The "X-Y" Blue Rover (A Linear 2 Axis DJ-1 Jig)

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The "X-Y" Blue Rover (A Linear 2 Axis DJ-1 Jig)

Postby savatteridesigns » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:09 am

The "X-Y" Blue Rover (A Linear 2 Axis Jig for Bridge City's -DJ-1) by Roger Savatteri

The "X-Y" Blue Rover (A Linear 2 Axis DJ-1 Jig) combines both the Festool Rail & Rail guide (from the 2200 Router set) with Bridge City's DJ-1 to perform Drill Press precision operations on the X & Y axis of a large sheet of material (plywood, plexiglass, sheet metal, etc.) with both drill bits and forstner bits. By using the Festool Rail system with clamps (or the Parallel Guide set-not shown) one could measure and drill accurately parallel to the edge of a work or across a diagonal.
The "X-Y" Blue Rover (A Linear 2 Axis DJ-1 Jig) also has a optional plexiglass ruler guides that can be attached to it to assure reliable measurement & repeatable operations.

Please keep in mind that what you see below is a working prototype for The "X-Y" Blue Rover (A Linear 2 Axis DJ-1 Jig).
The "Blue" part is made from MDF, in the next generation of The Blue Rover the larger center flat portion that the DG-1 is sitting on will be 1" clear acrylic with etched center markings - thus allowing you to see through the base to aid in positioning. The two blue side elements will still be blue. (In photos 2 & 8 I will go into this further)



1. In the photo below I'm drilling 3/8" holes every three inches along a diagonal to the edge of the sheet of masonite.

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2. Below is a close up of the Blue Rover with a 6 inch center rule inserted into a slot along the side. (the opposite side has the same slot) In the next generation Blue Rover the center "Blue portion" that the DG-1 is resting on will be clear acrylic with the etched center markings you see on the top will then be on the bottom to aid in positioning.
Also, the brass set screws that lock in the Festool rods on either side will pass though threaded inserts on either side as well. (This also goes for the 2 screws on either side that fixes the DJ-1 to the blue base.)
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3. This shows the basic parts that go along with the Blue Rover ,,,, 2-18 inch center imperial/metric rules, the Blue Rover with a 6 inch plastic rule inserted, the two Festool Rods, the Festool Rail guide. (24" center ruler -not shown in this photo.)
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4. This shows the setting up the two "X" axis 18" rules onto the aluminum sleds of The Blue Rover. Take note that the 24" "Y" axis rule is taped down along the route of The Blue Rover. By positioning the center mark of the 6 inch rule on The Blue Rover over the increment of choice gives you repeatable locations.
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5. To adjust two 18" center rules (the "X" axis) on The Blue Rover one would loosen the two nuts on each of the four legs with rubber feet that pass thru the cantilevered elements, adjust then tighten the rule onto the aluminum sled. On the "next generation" this process will be more user friendly.
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6. Below and more clearly seen in photo 8 there are two different size holes in the blue base. The larger hole is to accommodate a Forstner bit. Normal bits can be used in both bushings as well. The smaller hole is to allow visibility of the etched in center lines up to the bushing. (on the bottom of the later acrylic version)
Note: the larger hole of the blue base that accommodates the Forstner bit will be designed differently to accommodate larger Forstner bits. Also there will be a shelf of sorts on the next version to prevent the bushings from falling thru as they do from time to time now - since they are not resting on the workpiece directly.
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7.
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8. The bottom view of The Blue Rover set-up. Note the Festool non-slip adhesive strips for guide rails placed on the aluminum sleds.
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9. Adjustments, here you see me tightening the adjuster on the bushing.
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10. Here I am adjusting the micro adjuster on the Festool Edge Guide that controls the "Y" axis. The first step was to get the approximate location by adjusting the rods using the two set thumb screws seen on top of the Festool rail guide. (seen in the photo above)
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11. Here you see clearly the two screws that hold the DJ-1 to the base on both sides. Note - the space you see under the left side was alleviated after the sleds where attached in the "Blue" version.
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12. A Forstner bit in place. (note - the shank of the Forstner bit in this photo was a little undersized to the bushings provided)
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13.
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14. The Festool clamping system to secure the rail to the workpiece.
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15. Process photo,
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16. Process photo,
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Conclusions:
The concept for the Blue Rover worked very well with DJ-1 to perform repeatable Drill Press precision operations on the X & Y axis of a large sheet of material while being held in place with the aid of the Festool system. There are improvements to be made for the ease and smoothness as discussed as to holding the bearings from falling and adjusting the holders for the "X" axis rules. The acrylic version with the etched center lines will aid when placing the jig over penciled reference lines on the workpiece.
Now keep in mind that after the acrylic version is finessed, the next jig after that will be of similar nature, but will accommodate angled operations beyond the 90 degrees over a large field workpiece using the Festool rail system above.

Also, due to the mess that was made under the Blue Rover from just drilling 3/8'' inch into masonite, let alone with using a Forstner bit .....
the acrylic version will have dust collection tube that will lead to a Festool (or other) hose to extract the mess as its coming. The reason for the tube rather than a direct feed to the hose is because of the delicacy of the operations involved.

(note - for those that do not own the Festool 2200 router set up the parts can be obtained separately. Also, a version of the rail guide can be fabricated using mdf or polypropylene-the stuff cooking cutting boards are made of)

cheers,
Roger
Last edited by savatteridesigns on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:13 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Postby PFranks » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:43 am

That's very cool, Roger. And I love the way you've made the profile of the Blue Rover match the JMP! Nice touch. There are a lot of very clever ideas in there.

I wonder if in practice you'd want to use rods with a scale on them (like the MG-3) rather than rulers for your X axis? You should be able to get pretty high precision that way.
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Postby savatteridesigns » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:15 am

PFranks wrote:I wonder if in practice you'd want to use rods with a scale on them (like the MG-3) rather than rulers for your X axis? You should be able to get pretty high precision that way.


Peter,
I briefly thought about that (although was wasn't thinking about the MG-3 at the time-perhaps because I don't have one), but steered away from that for two reasons.
The first being by referencing all measurements from the rail that would not allow you to reference off something on the work itself. The second being is that I use the "X" axis rulers as a long surface to butt my square against when checking squareness to the rail. (Which becomes more of an issue the further you move away from the rail.) Plus the overlapping of the various rulers allow for very easy positioning.

That could be a nice addition for when one would want to reference off the rail, but then I'd have to the obtain a separate set of rods and grind down a flat surface to then lay down some sort of scaling that would not get messed up by sliding thru the Festool Rail guide and the mechanism inside. (that could take more work then making the Jig itself.)
:(

cheers,
Roger
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