Home built CNC Machine Part 1 - Supported Linear Rails

Picture of Home built CNC Machine Part 1 - Supported Linear Rails
This instructable is part of an on-going project to build a home CNC machine.  In this part of the project, I will show you how to build a supported linear rail which can be adapted for the desired length (X-Axis) of your own CNC project.  

Most people are put off from building a useful sized CNC machine because of the cost of parts.  Others use angle iron and skate board bearings for their linear rails.  The instructable may look compllicated but it really is not.  With a little care, it is possible to make an accurate CNC machine and will enable you to build a decent sized machine.
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Step 1:

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When I first designed my machine, I started to look at much cheaper alternatives to aluminium box sections, proprietary lead screws and proprietary linear rails.  I finally decided to build my machine to this design which includes some junk yard parts and home made linear rails which can be made to any practical length required.  The parts shown in yellow are steel parts which are fabricated by a local laser or plasma cutting shop and will form part of a later instructable.

The two end sections of the base were cut from industrial shelving brackets obtained from my local junk yard to which I have welded cleats for connection of the linear rails.  The two (red) intermediate rails are steel channel with steel cleats welded on the end.  The overall size of my machine bed is 800mm x 1800mm but of course you may build your machine to whatever (practical) size that you wish.
DavidR311 month ago

If you have access to a mill you can simply mill the flat for each hole prior to center drilling. And you should start your holes with a center drill.

ruisantos107 months ago

Very good project Sir! I've been looking at many of them, and there are pretty good ones, but this is the one I was thinking for myself! With some differences but that's the overall of what I look for!

Your solution for the 16mm rods is very good, although I don't think it is a cheap job! at least around here...

But I am sure it is bloody strong!

Do you have that machine working already? Keep up the good work!

Pader (author)  krissh00092 years ago
The stepper motors that I have used are NEMA23, 4Nm/566oz units from The current cost for a kit of 3 is GBP114.99 plus shipping. I very much doubt that 287oz motors will have the strength to cut wood very well. I would suggest that you use the same as I have as there is very little difference in price. I do not know what the shipping cost would be as I do not know where you are. But contact them on 441908 317274. They are very helpful people and will give good advice.