CNC router update

Over the last few weekend I have been working on trying to get the CNC router completed thus allowing me to finish the stocks and hand guards for the VG1-5 rifle. For every step forward there seems to have been 3 steps back. It is hard to believe that it has been over a year on and off that I have been working on this machine and just when I thought I was finished along comes another problem.

So lets start this long story.

It started with getting the router home and actually operating it. There were some problems noted right off. The first was the table that it sat on. There was way to much vibration for any kind of accuracy. These are the pictures of the old frame.



DSC_4596sParts of it were old window frames

DSC_4595sSo a new frame was design and built for the router. 80-20 aluminum extrusions were machined for the frame.

DSC_5836sThe table was assembled.

DSC_5839sCustom supports were made to hold the cnc router on the table.

DSC_5815sNow it was ready to move the router over.


DSC_6019sAngle brackets and supports added to reduce vibration.

DSC_6020sThe next issue that had to be dealt with was his wiring. It was a disaster.


DSC_5817s While the machine was able to operate there was no accuracy and no way to trouble shoot problems. It was then decided to make an entirely new control panel.


DSC_8904sEverything had its own place and wiring could be traced out to locate problems.

We also changed out the break out board to a smoothie board.


At this point you would think everything would be easy and simple and I could move forward quickly. That would not be the case time and again. Problems started showing up fairly quickly. From simple items like changing from plastic side panels


to aluminum. This helped with the strength and well as allowing allowing a method of attaching components.


DSC_4171sThe next issue that came about was changing the limit switch brackets. The builder used strips of bent aluminum that would actually move every tine the X,Y or Z axis touched then.


DSC_4164sTwo of them were actually tie-wrapped in place.

DSC_4163sNew mounting brackets were made and installed.

DSC_4710sThese were machined from aluminum stock to allow no movement.



DSC_4825sHowever when it came to the Z axis we decided to go with micro switches instead of the push button type.

DSC_4779sThis may be an option for all the limit switches in the future.

The next item on the list was the wire troughs. The previous owner used on 1/2 lengths of flexible wire troughs then he used an aluminum cover that he glued and tie-wrapped on the housing.

DSC_4163sI bought some more the the original wire troughs and attached it properly to minimize movement.


DSC_4816sThe final task will be to tie-wrap them all down.

An air system was design and added to the router.

From the regulator and filter.DSC_4161s

DSC_4337sTo the solenoid switches and manifold.


DSC_4770sThe power was run to a plug in box as well. In addition a couple of extra control circuits were added to allow for added features.

So now comes the moment of truth. We had already,with the help of Walley, tested the X axis motor control. With the limit switches wired in and the other axis wire up we were ready to calibrate the router. As one final test I was operating the Z axis with a battery operated drill motor when all of a sudden it just fell off. I mean to say that the complete drive assembly just dropped. This is when we noticed a completely new set of issues.

To attach the ball lead screw to the motor coupler he cut the threads off.


DSC_4784sThen he used the coupler to act as a thrust plate and attachment to the motor. Off course to do this he needed to grind the heck out it as it wanted to rub against the housing.

DSC_4787sHe then cut the motor shaft to allow everything to go together.

DSC_4781sYou can see just how much of the shaft he cut away.

DSC_4780sThis is what he started with.

3128N1dp+yLTo correct the Z axis problems it had to be redesign.


z-axis1Still using the original spacer which was way to short.


DSC_4785sA new spacer and housing was design and machined.



DSC_4821sThis new housing will allow for a correct height for the shaft, bearing, thrust block and coupler.

This is it for now as we wait for the new ball lead screw. This is also the last 3 weekends of work, not to include the fab shop and library addition. more on those later.


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