Salty's

Homebrew Crankbait Machine

37 posts in this topic

So I hemmed and hawed about posting this online. Someone nameless here said post it. Finally said ah the heck with it. If someone wants to duplicate what I built let them. I'm a hack with a bridgeport :) This is my 7th cnc machine. All home built, each one does a specific purpose in making my baits.

This is a new machine I just got finished. These were early videos of cuts I did. Although these are 2d the machine is 3 axis and fully capable of 3d. Hope you like them. I hope to be duplicating bodies in large quantities shortly. These are for kits I am making.

Hope you guys like this. I have many other videos on youtube that show how I make bodies. That top lure I can now make in about 40 seconds, by changing the router to go to a larger bit I hope to get these down to about 20-25 seconds each.

Edited by Salty's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I hemmed and hawed about posting this online. Someone nameless here said post it. Finally said ah the heck with it. If someone wants to duplicate what I built let them. I'm a hack with a bridgeport :) This is my 7th cnc machine. All home built, each one does a specific purpose in making my baits.

This is a new machine I just got finished. These were early videos of cuts I did. Although these are 2d the machine is 3 axis and fully capable of 3d. Hope you like them. I hope to be duplicating bodies in large quantities shortly. These are for kits I am making.

Hope you guys like this. I have many other videos on youtube that show how I make bodies. That top lure I can now make in about 40 seconds, by changing the router to go to a larger bit I hope to get these down to about 20-25 seconds each.

Before I look at your videos I want to say, that I have done some experiments on this sort of thing already using 3axis and 4 axis machining. A touch probe is awesome. The nice thing is if you want you can save the point cloud to make a surface mesh and cut it again without even chucking up your blank/master ever again.

Now, I am going to go look at your videos and ooh and ah about the way you did it and all the little touches you did that I never thought of.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I look at your videos I want to say, that I have done some experiments on this sort of thing already using 3axis and 4 axis machining. A touch probe is awesome. The nice thing is if you want you can save the point cloud to make a surface mesh and cut it again without even chucking up your blank/master ever again.

Now, I am going to go look at your videos and ooh and ah about the way you did it and all the little touches you did that I never thought of.

Ok... cutting out blanks. I thought you might be using a blank and a touch probe to do a scan and actually "duplicate" crankbaits. There are some older videos around doing the same thing. Whacking out blanks. One guy left little holding tabs on each piece on the final pass so he would not have to hold or catch them as the cuts are finished, and then when it was done cutting a sheet of blanks he would just go through and pop them out by hand. That way he could make a lot more pieces without standing over his machine. Not sure what CAM you are using to generate code, but CamBam does holding tabs and 2D profile operations nicely. It also does 2.5D and does 3D pretty well from STL format files if you want to do more of your material removal with your machine.

It took me a while to get there, but ViaCad for design and CamBam to generate code seems to work really well for me.

Still, very nice videos. I bet that cuts down a lot of time over the old bandsaw method.

Edited by Bob La Londe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep using cambam, is one of the best programs to do this stuff. As I said before this is only 2d right now, I have to upgrade my main computer to do the number crunching for the 3d files. It is having a major speed issue with some of this stuff. Probably sometime this winter depending on how busy things are.

Right now we're taking pictures off stuff out there and converting them to 2d cad dxf files and using cambam to post code. Have finished out a bunch of bodies so far and works out well.

bassbaitcnc.jpg

I'll show some more when I get the 3d up and running.

[quote name=Bob La Londe' timestamp='1291248833' post='15638

6]

Ok... cutting out blanks. I thought you might be using a blank and a touch probe to do a scan and actually "duplicate" crankbaits. There are some older videos around doing the same thing. Whacking out blanks. One guy left little holding tabs on each piece on the final pass so he would not have to hold or catch them as the cuts are finished, and then when it was done cutting a sheet of blanks he would just go through and pop them out by hand. That way he could make a lot more pieces without standing over his machine. Not sure what CAM you are using to generate code, but CamBam does holding tabs and 2D profile operations nicely. It also does 2.5D and does 3D pretty well from STL format files if you want to do more of your material removal with your machine.

It took me a while to get there, but ViaCad for design and CamBam to generate code seems to work really well for me.

Still, very nice videos. I bet that cuts down a lot of time over the old bandsaw method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The great thing about threads like this, is that they show people out there what is possible. I don't think their is going to be a rush of CNC lure machines on the market any day soon, as their is a lot of learning to be done, not a small investment needs to be made, not to mention the time investment. You have done a great job and deserve respect for your achievements.

I have a lure body cutting CNC machine in my head, but unfortunately have no CNC experience and I am short of investment funds at the moment. If you lived close, we could have done a colaboration. I now have a new business partner. He is an engineer also and part of his job is installing CNC for large companies. Unfortunately we are busy on other projects at the moment, but eventually we will tackle my CNC idea.

Thankyou for posting and good luck with the business.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just typed a whole reply then hit some stupid button on my mouse by accident and it's all gone.

I'm just a hack with a Bridgeport Dave :)

The great thing about threads like this, is that they show people out there what is possible. I don't think their is going to be a rush of CNC lure machines on the market any day soon, as their is a lot of learning to be done, not a small investment needs to be made, not to mention the time investment. You have done a great job and deserve respect for your achievements.

I have a lure body cutting CNC machine in my head, but unfortunately have no CNC experience and I am short of investment funds at the moment. If you lived close, we could have done a colaboration. I now have a new business partner. He is an engineer also and part of his job is installing CNC for large companies. Unfortunately we are busy on other projects at the moment, but eventually we will tackle my CNC idea.

Thankyou for posting and good luck with the business.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salty's

I don't know what PC or control software you are using, but I run my Taig with an older eMachine I bought from Tiger Direct running Mach 3. I found that I fought it constantly until I did a few things to reduce processor load.

1. Turn off the tool path display while cutting.

2. Disable the onboard video port and install an AGP video card.

3. Disable the onboard parrallel port and install a port card with full hardware on the card.

4. Set Mach to run with higher priority than other processes on the computer.

5. Don't run any other program while cutting. Not even idling in the background.

Now I run code files over 100,000 lines. As long as I planned well and can run a file from start to finish without stopping I rarely seem to have a problem anymore.

Where I thought I would really have problems was on the CAD side. Autocad and some others are real processor hogs. I tried dozens of various CAD programs. Some just wouldn't run on my computers and some were so counter intuitive to operate that I was never even able to figure out how to do simple things. Finally I tried ViaCaD 2D/3D again at the urging of some other guys on CNCZONE. I downloaded and ran their demo over a weekend when I had time to play with it and I was able to design some shapes by going back and forth between their help file, their tutorial videos, and the program itself. I've designed three molds now that I cut from STL files genarated by ViaCad and imported into CamBam. It was not all easy, but it works. The big bonus is that ViaCad runs pretty well on an old refurbished everything on the motherboard Pentium 3.

I don't claim to be able to do anything like Vodkaman when it comes to CAD. I have seen some of his work and if my software can do it I don't know how, but ViaCad turned out to be a pretty inexpensive tool with a lot of power for the price at $99.00.

STL files exported from ViaCad import right into CamBam with no problem.

(Just don't forget to save your work in ViaCad's native format too so you can make changes or derivative work too.)

As I mentioned before though. For what you are doing you might benefit from laying out a sheet to cut and taking a 2D profile cut to depth slightly less than full depth. Then making a final cut to depth in segments leaving thin holding tabs that you can easily break out by hand. CamBam has a holding tabs feature, but I think I would do it by hand in CamBam. If you are just laying it out with a polyline Just copy and past it on top of itself (on a second layer) then throw some parrallel lines across it where you would like to have holdings tabs. Four should be enough so two pairs of lines about a 1/3 from the front and a 1/3 distance from the rear should do. Then break at intersections, and profile cut along the segments skipping the ones you want to leave as holding tabs. It will be slightly slower than cutting to depth and holding each part as it breaks loose, but it will be safer not to have your hand next to the cutter if something sticks, and while its cutting out 30 blanks you could be turning something on your lathe, getting a cup of coffee, or designing another part.

Vodkaman,

You are absolutely right. Posts like this are awesome. There is a lot of stuff you can do if you just have a clue where to start.

As far as cost. With what I know now (after battling through every issue the hard way for the last 2 years learning) I could setup a small CNC machine including software, computer etc for under 2 grand with all new parts. Nothing on the scale of Salty's Bridgeport, but something that could cut 4-6 blanks at a time or do bait molds in 4" x 8" plates.

Salty's,

Sorry. I did not mean to dis your accomplishments at all. I think its awesome and I am jealous of your machine. I'm currently running a Taig 2019 that I have about worn out, and a clapped out MaxNC5 that I repaired and retrofit with parts I made on the Taig. Some day I hope to have a real machine in my shop and working like yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. The guys on the CamBam forums are some of the most understanding and helpful on the Internet for helping you to figure out how to do something. I'm sure Andy just wanted to throw something at me a couple times when I kept asking how to do something that he thought was simple. LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input Bob. This is new stuff to me compared to what the other machines do. You didn't dis me. No worries. Ok on the hold tabs. Yep I know how to do that, but not needed on this. One of those you see in the video that it has to get broken out of there by hand. I can leave them all in there then pass it through the planer also... Don't seem to make a difference as the edges get radiused anyway.

Salty's

I don't know what PC or control software you are using, but I run my Taig with an older eMachine I bought from Tiger Direct running Mach 3. I found that I fought it constantly until I did a few things to reduce processor load.

1. Turn off the tool path display while cutting.

2. Disable the onboard video port and install an AGP video card.

3. Disable the onboard parrallel port and install a port card with full hardware on the card.

4. Set Mach to run with higher priority than other processes on the computer.

5. Don't run any other program while cutting. Not even idling in the background.

Now I run code files over 100,000 lines. As long as I planned well and can run a file from start to finish without stopping I rarely seem to have a problem anymore.

Where I thought I would really have problems was on the CAD side. Autocad and some others are real processor hogs. I tried dozens of various CAD programs. Some just wouldn't run on my computers and some were so counter intuitive to operate that I was never even able to figure out how to do simple things. Finally I tried ViaCaD 2D/3D again at the urging of some other guys on CNCZONE. I downloaded and ran their demo over a weekend when I had time to play with it and I was able to design some shapes by going back and forth between their help file, their tutorial videos, and the program itself. I've designed three molds now that I cut from STL files genarated by ViaCad and imported into CamBam. It was not all easy, but it works. The big bonus is that ViaCad runs pretty well on an old refurbished everything on the motherboard Pentium 3.

I don't claim to be able to do anything like Vodkaman when it comes to CAD. I have seen some of his work and if my software can do it I don't know how, but ViaCad turned out to be a pretty inexpensive tool with a lot of power for the price at $99.00.

STL files exported from ViaCad import right into CamBam with no problem.

(Just don't forget to save your work in ViaCad's native format too so you can make changes or derivative work too.)

As I mentioned before though. For what you are doing you might benefit from laying out a sheet to cut and taking a 2D profile cut to depth slightly less than full depth. Then making a final cut to depth in segments leaving thin holding tabs that you can easily break out by hand. CamBam has a holding tabs feature, but I think I would do it by hand in CamBam. If you are just laying it out with a polyline Just copy and past it on top of itself (on a second layer) then throw some parrallel lines across it where you would like to have holdings tabs. Four should be enough so two pairs of lines about a 1/3 from the front and a 1/3 distance from the rear should do. Then break at intersections, and profile cut along the segments skipping the ones you want to leave as holding tabs. It will be slightly slower than cutting to depth and holding each part as it breaks loose, but it will be safer not to have your hand next to the cutter if something sticks, and while its cutting out 30 blanks you could be turning something on your lathe, getting a cup of coffee, or designing another part.

Vodkaman,

You are absolutely right. Posts like this are awesome. There is a lot of stuff you can do if you just have a clue where to start.

As far as cost. With what I know now (after battling through every issue the hard way for the last 2 years learning) I could setup a small CNC machine including software, computer etc for under 2 grand with all new parts. Nothing on the scale of Salty's Bridgeport, but something that could cut 4-6 blanks at a time or do bait molds in 4" x 8" plates.

Salty's,

Sorry. I did not mean to dis your accomplishments at all. I think its awesome and I am jealous of your machine. I'm currently running a Taig 2019 that I have about worn out, and a clapped out MaxNC5 that I repaired and retrofit with parts I made on the Taig. Some day I hope to have a real machine in my shop and working like yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good post Bob, I am soaking up all this knowledge. I have had lots of discussions with Salty also and a lot of what you have written, Salty said the same. It seems that these programs are a tad temperamental and need patience and perseverance to get them to work for you.

I sat down with my engineer partner today and explained what I wanted the CNC machine to do. After I got him to stop saying," yes, no problem" and got him to think about the details in more depth, he came up with a code solution. Now it is time to start designing the beast.

I still have another derivative of the rocking beam duplicator to build and I have an electronic engineer working on a stepper motor circuit for me. Once he comes back with something that works, I can make circuits to do what I want. The stepper motor solution should give me bodies with a good finish at a rate of one minute per inch. The CNC solution I am aiming for 20 seconds per inch or less.

The cost of the CNC machine is roughly in the same ball park that you mentioned. The advantage that I have, is that I can get parts machined here in Indonesia a lot cheaper than you can in the US, but you guys are probably machining your own stuff.

I have so many projects on the go, but the priority has to be the new type of automotive turbo charger that we are working on. Hopefully this will provide funding for the CNC project and a long awaited trip to the states. All this takes time. I just wish I had gone independent twenty years ago.

I am rambling now, so I better give my fingers a rest.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have so many projects on the go, but the priority has to be the new type of automotive turbo charger that we are working on. Hopefully this will provide funding for the CNC project and a long awaited trip to the states. All this takes time. I just wish I had gone independent twenty years ago.

When you make that trip... see the major sites, but plan some time for basic pleasures like dropping by Yuma and letting me take you fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm going to chime in here. I bought aTaig mill about 10 months ago to make molds for lead pouring. It has been a big learning curve, Cad software, Mach software, milling machine. I have wanted to try some wood blanks, but havn't had the motivation/time. So I enjoy reading threads like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After he stops in Boston :D

When you make that trip... see the major sites, but plan some time for basic pleasures like dropping by Yuma and letting me take you fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diaery how does that little mill do on metal?Must run real slow? That has a real small cutter in it? Have you done any 3d stuff with it yet?

After he stops in Boston :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diaery how does that little mill do on metal?Must run real slow? That has a real small cutter in it? Have you done any 3d stuff with it yet?

Yes, I have made several 2 sided hinged molds. The biggest end mill I have found is a 7/16" with a 3/8" shaft, Sometimes I use that to take off .270" off the mold and sometimes I use a flycutter. I have to take that much off in order to leave enough for the hinge. I can cut a blank mold, both sides with a Do-It style handle in about 4 hours. I just set it up and turn it on.

I havn't cut any yet but I am going to cut the wood handles also. I bought a dovetail bit to cut the slot in the handle. and have tried that.

What I use 1mainly for cutting cavities is a 1/16 ball mill. For jigs with small diameter hook shafts I use a 1/32 and I have a .200 end mill. I can't even see those small end mills. I have magnifing glasses and still hard to see.

I spend lots of hours working on these drawings. Here is a link of a couple molds I have done.

molds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diaery how does that little mill do on metal?Must run real slow? That has a real small cutter in it? Have you done any 3d stuff with it yet?

People talk about big mills doing more, but you can only push a .0625 ball cutter so fast and so hard. On top of that most of the big mills won't turn anywwhere near as fast as the Taig. A Taig spindle turns upto 10,000 RPM. I have retrofit mine with a Bosch Colt Router that turns upto 35,000 rpm. I've got low runout too with the Precise Bits collets.

I can get 6-8 hours of hard cutting out of a .0625 ball cutter dry cutting. I can get more, but the quality of the cut starts to suffer. I just finished the enclosure and catch basin for that mill and I'll be running flood coolant on it soon to see if I can double that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I spend lots of hours working on these drawings. Here is a link of a couple molds I have done.

molds

Very impressive David.

CAD is very absorbing. Sometimes I think I have been working on a project for 30 minutes, only to discover that I have been at it for three hours and some serious beverage time has been lost.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great looking mold!

I asked on speed because many small machines like that have more problems with vibration and have to be slowed down is all. Good idea on the router. Do you see much of a difference in finish between the 10 and 35?

Very impressive David.

CAD is very absorbing. Sometimes I think I have been working on a project for 30 minutes, only to discover that I have been at it for three hours and some serious beverage time has been lost.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great looking mold!

I asked on speed because many small machines like that have more problems with vibration and have to be slowed down is all. Good idea on the router. Do you see much of a difference in finish between the 10 and 35?

Not really that I have noticed. I have noticed at higher RPM I can push those lighter cutters faster for shallow cuts. An 1/8 cutter will just fly along at 60 IPM taking a full width .005 pass. The speed limitation is the low rigidity of the machine at that point, and the maximum speed of the stepper motors and still maintaining their holding force. I guess the 1HP router may still not be enough for it to really hog out cuts with the bigger cutters though. Disadvantages your cast iron servo driven machine doesn't have. I can understand vibration in smaller machines. The Taig and my repaired MaxNC don't seem to exhibit that very much. I think its because the mass of the moving part of the machine is very small, and I use it for small cuts. By comparison I have a mini lathe with an oversize chuck I installed, and under heavy cutting load it will vibrate and move all over the place. I haven't bolted it down yet because I still am not sure where I want it. I hate to sacrifice all that work bench space permanently.

The router is my third custom spindle mount on the machine. The first two were for Foredom and/or Harbor Frieght handpieces. One to see if I liked them, and one that held two of them so I could destroy to work pieces at a time. I found that the $50 motor and hand piece from Harbor Freight had less initial runout than the $50 Foredom handpiece. However the $135 Foredom handpiece was superior to either one.

I think I actually noticed more difference between 10K and 15K than I did between 15K and 35K for finish quality. The big advantage 35K gave me was faster side cutting ability. There was not much improvement in plunge cutting.

P.S. I bought an old used Hurco KMB1 last week. If I can get it working and figured out I may change my opinion about big machines. LOL.

P.P.S. Iggy (posts as Ignoramous) on rec.crafts.metalworking is running a retrofit control CNC Bridgport, and he recently made a spindle mount (couple months ago) to put a 3 HP router on his machine for high speed cutting aluminum. I don't recall if he mentioned how fast and what kind of cuts he was capable of with it.

Dlaery,

I do have to admit those are some very nice looking molds. You must have your speeds and feeds figured out very well in order to cut one of those plates with that fine of a finish that fast. I am very impressed. I would be curious what your speeds and feeds are and what type of cut you are making. I just finished some prototype spinnerbait molds and I struggled with cuts to get something that didn't take 20-30 hours. In order to make the cut faster I settled for a finish not quite as good as the one shown in your jig molds.

I can make a mold that looks like that, but I haven't got it figured out where I could cut anywhere near that fast. For plastics its not that big a deal, but lead shows everything.

Also, I am curious what kind of life you are getting out of your .0625 ball mills. I've found that 6-8 hours continuous doing 3D work as hard as I can push them and they cut just fine, but sometime between 10-16 hours they start tearing instead of cutting using an uncoated carbide cutter. My .125 cutters seem to last twice that long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks, I use the G-Wizard to figure my feeds and speeds. It's helpful

On cutting the blanks I use the 7/16 em to knock down the surface and clean up with the fly cutter. Then around the hinge and around the handle, I use a 1/4 em and finish with a ball mill.

On the cavities, after a rough cut I come back with a finish cut. My feed rate is 10 on the 1/16 ball nose cuts.

I have flood coolant so my bits are doing good and I think that has sped things up. I use to break them before I would wear them out. Now I might be able to wear some out. It's a good thing that MSC has next day delivery. I have access to another CNC, I don't remember what kind it is but it will only do 2-1/2 axis. The code has to be punched in manually. I have thought about using it to cut out the blanks. It has an auto tool changer. I would have it in my shop if I had room for it. I have thought about trying to retrofit it to 3 axis but I don't have much experience or time right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks, I use the G-Wizard to figure my feeds and speeds. It's helpful

On cutting the blanks I use the 7/16 em to knock down the surface and clean up with the fly cutter. Then around the hinge and around the handle, I use a 1/4 em and finish with a ball mill.

On the cavities, after a rough cut I come back with a finish cut. My feed rate is 10 on the 1/16 ball nose cuts.

I have flood coolant so my bits are doing good and I think that has sped things up. I use to break them before I would wear them out. Now I might be able to wear some out. It's a good thing that MSC has next day delivery. I have access to another CNC, I don't remember what kind it is but it will only do 2-1/2 axis. The code has to be punched in manually. I have thought about using it to cut out the blanks. It has an auto tool changer. I would have it in my shop if I had room for it. I have thought about trying to retrofit it to 3 axis but I don't have much experience or time right now.

I ran across a freeware tool called ME Consultant 2.0 today when doing a search for something else. There is a conversation from 2003 on CNCzone that mentions it a couple times. I found it for download here and tried it.

http://www.softsea.com/download/ME-Consultant.html

I scanned the download with Avast, but you should scan it too just to be safe.

It seems to work similar to G-wizard except totally free unlike G-wizard that is going to subscription (pay every year to keep using it) soon according to an e-mail the author sent me recently. The numbers seem easier to plug and chug to try things too. I noticed there is no accounting for horsepower. In small cutters that's not an issue, but in bigger cutters that could be a problem. I figured take its numbers and stay conservative. G-wizard gives me numbers some times anyway that I know will plug and break a cutter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bob, I took a look and will try it out, the bad news is, I've already paid for G-Wiz

I ment to ask Salty on the finished bait he shows, how was it sanded? By hand or some automated way of getting a nice looking finish?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought Viacad yesterday. WOW what a program. $99? that's insane.

You know, its funny. I almost didn't buy it. I was turned off by a response I got when I asked Punch about it and using it for my type of applications. I commented about it on CNC ZONE and got read the riot act. So I downloaded it to a different computer in the shop and and spent a weekend playing with it and designed three different bait molds while I was learning.

I found it to be one of the easiest CAD programs I've tried to learn how to use. You can generate shapes directly or work backwards. A couple I have done like carving stone just to see if I could do it that way.

Later I realized Punch is Broderbund. Which is a bigger company with a ton of products. Probably explains the terse reply I got originally.

Make sure you always save your work in ViaCad's native format first, so you can make changes and adjustments if needed. I export STL files for use in Cam Bam when I think I have it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now