Work Milled with the 10x9

The photos below are of a piece of 3/8 x 6 inch aluminum flat bar that was milled with a 10x9 machine.
The machine used hardware store 5/16-18 threaded rods for the leadscrews and tee nuts for the leadnuts.
Work milled with the 10 x 9 CNC Machine
Aluminum milled by the 10x9 machine with 5/16-18 hardware store leadscrews.

Milled with 5/16-18 and tee nuts.
Used 5/16-18 hardware store leadscrews.
As the photos show, the quality of the cuts vary. The cuts in the first photo are quite clean while the ones in the second photo show chatter.

Diagonal cuts that are made with both axes advancing will have more chatter than cuts that are milled when only one axis is moving. In the smaller image the top cut on the aluminum is better than the diagonal cut.

Though the chatter marks on this work are more pronounced, the cut is still functional, and the edge can be dressed with a belt sander. Keeping things in perspective, the cut was made with 89¢ leadnuts.

The better quality cut shown on the 10x9 page used Acme leadscrews with $20 leadnuts.

Milling Details

There is more information about working with aluminum on the Bits page.

The work above was milled with a 1/4 inch carbide, center cutting end-mill. The bit was held in a Porter Cable or DeWalt trim router. The milled stock is 6061 T6511 extruded aluminum bare rectangle (flat bar).

The large image above shows drilled holes, quatrefoil holes, and two slots with dog bone recesses.
The slots were cut in a zigzag pattern that lowered in a ramping motion at 0.03 inch per pass. The feedrate was 40 inches per minute.

The circle is a helix or spiral cut that lowered 0.02 inch per cycle around the hole. The quatrefoils, dog bone corners, and through holes were all drilled with the end mill at 8 inches per minute. The above work used 5/16-18 threaded rod for leadscrews.

The edge cut shown on the 10x9 page used 3/8-8 four start precision Acme leadscrews with anti-backlash leadnuts on the X and Y axes. This was the only upgrade, and it added ~$140 to the price of the machine.
The proprietary stepper to leadscrew couplers, leadnuts and collar clamps add up quickly.

The rails and bearings remained pipe and skate bearings, and the machine's frame was stock spruce-pine-fir 1x4 and 1x6 boards.

The feed rate was 40 inches per minute, and the carbide end-mill removed 0.03 inch of stock per pass. A 1/4 inch router bit performed similarly on the stock's edges.

Information regarding a spoil board and hold down clamps for the 10x9 machine is on the Hold Downs page.
These plans do not include directions for the software and electronics because the suppliers cover this information for their own products.
These plans do give directions for deriving the Step per Inch values that are needed to configure the software for these machines.
The machines were all designed to use NEMA 23 stepper and drive components such as those from Geckodrive, Xylotex and HobbyCNC.
Mach3 and TurboCNC are popular controller software options. Other software and motor suppliers can be used.
The above vendors work with the Do It Yourself market and have help forums and documentation.
Clicking a Buy Now button in the table below will forward you to PayPal via the downloading service.

The Digital Download page gives more information about downloading the plans.
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