Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

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MeanderBolt
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Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by MeanderBolt » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:58 pm

Right, so, I just did my hello world cut. While it turned out well and I am quite happy, I need square up some things I did not realize were not square.
I bought extra maker slide, and GT2 belting (enough to eventually go a meter in both X and Y). I do not have an immediate need for both X and Y right now, but I can see Y coming up rather soon. Being that I have had a successful cut and trust the machine (mostly), I am also at a point where I feel that I am somewhat safe in enclosing the electronics and wiring into something more permanent.

WillWinder has stated (after I had purchased my Makerslide :lol: ) that we should wait until we have a project, then upgrade.
I also know, that the idea of disassembling the machine in order to procede with a project will sometimes make the prospects of greenlighting the project less desirable.

There is also a lot of tweaking to get everything just right just in the initial assembly. So many points to adjust something that might be just a hair too high or low, and if they are perfectly level, are the rails Y actually paralel and not off by a slight degree. Same question for the X rails.

So, all this to ask, would it make sense to go to the 1 meter Y right now, and then do my full system tweaking?

And question 2 (and this might be more of a firestorm than the first), but Where does zero start? In the instructions, there are some great hints as to how to get things very close (which I am). But if I am trying to ring out the whole thing, I have to call something the baseline as to where to call absolute zero, so I can measure square from there so that A is perfect, then procede to B and make sure that B is perfectly square to A, then C...

This actually brings up a third question that I thought about as I was going to hit the submit button, but once the system is all together and somewhat happy, can this all be tweaked with the machine is together, or does a system re-tweak require some disassembly? How often should I be checking the machine for perfect square and alignment? I am thinking about starting a maintenance log for this very thing so I can mentally keep track of things I need to be thinking of.
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WillAdams
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Re: Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by WillAdams » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:26 pm

MeanderBolt wrote: So, all this to ask, would it make sense to go to the 1 meter Y right now, and then do my full system tweaking?
If you don't have a project which would fit on the current bed, I'd go straight to the upgrading, otherwise, I'd do any project(s) you have which would fit first.
And question 2 (and this might be more of a firestorm than the first), but Where does zero start? In the instructions, there are some great hints as to how to get things very close (which I am). But if I am trying to ring out the whole thing, I have to call something the baseline as to where to call absolute zero, so I can measure square from there so that A is perfect, then procede to B and make sure that B is perfectly square to A, then C...
It's a movable feast --- it's all relative to the current machine position. That's why a dial indicator is so great for evaluating machine movement and calibration --- twforeman and I.C. are the two who've written on this the most --- I'd look at their blog / posts and see what fits your needs.
This actually brings up a third question that I thought about as I was going to hit the submit button, but once the system is all together and somewhat happy, can this all be tweaked with the machine is together, or does a system re-tweak require some disassembly?
I've been able to loosen individual part ends and shift things slightly and re-tighten --- a few times I've had to do it more than once (swap between ends of a length of MakerSlide) --- but I'd rather do it slowly / incrementally w/o dis-assembly.
How often should I be checking the machine for perfect square and alignment? I am thinking about starting a maintenance log for this very thing so I can mentally keep track of things I need to be thinking of.
That's a good question --- I'd do it after / before:

- moving the machine in a vehicle for a long distance (the vibration may work things loose)
- using the machine for an extended run and discovering that something has worked loose
- beginning a cut on something which is expensive enough that I don't mind the time to pull out my square and pinch sticks (I'm low-tech on this aspect of the machine)

Of course, one should check wiring connections and for any loose nuts / bolts before any usage (I check to see if any nuts can be turned by hand w/o tools --- for the pulleys I try spinning them, and check each V-wheel to make sure it won't spin in place --- doesn't take too long).
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MeanderBolt
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Re: Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by MeanderBolt » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:03 pm

Edit on my comments above, I got the wrong Will, if was you WillAdams who commented about waiting.

Thanks Will for the response. I have been on TwoForeman's blog a lot actually. He has a lot of great stuff up there and actually it was his site which helped me dial in a lot of my software flow. I will go in search of I.C's blog as well.
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WillAdams
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Re: Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by WillAdams » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:18 am

I.C. doesn't seem to have a blog --- he does post to Twitter and here --- the forum search feature should help you find everything you need.
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Improbable Construct
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Re: Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by Improbable Construct » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:00 am

What is square is a difficult question to answer.
You are working with a bunch of moveable parts.
But for a quick answer...
Here is how I go about it.
I square the left Y makerslide to the front extrusion.
Then I square the right makerslide to the front extrusion.
I then check that the X axis is parallel to the front extrusion.
I really don't care about the back of the machine because I square the gantry off the front every time I lock the motors.
Next you gave to square the bit to the table.
This is a bit of chicken and egg situation.
Do you flatten the spoilboard first or square the spindle first?
I tend to do a bit of both at the same time.
I start to flatten the spoilboard and if I see ridges I stop and make adjustments.
I start with .1 mm passes to surface the spoilboard but usually end up making adjustments enough times to end up taking about .5 mm off.
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WillAdams
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Re: Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by WillAdams » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:47 pm

John Milleker also made some extensive posts on his machine, its upgrades, calibration/fine-tuning and usage: http://johnmilleker.com/weblog/blog/201 ... d-update-1
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MeanderBolt
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Re: Need some advice from the Elders of Shapeoko

Post by MeanderBolt » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:12 am

HA HAAAA! That picture on his blog is awesome. I think we should have a poll on how many people take over their dining room table.

I bought a "Percision" square today. I am taking back the 2 'new' squares I bought last week. I have found that I can not trust them either as there are some places that the injection mold lines are sticking up. Closer inspection, it sort of ridged up in the center. Even if I filed it down, it would not be even. This might be fine for house building, but not for this. So, I got a square where at least the packaging claims square to .0001". Somehow I doubt that it is this precise, but sure, I'll bite. It turns out that my Y axis MakerSlides are dead on. The X are both slightly askew, but what's odd is that the carriage plates are dead on. How does that work?

There is an issue with my Y axis that I do not know if it is a problem or not. While the slides ARE perpendicular the plates are not. This is true of both sides. I know I have to deal with this, but I just thought that this was weirdly cool.

I have to move the boards all around for putting holes in for t-nuts. So I will do all of this then. It will also make I.C.'s comments about truing the slides up a little more accessible.

Something to ponder, but are the boards needing to be milled flat an issue of minor warping, or uneven manufacturing? If it is an issue of minor warp, would it make sense to run a line of extrusion under each of the boards roughly in the middle somewhere, locked in with some ofthses. Then we could screw the boards down mid way. This would pull them flat and probably add some rigidity as well.
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