Building a CNC router from scratch:
Following are some pics of the early build. I wish to heartily thank my buddy Glenn for the use of his shop for a month. I naively thought it would take a couple _days_.
Squaring up the frame for welding. This was $64 worth of scrap 3" x 4" x 0.120" steel tubing from White City Metals. New was $109 and not much cleaner.
Sockets welded on for removable legs. These came from old camper jacks, so they're nice and sturdy.
Starting the linear motion build. X rails on. I drilled tapped the frame for each and every screw.
Layout for Z axis. We attempted to bend the aluminum bracket for the motor mount but it snapped
at about 25 degrees of bend, so we tigged it. That was my first "heliarc" welding. Kinda fun.
Y and Z axes setup, router installed. Glenn has a hobby forge
and the router mount was made from melted aluminum pistons.
Find the machine in my shop. I dare ya.
(Yes, still decluttering, and this is after about 7 hours of cleanup.)
The Y and Z axes on the gantry. The gray on the floor is the bondo which smoothed
out the pits on the floor. I haven't yet sanded it flat. (Where's my angle grinder?)
The chain drive for the X axis. We set the motors into the 3x4" steel frame. Protecting the motor and
chain is a piece of tubasix metal stud. I need to find covers for the edges. They'll be painted green, as well.
More progress. She's all painted Rustoleum Hammered Deep Green (similar to Griz Green) now and I got the bed on
today, but I noticed that I/we had made an error in the Z plate size. She'sa too high! OK, time to remake a plate which is
5" longer. (blush) The bed consists of two layers of 1-1/8" T&G flooring plywood with a glued-down 3/4" MDF smooth
top layer. I'll machine (face cut) that entire top with the router to make a perfectly flat sacrificial bed on which to work.
OK, after a long, busy summer, I'm finally back into the shop (while it rains) to work on the Green Monster again. She's almost ready
to go. I'm setting the home and soft limits this week and will be building an acrylic dust collector hose holder to keep the place sano.
Here is a pic of the electronics for the beastie. Gecko G540 4-axis drive module, SmoothStepper USB converter/translator, 400watt
toroidal power supply from Antek in NY. Total investment in this technological masterpiece: about $4 grand + over 300 man-hours. Whew!
I already owned the stainless steel housing, so I added a fast Dell computer to power the Green Monster. The pendant is from China.