View Full Version : 4th axis on my router

12-21-2006, 06:49 PM
Hello all,
I've been checking out the CNCZone for some time now and (maybe I've missed the thread)was just wondering if anyone has attempted to build a 4th axis for their router. I've been thinking of doing split decorative columns for signage, picture frames etc. According to my wife, I've spent enough on my toy this year and so I thought I might attempt building a table mounted axis myself. Am I biting off more than I can chew?:idea:

12-21-2006, 07:56 PM
Well here is one I designed but had to have made since I didn't and don't have any metal working tools. Yep it can be done.


Robert M
12-22-2006, 11:02 AM
Hi Turmite !!

Question = What controler & software you're using to move this 4th axis ??

Thanks, Robert

12-22-2006, 11:22 AM
At the risk of the thread going in another direction but I am also very interested in knowing what software are you using for the (full?) 4 axis machining.

Sherline has this rotary table without chuck in $270 the CNC version goes for $350.
This ones look good too bad no pricing, must be expensive

There are also some black anodized rotary CNC tables form 1.5" to 5" I believe, very sexy looking but I cant find the link.

Myself I did this A axis

12-22-2006, 12:37 PM
Hi Turmite,
Nice gunstock. The design of the lathe looks pretty straight forward. Thanks.
You've given me the ambition I need to get started...


12-22-2006, 12:40 PM
Hi Konstantin,
Did you fabricate the spindle from scratch? Bearing journals, axle, etc.?
Looks pretty solid.

12-22-2006, 02:24 PM
Hi Robert,

I use Mach2 mostly. I use Mach3 a little but have been waiting till a permanent lockdown before I move over completely. I can say that Mach3 is much smoother and faster than Mach2.

I made a couple of serious mistakes in the design of this 4th axis and if I ever get to do another, it will have some major changes.

Thanks for the kudos on the gunstock.


12-22-2006, 07:40 PM
Turmite: Please a word about your Model software and gcode output (by hand?), is it full 4 axis or not?

Hi Ron.
Once I went to the flea market and got this huge old computer which had 5 1/4 drive bays and I was looking for those to get some steppers, but it had also this huge Maxtor HD inside about 8 plates mounted on that very spindle you see (about 100MB and the damaged sectors where part of the specs). The middle part of the spindle was removed and I got a piece of a iron pipe, turned it on a lathe to the inner diameter of some new bearings and mounted it tightly and used a bit of CA glue since I have no Loctite. There is very little play, the part closest to the chuck has a little aluminum block to support the thing. The spindle had 6 tapped holes, once they served to hold down the plates.
A couple of Martin Sprocket timing gears, the small one 11 flanged and the large one 72 I believe, no flange. I went for the largest ratio available and soon will upgrade the stepper and the drive to a micro step drive from a copier machine.

The black aluminum parts were from some medical equipment, pump or something like that, I had to redesign the whole thing a couple of times and I really have to use the stock I have for the fullest since I don't have much.

One thing that I would like is to have a 4 jaw independent chuck but that is for later since the whole A axis can get quite expensive in a very short time.

It is a tricky design and the worst part was to thread the tube for the chuck to mount on it. Many times I screw the chuck on and it had oscillation and if it was all straight the moment I mounted the bearings, some play would be noticeable. Budget was the key and I believe it all fit well in the end and I have an A axis to play with.

12-24-2006, 08:16 PM
Hello Konstantin,

I use Rhino for my modeling and Madcam for my gcode generation. Madcam is a plugin for Rhino so it actually sits inside Rhino.

Madcam does not do automatic 4th axis indexing or continous at this time, but Joakim the gentleman who wrote most of Madcam is adding features to the software as quickly as he can. He also runs a full time mold making and molding business in Sweden.

I can tell you he has promised me that he is working on the 4th axis features and has called me for my input since almost all my work is 4th axis.

One thing that you may have missed is Madcam is being given away for free to anyone who can prove they have a cam system, or a cnc machine. This is a wonderful program that is only going to get better with time.


dan dimock
03-16-2007, 05:38 AM
I am building a 16X24 CNC machine, hope to have it completed next month, I went a head and got a board with 4 drives, in hopes of adding the A Axis. I want it to run in the center, fro head to tail like the X Axis.

I will be using this unit to cut gears and parts for all wooden clocks, and with the A Axis I could turn the arbors.

Would it work to just use 2 pillow block, and maybe a one half in rod and the motor on one end and a face plate on the other?

If any of you could help me with this, it sure would help as I do not want to try something that will not work,


JW Peters
03-18-2007, 07:35 PM
Look here. http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2007/2/2/03059/10452 and here http://cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31894 Hope this helps. JP