Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CNC Router Enclosure

While my CNC router has been very handy the only space I have for it is my bedroom. This comes with a number of disadvantages, primarily coating all my belongings in a layer of tiny sharp glitter like aluminium chips. These chips are a real pain to clean up especially in my notoriously messy room. They find their way into everything. 

I decided to go with a fully enclosed setup with waterproofing for a flood coolant system. I chose to go with flood because air compressors for a mist system are loud and bulky and I wanted to have the option to cut Carbon Fibre without putting toxic dust in the air.

Material wise I went with wood in effort to expand my limited skills with the material. Other things I considered was a welded sheet metal enclosure like commercial CNCs and a 80/20 frame with clear coroplast panels.

I whipped this together in Fusion 360. Being that this was my first time using a circular saw I tried to keep things simple.
Cut Sheet
I borrowed the tools I needed from the Toronto Tool Library  and started building.

I primed the outside with Cover Stain Primer/Sealer which worked great. For waterproofing the inside I used Rustoleum Appliance Paint  which also covered well. A more durable option probably would've been Rustoleum Tub&Tile Refinishing Paint but for some reason paint is twice the price in Canada (arrghh). The outside was painted with spray paint.

Things I learned (mistakes):

  1. I should of spent a bit more to buy sanded furniture grade plywood. Sanding and filling was a real pain and the inside surface is rougher than I'd like. 
  2. Waterproofing the knots in the wood was a pain. I should of pre-sealed them with thin epoxy beforehand. Even after 8+ coats they still have small little pinholes that could allow water through.  
  3.  Measure your plywood. The 3/4 plywood was quite a bit thicker than 3/4 leaving a seam on top.

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