I have finally run the first sign job on my 12x30. It’s a wonderful desktop mill and appears to be quite durable. I did notice, however, that the middle Y axis support is unnecessary due to the short length of the side rails. With this removed you could run any stock length you have up to 12" wide! (you’ll have to move it for every 30 inches of milling). This is further limited by the gantries which limit the thickness of your stock to less than 3/4". If the gantries were lifted to accept 1-1/2" thick stock this would hugely increase the capabilities of the 12x30 Longmill. Just think, you could run a mill job any length you have in mind and up to 1-1/2" thick. MAKE IT SO!
I have the 30 x 30 longmill and I’m certainly not limited to a height of 3/4". Do you have very thick spoil boards between the Y axis brackets?
I have the 12x30 Longmill. As stated, after running my first job I realized the middle supports on the 12" side rails (Y axis) were unnecessary. With these supports removed you can slide your stock under these rails and with the gantries raised (big deal I expect but doable) this would hugely increase the capabilities of the compact 12x30.
gwilki- your talking about the height within the width limit of your 30x30 which is 30". What if a client wants a 60" long sign that’s 1-1/2" thick. You can’t deliver on that unless you mill 2 separate pieces. If you could fasten a 60" long piece of stock on your 30x30 you could deliver if you could slide your stock under the side rails with the gantries raised to accommodate 1-1/2" stock. Do you see what I’m getting at?
@SDS I’m sorry, but I don’t see what you are getting at. I’ve done boxes that are almost 2" deep in my LongMill, using a rather long bit, so I don’t see your point about only being about to do pieces less than 3/4". You can see a picture of one of them under “hummingbird inlay” in the show your projects forum.
The biggest piece that I have done so far was about 20" x 72". It was cut out of 1.25" MDF. I am limited to something under 30" in X, but I can go as long as I want in Y. I simply have to use “tiling”. This is not using separate pieces. It’s all one piece. I did it in 3 passes of 24" each. So, with respect, you are mistaken when you say that I could not deliver on your example. I am limited in X, but not in Y.
Here is one example of what I am talking about.
You can find many others online.
Your limit in X is what I’m talking about. I have been as clear as I can be. Your unlimited Y travel is obvious because all Longmills are open in that direction. They are not impeded by an unnecessary rail support that limits your stock to the width of your mill. To slid your stock under the side rails is blocked by the center support. Removed it will allow you to use any stock length within the width or depth of your Longmill model. However, the gantry clearance needs to be increased as its now less than 3/4". Try and slide a piece of 3/4" wood under the gantry and you’ll see what I mean.
I understand what you are saying. You can raise the rails yourself by adding spacers under the feet. However, at some point, you’ll be limited in Z depth.
@SDS I’m just slow, clearly. You are right in saying that I cannot slide a thick piece under the Y rails.
Where I was misunderstanding was when you said that I would not be able to deliver a sign that is 60" long and 1 1/2" thick. I can do that, and I have. Now, I understand. You want to be able to extend the width of the piece beyond the limits imposed by the Y rails, so that you can cut wide pieces 12" at a time. (Effectively, you would be “tiling” in X.)
I, and others, approach the problem by taking advantage of the unlimited length and would cut your piece by turning it 90° and tiling it in Y.
I’ll be interested in your results. I’ve not seen anyone on the net, regardless of the machine they have, attempt to extend their possible cutting area in the X dimension.
If I may ask, what do you see as the advantage of this over extending Y? I’m not trying to argue against your point, merely trying to learn your rationale.
I raised my rails on 1" MDF strips when I assembled my 30x30 so I could do thicker material. You certainly could do blocks under each support instead of full-length strips like I did, but be aware that to do thin stock your router will have to be as low in the clamp as it will go, and even then you may have to pad the waste board with an extra layer of MDF, foam, etc.
gwilki- your correct about “tiling” in the Y direction, same thing I have in mind except in the X direction. I think X tiling is best for a 12x30 due to X being the longer side allowing better support for the stock and rotating my mill 90 degrees is in my circumstances a real pain. I haven’t modified my 12x30 yet and would prefer to have Sienci Labs redesign their 12x30 or offer a kit including Z travel options. Now that BobCAD has finally created a working post processor for the Longmill I’m having a ball!
@SDS The key is to have fun.