Ohk, so this week has gone nothing like I wanted it to. All week I have felt under the weather. I would get home from work and go straight to bed. That said, this post is momentous because I have all the final parts of the machine. At least, I have the major components of it. My screws got here Monday. The rails and trucks got here today. I have a router I can use if I need to, although I plan on picking one up tomorrow. I still need fasteners. Lots of fasteners.
I will start with the 1/2″ 10 Acme screws. I bought them from eBay. Purchased from the same vendor I got the mounting / coupling kits from. Over all, I think they are good parts, but I was less than thrilled with the ends. It appears as though the vendor is cutting the lengths from a much longer piece. This wouldn’t be a problem, except, the ends were unusable, and there was debris along the entire length of all three screws. I had to spend two hours with a piece of sand paper and a needle file to clean all six ends so that I could get a net on them. As inexpensive as they were, I shouldn’t gripe too much, but I would like to at least be able to use them when I get them.
Next, my stepper and controller. If you recall from my last post, I had finished fixing the power supply Sunday. I didn’t actually get around to plugging anything else in and trying to do anything though. Well, yesterday, I connected everything, to make sure they turned on, and that I could drive it. Today, after work, I connected it all back up, attached a 24 inch screw, and setup the steps per mm. It took a bit, but I was able to get a licence for the Chinese clone that is my board. [Andrej] at Planet-CNC came through, and it is running like a champ! Had I known back in January that it was a clone, and thus, unsupported, I would have bought the real deal. Either way, I am glad this is working. In my video you can see the screw / nut go from X = 0, to X =101.6 (4 inches). I measured with a tape measure along side, and it certainly looked like I got the number of steps right.
Then there are the rails and trucks. FedEx delivered them today. My wife let me know right after they got here, which was just after noon. Like a little kid on the morning of Christmas, it was very hard to focus on decades old signal conditioners, but I tried. I punched out as soon as I hit 8 hours for the day. Got home, and started opening them up. As I was doing so, I mentioned to my wife that I should have taken pictures. Of course, it’s too late now, but she grabbed the camera, so you can see too. For the record, these are way nicer than I was expecting. All of the mounting holes line up right where they should be. They are wonderfully straight. All of the trucks drive nice and smooth down each rail. If you need rails, I recommend Cyber E-Business on AliExpress.
So, this weekend promises to be chocked full of marking, measuring, checking, measuring, cutting, drilling, and assembly. I hope to have the machine, by and large, assembled before Tuesday. My stretch goal is to actually run a program in the machine, even if it is just “Hello World” on a piece of scrap lumber!
Stay tuned, makers!…