Computer Controlled 3 Axis Wood Router
At this time the this table is not being manufactured. This page is for information only on how a mechanism can be built.

This XYZ table with a Wood Router has been used to make cut letters for building signs, make wood signs, carve wood panels for custom cabinets, etch the text on the panels for our controller boxes and cut them out, cut the aluminum parts needed for mounts, cutting the parts needed to build our MiniRobo and much more.

The XYZ mechanism design allows for heavy use. The carriage output is more than fifty pounds of thrust in all three axis. Gantry is made out of a 4" (10.16cm) Aluminum HBEAM. Drive System uses Stepper Motors and Lead screws.

Super Tech & Associates fabricated a set of molds that produced eleven different parts. These parts constituted the structural components for our design necessary to fabricate a heavy duty XYZ table, capable of controlling a Wood Router, Plasma Torch etc. The carriage can output more than fifty pounds of thrust in all three axes. The picture to the right links to a 1.37mb MPEG video file that can be downloaded and viewed.

The X&Y size of the table produced is dependent upon the length of the HBEAM for X. The length of the rods the Gantry slides on is determined by the Y dimension. The Z axis travel is defined by the carriage parts and is limited to 2.375 inches. The round rod slide ways are hardened steel shafting with a .625" diameter. There are embedded open linear ball bearings on the X and Y axis linear slides. Size 34 stepper motors with .500" shafts. Lead Screws are .500" diameter, one turn per inch lead for X&Y, four turns per inch for the Z axis. The lead screw nuts are replaceable. Provide rapid movement speeds of 240 inches per minute, step resolution on .0025" on X&Y axis, .00125 on Z axis.

The components are made from a composite Polyurethane and Aluminum powder. The components produced have approximately the same strengths as if they were produced from machined aluminum. The completed machine is suited for working on non-metallic materials when used as a computerized router. When used as a Plasma Torch the composite components have the added advantage of being non-conductive and isolating the motion control stepper motors from the electrical noise produced by the Plasma Torch.

By using the molded components we have reduced the tools required to produce a CNC XYZ table to just a few screwdrivers, a Hand Drill, taps and bits. The only exception is the actual mount for the Router or Plasma Torch, the use of a metal working vertical mill is required to produce the mounting brackets.

The Linear bearings are embedded in the cast part. This has the advantage of keeping the bearings in alignment. Threaded screw holes have embedded nuts in the part, therefore to strip the threads, a submerged internal metal nut must be overcome.

The rods, lead screws, HBEAM are purchased cut to length and machined from vendors. The bearings, couplers and motors are 'off the shelf' items. 10MM angular bearings are used as thrust bearings on all three axis.

A base frame or table for the machine will be needed. The mechanism mounts to two four inch strips roughly centered 10" wider than the X maximum distance of travel and extend approximately 18" longer than the Y maximum distance of travel. We have had good results using 2" X 4" X 1/4" steel tube stock. Welded into a frame. The Y rods, Y motors and Y thrust bearing mounts are mounted to this area by threaded screws. The mounting surface must be steel or aluminum to hold a machine screw tap. The mounting surfaces should be as flat and level with each other as possible, the Y rods can be adjusted up or down +-.030" to make up for bows in the frame.

It requires a few hours of work to drill and tap the screw holes for mounting the mechanism and then adjusting the Y rods for straight and level.

For CNC routers the table bed is constructed of sacrificial pressed wood. For plasma torch machines an iron grating with a water pan beneath is best.

The parts we used to build the mechanism: Cast Composite parts with embedded linear bearings. Rods, Lead Screws, HBEAM, Rod Support Angle, Lead Screw Nuts, Couplers, Screws, Nuts, Washers and Angular Thrust Bearings.

Gallery of Pictures of Computerized Wood Router

CNC Wood Router

CNC Wood Router Engraved Wood Sign

CNC Wood Router Making Engraved Wood Sign

CNC Wood Router Carriage and Gantry

CNC Wood Router Gantry Left End

CNC Wood Router Left Rear View

Right Rear Y Motor and Mounting Bracket

Thrust Bearing Housing Pulled Away from Thrust Mounting Bracket

Left End of Gantry Showing Replaceable Lead Screw Nut

Left Side Y Thrust Bearing Mount

Thrust Bearing Housing Pulled Away from Thrust Mounting Bracket

10MM Angular Bearings Exposed

Home Page at
Copyright 2016 Dennis Bohlke
Revised 03/12/16