Oleg Lego (in email@example.com) said:
| The Morris Dovey entity posted thusly:
|| Oleg Lego (in firstname.lastname@example.org) said:
||| But you can sure by a lot of jigs, fixtures and accessories (not
||| to mention routers and tables), for what you'd have to spend on a
|| Starting out, I was afraid to consider used equipment and wasn't
|| aware that there were some really good buys to be had. Had I known
|| how to look for used equipment, I'd have paid far less (perhaps a
|| fifth or a fourth as much) for a good used machine.
| Hmm... sounds interesting. My situation, being a hobbyist only sort
| of dictates how much I can spend without the profit justification.
|| If I'd known what I've learned _since_ buying my machine, I'd
|| almost certainly have paid to have a table and gantries welded up
|| and then built the rest myself. Three-axis controller cards and
|| stepper motors are available off-the-shelf.
|| I've been thinking seriously about CNC conversions for mini-mill
|| (HF) and mini-lathe (Griz) for making small metal parts for the
|| woodshop. Either can be built using all new components for under
|| $2K. I have a programming background and was able to write the
|| driver software for a $200 controller card in about an hour. It's
|| /not/ rocket surgery!
There are pix of both machines at Steele's website (link below).
| I'm a programmer as well, and do mostly assembler on micros, VB and
| some C/C++ on PCs (Windows, usually, but prefer Linux). I don't know
| if I have enough confidence in my programming abilities to buy the
| hardware 'on spec' and to write the software later.
Ok, then take my approach - download the controller interface spec and
write the software before you commit the funds. I found hardware
conversion kits at http://www.stirlingsteele.com /, downloaded the I/F
specs and wrote a driver skeleton and some simplistic software unit
test code to see how difficult it might be - and it wasn't! I wrote
the code on a Linux system using nedit and gcc; but it works equally
well under MSDOS using Borland TurboC 3.0 (a blatent plug for writing
ISO/IEC-9899 compliant C code). Go ahead and give it a shot - and
e-mail me if you get stuck. I could send you the code now; but then
you'd lose the brag of having done it all yourself. :-)
|| There was a recent thread with a Dutch OP who built a CNC router
| Was that on the ShopBot or CNCZone forums?
It was HERE! :-)
The gentleman's name is Martin de Roode and his website is at
|| I'll guess that machine put him out of pocket less than $1K, and
|| could be modified (only slightly) to become a wonderfully flexible
|| CNC joinery machine capable of out-performing any/all of the
|| off-the-shelf passive joinery machines - and produce joints
|| impossible/impractical with templates.
| $1K sounds like my kind of price. For a few years, I made vinyl
| signs, and kept looking at my vinyl cutter, thinking "I could make
| a CNC router", but never did try. I even bought a video from a
| fellow who had made a CNC table using (of all things), alternators
| as stepper motors. Misplaced both the video and his name/email
| address years ago, though.
My kind of person! Martin used drawer slides as linear bearings -
something that'd never have occurred to me, although it seemed obvious
after seeing his machine. Alternators - hmmm...
|| Best of all, there's a _lot_ of free help available. The ShopBot
|| and CNCZone forums (both of which welcome visitors) have been of
|| considerable help to me.
| I'll look for the forums.
DeSoto, Iowa USA