Introduction: Homemade 2'x4' Wood CNC Router

Picture of Homemade 2'x4' Wood CNC Router

Here I am going to show how I made my CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) router. The table measures 24"x48" and the cutting envelope is about 19”x38.” I made this CNC when I was 17 and if you would like to see more on this CNC, visit my website at


Step 1: CNC and Stand Assembly

Picture of CNC and Stand Assembly
The very first step of making a CNC is PLANS! I got plans and hardware kit from which came with measurements for the CNC and all the nuts and bolts you need, besides the lead screws and various other parts. After I got the measurements of the CNC, I designed it on Google SketchUp as well as a stand for it and a computer to operate it. After I had a set design, I began building it. First, I made the CNC part of it and then I made the stand to fit. I used MDF for the CNC and 2x4s and 1/4" plywood for the stand. I also casters on the stand so I could move it around with ease.
Here you can see time lapse videos of me assembling the CNC and stand:


Step 2: Lead Screws

Picture of Lead Screws

The lead screws are what make the x,y, and z axis move by turning them with a motor. I went to the hardware store and picked up 1/2" threaded rods to use as the lead screws.

Step 3: CNC Electronics

Picture of CNC Electronics
The next and most expensive step is the electronics. I got the electronics kit from and I made a box out of wood and plexiglass to house the electronics. The electronics kit included:
(3) 425 oz-in stepping motors
(3) Drivers (3.0Amp 24-40 Volts, 1-1/64 micro-stepping)
(1) 36v 8.8a Power Supply
(1) Breakout board
I wired all the electronics up and added a few more features such as, an e-stop switch, limit switches, and power switches for the router, shop vac, electronics, and the stepping motors.

Here you can view a video of the electronics:

Step 4: Finished and Test Cut

Picture of Finished and Test Cut
The final step is to make a test cut. I made a test cut of my logo into pine. The software I use is Google SketchUp to design it and then a plugin to convert it into g-code and Mach3 to control it. The total cost of this CNC was about $700.

Here you can view a video of my first test cut:


crelief (author)2015-07-27

templates for cnc

mrmeasuretwice (author)crelief2017-10-16


Account disabled by server administrator.

xtreker15 (author)crelief2017-04-09

link is bad, it takes you to a site but says you need admin approval.

LeRaquin (author)2016-12-01

hi Kyle,

I went to WWW.BUILDYOURCNC.COM,, to get the plans for the 24" x 48" CNC

Router. They are no longer available from that site. Instead they are offering a kit for m$2567.00. I was looking to build one from plans for way less then that. Any chance of directing me to such plans?

I enjoyed your Instruct able, and it was the answer I needed to get int CNC. Can you help me??



MichaelT272 (author)2016-05-02

How easy is it to programme the router to the pc or cutting software? Cheers

Nreal Spark (author)2016-01-01

Could you provide the sketchup file if you still have it?

Ömer YavuzB (author)2015-10-22

Could you add a schematic about wiring break board and step driver?

mcaskey1 (author)2015-09-17

Could you use this to cut the pieces needed for a wikihouse? Would you need a biger rig?

warafael1 (author)2015-09-09

Private movie?

asad1111 (author)2015-04-06

What is weight of x-axis assembly of CNC in this instructable? (author)2015-03-18

Perhaps a dumb question here, but you could theoretically expand the design as large as you wanted right? like say if I wanted to make a 48" x 48" instead?

NaL1 (author)2015-02-10

Good. I like it

Skysurfer_uk (author)2014-12-03

I see the nice way you've got the bearings on the top runners, how about the tension? Have you made it adjustable? As in, maybe sprung loaded bearings on the bottom?

A nice instructable, I'm looking at putting something this size together, I'm using a Zen 7x7 at the mo. I don't need super critical tolerances, it's machining wood, +- 1mm is plenty good enough for me.

Thanks for sharing!

DuaneS1 (author)2014-11-18

i would like to know can i make one to cut envelops

NaL1 (author)2014-10-04

Verry good. I like and need it

madhatter1138 (author)2014-04-21

Nice work. Just getting started on my own, and you gave me some great ideas! Cheers!

servant74 (author)2013-10-12

Great. Wonder what are the cart dimensions? How high mainly. Just curious.

MakeItWithJason (author)2013-03-29

That is some good work, man! If you get a chance, let me know what you think of my design.

CryoFireProductions (author)2012-11-29

I wonder if you can cut out an oathkeeper keyblade from Kingdom hearts. I built the oblivion key using a jigsaw and dremel but it looks kinda amateur-ish. 42" by ~16"

dksmall (author)2012-02-19

What steps do you take to keep dust/sawdust, etc. from getting into the PC? I would be concerned about the PC being so close to the CNC table.

pfred2 (author)dksmall2012-11-13

I keep PCs in my garage. Every now and again I blow the dust out of them. They put up with it pretty well. Better than I would have thought they could.

Ortzinator (author)dksmall2012-02-20

You could use a Dirt Bag

guido666 (author)2012-02-19

Good work, Kyle! Welcome to the addiction. What do you plan to make with your new CNC?

Mainly signs, but I am going to explore other things it can make.

Ryutso (author)2012-02-21

Which model router did you end up using?

Kyles Woodworking (author)Ryutso2012-02-21

I am using a Craftsman 9.5 Amp, 1 3/4 HP Model #: 320.17541

astrong0 (author)2012-02-19

What was the total cost minus the expense of Google sketch-up ( I assume you have the pro version) the sketch-up plugin and mach3 (Which is probably also pro)?

I have the free version of SketchUp, the plugin was free, and someone gave me the Mach3 pro for free (originally $175 for Mach3 pro). So all my software was free, but I plan to upgrade to better software eventually.

Ah i see, now was the cost of the kit that you got 700$ or was that the cost of everything?

Cost of everything.

sb4 (author)2012-02-20

What is that cool "drill press" jig that holds a hand drill and turns it into a drill press? I looked all over for something like that.

Kyles Woodworking (author)sb42012-02-20

Thanks, it is a Dremel rotary tool with a drill press attachment. I got it at Lowes.

johnaobrien (author)2012-02-19

Very Nice. I am wondering if the Z-axis can be programmed as well or if only one setting is available? Can you cut in 3 dimensions? This looks to be a very fun project and thank you for sharing.

guido666 (author)johnaobrien2012-02-19

Yes, it's fully 3D capable. You can see the z-axis motor at the top of the z-axis tower, in the back.

Kyles Woodworking (author)2012-02-19

Hi everyone,

I fixed the problem with the second video and I also fixed my website problem. I hope these fixes work for everyone. You can view my website at:


secreteagle (author)2012-02-19 then put and FLV worked for me for the 2nd vid (press the skip ad button if its not downloading)

Paladin (author)2012-02-19

Kyle - lovely project! Your website you link to is in bad shape. None of the links on that site work. Which is a shame, because I wanted to see what you'd done thus far.

Since I updated my website today, it is going to take 24 hours to go back to normal. Sorry for the wait but check out my website in 24 hours and it should be fine.

Sorry, since I posted this instructable, I've gotten a lot of traffic on my website and had to upgrade it which caused some problems that I am currently working on.

regpye (author)2012-02-19

EMI and WMG blocked the second video in Australia, not much use for the rest of the videos without being able to see part 2.
Any chance of resubmitting that video?

Kyles Woodworking (author)regpye2012-02-19

Yes, I am working on that now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

askjerry (author)2012-02-19

Nicely done... good job on the build and on the Instructable too.

As for the music and copyright issues... there are web sites you can go to to get royalty free music for your videos... these are ones that I frequent when i need music. Usually they only ask that you give them credit somewhere like the ending credits which i think is fair.

Jason Shaw
Also here:

Incompetech - Kevin MacLeod

Sound Cloud -
(I even put a few of my own there: )

Hope that helps.

phooddaniel (author)2012-02-19

The original kit can be found here:

kagemai (author)2012-02-19

EMI and WMG blocked the second video in the United States...

Everyone commenting about the video being blocked: Sorry for the problems, I am working on fixing them.

skiedra (author)2012-02-16

Second video is blocked.

Anyways, CNCs always fascinated me (except for the price that is)

LaserDave (author)skiedra2012-02-19

When those "copyright" bigwigs decide to block things from other countries to be able to flex their "you can't have this" muscles - simply use a proxy server. Check Google on how to do it, there are MANY ways.

But the easiest way is a tiny program called "Real Hide IP" which you can download for free. Install it, run it, and just pick the country with the copyright attitude, and the program will give you a random IP address in that country, hosted by numerous servers otherwise located all over the world. From that point, any site you browse to will see your machine at an alternate geographical location based on the IP address currently assigned.

**Please use this technology responsibly and limit it's use toward watching blocked videos.

pfred2 (author)skiedra2012-02-18

The price paid for a complete CNC machine varies as much as the machines themselves do. You can begin to get involved with the activity for little to no cost what so ever depending on your resourcefulness. Don't let the fact that others spend so much put you off from beginning to do something yourself.

You can get this and begin for free in fact:

It will run in simulation mode with no external hardware at all. One thing I see so many do is put the cart before the horse when they're designing their CNC system. Then it is all a hard push to get anywhere.

If you begin at the end you just might find the shortest path easily taken between two points better than others have beginning elsewhere.

Carleyy (author)2012-02-16

This is an awesome project. Thanks for sharing!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-02-16

Awesome :)

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