Thread: Wooden CNC

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  1. Andy no offence but seriously there is no need to be like.

    Please understand that we get 100s and 100s of people who start out with wood for construction in mind, more often than not after having a good read they decide to build something much more substantial, a machine mad from wood is a good start as any and can work.

    As you've said your only really geared up to work with wood and that's ok, though I would say working with metal is still doable depending on how you design the machine and the complexity of the part you would need, there are members here that have machines up and running and ready to work so there is an opportunity for to request a quote on having parts made for you.

    Basically, engraving is probably the lightest duty you could ask of a machine so you could very well get away with doing that on a sidwinder and be more than happy, it's likely that once up and running your machine could then also go on to cut plastics and metal, what anyone with that kind of machine has to realise is that you will have to go easy with the machine, slow cutting speeds, less material removal per pass and so on, ok vs a more substantial machine you know what the differences will be but your machine will still get the job done, hopefully you could then use the machine to make new parts for itself or even a new machine and design, consider it a "leg up".

    If the machine was for any kind of production then it's always advisable to get the builder to go with somthing better from day one, as I said above for all manner of reasons and that's what the guys above inadvertently were trying to say.

    As long as you have a solid grasp of what to expect from the machine then great, get cracking and enjoy what is about to come.

    Last edited by Lee Roberts; 30-07-2015 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #12
    Andy Please don't take any notice of what has been said. You have made it quite clear you want to build and wooden router and if you need help you will find it on here and I for one will help all I can.

    Don't buy any electronics or motors until you are ready and they can be the difference between a good machine and a crap machine. You don't need to spend a lot of money on the BOB I run my mill from a 10 BOB from a PP. if you look for AM822 drives on ebay and motor from you won't go far wrong.

    Please don't be put off by the people that want to build a 1 ton machine and think everybody should do the same.
    Good luck with the buid ..Clive

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  4. #13
    Thank you.

  5. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hewitt View Post
    It is starting to get to you to. I used to be really helpful and typed long explanations about why things like MDF routers were a terrible idea, why you really needed a milling machine to cut aluminium, why 200 steps/rev was a really poor choice, why 64 microsteps was going to make things worse not better and so on. But like beating your head against a brick wall it helps no one and it is nice when you stop
    You are 7 years here. I am 1 and a half. I could not even imagine what you have been through .

    But yeah, after you try to persuade 10 people with 0 result, all leads to short -NO . Anyway, people should learn to read build logs. I for once read all build logs on site, before starting to ask questions. I still have many questions but first search then ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyshomecrafts View Post
    I'm sorry for asking advice about the wooden CNC if it pisses so many people of, I thought forums were meat to help and advise people who are interested in the topic.

    The reason I want to build a wooden CNC. Is it's the only thing I am able to work with, I want to build the project on my own. I have the tools to work with wood. 4 years ago I woke up in a hospital bed, to cut a long story short and to save boring anyone, I'd had two massive strokes and been in a coma for 11 weeks, couldn't walk or talk still can't, but I can move my arms.
    So it's easy for me to get my son to cut the big parts from wood, because neither of us know two things about working with metal.
    So no worries I won't be on here again, so you won't be banging no heads against no walls.

    No body is judging you. Dont take that personally. Me and the others gave you a sound advice instead of trying to dissuade you. Its a really good forum with a lot of helpful people. You could do a plane from paper if you like to. What i and others were suggesting is to buy the components so, that they would work ok in a normal machine and save you some head banging against walls.
    project 1 , 2, ...

  6. #15
    Hi Andy,

    Hang in there. My first machine was built just over 5 years ago from plywood and unsupported rails. It used a normal router for cutting. It would cut balsa wood, and liteply, and if you were not in a hurry plywood:

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    If you pushed it then it would tend to cut ellipses not circles, so it had it's limitations. Basically it was not very stiff. So here it is cutting bits for it's successor (the gantry sides):

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    And here is machine 2 which used alot more aluminum, plus linear profile rails on the Y and Z, and a water cooled spindle:

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    But it still had limitations especially when cutting parts off centre (single ballscrew tends to rack the gantry). The gantry sides were still plywood, and the roller bearings on the X axis needed continuous adjustment and cleaning. So here it is cutting parts for it's successor:

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    And here is that machine:
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    And here it is munching through some 20mm aluminium plate for the Z axis upgrade:
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    to make:
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    And here it is at the moment:
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    So it depends on what you want to achieve, and not being too disappointed if you build a basic machine. Good news is you can always build a better one, it just takes longer and costs you more. Good luck with the machine and your life circumstances in general . . .
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

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  8. #16
    Hi Andy

    Just so you know the sidewinder machine looks like the leadscrews connect directly to the stepper motors. This means all the cutting forces are taken by the stepper motor bearings which is not great and would cause them to wear out. Most machines on here use a separate bearing block which takes care of these forces (see BK or BF bearings as Neil mentions).
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

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  10. #17
    Don't think I'm bothering now mate.
    thanks for the advise.

  11. #18
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 591. Received thanks 79 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Lots of comments made with the best of intentions. It won't be popular, but I'm going to put a different point of view. I built my MDF router to the JGRO design around three years ago. It's a pretty poor machine by many standards. However, I originally built it to make an engraved plaque for a presentation, about 20"x16", with some nice lettering and a relief picture in the middle. It turned out OK. Since then, I've helped my son with an architectural project profiled from 18mm ply. All the bits cut and fitted together as drawn. I've engraved nameplates, and lots of other odds and ends (like profiling 25mm sapele about 600mm long) in between. So, why am I building something bigger, faster, stronger? Because it is slow, it bends and vibrates if you push it a bit, I used M10 studding with home-made anti-backlash Delrin nuts as leadscrews and the X leadscrew flaps in the breeze above about 900mm/min when cutting wood would be better at ten times that. The MDF moves with changes of humidity and it's near impossible to keep the bearings adjusted. And so on.

    But, as I said, it does work. This is a hobby machine, so don't judge it by commercial standards. If you are doing fine engraving, top speed doesn't matter a jot as you'll never reach it - acceleration for all those changes of direction is much more important. Studding is cheap, even compared to multi-start trapezoidal screws. It's pointless thinking about ballscrews as the machine structure won't take the cutting forces involved at the speeds they would allow. I often hold work on small blocks machined in situ to give accurate alignment, even though the bed isn't all that flat. Jobs can take a while, so I get on with something else while the machine is running. In other words, I can work around or live with many of its limitations. I'm building a new machine in steel to overcome these problems, but that's at least in part because I love building tools and machines.

    I wouldn't recommend, generally speaking, that someone builds a wooden machine, but everyone's situation and needs differ, so there's a place for them. Don't be put off by people whose needs and resources are not the same as yours. You might find more uses once you have a machine in the workshop; that might help you identify a replacement in due course. Pity that you are at the other end of the country or you could have had a warts and all look at a wooden machine and things made on it.

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  13. #19
    Neale Well said as I have said on another post horses for courses and all that. ..Clive

  14. #20
    I would just like to Apologise for my rant yesterday, things went from bad to worse as the day went on,
    I get very frustrated, but I know I should not take it out on people who are only trying to help,
    genuine sincere apologies.
    I know what you are saying, but the one reason I wanted to use wood, Ive limited funds of 980 but trying to add too it,
    I know it's not the way to go about things, Immature I suppose but I want it now or as soon as possible, and I'd deal with the consequences when they arise,
    so massive thanks to everybody who took time to comment and advise me.
    todays dry and sunny, and I'm thinking straight.
    i know I'm not going to build anything decent for 980 so I'm going to put things on hold until I can save some more.

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