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Why do I “need” a 24 inch CNC?  The honest answer is “I don’t”.   However with respect to the cutting of items on the CNC I have been restricted to 8” wheels with the “Midi” unit.  I have built hundreds of wheels and pinions on the Midi Router from WidgitMaster and will continue to do so, still I have often wished to build some larger projects and so that is my interest in a 24” CNC.

When I discovered WidgitMaster was building a “bigger and better” machine to “use up some of the spare parts” he had in his shop I was intently interested.  I followed the blog as the machining was done and knew that the finished product would be something to be proud of and built to the highest possible standards.  When I got an email from WidgitMaster I jumped at the chance to purchase the CNC, and now to make it  work.

So here is my part of the development of the machine.  As you can see from the dates above it has taken  from October 3 2009 until April 7 2010 to make the 24” CNC a reality in my shop.  Working for a living has really interfered with “shop life” but it couldn’t be helped.  

The “Purchase”!

Its definitely nice to know the objective ahead of time and the photo above is where I’m headed with the table CNC component.

I am led to believe that I can turn these bits and pieces into the article above.

Once the basic table is built these electronic parts should bring it to life - I hope!

The unpacking from the “bubble wrap” has been completed and they lay on the bench to be admired.

I had been duly warned about the assembly of the delrin linear bearings on their shafts and so took special care not to “knock” any of the tiny ball bearings out .

I started at the bottom -- where else?  A little added complication is the wiring of the limit switches that is done at this stage as well.

The gantry was assembled away from the base as there is two of those fancy bearings to be delicately installed

The unit is basically assembled except for the table surface which I am going to leave for the very end as it will “cover” some components I may need to access.

The motor plate

This is the sum total of information that I have for the stepper motors.  However by searching the web I was able to get all the info. I needed

This is supposed to make sense.  Oh dear!

These little beauties are Geckodrives model G202.  There is one for each motor and each axis.

The breakout board is from Bob Campbell


Now what do I with all those terminal connectors!!!!

Fortunately there is a “User’s Guide” now to read it often enough to make sense of it all.

The “box” is from Bob Campbell and the first steps were to mount the Geckos on this side.  These Geckos are 202’s and I changed them to 203’s (bullet proof)

On the other side of the centre divider is the breakout board.

After several phone calls to Bob Campbell who said "We will make it work"  and reading and re-reading, trial and error -- the box sits next to the computer and the CNC is ready to go. A huge thanks to Bob for his patience and confidence that I could do it!!

The CNC is now ready to test it out and see if all works like it should.  I’m using a dremel which will be changed for a

Wolfgang Engineering TB-350 spindle

This is the very first item cut on the 24” CNC.

This pinion will be part of “Fall Fest 2010” egg timer I’m building

I’m a happy camper!!

Now almost 10 years later and literally hundreds of projects later I'm still excited to use my 24" CNC and tackle jobs that I wouldn't do any other way