a trailer and offer portable cnc routing services

I'm going to make it bolt together so if I sell it on ebay I can offer free shipping (UPS ground)

Thanks IMMark ...btw aren't you taking your MM with you when you go ?


Last edited by Rapid; Fri 23 May 2014 at 11:58..
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