View Full Version : Anyone build Joe's CNC kit?

travis howe
03-22-2009, 11:57 AM
Looks like Joe's 06 and hybrid kits are a decent price however, I'm a newbie and don't know what else I would need to buy or if it is something for a newbit to do/try?

What other costs are involved in these kits?

What's a general timeframe to build and get this thing up and going, days/weeks?

Any other info or suggestions?



james mcgrew
03-22-2009, 10:03 PM
have you been to joes forum, he sure is one popular guy on vectrics forums as well!!!


Greg Cuetara
03-22-2009, 10:52 PM
There is quite a bit of information over at cnczone . com....

There is quite a bit of research to do before you buy one of the 'kits'. The kits only include the pieces. It is quite a bit of work to put them together but from what I understand they are a high quality self-built machine. In addition to the kit you will need quite a bit of other supplies for either the 06 or the hybrid. You will also need stepper motors and a driver, a router and the correct bits, a dedicated computer to run the cnc, software like vectric unless you want to get into g-code and programming yourself, a dust collector, you should have an air cleaner as the cnc will spew quite a mess into the air...this is depending on your space. I was looking at setting things up in a basement so an air cleaner would be a must.

It all adds up quickly. I am still thinking of building the hybrid once the 'funds' become available. You can spend the $100 on the hybrid kit plans and get access to joe's private forum which I understand has quite a bit more information on builds, cost, locations for materials etc.

Good Luck and keep us updated if you decide to build.

Peter Elliott
03-23-2009, 10:15 AM

I am in the same boat.... looking to build or buy an low end CNC. Low end meaning under $3k. Not low end quality.

A SMC forum member sent me a link to cnczone and it really looks promising. It's a bolt together machine for about $1300. Add in electronics for $300 and you have a full machine.

The electronics (http://www.mikebeck.org/) can be bought pre made with no soldering...

All well under $2k....

Software after that, like Mach3 and Vcarve Pro can run you $700

or... I've been watching theses guys called Romaxx (http://www.romaxxcnc.com/main.html), reading their forums and new owner reviews... looks nice and good feedback.

It doesn't have a big foot print but would work for me find...

Just waiting for more funds to jump in....


Rob Wright
03-23-2009, 11:15 AM
I built a Joe's 4x4. I had a Solsylva dual leadscrew previously. There really is not comparison. I jog at 350 ipm, I can cut at 200 ipm. 3d work with Aspire has been coming out great. I just added a vacuum table. It was a lot of fun building this myself. I did not buy a MDF and HDPE parts kit - cut them by hand and with a router using templates. I have since re-cut those on the machine and installed them. I have limit and homing switches, a zero plate and am running Mach3 for control. I can re-home the machine after hours of cutting within 0.005" - plenty good enough for me!

So far I have modified the bed to allow for cutting dovetails and box joints. It really is a blast to build and the forum community at joescnc.com is just as great as here at SMC.

I have attached an overall of my machine, some stone I cut with a model that I made in Aspire, the Mooney "M" that I cut for my Brother in law (also I modeled in Apsire), and some curvey dovetails that I am working on right now.

The 4x4 can be modified to be smaller if necessary - or even larger. There are a few 3x4 and 2x4's being built or completed right now. There is more than one current builders that are going 8x4.

I would go with the 4x4 right away if I were building and skip the Joes2006 model. If you ordered all of the parts - you could be up and running within a month - having all of the parts on-hand is key to an efficient build.

james mcgrew
03-23-2009, 11:24 AM
i would strongly suggest if one were to build or purchase a cnc, please give serious consideration to a 4'x4' foot print, knowing what i know now i could have save 2000.00 by not purchasing the carve wright (fun, but is still a toy) as i ended up with large routers, i can understand the space of a garage shop but a 2x3 working table size (not overall deminsion) is the smallest i would consider


Peter Elliott
03-23-2009, 11:37 AM

What did the 4x4 run you in cost? All the parts/electronics?

I know computer and software are additional.

Just curious budget wise?

Did Joe's BOM give you everything needed to buy?

Would you buy Joe's 4x4 kit? if you did it again?

Was Joe's 4x4 forum worth the $$?


Rob Wright
03-23-2009, 3:52 PM
Peter - Minus the router, you will spend $1500 on hardware, leadscrews, 8020 aluminum, router mount, angle iron, backlash nuts, couplers, and uni-strut. You will have another$400-$1000 for the electronics- depends on how big you want to go. Some have used a simple 4 axis hobbycnc.com pro kit, others have used a full blown industrial type enclosure with big gecko 203v's and a bigger power supply. I went a middle of the road with a Gecko g540, 4 keling steppers and a power supply for $600. The HDPE and MDF kits are worth the hassle but are an additional $435. The 3/4" hdpe is about $80 to just source that. I built mine from PVC. Building without Joes Kit took me 3 weekends on and off for the HDPE and PVC/HDPE pieces to get them cut out.- but it only cost me $80 - but the kit is worth it and like i said earlier - I ended up cutting them right away on the cnc and re-building the carriages. total time to build mine was 3-4 months working a few hours here and there. I had to space my parts out to not get in trouble from SWMBO. Having them all in had at one would have allowed a much better build time!

So $1500 + $600+kit? looking at $2500+ to have the machine up and cutting (plus Mach 3 $159 of course)

There is a Joe's BOM that is pretty complete but not 100%, however there is a SuperBOM that member Tamathumper put together that lists everything and is in spreadsheet form with links and everything. It is constantly updated when a member says - hey - what about piece "x".

The forum is outstanding! civil discussions and lots of help and collaborative ideas. everyone is encouraged to post and share their problems ideas. Like I said - it is a lot like SMC, no trolls and no flames since it is member only. You get the login after you purchase the PDF plans from Joe.

The only other thing I can add is that the machine is built to be flexible with the materials that you can find. Some 3/4" angle iron may be a little bigger or a little smaller than 3/4" - there are ways to deal with it. Some of the MDF is 18mm and some is 19mm - you may have to quickly sand the edge to get it to fit in the pocket - no big deal. You may have to quickly trim a side of one of the pieces to make it align better - again we are mostly wood workers and I never let some of the "tweaks bother me - just let it roll off my back.

I can't say enough how much fun it has been.:)
2 videos of my machine cutting through dovetails:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccS2W2O9CJY

Mike Heidrick
04-11-2010, 1:39 AM
Bringing this back up from the depths. I purchased the hybrid plans this weekend. Any other members built it since 3/2009? Joes forum is VERY good!

Rob Wright
04-11-2010, 10:40 AM
Mike - I know of a few of us

Bill Griggs
Brian Peters (AdminB om the forum)
and there are at least 2 others that are escaping me right now... Paul W...

Have you decided to go rack or leadscrew yet?

I see that you are using your standard Username on Joe's site:)

Mike Heidrick
04-28-2010, 1:47 AM
I am going rack and pinion. I purchased my G540 package from fine line today - using their 380oz, and 12.5A power supply and their cables These are all Ahren's from cncrouterparts I guess but he did not have cables in stock and Nate did.

Lots to go.

Rob Floyd
04-29-2010, 9:41 PM
I just bought Joe's 4x4 plans and expect to do the R&P after I finish some "honey dos" in the wood shop. The R&P plan doesn't require as much MDF or poly so I may cut/rout those myself. I don't have another CNC to do the routing so I'll be doing it with templates.
I'm pretty far down the learning cuirve and even though I've been reading CNCZone, SMC and Joe's, I have many questions about how the software "fits" together. A lot of guys mention Aspire and Rhino but, are they really good staters for a newby? They're a lot of dough!
How would Sketchup fit into a cnc software line-up? I guess you need the Pro version to do importing and exporting. Can Sketchup handle .dxfs and other files that originate in other CAD programs? What CAM programs work with SU? Annnnd, is EMC2 qa good (free) alternative.

Thanks - Rob

james mcgrew
04-29-2010, 9:47 PM
take a look at cut 2d by vectric, 150.00 imports dxf and the amount is credited when you move up the vectric line


Rob Floyd
04-29-2010, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the quick response! I'll look into that. Vectric seems to be the gold standard. What is the usual CAM software that folks use with Vectric software? Do you have a comment on SU? Rob

Rob Wright
04-29-2010, 10:40 PM
Rob - welcome to the insanity that is homebuilt CNC! Just kidding! You will have a blast building the machine, the forum is great and the machine is top notch. I built my first machine with templates and jigs, then immediately re-built it using the CNC machine.

As far as CAM vs. CAD vs. Controller software

Vectric products (Cut2D, VCarvePro, Aspire) are both CAD programs and CAM programs. You really only need one of these.

CamBam - is a nice and inexpensive (there is a free version as well) CAM program that will import and export many file formats. I have not used it but it seems decent for basic machining. http://www.cambam.co.uk/

Your controller would be Mach3, or EMC (free) I do not have experience with EMC.

I have the free version of sketchup. If you can find the last version of sletchup or the latest version and then download the DXF converter (this DXF import option is going away in the future, but there is a plug-in available that will not be supported in the future - so get it now while you can) you can generate 2d files to import. There are also free ruby scripts for the export of *.stl files (ie - 3d models from Sketchup) that you can then import into a number of CAM programs such as Cut3D and Aspire and I think CamBam.

Rob Floyd
04-29-2010, 11:00 PM
Thanks for weighing-in! I don't know if you have to be insane to get in or you go nuts once you get there. I'll qualify under either. I was looking at the Vectric website while you were posting and better understand what you're saying. It seems then, that going from SU to the CAM is not as elegant as using the Vectric combo programs that have CAD and CAM integrated. Would the SU Pro version make it an easier process? But then SU Pro isn't free and you would have to compare that cost and the addition of a CAM program with the all-in-one of Vectric.

SU to CAM must not be done that often - I don't anyone talking about it.
I saw your Youtube video about a dovetails. Cool!

Rob Wright
04-29-2010, 11:09 PM
I use 3D sketchup models all the time from the 3d Google warehouse when I am doing true 3D work - I export them to STL and then you can import them into Cut3D, Aspire or CamBAM. The biggest issue with Sketchup to Stl is that is creates a faceted model - so if you have a hole in a 3d model - it really isn't a true hole and can have some issues. for "artistic" stuff it is great! I use a smoothing command in aspire to get rid of the facets and for this type of work it is fine.

Here is an Easter Island Mogli that I grabbed off of the 3d warehouse and cut to give you an idea.

Mike Heidrick
05-02-2010, 11:03 AM
Got my MDF carriages CNC machined yesterday. My friend Jason will also make up my HDPE pieces next week. Time to flush trim the tabs off the mdf and sand them up.

Bill Griggs
05-02-2010, 12:12 PM
I built the 4x4 first as the original lead screw version and then as a Rack & Pinion upgrade. I posted an extensive, detailed build log on the Joescnc forum. I also posted a less detailed build log on cnczone. Shortly after I posted there the joe's site took a sharp upturn in new builds.

I think the reason cnc machines have increased is because of the Carveright and the Shark both being available in some highly visible sources. Once folk buy these and have a taste of CNC they want bigger machines. That is where the Joescnc, mechmate and shopbots come into the picture. My original build cost me about $2000 including Mach3. My rack and pinion upgrade cost me about $500 dollar (most of which I recovered by selling my old parts). Average budget is 2-3 thousand dollars.

Rack and pinion costs about the same as leadscrews and in my opinion is the better system. If you think you might like R&P system then I suggest you build it right from the start. Joe offers both kits.

Lastly, there is a new option available for about $1000 which can be bought instead of the MDF kit from joe. Castcnc makes a cast aluminum set which replaces the x,y. and z carriages. Both a leadscrew and R&P version are available. Early reports look good.


Bill Griggs
05-02-2010, 12:15 PM
My machine.

james mcgrew
05-02-2010, 1:51 PM
bill, you look like you are having fun!!! having met joe in dallas and seeing how he feels about these routers and the guys who build them then it is easy to understand why so many are so proud of them!! i know what you mean about the taste for a larger machine, i bought a carveright and six weeks later i bought a 4x8 camaster, i still may build the joes just to have one!!


Mike Heidrick
05-05-2010, 12:30 AM
Also any parts you guys have available for a Joe's R&P build let me know.

Ross Moshinsky
07-20-2010, 7:18 PM
I'm going to revive this thread for because I've been really contemplating building the 4x4 R&P Hybrid. It seems hard to beat for the money. The thing I like most is it is 4ft on the X axis. I think this is the biggest advantage vs the other "hobbyist" units simply because you can do a 4x8 piece if you're creative enough with your programming and registering where the sheet should be on the table.

I have to say, the thing I like least about the whole machine is how the forum is completely locked unless you buy the plans. It seems because the forum exists, a lot of the information I'd like to read about is locked away. I'd love to get a better taste of what's involved, what I'm going to want to upgrade, and get a better feel for the project. With that said, I don't want to spend $100 to read some things I don't like and decide to go a different route.

Any of you 4x4 guys have any interesting ramblings or statements to add to your statements of the past?

james mcgrew
07-20-2010, 7:32 PM
i am in those forums and have a set of plans might build a 4x8 somedayjust for the fun of it. my point is the forum is worth it, if you have ever met joe and i have, you might agree the price and all that is provided with the forum etc. is tooo low

Bill Griggs
07-20-2010, 9:39 PM
I'm going to revive this thread for because I've been really contemplating building the 4x4 R&P Hybrid. It seems hard to beat for the money. The thing I like most is it is 4ft on the X axis. I think this is the biggest advantage vs the other "hobbyist" units simply because you can do a 4x8 piece if you're creative enough with your programming and registering where the sheet should be on the table.

I have to say, the thing I like least about the whole machine is how the forum is completely locked unless you buy the plans. It seems because the forum exists, a lot of the information I'd like to read about is locked away. I'd love to get a better taste of what's involved, what I'm going to want to upgrade, and get a better feel for the project. With that said, I don't want to spend $100 to read some things I don't like and decide to go a different route.

Any of you 4x4 guys have any interesting ramblings or statements to add to your statements of the past?


In the time you have taken deciding, you could have built the machine. I realize that buying the plans and logging into the site is a big leap of faith, but I am willing to bet you that within 7 days of browsing around the Joescnc.com site, you will be in information overload.

You will have to decide if you want to build stock, leadscrews, ballscrews, rack and pinion, belt drive or warp drive. Wooden base, strut base, metal tube base, pool table base, cement block base. Cast aluminum sides, aluminum plate sides Delrin sides or MDF side. Router, Chinese spindle, Laser cutter, plasma cutter. Touch probe, laser sites, vacuum table, T-track, cam clamps, dust shoes, lighted dust shoes, dust collector cyclone separater, Bobble heads, Wooden energy chain, Igus chain, Mach3, EMC, Featurecam, Geckodrive, Hobbycnc, Kelling......Etc., etc., etc.....

All these things and more are documented in full photographic detail by the members.

If you are not convinced yet than I am wasting my breath. I hope you take the plunge. Come on in. The waters fine.


Bill Griggs
07-20-2010, 9:52 PM

One more thing. Here is what I would build if I were doing it all over from scratch.

A 4'x8' Rack & Pinion machine with a welded tube base, Individual Gecko drive units, Dust collection shoe with interchangeable brushes, Vacuum table, auto edge and Z setter, XBox 360 controller and aluminum Z axis with a Chinese spindle.


Ross Moshinsky
07-21-2010, 12:58 AM
James: I have no issue with the pricing. $100 is not a lot of money for a good set of engineered plans and a link to a forum. It costs money to run a site, it costs money to engineer a good set of plans, and in the end the money is not really the issue. I just wish the forum had one section open for potential customers to read posts & write ups about the machines. Right now I feel like I'm only able to get my toes in the water and I'd rather in up to my ankles before I drive right in.

Bill: Thanks for your response. Right now, I don't think I could fit much more than a 4x4. I have the sq ft for a bigger machine, but our shop is setup strange with a lot of different rooms which our landlord will not let us change. As a result, I can find space for a 4x4 unit but a 4x8 would push it. I'm sure the difference in price between the machines is not much, but I just don't think I have the space.

As for the forums/machine. I completely understand where you are coming from. It's why I like the idea of using this machine. A lot of options with an enthusiast following. Not to mention it has a great price point of roughly $5k for a basic, but complete setup.

In my head I think I would order the R&P MDF & HDPE from Joe but I may go for the CastCNC option once I get a better idea of budgetary numbers. I also was curious about using aluminum sides with derlin or MDF laminated in the middle. I thought it would be a nice compromise. As for router vs spindle, in my "limited" research I've heard mixed opinions on the Chinese spindles, but then again, I bet on the forum there are 10+ guys running the same spindle from a certain supplier that offers great service for a good price. As for the electronics, I'm more of a mechanical guy than an electrical guy so I defer to the experts on that subject. I do know I'm going with a proven setup regardless. I'm not hunting down eBay deals and then troubleshooting the issues afterwards. I've learned my lessons in the past doing this with things I shouldn't. I'm also fairly sure I will look into making some sort of clamping table but I'm almost certain a vacuum table is not in the cards at the moment. We'll see in the end. My biggest concern is not necessarily building the machine or even using the CNC machine. My biggest concern is after I take whatever I cut out and finishing it so it looks great. I have to admit, my finishing work is mediocre at times. Especially when we are talking about paint.

Keith: Virginia is not close, but not far. I'll keep it in mind and if/when I decide to buy Joe's plans, I'll look them over and contact you. Obviously excellent quality rack and bearings are always a great find. I'm fairly sure most people use rack from McMaster and I'm sure NASA rack is a little bit better than that.

ted mcwilliams
12-09-2010, 7:20 PM
Just finished the 4x4 r&p still learning how to use it dont know how long the build actually took i modified the base greatly and other parts a little joining the forum is worth the money the plans are almost a bonus physically and mechanically it wasnt a problem computerwise i was in way over my head just not my world yet had two experts advising and explaining one has a masters in computers and the was literally a rocket scientist had an early shopbot about 10 yrs ago and this is a far better tool than that shopbot counting the software and electronics have about 2750 invested could not touch it in a ready built machine for less than 15000 however i am semi retired and have many many hours invested another upside is i know every nut bolt etc involved ted

Jim Underwood
12-09-2010, 8:15 PM
Hey Ted,

Someday when I'm not so flippin' busy, I'd love to come visit and take a look at your build. I'm only techically in N. Georgia, so it's a couple hours drive to come see you...

Love to see some pix though.. got a camera?

Lewis Cobb
12-09-2010, 8:49 PM
Hey Ted,

Someday when I'm not so flippin' busy, I'd love to come visit and take a look at your build. I'm only techically in N. Georgia, so it's a couple hours drive to come see you...

Love to see some pix though.. got a camera?

+1 on wanting to see some pics !!!

Troels Bertelsen
10-13-2011, 5:51 PM
Hello everyone

I joined this forum just to revive this kinda old thread. Hope it's ok..!

Well, the thing is i'm totally new to CNC machineing. I saw a video on youtube two years ago and have been spellbound ever since. Yeah, i know it sounds silly, but thats how i got into this..

So, my former hobby was related to hifi, home theatre gaming and such. Well, i kinda realized over time that as you invest in better and better equipment, you get to spend big money on subtle improvements. So.. i'm done upgrading. Now, i just need to find another hobby, and thought that i would give a CNC machine a go. I want to use it to make parts for speaker building, make some acoustic panels i've designed and that sorta things.

My background.. well, thats the really tricky part. I'm a student graduating this summer as an engineer in thermal process systems. So, no experience using tools, or, limited experience i prefer to say.

So, my budget is around 3-4 grand. Thats how much i saved by being satisfied with my former hobby. You may ask how a student has that kind of money, but payrolls are high here in Denmark and the cost of living is also high. A little CNC to cut in foam with a dremel costs around 15-20 grand.. So i figured i could save some by building my own.

Thats where my question lies. How hard is the mechanical part of building a Joes CNC? - i think i can figure the electronics out.. but i don't know how much goes into building the frame etc.. I would like to buy the plans as well as the MDF and HDFE pre-cut kit.

I would also like to know what gear you would propose to fit into my budget. I don't know which design is the better, or what the pros and cons are with the different systems.. rack n pinion vs belt drive etc. I've pretty much settled for a chinese spindle.. stepper motors, i would like to be able to machine very fast. I see some have really big motors, like NEMA 34's and jog at 1000 ipm and have fast cutting speeds. I see kits on ebay for around 600-800 USD including stepper drivers for 4 axis (NEMA 34 1600 oz-in + DM860 stepper driver) . They should give nice speeds i believe. However, can the construction of Joes cnc take these kinds of motors?

Also, i would like to be able to process a whole sheet of MDF, which in Denmark measures 2440 mm x 1220 mm. It's just over a 4 x 8 layout. Does this make it much more expensive?

I would love to have some suggestions on a complete setup and what i should expect from it. How much work goes into making it and so on. The difficulty of the build..

So, chinese spindle, perhaps rack n pinion, 4 x 8 layout, good cutting speeds. Perhaps a vacuming system to minimize "splatter" of cut material. PS3 controller setup with EMC2.. What do you suggest? I have a delivery address in VA, so i can shop in the US. I Would love any advise as i'm almost at rock bottom and want to climb the latter to a successfull build..

Troels Bertelsen
10-13-2011, 6:03 PM
I forgot to mention software.. Currently have Solid Works 2010, MasterCAM X5 and EMC2 live disk ready to go.. we have student licences on campus..

Also, i would need help to determine what cutters "i can't live without" when using a CNC.. i need those as well..

Ross Moshinsky
10-14-2011, 12:45 PM
I've attached my 50"x100" CNC Budget. I'd add another 10-15% being outside of the US. It's not a Joe's CNC configuration but using CNCRouterParts components. The price is a bit more because CNCRouterParts is all metal components and the guide rails are more expensive than angle iron. There obviously places you can cut costs. Using a metal frame is significantly more expensive than wood. I budgeted for a ball screw Z-axis. Leadscrew works fine and is cheaper. You mentioned using NEMA 34 motors but if you go to NEMA 23, it drops the price by nearly $1000. You also can also find cheaper sources if you want.

I should note I haven't built this machine yet. I've been planning for a while but I've been a bit unsatisfied with the amount of actual cutting data provided with these types of components. Everyone loves to tell how fast the machine jogs but rarely do you hear about someone actually posting cutting data. I've also been waiting on a few new components that CNCRouterParts just came out with.

Shane Sura
10-14-2011, 11:06 PM
I built a Joe's and I am quite happy with it. I went with the 4x4 Rack and pinion with a wood base and hitachi router. Now it certainly will not do an entire MDF sheet but you will be hard pressed with lifting anyway so why not cut to size before machining? The only thing I may recommend before building is if you have the money, and you want to be serious. Invest in a welded base, vrails, and the cast trucks from the beginning. I will eventually upgrade to that set up and I kind of wish I did it from the beginning. Though not doing it did save me a ton of money on something I was not sure I would make a go of.

Mike Heidrick
10-15-2011, 12:00 AM
I have built a Joes and have upgraded to everything Shane recommended. Cast CNC carriages and the dual 8020 extrusion X gantry, Vrail, and a welded base. Its perfect.

Have a drill press? Have a way to cut some steel? Some hand taps? You can do it easily. Figure a lot of drilling and tapping, you can buy your carriages (either HDPE or MDF or Harry's cast ones) and the MDF ones are predrilled - just glue up and paint. Harrys parts you will do light clean up of cast parts and drill and tap. I had a few posts on here on my builds if you search for them. I ordered plans on April 19th and was cutting May 30th (it was the 20th or 30th - I have forgot) working evening and weekends. My break down and upgrade was less than a week but I spent two weeks milling the parts.

You are looking at about 10-12 $300 purchases give or take for a basic Joes 4X4 Hybrid rack and pinion with aG540 controller(not including computer or software). Add $500 for V rail, Cast parts are $600 to Harry, a welded base is about the same cost or less than the unistruct base, the extra 8020 extrusion is about $75 more, you save about $70 on bearings, the K2CNC 8" Z for the cast upgrade was $4500 or so but its price is going to $470 - you do save on not buying the bearings, rod, couplers, etc for the Joes standard Z.

Joes build pics - http://s39.photobucket.com/albums/e169/BloomingtonMike/CNC%20Router%20Build/

Cast upgrade pics - http://s39.photobucket.com/albums/e169/BloomingtonMike/Cast%20CNC/



David Warkentin
10-15-2011, 9:18 AM
Not so sure I should be looking at this. Might make me spend more money, have the carriages, 8020, bearings, rails, and screw for z and put it on the back burner. Maybe I should finish....

Troels Bertelsen
10-15-2011, 3:56 PM
Hello all

Reason for 4 x 8 layout was to be able to do cuts for a high book shelf that is 2170 mm high (~85 3/7 inches).. those i could make a nice profit on..

With the budget xls file submitted, with some modified inputs (no spending on software, chinese spindle and reduced price on stepper motors and drivers) i get around 5k for a 50 x 100.. Not too bad..

Mike Heidrick
10-16-2011, 12:28 AM
David, You are almost there. Lets get you up and running too!!

Mike Heidrick
10-16-2011, 12:30 AM
Troles - the machine's Y is open ended and you can always index and side if you do not need the large footprint all the time.

Troels Bertelsen
10-16-2011, 11:43 AM
Ok, well in that case, it shouldn't be to hard not cut the work model in two and just finish 1 part at a time..

Then, are prices still in the 3000 USD range for a complete setup? - for the upgraded ones? how much are the cutters and what do you use most often?

Finally, what are your current cutting speeds approx?

PS: If i decide to upgrade some of the parts to cast iron, how well documented is the build then? - would i still be able to figure things out from the drawings/ joes cnc plans?

Brian Breshears
10-19-2011, 3:31 PM
Do you mean to say cast aluminum? The cast aluminum builds are well documented on the Joe's forum. So too are the original design with the MDF replaced by aluminum plate cut to the same sizes.

Cost is hard to figure because everyone approaches it differently. Some just order parts almost without regard to price (more a convenient supplier kind of thing) and some scrounge and reuse and scrimp and save a lot of money. All depends on which version you build. Some can be very affordable and some can be quite pricey.

Cutting speeds vary with the specific machine build. Some of the aluminum versions have video showing rapids of over 2000ipm. As a demonstration only though, nobody risks those kinds of speeds usually. I got my machine running (CastCNC version) and 30 minutes after first movement I had rapids of 800ipm. Cutting speeds will depend on material, depth of cut, etc.

Mike Heidrick
10-19-2011, 11:57 PM
$3000 with no computer or software is doable. My first Hybrid R&P 4X4 build was $3600 but I bought some extras. The Vrail and cast upgrade from that was about $1500 more. I recommend a welded base from the start as well.

I use a lot of V bits - I really like the CMT 60 degree Laser V cutter. I buy them in bulk when I can. Amazon has them for around $26 though.

Troels Bertelsen
10-29-2011, 8:00 AM
Thanks for getting back to me on this. I really appreciate it. I am really hooked on the idea so i'll see how i can realize this.. Just got notified that i had a large payment due the coming weeks, so the plan is postponed a little..

I know some buy their stuff at many different suppliers, but i want to know if there is a complete kit anywhere that i can buy? - Joe only offers so much on his home page, and i would like to have some help ordering the parts when that time comes. Perhaps i will hire some help to order everything and check that the material is good enough for the CNC or if i need to refund it. Then have it sent to my address in VA or maybe europe. Would anybody do that kind of favour?

Also, how much is a wielded table? - my dad's a mechanic and have access to a wielding machine. I figure we can make this ourselves without much problems as long as the material is pre-cut.

Well, maybe i should just sign up at Joe's forum and ask my questions there.. they have probably also already been answered there many times..

Ross Moshinsky
10-29-2011, 11:28 AM
If you're looking for a kit where you just have to assemble, CNCRouterParts (http://www.cncrouterparts.com/machine-kits-c-29.html?osCsid=057bfb265404839f952aec8abbca4a18)ha s what you're looking for. It is more expensive than Joe's kit but once you add the cast aluminum parts and real v-rail, both kits should be very similarly priced.

Mike Heidrick
10-30-2011, 1:33 AM
Wow that CNCRouterparts machine is nice.

The welded bae is about $250 in steel around here. I paid $500 for mine so 2X materials. YMMV.

I have considered making Joes machines and selling them. I got a Tapmatic 50X tapping head this week to improve my time to market. I would double my material costs though at least.

Troels I can help you through just about anything - and can build you any parts you do not want to build. The base should be local and some parts are just more economical to just have shipped to your place. I offer the Harry CastCNC milling services already. I charge $400 to mill up Harry's cast parts and $300 to mill up the 8 Vrails. Thats labor cost only - you pay for all the materials and shipping both ways (to me and from me). Work left would be to do some work on the agle iron that attaches the unistrut bed to the Y 8020 extrusions and there is the I beam work as well. Plus the controller build and electronics.

Whats a Joes machine worth 100% completed and ready to assemble minus a base? I think you should do Cast and V rail as well day one but thats just me.

Troels Bertelsen
10-30-2011, 8:18 AM
Mike, it sounds really great!

I'm more nerveous about the mechanical part of the build.. that's because i have very little experience using my hands to build something. Sadly, my dad hasn't passed much of his skills to me (instead of teaching how to do things, he just did the himself). However, i really like building something and truly be a part of it. I think it's part of the experience. The electronics.. well, that dosen't deter me at all. I love playing with electronics and am no stranger to a soldering iron. I actually look forward to build the electronics part and test the motors by playing Super Mario on them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh2AWswAMvw ..

Mike, allthough i think 400 + 300 USD is quite some money, i'm sure it is worth it in the end. I think it's a matter of knowing ones limits and also take into account how nice i could make it myself.. A shorter build time means i can start work myself faster.. i'm sure that i can find some small jobs to pay for it. Seems like noone really provides a CNC service to non-commercial purposes without having to make 10 units in my country.. I've had some requests already to help with some projects..

However, everything adds up.. i think we are clearly in the 4k range now.. but it would be one heck of a machine, i'm sure.

Mike Heidrick
10-31-2011, 7:48 PM
$4K for a 62"X49" cutting area machine is cheap though. I doubt $4K buys a stinger or the shop bot desktop.

You can build cheaper ones for sure but this is a crazy nice DIY machine. Mechmates are awesome too but that is $8K or more and a whole class heavier machine.

Look at that cncrouterparts build too - it looks sweet.

Troels Bertelsen
11-01-2011, 6:09 PM
Well, it's not that i would say it's expensive - you get alot for your money as i understand - but 4k is still 4k..

However, i believe that the machine can pay for itself rather quickly..

Now, if only i could find a way to make some design-patterns (http://bit.ly/uh2ij0) onto metal foil (perhaps a roller?), i would be able to do my own DIY needs..

Troels Bertelsen
12-12-2011, 6:08 PM
Just had some fun putting together some parts for a machine, mainly the electronics.. i have chosen some NEMA 34 steppres, individual Gecko drives and a chinese spindle and VFD.. I'm very surprised how much the electronics is going to cost. However, i've also picked some quite exotic steppers and power supply..

http://www.kelinginc.net/ :

G201X from Geckodrive Inc7A, 80V, purchased with a motor






KL- 6520 65VDC/20A


KL-2200 Milling Spindle




C34KL-Driver to RJ45 $3


C35 Breakout Borad




Item total:$1,687.57

CNC Routerparts:

CRPXXXX Custom Size Machine Kit (http://www.cncrouterparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=140{14}39{5}36)


http://www.cncrouterparts.com/thumbnails/Kits.JPG (http://www.cncrouterparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=140{14}39{5}36)


- Machine Size CRP4896 4' x 8'
- Version Nema 34 Compatible


So, already at 3k and no shipping, no base, no case for the electronics, and missing all the parts mentioned in the CRPXXXX custom size kit in addition to wireing, terminals, shipping..

I'll admit i've gone a bit overboard, but i've spent countless hours thinking about this project.. It's so fascinating watching how a drawing can be realized using a CNC. I talked to some good friends, which had some contacts in a small business. They actiually wanted to hire me to route some high end cabinets in MDF.. So i've got the idea, the customers, the interest.. now, if only i could find some 24k gold in my front yard, i would be all set:D