CNC router on the way

We love CNC hacks, so when [Jonny] sent in his nearly complete CNC router we were ecstatic. There are only a couple of posts thus far, and it takes some digging, but its pretty easy to understand his mindset and overall plan while making the CNC. It currently has full 3 axis movement and he replaced the previously dinky Harbor Freight Dremel with a much more powerful DeWalt that even Tim Taylor would be proud of. Software side of things he uses a combination of EMC2 and their collection of open source CAM codes. The project is coming along nicely and more updates are promised. Check out some more videos after the break.


  1. The_Evil_Machinist says:

    I’m sorry, I have to do this but, I am tired of people trying to make their own NC equipment. Yea its a cool project and he did a nice job with the lead screws and gib ways, but still. Two hose clamps holding the spindle on? how are you even supposed to get the spindle Parallel with the z axis and keep it there? If you wanna build your own, go to a machinery graveyard and pick up a old cnc mill for probably less than 1000 bucks! that way you can have the rigidity of the casting! Then put whatever control you want into it! If you look around, you can get older fanuc NC controllers for less than 300 bucks! I have to say, good job on building this NC mill. But you took the wrong route on it. Start from scrap and retrofit.

  2. EdZ says:

    Didn’t read the link, did you? Never mind that most low cost come CNC builds don’t need sum-millimetre precision cutting of hard metals anyway.

  3. Mielle says:

    I made my first CNC from wood.., its nice and simple to make yourself.
    But I have to agree that its not the way to go, the whole thing will have play like he*l

    After that lesson I just bought a big steel drill and fitted some steppers and electronics, its running fine now with almost no play! :D


  4. svofski says:

    I’m sure most home CNC builders do it for fun, not for production. I could probably get a used working plotter on ebay for $10, but I wouldn’t get even a tyniest fraction of fun I got from building my own plotter from scratch.

  5. Mielle says:

    @ svofski

    Of course its fun, and would be the most important aspect of building your own thing.
    But what fun is a project if the result is disappointing?

  6. svofski says:

    > But what fun is a project if the result is disappointing?

    Don’t set your expectations too high :) Not every project works out as expected, part of the business.

  7. @Mielle
    How are you reinforcing the drill shaft? I thought drills were easily damaged by anything other than a pure axial load.

  8. The Moogle says:

    so… it can cut balsa wood….

  9. FeelingSick says:

    Dude, seriously, please learn to use a video camera properly. Those videos made me nauseous. Maybe you can use your mill to make a tripod.

  10. adamziegler says:

    I worked out my own CNC router a few years back primarily as a means to learn how they worked and functioned. I wasn’t the most glamorous machine, but I was able to do a couple jobs with it and re-coup some of my investment.

  11. fluid says:

    god people are whiny b*tches

  12. spacecoyote says:

    I wouldn’t expect this to do steel milling but it’ll probably work just fine on circuit boards, and probably didn’t cost much either.

  13. Matt says:

    Looks good to me. Why worry about Z axis parallelism when you only need a few mms of lift.
    When you want a better machine build one, Don’t forget the fun !


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