Hello everyone,

I'm excited to share the progress of my homemade CNC router build with you all. I've been documenting this journey on my YouTube channel, Krafted by Koen. Here's an overview of what I've done so far, including links to videos of the build process.

Building the Frame
The first major step in my CNC router project was constructing the frame. I decided to use steel for its ease of use, affordability and strength. My main goals for the frame were to ensure it could be moved with my pallet jack, maximize the space underneath for storage, and fit it through the door of my workshop. Additionally, I wanted the option to have a vertical mounting surface.

To meet these requirements, I designed the frame in two parts: the main table with four outer legs and diagonal braces, and an inner frame with two inner legs and stretchers. This design allows me to use planks on the stretchers for storage shelves while also providing the flexibility to pick up the machine by these stretchers. If I ever need to move it out of the shop, I can simply remove the inner frame. This is because I need to rotate it through the shop door, and the middle legs would otherwise get in the way.

I used pre-cut steel, which made the tasks of prepping and welding much easier.

If you're interested, you can watch the video here:

Installing the Linear Guides
With the frame complete, I moved on to installing the linear guides. This was a crucial step to ensure the precision and smooth operation of the CNC machine. Instead of relying on perfectly machined surfaces, I opted to use extruded aluminum slot profiles as a substrate. These profiles were attached to the steel frame and could be shimmed to create a straight and flat mounting surface for the guides.

To measure the straightness, I built a simple fixture to tension a piano snare as a straight reference. This setup allowed me to meticulously adjust the profiles in the horizontal plane until they were straight and flat, and then separately adjust the guides in the vertical plane. I adjusted one side like this and then set the other side by referencing the first, essentially copying it over. For the gantry and Y carriages, I had some parts laser-cut to fit together precisely, which made the welding process easier and more accurate. The gantry itself is just a big aluminum slot profile.

You can see the full installation process in this video:

Future Plans
To see what kind of projects I'm planning to create with this machine, check out my website at Projecten - Kim & Koen. In the future, I'll document the making of these projects as well, so consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. Feel free to leave comments or questions, I always appreciate feedback and suggestions. I hope you find the videos and posts helpful and inspiring for your own projects.

This project was made possible by the "makersregeling" of the Municipality of Breda.