A while ago I obtained a ZTW 7 x 12″ router. It was simple to assemble, but there is actually a bit more to it than simply assembling the frame. Although ZTW sells a spindle assembly with the proper mounting hardware, another option is to use a Dremel or other rotary tool and provide your own mounting hardware. I had a Dremel 200 in my garage already and have access to a milling machine, so this seemed to be a good option.
After some thought and comparison with what others had done, a simple solution seemed to be a split mount pictured to the right. Below is the original design that I did in Sketchup. I couldn’t figure out how to split the it without simply drawing 2 models, so here it is before the saw cut.
After this shape was cut out, but before slitting the pieces, pilot holes for 6-32 screws were drilled 3.55 inches apart (as shown hidden above – this worked well for me, but you may want to measure if duplicating this setup). Try to keep the holes as straight as possible, but there will be some wobble towards the end. Because of this, it’s important to match each piece as they were before being cut or they won’t fit well. I’d recommend marking each with a pen across the future cut line.
Cut the center hole before splitting as well so everything will line up correctly. After this cut has been done, the side facing the router should be tapped through for a 6-32 screw. The other side should be clearance-drilled for a 6-32 bolt. Also, one will need to think about clearance for the screw head, which, in my case, meant cutting it out later as I didn’t leave enough room.
To hold everything tightly, you’ll need to hold the Dremel by the top and the bottom with two (nearly) identical pieces. Some operations, such as cutting the center hole can be done together. As for material, I used two pieces of clear 3/8 inch polycarbonate that I had laying around. This is probably overkill since the piece I used will absorb a small-caliber pistol round (please don’t test this). A piece of PVC or other plastic or MDF would probably work just as well.
Once both pieces are done, bolt them to the ZTW frame with the Dremel tool inside as shown above. Although I haven’t, you may want to modify the top holder slightly as the Dremel tool gets a little larger towards the top.
I haven’t tested this setup cutting material yet as a computer is just recently available to run it, but I’m optimistic that It will work well. Most people seem to use a Dremel 300 or other tool when running a CNC router, so hopefully the 200 will at least be adequate to try things out.
Update 11/13/2011: I modified the bottom bracket to hold things on the threaded bottom. It seems like it will be more accurate since it’s held closer to the worksurface.
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For more information about the ZTW build, check out this article.