cnc begins

I made one of the first steps to turning a project from an idea to a reality this morning; making the first financial contribution to the project. While many times I have ideas for things I would like to do, I am careful about only investing in projects which I am GOING to do.  That milestone of my CNC router project happened when I purchased bearings for the machine.

I have been mulling over ideas on how to design this cnc. Mainly I have found 3 design plan sets which seem common online yet none of them meet my needs. Since I am incredibly picky about this sort of thing I figure the best thing to do is to take bits and pieces from different places and make something which is uniquely mine.

Joe’s CNC ( ) – He has 2 different designs. The first one was made in 2006 and is one of the standards that you see people on cnc forums talking about. His plans are free and it seems like a solid unit. The issue I have with it is that it is a full wrap carriage; meaning that the gantry travels under the work surface. This is bad for a number of reasons but mainly I got a super table to mount this on, namely the new Biesemeyer Extension table for the unisaw ( I wonder how I got that ) and that would prevent this design from going forward.  The second design from Joe is much better but I refuse to pay 100 bucks just for the plans for something I can design myself, I am not really into just building

The next set of plans is the JGRO Plans Like Joe’s plans it offers simple construction methods with MDF and some of the same features. If I was a betting man (which I am) i would say that one of these 2 sets of plans inspired the other. Full plans are available for this one for free, but I really dislike the way that he does linear motion. There is no way I can tell to hold reasonable accuracy with out really spending time tweaking the unit after assembly, something that I know is likely no matter which way I go.

The last type is from the site  he has 2 different designs and the one I am going to make  most closely resembles his new machine the black toe while I don’t understand the name I really like the way his linear guides are done.

So the project starts, I purchased these v-bearings for a cheap price of 2.50 each and as I continue to spec my machine I will buy the parts which will help me create more cool projects in the future.

About: Greg Needel

One thought on “cnc begins”

  1. Greg your thoughts are ery simular to mine.
    The Blacktoe I have several rservations about.

    I am looking to build a 4×4 machine, large enough to slide an 4×8 sheet in, and may be run it twice for a sheet.

    1/ The Vee Grove bearings only make point contact on the corners of the aluminium rails I can see this causing premiture wear and the Vee actualy grinding down the edges losing its acuracy. I would say instead of using one Vee bearing you should use 3 regular bearings, one for the downward forst and the other to keep it inline with the rail, one on each side.

    2/ I like the idea of the Roller chain and sprocket but not sure how the repeatability is, will it always hit the same place every time.

    3/ No one will answer my questions, now that generates huge doubt.

    So how did your machine work out.

    Let me know

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