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  #1  
Old Mon 06 April 2009, 00:25
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Some stunning stuff, using help from paint masks #34 - Seattle, WA

Hello,

Gerald, thank you for your design, knowledge, and this website. I came across it in January while searching for a used Shopbot online, but building a MechMate seemed like a more worthwhile and rewarding pursuit.

Over the past several months of research, planning, and reading this site, I've learned a lot more about fabrication and CNC than I ever thought I would. This weekend, I started the cutting, welding and drilling...and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

Some information on my MechMate, it will be about 55" x 100" and will be a bolt together design -- I expect to (have to) move it into my basement someday. I based the base on KevinL's machine. I liked his idea for the welded subsections, and ibeams give a lot of room for bolts. So far, it seems very strong and stable.

Enjoy the pics...I can't wait until next weekend to continue!

John


Base design, similar to Kevin's:
1.jpg

Laser cut parts courtesy Joe McClain:
2.jpg

Fresh cut steel:
3.jpg

Notice my welder is MechMate Blue
4.jpg

Welded side subsections and rusty ibeams (main beams):
5.jpg

Just visualizing...
6.jpg
7.jpg

Laying out and match drilling the bolt on flanges to the legs:
8.jpg
9.jpg
10.jpg
11.jpg

Finished all 16 flanges this weekend. The 2x2 subsection will be welded to the flange...next weekend!:
12.jpg
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  #2  
Old Mon 06 April 2009, 00:43
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Welcome John, great start!
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  #3  
Old Mon 06 April 2009, 07:37
Rad Racer
Just call me: Wayne #25
 
Minnesota
United States of America
Now, that's what I call a good start! At this rate you should be done by Friday

By the way, I like your garage floor. Is it hard to clean?
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  #4  
Old Mon 06 April 2009, 12:25
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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Good going there John....that is going to be a nice STRONG table.
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  #5  
Old Mon 06 April 2009, 22:44
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Thank you for the encouragement, guys.

Wayne, the floor is really nice to work on, but is very hard to clean. Dust and wood chips get caught underneath and won't come out with vacuuming. Once the table is cutting, I will probably remove it and epoxy coat the floors.

John
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  #6  
Old Tue 07 April 2009, 09:10
ChiknNutz
Just call me: Chris
 
PNW
United States of America
Cool...I may have to come visit you. I'll be sure to bring my drool towel so as to not mess up that CLEAN workspace ya got goin'!
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  #7  
Old Sun 12 April 2009, 23:11
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Weekend Update

This has become addictive, and I ended up working on the MechMate for a couple hours every night after work this past week, and pretty much morning to night this weekend. I'm a lucky guy...my girlfriend has been really supportive of this project and hasn't minded.

So after a week, I have the base built, and the y-car welded up. I really didn't expect it to go this fast, so I don't have the steel for the rails, v-rollers, or any of the control box components ordered yet...I guess that's next!

Gerald: I hadn't tried putting together the y-car until today, and I'm utterly impressed and inspired by your design. It all fit together so well, and made welding so easy! It's obvious you designed this with the builder in mind...thank you!


Welding up the flanges...my method of keeping everything square.
13.jpg

Beams were too big for my saw, so this process process took quite a while.
14.jpg

Starting to look familiar!
16.jpg
17.jpg

Setting up and welding the Y-car.
18.jpg
19.jpg

Finished Y-car. Some of my welds are very ugly, but luckily I'm better with a grinder than a welder!
20.jpg
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  #8  
Old Mon 13 April 2009, 02:13
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
John,

Nice looking table.
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  #9  
Old Mon 13 April 2009, 07:01
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Great work John! Keep those pictures coming.
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  #10  
Old Mon 13 April 2009, 13:44
robertmonroe
Just call me: Robert
 
El Paso
United States of America
Looking good, no, looking great!
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  #11  
Old Mon 13 April 2009, 16:33
PEU
Just call me: Pablo
 
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Nice table.

Question: why you decided to go to a custom table instead of the one in the MM blueprints?
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  #12  
Old Mon 13 April 2009, 21:00
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Thanks for all the compliments.

Pablo, I wanted a bolt-together design that could break down in sections for easy assembly, while not sacrificing rigidity. After getting ideas from other builds on the forum, and assembling/disassembling the machine in my mind over several months, this design made a lot of sense to me.
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  #13  
Old Tue 14 April 2009, 20:27
Travish
Just call me: Travis #75
 
Wa
United States of America
Nicely Done John!

I will deffinatly have to come and visit your and your machine sometime this summer. Great solid start! I like the bolt together design very much! I have a better understanding of it based on your well taken pictures. Best of luck to you and your machine.
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  #14  
Old Mon 20 April 2009, 00:40
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Weekend 3 Update

Didn't get as much done this weekend as I wanted. Picked up angles at the steel yard for the rails on Saturday morning, and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out how to cut them down.

Finally setup and cut on on the bandsaw Sunday. It not easy pushing a 45lb, 11 foot piece of angle through a bandsaw! Each one took about half an hour of constant pressure, and I ended up snapping the blade with 4 inches left on the last one. I ended up having to use the grinder to finish it off. Though this is all I accomplished this week, I'm sure glad it's done!

Guess what I'll be doing next weekend!


Bandsaw setup with piece of square tube for fence:


Setup beam on a bench to catch the angle:


Cutting...very long, boring, tiring...zzz...


Yay!


Smoothing the cut edge:

Last edited by buibui; Mon 20 April 2009 at 00:42.. Reason: IMG TAG
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  #15  
Old Sat 02 May 2009, 15:44
lumberjack_jeff
Just call me: Jeff #31
 
Montesano, WA
United States of America
Hi neighbor

I live in Olympia and I'm a' fixin to start one of my own. I LOVE your table design, it seems to me that it is of huge benefit to be able to disassemble it for transport.

Well done.
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  #16  
Old Sat 02 May 2009, 21:24
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Thank you, lumberjack Jeff. And good luck with starting your build.

Looks like we may be able to start a MM gang in the PNW soon, as Chris and Travis are in the area too!
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  #17  
Old Wed 13 May 2009, 23:50
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
I finally finished grinding the rails. The skate works great, and the result was better than what I was expecting from a hand grinder. I struggled a little on the first one, but the others went pretty easily...not sure if it's due to new grinding wheels I bought (more aggressive, extended performance Dewalt wheels) or if I managed to tweak the setup "just right" during the change.

I tacked the original guard to the skate...I'm pretty scared of these things!
skate.jpg

Still need to drill, but otherwise done!
054.jpg
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  #18  
Old Thu 14 May 2009, 00:21
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Nice idea on the guard!

Good view of all the grit, but from the strong shadows it looks like you did the job oustside. Bet you are glad you are over that hurdle!
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  #19  
Old Thu 14 May 2009, 04:31
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
John,

Nice work!

I really like the idea of tacking the guard on the back of the skate...danger lurks there.
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  #20  
Old Thu 14 May 2009, 23:41
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Thank you, Gerald and John. I did drag everything outside to do the grinding. That's part of the reason why it took so long, as it's been raining off and on during the past couple weeks. I heard on the news that we got snow in the mountains yesterday...in mid-May!

This week, I received my fasteners and most of my electronics, so I can start on the gantry, z-axis, and control box. I started buying hardware at Lowe's (hardware store) but this became really expensive and frustrating, since everything is packaged in odd quantities I didn't need, and their metric selection isn't very good and pricey. I ordered everything else from Fastenal for a fraction of the cost, and was able to buy by individual pieces. Here's what I found waiting for me when I got home:

fastenal.jpg


Started the z-axis this evening. Not much happening here, but I thought it was a nice picture

002.jpg


I guess there's no turning back now. Just sizing up my box, and I'm hoping to start the kitchen table project during next few days!

box2.jpg
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  #21  
Old Mon 25 May 2009, 00:45
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Hello all,

This weekend, I got a lot of drilling and tapping completed, and welded the gantry. Things are now rolling!

It's memorial day holiday in the US, so I'll have an extra day of working on the table tomorrow...

003.JPG

006.JPG

008.JPG

016.JPG
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  #22  
Old Mon 25 May 2009, 01:15
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Nice!

(Hope you know that the y-car is wrong way around relative to ganty?)
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  #23  
Old Mon 25 May 2009, 01:42
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Thank you, Gerald. I just threw the y-car on to test how it rolls. (Then spent about an hour this evening just sliding things back and forth...it's sort of relaxing!)
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  #24  
Old Wed 03 June 2009, 03:22
cvriv.charles
Just call me: charles
 
New Jersey
United States of America
I love your table! I need something that bolts together too. I love the use of the I beams. The only thing I have to question is,... your table is ok without adjustable feet? Or you havent got that far yet?

Hey can we get a shot of your garage from the outside? Please It looks huge!
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  #25  
Old Wed 22 July 2009, 22:53
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Charles, thanks for your compliments and sorry to miss your post...I haven't been on my own thread in a long time.

The table is fine without adjustable feet where it is right now, but I have shims in case things aren't level if I ever move it.

My garage is a three car garage...fairly typical in my area. I think it looks bigger because I haven't cluttered it up too much yet!
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  #26  
Old Wed 22 July 2009, 23:31
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
I haven't posted updates in a while. I've been tied up on other projects, and finally made a push during the last couple of weeks to do a lot of finish grinding, cleaning, sandblasting, and painting.

I've also have been finishing up a lot of the small details, and there are a whole lot of them. I'm still not completely done with the mechanicals yet -- need to finish the motor assemblies, z-drive, and other details -- But I'm finally seeing the end!

003.JPG

007.JPG

008.JPG

012.JPG

013.JPG

018.JPG

023.JPG

cnc 018.JPG

mechmate 011.JPG

mechmate 050.JPG

mechmate 070.JPG
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  #27  
Old Thu 23 July 2009, 00:02
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Glorious!
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  #28  
Old Thu 23 July 2009, 00:04
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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Nice, I will be afraid to get it dirty....BUT we need dust..
Well done John...like the blue shoes
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  #29  
Old Thu 23 July 2009, 00:58
buibui
Just call me: John #34
 
Seattle
United States of America
Don't worry, Kobus...it will get dirty soon, I promise!
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  #30  
Old Thu 23 July 2009, 01:39
AuS MaDDoG
Just call me: Tony #71
 
Brisbane
Australia
Fantasic looking build, I can only hope that I can achieve a similar build quality once I start my build, guess it gives me something to aspire too.
Great work, well done!!

Cheers
Tony.
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