CNC router Thoughts

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Jan 19, 2010
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I have been looking around for a CNC solution to help with certain operations like engraving.

There are a lot of routers to choose from, but I found one that seems a bit more rigid than most, using square tubing instead of round for the guides.

here it is.

what would be the best type of spindle to mount to this machine? I would like to possible use 3/16" end mills, maybee 1/4"?

Or is this a wast of money? There is a lot of capacity here.



Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2008
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Boothbay Maine
I think its a decent looking machine. It is all plastic (HPDE) It says something about zinc plated guide ways- but it says Thompson guides for the Z axis.

The drive is by timing belt, not screw, so the resolution will be low. The timing pulleys look to be about 1" dia, so maybe they get a few thou resolution. Ignore it if they say it does microstepping and give a high resolution figure. Microstepping gives smoother movement, not higher resolution.

Neither a dremel or roto-zip deserves the name 'spindle' Id say the dremel would be junk, the roto-zip slightly better.

The ebay ad says it includes the electronics box, their web site says the box is $299 extra.

Id say it would be OK for cutting wood, like baltic ply, carving in pine, maybe carving in hardwoods.

Forget 'end mills' if you are thinking steel or even aluminum cutting, not a chance this would be rigid enough.

For engraving the real problem is accuracy in Z height- if you are cutting just .010" deep, and you table slopes even a few thouh over the length of the work you get greatly different line widths.

It is a neat and clean looking design, but its really light duty.


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Dec 6, 2010
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You may be better off building one - you'll learn heaps in the process.
have a look at the JGRO Project on
The plans are all open source including the electronics - many have been made with success.



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Sep 20, 2009
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Have a look at and/or at the website .

AJ is my son, and although the funding portion of his Kickstarter proposal is now over (He raised over $47,000 in funding to kick off this business venture) the manufacturing of the machines is just begining. We are currently building 50 machines. I have been making the molds that he is using to make the plastic parts that he is using for the Z axis gantry and for all of the linear bearings. They are being cast using an aluminum impregnated epoxy resin, and so far our test machine is coming along nicely. His machines are set up to use the Bosch Colt variable speed router, and we have been using 1/4" shank carbide endmills in various sizes without problem. I have not tryed to mill aluminum with it yet, but see no reason it would not work.

I can keep you advised with updates if you are interested.

Jim in Minnesota

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