Here’s a list of the suppliers I’m using. I made some effort to find good quality suppliers, and higher quality parts.
Holy Smokes!!! I ordered some stickers, hats and T-shirts, and they arrived two days later!!! And, I chose the slowest delivery options! I’m pretty happy with VistaPrint.
That said, the stickers arrived in sheets, not individual stickers. I am considering using www.stickermule.com next time, just to see if they do better.
I was really happy with this order. The parts came very quickly, and were very nice quality. There was a $78 charge for Fedex.
The documentation on the G540 was a little skimpy, and took a bit of careful reading to determine how to get it set up. There is a configuration file on their web site for setting up the G540 with Mach3, but this link is really hard to find.
One really nice thing was that they included the appropriate resistors in order to configure the G540 to work with the motors I ordered. They also supplied db9 connectors and cases.
The 280 oz-inch motors are hefty enough and seem to have enough torque, so far. They are being driven at 3.5 amps at 48Volts, which is near the top of the voltage limit for these – not sure if that will affect their life…
The motors have 4 very thin wires coming out of a hole in the side of the motor. There doesn’t appear to be any strain relief. I’ve put the 4 wires into a piece of heat-shrink tubing, in order to add a bit more structure to the wires, and then have wrapped the wires around the motor, and tywrapped them as strain relief. Not sure if this is a good idea or not – what with the heat of the motors…
At this drive current, the motors definitely get warm, as does the G540. I have it clamped to a huge aluminum heatsink, which is what they recommend. They seem a little defensive about the heat that the G540 emits – there are warnings and studies etc on their web site – like they’ve had a lot of complaints/comments, and decided to pro-actively talk about the heat. So, having read all that material, I slapped the G540 on the heatsink, and I’m happy.
- 1 x G540 Digital 4-Axis Motor Control (G540 Step Mo)
- 4 x G723-280-4
Shipping was Fedex, overnight and FREE!!! This is a HUGE deal when you live in Canada. I’d order from these guys before anywhere else. Really excellent service.
I ordered the power supply – a pretty high voltage, high current supply – near the maximum limits for the Geckodrive G540 and the motors. I figured this would get the most out of the motors.
I also ordered some motor cables (which I figure are designed to handle the current), and some relays (which I am hoping to use to interface to other equipment, like turning the router on and off, and maybe an air supply valve, or lighting).
One relay socket has been backordered for months. The rest came really quickly.
- 1.0/781-1C-24D CUBE RELAY 15A SPDT 24VDC COIL LED INDICATOR TEST PUSHBUTTON
- 2.0/781-1C-SKT RELAY SOCKET FOR 781 SERIES
- 3.0/STP-EXT-020 CABLE, MOTOR EXTENSION, 20FT, W/CONNECTOR (USE W/MTR MOTORS)
- 3.0/STP-MTR-23079 MOTOR, STEPPER, 276 OZ-IN, NEMA 23, TRIPLE STACK, BIPOLAR
- 1.0/STP-PWR-4810 POWER SUPPLY STEPPER, LINEAR, 48 VDC 10A, WITH 5VDC .5A AUX SUPPLY
- 1.0/781-1C-12D CUBE RELAY 15A SPDT 12VDC COIL LED INDICATOR TEST PUSHBUTTON
Probotix.com shipped quickly, using USPS, costing $85. This is actually my preferred method of shipping – basically ANTHING other than UPS. UPS is just horrible when shipping from the US to Canada – crazy “brokerage” fees and duty and all kinds of extras.
Probotix had a really nice looking relay board – easy to interface with the Gecko G540, so I thought, what the heck. This will make it easier to control the router and any other external items I want to control.
I also picked up a mounting bracket for the Bosch router, which has turned out to be quite sturdy and easy to mount – though it would be nice if the spacing of the mounting holes lined up better with the 1.5″ standard used by the 8020 aluminum extrusions.
- 2x RBX-1 3-Channel Opto-Isolated Relay Board (RBX-1) $59.90
- 1x Mounting Hardware Kit (HARDWARE-1) $5.99
- 1x Bosch Colt Tool Holder (TH-BC) $69.95
I’m not sure this was really necessary, but what the heck. The kit is nice – I got a 1/4 and a 1/8 collet, wrench, and a few other things. Very sturdily made. Shipping was $20, and the item arrived quickly.
- Collet Kit
I visited a few computer stores, looking for DB25M-DB25F cables, and really had a hard time finding them. Interesting how technology marches on – something that was once ubiquitous and easy to find is now difficult. So, I ended up placing an order with Insight.ca, who we deal with at work. They’re a good supplier – and the cables arrived in a day.
I ordered some DB9M-DB9F cables as well, intending to use these as the link between the Gecko G540 and the steppers, but I’m finding that these cables are a bit light gauge. The cables are heating up as they drive the motors. Not much, but the cables feel warm. Enough to make you wonder. I think I’ll switch to the AutomationDirect.com cables…
- DB25 cables
- DB9 Cables
I decided to go with this router as there were readily available accessories like the mounting bracket, and the collet kit. Gave me the feeling that this motor is often used in this application. The router does appear to be quite sturdy. The router was around $200.
- Bosch Colt Router
This company has a ton of bearings, and it’s nice to be able to order over the Internet.
I ordered some “kits” that come with two rails, and 2 bearings, packaged in blocks. Everything is really nice quality, with no noticeable play.
The package was shipped UPS (Grrr) and arrived in a 4″ or 6″ sonotube wrapped in a bunch of tape at the ends – but the end had come off. Luckily, nothing was missing.
I ordered 4 rails, with built-in mounting brackets all along the linear bearing, and two rails with mounting brackets just at the end. I had to do some metalwork to get the rails to fit properly in the 1.5″ spacing of the 8020 aluminum extrusions. I would have ordered in imperial rather than metric sizes, but I couldn’t find the kits for imperial sizing on the web site. Still not sure if the imperial ones would have worked a bit more easily with the 8020 – 1.5″ spacing.
The 20mm size is very stable over the 55″ length.
- Kit7429 20mm 55″ Rail Guideway System w/2 Slide Units Linear Motion
- Kit7956 20mm Linear Shaft 55″ Long 2 Slide Units 2 Shaft Supports Linear Motion Kit
These guys are great. I ended up ordering the following items in two or three orders as my design evolved. I’ve used a number of their pre-made items, but not as intended or designed. For instance, I’m using their Linear Carriage’s as mounting points for the Nema Rack and Pinion drive – it’s convenient to use the pre-drilled and tapped holes, and just mount the large block onto my machine.
Everything is well built, and solid. Nice thick, chunky, sturdy metal pieces.
They ship using USPS boxes, which is really nice for us in Canada. Thanks.
I ended up using their rack and pinion drive for the X and Y axis. It mounted really well with the 8020 aluminum extrusions. All the products from this company are designed to work with the extrusions, and fit together very well. Really nice tolerances.
- Shaft Couplers
- Nema Motor Mounts
- Carriage for Acme
- Carriage for Acme 1 start 1/2 “
- 2 x Low Profile Bearing Block (CRP105-00) = $19.50
- 10 x Limit Switch () = $25.00
- 1 x High Z Plate () = $49.75
- 6 x Extended Linear Carriage with ABEC 7 Bearings (CRP102-00) = $201.00
- 16 x Rack Clamps () = $96.00
- 3 x Rack and Pinion Drive, Nema 23 () = $269.25
Turns out there is this nation-wide chain of metal supply stores. Huh. Who knew there was such a demand. I ordered a few pieces of Aluminum – angle brackets and plates, knowing that I’d need pieces to tie things together, and to mount various components.
I ordered 6061 aluminum, simply by choosing what they seemed to supply most of! They had the largest variety of pieces in this grade. Having worked with it, I’m satisfied with this grade, though I’ve since read that 5052 may have been a better choice. The 6061 was easy to cut, and drill, but was pretty difficult to tap for a 5/15 bolt. Also, I’m pretty new at tapping holes, so it may be that I’m the problem…
I ordered online through the US web site, then got a call the next day from a local franchise of the chain, asking when I’d like my things delivered! So, that was cool. I’m still planning to drop by the store to check it out. Something about touching and holding the pieces in your hand makes it easier to buy metal – as compared to online…
- 4″ x 4″ x 0.375″ ALUMINUM 6061 T6 ANGLE
- 4″ x 4″ x 0.375″ ALUMINUM 6061 T6 ANGLE
- 0.25″ ALUMINUM 6061 T6 PLATE
Fastenal has turned out to be my saviour in many ways. Think of them as a McMaster-Carr that ships to Canada, and has nearly the same depth of items in their catalog. After my extreme disappointement with McMaster-Carr I was at my whits end, until I found these guys. I found that they have not one, but two stores in our town! And, then I sent them in an order, and they came back with really aggressive pricing – WAY better than their web site pricing. I’ve since ordered from them quite a few times.
Their web site is missing some info – for instance, I could order the ACME threaded rod, but nowhere did it indicate how many “starts” the rod was. Turns out it’s ONE start, 10 threads per inch, which I could match with an appropriate anti-backlash nut from CNCRouterParts.com.
Later in the project, when I decided to use 8020 Aluminum extrusions, I did a ton of research on this, and found two Canadian suppliers – but then was pleasantly surprised to see that Fastenal could supply this as well. I created an order on the Fastenal site, cross referencing the 8020 site, in order to choose the right items, and then sent it in to Fastenal for a quote from my local store. They came back with really terrific pricing on the 8020 stuff, and had it ordered immediately, and I received the whole order in a week! Just terrific service.
When ordering the 8020 extrusions, plan carefully, and get them to do all the cuts. They do it cheaply, and machine the ends perfectly. So, let them do that stuff!
- Acme threaded rod 1/2″ Single Start 6′ long
- 1/2″ID x 1 1/8″OD x 13/32″W Aluminum 1pc Collar
- ST-1628-6 1/2″IDx7/8″ODx3/16″Length Powder Metal Bronze Thrust Bearing
- Collars 20mm
- TC815 INA 1040 / 52100 Drawn Cup Thrust Needle Cage Assembly
- 956810 1545 1.5 x 4.5″ T-Slotted Extrusion
- 951384 15S Aluminum 12 Hole 90[DEG] Joining Plate
- 0951400 15S Aluminum 12 Hole Tee Joining Plate
- 0951452 5/16-18 Black Zinc 15S Screw End Fastener
- 951442 5/16-18 Black Zinc 15S Thread Economy T-Nut
- 0961704 15S 5/16″-18 0.625″ x 0.687″ Bright Zinc Standard T-Nut
- Various nuts and bolts
This was the “rack” supplier mentioned in the CNCRouterParts.com web site – along with McMaster-Carr, who don’t ship to Canada.
I emailed them, and was provided with a quote right away, and placed the order. They went out of their way to ship it using USPS, and the racks arrived without a problem.
The racks work really well with the brackets and motor drive mounts from CNCRouterParts.com, so I’m really pleased with this combination.
- Steel 20 Deg Pressure Angle Spur Gear Rack 20 Pitch, 1/2″ Face Width, 1/2″ Height, 6′ Length 4×6′
When you see CNC routers in YouTube videos, they always seem to use this cool cable tray stuff, that sort of curls back on itself, as the X and Y axis move. I searched for quite a while to see who supplies this stuff, and found the IGUS product, from CableOrganizer.com. The price is not excessive – about $10/foot, and they have a wide range of sizes. You order it by the inch or foot. Shipped via USPS, thanks.
- IGUS® E-Z Chain Outer Split Crossbar 1.18″ Inner Width, 1.50″ Bend Radii, 0.76″ Long
Suppliers of quite a bit of CNC Router accessories, parts, power supplies, pendants, etc. I bought a pendant from them, but really haven’t been happy with it’s installation, and reliability. Lots of other good supplies though.
Vista supplies USB pendants, and I’ve ordered one of these to compare it with the CNC4PC.com pendant. I’m hoping that the installation and configuration experience is much better. I’ll provide a review later.
I ordered a bunch of CNC router bits from these guys. Their online store is very good – easy to order, and the shopping cart doesn’t pop up and interfere with the actual shopping process, like it does at many stores. They have a terrific range of parts. I ordered this week, and should receive the parts next week (I specified USPS shipping rather than pay UPS’s horrid prices.) I haven’t received a confirmation of the order from them, nor shipping notice, which is odd since they say they ship it out the next day…
This place looks really interesting, but I haven’t actually ordered anything from them. They sell bits that are of interest to jewelers and people making fine designs, with great accuracy. Recommended.
When I was building the Puckmill, I wanted to use a USB controller – so I could simply plug the CNC machine into my laptop and control it with ease. This is something that is extremely difficult with Mach3, which I had been using up to this time. With Mach3 you need to find an old PC with a 2 way parallel port. Most parallel ports in laptops will not work.
After some searching, I decided that the PlanetCNC board looked pretty good, and had an active and responsive support bulletin board, so I purchased some components from them.
The board requires a software license in addition to the hardware. The software is Windows-only, and it quite capable. Like most CNC control software it is quirky, and won’t win any User Interface design awards – some screens like the settings pages are just crazy crowded with options. You have to be careful – if you change a setting, you can easily forget where it was, and spend quite some time trying to find it again!
I ordered a full suite of components from PlanetCNC. Shipping from Europe was quick and done via mail. Everything was really packed into a small box. The software license comes in an email within a day or so. Make sure not to lose the key!
One worrying thing is that the driver boards seem “delicate.” Lots of warnings about not powering them up if a motor is not connected. This seems strange to me. I’d prefer the driver boards to be ROCK SOLID and FOOLPROOF. I could quite easily see a motor connector coming undone, and I guess, frying the driver board. You don’t see warnings like this with Gecko controllers!
Aside from that, everything fits together nicely, and comes up easily. Without even being hooked up to a PC, I was able to jog the motors, and control things with the default settings (of course, you must set things like the steps per inch, and which inputs and outputs are connected in order to actually USE the machine).
I’ll show the PC software in operation in a Youtube video at some point.
CNC USB controller software license
CNC USB controller Mk2/4
Output board for CNC USB controller
Shipping and handling
I needed to order a few MXL Pulleys and belts, so I ended up at Econobelt – which is a division of Quality Transmission Components.
Ordering from them was a bit hit and miss. Some of the components were in stock, and shipped quickly. However, other components of my order were backordered, and took over a month to arrive. The components are all solid and look good. You have to be careful to specify the right width on the belts. I initially ordered some belts in 1/8″ width, and had to re-order them in 1/4 inch width.
When I ordered my Full Spectrum Laser Cutter, I knew I’d want to vent it to outside, but I wanted to minimize the odors and smoke as much as possible. I decided to build an in-line filter, and ordered this replacement filter from Home Depot. The filter came within a few days, and was exactly what I was hoping for. I built a plywood box around the filter, and used home heating ducts and registers to feed the air into the filter, and out to the outside.
I used a home depot inline bathroom vent fan to suck the air all the way across the shop and vent it outside – with 4″ metal duct all the way along – all well sealed with metal duct tape.
Model : 402SF SKU# : 1000719864 Blueair Smoke Stop Filter 400 Series
When I was building the PuckMill, I wasn’t sure if I was going to use 1/4″ bits, or 1/8″ bits – so I ordered a few of the small bits from this supplier. It was a bit strange – I placed the order, and then heard nothing for a month. Just as I was starting to wonder – they emailed, asking if I’d received anything. Turns out they were updating their ordering system, and my order apparently slipped through the cracks. When I received the order, it was good. Nice quality bits.
This is a spindle I was considering for the Puck Mill. The work on this spindle looks excellent – good for a precision machine. Very nicely built. Powered by a model helicopter motor. You’ll need to supply a 12V(??) power supply to make it work. I was looking at the TB-650 Package deal.
I’ve ordered a number of components from these guys, and they have been excellent, delivering reasonable quality goods quickly and cheaply. I’ve ordered ER16 and ER11 collets, holders, wrenches, etc.
The spindle I’ve ended up using in the PuckMill is from this supplier – it came with a variable voltage power supply, and an ER11 collet. The motor is extremely quiet – SO NICE after using a router like a Bosche Colt. Make sure to order a motor mount at the same time.
Spindle motor and power supply $147
For my larger CNC router I ordered this larger Spindle. It runs off 220V, and included an Inverter. The inverter has a TON of settings which need to be configured before using the device. Everything looks solid – though I haven’t had the time to wire it up yet.
1.5KW ER16 Spindle and Inverter 232GBP (370.22CAD)
Full Spectrum Laser FSLaser.com
Source for raw brush for CNC router shroud for dust collection.
These guys make absolutely terrific stuff. I’ve ordered their ER32 and ER16 Collets and sets and R8 holders as well as an AWESOME facemill.
|R8-FM45-200||Integral Shank Facemill – 2in (50mm)||$199.99||1||$199.99|
|SEHT43-X83||Korloy Inserts (pack of 10)||$169.99||1||$169.99|
|SEHW43-K2885||Kennametal Inserts (pack of 10)||$169.99||1||$169.99|
ER32 collets – R8