Homemade CNC Router

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Project by ChuckC posted 05-14-2010 04:48 AM 14900 views 42 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a homemade cnc router I built. I always wanted to make one but had no idea how to go about it. I came across and and within a few weeks of lurking I was on my way to making my own. It’s made mostly of MDF. The controller is a kit that I bought from hobbycnc. They provide the parts for the controller and you have to solder it all together. The power supply is 36v which is more than enough to push the three stepper motors. It’s remarkable how accurate this can be. I often carve something out with a “V” bit, reset the bit to where I started, lower it just a bit, and then re-cut to clean it up. It follows the same path as the first.
Thanks for looking!

13 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3952 days

#1 posted 05-14-2010 05:22 AM

I love CNC zone! They are great there.

This looks great.. can’t wait to see what you make with it.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View PCM's profile


135 posts in 4011 days

#2 posted 05-14-2010 05:28 AM

You’ve inspired me. I’ve been toying with the idea of building one for quite a while. I’ll check out the CNC zone site.

View sdmref's profile


15 posts in 4173 days

#3 posted 05-14-2010 05:28 AM

How much did it cost to make? This definitely has caught my attention.

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 3997 days

#4 posted 05-14-2010 08:13 AM

Looks really interesting, I’d love to hear more about the build and how you control it. Will it work from cad files (.dxf or similar?).

Now, over to cnczone (hadn’t come accross it before..)

Thanks for posting.

-- John

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 4133 days

#5 posted 05-14-2010 01:44 PM

nice build.
Thanks for posting.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View lighthearted's profile


142 posts in 4280 days

#6 posted 05-14-2010 02:59 PM

Impressive! Good for you.
Cost? Accuracy?

-- Chris

View Ger21's profile


1100 posts in 4097 days

#7 posted 05-15-2010 02:45 PM

Nice job, is that built from the JGRO plans?

Do you have an air filter in that nice looking electronics box? If not, you should. I use a square type automotive air filter in mine. The smallest FRAM I saw at the store, about $5.

Also, if anyone has any CNC questions, feel free to ask. I’m a moderator at CNC Zone, and my day job is programming CNC routers.

-- Gerry,

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3901 days

#8 posted 05-16-2010 02:49 AM

Yes, this is a JGRO router. I built it almost to the plans with the exception of the lead screws (and associated hardware), anti backlash nuts, and a few extra supports.
I never kept track of the total cost but it’s somewhere in the area of $800. That doesn’t include the router, computer, and software. I am surprised at how accurate it is.

I don’t have an air filter on the fan but it’s a great idea. Thanks!

You can control it in several ways. All of them end up with G-Code that gives the router the commands it needs to move. A typical project could start with a design in Auto CAD. After that you save your work in the form of a .dxf file. Next, you import that file in a CAM application like V Carve PRO. This application creates the tool paths that the router needs. You select the bit(s) you are using and the material you are cutting. In the end you get G Code. The last step is to import the G Code in a milling application like Mach3. Mach 3 is responsible for reading the G Code and sending signals to the controller to move the stepper motors.

It was definitely an interesting build and is considered a hobby in itself.

View wdh's profile


55 posts in 4606 days

#9 posted 05-16-2010 03:08 PM

Now that would be an awsome addition to a workshop!

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4789 days

#10 posted 05-17-2010 02:33 PM

Chuck, I’m adding this to my favorites. I plan on building one in the future. After pricing the kits on line, I was curious about the cost. Did you build most of it on your own? From what I read, about $1000 and up is the going cost for a entry level full CNC.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3901 days

#11 posted 05-17-2010 04:48 PM

If you follow the JGRO plan you build everything yourself. It’s a project that is very enjoyable but something that takes time. Do it slowly and have fun. I’d be happy to answer any questions or assist in any way that I could. Just ask here or send a pm/email.

View Ivan's profile


16513 posts in 3834 days

#12 posted 07-28-2010 05:56 PM

Outstanding work.Can you send me link where I can see it and eventualy make it for myself.This thing usually costs some 1500-2000 USD.How much you spent for that?Thanks for comment on drawer bed.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3901 days

#13 posted 08-02-2010 04:18 AM

Thanks Ivan. Here’s a link on that focuses on this design.

I never kept track of the total cost but it’s somewhere in the area of $800. That doesn’t include the router, computer, and software.

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