Garage CNC Workshop

A fully functional CNC shop that lives in a garage, a neighborhood and a budget with respect to all

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Starting with a simple Probotix CNC kit my goal is to expand the functionality into a fully functional CNC automated business. The goal must be a shop that can run for hours without generating noise that would offend neighbors, would not consume my entire garage and most importantly wouldn't break the bank.

Sound Dampening Panels

Sound is an issue with any workshop, power tools are cool but make lots of noise. My workshop has the added benefits of being in a garage, close to neighbors and harboring a CNC table. My primary concerns are the air compressor, shop vacuum and the CNC router table since it will run patterns that could easily run 30 minutes, an hour or more. Luckily, I am designing a cabinet to hold the vacuum, compressor and most importantly the CNC table for both dust and sound control. The empty pockets created in my 2x4 frame design will create great places for sound dampening panels.

Poor Man's Mach3 Pendant

Most CNC setups I have seen have an easy to use hand-held controller called a pendant. Some DIY pendants use video game joysticks that don't look very professional, cost money if you don't have one laying around and take some extra effort to setup with lightly documented unsupported software packages. Buying a professional 3rd party pendant is definitely an option, there are some very nice options out there but I couldn't justify spending $100, $200 or even $500 for a premium pendant, not for my needs.

Clamping System

One of the major shortfalls of the X90 is the lack of any type of work holding system. Yes, I could have plopped down $259 for an aluminum T-slot board, but daaaang I'm cheap. Yes, I can do like I've seen others do before and just screw my work in place, but I've done that and was not very happy with the process. Beyond needlessly butchering my spoil board, it took forever.

Cyclone Separator

One thing my experience with CNC used for wood or plastic is that they create a hell of a mess. Since I don't like cleaning up after myself on a regular basis, I will be attaching a vacuum to my CNC to clean up as it goes.

  • 1 × Probotix Fireball X90 CNC kit w/ 18x18x3 inch work area
  • 2 × Aluminum Bar Clamps Square cast-aluminum bar clamp
  • 1 × Shop Vacuum 5 gallon bucket style shop vac preferred
  • 1 × Bucket 5 gallon bucket
  • 10 × 2x4 studs Lots of wood

View all 11 components

  • Sound Panels

    mikedouglas05/08/2014 at 13:26 0 comments

    Well, the skeleton is done and I've started adding doors and some solid paneling but the greatest slow down by far in completion is the DIY sound panels.  these things are going to be great, they came out better than expected.  I will be posting how-to details later but wanted to share a pic of the first three hung in place (excuse the mess, its a process).

  • CNC Cabinet Skeleton

    mikedouglas04/03/2014 at 01:36 0 comments

    Had fun with lots of wood and lots of screws.  I have nearly completed the skeleton of my CNC cabinet.  it was important to use screws instead of nails because I want a very tight structure that wont loosen and rattle over time.

View all 2 project logs

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phil wrote 03/27/2014 at 20:18 point
I had mine vertical for a while, I just bolted it to the wall, no mods needed :) It saves your cutting bits considerably. Cut outs just fall clear too.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mikedouglas wrote 03/27/2014 at 20:27 point
What brand/model did you have mounted vertically? Why did you take it down?

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phil wrote 03/27/2014 at 20:33 point
Mine is a self build, 600 x 1200mm. I took it down when I moved workshop and haven't put it back up yet :) I have a single stepper on the Y but it is more than enough.

Try different inclines and work your way up.

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phil wrote 03/27/2014 at 20:04 point
Have you considered mounting it vertically? It clears swarf/chips easier and it will still run normally. The clamping system you have would make it easy.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mikedouglas wrote 03/27/2014 at 20:12 point
wow. That's a mind-blower. I can see where you are coming from, it would save a ton of space but I've seen so many horizontal machines it will take a bit for my mind to digest that. Thanks much for the awesome idea.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mikedouglas wrote 03/27/2014 at 20:27 point
OK, quick research shows a few others who have contemplated this and the concern is all the weight of the spindle and gantry on the Y axis. I may still experiment with this but have doubts as the X90 only has a single Y axis motor.

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