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I have wanted a CNC router for some time and now I am finally building it.

During the build I have had to do a lot of web research. There were good pockets of information. On this site I am documenting all that I learn as I go along.

So here is the router as it is now. This is a short video of its first moves using a pen rather than a router for the first test.

and here is a photo of the machine, clock on it for a big version.

Router choice

I spent quite a lot of time looking at what was available and how much would it cost. I really wanted to make my own.

In the end I chose the Probotix V90. It was a good price and looked sturdy enough. It had real linear rails, ground drive screw and anti-backlash nuts. It is designed to take a palm router. I ordered mine with the DeWalt router holder.

For the control electronics I bought a kit of parts from the local agent for Gecko controls. The kit contained 3 stepper motors, a Gecko G540, power supply and a metal case with misc needed parts such as an emergency stop button and mains socket. It was a nice kit and the result is very neat.

To control the spindle speed I chose to replace the electronics in the DeWalt with a SuperPID controller. Using this speed controller I can precisely set and hold the cutter speed directly from the CNC program.

For control software I am using LinuxCNC running on an old PC that used to be a desktop at work. I high power computer is not needed for this task. LinuxCNC runs very nicely on my old AMD 64.

To the basic V90 I have added cable management. On either side are a blue strip of plastic. Motor connections run up one side and switches the other side. The strip is just the piece of plastic that is used to hold flooring sheets aligned. The wires are just cable tied to them.

On the other axis is a door draft excluder. It all works really well and keeps the cables neat and out of the way.

Here is a short video of the machine performing rapids to show the cable management on the move.

I have split things up into sections covering the setup as I complete them.

I have covered things like touch probes and scanning, tool chains, techniques.