View Full Version : Does this look like a CNC Machine ????

06-23-2003, 03:37 AM
Well here is another new bee.. trying to build his own Home-Made-CNC machine. Thank to all the info I found on the this site and the web.. I've managed to come up with the following....desing. (the cutting area should be 10in X 36 in and Z will travel about 3in )

06-23-2003, 04:12 AM
OK so maybe that Image does not look anything like a cnc... but I think you will agree.. after the parts are cut out it will start looking like a CNC machine ! (If you could not tell :D half the board will be used to make a table and the other half will be my cnc machine)... Actually I've already had the parts cut out of MDF at the local Home Depot this Friday ! ) they did a great job.. saved me lots of time.. and the cuts are as true as I could have hoped for...been working most of the weekend on it and its actually starting to look like a CNC Machine :) .. have not taken any pics yet ) but here is what it will look like )

06-23-2003, 10:26 AM
Hard to tell everything from these drawings.

I would want to be sure that from where your router will mount, that a standard length tool bit will reach your workpiece.

Looks like the thickness of the mount plate plus the thickness of the YZ carrage will take away a lot from that reach.


06-23-2003, 11:46 AM
You are correct ! ( I made the final adjustment on the actuall working parts last night ) before final assembly. The tool will extend about 3 in below it's mounting plate, the mounting plate will start (0 position) 3 in above and total z axis travel allowing it to reach the surface.................I made the CAD Drawing to help me get a visual Idea of how the overall parts would fit but - made the final decision as I was building. I put the parts together as I was building and noticed I was not going to move very far. Since I had the trucks/bearings so far apart.............. So far I think its all going to work ( worse case I will mount the tool on a fixture and then mount that fixture on the block that slides on the z rails making it adjustible. .... Good eye Bill ! ;) (I will take some pic's today I'm sure they will be more clear than "words"

06-23-2003, 11:49 AM
Hey flyrc, I'm from tucson.

06-23-2003, 12:10 PM
Cool !.. ( I've been in Tucson for 1 and 1/2 years ) .......... Loving it.. while I'm not at work that is.... actually its not so bad ! :rolleyes: ( I plan to use my CNC for cutting out Balsa part for building Planes. I found some pic's of balsaman's machine and that is how I got interested in building my own machine. ( I made up my mind to build a machine when I was trying to cut some small wood part and just could not get them as true as I wanted.. holding them down with my fingers and cutting with a rasor saw was not working for me :confused: hmm or maybe I just needed an excuse to build one :) .. I Searched low and high on the internet before I came accros this site... (Thank every one for all the Ideas )

06-23-2003, 11:06 PM
ok here are are some pics of what I have so far...( def. starting to look like a cnc :D

06-23-2003, 11:10 PM
except for a few parts most of it still need to be bolted down, .........will probably start working on the nuts today and tommorrow so I can finalize the size of my all thread.. ( going to be using delrin (made from 1inX1in bar) and 1/2-13 all thread from local home Depot... The all thread will probably be the only think I need machined.. ( going to have to turn one end down to 1/4 to connect to my steppers )

06-24-2003, 11:55 AM
Where did you get the small linear rails and bearings?? How much did you run you?


06-24-2003, 12:58 PM
I don't want to sound negitive so I hope you will only take this as constructive input. If you find that your router motor is vibrating when cutting you can blame this on your standoff design. You may want to think of a way to remove the long standoffs to help make the machine more ridgid.

06-24-2003, 01:28 PM
The small rails I got from E-bay payed 35$ for a set ( I purchased two sets total 70$ plus shipping ) each set had 4 bearings/trucks I cut one to use on the z axis...... ( they are only 14.5 in long was looking for something at least 20in but those usually start getting up there is price... ( I had to realy monitor E-bay to find them.. ) I made the axis longer.. so if someday I find some longer ones at a good price.. I may change it over..but for now it will have to do :(

06-24-2003, 01:43 PM

as for the stand offs, in the pic it only shows 1 on each bearing, (I just dry fit the parts) its set up to accept two on each bearing .. total of 8.....(the z axis shows two and it seem stable) I need the space to place the nuts for the leadscrews behind the moving part.... ( I did have plans to cut small MDF blocks and place them above or even below the rails to make up the distence... (but the standoff seem like a quick and easy solution but you are right I may pay the price for that later...:( I also plan to cut mostly balsa with a dremel or was thinking of buying a rotory tool from PROXXON... :( (for now I will cross my fingers and hope the smaller tool does not cause to much vibration...giveing me problems) I'm going with a small tool mostly because of its application and also the fact that I live in an Apartment.. the noise factor... although our place seems to have thick walls :D If you guy's have any tool recomendation.. I think the dremel is widely used.....maybe cecause the proxxon tool is not so commercially availble.. (ie.. i've never seen one in the home centers.. but I found a local dealer)

06-25-2003, 01:09 AM
I understand his concern -- your mount can be modelled mathematically as a cantilevered arm. I had a similar question a while back, and the cantilevering was a concern for me too.

In theory, the cantilevered arm may be a problem...in practice, it probably won't be, especially if you're doing extremely light duty work like cutting balsa.

I've heard this from more than one person, and now Eric (BalsaMan) is proving it true. No matter how well you think you built your first machine, it is only practice for the next one.

Fair warning, though...BalsaMan is building a big router, capable of cutting metal, as his new machine. And he started out wanting to cut balsa...just like you.

I'm paying close attention to your project -- I finally finished the adirondak chairs that were my "next" project, and have some time to work on my own CNC machine, now. Got any hints for me? You're using a moving gantry design...same basic design as I intend to use.

-- Chuck Knight

06-25-2003, 04:58 AM

I had the some concerns about the way I was going to mount the z axis,
but mostly because of the design I'm using..... for what should be the x axis... I’m using only
two bearings one on top and one the side.

for the most part all the design I've seen in pics use.. at least 3 bearings.. (top, bottom and on the side) the most extreme use 3 but at 120deg from each other.

as I was still making final design choices I could see my machine falling over due the weight of the gantry, and the missing third bearing. But in any case I kept the design as is for simplicity.

Again due to the light duty work I don’t expect a problem but only time will tell..
currently if I apply very pressure to the z axis the structure hold strong so any reservations I may have had about those points are gone. (for now!)

but while any one machine cannot do every thing you like, I think it will be some time before I build a second……still have lots of questions.. (specially on the software end but I will hold off until I am at that stage)

I'm sure I will not have a need for cutting metal. my biggest concern now is what cutting tool to use since I live in a 2 bedroom apartment..(I’m sure the neighbor would not appreciate me making all kind of noise) part of the reason for the small cutting tool. No need for any large router on this machine.

Chuck the only advice I can offer right now since I don’t have a proven machine.. is maybe the thought process I used to get where I am...

I had the following requirements...

1. Building had to be simple... (since I sold all my tools I’m down to just a drill press cordless drill, I did borrow a miter box from a friend) storage cost where adding up to more than my tools where worth….but that is another story

2. The cost had to be with in reason... I had $500 in mind
( I may still be able to meet this, have to add up my receipts)

3. see number 1. (So far the only thing I will have someone else do is turn down the all thread to attach to the motors)

but before I started building I did spend a good month considering the diff possibilities as far as designs, I had considered a moving table as I though that a gantry would be to heavy , but due to the space required for the cutting area I wanted I ruled that out. Now that it’s together I don’t expect the weight to be a problem.

But I am starting to wonder if the all thread was the right choice.. the x axis is over 46 in long.. (but I will use it for now if I need to I could change to an acme screw with little effort , plus changing it I’m user would put me over my $500 mark)

Later! (hmm did I write all that :confused: ):p

06-25-2003, 05:40 AM
If I may suggest, you could put a couple braces across the back of the gantry to make the bridge a "C" shape. If you have flex, it will be that gantry bridge MDF sheet twisting. Been there done that. My last design was a "T" shape and If I did it again I would have gone with a "C".

Looks great. Keep it up!


06-25-2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by flyrc

I had the some concerns about the way I was going to mount the z axis,
but mostly because of the design I'm using..... for what should be the x axis... I’m using only
two bearings one on top and one the side.

How are you addressing lift? The router, when lowered into the wood (and even Balsa offers some resistance) will be met with a resisting force...an upwards thrust.

for the most part all the design I've seen in pics use.. at least 3 bearings.. (top, bottom and on the side) the most extreme use 3 but at 120deg from each other.

I've come up with several bearing designs, myself...the one I'm going to try to prototype today (if I can find a new belt for my drill press) uses 2 bearings and angle brackets. But, one will be above, and one below, at 45 degrees to each other.

Not truly ideal, but I don't have a sheet metal brake with which to bend the "proper" angles.

If captured "between" the two rails, it should offer resistance to lateral and vertical movements.

but while any one machine cannot do every thing you like, I think it will be some time before I build a second……still have lots of questions.. (specially on the software end but I will hold off until I am at that stage)

If you do a search, you'll find a thread called "I think I figured it out!" or something similar, started by me. It deals with the electronic and software side of the CNC machine -- the gantry, etc should be fairly straightforward, but the interface is what confused me.

Yeah...here it is. It's a direct link to that thread.

-- Chuck Knight

06-25-2003, 12:50 PM

Thank for the tip, I had seen other pics where people did add some bracing (making I beams) to help stiffen/strengthen their machine. ( I’ve use up all the long pieces of MDF so I will probably use some hardwood ) I've only left a 3/4 "lip" on the end of the gantry bridge it’s 20in across and seem solid now but I'm sure the extra reinforcement will help and after the first few cuts to make sure things are square I will use glue all around.


06-25-2003, 01:14 PM

I think the forces on the z axis will be negligible, (you ever had a CAT walk on you while you sleep ?) they place all there weight on one small foot…. !

The biggest tool I will be turning I expect will be 1/8 diameter.. (I expect the weight of the full gantry to be about 10lb maybe less..

10 lb of weight displaced over 1/8 diameter I don’t think it will be an Issue.

But you are right this is all still R & D for me. (Time will tell)

As for the electronics.. I was trying to make up my mind between the stepper world FET-3, and xylotex.. (I finally decided on the xylotex board) it should be here today, (I still need a power supply it will probably be a week before its here)


(Thanks to every one for your input ..... keep it comming... short status - > I finsihed making the Delrin Nuts yesterday not much to show for now but, I think I will be close to completion by the end of this weekend I expect the Power supply will hold up completion...

06-27-2003, 05:07 PM
Just wanted to give all interested parties an update,

Since last post I have finished all the nuts, made all the bearing blocks ( MDF construction)

Installed the lead screws, the short 14 “ (10” travel) y and 7” (3.5”travel) ” z axis move smoothly. The longer x axis 40” while it moves with no real resistance, when I rotate the lead screw with my hand (motors not set up yet) it get a swinging motion…

Looks like the combination of the long lead screw cheep metal its made of caused it to hand down when ever the gantly is at an extreme end. I expect I would have some problems if my motor turns the lead screw very fast…(Guess I will not know until I get my motors spinning.)

Still left on the building list will be

1. (turn down lead screws)
2. drill holes on motor mount and bearing mount for x axis,
3. bolt on machine top ( surface when material will sit)
4. mount and complete the z axis
( made a minor change in final design so that I can mount z axis with out having to remove linear rails and bearings.. It was a pain in the b…. to have to do it each time I fitted the parts. Just mean I will have another layer of MDB

I expect this list to be completed over the weekend and will post some pics, for all to see…

At this rate I should be looking at cutting tools and Software by end of next week… (so far, looks like TurboCNC is the most popular.. have not used it yet..so still have more learing to do.

As for the cutting tool I was thinking of using a MiniCraft Rotory tools,
Here are the specs on it…

Voltage 0-18V DC
Maximum output 30 watts
No load speed 0-30,000 rpm
Chuck type Collet
Chuck Capacity 1.0, 1.5, 2.3mm
Cable length 1.8m
Weight 125g

The RPM’s are up there with the specs for Dremel, do you guys think this is good for balsa and light ply. If you guys have used one of these let me know.. I’ve only seen one in a hobby shop, it was very quite compared to the Dremel but not sure if it has what it will take to do the job… !



06-27-2003, 08:17 PM
The one thing that stands out as a possible concern is:

>Chuck Capacity 1.0, 1.5, 2.3mm

These sizes may be appropriate for your intended use, but without seeing it, I couldn't say whether you could modify one of the collets to accept a larger bit. So, just be sure you can get the cutting bits you need and plan to use in a shank size to fit your new rotary tool.


06-30-2003, 11:18 PM

Looks like my last post did not get saved hmmm :confused:

Well while the tool in question does hold the standard 1/8 shank tools the same as the Dremel.

I had a chance to go across town this weekend to a wood working supply shop.

They did not have the MiniCraft but they did had the Proxxton tool that I was also considering and while it was quiet I was not impress, see to be under powered. ( got a change to run it up and as soon as I held the tip it slowed down )

Also, I came to the realization that most of the noise that will be generated will be from the tool actually cutting..

Due to cost I will stick with the Dremel Tool...( It has the highest RMP top end in its class and cost the least )

Thank your for the advice


06-30-2003, 11:53 PM
ok guys here is a few pics of the "almost finishe machine"

06-30-2003, 11:55 PM
Looks very good.

06-30-2003, 11:57 PM
here is a close up of Y and Z ...........

07-01-2003, 12:09 AM
Thanks Paul,

Well still on the check list - is the installation of the all thread,

I dropped it off at a local machine shop.. ( I hope they understood my instructions ) :rolleyes:

Also received my xylotex board, just waiting on power supply.. :(

so far the xyoltex board looks simple.. ( I will be sending a question to jeff about the limit switches.. seems like there is an enable pin that needs to be low (set to ground) to activate the axis... my first guess was to place a limit switch here.... but as I read on looks like J10 can be used for limit switches.. but the documentation does not say how to wire it up.....

Well when I have it all solved. I will post a pic fo my wire diagram..

So far this has been lots of fun.. Cant wait to cut my first part... :D (Thanks to every one who has posted a thread in this forum.. I enjoyed reading all of them.. did not have to many question for you guys since it seems like each design while similar is unique in its own ways).... Thanks again to all...


07-01-2003, 07:12 AM
There should be an enable jumber plug. Just plug it into the appropriate connector and it jumps the enable to ground. You shouldn't have to worry about the enable's, unless you want to activate them in software.


07-01-2003, 10:45 AM

You are correct,

I do have that connector and it will short out the ENA# pins to ground...

I was looking more at how to set up the limit switches,

but looks like you can use the sleep pins for that,

I found a PDF with a wire diagram on how to do it on the xylotex site, also posted a questing on there news group
//groups.yahoo.com/group/Xylotex/ under the heading "How to set up my limit switches?? " So I should be all clear in a few days’ I hope!

Thanks again..!


07-04-2003, 12:41 AM
I though this may help someone, who is thinking of buldign there own CNC

While I am not finished here is where my Money was spent,

Supplies Materials
Linear Rails ( 2 sets )----------------$75.00
Power Supply--------------------------$67.66
Stepper Motors ( 3) ------------------$60.00
Dremel Advantage---------------------$42.50
1/4X13/16 OD 1-1/4 NULINE -------$23.28
All Thread ( machining)----------------$20.00
Bearnigs 1/2 Bore----------------------$18.50
"48"" X 84"" "---------------------------$16.97
" 1"" X 1 FOOT NAT Del SQR BAR ---$14.81
Angle Guag -------------------------------$4.99

Supplies Materials ---------------Total $511.75

Drill Bit Forstner 3/4----------------------$13.99
Drill Bit Forstner 1-1/8--------------------$12.97
Drill Bit Forstner 1/2-----------------------$10.79
"Sqare 6"""---------------------------------$4.99
Drill Bit --------------------------------------$2.69

Tools---------------------------Total $45.43

Shipping Charges
Dremel Advantage ----------------------------$8.50
" 1"" X 1 FOOT NAT Del SQUR BAR ------ $7.48
Other Shipping ------------------------------- $6.00
1/4X13/16 OD 1-1/4 L COUPLING --------$3.88

Shipping Charges----------------------Total $25.86

Other Tax ( Nuts Bolts Local stuff )------------------$8.30
1/4X13/16 OD 1-1/4 L COUPLING ------------------$1.52
" 1"" X 1 FOOT NATURAL DEL SQR BAR (Tax)"---- $1.25
TAX-------------------------------------------Total $11.07

Total to date--------------------------------TOTAL $594.11

I still need s.......

1. box of some kind to house my Xyolotex 3 axis controller)
2. some wire and switches ( Limit switches )
3. Purchase Dremel Multy Pro (digital version runs around 60$ on ebay
4. Already made a tool holder for the Multy Pro
5. still need to make a holder for the Revolution

I will post more pics all the mechanical part are finally finished !

07-05-2003, 11:39 AM
Hi Flyrc
Good to see how youre machine is coming on.
Take note on the post about youre distance peices and mount the linear rails and blocks direct as you will have trouble.
Also i have used NTK linear guides like these on a machine we built for an industrial manufacturer, on the rails where the cap head screws are you can get plastic plugs, do use these and fit with care so as they are flush wood dust can ruin these and has.
good luck, post some more pics as you progress.

07-05-2003, 03:27 PM

I'm not sure that I'm following your advice,

Do you mean to say that I should pug the unused screw holes,
on the Trucks/Blocks?

Also do you have any advice on what kind of grease I should be
using on them.. ?

They where well lubricated when I got them but, since I've been,
working with them ... fitting ect..

They def. need some grease..

Something I can find locally perhaps I expect I only need a few ounces.. every now and again...


07-05-2003, 04:12 PM
He means to plug the holes in the rails with something so they don't fill with dust and contaminate the bearing blocks. I did this on my rails that were located below the table only, as not a lot of dust gets up on the gantry/z axis rails. There are plugs you can buy for this.

I washed all the grease out of my linear bearings as grease and wood dust don't get along well. I ran mine dry. You can put a little light oil on the rails now and then just to keep the wipers/seals lubed a bit.

I too would lose the standoff posts and replace them with solid blocks of MDF the size of the bearing blocks with the 4 holes drilled in them. It will make it much stiffer, and look better too.

It's a great looking machine. It's a good idea to paint all the MDF parts. I used Floor paint grey but I have heard a good quality latex works great on MDF too. A drop of oil on the MDF soaks in and makes a spot the size of your palm.

Keep it up. You are farther ahead than 90% of the people who try to build a machne.


07-05-2003, 06:11 PM
Hello again
Yes plastic plugs which fit flush over the capheads.
You can also get gaiters for these from the manufacturer so as no need to run dry, but these are real small linear units so you would have to chase around and see if there are such items for these, could be worth it!
Good luck.

07-05-2003, 08:32 PM
Hey flyrc,

Your machine is looking great. I had a question. What is holding the y-axis onto the rails, it looks as if you could pick it up right off the rail? Maybe I am just not seeing it close enough.


07-08-2003, 11:11 PM
Hello everyone,

Been busy researching the software end of this project,

Have learned a lot so far,

While the mechanical building is basically complete there is still a lot do before I can cut my first part. Again mostly the software.

Balsaman / Mossy

Oh man for some reason I kept thinking you meant the screw hold on the bearing,
But you mean the holes on the rails.
I’ve been going crazy looking for the part number the rails are made my IKO,
Well I think it will have to do for now but I will keep an eye on them, I got them off ebay
For 35 each set, I called around back when I had a part number a local place wanted $250 just for one rail.

As for the standoffs my first design idea was to use MDF blocks, looking back I think I could have made them if I just over sized the holes so they could adjust and fit just right.
but when I started building I gave up that Idea because of the small size of the blocks I just did not think I could get them right with just a drill press.

So far the standoff seem to hold solid.. if I try to move them what gives a bit is the X axis bearing locks I made. They do not give much and only after I apply quite some force. Once I run it and if I see it’s a problem I will change it. (Plus I’m out of MDF used every bit scraped only a few little blocks)

I did plan on painting it but I cant wait to cut my first part…


You asked “What is holding the y-axis onto the rails”

I think you mean .. X – axis no ? ( I am still new a this !)

But basically Gravity

Well looking back I did this because it was a simple design, and I could manage with the tools I have.. ( I build all of this in my Two bedroom apartment )

I set up the dremel with a drill bit.. and run the z axis down and it does lift the Gantry up
That is with out the Dremel running.

I plan on using it for Balsa and light Ply.. It will be a rare case if I cut ¼ in ply.

But if you are thinking or working on a machine,
Go for something that will lock it down, (using pipes seem to be the standard)

Net machine I make will probably have the x rails under so they are not exposed.

Thanks guys !!!

(PS, still waiting on my Power Supply next time I will not be so cheep and pay next day shipping)

07-11-2003, 02:29 AM

Another quick update,

I completed my limit switch setup.. I’m using the xylotex board,
So I used the parallel setup (with two switches in series) with NC (Normal Closed) switches seemed the most save, since a break in the wire will be detected right away.

I’ve been playing around with converting *.bmp to *.dxf then to G-Code,
I must have installed hundred of software packagers … (OK maybe not Hundreds )

But looks like my G-Code is checking out.. ( at least it did not crash TurboCNC)
I ran it thorough with out the controller powers and seems to work)
To be safe I will do a dry run with a Pen or Pencil ……

Well tomorrow I cut my first part as soon as the UPS Guys shows up.

I’m still kicking my self for not shipping that PowerSupply Quicker.

Any way stay toned for more PIC ..


07-11-2003, 04:08 PM

Throw a couple of bricks on there, that should hold it down.


07-11-2003, 04:33 PM
This is really looking good, but my one concern would be that the MDF table may "droop" slightly in the middle. I'm sorry if it's been mentioned before, I'm more into looking at pictures! Anyhow, you can always bung some battens under there to help stiffen it up it it does bend at all. It will be important, since you're only cutting thin stock.;)

07-11-2003, 05:02 PM

Right not it drops abut 1/16 from what I can tell,

I think I will use some aluminum channel and place two of then length wise to help it stiffen up,

07-11-2003, 05:10 PM
Well I not have my power supply,

It is nice and shinny....

I don’t know much about AC electric so I want to make sure I connect these right,

Any way if you guys could help me to figure out how to connect my AC cord to the power supply

It has the following connections.. (see pic)

I know the +V and -V will be my DC power,

the Ground cable should go to the center prong on the cord connector..

My question is the L and N connection do those go to the 1 or 2 prongs ( it may not matter ) but I have notice some AC cords can only be plugged in one way so Just want to be safe !!

Thanks for all you help...

07-11-2003, 05:23 PM
ok , just to be safe,

The picture of the Plug,

I'm looking at it with the prongs pointing at me,

and the coard behind,

Thanks again,

07-11-2003, 05:36 PM
I believe that L is Black, N is White. That's how I wired mine and it worked fine.


07-11-2003, 08:29 PM
oooo hoooooo !!!!

Good news it’s Alive!!!!


I just move it around with the Jog Command in TurboCNC,

I need to clean up all my spaghetti wires before I start getting really into it...

But like I said "It’s Alive"


Thanks every body!!

07-15-2003, 10:55 AM
Hello, Everyone,

Here are some pics of the "finished" Machine,

07-15-2003, 11:17 AM
Here is a pic of my first part,

I was not sure what happen with the first circle it cut,
until yesterday ..( seem I was missing a G00 )

only thing left to do is add some paint...

07-15-2003, 01:32 PM
Hey!!! you got round holes on your first try. You have no idea how lucky you are to not have to track down where your play or backlash is happening. My first machine took me forever to get round holes.

07-15-2003, 03:58 PM

Well two out of three is not bad... ! :D

the first one did not come out because the line was missing a G00 command...

I've fixed this now..

I made som delrin Nuts from 1" bar.. ( got almost no backlash)
But the x seems to be developing a bit ( but still to small for me to measure)


07-17-2003, 12:17 AM

congradulations. I really like how you stayed focused on your needs and budget and just built what you could aford. Neat machine I hope it does what you want.

If you your X axis turns out to be inadequate you can always add another linear bearing later with a little bit of modification. Same for the standoffs. If you need more rigity, you can make a spacer plate later on.


07-17-2003, 02:22 AM
So far,

Its proven to work as expected,

No problem with X or .. the stand off yet !
I'm sure if I try to over load it.. wiith bigger job I may see failures.

I was tweeking it yesterday, and cut 50% of the time to run a part.

from 30 min to 15 min.

When traveling at full speed ( not cutting )
i will travel the 35 in X axis in about 8 or so sec..

It was intended as a light duty machine.. ( balsa and ply... ( I will probably only cut 1/8 ply any way.. ) most of my planes are small... have to keep them small to store all of them... (the first one I buld will be one the largest scratch build to date !.. ( 30in fuse and 47in wing ) Normally most if them are in the 30in wing range..

Sorry guys a bit of subject.. ( but this is why I build the machine...so I can build planes ) :D

Well I expect I will be busy working on drawing but.. if any one has any direct question Please feel free to send me a PM,

Later !

07-17-2003, 03:07 AM
Sorry every one not 8 second.. it take 18 seconds,

It was taking 22 sec to travel 20in..( at 1/8 step)

I change it to 1/4 and moved the top end and accelearation.

and it realy moves now..

I tried several diff PC's ...

I end using a 400MHz box with 64MB and with win 98, ( i boot into dos to run turbocnc )

I tried a few machines that where in the 100MHz range but they just ned not cut it.. (Motor would lock up when ever it reached top speed )

bye !

07-17-2003, 09:26 AM
I notice that you are using a Dremel advantage. I've been using one of those for a while now and I've cut lots of heavy plastic and hardwood, mostly 4/4 oak and 4/4 maple. I've not tried doing anything as heavy as aluminum yet. I dont think that my machine is rigis enough. But then again since you are using real linear bearings youmacine has a big advantage in the heavy cuts that I don't. From the looks of your machine I'd not be too shy, you'd probably be suprised at what it'll cut.

07-17-2003, 10:20 AM
Hi Flyrc,
I have been watching your progress since you posetd "Does this look like a CNC Machine ???? ".

You have come a long way, keep up the good work and have fun.


07-17-2003, 10:54 AM
Thanks, Ken

I'm glad I found this site.. :p

I was all over the web looking for good info.. so I could star building.

I just hope the info I posted help someone.

My thinking now is the mechanical.. is the easy part,
Keeping it under budget can be a challenge.

The Software can put you way over budget, depending on what you use.. ( so far I'm using turbocnc )

but I would like to "upgrade" to something that does not do the stop and go method.. ( I think that would shave a lot of time off each tool path)


Dont tell me those things I may be tempted to use it on such materials... (all though I can say I can use them on to many planes.. not 4X4 pieces any way )

Well I know metal will be out of the question.. ( you may have missed this but I am running this out of my 2 beadroom apartment )... ( makes me almost go out and want to buy a house so I can build a bigger machine )

:D :D


07-17-2003, 11:25 AM
Yes, I agree this site has been invaluable to me as well.

I am positive your posts have been helpful as well as encouraging.

Budgets are tough to keep in any endeavor but I would say you did very well and when able a software upgrade will be a welcome addition to your projects. I do not do well differentiating between need and want so I know how easy it is to spend more then is really necessary. I have also learned that it is not always a mistake to upgrade past your first inclinations to purchase whatever.


07-17-2003, 12:15 PM
Luis, I sold a house about 6 months ago and was in the position to Rent or Buy again. After weighing the cost of renting or buying again, buying turned out to be cheaper than renting in all but the lowliest of apartments in my town. So i bought again and my house payments are better than most rent. Plus I'll I'll make money when I sell. So buying a house "may be" a good investment for you if you've no looked to hard... Don't rule it out... a bigger machine might just be the exuse you need... :)

07-17-2003, 12:26 PM

Something like a 4X8 Ft.... ( then I can build some 1/4 scale planes..)

Oh yeah I can see it now.. a 15ft wing on a .. ( Speed Bee ! )


I think the next CNC Router I build .. when the time comes.. will realy only have modified X axis..so its locked down


07-17-2003, 01:10 PM
Very nice machine. I see that it's working great! Good luck having any time for airplanes now though, CNC takes too much time and is too fun!


07-17-2003, 01:25 PM
I know I tend to work on things until they are finished... (ie the 4 week construction on my CNC ).. I could have build in less time if I had thing come in quicker. This tends to be a downfall at times…specially if I get two projects going at the same time.

I am now suffering from sleep deprivation.....
"WARNNING DO NOT OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY or POST TO CNCZONE.com if you have had less than 5 hr sleep on average day"

As you will start to make no sense

Just not enough hours in a day to get it all done! ;)

Luis! ;)

07-19-2003, 10:45 PM
Hello everyone…well I was cutting some parts finally.. and I broke my bits…

I picked them up on eBay.. for 4.95..set of 12 diff sizes… I figure.. I could use them to play around and if they broke not big deal.

I’ve been cutting balsa with them and no problem..
I went to cut some light ply (1/8) and I got about half way done with all the part when it broke.

I was running at 30IPM and 2000 RMP on a Dremel advantage….1/16 bit.

Well – I think it was just the quality of bit I was using…


Was I running to fast..??
Was I running to Slow ??
Or is the bit to small for this material??

I ‘m looking at buying some bits from..


Any suggesting would be great.. (cant afford to break to many.. 10$ bits..)

Thanks guys..

07-19-2003, 11:14 PM
Flyerc I would be inclined to think the RPM is way to low for a 1/16 bit, along with suspect quality.

Let us know what yopu find out.


07-19-2003, 11:31 PM

I was 20,000 RMP.. Left out a Zero.. ( Any recomendation on bits you guys are using would be great !


07-19-2003, 11:36 PM
Is this an up-cut or down-cut bit? What is under your plywood part? Is this a 2 flute bit? Depth of cut? If you are trying to take more than 1 diameter in depth you should slow it down...

07-19-2003, 11:47 PM

Running 30 ipm at 2000 rpm = .0038 chip load on a 4 flute or .0075 on a 2 flute. That's heavy even for a 1/2" cutter. :eek:

You want to run about .0005 or .001 chip load on something that small (I'm being very conservative, calculating for harder material, substitute numbers that work for wood). To calculate the feed rate, use the knowns CL = Chip Load, RPM = Max RPM for cutter, FL = Number of flutes. Calculate the max RPM you can (safely) run your machine. (I generally run mine at 95% of max RPM)

.0005 x 2000 x 4 = 4 IPM :sleep:

To calculate the chip load for what you're running;

30 ÷ 2000 ÷ 4 = .0038

Keep in mind that the ply will have glue in it, which may be clogging your cutter as well, shortening it's life.


Rekd teh Inebriated

07-19-2003, 11:48 PM

Is this an up-cut or down-cut bit?
not sure that his means...
but I was cutting from 0 to + Y when it happen

What is under your plywood part?
I have nothing under the part, ( at best it leaves a hair line
it hits the bottom )

Is this a 2 flute bit? Depth of cut?
Yes its 2 flute, ( I was cutting 1/8 light ply)

If you are trying to take more than 1 diameter in depth you should slow it down...
( probably have to do it in two passes)


07-20-2003, 12:05 AM
Flyrc I am going to make you a deal, you buy a $10 cutter from Japan, Germany or the USA and if it breaks cutting 1/8" lite ply at 30ipm/20000rpm I will send you the $10 via paypal.

Make sure it is not cutting harder substances under it though.

Ken Shea

Keep me posted, it will be worth $10 to know.

i am talking initial cuts not 6 months from now :)

07-20-2003, 12:14 AM
will due ! :D

I tryed to place my order.. but ther site does not seem to be working.. ( getting all kinds of db errors )

from www.precisecut.com that is..

So Close Yet so Far way...

( I have all my Drawing done.. just need took cut it all out.. ( the rest will be balsa.. 3/32 and 1/8 ) I dont expect it to fail then because I was cutting test pieces out of that..

to be on the safe side I will probably cut it in 2 passes.(for ply that is, so I can get my parts done.. )

Thanks for the support guys..


thanks for the formulas.. ( I will apply them and report back results when I have bits.. )

07-20-2003, 12:23 AM
Some bits eject the chip out of the top of the cut some eject them out of the bottom. Its the spiral of the bit at work here. Down cutting bits are handy for through cuts when the chips have some place to go. Like when the part is suspended. But they will clog up and break when there is no place for them to go. To check which you have: slowly turn the bit with one hand in a counterclockwise direction, viewed from the cutting end. Allow your finger nail to ride along the edge of the flute. If it rides toward the shank of the bit its an up-cut bit. If your finger nail rides toward the cutting end then its a down-cut. Hope this helps.

07-20-2003, 12:37 AM
If your bit is real long, you need to slow down, as it will break more easily. I used a 1/16" bit that has 1/4" flutes. I think I was cutting lite ply at around 20". Another problem is when the ply lifts up, and starts riding on the non fluted part of the bit. BTW get carbide endmills for plywood. Lasts longer.


07-21-2003, 10:41 PM
Well I'm cuttin again,

Found a Carbite Bit at the local Ace Hardware ( Dremel make it)
It looks like what they call a "Chip Breaker" at least on some of the site that sell the tools,

Its Dremel Part 569,

07-21-2003, 10:43 PM
Well for now I slowed it down, to 15IPM and started with a feed over ride at 75% and was playing with it .. (I cut a few balsa parts at.. 40IPM and it seem to do fine.. ( but slowed it back down before I break it..I will run it slow atleast till I finish my first plane ) :D

07-21-2003, 11:04 PM
Very nice work, what plane is it?

07-21-2003, 11:07 PM
You rule. Looks great. Nice job. I can wait to cut a part again.


07-22-2003, 02:46 AM

Here is the finished Plane...

this is a 1/2a scratch build model, I'm just making it REALY BIG NOW, at 32" for the fuse and 37 " wing...

I can hear the guys at the filed now....

Some how I have been know for having samll planes,

I have a speedy bee, a new bee, a Kadet Senorita, a SCAT KAT, AroStar 40 wich got wrecked, a U2 Free Flight wich I converted to RC, a P47 1/2a.. and before I started buildign my cnc I had a Gipsy Month 1/2a in the works, and also a scratch build Auto Gyro.....(I'm sure I will finishe them later )

but the pic below shows what the plane should look like when finished... ( structuraly it will be much diff...but the basic lines will be the same)