Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The CNC Machine Is Coming Together Once Again

With half way decent weather today I was able to make a big push on the varnishing that needed to be done on the newly constructed CNC machine enclosure.  I removed all of the doors and the top of the enclosure and moved these parts to my garage where the varnishing will continue over the next few days (dry weather permitting) until they are ready to be reassembled on to the enclosure frame.  While these parts were drying today after having already put several coats of varnish on them, I got my CNC machine installed into the new enclosure.  Here is what it looks like.

The enclosure frame and base that you see here have already been varnished and so now was a good time to put my Solsylva CNC machine finally into it's new home.  As you can see it fills the open cavity of the enclosure with little room to spare.  I had to double check that all of the stepper motors, gantries, and wires would not bump or snag anything while running.  So far everything has still got the green light to look like it will all work properly.

The CNC machine is resting on four rubber pads that I made from a one inch thick rubber tile that I found at the local hardware store.  I cut the tile down to make four six inch squares to keep the machine off of the platform and hopefully reduce the vibration and ensuing noise that can come from it. 

Here's a good shot of the right side of the machine and the wiring that needed to be routed to the computer that will run it.  I gave myself a good sized opening mainly because of the fittings on the end of the wiring that need to be plugged into the computer are rather large.  They slid through this opening with ease.  Both of these wires are for two of the three stepper motors that make the CNC machine move in different directions.  

I was more than happy to have the doors off of the enclosure while putting the CNC machine into it.  The machine base is 38" wide and the opening on any side is 43" wide so there was not a ton of space to guide the base into the enclosure but enough to get the job done without fancy foot work to get there.   The cord hanging down on this side of the machine is the power cord that runs to the router itself.  It also had to be routed through a bottom hole in the base of the enclosure. I'll have to make sure all of my connections can be made without to much trouble also.  You can also see in the photo two orange rods that stand vertically at the top of the CNC machine.  These rods hold up the wires for the top stepper motor and the router so that they do not drag on the parts that are being engraved or cut while running the machine.  This is the reason why the enclosure is as tall as it is. 
  It's a good feeling to be finally looking at the end of this project.  But there is a lot of little things that need to be done to get my CNC back up and running again.  It's been over eight months since I last used it so I will have to relearn how to make it work when I get to fire it up once again.  I also will be able to put the sound deadening foam in the inside of the enclosure and see if I will need any extra lighting too.  But even without the doors on the enclosure it's already pretty impressive just to look at.  Another good day at The Tinker's Workshop!


  1. I agree cnc has brought a new change in the world. It has also build a high end security system.
    Cnc milling

  2. Hey there Dave. I found your Solsylva build videos on Youtube while doing some research on CNC routers. My wife and I (mainly my wife) have a small business and we've decided that we're going to invest in a CNC router to do some very basic woodwork. Budget is a little bit of a concern for us so I started looking at the DIY plans and so far I like the Solsylva 24 x 24. My concern is whether or not it will hold up to a "more than hobby" workload like an hour a day. In your experience, do you think the Solsylva would work or should I be looking for more of a turn key solution. It should also be mentioned that I work in IT so the computer and software doesn't pose a big concern for me. Thanks a lot for your videos!

    1. Hello Jason,
      First off thanks for the kind words about my videos that I have online. I enjoy posting the projects and also working with the Solsylva CNC is great fun too. I am a big advocate of building the Solsylva CNC machine as I find it is more than capable of making the parts I need for the projects that I work with. I have had the machine run two or three hours a day no problem. The advantage of building a machine over buying it is that if it should need maintenance or repair it is a simple task as you will know every part of the machine once you have it put together. Plus the fact that it is far less expensive then an factory built machine.
      The Solsylva is not a difficult machine to build. I am not into electronics so I had some friends of mine do that portion of the build for me. After that it was just a matter of making the parts and assembling and adjusting the machine. Once these things are done there is very little you need to do to keep it running. Again you will know the machine inside and out and so it's easy from there. Hope this helps with your decision. Thanks for checking out my blog.