Keepin it Clean

OK - Well I promised myself I would share this with everyone in the hopes of saving you from what I went thru the other day. Keep-It-Clean - referring of course to the work area around the X&Y work area, especially the Y rails - Let me explain… I was happily running the third piece of the morning and since I have gained substantial confidence in the shiny new CNC, I walked away knowing that everything was fine as rain and the machine would continue and finish the cut as it has from the beginning. Yah-about that…

  • well, I got about 10 feet out of the shop when I heard the router bogging down, things started grinding and screaming inside the newly finished enclosure. I spun around, tripped, spilt my drink and eventually(seemed like forever) made it back to the E-stop. SHUT DOWN -
    What happened is not the machine’s fault but that of the absent operator. Me. The two ‘Y’ rails were INCHES off from one-another, the 1/4" bit had snapped off and the work-piece was wasted. The cause of the CRASH was that I left the router wrench on the right side of the spoil-board and apparently it had fallen into a tight area between the Y rail base and the Y rail slider (wrong term). Now, the machine is very powerful, lots of torque’ for sure but when a metal tool, a piece of oak or maybe a whiskey glass gets in the way of the gantry, etc - it will cause you grief. The left rail wanted to keep moving towards the front and the right Y rail couldn’t continue. I just bought a $2000 pretzel…not
    After a complete shut-down, I manually turned the Y rails ball-screws and realigned the left and right rail. Powered up and tried to slew the gantry in the Y axis… No Good, the right rail kept stopping. So I removed the X rail and the right Y rail from the enclosure and set them up on the bench for inspection, repair and plenty of cussin. I completely dis-assembled the right rail, closely looking for damaged bearings and surfaces, bends and other anomalies, but found none, I cautiously re-assembled and now she’s purring like one of them cats. I ran it thru the paces and all is good. Last but not least, I hammered a nail in the wall and hung the wrench upon it. Big lesson learned. Having the enclosure with very tight tolerances between the enclosure walls and the machine rails and associated support hardware certainly added to the problem. So thankful there was no apparent damage and the only thing hurt was my pride. Oh well, lesson learned and passed on to my brothers and sisters in the 1F universe. Have fun out there…Charlie

I got lucky with my wrench… it just caught and the taper was just enough to push it out of the way. I wiped my brow and drilled a hole in the end of my table that I stick them in now.

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I feared much the same thing so I put a magnetic tool holder strip (picked up at Lowes) on the front edge of my table. It’s location is so convenient I don’t even lay tools down on the waste board during bit changes.

The strip also allows me to store an LED pen light there for utility.

Whiskey glasses on the other hand…


That’s a great idea too. I’ve developed bad habits on my other machine (48" x 56"). over the last 4 years. I have not constructed an enclosure for it and there are always items on the table that don’t belong. Maybe it’s time to fix that problem…maybe tomorrow - Charlie

Glad it worked out Charlie. I’m constantly leaving things on the sides - at least 3 times I’ve pulled things out of harms way in the middle of the cut. I really need to be much more dillgent about leaving clamps and pencils and spare parts laying around! :grimacing: