Homemade router milling machine

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Project by Mark55 posted 10-07-2012 11:00 PM 24264 views 39 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As promised I said I was going to post my homemade milling machine. This has been a work in progress for the last 5 years on and off. This is the third one I built each time improving it a little to work out the bugs. I have a lot of fun with it and the things you can do with it are just amazing.

The features of the machine includes an X,Y and Z axis with 26” of movement right to left 18” of movement front to back, 14” of movement up and down on the overarm, up to 45 degree angle on router head for angle cutting and plunging, foot operated plunge feature with 5” of travel, it has stops on the movements to duplicate cuts.

Some of the things you can do with it include mortising, pin routing, carving, great for making model parts. bowls round molding parts mill flat small pieces of wood, sign making, mill end grain cutting boards and it goes on. As the post goes on I will post pictures of some of the projects I have done with it. I have made many clocks with it there are a couple I posted in the projects.

I am actually working on a new improved one now and hope to have plans available for it. it is designed to be built for under $600.

Here is a photobucket link to pictures of a few projects.

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

28 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3512 posts in 3651 days

#1 posted 10-07-2012 11:05 PM

Pretty nice. Great job on the build.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View smitty22's profile


718 posts in 4407 days

#2 posted 10-07-2012 11:07 PM

Amazing! (And I’ve been looking forward to seeing it, too.)

Are all the axis movements done manually?

-- Smitty

View Mark55's profile


164 posts in 3524 days

#3 posted 10-07-2012 11:17 PM

Yes, all the moments are manual. There are 3 turn handles about mid level for X,Y and Z axis. No CNC here just good hand coordination.

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27709 posts in 4566 days

#4 posted 10-07-2012 11:41 PM

Hi Mark! Great job on that machine!! A mill is so handy especially when you have the travel that you made on this one. I don’t know what you have for readouts for x, y and Z but I have a Mill made by the guys that make the Smithy- mill- lathe combo. Mine came with metric screws and nuts and they tried to approximate thousandths but it was inaccurate.. I went to a local machine parts shop and bought x and Y screws and nuts and handwheels for a Bridegeport for $250 and now it is right on. For the Z axis, I use a digital caliper and it is right on too.

You could actually use some 12” digital calipers for all your axis’s and just move them along to the range where you are working on the long travel.

That is a nice job you did on it. You’ll find it so hand for wood working. Thanks for sharing….........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bill_N's profile


238 posts in 3739 days

#5 posted 10-07-2012 11:43 PM

I would love to see a video of this in action

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5259 days

#6 posted 10-07-2012 11:46 PM

Wicked cool! Sign me up for a set of those plans.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View luv2learn's profile


3158 posts in 3763 days

#7 posted 10-07-2012 11:51 PM

Absolutely fascinating. I’m all about homemade tools and this one would certainly be on my list to make. I’m with Bill_N though I would love to see a video of your machine in action as well as some more photos of the projects you have turned out with your mill.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Mark55's profile


164 posts in 3524 days

#8 posted 10-08-2012 12:24 AM

The first machine I built I used threaded rod. I quickly abandoned it because it is too slow for how fast a router can cut on wood. The way it is set up now one turn of the handle on the x and y axis moves the table 1.25” but the y axis is still controlled by threaded rod. While your machine is highly calibrated you have to throw all that out the widow with this machine. Most of the time I work to lines on my work or set or pre set the stops on my table travel.

Bill, I will try to make a simple video in the next couple days. I was going to post more pictures but I am not sure how or if I can.

-- Mark, Newton, NC.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3649 days

#9 posted 10-08-2012 12:36 AM

This is way too cool. Thanks very much for sharing. Add another vote for a video.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Ralph's profile


167 posts in 3594 days

#10 posted 10-08-2012 12:51 AM

Fascinating. All the things you describe you can do with it sounds like a very useful machine.
Another vote for a video.
Thanks for sharing.

-- The greatest risk is not taking one...

View HorizontalMike's profile


7935 posts in 4374 days

#11 posted 10-08-2012 01:24 AM

Now THAT is ambitious to say the least! Wow! Thanks for sharing

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8639 posts in 4813 days

#12 posted 10-08-2012 02:33 AM

This is the very reason I come here! Too see great stuff like your fantastic machines.
You muct check out luv2learn great work on LJ also. Both of You guys are crazy good!
Thanks for sharing!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Mip's profile


454 posts in 3538 days

#13 posted 10-08-2012 02:58 AM

It’s been said before, but I, too, would like to see a video of this machine in action. Are all the parts made out of wood or wood products, or are the tables cast iron? If you could post some building plans on this machine, that would be great, too.

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4552 days

#14 posted 10-08-2012 04:52 AM

Video, video, video, video (I’m chanting)

Awesome machine!!!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Vince's profile


1334 posts in 4890 days

#15 posted 10-08-2012 06:00 AM

That is totally cool, I would love a copy of your plans also, please put me on the customer list too.

-- Vince

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