There is nothing more frustrating than completing a lengthy DIY CNC design cut, only to find the wood or aluminium material block has moved during the program – rendering the material and entire project cut-out attempt useless.
We “clamped down” on this problem long ago in our DIY workshop, but we always like to remind new CNC machine builders that you can never have too many clamps on hand.
The problems extending from small amounts of material slippage on a CNC table are often the hardest to identify. The problems are often blamed on other machine components, such as faulty CNC motor driver controllers, slipping shaft joints, structural flex, or backlash.
We’ve found that many of these DIY workshop problems are solved by having ample clamps and clamping positions available for use on the machining table. This ensures your projects stay securely in place and that they are cut correctly every time.
Hold down clamps in themselves are cheap and easy to make. Three to six clamps made of 5-7 mm thick steel with a slight bend at one end (coated in a tough powder coat paint), is usually enough to hold wood or aluminium material blocks firmly in place for most projects. Being made of steel, the clamps have some inherent ‘springiness’ in them making them easy to place on and off a part (unlike block aluminium clamp alternatives).
Making the ‘easy turn’ DIY knobs for your CNC machine clamps is also super easy …. using your CNC machine!
With our free g-code, dxf and crv files available for download, you don’t even need to design the knobs yourself. You can download the files and import them into your CNC machine design software right now!
The downloadable knob design provided is sized for M8 bolt heads (ie: bolt shaft diameter 8mm, head hex width 13mm) embedded in 13mm thick high density plastic material, but the basic CNC machine g-code or crv design file (for Ventric and other compatible design software) can easily be resized, recoded, or redrawn to suit other bolt sizes and material thickness’s. Read more »