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Read on an I’ll give you my simple-to-follow strategies that avoid the worst and most expensive mistakes DIY CNC builders make. 

Turn that CNC router you’ve always wanted into a reality. 

I wasn’t always an expert in CNC Router Design, I was  pushed into it by circumstances

Dave Field – KAL CNC Strategies

Professional Product Designer

Howard had asked me to cut a few aluminum machine parts for one of his clients. 

It was a test of my maker abilities and I jumped at the chance. 

All I would need was a small 3-axis CNC router to cut the parts and it needed to be rigid to cut aluminum.

All I really needed was a rigid table-top machine because the parts weren’t huge so it made good sense for me to build my own CNC router in-house. 

Plus, I really needed to have one in my shop.

I started researching the best ways to design and build a CNC machine.  But I found a huge amount of conflicting information and 10,000 different opinions existed. All the so-called EXPERTS were telling me something completely different.

I was expected to blindly accept what they were telling me, and just hope that it all turned out well. 

It was a huge leap of faith, which made me really uncomfortable, but I needed to start producing parts quite quickly. 

So, I made some wild educated guesses and got to work on my design.

It took me about 4 weeks to complete my drawings and all the detailed parts list. 

It had taken me much longer than I had estimated, because I had to design some parts over and over to get them to work.

Then I ordered all the expensive expert-recommended parts that I could afford, and started my build.

It took a lot of fiddling and back and forth to get the frame together so it was close to straight and level.

Too late,  I discovered all those expensive components I had bought needed to be mounted really accurately too.

The mounting surfaces needed to be machined completely flat, which I couldn’t do.

I ended up buying a bunch of expensive tools to try get the mounting surfaces flat but never really managed to get them right.

Finally, after a lot of back and forth, I finished the mechanical build. 

Things seemed to be coming along well and I started to wire the machine up. 

I struggled to find a reliable wiring diagram anywhere.  I looked everywhere but no two diagrams I found matched. 

I had to design my own wiring diagrams from scratch. 

It turned into a real nightmare to get it working and doubts about my abilities started creeping in.

To this day I’m not sure how I managed to get it to run properly.  A lot of guessing and testing. 

After a super stressful build, I was finally able set up and cut the first batch of parts. 

My family hadn’t seen me for weeks!

 When I  took the first parts off the machine, I realized that things were really BAD! I knew I was in real trouble. 

That beautiful machine I had bet my business future on was flexing, chattering and vibrating horribly when it cut the aluminum.

I tried different feeds and speeds but no matter what I did, it wasn’t rigid enough to cut the aluminum properly. 

There was no simple fix, because of the complicated way I had designed the machine. I would need start all over again, and now I was out of time and really low on money. 

So, with my back to the wall, I sent the job out to a machine shop. 

A  week later, they shipped the parts directly to Howard’s client. I had a bad feeling about rushing the machine shop. 

Howard called me the next day and my heart…


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