Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category


Postbox almost finished

May 1, 2011

Spend today building our new postbox. We wanted something modern that you couldn’t just buy at Bunnings, and something that5 would ‘soften’ the look of the house a little.

Treated pine posts (painted black) with oiled merbau wood. A Stainless steel face (actually a brick mount one that I liked the look of).


Built to the golden ratio.

Still have the number, light and no junk mail to attach...


New spindle, new Z axis, new towers, New Machine!

April 26, 2011

It’s been some time since I have updated on my CNC machine, and quite  a few changes to my machine have taken place.


The new Spindle and VFD was ordered from China. Its a 3KW air-cooled spindle with a matching 3 phase VFD. It will do any speed between 0 and 24,000 RPM.

Google G1 in there for scale...


Here she is mounted to the machine. The tapped bolt holes make for a quick and easy mount job. At first I had the unit plugged in backwards so as I was actually spinning the end mill backwards. That meant that it was simply burning through the material. Ha! After I flipped two of the three phase wires, she ran the right way and cut like a dream.

Note the updates. New Z axis, and fully alum towers.


Currently I am working on controlling the speed of the unit by communicating via RS485. I have a USB to RS485 converted, but the VFD appears to be not communicating properly.


In the meantime I have been working on a few secondary systems. I cut the probe mount on the unit itself out of HDPE. The homing switches have also been installed.

Cut on the machine out of HDPE (chopping board) Currently has a few 'noise' issues. Hope to fix it with shielded wiring.


Update of renovations..

April 26, 2011

So, its been quite some time since I have updated the blog, mostly because it has been a terrible summer here in Melbourne, we simply didn’t have that much sunshine!

Anyway, enough excuses. I have been doing a bunch of things lateley.

Facia, Eaves and gutters.

Here is a photo of the front door as it stands. Note the additional of guttering, a down pipe, eaves and facia. Kylie is yet to paint the eaves, and will be doing another coat on the facia also. Since last photo (but not done recently) is the painting of the door surround. Kylie thinks there is too much white, so we will probably be painting the door grey or something. Usually the pot plant (far right) is beside the door, but I oiled the porch today, so I moved it.


Built a couple of new fences. They were simply falling down. (or had fallen down). The one out the front had just been neglected and a few palings has fallen off. The beams were so rotten that the palings were holding the thing up…

Yay for the little plants!


The one out the back has been pretty buggered for a long time. Recently the dogs pulled/knocked a few palings down. They had enough room to escape, but the good little puppies they are knew they shouldn’t leave. A quick trip to Bowens fixed that.

Goes all the way behind that plant to the corner.


Been working on the roof a lot over summer (haha). All the pointing was buggered, and most of the bedding was ruined too. After the success of replacing the tiles on the kitchen, a bunch of broken/cracked/damaged/old tiles were replaced all over the house. New gutters means that I shouldnt have to worry about the roof for a long time.

Gutters, Valleys, Bedding Pointing tiles Oh my!


Kylie’s mum was kind enough to give us a Spa! She is moving from her large family home, and downsizing to a apartment in the city. She couldn’t take it with her, so she gave it to us!


Currently it is sitting in the backyard waiting for me to pickup a trailer-load of sand. You can see the plot where it will reside. The deck will eventually surround this area with a bench seat at the end closest to the fence.

Ready for sand...


Next up, new postbox and a new bin hide.

Gonna get ripped out and replaced...


New (new) Z axis begun

January 31, 2011

So, after I struggled with the flexibility of MDF for a while (the V-Groove bearings were working themselves loose) I decided to bite the bullet and begin the all-alum buildup. As a test, I decided to do the simplest part. The Z axis.

So, I got a 16mm sheet of 5083 Alum custom cut from Action Aluminum. It is 190mm x 300mm x 16mm.

I promptly drilled the holes,

Tapped the thread to accept 1/4 inch (V-groove bearings were bought in the US.)

And mounted it to the machine. I must say the rigidity has increased tenfold. Amazing.


Dust collection finally!

January 14, 2011

The dust collection, fresh out of the box.I have just bought a 1HP Dust Collection unit, and I am hoping that once it is properly attached, it will eliminate most of the dust and chips. Its a Carba-Tec unit. Pretty basic configuration, with a 5 micron filter. One day I will get a 1 micron filter, but for now the standard one is a million times better than nothing.

A few blast gates positioned in proper locations, and I will be able to use the collection for the bench tools (Drill press, Drop Saw etc), for the power tools (belt sander, jigsaw etc) the CNC and the table saw. I have tested the table saw and I must say, I should have done it earlier!

Only problem I am getting is getting a perfect seal between the DC components (blast gates, T junction etc) and the 100mm PVC. The fittings are pretty good, but nowhere near sealed. (Sealant? Glue? Duct tape?) Currently using Duct tape which works pretty well, but not great.


New Z Axis mount

January 12, 2011

Switched on viewers will note that this photo is back-dated. Youc an see the dust collection system in the background.In the aim to make the Z axis a bit more rigid, I have created a new piece. It was milled on the machine itself, and then glued together. Seems to be much more rigid, and provides a better base for me to attach my soon to be dust collection system. Still have some flexibility in the axis which I hope to deal with one day by upgrading the bearing mounts to 8mm aluminum.


Finally cutting some polycarb!

November 15, 2010

So on Sunday, the machine did its first real cuts.

We started cutting some of the pieces of the ships, and I must say that it went very well.


Had a few problems with the grub screw in the coupler coming out. Not sure why, but it seems that the vibration might be loosening the grub screw, and then all of a sudden, a axis stops moving.

I’m looking at a few solutions for this, one being a mechanical join between the two X axis, another being a electronic solution, and also just simply using some locknut.

Anyway, the pieces came up quite nice.



Ready to rock

November 3, 2010

CNC version 2 is almost complete. I have wired up all the steppers, and bolted all the mechanics in place. (Sorry about the annoying time stamps.)

Anyway, should be cutting its first piece soon!


Quick conversion

October 25, 2010

So, I had a big DC linear power-supply that I picked up whilst I was in the states, but the problem was, it was built for 110volts (not 240volts like here in Australia). A bit of thinking later, and I popped the Toroidal Transformer out of its enclosure, and discovered its model.

Thankfully it was simply a matter of re-wiring the input so that it is in series, not in parallel, and I have a HUGE 40v power supply to use for the CNC machine. Sweet.


New towers for v2

October 5, 2010

So, worked on the machine tonight. The new towers have been built for a little while, but they were not bolted to anything. Now, the bearings have been attached, and the whole lot has been bolted to the Y axis.


I created new towers because the old ones were ever so slightly out of shape. The old machine had created them, and the racking caused them to be slightly off. Oh well. I remade the new ones by hand. They turned out pretty damn accurate.