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Axis beam with single support? Is CBeam stiff enough?

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Tom Mckinney, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Tom Mckinney


    Dec 2, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I am working up a build idea that would utilize as much as possible, some old machinery. First is a lathe way that woul be the y axis and be stationary and to one side of the work piece with the x axis mounted on top. Could c beam support the router out 24 inches ? What about 48?

    Radial arm saw arms support heavy saws out to nearly 24 inches. Thinking to repurpose one to hold the router. Mount the base to the ways even?

    Alternate idea is to have moving y axis on the ways with a fixed gantry for the x axis. But I dont want the large footprint.

    Thanks for the input
  2. Wallied

    Wallied New

    Sep 9, 2018
    Likes Received:
    First of all, this forum mostly deals with Openbuilds machines or their derivatives, so I'd expect not many people here can help you all that much.
    Second, it's pretty hard to get the gist of your idea from just a written explanation. Pictures would make it easier to understand.

    And now:
    If I understood correctly, you intend to have a single lathe way act as the Y-axis, not two. And moving on that way, you'd have your C-beam X-axis, supported on the Y-axis side, and not supported on the other? And on that, you'd have a radial arm saw's linear rails working as the Z, holding the router? So kind of a knee mill style design?

    If I understood your design correctly, then no. The C-beam wouldn't have a snowflake's chance in hell of not deflecting like crazy. The beam can be deflected by router weight alone on a Workbee, and that's a lightweight Z-axis design on a C-beam, that's supported on both ends, with an additional 20x40 to help.
    A knee mill style design would require you to have an extremely rigid overarm since it's only supported on one end, something not really possible with OB parts.

    And I have to say with about 90% certainty that you'll get a better and cheaper machine by going some other route. The old machinery surely could be used to build a new machine, but the time, labor and new parts required would be quite significant, and the result would quite likely leave you unsatisfied with the machine's performance vs a purpose built one. Based on your intended use for the machine I'd either get a build kit for a router, or a used Bridgeport-style milling machine to convert to CNC use.
    But that's just me.

    Peter Van Der Walt likes this.

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