It has been several weeks since posting about my Zen Toolworks CNC build. I’ve had several things to work on, including vacation, but I’ve finally gotten back to working on it with some success and some setbacks. I plan to post about some of this stuff individually, but here’s a summary of the way things stand as of now.
I have a good “rack” for everything, and have finally gotten the computer to actually control an axis. Unfortunately, only the X-axis seems to work on my board right now, so I still have some more troubleshooting to do and possibly a new board to get.
Although not a problem now, the computer I planned on using with this project decided to die on me (my old media center PC). Possibly a power supply issue, but the computer was around 5 years old, so I decided to explore other alternatives. I bought a “new” (off lease) computer off Tigerdirect.com for $109.97 plus shipping. Being fairly close to Atlanta means that standard shipping came overnight overnight in this case (which was awesome). Not exactly a high-end PC, but definitely good enough to run Mach 3 well and it had a parallel port. Really great having a clean install of XP. It worked well out of the box.
To the upper-right is my current shelf setup, a modified Plano four-shelf storage unit from Walmart. Considering it cost around $16 and fit everything just about perfectly (with a few cuts), I was very happy. Here’s more details on how to modify this shelving unit for CNC router use.
The way things worked out with this shelving unit, the computer is on the bottom, electrical box above that, ZTW 12 x 7 unit above that, and the monitor/keyboard/mouse on the very top. It doesn’t take up a lot of floor space which is great since I don’t have a huge garage.
My Dremel 200 router is still nicely mounted, but I haven’t really gotten to test it out yet. I’m getting close to a functional unit, but things are never as close as they seem when working with machinery.
Update 11/13/2011: Everything is quite functional (or has been until a recent Dremel incident). You can see all the projects I’ve done on it in the CNC section, or check out how I’ve made wooden gears with it!