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Thread: Buddy BT48 Alpha table MKIII

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
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    1,825

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    And just to recap, the total cost to me for the materials was:

    Aluminum angle and delivery $200
    Linear guide rails and bearings delivered $350
    Aluminum table extrusions and delivery $1113
    Misc bolts and hardware $25

    Just round it off to $1700 Canadian. Plus about 8 hours of work.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Tulsa Oklahoma
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    1,237

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    Andrew, as usual that is first class work!

    I have maintained that a significant part of my shopbots quality is the 1/2" aluminum bed for the table. You will find the same thing, a reliable, consistent bed you can attach a spoilboard to, or vacuum table, or dedicated hold fixtures, or... in your case who knows what all you will come up with?

    The ALS "Aluminum slab" makes a lot of setup better/easier than the bots I use that dont have it.

    Now the bad news, beginners will gouge the table if the spoilboard is not thick enough. I have never dug into the ALS, but I have ruined my share of spoilboards when Z "went south" or the bit slipped in the collet. An exposed aluminum bed asks for a gouge when X and Y are in the wrong place when Z wants to go south. Spoil boards are easier to replace and cheaper than aluminum. I suggest you might want a "sacrificial" board on top of all that shiny new metal

    Just my musing- but for the folks looking at putting in an aluminum table, its a big improvement. You can buy them already made- they are called "optical breadboards". Look em up. They are flat too and pre-drilled with 1/4x20 holes on a 1" grid. There are metric equivalents for the metric users.

    Andrew, thanks for the beautiful and inspiring work-

    D
    Last edited by dana_swift; 06-27-2014 at 06:20 PM. Reason: spelling correction
    "The best thing about building something new is either you succeed or learn something. Its a win-win situation."

    --Greg Westbrook

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,008

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    Beautiful work as usual Andrew and thanks for sharing your thought processes. Mods like this are 90% thought and 10% actual manufacture. My only concern is keeping the muck out of the linear bearings as you have them on their sides. I realise the trade off with using solid round rod is less rigidity but you do get 100% sealing. It will be interesting to see if your mods influence Shopbot at all. Very impressed with the video.

    On your Kent dust shoe if you angle it at about 30 degrees it makes bit changing a bit easier (of course this might only apply to old fellas!)

    A million thanks for sharing with the class. A table of cost, sizes and sources would be great for those following in your footsteps. You are an inspiration to us all Andrew with what you fit into your busy life!
    Buddy BT48 with 6' power stick
    2.2 HSD Spindle
    Aspire 9.5
    6" ShopBot Indexer

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,825

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    Quote Originally Posted by dana_swift View Post
    Andrew, as usual that is first class work!

    I have maintained that a significant part of my shopbots quality is the 1/2" aluminum bed for the table. You will find the same thing, a reliable, consistent bed you can attach a spoilboard to, or vacuum table, or dedicated hold fixtures, or... in your case who knows what all you will come up with?

    The ALS "Aluminum slab" makes a lot of setup better/easier than the bots I use that dont have it.

    Now the bad news, beginners will gouge the table if the spoilboard is not thick enough. I have never dug into the ALS, but I have ruined my share of spoilboards when Z "went south" or the bit slipped in the collet. An exposed aluminum bed asks for a gouge when X and Y are in the wrong place when Z wants to go south. Spoil boards are easier to replace and cheaper than aluminum. I suggest you might want a "sacrificial" board on top of all that shiny new metal

    Just my musing- but for the folks looking at putting in an aluminum table, its a big improvement. You can buy them already made- they are called "optical breadboards". Look em up. They are flat too and pre-drilled with 1/4x20 holes on a 1" grid. There are metric equivalents for the metric users.

    Andrew, thanks for the beautiful and inspiring work-

    D

    Nice to hear from you Dana! I havent seen you post in a while. Yes, I assume the aluminum deck will be a lot more "flat" over the long haul. My plan is to start cutting more cabinet parts on my machine, and the truer the table the better my parts.

    I always use a pc of 1/4" MDF as a spoil board. But, I have the vacuum pump on the way, and plan to make a plenum/spoil board set up to finally be able to cut sheet stock the "right" way.

    I do cut a lot of wooden parts (like chair seats which I seem to make a fair bit of) and these I always make a wooden fixture that gets clamped to the table and acts as a spoil board as well.

    I havent ever accidentally cut into my MDF top so I am hoping my 2 1/2 yrs experience will keep this one safe. However, the Hubbard table design allows a very simple swap of each individual section, if required. I really like this set up!

    Also, I will appreciate having a lot more slots, closer together than in my old MDF top. And, they are 5/16 T bolts VS the old one which I was using 1/4". The Incra clamps I had were easy to bore out to 5/16" diameter and swap the T bolts with the larger ones and a 5/16" star knob.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Eustace View Post
    Beautiful work as usual Andrew and thanks for sharing your thought processes. Mods like this are 90% thought and 10% actual manufacture. My only concern is keeping the muck out of the linear bearings as you have them on their sides. I realise the trade off with using solid round rod is less rigidity but you do get 100% sealing. It will be interesting to see if your mods influence Shopbot at all. Very impressed with the video.

    On your Kent dust shoe if you angle it at about 30 degrees it makes bit changing a bit easier (of course this might only apply to old fellas!)

    A million thanks for sharing with the class. A table of cost, sizes and sources would be great for those following in your footsteps. You are an inspiration to us all Andrew with what you fit into your busy life!

    Thanks Bob. I did think this out for a long time before committing to purchase the parts. Nothing really is available close by, so I had to find the parts on line and take a chance so to speak.

    The linear bearings also give me some concern in terms of longevity - however, they seem to have a really good sealing wiper seal which should keep the dust out. I am not worried about the coarser shavings as they are too large to get in between the rod and the bearing body. But the finer dust... we'll see. They dont seem to be very expensive and I might get a set as a spare. I did use a similar bearing on a few other pcs of equipment in the past, with a home made felt seal, that I soaked with oil. I might also make up a felt seal and place it on either side of the bearing blocks as well.

    Sometimes these things as you know take some tweaking and experimentation before things work out. But I have hope this will be a much better long term solution than the stock MDF table, or even my roller held down set up that served me well for 2 yrs... but I always knew could be better.

    AJC

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Tulsa Oklahoma
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajcoholic View Post
    Nice to hear from you Dana! I havent seen you post in a while. Yes, I assume the aluminum deck will be a lot more "flat" over the long haul. My plan is to start cutting more cabinet parts on my machine, and the truer the table the better my parts.

    I always use a pc of 1/4" MDF as a spoil board. But, I have the vacuum pump on the way, and plan to make a plenum/spoil board set up to finally be able to cut sheet stock the "right" way.

    I do cut a lot of wooden parts (like chair seats which I seem to make a fair bit of) and these I always make a wooden fixture that gets clamped to the table and acts as a spoil board as well.

    I havent ever accidentally cut into my MDF top so I am hoping my 2 1/2 yrs experience will keep this one safe. However, the Hubbard table design allows a very simple swap of each individual section, if required. I really like this set up!

    Also, I will appreciate having a lot more slots, closer together than in my old MDF top. And, they are 5/16 T bolts VS the old one which I was using 1/4". The Incra clamps I had were easy to bore out to 5/16" diameter and swap the T bolts with the larger ones and a 5/16" star knob.
    I have changed my forum activity to reading a couple times a week instead of daily. The forum is still a great asset to the SB community and your posts are an excellent example of that. I still learn something significant often enough to stay involved. So I'm still around, just posting less.

    ***

    On the vacuum table, you will get spoiled quickly in my experience. Your blower will handle bleed better than my 5hp vane pump, but I am so accustomed to getting panicky when the vacuum bleeds down to 15"Hg, where most systems cant get up that high. I put tape on fresh cut through areas to reduce the leakage and keep the suction up. A bit tedious and labor intensive, but I can cut smaller parts that way using a generic vacuum table.

    I have found cheap 1/8" Masonite makes a great cover for the parts of the vacuum table that are open and unused and it seals them nicely. If the bit ever strays into the Masonite its no big deal. I take it over to the band saw and true up the edges occasionally.

    Also blue "painters masking tape" is a handy seal for around the Masonite and the workpiece. I keep rolls of the stuff around in an array of widths, probably you do too.. this is just another use for it.

    Keep us posted-

    D
    "The best thing about building something new is either you succeed or learn something. Its a win-win situation."

    --Greg Westbrook

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
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    Somebody wrote me a message about my new table - I saw it on my iphone and thought it was a PM (which I usually respond to on my computer after work) so I deleted it. I guess it was an email through the forum, not a PM.

    Please send it to me again, I am sorry I deleted the trash before I realized what it was..

    Andrew

  8. #18
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    Jul 2011
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    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
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    I am still waiting for the vac pump... it was held up this week at the border (paperwork screw up on the Custom's Brokers part) hope to get it this week.

    I am so busy right now, I probably cant get time to hook it up until after I go for holidays anyhow. So, if it comes this week it will be two weeks before I get to play with it.

    Oh well, ROme wasn't built in a day, lol...

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    537

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    Hey Andrew.....me too......my Regen blower is shipping and should be here in next week or so. On holidays for a couple of weeks in August so will start on the redesigned table with vac then.......hopefully you'll have yours going by then so I can steal some ideas from you!!

    Cheers
    Buddy 48 Standard with 2.2 Hp Spindle with standard and 6' stick. Aspire 4
    2.2Hp universal 4 zone Vac Table

  10. #20
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    Jul 2011
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    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
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    Mike, I received my 1.5"x3" aluminum tube in, but I also need to get the piping and valves/fittings. I will wait until the pump actually gets here.

    My plan is to have it sitting in behind my Buddy. I will run two lines to the table, one on each side of the power stick.

    I'm itching to start cutting much more sheet material on my machine, but it all hinges on the pump. The new table is amazing. But clamping 4'x4' material and cutting cab parts out is too slow.

    I am certain with the 10HP pump, cutting cab parts will be easy without tabs, etc. Or tool path tabs or onion skin and remove on the machine afterwards, but on the table.

    I have already invested in some new tooling (insert style spoilboard cutter, some new mortise-compression 1/4" and 3/8" spiral carbide bits, etc) as I am anticipating using the machine much more to assist in cutting cab parts, especially melamine.

    I am hiring another full time employee (experienced) in a few weeks time - and I am anticipating being able to ramp up my cabinet production.

    The next few months will be intense - new man in the shop, new edgebander, new CNC table & vac pump/hold down. I have jobs lined up that hinge on my new setup to work well. Fingers crossed...

    But the life of a small woodworking business seldom changes. Im always looking for ways to do more, more efficiently and therefore (hopefully) make more $$

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