January 22


The projects here are more of a lets see if I could do this type of  thing.  Often the projects I begin working on begin as such and turn into somewhat of a gateway drug leading me down another path of creativity.

I have so many DIY projects and I often get asked what drives you to do it.  It is quite simple.  I like to stay engaged with new challenges and the rewards of discovery when a project starts out as an idea and flourishes into something I can actually use.  I also don’t like to get raked over the coals having to pay high prices for something which I believe I can make at a third of the cost.  Knowledge is power and often times a person is paying not for the product, but the knowledge.

The poor man’s method is a term my grandfather often used to tell me when we would work together fixing his old green tractor which was notorious for breaking down.   Occasionally, he would also tell me “you have to be smarter than the bolt.” Little did I know these terms would be somewhat engrained in my brain and I found myself always looking to create, fix, and understanding how things worked. He was a great jack of all trades and I learned quite a bit about the DIY method.

I hope this site will be of use to some of you looking for a way to create, fix, and understand various projects I may present here and hopefully provide alternatives on how to do it yourself in an economical way.  After all, if you could save a buck or two and get the same results without sacrificing quality I think it is well worth the effort.

Welcome to the DIY The Poor Man’s Method


  1. By Amanda on

    Hi – I found your site as I am currently working on putting together a DIY cnc machine with a kit from mydiycnc. I’ve had countless problems with the project! Currently I have the machine built & wired. I can connect it with the computer using mydiycnc’s USB solution – however that is very limiting and can only be used with their fabcam software. I purchased a plug n play parallel port and a cable. I cannot connect the machine & computer using emc2! I’ve tested with an older computer with a built in parallel port and it worked fine, however that computer is too old to handle the job! My understanding is that I need to find the address of the plug and play parallel port and put that into emc2 when I am doing the stepconf.
    I saw that you touched on this during your build & am wondering if you could offer advice on how to find what the address for my parallel port is? Any help would be much appreciated!!!
    Thank you

    1. By DIY (Post author) on

      Hi Amanda – list your parallel ports by entering this command in a terminal window: lspci-v
      This should list your ports. Then find the I/O address and enter it into the stepconfig under “First Parport Base Address” leaving the 0x. For instance my par port was DD00 so in stepconfig I entered 0xDD00.
      Hope this helps.

  2. By Sander on


    How do you keep tension on your anti-backlash nuts? Or do you tension them before you screw them on the wood?
    And do you have pictures of how you attached the motor to the lead screw and to the dremel?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. By DIY (Post author) on

      I didn’t use a spring but just installed the two wing nuts. Installed one wing nut, then adjusted the second one with some tension, drilled and screwed. Attaching the motors to the lead screw was done by taking a small piece of tubing from Home Depot and dropping in some hot water then slide it over the NEMA shaft and threaded rod. Size would depend on the NEMA your using and the threaded rod. The tubing should have an inside diameter slightly smaller than the shaft/threaded rod so when you heat it up in hot water it will expand. It may take a little time to get it but it will go on.
      There is another solution by purchasing a coupler from DumpsterCNC with your ID of your shaft sizes. I found this method to be better than tubing as over time the tubing slipped which affected the accuracy of the axis. The DumpsterCNC couplers didn’t slip.

      1. By Sander on

        And how did you attach the lead screw to the wooden part of the z-axis? I can’t find any pictures of this in your posts!

        1. By DIY (Post author) on

          Screwed it directly to the Z backplate. Can’t photograph it because I have built a new machine out of 80/20 aluminum and that one is long gone.

          1. By Sander on

            Thanks! Did you replace the bearings on your new machine? Or do you still use the iglide clip bearings?

          2. By DIY (Post author) on

            I used the iglide clip bearings for the wood build. The new machine does not use iglide bearings but roller bearings on 1/4 inch cold rolled steel for all three axis. The new machine is sick, and I am totally happy with it’s performance. The first build was good to learn the how to’s and not break the bank, but the second build was much better. Will try and post the new machine setup.

Leave a Reply to DIY Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *