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CNC Router Kit Version 2.0: blackToe
blackToe 2.0 front view of z-axisblackToe 2.0 veiw from aboveblackToe 2.0 View of gantry
What number usually comes after 1.3? 1.4, right?!? Wrong, 2.0 of course. I have been working on the next obvious evolution for the CNC Machine kit that I offer here. Actually, I only started counting version numbers from 1.2 on to the 1.3. In this version, 2.0 seemed like the next logical step, and the machine wouldn't be complete without a name... blacktoe.

The CNC Router is in the final steps of my testing and determining the jigs that I will use to fabricate these machines for sale (limited quantity during the introduction). This CNC machine will have many improvements over the version 1.3. Also, this CNC will serve as the foundation on which I will design other machine routing sizes. The routing area for my prototype is based on 44" on the Y-Axis and varying lengths on the X-Axis. The X-Axis travel will depend on the size and length of lead screw selected for the X-Axis. The kits that I will offer shortly will have a Y-Axis travel of the typical 48" and later I will design a CNC machine to route within the typical 2'x4'. The 2'x4' version will be much smaller than the existing 1.3 version.

The first feature that you may have already noticed from the first image above is that the y-axis spans all the way to the table's edge. This is made possible by extending the rails past the gantry side. Also quite noticeable, I am using v-groove bearings that run along the edges of aluminum angles (6061). V-groove bearings were selected so that all of the assemblies are fastened closer together for better rigidity. The method of tightening the v-groove bearings to the aluminum angles are provided by short angled cuts in the MDF as seen on the gantry side.

Not only has the rail system been improved, the entire gantry style and design is completely revamped. The gantry side is designed for maximum support and travel. Extra reinforcement is added in the back of the main span between gantry sides with two curved support pieces that add extra support in the middle of the span. It is of course necessary to have two lead screws for the X-Axis. In the second image, you will see the anti-backlash nut (also called wear compensating nut) attached very simply to the gantry side. In the video, you will see the new X-Axis lead screw mounts. These mounts are designed to be fastened anywhere along a table's edge. This way, the table can serve multiple purposes. why have a table this large only for a machine. It should be used for other purposes also, like a work table when you are not routing. I use my table for the CNC Router on one end and a computer table on the other. Versatility is key in this design.

The third image shows the extra long length of the Z-Axis assembly. This is the length that I designed for the prototype only and not for the final kit. Z-axis travel will be approximately 5 to 6 inches. The hole on the far end of the top z-axis assembly piece holds the vacuum hose which leads down to another hole next to the router. Additionally, to the issue of dust, the bottom Z-Axis piece limits the high velocity of air being pushed out by the router and disperses it outward, not downward into the dust. This is so good that I don't even use the vacuum. Most of the dust is contained on the work piece and on the table which I clean up after routing.

Pricing:

There are many variations and option that you can choose. Read carefully through all of the options to select the most appropriate components for your application. Included in these options are the base system (MDF and typical hardware and mechanical), lead screws/anti-backlash nuts (also called wear-compensating nuts), and electronics (4 axis only). You can purchase these components separately, or purchase a recommended system that contains the components for the fastest travel offered. Items that are not included in this system include router, software and computer. Software is depends on the CNC application (woodworking, PCB routing, metal working, user interface, etc). The router will also depend on the CNC application. I typically recommend the Porter Cable 2.25 hp model as I have had the most success with power and resilience.


Roller Chain Cased CNC Machine Kit:

Base Blacktoe Structure (2'x4' routing area) $1635:

  • Fabricated and prepared MDF for all of the machine support components (z-axis assembly, y-axis assembly, gantry and x-axis mounts.
  • Hardware to fasten all of the MDF parts (screws, cross dowels, nuts) - See bottom of page for the exact parts and quantities totalling 636 pieces.
  • Mechanical components (v-groove bearings and couplings)
  • Roller chains, drive sprockets and idler sprockets.
  • Aluminum angles with mating holes for fastening.

This option is for the customers that already have the electronics. (Depreciated)

Base Roller Chain System with Motion Electronics $2205:

Base blacktoe Structure (MDF, Hardware, Typical Mechanical Components and Rails) 4-axis Electronics Package. (Depreciated)


Lead Screw Based CNC Machine Kit:

Base Blacktoe Structure (2'x4' routing area) $1800:

  • Fabricated and prepared MDF for all of the machine support components (z-axis assembly, y-axis assembly, gantry and x-axis mounts.
  • Hardware to fasten all of the MDF parts (screws, cross dowels, nuts) - See bottom of page for the exact parts and quantities totalling 636 pieces.
  • Mechanical components (v-groove bearings and couplings, lead screws, anti-backlash lead nuts, etc).
  • Aluminum angles with mating holes for fastening.

This option is for the customers that already have the electronics. (Depreciated)

Base Lead Screw System with Motion Electronics $2375:

  • Base Blacktoe Structure (MDF, Hardware, Typical Mechanical Components and Rails)
  • 4-axis Electronics Package.

(Depreciated)


G-CODE:

blackToe 2'x4' routing area roller chain version 2.1 g-code files for the MDF pieces: $350

I am offering the .nc files due to overwhelming requests. These need to be run on a CNC machine. The price is factored by many aspects of the research and development of the blackToe machine and that this website survives by the sales of these machines. Remember that these files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial.

(Depreciated)

blackToe 2'x4' routing area lead screw version 2.0 g-code files for the MDF pieces: $300

I am offering the .nc files due to overwhelming requests. These need to be run on a CNC machine. The price is factored by many aspects of the research and development of the blackToe machine and that this website survives by the sales of these machines. Remember that these files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial.

(Depreciated)

For the above g-code: Each board measures 2'x4' with a 1" clear border to maintain structure while routing. The origin for these layouts is positioned at the lower left corner while looking at the file on the screen. The z-axis is positioned where the tip of the end mill meets the surface of the material to enable easy cutting with a flat end 1/4" end mill, the depth per pass is set at 0.17".


YouTube

Blacktoe Assembly Videos:

Here you will find the videos needed to assemble the blacktoe CNC machine. These videos will provide the necessary information for the entire assembly, including the table which does not come with the kit. In each step, I describe the tools needed and the hardware and parts that are required for the assembly. The first video will cover beginning of the z-axis assembly. The y-axis assembly will be covered thereafter, and finally, the gantry and table will finish the assembly videos. For supplemental videos on how to attach the roller chain components, go here.

YouTube

Assembly of the z-axis rails and router support.

YouTube

Assembly of the z-axis rails and router support continued.

YouTube

The y-axis support rails and lead screw mounts are assembled in step 3.

YouTube

In this video, the table and rails are assembled. The table is built only for demonstrating the assembly of the machine. The table that I built is rough and not suggested. If a perfectly flat table is desired, a torsion box would be recommended. See here for torsion box kits offered here.

YouTube

This video explains the connection of the y and z transfer plate and the installation of the z-axis assembly onto the plate.

YouTube

The lead screw connections are introduced in this video and the anti-backlash nuts are fastened to the y/z plate.

YouTube

The x-axis anti-backlash nut fastening is completed and a recap of the entire building process is shown.

Machine Fabrication and Preparation:

The following is a list of what goes into fabrication and preparation of the kits before they get to the customers. In the manufacturing industry, this is similar to a process routing sheet.

Routing Each Sheet:

  • Make sure the machine gantry is against the stops to insure square.
  • Check that the correct end mill in installed in the great collet.
  • Turn on the CNC machine and computer and start Mach3 and remove some of the cobb webs that formed through the night by my pet spiders.
  • Load the machine with a sheet of MDF and clamp.
  • Home the X,Y and Z axes.
  • Raise the Z-axis off of the material surface and jog the machine for fun.
  • Open the first .nc file.
  • Press the start button on Mach3 to invoke the routing.
  • Look at the beginnings of the routing to make sure everything is in the correct position.
  • Do one of the following while the CNC machine is running.
    • Take a break, maybe watch some Discovery Channel "How it's made".
    • Go to the other computer and design for a while.
    • Pack some of the day's orders.
    • Write this process routing sheet.
    • Finish the wife's handyman to do list.
  • Check the routing every so often just to be safe.
  • When the routing is finished, vacuum the table and the floor.
  • Unclamp the newly routed sheet of MDF.
  • Remove the parts from their holding tabs.
  • Remove the holding tabs using a routing table with a router bit containing a bearing so the edge is very smooth.
  • Do the above process for each MDF sheet and their respective .nc file.

Preparing each piece:

  • Drill the end edge holes for each of the two Z-axis rail supports using jig #1.
  • Drill the end edge holes for each of the four z-axis rail middle pieces using jig #2.
  • Drill the holes that are used to fasten the motor mount for these middle pieces using jig #3.
  • Drill the holes into the motor mount that is used to tighten the motor mount around the router using the drill press and vice.
  • Drill the edge holes for the middle pieces to hold the rail supports and the rails using jig #4.
  • Drill the edge holes into the gantry sides to hold the horizontal pieces for the gantry using jig #5.
  • Drill the edge holes into the curved back support that attaches to the back of the horizontal gantry supports using jig #6. Make sure the jig is oriented correctly since the holes are not symetrical.
  • Drill the edge holes used to attach the y-rails using jig #7.
  • Drill the holes at the end of each horizontal gantry piece to hold the lead screw or roller chain mounts.

Preparing the rails:

  • Cut the rails to length on the circular miter saw. Make sure the aluminum cutting blade is installed inthe saw. the lengths of the rails are based on the length of the appropriate MDF pieces.
  • Four x-axis rails, 2 y-axis rails, and two zaxis rails are cut to length
  • Place the first x-axis rail in the CNC Machine and clamp.
  • Insert the drill mill tool in router.
  • Jog the machine so that the tip of the drill mill is located at the edge of the rail.
  • Jog the machine so that the top of teh drill mill is centered within the aluminum rail.
  • Jog the z-axis down to the surface of where it will dril.
  • The machine will create multiple pilot holes.
  • Take the drilled rail and a rail that has not been drilled to the drill press.
  • Clamp the two rails together (mirroring each other) and drill through both rails at each pilot hole. This insures that both rails are perfect pairs.
  • Do this for the remaining x-axis rail and the y and z rails.

Packing:

List of MDF pieces:

  • Y-axis rail support (1)
  • Y-axis rail support reinforcement (1)
  • Gantry sides (2)
  • Z/Y plate (1)
  • Z-axis rail supports (2)
  • Z-axis middle supports (4, 2 long and 2 short)
  • Router/spindle mounts (2)
  • Z-axis lead screw/vacuum mount top (1)
  • Z-axis lead screw/vacuum mount bottom (1)
  • Curved Y-axis back support

Components added for roller chain system:

  • Motor mount for z-axis (1)
  • Y-axis roller chain connector pieces (2)

Components added for lead screw system:

  • Motor mounts for the X, Y and Z axes (4)
  • Y-axis lead screw mounts (2)
  • X-axis lead screw mounts (4)

Hardware List:

  • Screws (#8) @ 1" (24)
  • Screws (1/4") @:
    • 1" (12)
    • 1-1/2" (88)
    • 2" (15)
    • 3-1/2" (16)
  • Screws (3/8") @:
    • 2" (14)
    • 3" (1)
  • Nuts:
    • #8 (24)
    • 1/4" (88)
    • Cross dowels (75)
    • 3/8" (15)
  • Washers:
    • For #8 Screws (24)
    • For 3/8":
      • Small (16)
      • Medium (12)
      • Large (8)
      • X-Large (12)
  • Small L-Brackets (corner braces) (2)
  • Bearings:
    • "V" Groove (3/8" Inside Diameter) (16)
    • Standard with 1/2" Inside Diameter for Lead Screws (2)
  • Couplings - 1/4" to 1/2" (1)
    • Note: If the motors have 3/8" shafts, 3/8" coupling bores are supplied.
  • Steel Collars (1/2" Inside Diameter): (2)
  • Z-axis 18.5" lead screw (1)
  • Anti-backlash nut (1)

Supplimental Components for Roller Chain System:

  • Drive Sprockets (3)
  • Special collars (3)
  • Idler Sprockets (3)
  • 5/8" Bolts (3)
  • 5/8" Nuts (3)
  • Large L-Brackets (4)

Supplimental Components for Lead Screw System:

  • Small L-Brackets (30)
  • Screws (#8) @ 1" (48)
  • Nuts #8 (48)
  • Wood Screws (12)
  • Steel Collars (1/2" Inside Diameter): (6)
  • Standard with 1/2" Inside Diameter for Lead Screws (6)
  • Washers for #8 Screws (8)
  • X-axis 6' lead screw (2)
  • Y-axis 3' lead screw (1)
  • Anti-backlash nuts (3)
  • Couplings - 1/4" to 1/2" (3)