With the wiring complete, the rails aligned and the limit switches adjusted, it’s time for a test cut. I’ve installed a 1/8″ ball-end mill in the PC-690 router I am using for a spindle. I’ve also mounted PDJ’s nifty see-through dust boot and connected it to the shop’s dust collection system. We’ll start with a simple engraving cut on a scrap of plywood from my off-cuts bin.
I generated some simple engraving G-code using Cam-Bam and loaded it into the Mach3 CNC package, positioned the bit and zeroed all the axis at the origin.
And off we go. We can see through the dust skirt as it starts to make the cut.
Almost done now. Everything appears to be working smoothly.
And there it is! Looks like I need to level the work support rails a bit, but otherwise a successful first cut.
Work remaining includes speed control for the spindle, cooling fans for the steppers, emergency stop buttons and general cable-dressing. These will be the subject of future posts. But for now, this CNC build is fully operational.