Some beginner questions - router plus vacuum relay - router hitting dust shoe - press play to start job

Hey all!

Newbie here, I’ve just completed building the x-carve and ran my first tutorial. Whoohoo!
During the cutting time a lot of questions popped into my head :slight_smile: Now, I’ve searched the forum and googled for all of them and I’m getting some idea of it. But I just wanted to shoot the questions here as well, I’m sure you guys might know some of the answers already :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I’m not sure people would like me to post every question separately or not, but it feels like one thing to get me started :slight_smile:

My setup:
Well, I’m located in the Netherlands, Groningen :slight_smile:
I have the x-carve 100 x 100 cm
and a Makita Makita RT0700C Router
Dustshoe plus simple dust collector.
Currently working with Easel but planning on learning Fusion 360

My questions:
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#1 - Router relay on/offf

Goal: I want the router the switch on/off automatically.
Approach: I have this simple Arduino relay shield laying around which I hope to use. From what I understand I could connect it to the spindel PWM port. If I’m not mistaken the relay can handle 10Amps.
This is the shield: http://www.robotshop.com/en/4-channel-5v-relay-module.html

Question:

  • Would my idea work like this?
  • Would the relay shield support enough amps for the Makita?
  • Does the X-controller have a 5V for the shield to power?

Extra info:
I’m planning on adding e-stop (maybe grey instead of red :slight_smile: before the 230V relay and a nice red indicator light to show the router is powered / ready. The e-stop/switch should give me a more relaxed feeling when switching tools :slight_smile:

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#2 - Makita Router speed control.
Goal: set the desired speed in software. With this I hope to get more stable cutting results. Plus to be able to go under the minimum speed the router has on it’s lowest speed dial setting.
Question: Alright, now I’ve looked around for this and get the feeling this now not available, right? I believe the Makita has soft-start.

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#3 - Vacuum auto on/off
Goal - to automatically turn on the vacuum when the cutting starts and turning it off when the job is finished.
Approach: Since the shield has 4 relays I’ll use another one of these.
Question:

  • Could I simply hook this up to either M7 or M8?
  • Would it be possible to run the vacuum a few extra seconds after the job finished? And would that be better or even necessary?

Extra info:
I’m planning on adding a 3 state switch before the 230V relay.

  • State one, work with the relay
  • Off
  • State two, always on. This way I could use it after finishing the job to manually clean the working area.

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#4 - Makita hitting the dust shoe.
Problem: One thing that stuck me right away is that my dust shoe and Makite have only 10mm (0,40 inch) space between each other. Now that’s not much…

Question:

  • Did I do something wrong? :slight_smile:
  • Now I’ve seen there are Router Bit Collet Extensions (not sure if that’s the right name) on the market. But which one to choose? Any insight on what I should look for? :slight_smile: completely clueless :slight_smile:
  • Are there down sights on a extension? Say, for the RPM / safety / stability.

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#5 - Press play to start job
Background: Even though my computer is relatively close, I still have to do 3 to 4 steps to reach the machine. I would like the machine to wait for me to reach the machine and to be able to press play to start the cutting. I’m using the computer to operate a few more machines (plotters) so I won’t be able to just move it :slight_smile:

Question: Would it be possible to wait for the machine to wait for a press at the play button after sending the job?

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So, these are the questions I’ve been struggling with these last days :slight_smile: Any insight on the matter is welcome!

Welcome.

[quote]Router Relay:

  • Would my idea work like this?
  • Would the relay shield support enough amps for the Makita?
  • Does the X-controller have a 5V for the shield to power?[/quote]
  1. Numerous people, myself included, use a relay to control the spindle.
  2. I don’t see any hard specs on the relay for current handling capabilities
  3. yes the Xcontroller has a 5V output to control it.

The only one I’m aware of is a SuperPID (www.vhipe.com/product-private/SuperPID-Home.htm) but that may not be ideal. Lowest setting on the Makita should be fine.

I have a relay for my vac on M7/M8 and I have my machine turn it off when the carve is done and the router is at the home position. No real benefit for running it longer but you can always manually turn it on by typing in β€œM7” or β€œM8” in the console and then a β€œM9” to turn it off.

Depends on what you’re using for Gcode generation. If you’re using an outside program (say like Vcarve), you could enter a β€œ!” into the header which causes an immediate feed hold (I haven’t personally tested this…but it should work) that can be resumed by just pressing the β€œPlay” button. In Easel, it’s more complicated and may not be possible. Theoretically, you could export the Gcode, manually modify it for the β€œ!” command then import the Gcode back into Easel and send it.

Also there are other steps before the actual carve (zeroing the board, etc.) that might involve some back and forth.

–edit, wasn’t done typing :slight_smile: –

Found out my relay shield is active low… And I don’t want to go though the hassle of changing the polarity. So I’m changing my plan to solid state relays. Found some cheap used nearby.

I wasn’t able to find any 5V pins/terminals on the GRBL stepperdriver controller. But I guess I don’t need it when I’m using the solid state relays.

2 - Makita Router speed control.

The only one I’m aware of is a SuperPID (www.vhipe.com/product-private/SuperPID-Home.htm3) but that may not be ideal. Lowest setting on the Makita should be fine.

Hmm, maybe a future upgrade :slight_smile: I’ll keep it as is for now.

3 - Vacuum auto on/off

I have a relay for my vac on M7/M8 and I have my machine turn it off when the carve is done and the router is at the home position. No real benefit for running it longer but you can always manually turn it on by typing in β€œM7” or β€œM8” in the console and then a β€œM9” to turn it off.

A, cool. Thanks. I’ll do it like that.

5 - Press play to start job

You could enter a β€œ!” into the header which causes an immediate feed hold

Ah cool, now I know what to look for, a feed hold at the start.

Now, all that’s left is the problem with the dust shoe/ length. #4