Well, my Wood Turtle tasted wood for the first time over the weekend!
It’s still in an "experimental" mode as I tweak it out. All I have done
so far was to "jog" the cutter head in-and-out and back and forth
along a square stick of wood until the wood turtle turned it into a
round stick of wood. Simple test, but it showed me where I need to work
on the machine. I have not had it run a g-code program yet. Maybe
I am basically pleased with this first trial. The Turtle cuts much more
smoothly than I expected. It took the beating of the intermittent
contact with a square of wood (until it is made round by the machine)
without any problem. Strong design. I thought that I might have to
manually round stock first before engaging the turtle, but it can
Areas that need improvement to my machine:
1. My NOVA wood lathe is a floor-standing unit unlike the one that John
K tested with, so I needed to come up with a good method for mounting the
Turtle next to the lathe. For now, I built a temporary table out of
saw-horses and wood planks with bricks on top to give it stability and
reduce movement. I then clamped the Turtle to the "table" with wood
clamps….it still moves WAY to much. I need to design a more stable
mount. This is the #1 issue that I need to resolve. I think that I need
to attach it to the lathe somehow (with clamps) rather than to a
separate table. I’m thinking on this.
2. I built the Turtle as a 36" long machine. I’m not sure that it can
handle the full 36". After about 24" I get a lot of flex in the lead
screw. My stepper also struggles past 24". My "carriage" might be too
tight on the rails. Need to play with this.
3. It ripped my carbide cutter out of the key stock. Stripped the tapped
hole that I had screwed it in to. I need to put a screw entirely
through the key stock and put a nut underneath for more strength. Seems
to cut just fine without the carbide too.
My other CNC machine project (the "7th Sojourn" milling machine) also made progress. The unit is now fully painted and has the adjustable rail-blocks installed. I also installed the Y axis and Z axis mechanisms and mounted the stepper motor on the Z axis. Next step is to adjust the rails and then build the rolling "table." My goal is to have the "7th" ready for testing in two weeks.