Fort Collins Creator Hub


  • 21 Dec 2018 5:37 PM
    Message # 6969779

    the cnc will be serviced next week.  this will mean that it may not be avalibale. please speak up if you need to use it before 12/24.  pls contact if you have any thouhghts

  • 21 Dec 2018 10:30 PM
    Reply # 6969906 on 6969779

    To All

    Thank you Ray  for posting this thread for the CNC Router.  As Ray mentioned, the router will be offline for some upgrades. So if you have stuff you need to finish, now is the time to get it done because this is going to take a few days.

    What is going to happen:

    The existing butcher top is going to be removed. If someone would like to make a donation and use it for some sort of art project, speak up now! Once I take it off, it is a done deal

    1st. the steppers are going to be calibrated using NIST traceable equipment. This means that one one should go and make adjustments to the stepper motor calibration without consulting a Docent at the HUB 1st.

    Next: The entire table is going to be replaced.

    Then: A fence and cam lock system will be created as well as the means to use strap clamps. The table will have a large array that will allow you to cam lock or strap your work piece down,

    Securing your work piece to the table with wood screw and or cutting into the table will no longer be allowed. We are providing the means where the table is no-longer a waste board.

    I plan on creating more fixture configurations that provide more flexibility for holding your work piece without cutting into the table.

    The table is NOT A WASTE Board, It is everyone's work space. If you need need a waste board then please by all means provide your own waste board.  

    We are making an effort to make the CNC router table a co-planer work surface for everyone.

    Once these upgrades are completed, I will be providing training for the CNC router, and yes there is talk about RFID hardware being implemented.

    Kind regards


    1 file
  • 31 Dec 2018 10:12 PM
    Reply # 6978504 on 6969779

    CNC Router, Kudos, Old News and Current Status



    Thank you Randy for staying late and helping with the bed rail leveling

    Steve, Thank you for picking up the needed hardware for the upgrade/refurbish. Oh by the way We could use a couple of sheets of MDF 3/4 “ x 2’ x 4’ for the apron, fences and cam  locks

    Sal, Thanks for lending a hand with clamping the dial indicator to the z carriage.

    Dave, Randy, Hugh and Steve, Thanks for great brain storming regarding the use of the front edge of the Router. Everyone is going to love this.


    Old News

    About two months ago I shimmed the Y axis rails to tighten up the rollers to eliminate the rocking in the gantry. Also shimmed the X axis rail to tighten up the router carriage. It improved it but still needs some work


    Current Status


    Current Issue                      As Found                                             As Adjusted                             Status

    Base Square                       Corner to Corner out by 1”                   Within .020”                            Done

    Table Rails             Not Co-Planar with cutting plane          rough in,                                   Done

                                              Out by .080”                                        .025”   

    Y axis Sprockets                loose                                                    Tightened                                 Done

    Y Axis couplers                  slipping under heavy load or                  Tightened                                 Done

                                             Rapid start/stop. This situation allowed the gantry to get skewed, working

    on a better solution for this issue.                                  


    Rotor Head                        Not Straight, Mounts Hand Cut            Line Bored                               Done


    Rotor Brackets                   Bottom, mount Holes stripped   up size                                      Done


    Z carriage                           Loose, .020” plus                                 Tighten                         Done


    Z Axis Motor                     Mount bound                                        Straighten                                 Done   


    Z Axis Coupler                   Slips                                                     Tighten                         Done


    Spindle Alignment   Better from above work                        Shim or shave, TBD                 pending


    Y Travel                             Binds,  check alignment             Adjust as needed                      Pending


    X Travel                             Binds,  check alignment                         Adjust as needed              pending


    Bed Rails                            Not co-planar                                       Mill                                          pending


    Stepper motors                   Calibration is off                                                                                   pending


    Ball Screw Mapping           has never been done                                                                           pending


    Software limits                    have never been defined                                                                    pending


    Machine Zero                     Never been established             Need add on switches              Pending


    Travel Limits                       Need to install travel limit switches        TBD                                Pending


    I was hoping to have the Table on already but I kept finding more things being loose, stripped and out of alignment I was un-able to make it happen. Please be patient, I guarantee you will pleased with how much more accurate the router cuts and performs. I am working on improving the reputability and reliability of a homemade CNC router, what a challenge!  


    When we are back up and ready to run I will be providing training on the table system, Mach3 software, work offsets and many other things.


    1 file
    Last modified: 31 Dec 2018 11:49 PM | Jeff Simpson
  • 5 Jan 2019 11:39 PM
    Reply # 6985425 on 6969779

    Okay, Here is the latest update and it might be a bit difficult to explain, so here it goes.

    Given my back ground which includes building High Pressure injection tooling and Designing the same above mentioned I applied some basic principles to my cutter paths for flattening the rails. This climb cut // technique did not work very well because stack tolerances in the Z axis hardware on the CNC router could not be managed with speeds and feeds.

    I found if I use a X axis step over and cut in the Y axis  that it forces the Z axis rails to lock on to place in the rail and V bearings. I was able to cut faster and at a greater depth of cut.

     Please Note: this technique will be passed on in future training classes.

    I have just finished generating a NC program to cut the rails using the above mentioned technique . It will take close to 24 hours to rough and finish cut the rails. I cant reach the 6th rail so I will have to be creative and level it so not to affect the other rails.

    Moving forward

    I will record all of the bolt down locations of the 1st layer from a Machine common location, "that location is yet to be determined"

    Kind regards

  • 12 Jan 2019 1:31 AM
    Reply # 6996695 on 6969779

    Steve purchased limit switches and E-stop buttons, to installed very soon.

    Steve U. just built an RFID box for the router, This will be installed as well very soon which means that all interested in using the CNC Router will need to attend a training course. Training  will be setup for very small groups such as 3 at the most. It will be very detailed and also very hands on.  This is why the low head count for the training but rest assured that the frequency for the training will be high so that members that are wanting to use the CNC router  can get online and using the router as quickly as possible.

    Believe me, I want to get this up and running because I have projects that I want to build too but due to the table abuse, calibration, squareness of the frame, parallelism of the rails etc the router is way less precise than what could be done with a hand held router.

    I received the X axis motor today.Once I have it installed I will be back to work on the bed rails flatness, positions for the under-table bolt down locations blah blah. When I get to this level of the service work to the CNC router - this would be a great point in time of doing some cross training for the why's, where and how to make it happen. Interested? please feel free to contact me.

    Jeff S

  • 31 Jan 2019 10:55 PM
    Reply # 7140597 on 6969779

    From CNC Router Boss, Jeff S


    This is for the Folks that have been waiting patiently for the CNC router to come back on-line.

    I apologize for the delay. This has been very time consuming and the other side of that coin is that I know that several of you have projects that you want to run on the router.

    So here is what I hope that is a nice work around for most everyone.

    I have finished cutting the rails, so when I start working on the new table it will be flat and co-planar with the gantry.

    I have put the original bottom layer back on the frame so that the router can be used as it was before. Please notice how damaged even the bottom layer is from the waste board mentality and that there are large bolts holding the board down on to the rails,

    Since I have a lot more setups and work to do for the table to be complete I will be doing the following.

    I will remove the original board when I work on the new table boards, clamps and hardware. When I am done for the day, I will mount the old original bottom layer back on the router bed so that it can be used by members of FCCH. I will work in this manner until I have finished the new router work surface to an acceptable release level. Until then please use the CNC router just as you have before, remember slower is better on this machine.

    If you are a current CNC router user and would like to start some Mach3 training on how to use the Machine and Work offsets by all means contact me and I will try to make myself available for one on one cross training for your project/setup.

    There are a number of other upgrades that on the way but are not ones that will restrict access to the router.

    Take a look at the table, fences, rails and cam locks

     Kind Regards

    2 files
    Last modified: 31 Jan 2019 11:07 PM | Jeff Simpson
  • 1 Aug 2019 1:10 AM
    Reply # 7806978 on 6969779

    Hello Everyone

    The retrofit / upgrade has been a very painful venture to say the least. My wife on a side note is upset with as to how time I have been spending on this project. Believe me, I want to get this up and running more than anyone.

    Here is an example of the problems we faced: the Mach 3 software (V1) that was loaded on the PC, was in fact a cracked version- in other words not legal. I worked with it but could not get it to home and understand the limits of the 4th axis so if you tried to home the Y axis it would destructively rack the gantry.

    I looked into upgrading to Mach 3 (V3) at 175.00 dollars, I found that the support from Mach 3 that runs on a // port was really no longer there. So why buy a SW package that Mach 3 support won't support in the future. With that said, I needed to find an alternative.

    I have imaged the PC with LINUXCNC which is a free open source software. There is a  lot of support out there. Case and Point. I should be able to bring the Z axis probe function and the target a work coordinate function in to LinuxCNC fairly easily. I am a newbie to Linux and I am really liking it. I am going to encourage you to work out side of the window box. I think you might like it as well.

    With the help of Steve P. and a new member at FCCH of whom I only know as Fred, (Fred kicked ass on the noise/ground problem that I couldn't figure out, I am now a little smarter from the experience (what an awesome collection of talents at FCCH to learn from) ) we have made great progress troubleshooting noise and cross-talk in the different levels of the system,

    The router now homes and understands the limits. Whahooo

    There are a few more tasks that need to be completed such as Emergency STOP buttons, RFID reader installed to enable you as a member to have access to the router and training.

    There are other upgrades that won't keep you from using the router provided you are willing to run a vacuum while the router is in operation, Hence the next upgrade is dust collection

    Kind Regards



  • 2 Aug 2019 12:26 PM
    Reply # 7809580 on 6969779
    Wirt Wolff (Administrator)

    Thanks for all your hard work and all the time and skill you've put into this! The router upgrade opens a whole new chapter for Hub make-ables . . . actually more like a whole new book, umm, library? Publishing company? Anyway, to everybody making this happen, you rock!

  • 19 Aug 2019 12:21 AM
    Reply # 7835359 on 6969779

    Here is my 1st design for a dust collector shoe for the router

    There are 4 pieces the to the shoe,  Two upper pieces that create the main body of the shoe. They snap into place using surface mounted magnets.  Then are also two lower pieces that will actually hold the brush hairs (they are not shown), There will be multiple sets of the lower ring with different lengths of brush hair.

    When you look at the section view, you might ask you so complicated. Explanation: When this router motor is running air is brought in the top of the router motor and exhaust down around the router bit. This makes dust collection much more difficult. So I am trying to create as much separation between the motor air and the dust collection air

    If anyone any suggestions, please by all means pipe in.

    Kind regards


    2 files

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