As I posted in another thread, I pre-purchased a MK2 30x30 and am awaiting the shipment. With that said, I am wondering what else I will need to get up and carving?
I have my plans for my workbench at 48”x60”, design software Vectric VCarve Pro and either an inexpensive Windows based laptop or my 2020 MacBook Pro running boot camp. I have a dust collector, although will need to go from a 4” hose to a 2” hose and include a grounding wire inside the hose.
Here is my order:
LongMill MK2 30x30
65mm (Makita Router)
Makita 1.25HP Router
End Mill Starter Set
LongMill MK2 Magnetic Dust Shoe
LongMill MK2 Lead Screw Dust Shield
Inductive Sensor Kit for the LongMill MK2
I appreciate any suggestions for other items that maybe needed. I am totally new to the whole CNC world and can use all the advice I can get.
Jake, I’m a new Longmiller (MkI30X30), and think you’re on the right track.
The software end of things is my greatest challenge. I am using VectricVCarve Pro for my CAD and gSender to generate the g-code. If you’re not yet familiar with the software end of things, you may wish to invest time now while waiting for your kit to arrive in learning how to effectively use those apps. One YouTube channel that helps with understanding Vectric VCarve is Garrette Fromme of IDC Woodcraft: https://www.youtube.com/c/IDCWoodcraft
Good luck with everything, and welcome to the Sienci Labs community. Don’t be shy about asking questions here.
Marty from Kingston, ON, Canada
@Jake As Marty said, Jake, you are on the right track.
I would add to your list of bits:
a spoil board surfacing bit
a 1/8" collet for the Makita (it is a much better option than the adaptor
a 60° V bit
a 90° V bit
a 30° V bit
All these bits/parts are available from Sienci.
In terms of homework, I highly recommend Mark Lindsay CNC. He has an excellent youtube channel with an entire tutorial series on VCarve for beginners. This is not to take anything away from Garrette’s videos.
When it comes time to installing and setting up your Mk2, I would recommend - and Sienci does too - that you delay installing the limit switches for a while. They certainly do have their purpose, but they also add a degree of complexity that you can do without when first getting started. Many of us are happily doing without them.
hold down clamps
Coffee, lot and lots of coffee. Because if you’re anything like me, once you get the machine and have it dialed in, you’re never going to want to stop! I too am waiting on my 30x30 and have been play around with vcarve, built my table, plumbed my dust collection, and have a dozen items in my amazon cart waiting to be purchased. Here’s hoping to a quick delivery to Sienci of all the parts they are waiting for to start shipping out everyone’s new machine!
@Jake Just one final word on this, Jake, much depends on what you plan to do with your Mill. No doubt, that will expand and change as you learn, but if most of your initial work will be vcarves in MDF, for example, you will need one set of bits. If your initial work will be deep pockets or inlays in hard wood, a completely different set of bits comes into play.
@Swinly, @gwilki, @PatriotPine, @ApexWoodworks Thank you gentlemen! I appreciate the input most definitely! Edward, I LOVE Coffee! Making a pot on the stove as I type. I am in the process of ordering a refurbished laptop that should hopefully last a while. I know I can get a used, cheap one that I may get a year or so out of, but would rather spend the money up front and get something that may last me a couple of years.
Marty, Garrette is the main reason why I ordered the Long Mill. I watched his 1.5 hour review of MK1 and knew that it was as good as it appeared on the website.
Grant, I am planning on making badges and shoulder patches out of hardwood. May dabble in MDF initially, but I have a good, reasonable source for hardwoods that is in the same county that I am in. That is the initial plan anyhow.
Lonnie, I don’t own calipers yet, but do appreciate you recommending them. I still am somewhat stuck on the whole spoiler board thing. Was just planning on using MDF and possibly making something that is replaceable. Yet most people use a solid top. Might try t-tracks and strips of MDF? That would work rather well. I could use t nuts and disposable pieces of scrap wood for the hold down clamps, OR Garrette had a video online on how to mill some.
Anyhow gentlemen, I appreciate the insight. I may not know much about CNC, but have a really good attitude about learning new things. That has gotten me to this point in life, hopefully it will continue!!
T-tracks, clamps and a lot of scrap materials so you can play with things. I would also get a notebook or set up a filing system so you can note the settings on your jobs for future reference.
I would also invest in the limit switches one you’ve become familiar with the normal operation of the machine . They make it much easier to return to a specific location. One of the drawbacks of the longmill is the constant need to reset zero when you power down, lose power, or want to restart a job after making an adjustment. This solves most of those problems.
@Shawn Hey! Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate the filing system or notebook for settings. I suffer from CRS (can’t remember stuff) . The integration of t tracks into the table is planned for. Just got the wood to make the table yesterday.
I got the limiting switches in the pre order, but somewhere I read not to install them right away.
surge protector and a bench brush
When I put my longmill together I realized I didn’t have an extra surge protector. That and a brush were the first items I bought right away.
@Swinly Thanks Lonnie! I don’t have a shop brush but do have a good surge protector. I am also including LED lighting over the table. Old eyes need better lighting you know . Have a great day and thanks again!