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spiral router cutting contraption

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  • spiral router cutting contraption

    About a week ago I posted about making some spindles for my son's house. One portion needs 8 grooves that are cut in a 3" section. Each groove is half a revolution.

    One suggestion for making the grooves was to build a router milling machine based on a pattern in ShopNotes. The problem is that the area to be grooved is not flat, it is somewhat rounded -- or pineapple shaped. So, after doing quite a bit of thinking and searching the web, I came up with the following prototype. I have yet to use it, but it appears that it will work fine.

    I needed to get 3" of travel in 1/2 of a revolution. I made a gear with a circumference of 6". I used 1/4"thick plexiglass to mount the router. Here are some pics. The router travels along a piece of pipe (an extension for a ceiling fan. The small pulleys are for a sliding door and the larger one is for a garage door safety system. I have a contour guide so the router will cut a uniform depth. When I get a chance to use it (in a week or so) I'll post more pics.
    Attached Files
    Mtnman Jim

    taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

  • #2
    Jim

    It looks like it should work. I guess my post on the other thread got the wheels turning for you. The only thing I do not see in the pictures is how you are going to index your cuts for the 8 grooves. Keep us posted on how it works.
    Tim

    If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

    Comment


    • #3
      Tim -- you got the wheels started. The indexing is with the connection on the headstock. There are 8 possible positions. If that gets to be too big a pain, I'll figure out something else.

      I'm off fishing starting tomorrow AM, so won't get a chance to try it till after I get home on Friday.
      Mtnman Jim

      taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

      Comment


      • #4
        Hope you have a good trip Jim.
        Tim

        If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

        Comment


        • #5
          Good thinking there.Thanks for posting.
          Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            Do you move the router by pushing it ? Was think if you do, maybe a crank handle on the pulley on the end of the box might make it a little more controlable.
            Just a though. Love making jigs....

            Mike

            Comment


            • #7
              Mike, I've thought of adding a crank. Right now I just turn it with a box-end wrench. When I turn the shaft with the pulley on it, the router moves. I'll post more when I get home and try it out.

              Yes, making jigs is fun.
              Mtnman Jim

              taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

              Comment


              • #8
                Jim:
                Very clever design. I'm looking forward to more pics.
                How are you controlling backlash?

                Comment


                • #9
                  This reminds me of a "Craftsman Router Crafter" my family bought way back when I was a kid. Very cool projects possible with these. I'm watching with interest.

                  By pure coincidence, last week I started playing around with much much smaller versions of spiraled cuttings using only the scroll saw and spiral blades.

                  --------Randy


                  Yes I know, there is absolutely no reason to make a dowel with a scroll saw, but it is cool that you can . . . .
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by hotshot; 02-24-2012, 07:39 PM.
                  "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                  website: http://www.coincutting.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Back at it with some updates.

                    Update 1 -- replaced the rope with some steel cable -- less stretch and better precision.

                    Update 2 -- came up with an indexing system (and got a handle on it too). What I was trying wasn't working, so I took a piece of 3/16" thick metal strap and drilled some holes. I have 8 holes evenly spaced around the center -- and can screw through them into one hole on my gear.

                    Here are some pics. I routed grooves into a test piece -- not wanting to risk testing on a good spindle. With a little sanding, it looks pretty good, (no pics of the sanded test cut yet) and cuts the time down from about 4 hrs per spindle to about 40 minutes.

                    Most of the components were just laying around. Probably spent about 12 bucks on the whole thing (not counting a new 60 degree groove router bit.)

                    Randy -- I did take some of my Looks like some fun spirals you are making. And sometimes it is fun to just do something because it can be done (your dowels!)

                    Frenchy -- Backlash?? Not sure exactly what you mean. It seems to be pretty smooth as long as I only go one direction and keep turning the crank smoothly.

                    Mike -- the crank makes it a lot easier! Sure is nice to have folks here suggest things for improvement.

                    Tim -- you were right on about the indexing. Sure makes it a lot more precise as well as quicker.
                    Attached Files
                    Mtnman Jim

                    taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Backlash the effect you get when you reverse the direction of the handle there is a delay before the router starts moving. You answered my question - you are now using steel cable to reduce stretching AND you route in one direction only.

                      I notice in your photo you're getting a fair amount of tearout; you may be able to reduce that by changing the direction that you route.

                      Keep up the good work.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jim

                        It looks like you are getting it sorted out.
                        Tim

                        If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Frenchy -- Thanks for the explanation of backlash. The old Craftsman router lathe instructions call for routing in only one direction. That seemed like the best approach, especially after trying to reverse it and seeing results that I didn't like. Thanks for the tip on the tearout. I'll give that a try. I know that some of it is from not being as smooth as I could be with the movement of the router.

                          Tim -- It is coming along. Thanks for your encouragement!!
                          Mtnman Jim

                          taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jim

                            Next thing you know you'll want stepper motors and a PC hooked up to it. LOL Now you got me thinking I really should start working on my 4th axis for the CNC.
                            Tim

                            If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tim -- my mickey mouse contraption is far from stepper motors and computer control. But I'd love to see a 4th axis on your CNC router.
                              Mtnman Jim

                              taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

                              Comment

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