Phase three: building the base frame.

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Well, I had to get my Argon bottle refilled for this phase. It has been at least 2 years since I've struck an arc with my tig torch, so I had to dig out all of the regulators, cables, etc from the shed. This provided a challenge in itself. I also had to hook up my scrounged rectifier and choke coil that converts my AC buzz box to DC. How I came about this setup is another story entirely, so I won't elaborate here. Anyway, I tig welded up the base frame from 1"x2" rectangular tubing. My welds started off a bit shakey, but I soon remembered the technique. It was a challenge getting everything square and flat. I got it as close as possible, but I still might need a shim or two to get things exact.

 

I then laid out the rails and end supports so I could see how everything was going to go together. Part of the fun of building on the fly is thinking ahead enough to keep yourself out of trouble! I sure am glad I picked up those cool machine feet at HSC last weekend when they were having their yearly sale.

 

Since this is going to be a single motor drive on the x-axis, I'll have some challenges getting the table rigid along the whole length of 24". I'm not sure exactly how this is going to work out yet, but I have a few ideas.

 

You can see the tiny TK-421 cnc router in the background. The footprint on the IG-88 is enormous compared to the TK-421. This is as big as I'm going to build. Anything bigger and I'll be out of room.