I'm glad you noticed the top and bottom support on the gantry. It makes it so much more rigid than just bottom support. Down side is that you need 2 motors on Y.
It took me about one and a half months just for r&d. A lot of good info can be found here: Do it yourself CNC router: Design Considerations, the Gantry
As far as making the electronics I only made (designed) the motherboard. The drivers are from pololu. I wanted to design a PCB for a long time so this was the perfect ocassion/challenge. Not to mention way cheaper than what you can buy. I would guess about $130 in electronics and $80 for the motors. Imo it's great price for 4 stepper motor setup.
Using pro tap cutting fluid. I sprayed it before starting the cut.
I wish I used it last night . Serious chip welding. I wanna post that on youtube as well, for a learning lesson.
Working on a flood system after the one I got from MicroMark didn't event start. Went ahead with the cut and I payed for it.
I don't have much experience at all either .
One thing I red online was that 3 flutes is a magic number to avoid chatter.
Smth to do with resonant frequency of Al. The guy has a Phd. Lol.
I ran 2 flutes as well and it worked great.
From what I get the less flutes the better chip evacuation the more flutes the better the finish.