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Thread: Poorman's Board Carrier

  1. #1
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    Default Poorman's Board Carrier

    I am working on designing a universal board carrier (another thread). I have come up with some interesting tricks which can be used in a much simpler board carrier. Get a piece of 40" X 10" X 1/2" MDF and make, what I call, the poorman's carrier. It takes the CW about 15 minutes to mark out the parts if you have a saw to cut it out and a router table to finish up the edges. (I have also included an mpc that the machine will totally cut out.)

    This carrier is not universal, it only holds 3/4" thick boards. It will hold boards from 6" X 2" X 3/4" to 24" X 13" X 3/4". No extra wood has to be wasted to stay under the rollers. The machine directly measures the board and not the carrier. The thickness measuring routine also works as if the board was down on the belts.

    The main carrier consists of two rails which run along the edges of the board. The board is held in place by head pressure against the sandpaper in the rails. The rail depth is only 1/2" and so a 3/4" board sits proud by 1/4". This is the trick that gets the machine to measure the actual board length. The rollers drop enough at the ends of the board to trigger the measuring process. The tops of the rails have black sections where the board sensor travels to measure the width. This is the trick which causes the machine to measure only the actual board width. The carrier also has touch spots for the bit so that the machine also measures the thickness of the board.

    After the machine finishes the measuring operations, one slides two thin (a little less than 1/4" thick) strips on top of the carrier rails. These strips simply stop the rollers from dropping off of the ends of the board. This trick is what keeps the carve "under the rollers".

    To make the carrier, you have to cut out the parts and glue them together. Each side is a sandwich of two parts. The touch spot which sticks out the keypad side needs to be undercut to clear the squaring plate. Router, saw, or grind enough clearance. You will need some grip tape from the hardware store. Stick it on the rails and trim off the extra. With some of the left over MDF from the cut out board, run off some thin strips. (You may need a few sets of these at varying thickness between 3/16 and 1/4 to go with boards that vary from being 3/4. It is nice if they have a friction fit.) Place some black electrical tape (or black paint or black felt pen) somewhere as I have on the rails.

    To use the carrier, simply put a 3/4" board in it against the stops in the front of the rails. Squeeze the parts together and clamp in the machine so that the board sensor will be above the black areas of the rails. The machine will measure the board width and then the length. You must choose to center on board. (When you choose center on board, the machine will stop the board for the touches with the front edge just under the front roller. This is what lines up the touch spots. If you choose place on corner, you will have to jog to touch to line up the touch spots. If you do not, you will get a z stall when the bit misses the hole.) That is it, it should just carve away.

    There are some details which we can discuss later. Things like thickness calibration. Limitations on jogging.
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    4.JPG   5.JPG  
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    Last edited by bergerud; 06-09-2015 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I just realized that if the rails are the same width, one has more choices as to how the carrier is used. One can choose not to measure the actual board width but measure the sled width instead. In this case, it is nice to have the rails be the same width. The depth measurement would then revert back to using the machine touch points. More ways to use the sled the better.

    I am sure you guys will come up with some more ways to further improve the thing. Feel free to make it longer, make the rails wider, change the thickness for different board thickness, and so on.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by bergerud; 03-29-2015 at 09:44 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I'm stoked about this. There's been a few great designs to include on from one of my friends offline about it I just haven't taken the plunge or time to go buy the hardware etc but I have a bunch of mdf I got for free off craigslist some time ago already on hand. This would definitely save me from wasting wood in the interim! Thank you. I'll keep you posted on results going to try this week.
    -Paul
    "The secret to getting ahead is getting started." -Mark Twain

  4. #4
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    Default

    Very Nice !!!

    What is the bump out with the shallow hole? A bit plate touch?

    AL
    Favorite Saying.... "It's ALL About the Brass Roller"..... And "Use MASKING TAPE" for board skipping in the X or breaking bits.

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  5. #5
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    The bump with the hole is the brass roller touch. The two holes on the other side are for the sliding plate bob and touch. That way the machine thinks the board is all alone down on the belts and it actually measures the board thickness.

    Here are some pictures after I narrowed the wide rail. Much happier with it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1b.JPG   2b.JPG  
    Last edited by bergerud; 03-29-2015 at 12:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    I have good luck just taping 1" wide strips of 1/8" or 1/4" MDF to the bottom edges. They can and should be longer that the board because the little eye doesn't look there. Works good when you are hot gluing a 3 1/2" or 4" extender on your piece.
    Clint
    CarveWright StartU team member
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  7. #7
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    The point here is that you do not have to tape or glue anything. The rails carry the board and fool the machine into thinking the board is all alone yet the rollers are also held up.

  8. #8
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    Great design! I've been watching the thread for your other design and I'm not clear on exactly how that one works yet. But this one I get. I'll have to pick up some MDF and start cutting it out. Did you use a 1/8 cutting bit or 3'16?

    Kim

  9. #9
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    I just used the 1/8" cutting bit at a depth of 1/8" to outline the parts (just deep enough for the bearing on the router to follow). Cut it out rough with the band saw and then cleaned it up on the router table. I usually just let the CW cut out the parts when they are intricate. These have so many straight edges I thought I would use the router table. You can do either. You can also switch to the 3/16" cutting bit in the mpc if you want.

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much Bergerud for sharing your plans. I noticed that the thickness of the MDF is 1/2 inch, does it change anything other than overall dimensions if 3/4 inch is used? I have a lot of it in my scrap corner.

    Mike
    All Gave Some,
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