Work on the rebuild is progressing well.
I have completed more soldering of the cables needed for power and control of the VFD and spindle, and made a bracket to hold the connectors and cable track to the Z assembly.
The biggest change with the greatest impact was my decision to raise the Y axes. I have added ~ 70 mm to the overall clearance, which was crucial for my ATC plans (see more below). It will also allow me to mount a rotary axis to the cast aluminum table in the future, as well as mill thicker stock.
I am finalizing the design of the table top work holding. My goal is to have everything as flexible as possible. The 20 mm extrusions will be set in from the sides to allow me to surface them parallel to the X/Y motion of the router. They will allow me to use the 40 series T track to bolt on a variety of work holding options - fixture plate with adjustable vice, vacuum pods, MDF spoil board, etc.
At the back will be mounted the ISO20 tool rack. I purchased forks, but found them to be extremely tight fitting. I decided to design and 3D print my own tool holders that will allow me to use Masso’s ‘pick in place’ auto tool change logic. I can fit 10 ISO20 tool holders - 5 ER20 and 5 ER16 - along the back. I designed them to be open at the front so that I only need to lift the spindle ~25-30 mm to clear the holder before moving forward. Raising the entire CNC allows the bottom of the Z assembly to clear the tops of the pull studs, and more importantly this allows for endmills/tooling to extend as far as ~ 80 mm from the bottom of the collets (I plan to experiment with cutting thick foam for custom tool box inserts, and many of these bits are long).
Yesterday I picked up aluminum shields I designed and had cut and bent. They bolt the the riser blocks I installed, and protect the Y rails/ball screws up to ~ 1 cm below the bottom X50 tube on the X axis. I angled them to allow the Z assembly to get as much left/right distance as possible. They are robust - 1/8" sheet - so I do not need to worry about them being pushed into the Y rails, but also so that I can experiment with a detachable dust boot whose brackets could mount on its surface. I am currently also designing a shield that will attach to the X axis blocks that will ride along with the X rail. The idea is to have it overlap the tops of the Y axis shields, and hopefully deflect even more chips from getting over the tops to the Y rails and ball screws.
My hope is to be able to start testing the spindle/VFD and programming the ATC logic in the next week - hopefully the first cuts on this new set-up will happen in 2 weeks.