Today, I'm cutting a sheet of walnut plywood for the base, then will mount the Y rails and ballscrew. After that, will carefully keep everything square and add the gantry, which holds the X and Z rails and screws.
Some yet-to-be-resolved issues:
- Need to get new 3-axis controller, as it will just be too much hassle to borrow from the old machine. Besides, the old machine is still quite useful.
- Need to figure out what kind of motor, chuck, etc., to do the carving. High torque? What voltage (steppers are 12V)? Will probably need a separate power supply. How to control motor speed?
- Another computer? Maybe I can have the machines in same room, then use a 15-foot printer cable to drive the big one. Is 15-foot cable too long for good signal / control?
- Is it time to buy Mach3 software? So far, my programs have been less than 50 lines of code. Can go up to 500 with free version of the software, but fully-loaded software has lots more bells and whistles.
- Run to RadioShack to replenish supply of wires, parts for switch box, E-stop switch. Rail mounts?