My New Router

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Fecn, you have produced a really outstanding piece of work. what's really galling about your use of server rails is before I retired I must have thrown out dozen of server rails without any thought they could be so useful. BTW I chatted up my dentist for any drills he throws away, he gives me a packet every time I go.
RobertMP":31lg2caq said:
I've used metalworking CNC machines and there are some things I don't see on yours. Limit swiches for one and how to you get a 'home' or start reference?

I added limit switches to both ends of the X and Y axes, and a single one to stop the Z access from rising too high - I didn't see the point in adding one at the other end since the lower limit for the Z access will depend on what tooling is installed - I can easily add another microswitch later on.

If I get the chance this evening, I'll steal the NVR switch from my router table and add in a second relay to feed an emergency stop signal back to the controller so that it will know to stop the steppers when I hit the button to kill the power.

They're are far from exciting, but since I took these snaps whilst I was doing the work, I'll post them anyway.

For the X axis, I screwed the microswitches to the base, and bent their levers so that they'd get pushed by the threaded-plate block at either end of it's travel.

The microswitch for the Z axis sticks out far enough that the mdf plate on the front hits it...

... and finally the limit switch which stops the Y axis from extending too far. I would have gone for the same setup that I used with the X axis, but I'd have had to dismantle things to install the switch.
NVR and Emergency Stop Relay fitted! When I hit the red button, it kills power to the tool and sends a signal to the computer to immediately stop all the steppers.

Tomorrow I hope to be able to get the big router mounted. Then the real fun begins.
Hi Fecn,

I've been meaning to post a reply saying how awesome this is since I saw it. I'm really impressed with your recycled slides. I look forward to seeing the output from a big router.

Have you considered making a second (or putting it on the same) e-stop to kill the power to the stepper motor drivers? The setup you have described doesn't protect you if the drivers decide to ignore their control signals (unlikely I know but if this was to PUWER it would have to physically drop all motion out).

I'll be interested if you try some isolation routing with it. One of my friends made a CNC for doing boards a while ago and we had a proper one at work. They were pretty good, however, I was never that impressed with them for fine detail (good for clunky stuff). You’re also prone to getting cat's whiskers of copper which are annoying.

Brilliant work - looking forward to more updates of it's output.
Cheers, David
I'm in for a coffee break, so here's some new pics from this morning.

Once again, the old computer parts coming into play - The brackets here are a rackmount kit from a Dell ethernet switch. I thought I'd take a leaf out of Niki's book and use a bit of laminate flooring for the base.

The shortest screws I had were 5/8th, so I decided to grind off the ends where they protrouded.

The threaded bars allow me to ensure that the base is flat and allow a little torsion to be applied to add rigidity. Conveniently there's enough space around the router to get the spanner in for bit changes.

Rather than hijack the 'on the other side' thread on the General forum for my CNC project, I'm going to respond to some of the posts here.

WiZeR":30dmk0en said:
Going into production with the FecnCNC is a great idea Fecn. One thing that attracts me to the CarveWright is the apparent ease of use. The software seems silly person proof. You would probably have to do some work on the software side to make is commercially available, or perhaps ship it with Mach2/3.

Gill":30dmk0en said:
I'd definitely be interested in a FecnCNC machine, but the software would have to be completely silly person proof :lol: .

I certainly wouldn't want to get into the software side of things. Shipping with Mach2/3 sounds like the way forward, although that's far from an silly person-proof solution, it does have some simple functions such as the jpeg import for carving and the 'write' wizzard for doing text. I haven't had much luck carving on a large scale, but the rubber stamp turned out OK.

ByronBlack":30dmk0en said:
I think any small affordable (sub £500) CNC machine or atleast a kit version would do really well. Even for doing things like signs and wood 'art' I can see it being quite a useful tool. If you could hook it up to some kind of scanner, you would have a great replicater for mouldings and carvings.

That'd be a very hard price to hit. For this project, we're looking at about £285 of electrical/electronics, £15 of metal bits, £50 of drawer slides and £58 of MDF. Because the whole machine is made from MDF, it struck me that it could be sold as an Ikea-style flatpack furniture item. Ultimately I reckon it could be produced as a kit for about £500, but at that price point, the kit would have to contain a reel of wire rather than nicely made-up cables. It may be more feasible to produce the MDF/slides/threads part as the kit and leave the user to buy and install their own motors and controllers. Leaving out the electrics would simplify things from an insurance/liability perspective too. I can see how the MDF bits of the kit could be CNC produced at a reasonable cost. With mass-production, maybe it'd be possible to hit kit price of around £150-200 for the non-electric bits, that doesn't leave much profit for the guy who has to saw up the panels and keep the CNC machine fed. I expect that with a redesign, the amounts and types of raw materials could be optimised for lower costs.

WiZeR":30dmk0en said:
If you could make a CNC machine that could easily do everything a top of the range dovetail jig, then my view is it is worth double the dovetail jig.

Now you've made me realise something I missed. I should have installed an end-clamp on the leading edge of the X-Bed so that it's possible to clamp boards vertically in the same way that the leigh D4R does. Fortunately it's not too late for me to add that on. I'll need to cut a bit out of the base to allow the board to dangle down, but I was smart enough to ensure that the tool could overhang to make tool changes easier, and that should be good enough for cutting dovetails too.

.. and now.. I've finished my coffee and I'm going back to the shed.
Hi Fecn,

the only way I can see you would be able to produce this machine cheap is to get it made in china. As a result I'm sure the quality would drop considerably. Of course you could put together detailed plans and sell them. At least once the plans have been made the profit is fairly close to 100%.

If the price was right I'd be tempted to buy plans from you.


Here's the one I reckon you've all been waiting for. Dovetails!

First dovetail 20mm from the edge of the board, second one at 50mm and the third at 80mm. For the third dovetail, i decided I wanted it to be 10mm wider than the other two, so I did another pass at 85mm and a final one at 90mm. Feedrate for the cuts of 300mm per minute.

Here's a 2-minute video clip (12MB) Safety guards have been removed for display purposes only (no.. really, they have.. I've got a sheet of polycarbonate clamped onto the side of the machine now)
This thread is the bees knees, the only gripe i have is that I can't see the videos.
Can anybody suggest a player to upload that will play these videos.
motownmartin":3jl4c9lj said:
This thread is the bees knees, the only gripe i have is that I can't see the videos.
Can anybody suggest a player to upload that will play these videos.
Windows media player plays for me.
That looks incredible.

Get that man a beer - in exchange for a copy of his plans !!!!


still loving this thread, amazing.

I think a kit would be the best way to go. putting a whole system into production could be costly. Only for a large company to nip in and churn out a rival product to undercut you.

If you need any beta testers ;) I might even have some of those drawer runners somewhere.
I am truly amazed by this thread, read through the lot from start to finish with total incredulity. I work in electronics and understand all of the hardware and software issues but its another thing to actually make such a machine. Hats off to you fella =D> Superb.

ByronBlack":2xi15hs4 said:
fecn, do you think this would be able to batch cut a run of mortice and tenon joints?

I'm absolutely sure it would... particularly because...

Partly because of WiZeR's comment about dovetail jigs, and partly because having cut the dovetail slots in the earlier video and wanting to do the pins next, I figured I needed to tweak the design a bit to allow pieces to be vertically clamped too, and that meant that I needed a bit more space to allow the cutter to pass all the way through the clamped workpiece. Before dinner I fitted a 1/2" straight cutter and wrote a few lines of G-Code to nibble away at the X-Bed in 5mm steps. I'll cut a similar gap out of the base, so the machine can be swivelled to overhang the workbench and the workpiece can be clamped in place.

I'm really rather pleased with the video quality my phone can produce, and I can get it into all sorts of places I'd never dream of putting my face. I tried my hand at some video editing here, and joined a couple of clips together and sped things up to 4x speed. Video Clip 6 - 90 secs - 11MB

karlley":2xi15hs4 said:
Get that man a beer - in exchange for a copy of his plans !!!!

More than happy to swap beer for plans. You should be able to work it all out from this thread anyway.

WiZeR":2xi15hs4 said:
If you need any beta testers Wink I might even have some of those drawer runners somewhere.

If you don't, Isaac Lord sell them. I'd love for some other people to have a go at building their own machines so that we can swap ideas, tips and programs. I'd be more than happy to help out with any construction details that aren't clear from this thread... particularly if beer is involved :)
The reality is that I don't have the time let alone the brain power to take something like this on atm. When we are settled then possibly. Definitely interested, neigh, fascinated in the whole hobbyist CNC scene.

PS that last vid didnt work for me?