The almost 50% price markdown, being sold out, and not replying to my inquiry from 7 days ago is why I think they may not be restocking it. Metalmaslow.com is gone entirely.
With decent 3/4 anything starting @ $60 a sheet here, and it likely taking 2-3 sheets with my current issues, $159 for a new prebuilt metal one that would attach to my current sled and never need replacing sounded like a pretty good idea.
This is going to be long.
That’s the real problem stopping me from being able to resolve it well enough to make the upgrade myself, It does several different things, and the fixes usually cause other issues.
Sometimes the motor simply wont turn, you hear it activate but don’t hear the motor engage to actually move. I have eliminated the cause being the routers power cable interfering with the signal, and the cable itself, as the behavior is present regardless of if the router is running or even plugged in and regardless of motor cable used. It seems to be most likely to happen when moves in opposite direction follow each other in a short time frame, but still after the first move has completed.
Both upward and downward moves do not always travel as far as they are supposed to, this is basically down to how the tab used to move the router sits in it’s slot, with wiggle room before it engages in a travel in either direction. This is present in all moves less than 3-4mm.
Using bungee cords to eliminate this wiggle room as suggested here introduces new problems.
When the bungee cords have enough tension for the travel to be accurate, and the router clamp is properly tightened to prevent any play in the bits centering while still allowing smooth vertical movement, one of two things happens.
An upward move of more than 3mm at a time can cause the tab to pop out of the router, sending the router crashing into the work piece.
The motor will randomly not be able to turn the leadscrew during an upwards travel, but the maslow is unaware of this so the next down command is now too far by however much the last up command was.
This is not the same as the previously mentioned issue as it does not require moves to be close to each other, only happens on the up travel, and you can hear the motor engaging. This comes from the tension between the cords and clamp being enough to stop the motor shaft from turning.
When the bungee cords have enough tension for travel to be accurate, and the clamp is loose enough for the bit not to slip on the larger travel moves, the router has enough play that the bit can be slightly off center/angled.
If this happens during a deeper pass the bit may end up trying to cut through more material than it can handle snagging up and resulting in damage, (to the bit, collet, or router) or the sled being bounced around the workpiece, possibly coming off the sprockets and frame entirely.
I went through a sheet of OSB diagnosing and troubleshooting these issues, and it was only through sheer stubbornness and a disregard for safety that I was able to get my cuts done.
I basically unclamped the router for every up travel move clamping it before the down, until I reached the contour tab cutting layer, at which point I took off the bungee cords and stood there with my hand resting on the back of the router lightly pushing or pulling during every z move to make sure it was at the proper height.
I have also cleaned the router, its house, the leadscrew and tab height set screw , and then applied a coating of teflon dry lube to all of them to ensure as smooth of movement as possible.
Any thoughts you have on improving my current Z situation please let me know and I’ll be happy to give it a try. I know this style of axis has been rock solid for many others, with the main reason to recommend the meticulous Z being the speed improvement, and would love for mine to perform as accurately as the rest of the system