Who has built a CNC mill?

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kg5000

New User
Kenny
I finally found plans for a CNC mill that inspired confidence in January. After 2 - 3 months of fabricating and sourcing parts I now have a three axis CNC mill. It is a desktop sized unit with an effective work area of 10" x 17" x 3" utilizing my Porter Cable 690 router. The image below is what the machine looked like with a Dremel as originally designed. I quickly decided it needed a real cutting tool so I modded the machine to hold the Porter Cable router.

I demo'ed the unit for the Triad Woodworkers group last night and enjoyed sharing ideas on using CNC for wood working.

Does anybody on NCWW have a CNC machine in the garage for woodworking or other use? Anybody want to build a CNC machine for their garage?

Kenny

CNCDremel.jpg
 

ehpoole

Administrator
Ethan
One of these years I'll get around to building a small to mid-sized CNC machine for woodworking and other shop tasks, but have not gotten around to such as yet.

I don't know which I'll eventually end up building first, the CNC machine or a replicator... but someday they'll happen when I finally decide to make such a priority. Robotics was a hobby of mine back in the 80's, so they'll make for good "practical" robotics projects. Plus the longer I seem to put them off the more refined the free and open-sourced software options seem to become!

I hope you get a lot of use and enjoyment out of your new toy/tool!
 

ehpoole

Administrator
Ethan
Could you adapt this to run 17x17x3? I'd like to eventually build one to cut guitar bodies.
You can scale a CNC machine to be as large or small as you wish...you just have to build larger machines out of stiffer materials (typically extruded aluminum) to reign in flexing that can impact accuracy, plus keeping down the weight so that you can slew the gantry and Z-axis cutter at reasonable velocities.
 

ehpoole

Administrator
Ethan
I missed it in your first post, but lest I forget...

Kenny, welcome to NCWW! We hope you enjoy your time here and we look forward to your followup threads documenting your new CNC machine and related woodworking projects. There is a broad wealth of knowledge for you to cal upon whenever you need help with anything.
 

Carl Fisher

New User
Carl
I have my CNC built but haven't finished wiring it up yet. I keep forgetting to buy a power cord to hack up for my power supply every time I go to the BORG.

I started with a Shapeoko 2 kit and upgraded/modified to fit my needs with NEMA 23 motors, ACME z-axis and a driveshaft conversion to run a single stepper for the Y-Axis.

Once I get the 3-axis up and running, I'll use it to build the pieces I need for the 4th (rotary) axis.
 

Tim Sherwood

Tim
Corporate Member
Kenny welcome to NCWW. Your demo at Triad woodworkers was impressive. I was surprised at how easily you changed the drawings and size of the parts.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
I have my CNC built but haven't finished wiring it up yet. I keep forgetting to buy a power cord to hack up for my power supply every time I go to the BORG.

I started with a Shapeoko 2 kit and upgraded/modified to fit my needs with NEMA 23 motors, ACME z-axis and a driveshaft conversion to run a single stepper for the Y-Axis.

Once I get the 3-axis up and running, I'll use it to build the pieces I need for the 4th (rotary) axis.
Carl,
What length power cord do you need?
Is it going into a "Regular" computer power supply?
I may have one laying around you can have.

If you just need a plug on one end and wires on the other - I definitely have one...
 

Carl Fisher

New User
Carl
Nope, it was for a probotix power supply. I cut a cable up and hooked it up today. Now I'm stuck because I can't figure out how to configure LinuxCNC to run these drivers correctly :confused:
 

pcooper

Phillip Cooper
Corporate Member
I would love to build one, have no idea where to start. What I have found so far has been out or my budget. I would like someone to give some direction on how to start, and where.
 

kg5000

New User
Kenny
I have my CNC built but haven't finished wiring it up yet. I keep forgetting to buy a power cord to hack up for my power supply every time I go to the BORG.

I started with a Shapeoko 2 kit and upgraded/modified to fit my needs with NEMA 23 motors, ACME z-axis and a driveshaft conversion to run a single stepper for the Y-Axis.

Once I get the 3-axis up and running, I'll use it to build the pieces I need for the 4th (rotary) axis.

Hey Carl. I have six different colored spools of 22 gauge wire I used for my machine. I ended up wiring the motors bipolar so only four wires per axis. For my desktop machine I used about six feet for the X and Z axis (stepper motors mounted to moving element on gantry) and about two feet for the Y axis which hangs off the left side of the gantry.

I have a lot of this wire left if you need some I would be happy to give you what you need.

Send me a private message with your needs and we can work out details to get the wire to you.
 

kg5000

New User
Kenny
I would love to build one, have no idea where to start. What I have found so far has been out or my budget. I would like someone to give some direction on how to start, and where.
Hey Phillip. If a smaller desktop machine (10" x 17" cut area) interests you my CNC machine is tuned enough now that I could cut the many small pieces you need. This would leave you to cut 4 or 5 larger pieces on a bandsaw, tablesaw (for dadoes). This desktop requires about 4' x 4' of half inch MDF when using the cut diagram. There will be more waste when cutting it on the CNC so it might be closer to a 4' x 8' sheet of MDF ($28 at Home Depot).

I have some good notes on where I bought my nuts, bolts, belts, etc. and roughly how much I paid. Here's a link to a Google spreadsheet of the info:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlAvmgDm6UDOdDBIM2UxalMtOGdIUDRwWi1Ld2NBZnc&usp=sharing

I also spotted a much better CNC controller board (SmoothieBoard) that has a USB port interface for $105. This would completely do away with the need for a dedicated PC in the shop to drive the CNC and is 10 times the speed of a PC controller. You would hook a laptop computer up to the controller board, send the GCode file over to the board and then send a "do it" command. I want to go the direction of this controller board within the next six months to get my old PC tower and display out of the wood shop. If you're interested in this option of the build then the HobbyCNC line item on the spreadsheet changes. It would actually lower the cost of this a small amount.

If you're interested I would gladly help you get going. I live about 30 minutes south of you in Northeast Greesnboro.

Ken
 

kg5000

New User
Kenny
@Reticle - That is an excellent machine there! Very shiny, too. Is that Corian countertop material you routed there?
 

kg5000

New User
Kenny
@rcflyer23 You could very easily scale up the CNC design I followed to cut 24" x 24" without any significant changes. Just lengthen the beam of the gantry by about 12" and increase the front-to-back depth of the base table by 14". The steel rods used as rails and MXL belts would have to be cut to the new lengths as well. Otherwise the bearings and steppers will work as-is. The small amount of extra MXL belt would not be a problem (i.e. no belt droop).

I'm actually eyeing my existing machine and wondering if the belt system could be lengthed to support 48" x 48". I may go nuts later this summer or fall and rebuild my machine to this size and see how it fares.
 
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