cnc machining

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by BigBrownLog posted 06-13-2013 04:49 AM 1743 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BigBrownLog's profile


68 posts in 3271 days

06-13-2013 04:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

Hey guys I have been wanting to build a cnc router for some time now but never got around to it. I think I have seen that you can build your own for much cheaper than to buy one outright. Unfortunately a year ago I became disabled and I cant work right now so I need to build or get one for cheap. woodworking is great therapy for me.

I found this (Milescraft 1298 3D-Pantograph Router Stencil Tracing Jig ) and think it might get the job done. I have to look for someone using it in a video to see it in action. it’s only about $45 on amazon. well within my price range. Any thoughts on it?

Any info is apreciated. I kinda want to build my own cnc router table. that way I can input the image I want to etch into the wood and I can size the table to fit whatever size projects I’d like to do. just dont know what kinda money I will spend.

-- Whoever said nothing is impossible has obviously never tried to staple water to a tree

5 replies so far

View WillAdams's profile


86 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 06-13-2013 12:24 PM

The least-expensive, biggest bang-for-the-buck CNC router I know of is a ShapeOko, an opensource hobby-level mill.

The basic machine has a roughly 8” x 8” x 3.5” working area and will mill plastics and soft woods (and hardwoods slowly), but it’s easily expanded, and there are a number of options which are well documented on the wiki:

People have upgraded the machine up to 1.2×1.2M, hugely increased the rigidity of the machine, and added routers all the way up to a Dewalt DWP611 and Bosch Colt PR-20 (as well as a several kilowatt Chinese spindle) and have cut maple and exotic hardwoods at production speeds as well as aluminum.

A popular configuration is to build the basic machine ($599, though if one is comfortable sourcing electronics this can be much less expensive), then upgrade the Y-axis to 1M by purchasing 2 new rails ($43.68), then double up the X-axis w/ one of the replaced rails, leaving one to spare—- I’d also add metal spacers (a 10 pack each of 1/4” and 1” spacers will fit out such a machine for a few dollars).

You can see my machine (and my notes) here:

and I posted my first real project to the ``Dream Toolbox’’ thread: (just foam, but that’s a challenge in-and-of-itself)

I’ve tried to put everything I could find into the ShapeOko wiki—- let me know if anything is confusing (or wrong) or missing or could be improved.

Software is a separate concern, w/ a lot of options, but most people seem to be able to find options which work for them.

View Underdog's profile


1631 posts in 3040 days

#2 posted 06-13-2013 12:55 PM

Wow! Nice looking machine Will. I didn’t know that little ShapeOko could be so nice. Good job!

I got a deal on a CarveWright, which is a bit different in concept than the usual 3 axis machine. I also made sure the upgrades were in place, as well as fabbing a dust collection shoe. It performs well after I figured a couple of things out.

The CNC world isn’t just a pushbutton/turnkey exercise most of the time. You need to wear a technical hat sometimes too… If you don’t wear a DIY technical hat, best to buy a machine with plenty of tech support.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View MrRon's profile


5990 posts in 4248 days

#3 posted 06-13-2013 07:30 PM

I’m building a CNC router now. When done, I will have around $1500 invested. I’m going very slowly because I am the designer and doing a lot of research. I’m trying to keep the cost down by using off-the-shelf materials and making rather than buying some components.

View WillAdams's profile


86 posts in 3000 days

#4 posted 03-21-2014 12:45 PM

Since then I’ve finished up that project (milled it out of basswood and flocked it) and done another small one:

Currently bogged down documenting the new SO2 diagrams—- making them interactive w/ highlights—- see Wheels and Carriages and the first two Z-axis diagrams at

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3680 days

#5 posted 03-21-2014 01:00 PM

The best site for DIY CNC Router information is

There are forums for building your own & for manufactured cnc machines.
Anything & everything cnc is discussed.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics