I've been lurking here for a long time, have a goal of building my own CNC wood routing table, why, because I have lots of shop skills, reasonably good equipment to work with, and not a lot of money. So finally, I thought I'd spend some serious time on the site looking for info to help me get started in my project and I'm more lost and confused than when I started. For example - I keep getting this message that I've belonged to the site for a long time but have never posted..... and it took me 15 minutes just to figure out how to find the CNCzone ClubHouse forum to post this message. Can't even imagine how many gray cells I would burn up trying to figure out how to build something.
No, I'm not complaining about the site, it's probably a fantastic resource to those who know what they're doing, and also really helpful if you have the inclination to read through countless forums and try to figure out what applies to your situation. But I don't have hours ti spend on the computer and I don't know much of anything about CNC routers, just that I figure I can build one given good drawings and concise step-by-step instructions from start to finished, operating machine. Yes, I looked at the fantastic, beautiful drawings for an open-source design by "JGRO", they look great and the price for them is perfect, but no way could I build that without some very clear instructions.
So, here's what I'm looking for. Maybe someone can steer me in the right direction:
I want a to build a CNC router table that will use a commercially available wood router (Bosch, Rockwell, etc) to cut 3/4" thick oak into cutting board-style shapes. Max finished length 18", max width 6 inches. If the machine is bigger, no big deal, but scale-able plans would be nice. Since it is cutting a full outline of the object in one pass, I guess there would need to be some kind of vacuum hold down of the wood, otherwise the router would not be able to cut fully around the object in one continuous path?
I have both MAC and PC computers, I have a 3-D drawing program (Graphite 8) that I use to design the objects that I want to cut on and that will export those drawings in these formats: Graphite, PDF, DWG, DXF.
I can cut, grind, sand and drill wood, steel, aluminum, plastic, tap holes, weld steel, solder wires, and read and follow instructions accurately.
I don't mind paying for plans if they will get me where I want to go. I don't mind buying the electronics if they are the right ones for the job and the plans tell me what to buy.
Hopefully someone(s) can steer me in the right direction, then I'll be posting pics about the machine that I built.