MechMate CNC Router Forum

Go Back   MechMate CNC Router Forum > Personal Build Histories > Construction started, but not cutting yet
Register Options Profile Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools
Old Wed 24 January 2007, 01:18
Masroor Anwar
Just call me:
Help needed to make cnc router - Pakistan

Hello! all
Gerald D what a fantastic job you have done. I was at the edge of bying one cnc router for wood carving, was diverted by "Bob"( member of cnczone forum) to your valued forum. I appreciate Bob for his valued advice. For last 2 weeks ( more or less ) I have tried to squeeze all the technical information from your enormous technical discussions and PDF files. What I gathered so far ( please make correction where needed ) is:
1. Need one table ( according to drwings ) + racks+ pinnios+ rails+ pullies etc., I will make all these myself, will no buy any big thing few bearing nut and bolts.
3. need 3 PK SERIES 2 ph stepper motors
4. need parallel breakout cards type: PMDW-122.
I want to use this machine for wood carvings commercialy. I am a machinst by profession, have a small well equipted shope. I am confident to do all the mechanical work myself, ready to take a start from mechanical work from next week, will let you know about my progress. Please let me know about changes and corrections have been don so far
by the experienced members.I am ignorant to cnc and electroniscs, no past experience or knowledge what so ever.
My questions to learned members:
1. is the cnc/electronic equipments are good enough for the carving work, take in view my disablity, should I go for a oackage/kit for cnc side? if yes plese recommend.
2. What kind of software is required.
Thanks in advance, will be waiting for early, detailed and positive responece.
Reply With Quote
Old Wed 24 January 2007, 02:09
Just call me:
Masroor, you do realise that your cricket team is out here now, and that I am not supposed to be talking to the "enemy"...

Your shopping list for the electrics is basically correct, except that you need 4 (four) PK series motors - the x-axis uses 2 motors. (that means 4 geckos as well)

The electrical items on your list are the ones that you will need to import into Pakistan. There are quite a few other electrical items needed, but I am sure that you will not have to import them.

I would recommend strongly against electronic kits. Those kits are generally for much smaller, weaker routers. It is generally recognised that Mach3/PMDX/Gecko/Oriental Motor are a top quality combination with excellent support. Not the cheapest combination, but a very well respected combination.

Given your "disability", and knowing that you are a practical machinist type person, I believe that your biggest headache will be find (and learn the)software which will draw the patterns of the things you want to "carve". You can do this before constructing a machine, and you can see if you can get Mach3 to simulate your carvings right on your screen at your desk. I suggest you get to this stage before committing any money to purchasing any components.

Which software is right for you? Well, that depends on how complex your "carvings" are. You would have to tell us more about your style of carving before anybody can recommend software for you.

Oh yes, good luck with the cricket - your team is going to need it!
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 05:16
Masroor Anwar
Just call me:
Gerald. D! enjoy criket with our team, thanks for generous advice. Now I will stick to your electroniscs ( no kits ). The Mach3 is a software, I dont think I can get it here. I have consulted a few CNC MACHINES OPRATERS, they are willing to help me for the opration of the machine. They advice to take lessions on CAD/CAM, if these will be help ful in future I will do this. About the caving you have asked, I want to do caving like craft-man do by hand, this will be for wood furniture. There was a big industry of carved funiture but now it has been sliming down due to shortage of craftmen craftmanship, was fascinated from CARVEWRIGHT and was abot by one for hobby. I need your expert opinion if this setup of your can do what I want. I have been told that there are lot of softwares for carving.Can you suggest any. Please also advice should I take lessions first and than start making the table or I can do all togather. I need a complete list of electric and electronic items ( each & every one ). I have decided to make one now or then. Waiting for yor reply. Thanks
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 06:35
Just call me:
Gerald, I just thought of easing your burden a little by sharing my experiances with Masroor.

I think the below given parts list would be usefull to you. These parts I got down through a friend of mine living in U.S.A. If you try to order components from direct from each manufacturer/dealer you will be spending a lot of money on Freight/Courier charges. Get somebody in states to buy everything for you and ship it to you in one go. The Air freight charges from U.S.A to your country would be roughly US $ 4 per Kg. The weight of the total package will not exceed 50 Kg provided the Rails are not included.

Parallel Port Breakout Card

You will need 1 of these PMDX-122 parallel port "break out" cards from PMDX.

Stepper Motors

Motor Model Number


Catalogue Pages of the Motor Required ing-motors?&plpver=11&forward=1&backtoname=&pane=

The price for each would be around US $ 256.

Stepper Motor Drivers.

Gecko G202 drives

You will need four of these motors.

The manufactuer's website is given below.

Racks & Pinion Wheels

The link to manufacturer?s website.

Catalogue Download Page

Rack & Pinions

The manufacturer would be Boston gear U.S.A (

You will need four pinion wheels. The part number on boston gear catalogue is 46133.

You will also need around 4 (six foot lenths) of racks. The part number is 12760.

V rollers

You will need 5 of these rollers. The manufacturer link is given below.

The part no is GW3. You will need 12 of these. Buy the B3X eccentric bushings from the same manufacturer. It is cheaper to buy than trying to make it on your own. Buy 12 sets of bushings as well.

Springs (Extension)

Manufacturer/ Distributor is McMaster-Carr the Part no is Model No 9654K324.

They sell In six pack units, Buy one pack. You will only be using 4 you could use the balance 2 springs.

Parallel Port Breakout Card.

You will need one of these. The manufacturer's webpage is given below.

Dual Vee Rails

YOu could do this in your country. If not order from the source given below.

Manufacturer website In the 2006 Dual Vee Catalogue on page number 11 the part is given.

The part number is T3-7275-25. The qty (Lenth) required will be dependent upon the size of your table. The steel grade required is AISI 1045 Carbon steel hardened to 52 HRC.

They come in six foot lenths.


The manufacturer website.

The part number is GW3. I need 12 units of this. The price would be around US $ 19.00 per piece. I also need 12 units of B3X bushings from the same manufacturer.

Z Axis Loading Spring

Part Number 9664K27. These come in packs of 5 springs Price US $ 14.89.

Gas Spring for Z axis.

You will need one of this and is also available from McMaster-Carr. I cannot offer to you a part number for this since the selction would be dependent upon the weight of your Z axis including router/spindle weight. In my case the 20 pounder was fine.

I have not included the Rails and componenents required to build the control box other than the PMDX Card.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 07:27
Arthur Ransom
Just call me:
Masroor, 4 months ago I had no background in CNC though I did have 30 years experience with computers. I have ben a hobby woodworker for 40 years and started my wood turning business 6 years ago. Properly built the MechMate should be accurate to at least .001". The MechMate will perform better than you need so it is not a concern. It will machine to much closer tonerances than the Carvewright. I have seen the Carvewright and it will not stand up to the demands of a commercial shop.
Your problem areas are the controler and CAD/CAM software.
Go to and download a demo copy of Mach3. It is a complete version but is limited to 1000 lines of code. Install it on a PC and get familiar with it. As a machinist you should not have many problems using it.
Your biggest problem is the electronics and here is my sugestion. Go to and ask for a price on a complete package. This would be a PC with Mach3 installed, controler with motors and cables, cables with limit switches, Full legal copy of Mach and all of it tested as a package. This is not the cheapest way to go but PC and controler hardware and especialy software setup are the hardest and most complex part of the machine. You will need to specify the size of the motors and cable lengths. Once you get the package you will probably have to adjust cable length and tune the the motors so they give the proper axis movement. This is done by software and is really easy to do.
As for which CAD/CAM to use I will pass on sugestions.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 07:43
Masroor Anwar
Just call me:
Hello! Fabrica, Thanks for helping. I have read that you have completed your machine, congratulation, how the machine running. I only need electrical and electronic parts, no rails, pullies, bearings pinions, racks. I have seen the list you have mentioned for electronic parts but I think there are more I have seen pic., from Gerald Connection box. Please give the name and part Nos., and suppliers. Rest of the hardware I will decide later after going through the local market. Can you also advice me other things I have asked from GERLD or I can waite for him to come back with his opinion what the two experts says.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 08:02
Just call me:
As I told you in my earlier posting I have not included the parts which go into the control box other than the PMDX breakout card.

The rest of the stuff you should be able to source locally (not the gecko's).

You could download the mach 3 software it's free. The link to mach 3 site available on the posting done by Arthur.

I think you could do the computer part locally as well. It's not diffiicult.

Inside a control box you get a power supply (300 VA at 70-80 Volts DC), PMDX card, Gecko drivers,Relays, Isolator switches. Connectors etc.

You will have to think of screen wires as well. These are required to wire the drivers to the motors, PMDX box to Gecko's and also to connect the Home switches, limit switches, e-stop, proximity switches from table to PMDX card.

Since these screened of wires were not available locally I had to import them from Singapore. I hope these quality wires are available in your country. They should be flexible as well.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 09:11
Just call me:
Art, I am going to disagree with you on the "kit from Campbell Designs" A number of us outside the USA have had bad shopping experiences with him (myself included). Paid the money and nothing arrived. His interest to repair the damage was minimal.

Masroor, the ready-made control box mentioned in this thread, could be right for you. Those guys have lots of experience with CNC routers and will help you set up the electronics.

But your real problem will be to learn CAD/CAM/CNC.

And, I must very clear about this, a standard CNC router will never replace a person who hand-carves furniture. Think about a table leg that might be carved on two sides - a standard router can carve from one side only. If you watch a handcarver working, you will see that his chisel approaches the wood from all directions - a standard router can only approach vertically from the top.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 09:38
Travis H
Just call me:

But your real problem will be to learn CAD/CAM/CNC.

And, I must very clear about this, a standard CNC router will never replace a person who hand-carves furniture. Think about a table leg that might be carved on two sides - a standard router can carve from one side only. If you watch a handcarver working, you will see that his chisel approaches the wood from all directions - a standard router can only approach vertically from the top.

In addition to Geralds comment, Yes I would agree with your biggest battle is to learn CAD/CAM/CNC and how to program/use the software. As my profession as a CNC Programmer/Machinist, your results is only limited to your imagination and skill level. You can get fancy and things can get very complicated quickly when it comes to the 3D world. I use lollie pop style cutters when getting into some tight situations. Time in learning the software is your biggest step to accomplishing this task. Good luck! Cheers.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 09:56
Just call me:

Do not bother too much about the the hardware side of electronics. I will help you on it.

In one of the earlier postings which I have read in this forum I could remember that some guys had problems with the above mentioned supplier.

Concentrate more on the mechanical side of things. You have mentioned that you are very confident that you could turnout most of the mechanical components in house, but at what cost. I am talking specially of the V rollers. These are mass produced stuff originating from China. You get super quality at a bargain price.

With regards to rails, no issue, you could do it on your own. This too would have been cheaper to buy if they were widely used around the world. But since it is a special design specifically meant for these type of machines it is not mass produced.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 10:18
Just call me:
Gerald, In our part of the world where Masroor I I are stationed in, guys who are good at CAD/CAM work work are available in quantities.

What Masroor has in mind is to have a commercial operation going once he builds the Mechmate.

If I were in his shoes my first priority would be to concentrate on building a very accurate machine and once it is done he should concentrate on promoting the the applications of the machine. Let other guys handle the behind the screen opartions.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 10:56
Just call me:
Well, it depends on how much Masroor wants to do alone, or how much help he wants to hire.

I have put some "carvings" of Hani Al Mandeel (Bahrain) in a special thread here.. You can see those carvings are basically "flat" - large x,y dimensions but small z dimension. A MechMate is very suitable for this.

But the MechMate is not suitable for furniture carving like this:

Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 11:05
Just call me:
Gerald, If your beast could do this for me I would be one of the happiest guys living under the sun.

I would elaborate later on the other issues raised under this thread.
Reply With Quote
Old Thu 25 January 2007, 22:23
Hugo Carradini
Just call me:
Hello fabrica.
I tried to check the part number for pinion and racks in Boston gear with no luck . It wont recognized it . ¿Can you confirm this please?
Reply With Quote
Old Fri 26 January 2007, 07:40
Just call me:
Hugo, Rack is given on page 35 and the pinion is on page 30 of the PDF catalogue.
Reply With Quote
Old Sat 27 January 2007, 08:52
Masroor Anwar
Just call me:
Gerald, Fabrica, Arthur and all members of this fascinating forum, thanks for helping me. I acknowledge and agree upon the advices: (1) Fabrica: to find some one in USA for collectings & shipping of components (don),concentrate on building a very accurate machine ( doing from now on ). (2) Gerald: no kit.
Regarding carving The pics., more than my expectations, I will definitly go for this project, all the hurdles & obstracles will be waved off with your help. I have been doing my home work today, studying the drawings, making list of conpomnents and material. When & where ever I stuck-up will come to you. Thank Fabrica for offering help. I still need the complete list of electric and electronic components which I have to forward to USA. Thanks and looking forward for encouraging words from you all.
Reply With Quote
Old Mon 29 January 2007, 08:59
Masroor Anwar
Just call me:
Hi! Gerald waiting for list of electric and electronic components.
I might be having problom Y-Car. I do not have any plazma cutter nither I can get help. Please give the drawings with sizes and hole location.
Reply With Quote
Old Mon 29 January 2007, 10:07
Just call me:
Masroor, have you got problems with the list that Fabrica gave you? Basically his list is correct.

Regarding the dimensions on the .dxf drawings, that is tricky.... I seriously believe that any person who wants to understand CNC needs to know how to find dimensions from .dxf files. Please realise that the CNC laser guys understand those dxf drawings and will produce a part with exact correct dimensions. You, as a CNC router owner one day, will also be given such .dxf drawings and then expected to produce the parts to exact dimensions. This is essential to the understanding of CNC.
Reply With Quote
Old Mon 29 January 2007, 22:05
Masroor Anwar
Just call me:
Thanks Gerald! I will try to get out.
Rgarding list there are a few part missing, like power sully, other small components I can see in the pictures of your electric controll pannel, can you give the complete list of electric & electronic so that I can send it to my friend in usa.
Reply With Quote
Old Tue 30 January 2007, 03:32
Just call me:
Masroor, I say this with the greatest respect for you; you need to have a much better understanding of the thing that you want to build. You need to understand what each part does, and why you want to buy it. You probably do not want an exact copy of my control box - you will probably use a router instead of a spindle, you might not be worried about a switch through the door, etc. You could make a much cheaper system if you really understood electrics.

If you do not understand electrics, then I am not going to teach you...the danger is that you kill yourself and then your family wants me to pay. In this case, rather buy a ready-built control box.
Reply With Quote

Register Options Profile Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 18:46.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.