January 25

DIY CNC Part 3: Y / Z Carriage and Spindle Mount


I received the steel rods from MSC Industrial Supply.   Sure I could have purchased the rods from a local hardware shop but I did not want to take the chance on getting rods that were damaged.  I ordered 1/4 20 threaded rod and 3/8 precision steel rod for the project.  The rods are 36 inches in length and will be used to transport the x table and the y and z carriages.  In the previous post I mentioned I made the base of the table to be 36 inches to avoid having to make three cuts.  With the rods being 36 inches in length I will only have to cut the rods for the y and z carriages and not for the x table.

For this part of the build I am using:
6 wing nuts purchased at Lowes
misc screws for anti-backlash mechanism purchased at Ace Hardware
1/2 inch quality plywood
wood screws purchased from Home Depot
2 – 1/4-20, threaded rod MSC Part # 06050108
4- 3/8, steel rod MSC Part # 06010243


– 3/8″ precision steel rods from MSC Industrial Supply

I tested the rods in the bearing subframes and clamped the machine together to make sure the measurements were correct and the bearing subframes would move freely without binding.

3/8″ precision rods and the 1/4 20 threaded rods dry fit on the base.

With the dry fit complete I moved onto building the Y and Z axis backplates.

Both Y and Z axis backplates are built with quality 1/2 inch plywood purchased from Home Depot.

Y axis backplate with Z axis NEMA motor mount

After a mock up of the Z carriage I found the bottom Z plate to be flimsy.  I modified the bottom plate by drilling a 3/8 inch hole completely through the bottom plate and attaching a secondary piece of 1″ x 1.5″ x 1/2″ wood.  The Z bottom plate was then screwed to the inch and a half wood and secured in place on the Y axis backplate temporarily.  I will have to install the anti-backlash mechanism and the spindle mounts on the Z axis plate before final assembly.

Z axis bottom plate

With everything looking and coming together nicely, it was time to build the spindle mount.  The spindle mount was constructed out of 1″ x 3″ pine and cut to the same size as the Z backplate.  It was then drilled with an inch and a half hole saw drill on the drill press.  Two mounts were made and one was cut in half to provide the upper mount.  A 3/16″ hole was drilled along the length of the mount so the spindle can be secured with a zip tie or something similar.

Dremel used as the spindle

Once the spindle mount was complete, it was time to construct the anti-backlash mechanisms.  The anti-backlash mechanisms are used on all three axis to eliminate any slop in the threaded rods.

Anti-backlash mechanism

They were constructed out of the same sheet of plywood I had purchased to make the X table and other parts.  Although only three are needed, four pieces were cut so I could clamp two at a time for drilling.

Wood used for the anti-backlash mechanisms

A 1/2 inch hole was drilled down the center of the two pieces.  This will allow for the threaded rod to clear and house the wing nuts.

1/2 inch hole drilled down the center of two pieces

With all the pieces drilled, I assembled the three anti-backlash mechanisms using the wing nuts.  I had installed compression springs in between the wing nuts however there was enough tension on the threaded rod I removed the compression springs but allowed for enough tension/room should I decide to re-install the compression spring later.

Anti-backlash mechanism

The next part of the build, I will assemble the X table rods and install the gantry.

Until then,

Happy Building!

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Posted January 25, 2014 by DIY in category "CNC", "DIY CNC