Zen 12x12 F8

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Zen 12x12 F8

Postby SpyderHelix » Mon May 13, 2013 9:49 pm

Well, thought I would post of images of my nearly completed (until I find another thing to buy) Zen 12x12..
Originally I bought the mill without motors as I had the idea of making my own mill from the ground up, and bought the motors and controller board..then found out the precision and repeatability just wasn't going to cut it on the made one (After reading the plans, they said it was accurate up to 20thou!..)
So I bought the Zen 12x12 with the original leadscrews..spent nearly a month trying to get it set up electronics-wise. After that, I used a trim router for a very short time until I found I couldn't get the speed control that I wanted...so after much whining, the wife got me a spindle off of eBay for Christmas..which I promptly made mounting brackets for at work :)
Then later on, after playing a bit I decided I needed to modify the table to hold stock down a little better, so I bought 12 feet of 8020 extrusion (2" wide, .5" thick) so I could put it on the table for holding power.
Well that took up a half inch of my Z, so I had to push my spindle higher - but a discussion on these forums gave me the idea of putting a fan on the spindle mounts to keep the spindle cool - it was warming the mounts up on long runs. I kept it simple by mounting a small computer case fan on the side of the spindle brackets and kept it there with double sided foam tape..powered by a 110v - 12v transformer from an old charger of some sort.
After that - I wanted speed! So I bought the F8 upgrades a couple weeks ago and I'll tell you right now that has been the best upgrade yet! I can't believe how fast this thing runs compared to the old leadscrews!
Last week I picked up some clamps from Amazon (2nd picture) and made some 3/8 thick aluminum bases for them..then made some of the 8020 t-nuts out of aluminum at work to mount them with. I don't like how they sit though, so I'm going to go from 4 single nuts to 2 long nuts, that way they will have fuller contact and I wont have to worry about 4 points of slant when I'm trying to tighten them up and a corner goes too low (like lowering a camper shell) they bind up and I have to lower a corner at a time until it's flat. It's a real pain sometimes.
2 future "upgrades":
* I want to make full aluminum sides for the machine, but with 2.5" added to give me more Z height with a little added rigidity..the base of the arms will go clear to my table in case I want to bracket it in place..and the extra Z will allow me to have more room for the other upgrade and a drill press vise to slide into the T slot to hold small parts or fixtured items.

* I'm going to build a small 4th axis for the machine, so I can work on round parts, carving, glass etching etc.. I plan on a small 2" 3 jaw chuck attached to a pulley system similar to this one so it's not too heavy, but still has the power to get things done.

Well, that's it for now - thanks for looking everyone :)

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A picture of the clamps and bases - I bought 4 of the GH-201-A clamps, $5.97 a pair, off of Amazon. The bases I made are 1.5" wide square with holes drilled on 1 inch square, and the corners of the clamps keep the base screws from falling out so I don't have to worry about them getting lost :)
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SpyderHelix
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Posts: 59
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 9:20 pm
Zen Model: Zen 1212

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