I’m setting up my second Shapeoko to cut 6061 aluminum parts continuously (several hours per day). The first one is working pretty well in a warehouse with a flooding coolant system, though it’s pretty messy and definitely recuts a lot of chips. This time around I’m looking at doing it in my garage using a MQL cooling system (fogbuster.com), and hoping to combine it with a dust shoe to evacuate most of the chips. Hoping to use my 5hp wet/dry shop vac, and my 2.1 SCFM @ 90 psi silent flow air compressor. Building an enclosure/work station to reduce the noise and contain the mess.
Has anyone tried this kind of setup? Any tips, issues I should be concerned about?
Day 1 of building out enclosure. Most of my upgrade parts are in transit so I’ll figure out how to run the lines and airflow when it’s all here. Wanted to share an idea I don’t think I’ve seen on the forums here. My previous enclosure allowed me to pull out the Shapeoko maybe 8" if I needed to access behind it but it was pretty annoying (and too low to the ground).
I had these 24" drawer slides laying around for another project, they ended up being PERFECT for mounting between the X rails and the enclosure sides. Spin the feet up and down to engage/disengage (after photos I cut some access hole for the rear set), and the entire table slides out for cleaning and repairs! The slides were rated for 100lbs per pair so I doubled up; it feels really smooth and solid.
That is a pretty wild setup! Only issue I can see is re-leveling the table every time you pull it out. I have a ton of sawdust and aluminum under my XXL I cant get to, would make cleaning very easy! How is it working out?
It’s been fantastic! The drawer rails have the tiniest bit of play in them, so after sliding it back in I can lift the table for the last quarter spin of each foot and it sets back down solid on all four.
The dust boot and coolant systems have been added, sound proofing pads on the way. I broke down and bought G-wizard, couldn’t be happier with it. Here’s a clip of me running .03" DOC profiles in 6061 aluminum at 70 in/min with a 2-flute 1/4" ZrN carbide bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhxgvwM4BZQ
Wow can’t argue with those results! I have been wanting to build a 80/20 frame, and I could possibly tie in one of these setups on rails into an enclosure.
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