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 www.KylesWoodworking.com


Step 1: CNC and Stand Assembly

The very first step of making a CNC is PLANS! I got plans and hardware kit from buildyourcnc.com 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:

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crelief1 month ago

templates for cnc


asad11114 months ago

What is weight of x-axis assembly of CNC in this instructable?

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?

NaL16 months ago

Good. I like it

Skysurfer_uk9 months ago

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!

DuaneS19 months ago

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

NaL111 months ago

Verry good. I like and need it


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

servant741 year ago
Great. Wonder what are the cart dimensions? How high mainly. Just curious.
That is some good work, man! If you get a chance, let me know what you think of my design.
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"
dksmall3 years ago
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 dksmall2 years ago
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.
You could use a Dirt Bag http://dirtbag.biz/
guido6663 years ago
Good work, Kyle! Welcome to the addiction. What do you plan to make with your new CNC?
Kyles Woodworking (author)  guido6663 years ago
Mainly signs, but I am going to explore other things it can make.
Ryutso3 years ago
Which model router did you end up using?
Kyles Woodworking (author)  Ryutso3 years ago
I am using a Craftsman 9.5 Amp, 1 3/4 HP Model #: 320.17541
astrong03 years ago
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)?
Kyles Woodworking (author)  astrong03 years ago
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?
Kyles Woodworking (author)  astrong03 years ago
Cost of everything.
sb43 years ago
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)  sb43 years ago
Thanks, it is a Dremel rotary tool with a drill press attachment. I got it at Lowes.
johnaobrien3 years ago
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.
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) 3 years ago
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: http://www.KylesWoodworking.com

secreteagle3 years ago
http://ytconv.net/ then put http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PgxXHT3Kzo and FLV worked for me for the 2nd vid (press the skip ad button if its not downloading)
Paladin3 years ago
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.
Kyles Woodworking (author)  Paladin3 years ago
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.
Kyles Woodworking (author)  Paladin3 years ago
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.
regpye3 years ago
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)  regpye3 years ago
Yes, I am working on that now. Sorry for the inconvenience.
askjerry3 years ago
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: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw/

Incompetech - Kevin MacLeod

Sound Cloud - soundcloud.com
(I even put a few of my own there: http://soundcloud.com/askjerry )

Hope that helps.
phooddaniel3 years ago
The original kit can be found here: http://www.buildyourcnc.com/cnckitintro.aspx
kagemai3 years ago
EMI and WMG blocked the second video in the United States...
Kyles Woodworking (author)  kagemai3 years ago
Everyone commenting about the video being blocked: Sorry for the problems, I am working on fixing them.
skiedra3 years ago
Second video is blocked.

Anyways, CNCs always fascinated me (except for the price that is)
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 skiedra3 years ago
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.
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