Framing your life away

Karl the CNC Router is starting to take some shape. We are building a welded steel frame so Carl will be heavy and rigid. 

Karl has a couple different types of steel beams 

6x12 A500 1/4 Steel Tubing for the machine base

3x6 A500 1/4 Steel Tubing for the machine table

6 x 1/2 Steel plate for all of the mounting and bracing 

8x12 1in Aluminum plate for axis mounting

2 x 1/4in Steel plate for various brackets and bracing

We started by cutting up some of the 1/2 steel plate to provide more thickness to the machine leveling feet. They were cut into 2 inch wide strips and then welded to the 6x12 tubes on each end. This provides a method to level the machine base. 

Then the base plates were cut that actually sit on the concrete floor. 6 plates were made that are 3 inches wide so the Karl doesn't have to sit directly on the cold concrete floor. Then 1/2 holes were drilled and tapped so we could attach the jack screws. I would like to have used grade 8 hardened bolts, but they didn't have any at the store - so carl is sitting on grade 5 bolts for now.  There are nuts on both sides of the bolt, so once its all done these can be tightened against the tapped holes and the bolts should stay in place. 

Next we took the 3 bottom tubes and turned them to the jack screw side and then clamped a 6x12 to the top. The base was leveled as close as possible and then all of the joints were tacked with the Tig welder so they would stay in place. 

One thing we failed to do was clean up the joints really well before tacking them - so this had to be done after the fact. It was much harder to properly clean up the joints once they are together. Live and learn I guess. 

The next step was to start making the frame for the machine bed. In the above picture you can see the tubes laying on top of the machine base. This was just to check how out of level things were. It didn't turn out too bad. However its not as good as I would like it to be. 

The in the next step we put the outside of the frame together for Karl's machine bed. 

After this was tacked up, we know that it will turn into a pretzel without some proper holding. We didn't want to permanently attach the bed to the base, so plates were cut for the machine base side and the machine bed side. These plates will serve as mounting locations for each section of the bed. They were cut from the 6 x1/2 inch plate and came in at 4inches long. The plates were then located on the base and tacked in place. Once they are all properly positioned, they will be drilled and tapped so the bed can be mounted to the base. There will be two 1/2 bolts at each location with a jack screw also drilled. This will allow the machines bed to be brought into level and hold it in place while the whole thing is welded together. 

Next steps for Karl are to finish up the mounting plates and work at getting the bed into a single plane. Thanks for reading

Framing your life away
Donny Davis 16 December, 2020
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