Making a CNC Milling Machine
When I retired from work a couple of years ago, I decided that I needed to embark upon a completely new hobby, and preferably something that exercised the grey matter a well as keeping the fingers busy! As a youngster I loved making things with Meccano, so it wasn’t long before I hit upon model engineering. With no experience whatsoever, and a non-engineering background and no tools it has been a steep learning curve, but I soon realised that the way forward to equip my workshop and not suffer terminal wallet pain was to make as much tooling as possible myself.
I made a Sterling engine and a couple of other bits, including a fixed steady, tool height gauge, small and large boring bars, quick change tool holders, keyway cutter, spherical cutter, centring microscope and dividing head. I realised that the wear on my old Myford lathe was causing some problems, particularly the backlash on the saddle adjustments and solved this absolutely by fitting a digital readout.
The only major problem I encountered in constructing the gearbox was belt slippage, not prevented even by extreme belt tension. Once again the answer turned out to be very simple - a roller keeping each belt fully in mesh. I bought the control boards and stepper motors reasonably priced on ebay, and now have a functional and very accurate system. The next challenge is the z axis, raising and lowering the mill cutter!
The video shows the CNC milling machine in action cutting out the clock frame - hit the play button in the bottom left of the video to start watching