The upgraded cnc router and first project

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Project by JoelK posted 03-08-2012 03:43 AM 5077 views 12 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here it is a little rough but complete, quite a few changes including the extruded aluminum. I changed the gearing on the x axis about 5 to 1 now, moved the shaft pillow bearings to the outside of the shaft removing all the flex problems I was having before, which caused the timing belts to be too loose. Changed to rigid couplers to avoid any backlash on the x and y axis. I used machined rails for the z bearings for a more snug fit on the bearings removing 95% of the original slop I had with the wood and flat steel setup from before. The gantry is much lighter now causing less strain on the stepper motor. The sign was the first project I tried after the upgrade. I am extremely pleased with the final outcome. The lighthouse is from a picture I used CorelDraw to turn it into line art and create the text, then used CAMBAM to create the gcode and finally plugged the gcode into EMC2 same product and its open source and all together in one package, the operating system and EMC2. You can download it from they have a great group of people that will answer any questions or help resolve any issues you may have with the program and setup, the forums are fantastic. This machine took about 10 months to make as it sits now I did make one project with the original machine and realized there were some major issues causing me to make the upgrades.

11 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21323 posts in 3255 days

#1 posted 03-08-2012 03:55 AM

Sweet machine!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10266 posts in 4201 days

#2 posted 03-08-2012 04:02 AM



That’s quite a CNC setup… Quite large!!

I see a Bosch Colt router… How does it work in this use? I always thought it would take router of a little more HP.

Where did you get your parts?

What type of computer are using?

Really looks good…


Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View DIYaholic's profile


19657 posts in 2824 days

#3 posted 03-08-2012 04:04 AM

I like the extruded aluminum! Nice upgrades!
Is it 80/20?
Is the router mount shop made or purchased?
Any plans for dust collection?

I WANT one!!!!!!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View dubsaloon's profile


621 posts in 2943 days

#4 posted 03-08-2012 04:30 AM

Looks like you have interested some folks regarding CNC wood working. I to am interested in the cost of such a setup. If you would care to share. Nice looking device.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View JoelK's profile


8 posts in 2721 days

#5 posted 03-08-2012 04:35 AM

Randy that’s exactly what I said last year …ahahahah… yes 80/20 and you can find it on Ebay now, some of the pieces can be a bargain. Make sure to get lots of t-slot nuts and fasteners for the correct size you will need them.
I bought the router mount, I will have to look up where I got it from and I did make a dust collection holder I haven’t installed it yet.
Joe – The colt router is great, Precise sells special collets for it and they have a nice selection of bits too.
the aluminum is from 80/ and the computer is a home built system if you use EMC2 it can be an older system. I have a xp3200 amd cpu, 1 gig of ram, a cheap video card, 80 gig hard drive, and a cdrom drive on this one and it works great, you need one with a parallel port to set up the stepper motor drivers and the breakout boar tho I have heard of USB versions out there.

View DIYaholic's profile


19657 posts in 2824 days

#6 posted 03-08-2012 04:53 AM

Thanks for the info.
During my research on I actually stumbled upon Lumberjocks.That is when I realized I needed to get my shop setup. Now that my shop is usable, in it’s infancy & not quite efficient, I am yearning for MY very own CNC Router. Your posting just fuels the fire to build it!

As they say; Let the chips fly & fall where they may.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

#7 posted 03-08-2012 07:23 AM

Great looking machine one day I would really like to get one.

-- (L an D Woodworks)

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3338 days

#8 posted 03-08-2012 08:56 AM

Sweet machine and great project. Looks like it works perfectly!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View ChrisK's profile


2002 posts in 3231 days

#9 posted 03-08-2012 12:26 PM

Very nice. I have a machine design for cutting 48×60. I plan on using steppers with 5 to 1 reduction and chain drive for x and y. Z will use a 1-10 acme. Vee wheels and rails for the linear slides, going to use all wood for the first one. I think I will go the Mach3 route. I use Solidworks for most of my designs.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Chris K

View SPalm's profile


5322 posts in 4031 days

#10 posted 03-08-2012 01:40 PM

Hey Joel, nice mods.

Good move changing to the extrusions. They have really come down in price if you shop around.

Using V-rails also seems like a good change with the small travel/length of the Z they don’t cost that much. There is a lot of side pressure as you drag the router through wood, and having tight and strong coupling here is so important.

Good job on the sign. Looks like you must have used pretty small bits to get those sharp corners.

Keep it up, I like it.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8435 posts in 2478 days

#11 posted 03-08-2012 08:19 PM

I like the way you’re using one stepper mounted in the middle to drive a torsion shaft, that then transfers the power to both sides of the gantry drive. That should balance things well, should you get any flex in the shaft.

Is your gantry being driven up and down the table by really long timing belts?

Did you blog your build over on CNCZone ?

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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