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Router Upgrade

After using the Joe's 2006 for some time, I decided I wanted a fourth axis.  Since there is limited clearance under the gantry, the rotary axis would need to be outboard of the machine.  I had seen a photo of a home-built machine that used a Delta woodworking lathe as the basis for the rotary axis and decided that I would try to do the same.
This was the inspiration.

In order for this to work, I would have to build a new gantry for the router that would allow the carriage to travel beyond the table.  Just in case I would want to build an automatic tool changer, I would build it to travel beyond both sides of the table.

I used design elements from several routers I had seen online including the Z-axis from this one.  It uses two pieces of 1030 extrusion side-by-side.

Here's mine.  I spaced the extrusions two inches apart to make room for the lead screw in between.  This keeps it as close to the gantry as possible and gives a wide stance between the bearings that ride on the gantry.

I also used elements of Joe's 4x4 hybrid for the gantry including 2040 extrusion and v-groove bearings.

Back of carriage showing bracket for lead-nut.

Lead-nut for the Z-axis.

I was happy with the performance of the Dumpster lead-nuts on the original machine but upgraded to 10 pitch 5-start lead-screws on all axis to get faster rapids.

End view.

Full gantry with original machine in background.

The gantry legs are MDF with a 3/16 x 1-1/2 inch steel angle stiffener bolted on.  The angle also allows a place to attach the horizontal extruded beam.  The lower torsion box is stock Joe 2006 but the sides have been redesigned.  They are shorter and have a notch for the extrusion to rest in.  They retain the use of the original skate bearings on aluminum angle.

Rear view showing my lead-screw follower.  This keeps the lead-screw from sagging over longer spans which reduces the tendency to whip at higher RPMs.

New gantry installed with old gantry in front for comparison.

Rotary axis with cabinet stand.

Up and running!
Subpages (1): Rotary-axis