End Plates (Erik Jenkins)

Continuing the discussion from 3GT2 belting keeps breaking:












Hmm… seeing its going to cost $44 for 2 more slides, couldn’t I just order the new wide 1000mm for $50 and reuse the old 2 pieces for the reinforcement? Holes should all match up correct? Seems like a win win double reinforcement upgrade

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I want to start out saying, I am by no means an expert at cutting aluminum…I have had good success and I will share what I have been able to figure out.

I am using aluminum 6061 as it machines very well. I have bought all of my aluminum from ebay from this seller: http://www.ebay.com/usr/6061dude?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754

Is it the best or the cheapest? Who knows, but it has worked well for me.

I have been using these bits: https://www.amazon.com/Titanium-Nitride-Coated-Carbide-1Lx3-17Tix10/dp/B00HN0EC0Y/ref=pd_sim_469_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HN0EC0Y&pd_rd_r=S6SWAT9MSJ0NF8WZFDDW&pd_rd_w=sWJJ3&pd_rd_wg=sPBEs&psc=1&refRID=S6SWAT9MSJ0NF8WZFDDW

There are better bits, but I tried these first since they were cheap and I was just testing things out and they work well for me.

The endplates I made add a full 2 inches to the makerslide height. So a raised wasteboard or a new z-axis will be required after installing these plates.

The dxf file is in mm, so if you import them into a vectric product, make sure you start with a metric design so they are imported at the correct size. You will notice the outside profile is setup with two concentric vectors. I did that so I could cut it as a pocket instead of a straight profile cut so the bit would have an easier time clearing out the chips and make cutting more reliable.

I used the 1/8" bit for the entire operation…I cut the last set I made at 60 IPM with a 7% stepover and a 0.05" depth of cut. I ramped in the cuts so I used a plunge of 50 IPM…If your software does not allow ramping in the cuts, use a much slower plunge and a shallower depth of cut.

I cut the holes first…put a couple of screws into the holes to hold the parts down and then cut the profile. I used screws to avoid using tabs so cleanup was easier.

I know of 6 people that have successfully made these plates…the last one was just the night before last. He used a few shots of WD-40 as it was cutting as lubrication.

I v-carved the initials using a 1/8" 90 degree v-bit. Feel free to use your own initials :slight_smile: or none at all.

End Plates.dxf (270.1 KB)


Here are the ones cut the other night…painted black and installed. He did a great job on them.

He used the exact same bit I used.

I can see my self wasting aluminum and teaching my 6 year old new words… I think I need to get better with the machine before I move on to aluminum :frowning:

Practice, learn what the machine can do…when you are ready let me know and I’ll talk you through it.

I think my problems are mostly getting feeds and speeds right still at this point but this thing needs to start making me some money before I can justify throwing more at it. I might give this a go when I get more comfortable with the machine and have a little bit of extra money to possibly waste. I feel like I should be doing so much more with this machine after having it 2 years but its been mostly trial and error and learning the hard way and more time on the forums than the machine.

The forums are great and you can learn a lot, but you need to just dive in and be prepared to waste material. It truly takes time…I wasted lots and lots of wood when I was starting, but the more you use it the better you get. Take good notes when you cut things so when you find what works, you can generally assume it will work again on the same material…pretty soon you will have compiled a list of materials with bit sizes and feedrates that produce the best quality for your machine. It just take time and practice.

V-carve pro keeps bringing them in huge even if I try to change it to mm was going to get the file made and ready to go for when I was ready to try but cant seem to scale it properly. I panicked when it said 5 hours then realized it was huge

Ahh… got it thanks… It says 1/2" depth should be 1/4" aluminum correct? Also how often does it need WD40 just to start or periodically throughout the cut?

This seems like a perfect use for the 2 pieces of makerslide I couldn’t bring myself to toss after upgrading to the single piece x-axis. I see you’ve got quite a few other mods going on as well (z-axis slide, look like bigger y-axis motors, etc.) Would you say that there’s value in making this change with the stock z-axis or do you really need to improve the z-axis first?

I realize leaving the stock z-axis means that the waste board would have to be raised, but I’ve been looking at making a vacuum table anyways, so the extra 2" would be nice to be able to work around without getting overly creative designing around the base of the frame.

@RyanEdwards - I didn’t use any lubrication when I cut mine, he told me he gave it a few shots throughout the cutting process…I don’t really know how much as we talked until he started cutting then afterwards when all was done.

@JacobSmelley - I made the new plates for two reasons:
1 - to stiffen the axis
2 - to raise the axis so I could add a rotary axis to my x-carve.

Prior to that I had no reason to do new plates.