CNC Table setups - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2018, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Default CNC Table setups

Let's show some table setups and how you control origins. Many CNC users are new at this and are continually looking for the best and most efficient way to setup their machine. Table setups for CNC routers vary so much depending on projects but hopefully we can help others in getting the best setup for theirs.
My machine is the Laguna IQ with the T-Track table so sometimes challenging to find dedicated ways to locate various size projects and have open t-tracks for clamping. I can set 9 origins on my controller so I have origins 1-7 set to a positive corner spaced in X every inch. I use a hard plastic runner screwed to the table parallel to X and a hard stop in the left corner. I made a quick program to cut the plastic runner. My work is always set to the lower left corner. I hear others use the center of their work piece but I don't see a good reason to do that. With my setup I can reload the project to positive stops if I need to re-cut a feature. Here's some pictures showing various setups. I thought about adding another spoilboard with stop rails in X & Y and then use the linear side clamps but like having the Z height and 24" width capacity. I haven't set XY zero in months using this setup. Questions and feedback welcome.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2018, 10:48 AM
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My Next Wave Automation Shark HD4 doesn’t have the ability to use pre-set origin points. I usually set my X, Y zero to the center of the work because I find it easier to line up a bit on the X marking the center rather than a corner. My spoilboard has threaded inserts so I can position my hold-downs and material anywhere within the cutting area. Grid lines on the spoilboard help keep square the work to the table.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2018, 01:14 PM
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Alas I rarely have to cut a part more than once, so I simply clamp down square the piece being cut where the router can reach it. To set each axis I use a slip of paper to place between the bit and the wood, then set linuxCNC to step over .005" with each key press. I jiggle the paper until the bit has moved against it and trapped it. I back up one step, remove the paper, then jog one step forward before setting that axis at zero. In Aspire I've set 0,0 using an offset of 1/2 the bit diameter so when the bit touches an edge I can set it at zero. Of course sometimes the center of the board makes more sense to use as 0,0. Most of the time the top of the board is where z=0 is, but sometimes the spoilboard is where I set it at. Sometimes t-track clamps are used to hold down the work. Sometimes when I'll be cutting near the edges of the board I hot melt glue it to a larger piece of scrap that I can put the clamps on. When I'm clamping a board vertically or at any angle under my bed I usually am using small c-clamps to hold the part to my jig face.

In linuxCNC it is possible to set a repeatable location as home, which I would do if all the work I was doing was rectangles of wood and the same corner made sense as the origin. I'd bolt down an L-bracket to butt the wood up against and never have to bother with setting X and Y again once I set it the first time. 0,0 would be at the inside corner of the bracket, and that corner would be the same corner I'd set 0,0 at in Aspire.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2018, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Gaffboat, Is the spoil board some kind of plastic? After looking at your table I'm thinking about pulling up the spoil board and add some holes with t nuts on the back side between the t tracks. That would be really useful to have a combination of both style tables.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 07:27 AM
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I have two 'L' brackets, one small and one larger. They were cut on the CNC and holes bored for dowels on both the brackets and spoilboard so I can take them on/off and know they're in perfect registration each time.

When I started using the CNC I located to the left bottom corner but have switched to almost entirely the center of the piece to be cut. Like Oliver, I find it much easier to locate the center 'X' than to hit the corner precisely.

For mounting I just use drywall screws directly into the spoilboard but occasionally use small homemade clamps. When the screws are flush with the top of the work piece I never have to be concerned with hitting a clamp with the bit.

I home the machine each time I start it and X0 Y0 is different for each job so it wouldn't do me much good to have a fixed position for that. I also move pieces all over the table to help distribute wear on the moving parts.

Here are the simple L brackets with dowels and a piece I'll cut later today with the center already marked. The brackets are not fastened or pressed down when this photo was taken.
CNC Table setups-170-l-brackets-location.jpg
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
I have two 'L' brackets, one small and one larger. They were cut on the CNC and holes bored for dowels on both the brackets and spoilboard so I can take them on/off and know they're in perfect registration each time.

When I started using the CNC I located to the left bottom corner but have switched to almost entirely the center of the piece to be cut. Like Oliver, I find it much easier to locate the center 'X' than to hit the corner precisely.

For mounting I just use drywall screws directly into the spoilboard but occasionally use small homemade clamps. When the screws are flush with the top of the work piece I never have to be concerned with hitting a clamp with the bit.

I home the machine each time I start it and X0 Y0 is different for each job so it wouldn't do me much good to have a fixed position for that. I also move pieces all over the table to help distribute wear on the moving parts.

Here are the simple L brackets with dowels and a piece I'll cut later today with the center already marked. The brackets are not fastened or pressed down when this photo was taken.
Attachment 359491
Yea... those L's really save the day at times. Like today I cut a rectangle acrylic w/ rounded ends.
I thought vinyl was for the lettering, my boss thought I was cutting it out. Guess who wins.
So I made a small jig to take the rounded end on left/bottom sides and cut away. Worked great.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2018, 12:24 PM
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Aspire and VCarve software jobs can be set up with an offset start point so you can design your projects for XY Data Position on one of the corners and then zero XY to a registration point like the center of the angle David shows. That way every job starts at the same location and it is easy to re-zero if needed. As David points out if you use the same start point all the time then the parts of your CNC at that location will wear faster than the rest of the machine.

Having multiple registration locations for certain size materials is a quick way to locate common jobs and does lend itself to re-zeroing if needed. It does concentrate the wear on the CNC to a portion of the machine.

Really boils down to personal preferences and how well you maintain your machine.

These pictures show how I do my spoil boards and also you can build special jig for different applications like this jig to do inlays in guitar offset headstocks.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 11:02 AM
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On my CNC I have a grid of t-track. Every intersection point has been milled so I can use it to insert a clamp without having to start from extreme ends of table. Like @MEBCWD I use the Rockler t-track stops to align 2 sides of my stock parallel to X-axis and Y-axis. I can separate them as near or far apart as necessary. I like these instead of a “L” stop, since I can use the space in between for clamps using the same t-track. I virtually always use the lower left corner of stock as my zero point.

Here I am set up to cut some soap dishes out of old corian samples I got from a cabinet shop. I cut the 3D relief on the front (1 or more sheets) flip it over to drill the holes for the mounting feet on back, then cut out the profiles.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 12:11 PM
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I used those Rockler t-tracks before switching over to the t-slots from 8020. My intent is to put MDF in between the t-slots and skim it so the whole bed is level -- at least for a while.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 06:42 PM
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With the t-track it is easy to clamp down jigs, vac tables and alignment squares and remove them when not in use. Make sure the ends are square to the X axis and Y axis when installed and you can use them to instantly index the jigs to your system.

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