ROUTER MOUNT UPGRADE SUGGESTION
Is there any mechanical engineering reason you couldn’t design a router mount that has a slot cut in the rear bottom of the mount and fits over the vertical gantry plate and has threaded holes in the rear surface and through holes in the existing location?
So the idea is the bolts would go in through the front (presumably wings) of the mount with the bolt head facing out, pass through the vertical gantry plate and then lock down in to the threaded holes at the rear. This would be an uprgade from the current approach where the threaded holes are in the router mount itself and the bolts have to pass from the back to the front - with the bolt heads inaccessible due to the XZ gantry plate - making it very difficult to remove and lower the mount to the low position for carving or to switch mounts for a laser or other project.
I could be dead wrong on the engineering but I would think this would not only be easier to use but could improve the mechanical connection between the vertical plate for the Z axis and the perpindicular router mount?
For the lower location you would just need a second slot and holes. In fact, you could probably have more than two locations…
Which brings me to another question. Z-height. My over-active mind has been busy lately imagining different ways to use my Longmill but I am frequently running up against the Z-height restriction. Working with x4 lumber or even 1" baltic birch really limits the Z travel which can mean I can’t do things like chuck up a 3/8" drill bit due to it’s length.
I’ve also cut a slot in the front center of my wasteboard and have vertically mounted some x4 lumber and done some end grain joinery tests. However, the combination of bit depth (in my current selection of bits) and Z-travel limits things fairly quickly. Still, I did some basic tenon work fairly quickly…
I have seen some people put strips under their Y axis to gain Z-height but I am a bit concerned about reducing over rigidity doing that as the strips are no longer tied together.
Looking at the gantry plates, I was wondering if there is any reason Sienci couldn’t offer a taller version of the plates that fit on the existing design? That steel seems mighty beefy (love it). Could you go another 50mm or 100mm of travel and go to a longer lead screw? Or does the lever effect of having the router up higher relative to the rest of the machine start to become an issue at at that point?
If the mechanics work, offering a 1.5x or 2x Z-height option as a purchase or after sale upgrade could be a quick and easy way to further differentiate the machine. I think all the other parts except the gantry plates and lead screw could stay the same?