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Author Topic: Building my own old school "setworks"  (Read 1055 times)

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Offline fluidpowerpro

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Building my own old school "setworks"
« on: September 23, 2021, 08:53:41 PM »
I decided to build my own version of an old school types of "setworks". It will use low tech limit switches that will run on some cams I machine. I know that there are more modern ways of doing this, but this technology is what I understand and can fix later on if I need to.
The set up will allow me to have 11 preset board thicknesses that I can select with a rotary switch. It will be used with the electric winch I have already installed on my mill.
Here are a few pics of what Ive completed so far. I'll update as I go.

 

 

 

 
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2021, 09:21:34 PM »
Now this is super cool. Looking forward to more updates
HM126

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2021, 09:26:58 PM »
That is a super kool concept. never thought of doing it that way. 

Ever think about using a few scroll wheels off some old mice for a rotary encoder?

Very interested in seeing the cams you come up with to.

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2021, 09:36:45 PM »
I didnt know you could use a mouse wheel as an encoder so no, I have not. Either way, I wanted to avoid encoders or LVDT's, etc, simply because that type of system is beyond my comfort level. 
I'm building it at my "cabin workshop" so progress will go in spurts. Ill be working on the cams on my next trip.
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline Southside

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2021, 10:41:24 PM »
So that's pretty awesome.  Mind explaining what we are looking at in the photos?  Can you keep the explanation in Techno Dinosaur speak?  When "mice" were mentioned above my first thought was "How would rodents help?"  :D
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2021, 09:24:51 AM »
So that's pretty awesome.  Mind explaining what we are looking at in the photos?  Can you keep the explanation in Techno Dinosaur speak?  When "mice" were mentioned above my first thought was "How would rodents help?"  :D
Another comment where I was glad my mouth didn't have coffee in it.  :D
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2021, 09:47:06 AM »
Rotary encoder is pretty easy. it just counts steps. some have course steps some have fine. once you figure out the length of each step coding is pretty easy. May be worth just playing with one to give you a true digital readout. May have to get creative keeping the area clean though. the only reason I have not attempted something similar is the amount of sawdust and debris that you will have to keep out of it to keep it working right. Since my mill lives outside I didn't think getting into a digital setworks at this time was a good idea. maybe on the next version.

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2021, 09:26:24 PM »
Here is an explanation of what your looking at so far.
On each side you see 2 linear bearings. The cam arrangement will mount to those bearings and whole assy will mount vertically to the side of the mill. The cams will slide up and down on the bearings as the mill head moves. If the head moves up, the cams slide down on the bearings. These will be connected to the mill head by a small cable. 
The micro switches are mounted to a plate that is mounted on 1/2 of a cheap X-Y milling table. This will provide the means to adjust the position of the switches to "zero them". 
The whole works is mounted to a 1/4" thick, 8" x 51.5" aluminum plate. When completed the whole assy will be enclosed in a rectangular box made out of 1/4" aluminum, 52" tall x 8.5" wide x 5" deep.
What you see now is missing 2 micro switches. My electrical circuit requires 2 limit switches for each position ( 11 positions/board thicknesses).

As far as mice go, the only opening to the enclosure will be less than 1/4" dia where the cable goes through, so that should keep them out... :D
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2021, 12:06:34 AM »
So is there going to be a plate with a bunch of divots or bumps at various intervals that the micro switches is riding on?
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2021, 01:07:20 PM »
Yes but not one plate. The cams will be 1/2" x 1/2" aluminum square stock. One for each thickness setting. That way if I want to modify one setting, I dont have to remake the whole plate. It will also be easier to machine them because I will just need to machine the divot across the 1/2" face the switch roller rides on.
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline Mattjohndeere2

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2021, 02:56:40 PM »
This is awesome. Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking of a similar thing for the Hudson mill I have, except more of a digital approach. A rack and gear, connected to an encoder, read by an Arduino or similar hobby computer, and a digital display with a keypad for manual entry. It would use some relays to bypass the manual winch switch, and I could just program whatever cut types I'd want (1", 5/4, 1.5", etc...) And let it do the work of operating the winch for each next cut.

I'm excited to see how yours works, really cool!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2021, 03:52:23 PM »
I noticed that you are using an electric winch for head movement but I did not see where you mentioned braking or holding.  A shunt (direct short) across the motor leads when stopped will provide electric braking and should prevent overrun.
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Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2021, 04:04:45 PM »
The winch I am using has a brake built in and it seems to work good so far. I dont have many hours on it yet....
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2021, 04:31:08 PM »
Yes but not one plate. The cams will be 1/2" x 1/2" aluminum square stock. One for each thickness setting.
OK, now I see it.  You mentioned "cams" and I was thinking more like an engine cam shaft and couldn't figure out how you were going to get different spacing on a round cam and get it to come out even with every size... Doh!  Pretty cool idea/implementation.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2021, 05:49:39 PM »
This is awesome. Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking of a similar thing for the Hudson mill I have, except more of a digital approach. A rack and gear, connected to an encoder, read by an Arduino or similar hobby computer, and a digital display with a keypad for manual entry. It would use some relays to bypass the manual winch switch, and I could just program whatever cut types I'd want (1", 5/4, 1.5", etc...) And let it do the work of operating the winch for each next cut.

I'm excited to see how yours works, really cool!
The way you were thinking is not as ancient as my design and probably the smarter way to go. I must admit that most of what I build isnt the latest tech, but it usually works. I say usually because every project is a prototype so there will be tweaks and refinements along the way. 
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline D6c

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2021, 09:59:09 AM »
Nice looking project.  Hope to see a video of it in operation.
I considered (briefly) building a setworks for my LT40 using a ball screw and servo motor from a CNC mill but I'd have to do a lot of learning on the control end of things....might have attempted it If I didn't have a 100 other projects I'll never get done.

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks" (update 10/2/21)
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2021, 02:16:30 PM »
I worked on the assembly this past week. 
Changes/Progress
1. The zeroing adjustment for the micro switches will need to be out one side of the enclosure so I added a right angle drive to the adjustment rod. The drive is just a low cost unit I got on e-bay. Its meant to be used as a right angle screw driver attachment.
2. After much effort I was just not able to make everything for 11 setpoints work. It was all just too tight and there was not enough room for fine adjustment of the cam positions. There is too much slop, side to side, on the micro switch rollers so unless the cams were perfectly straight, the rollers would come off the cam by the time the cam traveled its full 24" length. Tried putting sheet metal dividers between the cams, but the tolerance stack up on everything was just too much to manage. Decided to scale back and only have 7 setpoints. This allowed me to remove one micro switch between each set giving me 1/4" spacing in between. I will change from 1/2" wide cams to 5/8" wide. This will give me the leeway I need to fine tune the final position of the cams.
3. Added a spring to the zero adjust slide. The spring will pull the slide to one end removing a slight amount of play that was in the slide mechanism.

Here are some more pictures. The pics are with the 1/2" wide cams but those will be changed to 5/8" when I get material.


 

 

 

 

 

 
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2021, 04:01:25 PM »
Why two switches for each setpoint rail?
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2021, 04:20:31 PM »
I am going to have an indicator light to tell me when the cam is "zeroed". I could have used a single DPDT switch and actually purchased some, but those were much larger and both contacts didnt change state at the same time. One switched earlier than the other based on lever travel. 
In the end decided to use 2 single pole switches. 2 of these ended up being smaller and actually cost a lot less.
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

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Re: Building my own old school "setworks"
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2021, 04:51:29 PM »
So when the units moves over the notch and drops in, it stops the motor from running, right?  So you would be using the normally open contact (closed when riding the cam).  So you run power to the common lead and then to a power (solid state) relay for the lift motor from the NO contact.  When it dips into the notch, the motor relay goes "off" stopping the motor.  Couldn't you use the NC contact to power your light (LED)?  If using a mechanical "power" relay, then just some of the other contacts for your LED?  Then you only need one switch per setpoint.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.


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