Build Your Own CNC Router Machine.
As far as where to start. Start with the spindle. Pick a spindle that is appropriate for the work that you want to be able to do, and then design the machine to carry it over the cutting area that you need.
I would suggest not using MDF as a building material. Use a good quality harwood pllywood, or better use MDO.
thanks for the info. I actually have an older fixed base variable speed router that I just rebuilt with new bearings and shims. It has a bit of weight to it, but for accuracy and torque I don't think I will find anything better to start with. Now to start planning table size and all the other good stuff.
I like that zeroing jig, good idea
I've decided to post a build log of my machine starting at the beginning.
Here is a look at the initial design. Most of the design comes from the Build Your Own CNC Router Machine website and book. I also read a lot of blogs and this forum to collect ideas. The first machine was very simple. It's made of MDF, aluminum angle for rails, V bearings and a simple chain drive system. The Z axis will be lead screw.
Here is the concept drawing.
The first step was building the torsion box table. I found that my glass dining room table was actually quite flat. Especially when compared to my work bench, outfeed table and other tables that were available.
I'm not sure of the names of all of the parts of a CNC router, but I call the part of the Z axis that moves up and down the 'Tool Carrier'.
The tool carrier is made of MDF with aluminum angle as rails for the V bearings. The angle is held by 1/4-20 oval head machine screws and cross dowels. They are actually quite strong.