Homemade router milling machine

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Project by Mark55 posted 684 days ago 8104 views 34 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As promised I said I was going to post my homemade milling machine. This has been a work in progress for the last 5 years on and off. This is the third one I built each time improving it a little to work out the bugs. I have a lot of fun with it and the things you can do with it are just amazing.

The features of the machine includes an X,Y and Z axis with 26” of movement right to left 18” of movement front to back, 14” of movement up and down on the overarm, up to 45 degree angle on router head for angle cutting and plunging, foot operated plunge feature with 5” of travel, it has stops on the movements to duplicate cuts.

Some of the things you can do with it include mortising, pin routing, carving, great for making model parts. bowls round molding parts mill flat small pieces of wood, sign making, mill end grain cutting boards and it goes on. As the post goes on I will post pictures of some of the projects I have done with it. I have made many clocks with it there are a couple I posted in the projects.

I am actually working on a new improved one now and hope to have plans available for it. it is designed to be built for under $600.

Here is a photobucket link to pictures of a few projects.

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

27 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


1777 posts in 818 days

#1 posted 684 days ago

Pretty nice. Great job on the build.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View smitty22's profile


592 posts in 1574 days

#2 posted 684 days ago

Amazing! (And I’ve been looking forward to seeing it, too.)

Are all the axis movements done manually?

-- Smitty

View Mark55's profile


116 posts in 690 days

#3 posted 684 days ago

Yes, all the moments are manual. There are 3 turn handles about mid level for X,Y and Z axis. No CNC here just good hand coordination.

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11299 posts in 1732 days

#4 posted 684 days ago

Hi Mark! Great job on that machine!! A mill is so handy especially when you have the travel that you made on this one. I don’t know what you have for readouts for x, y and Z but I have a Mill made by the guys that make the Smithy- mill- lathe combo. Mine came with metric screws and nuts and they tried to approximate thousandths but it was inaccurate.. I went to a local machine parts shop and bought x and Y screws and nuts and handwheels for a Bridegeport for $250 and now it is right on. For the Z axis, I use a digital caliper and it is right on too.

You could actually use some 12” digital calipers for all your axis’s and just move them along to the range where you are working on the long travel.

That is a nice job you did on it. You’ll find it so hand for wood working. Thanks for sharing….........Jim

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

View Bill_N's profile


234 posts in 906 days

#5 posted 684 days ago

I would love to see a video of this in action

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View jcees's profile


946 posts in 2426 days

#6 posted 684 days ago

Wicked cool! Sign me up for a set of those plans.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View luv2learn's profile


1674 posts in 930 days

#7 posted 684 days ago

Absolutely fascinating. I’m all about homemade tools and this one would certainly be on my list to make. I’m with Bill_N though I would love to see a video of your machine in action as well as some more photos of the projects you have turned out with your mill.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Mark55's profile


116 posts in 690 days

#8 posted 684 days ago

The first machine I built I used threaded rod. I quickly abandoned it because it is too slow for how fast a router can cut on wood. The way it is set up now one turn of the handle on the x and y axis moves the table 1.25” but the y axis is still controlled by threaded rod. While your machine is highly calibrated you have to throw all that out the widow with this machine. Most of the time I work to lines on my work or set or pre set the stops on my table travel.

Bill, I will try to make a simple video in the next couple days. I was going to post more pictures but I am not sure how or if I can.

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


1771 posts in 815 days

#9 posted 684 days ago

This is way too cool. Thanks very much for sharing. Add another vote for a video.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Ralph's profile


158 posts in 760 days

#10 posted 684 days ago

Fascinating. All the things you describe you can do with it sounds like a very useful machine.
Another vote for a video.
Thanks for sharing.

-- The greatest risk is not taking one...

View HorizontalMike's profile


6923 posts in 1541 days

#11 posted 684 days ago

Now THAT is ambitious to say the least! Wow! Thanks for sharing

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View woodshaver's profile


2748 posts in 1980 days

#12 posted 684 days ago

This is the very reason I come here! Too see great stuff like your fantastic machines.
You muct check out luv2learn great work on LJ also. Both of You guys are crazy good!
Thanks for sharing!

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Mip's profile


311 posts in 705 days

#13 posted 684 days ago

It’s been said before, but I, too, would like to see a video of this machine in action. Are all the parts made out of wood or wood products, or are the tables cast iron? If you could post some building plans on this machine, that would be great, too.

View dakremer's profile


2449 posts in 1718 days

#14 posted 684 days ago

Video, video, video, video (I’m chanting)

Awesome machine!!!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Vince's profile


948 posts in 2056 days

#15 posted 684 days ago

That is totally cool, I would love a copy of your plans also, please put me on the customer list too.

-- Vince

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