View Full Version : CheapCNC homemade copy

05-04-2003, 09:59 PM
Made the router below over the weekend after seeing the CheapCNC photos. Could not find MDF in my town, I just used plywoods.

05-04-2003, 10:07 PM
Holly Sh_ _! you made that In one weekend! Wow that is great! Good job! After seeing that cheap cnc web site i couldnt believe what they were getting for a price for there unit!

05-05-2003, 10:42 PM
Very, very nice job.


05-05-2003, 10:56 PM
looks good and quick too what kind of driver board you going to use and what type of leadscrew is that. I wish I could build something that fast mine is taking months

05-06-2003, 02:32 AM
I made my own driver board (inside the black box with meter) with LM18245 (2 Amp continuous)+PIC16F624 MCU (for step/dir and microstepping).

The leadscrew is the normal 1/4-20 stud from normal hardware shop with two nuts to minimise backlash.

The cheap linear bearing (<US10) mounted using normal pipe U-clamp.

05-06-2003, 02:46 AM
Additional photo to those wishing to know more.
The router motor (Dremel equivalent) is mounted using normal TV antenna clamp!

05-06-2003, 02:51 AM
Photo showing 'locked' nut againts the roller bearing to prevent leadscrew freeplay. Roller bearing is epoxy glued to the wood.
Yes, the small switch is my limit switch.

05-07-2003, 12:20 AM
Regular pipeclamps! That's a fantastic idea. Here I am trying to drill perfectly aligned 1" holes through 1 1/4"oak pillow blocks (trying to make the pillow blocks relatively square to start with) and then you come along and in one weekend ... Why I outa...

No really your machine looks great. Hope you don't mind if I samelessly copy your pipe clamp idea. The amount of work/frustration it will save me is incredible. I'm off to C.T. (Canadian Tire)

05-07-2003, 12:39 AM
By the way ... When drilling the holes for your shafts how do you ensure parallelism? Is it anything more than stacking the two plates and drilling both at once?

05-07-2003, 01:15 AM
Copy all you want. We are here to share experience.

This is what I do to ensure parallelism:
1. Stack 3 plates together and I used stapler gun to make sure it doesn't move (wood clamp would work but I don't have one:0)
2. Drill the hole for roller bearings + motor shaft using _drill stand_.
3. Remove 1 plate then drill the shaft holes.
4. Mount the plates + shaft + bearings and start fixing the u-clamp.
Whole thing (3-axis) takes less than 1 hour.

05-07-2003, 02:17 AM
One more thing to share.

The place I bought the plywood could not cut with precision so my plates are slightly off in size by 1-2 mm. To overcome this, the worktable is 'screw+nuts' adjusted on the four corners to the correct height before final fixing. Now, the table is 'flat' againts the router bit.

05-07-2003, 10:52 PM
I must be missing something what typr of pipe clamps are those, what is there normal use, dont say clamping pipe LOL. I dont think Ive seen those before where do you buy them cant see real well in picture

05-07-2003, 11:07 PM
It looks like the cheap strap mounts for gas pipe or conduit.


05-08-2003, 01:26 AM
It's used to fix pipes to wall (I don't know its proper name) and I got it from hardware shop. May be photo below is clearer if not I'll send another photo of the unmounted parts.

05-11-2003, 10:39 PM
Test 3d cut (4x4x0.5") on florist foam. Works great and accurate (to my expectation).

05-12-2003, 12:04 AM
Great job buddy.;) ;)

05-27-2003, 10:10 PM
Where did you get the linear bearing for < 10$??? Part #?


05-27-2003, 10:44 PM
I'm half way across the world in Asia. The bearings are from China but can't remember the brand/PartNo (the box is in a dump somewhere). They are not the branded kind (THK, NSF, etc). Sorry, can't help you there.... ;o

07-02-2003, 11:45 AM
Could you let us know what you used for the actual guides
over the pipe? Great mounting idea!


07-02-2003, 08:54 PM
Don't quite understand your question but for the guide, I used linear bearings as shown in the pictures. For the shaft, I used the shaft from scrapped dot matrix printers. I can't use the printer's linear bushing because its not strong enough.
Hope this helps.

08-01-2003, 11:02 PM
Hi Abasir,

Where in Asia are you, I hope your in Singapore, because i'm there next week and would love to catch up.

Some other questions, what motors did you use and rating are they?Can you get anymore of these that I could buy from you, plus the driver boards?

What software are you using to drive all you setup?

I just bought myself M16 threaded rod, for my project, atleast its a start.

Great job though.


08-03-2003, 09:12 PM
Hi Michael,

I'm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (about 200 miles north of Singapore).

Motors were basically scrap from old dot matrix printers, bipolar - 5V @1.5A. Driver board is homemade (microstep, torque compensated - 2A/phase). Software is TurboCNC on Pentium166.

My suggestion is for you to search for some computer repair shops where you are. You can get steppers, linear shafts, optical limit switches and a bunch of other things very cheaply by buying faulty 132 column dot matrix printer or plotters.

Let me know if you still need some help.

08-04-2003, 04:47 AM
Thanks for the reply,

Its good to know what type of printer to look for.
I'll have a bit of a search around here locally and see what I can come up with.
Are you in KL city?
I was going to spend a weekend there if i can get a cheap flight out of Singapore:-)
I'm in Singapore for three weeks, and I believe I'll run out of things to do, plus while i'm over that way, it would be nice to see KL (never been there).Maybe anyway.

Thanks for all your help so far.

P.s, Do you think I could get those linear bearings in Singapore (chinese)? Australia seems to mark up their prices even with Chinese/Taiwanese stuff.

Love that cutter though.


08-04-2003, 06:48 AM

Look for LARGE (A3 size) dot matrix printers. The bigger/heavier the better especially those designed for printing on multi-layered forms (banks/insurance,etc). Brand/model not important but try to get 3 or 4 of same brand/model so that the specs (stepper/shaft) are the same. Less headache later;-o

All that are available in Malaysia normally are available in Singapore (may be slightly higher priced). I haven't been to Singapore for a long time so I can't offer any suggestion as to where to go.

Yes, I'm in KL city. If you want to visit KL, come on weekend (less traffic jams) but most hardware shops close on Sunday :-(

Good luck on your parts hunting expedition ......


01-16-2004, 08:19 PM
Did you say you finished the whole thing in less than one hour? Wow! Even I am not that fast! Nice job!

01-17-2004, 08:52 AM
The whole machine took one weekend. The drilling of the end-plates for the shaft and motor mount took one hour. Nope, I'm no miracle worker :(

01-17-2004, 07:58 PM
Oh...ok. Its still pretty darn good to build a complete machine in one weekend. It sure helps to have all the parts in the same place already. Thats one tip for anyone out there wondering.

06-14-2004, 09:58 PM
very impressive excellent job

03-25-2006, 01:08 PM
It's used to fix pipes to wall (I don't know its proper name) and I got it from hardware shop. May be photo below is clearer if not I'll send another photo of the unmounted parts.
The clamps are called 2 hole conduit straps. Look like 3/4 or 1" can't tell for sure. You can find the at HD or Lowes in the electrical section.

06-11-2006, 03:07 PM
this is/was quite an enginennering feat! i think im going to start work on my router after looking at this! I have access to a large cnc router at school. should I design the parts and get them cut so I have an accurate machine?

thanks, Ben

07-06-2006, 12:19 PM
I just got a book from Lindsay Publications, Lathe Work for Beginners (no. 22962, $15.95). It gives rather sketchy plans for a lathe made from scratch, with steel rod for the bed. It outlines your procedure for keeping the rods parallel. It's encouraging to see that it works well. Thanks! :)