One evening of CAD. One evening of CAM. One evening of CNC. And it fit together (quite well). This is just held together with precisely located wooden dowel pins. We will add screws tomorrow.
The only missing piece is the actual guide for running the blocks through. That is separate so that it can be “dialed in” to the perfect cutting depth.
Here is an action video of the [M003] Auto Loading Jig in action on our CNC router. Strong spring pressure is exerted on each wooden block up so the top of the block is always flat against the bottom of the Lexan panel on top. This results in consistent routing depth.
After years of making the same part repeatedly on the CNC router, I finally decided it was time to make the router load it’s own material.
Friction is a valid way to hold a part for routing. That is how most vices and clamps work. The key here is to calculate an amount of friction that will resist the cutting forces while at the same time keeping it low enough for the router to be able to overcome it while loading and unloading.
I’ll post more on this when we have it working. For now, here is a cool picture of the jig.
The inside of the barrel tumbler needs a polygon (made from wood) in order to (a) give enough “traction” to turn the contents, and (b) protect the barrel from repeated impacts. I’m going to use Oak or Maple to do this. Based on the width and thickness of available material, I chose a 9-sided polygon.
Here is a picture of the CAM operation prepared using Fusion 360. I will make nine of these with just a fraction of an inch extra that I can remove on the jointer while getting a tight fit.
One of the key components in the Stain Dipper Machine is the top pulley assembly. It is crucial that it normalizes the unspooling location of the cable so it does not put lateral forces on the slider rod below. To this end, we designed and created 3 components out of UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene). It’s a nice plastic to work with, and super tough. It cuts like butter but has a lot of strength too. This is a 10mm hardened shaft with two bearings pressed into the UHMW.
Here is a picture of the 3D model. As you can see I haven’t trimmed the shaft yet.
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I had an incredible talk with Craft Pattern today, about making a custom cast iron machine frame.
They really took the time to talk me through the process and helped me understand the different techniques used.
Isn’t it great when you get to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about?
Have you considered cast iron as a possibility on any of your projects? I hadn’t until recently, but now a whole new world of possibility has opened up.
In addition to casting, they offer full CNC machining services on the castings, so it sounds like a one-stop-shop.