Sunday, June 21, 2015


A new CNC has been taking shape in my shop over the last several months. It's a major rebuild of my previous router-lathe that adds another axis of movement and a lot more capability. I kept quiet about it until it was actually running because the design is a little unusual and I wasn't entirely sure if it was going to work -- I wanted to avoid having to say "that new machine I'm building? umm, never mind...".

It's still under construction, but far enough along that I can use it to make parts for itself.

Configured for flat work

Configured for 4th axis (lathe)
It's basically a standard 3-axis router built around an old 11" x 36" wood lathe. It has two configurations: a 3 axis router, or remove the table to access the lathe for 4th axis work. As with previous projects, most of the design work was done in Sketchup before and during construction.

Configured for rotary work on the lathe
With the table installed for flat work.

Here are the first cuts:


Rotary axis test.

The rotary axis (lathe) drive. 16:1 ratio -- kevlar belts.

Detail of the bearings on the gantry sides

Fabricated lathe bed and side rails