Hitachi Router with LR2?

Hey everybody. I’m extremely new to CNC. I have all the parts I need to build my Lowrider2, with the exception of the last few parts that I’m having a friend print for me. My question is: I have 2 routers already, which are much bigger and more powerful than the deWalt 611. I have a 2 1/4hp, and a 2 3/4hp router installed in a router table. I initially planned on installing the smaller of the two but at this point I don’t know what I don’t know. The smaller of the two is a Hitachi KM12VC which is a solid machine. The other is an older craftsman model. Could I use these? Will the weight be an issue with the standard kit stepper motors. What about the mounting plate for the router? Can’t I just make the mounting plate out of thicker material? Will my stainless steel 1”OD 16 ga rails bend at a 4’ x axis? Hitachi/metabo website says the router weighs 7.3 lbs, but I think that includes the fixed base it comes with. So probably more like 6 lbs. I’m trying to avoid buying a new router since I already have two. If it is usable, what printed parts would I need to create new pieces for? Which parts are interchangeable? Sorry, super noob. But I’m a very experienced woodworker, and I am learning to use blender for 3D design. Thanks in advance!

What?!? How dare you suggest using something other than the specified DeWalt 611! :clown_face:

Just kidding… I’m sure someone will be along shortly with some real advice. (I’m the one who pointed you here from Reddit.)

Ha Ha, thanks for the tip! So is the purpose of using these smaller trim routers to save weight? I’ve found a thread on using my hitachi router for an x-carve and they really prefer it over there. Even with twice the length on x-axis, i feel like 16 ga stainless steel should be able to handle the load just fine. I also plan on doing the double decker x axis mod, and already have the pipe for that…if that helps anyone with their advice. From what i gather, we might be overloading the stepper motors with that kind of weight though. But like I said, super noob. Never even been around a CNC, but I’m good with computers, and good at woodworking so hopefully its a good crossover for me.

To a certain extent, yes. And with a doubled-up X-Axis, you should be OK (unless you’re trying to build a 6’ wide gantry). The killer may be the mounting plate. You’ll need that to be stiff enough not to flex.

As far as the steppers go, the “stock” NEMA-17’s @87oz-in should be plenty. Any more power means you’ll want more speed and/or DOC, neither of which are terribly conducive to the LR2 design. Remember, this is still an entry-level, hobby CNC.

One thing to think about is to add some rails on the inside of your wheels to help the gantry stay square. Just be sure that the rails are square, because your rig is only as square as the rails… :wink:

Calling @jeffeb3 and @vicious1 for more enlightened information…

The router first and foremost needs to fit in between the rails. So step one, do either of your actually fit?

Why? There is a whole lot about doing that that makes no sense. If you are just messing around sure go for it, but if for some reason you think that is going to do much other than add a whole ton of unnecessary weight I am not seeing it.

I would worry about the Z motors being able to reliably lift the bigger routers, and especially the double gantry.

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Thank you all for the great info. @kvcummins, can you explain the “rails on the inside of your wheels” part. Do you mean like a platform where the wasteboard basically comes out to just before the wheels so the wheels are unable to be shifted from square?

@anon74685196 1. I haven’t assembled anything yet so I can’t answer that just yet. I’m imagining the Y plate could be widened and reprinted if it didn’t fit though, is that correct? Do you have any dimension of the gap between the rails? Or maybe dimension of the diameter of the 611 so I could compare.
2. Ok, if it’s not necessary or beneficial to do the x axis mod then I can just skip it. My initial reasoning behind the double decker was to give it a little bit better of weight distribution along the gantry…I plan to set up a hoist system to hoist the LR2 up to the ceiling in my shop when not in use. The table that it will be riding on is an extremely solid, extremely flat, and extremely heavy traditional woodworking workbench. I has hold downs and clamping mechanisms already built into it, and so when i’m not using the LR2, I’d like to hoist it up and off then bench. In my mind, I was thinking hoisting it by 2 lengths of tubing might cause the tubing to bend over time, and 4 would help distribute the weight better when hoisted. Or I may hoist it by the Y plates, or just experiment to find the best way to distribute the load. This is all just theory though. I’ve been on the fence about the double decker anyway because it would decrease the amount of clearance I have to hoist it vertically. But I definitely don’t want to put unnecessary strain on the z axis as Jeffeb3 mentioned. That could get expensive with breaking bits and destroying stock, and replacing motors.

You guys are super helpful! I have great respect for how attentive and generous you guys are with giving of your time and expertise!

By rails, I mean strips of something attached to the table surface just inside of where the wheels are to keep them on track. You don’t necessarily want to do a full set of rails, because then everything could get racked and jammed up.

Also, and this is a very common mistake, so no shame: it’s @vicious1; @anon74685196 just happens to have the username…

Edit: you’ll need to look into quick release belt tensioners, as you’ll have to disengage the Y axis belts. Alternately, build a parking platform on one end that you can secure the gantry on, and use a removable spoil board. Then just park your gantry, and use your workbench as usual. But don’t lift or suspend anything by the tubes. I sincerely doubt it was engineered to deal with those stresses.

Nope, the rails are there.Not off hand I am not at the CAD computer right now.

Not without some sort of board that lifts by the wheels you can not lift by the rails you will kill your couplers.

Ok great, thanks for all the advice. Now I know what to look at next to find my answers and come up with a gameplan.

I have a big old porter cable router and the dewalt 611 is much smaller. But it is still big enough (I would even say overkill, but in a good way) for the work. You mentioned the weight of the smaller one without the fixed base, but the fixed base needs to fit in there too.

Having built and ran a LR, there is no way I would put my PC router on it. This machine has a balance, and although other trim routers or smaller routers would work, I don’t think you’d be happy with it.

Lots of woodworkers love trim routers, and the 611 is a popular one. There is a good video by Jay Bates where he makes a little router table for his. Maybe you can justify the purchase by buying one with two bases and getting more use out of it? I can imagine getting some money from the bigger workhorse if that makes it a bit easier for you.

Ok how about the Makita trim router Rt0701C? I’ve seen people post print parts files for it on thingiverse and use it successfully. And from what I gather, the lowest speed of the makita at 10k rpm, compared to deWalt lowest speed of 16k rpm, gives advantage to makita. Plus it’s about $45 cheaper. Is low range speed mainly desirable for like aluminum? Anybody have bad experiences with the makita? Anybody know if the 1/8” collet for the deWalt that I bought will fit the makita?

Alright, I bit the bullet. 611 is in the mail.