Well it's been a while since I've updated the website! That doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything ;) I've compiled a few things into one post... Check it out!

First up - I've done a few things to try and remove flexing from the gantry - still unsuccessful as there's still just a little bit of flex - I'm pretty sure it's all in the Y Axis - I can see the AL bars twist and the wheels on the round rod I think are moving just a hair too, which a hair here translates into a big move at the end of the bit! so I want to get rid of it... I'll be heading down to the metal supplier this week sometime to get some 1/4" X 5" X 36" cold rolled steel plate and I will be swapping out the aluminum bars with it... if THAT twists then I'll have to go thicker I guess... Anyway - here's a good picture of the current machine!

{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/GoodLookatCurrentMachine.jpg{/rokbox}

Here you can see that I've "put together" the two Y bars and bolted them together with some thin steel to try and remove the twisting - it worked a little but not enough... You can also see my temporary set up for my new 4th Axis - I'm direct driving the chuck while I make some timing belts (see below). and last but not least you can see the new configuration of the Z axis - parts are still made out of MDF whilst I make sure these will work for what I want and then I'll make them out of aluminum :) although the MDF is working great as it is, really - I *could* leave it like that and probably will for a bit

Oh and yes, there's a new router there - a cheapo Harbor Freight one... I bought it to try and see if the router speed control would allow me to mill aluminum at a slower speed (milling at full router speed now and I know it's not "optimum") but don't waste your time on that idea - the router speed controller slows the bit down for sure, but nearly any load and the motor stalls :(

I'm working on an electric motor idea and I may build my own spindle - maybe ;)

OK, next up! Timing Pulleys... I bought Bob Adams program for making timing pulleys and it works great! I'm just making a few out of MDF because I had some round pieces after cutting the holes for the HF router and I figured I could use them to test the 4th axis and the program before I make them out of aluminum :)

Here's a few pictures and videos for you to check out!

in this picture you can see the set up for the test in MDF
{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/TimingPulley.jpg{/rokbox}

Here's three timing pulleys fresh off the machine!
{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/ThreeTimingPulleys.jpg{/rokbox}

and here's a look at the belt (note I did not have the exact bit size I need to make these so they are a little off...)
{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/TimingPulleyBeltFit.jpg{/rokbox}

and here's a video (the best part!) HERE
and a video of me testing the pulleys :) HERE

OK I got one more thing for this update and we're done! - nothing too crazy, I just wanted to show off a part I made in aluminum. In the picture you can see the temporary vise set up, kinda hobo, but hey, what have I done that isn't ;)

{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/MillingAL2.jpg{/rokbox} {rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/LinearBearingCarriage.jpg{/rokbox} {rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/LinearBearingCarriage2.jpg{/rokbox} {rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/LinearBearingCarriage3.jpg{/rokbox}

OK That's it for today! Oh except for this LAST thing - I made a few cool wooden gears too, just for fun :)

{rokbox}images/stories/FebUpdate/Gear.jpg{/rokbox}

OK, hopefully I'll have some cool projects worth showing very soon!

Jamie