Everybody needs one

Not the hack o’ the day, but you guys might have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet on the engadget How-To front. I’ve been spending all my spare time in my garage working on a CNC conversion for the mini mill I bought a few months ago. It features pic based microstepping controllers that handle up to 54 volts and 3amps. I settled for a modified PC power supply for now. I’ve got plans for this thing, including some stuff just for Hack-A-Day. All the mechanical and electronic work is completed; now I’m taking a breather while I wait for the actual beefy stepper motor for the Z-axis pictured above. I celebrated with a coffee stout.


  1. Mr Jones says:


    Wow…talk about deja-vu! You may have noticed ive not been around much either—because ive been working on my CNC Mill too (AHG the robot is about to start milling his lower half) and have just finished the mechanical sitting here drinking my daily dose of caffiene in celebration only to notice youre doing the same thing:)

    Dont worry about the “missing hack” for the day……as it were. most of us are enjoying the spring weather and getting a few projects of our own finished anyway; a good hack from you would be all the distraction i need to insure the electronics on my mill dont get finished today—–

    So from all of us readers……take today off and tomorrow too and get your mill complete and lets see a demo of it! Ill send you some demo of my mill (if you like) and you can make HACK A DAY into MILL_A_DAY for next weeks “theme”…….

    mr jones

  2. James says:

    Will the lovejoy couplers affect the backlash on the table? Seems like they would have a bit of error everytime you changed direction if they were not real tight.

  3. alex mccown says:

    i make my cnc mills/laser cutters from scratch i find it cheaper but i always end up using a cnc mill to make a cnc mill *humph*

  4. Rob Lawrence says:

    If you like Coffee Stout and brew your own, here is my latest creation:

    A could not find any good Java Stout recipies so I created my own… Turned out pretty nice other then I still want to make a few tweaks to it.

  5. crgwbr says:

    well, that makes three of us building cnc mills/routers at the moment.

  6. slakwhere says:

    what is the total cost of a project like this? mill, modified parts, etc?

  7. Gigman says:

    Ya, add me to the list. Four making a cnc router. I’m using plans from a company called Rockcliff. So far so good…(knock wood). But please do post some pics/video of you machine in action, I can’t wait!

  8. evildrdan says:

    was i the only one that read “coffee stdout”

  9. Rollette says:

    I too am doing a CNC convert. I have all most everything done. I am curious the software you are going to use? I use MACH 3 CNC http://www.artsoftcontrols.com/

    I would love to see a basic tutorial on how to take an autocad drawing and get it into the final product.

  10. I’m using EMC linux for the controller. I’m still evaluating CAM products for the projects I’ve got in mind.

  11. tReg says:

    When I wanted to make my CNC, I’ve found a cool (french) website with interesting ideas. One of them was to use rollerskate ball bearing instead of expensive sliders :


    Full (french) description whith photos here :

    Homepage :


  12. JPElectron says:

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