Goliath info and accessories

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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:57 am

Goliath info and accessories

Post by jmeier » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:22 pm

Hi Folks. I've been using Goliath (the big CNC router in the work room) a bit lately and am quite enjoying it. In the noble tradition of playing with tools instead of making anything, I've thought of a few enhancements I'd like.

First though, who owns Goliath? Forum post archives show me that it was built by Ryan Silk, and I assume hasn't sold it to Techworks. I haven't met Ryan - is he an active member? How should I get in contact with him to talk about these ideas?

Also, I know Rylan and Ray had plans for building a new CNC machine. How is that progressing? Would you like any (uneducated, inexperience, but enthusiastic) help?

The accessories I'm thinking about for Goliath are pretty simple:

Vacuum shoe and hosing to connect to a shop vac
Cutting makes a big mess, covering the whole room in dust. My cheap material of choice - MDF - is especially bad. A vacuum shoe would drastically improve this situation. I know that the original plans included one, and I've been told that others have done some work on the idea.

Dust guards for the sides of the machine
Simpler and less intrusive than a vacuum show, just some plastic guards to block dust from getting all over the motion screws, ways and bearings.

Limit switches
There are actually limit switches already installed and partially wired (though one is broken right in half!), so this would just be completing the setup and informing Mach3 of them.

New T-nuts, clamps, alignment pins, and such
It looks like we only have a handful of t-nuts and four hardwood clamps. I've seen some nice designs for cam clamps that would be neat and speedy. Alignment pins would be steel dowel pins of a standard diameter that can be used to align workpieces when flipping them for 2 axis milling and such. Less concretely, procedures, tools and jigs for checking axis alignment and squareness, spindle runout, motion and velocity accuracy are on my mind.

Work light
A cheap ring of LEDs around the spindle chuck illuminating the bit and the workpiece would be really helpful. I've been using a pocket flashlight so far.

A drag knife
A drag knife is a spindle-mounted tool that can be used to cut thin material like vinyl and paper. There are complete plans for making one cheaply out of aluminum sheet and skate bearings. If adjusted properly, these can cut the color part of a vinyl sign sheet while still leaving the backing sheet untouched - something a laser can't do.

An automatic tool setting jig
Actually, I already built part of this - a touch plate to automatically and accurately set the Z origin to the top face of your workpiece. It works nicely. I'll post about it when I get the pictures off my phone. I want to add an easy X/Y setting jig, too.

I've got lots of free time, so I volunteer to do anything that we agree ought to get done (within my ability).

What do y'all think?