DIY Wood Milling Machine: Manufacturing Technology

DIY Wood Milling Machine: Manufacturing Technology

From this article you can learn how to make a milling machine for wood at home with your own hands to perform basic operations with workpieces. The text sets out a step-by-step technology for creating a tool: an analysis of the structural features of the device and all the components necessary for its installation, dimensional drawings and detailed descriptions that will help to create each of these elements and put them together.

DIY wood milling machine: design specificity

Wood milling machines can have various purposes. Some devices are designed to perform just one operation, others are. Buying a professional tool is an expensive pleasure, so many craftsmen resort to making a woodworking machine with their own hands. Most often, this router is used in small furniture workshops. Milling machines are usually used for processing wood in a straight or curved contour. As a working element in the design is a knife head, which performs rotational movements. In most cases, this part is vertical. There are many varieties of milling machines, each of which has its own design features. The most popular types of devices:

  • standard single spindle (spindle is located vertically);
  • single spindle designs where the spindle or homemade milling table tilts;
  • copy milling cutters with a spindle having a top placement;
  • copy constructions with a spindle having horizontal placement (the tool is designed for processing propellers made of wood).
Note! In all of the above designs, except the last, the material is fed manually.

Milling Machine Design: Single Spindle Designs

The design of a single-spindle machine includes a horizontal table with a pair of sheet pockets designed to fix the guide rulers. It is mounted on a bed of cast iron. Under the table there are slides that move along the guides. They have a spindle mounted on the thrust bearing and a pair of bearings. At the top of this element is another spindle – insertion. It is designed for mounting cutting parts.

Milling Machine Design
For machining large workpieces, a reinforced spindle must be used.

The slide with the spindle can be lifted if necessary. For this, a bevel gear with a handwheel or a screw is used. Belt drive allows you to set the spindle in motion. And for this, a counter-drive, motor or motor shaft can be used. To make such a router on a tree with your own hands, you need to take into account some nuances. In some cases, you can not do without additional spindle reinforcement. Such a need arises if it is necessary to process large workpieces or serious loads are applied to the part. To do this, on the machine table you need to install and fix the upper stop. This element is fixed on the bracket. To control the movement of the workpiece during the milling process, it is advisable to use a guide ring or ruler. Machine tools in which the spindle or table is tilted, allow you to perform a wider range of woodwork with your own hands. In addition to standard operations, such designs allow to obtain a higher quality of processing, obtaining a clean and uniform surface. This result can be achieved by treating wood at an angle using cutters with a very small diameter. A tilting spindle tool is much safer and more convenient.

Homemade wood copying machine with top spindle placement

These devices are used for copying. It does not require high power. Such designs allow you to perform milling and drilling work to create openwork products.

Homemade Copy Wood Milling Machine
Homemade Copy Wood Milling Machine

The copy device is capable of replacing three tools at once:

  1. Milling cutter.
  2. Drilling machine.
  3. Jigsaw.

Wood processing is carried out using cutting mills. The spindle develops a large number of revolutions, so that the machined surface is very clean. Homemade woodworking machine can be used for various purposes:

  • calibration of lugs;
  • the manufacture of openwork frames;
  • study of the walls of ribs, etc.

A frame made of cast iron is used as the basis for this design. Its upper part is curved in the shape of a sickle. This area is used for mounting an electric motor.

Having made a strong and reliable design of the machin
Having made a strong and reliable design of the machine, it can be used to perform various operations with wood
Note! The bed performs the function of a link on which all the elements of a homemade wood milling machine are installed. The stronger and more reliable its design, the better.

The engine is mounted on rails. Due to the system of levers, it can move up and down these elements. This section is set in motion by pressing the pedal, which is equipped with a special stopper. The rotor shaft of the engine is connected to the spindle, where the chuck with the tool is fixed. This cartridge can be self-centering or American. In the lower zone of the bed, a table is mounted on a movable bracket. This design can move along the rails vertically using the handwheel. There are other options for making a home-made milling machine for wood with your own hands, a drawing of such a design involves the vertical movement of the table also during operation by pressing the pedal. In such models, the electric motor and spindle remain stationary.

How to make a wood lathe yourself: drawings and technology

The easiest way to make a tool at home with your own hands is to construct a lathe or milling cutter from a drill or an electric motor removed from another tool. This process is not so complicated, so every master is able to cope with its implementation. This will require an electric motor, the power of which does not exceed 500 watts, and improvised materials. A drill can also be used as a drive. Of course, making a lathe will require some skills. For the construction of the machine the following elements are required:

  • metal bed;
  • electric motor;
  • the handicraft;
  • tail stock.

It does not hurt to get a drawing that will help you navigate in size and correctly make all the structural elements for its subsequent assembly.

How to make a homemade drilling machine with your own hands with a motor

First you need to prepare the shaft of the electric motor. For this, a face plate is installed on it, a steel center with a thread is also suitable. Installation of the second center is carried out in the tail stock tube. To make the bed, you need a pair of corners measuring 5×3 cm, their length is 15 cm. A motor is attached to the bed with a bolted connection.

Homemade Drilling Machine Example
Homemade Drilling Machine Example
Note! The central part of the tail stock must necessarily coincide with the middle of the electric motor shaft.

At the next stage of manufacturing a do-it-yourself machine, do-it-yourself head stock assembly is performed. This element is formed from a pair of horizontal and a pair of vertical corners. A pipe designed for the spindle is attached to it. It is necessary to insert a bolt into it, the diameter of which is 1.2 cm. Previously, its head is sharpened at a right angle. Thus, the central part of the spindle is indicated. After this, the head stock is installed on the bed. On the upper rack, which connects to the horizontal corners, it is necessary to fix the tube by welding. To make a handicraft, you need to take a steel bar with a chamfer. Also, this element should have a hole that will be used to secure the support ruler. It is necessary to vertically weld the tube with the locking screw to a long corner. Then, the handle bar is inserted into it. The rotor of the motor on which the face plate is mounted will be used as the spindle of the head stock. It needs to make several holes. A plug will be inserted in the central part. Holes at the edges are used to fix the part with screws.

interesting wooden products
Even with the help of simple tools you can create interesting wooden products, for this you need to study the technology of working with the tool and practice

How to make a wood lathe with your own hands from a drill

Having at hand a workbench with a solid and even work surface, you can build a lathe without resorting to the construction of the bed. An electric drill in this case will serve as a rotary drive and a head stock. According to the simplest drawing of the machine, this tool is enough to fix on the surface of the workbench through the neck. Clamps and a clamp are suitable for fixing. Next, you need to make an emphasis, which will act as a tail stock. This element is mounted opposite the drill. To create it, you can take two bars of wood and an adjusting screw sharpened from one end under the cone. If you plan to use the machine for processing massive wooden work pieces, it is advisable to fix the emphasis on the table with clamps. DIY tools are quite inexpensive materials. A drill-based lathe can be used to grind various parts:

  • door handles;
  • structural details of the stairs;
  • decorative products, etc.
Note! A machine with a wooden clamp is suitable exclusively for the processing of wood blanks. The use of such a tool for working with metal is not allowed.

To expand the functionality of the tool, its design can be supplemented with nozzles and other devices that can improve the quality of work. These improvements include:

  • winding on transformers;
  • applying a coloring composition over a rotating part to create patterns;
  • drawing spiral notches on the workpiece, etc.

Installing a special attachment in the form of a copier will allow you to use the machine to create a series of identical parts or products according to the template.

An example of a multifunctional home-made woodworking machine from a drill
An example of a multifunctional home-made woodworking machine from a drill

How to make a wood milling machine with your own hands

This category of tool includes several varieties. Before making a milling machine, you need to think through all the details in advance:

  1. Decide on the type of design, and what tasks the tool will perform.
  2. Decide on the materials that will be used for the construction of each element, and methods of fixation.
  3. Calculate the technical and operational parameters necessary for full functioning.
  4. To select drawings for the self-made milling machine for wood with the dimensions of all parts.

To work with complex elements, a mill with a high power level and a large number of revolutions will be required. Experts recommend giving preference to devices that have manual spindle tuning and automatic stabilization. Functions such as quick stop and soft start will be useful. In ideal designs, replacing the brushes of the electric motor does not require disassembly of the tool body. The design of the milling cutter consists of the following elements:

  • countertops;
  • beds;
  • spindle;
  • parallel emphasis;
  • feed slide;
  • vacuum cleaner.
Helpful advice! Recommended engine power for the machine is 2 kW or more. Tools with lower rates will not be able to process hardwood blanks.

DIY selection of materials for the manufacture of a woodworking machine

In order for the bed to withstand high dynamic loads, it is desirable to use metal as the material for its manufacture. The most suitable option is a pipe with a square or rectangular cross-section. The use of a massive metal corner is allowed. The choice of such materials allows you to create a design without using a welding machine. All elements are connected by bolts. The design is collapsible, which facilitates its transfer and transportation. In addition, using the appropriate drawing of the milling table, you can create adjustable legs with your own hands. Movable legs allow you to adjust the machine horizontally. For the manufacture of countertops, such materials are suitable:

  • multilayer plywood sheets;
  • planed board;
  • particle board.
Table for woodworking equipment
Table for woodworking equipment

The countertop must have a smooth surface. Any irregularities will affect the quality of work. In addition, it is necessary to exclude all factors that may cause scratches during processing of workpieces. When making a do-it-yourself milling table, a flat surface can be achieved in several ways:

  • plastic finish;
  • careful adjustment and grinding of planed boards;
  • metal finish.

You can use an asynchronous or commutator motor to make a milling machine with your own hands. The first option is quite unpretentious in operation and does not impose restrictions on the size of the used mills. Among the shortcomings is the high noise level. The commutator motor is more affordable, but its brushes wear out faster.

Scheme of a convenient milling table with storage drawers
Scheme of a convenient milling table with storage drawers

How to make DIY milling tools

Homemade wood cutters are able to efficiently process wood, but when they come into contact with solid materials, the cutting elements quickly become dull. Therefore, the range of application of such parts is significantly limited. To make a milling cutter for wood with your own hands, you need to take a cylindrical billet and cut off half its diameter in the area where the cutting zone will be located. After this, it is necessary to smooth the resulting transition. From the cut part of the workpiece, you need to remove another 1/4 of the diameter and perform a similar operation. Then you should give the machined section of the cutter a rectangular shape. To do this, cut off its lower part. The thickness of the resulting working area should be 2-5 mm.

Helpful advice! To cut a metal workpiece under the cutter, you can use a drill or grinder, adapting this tool to perform this task. The cutting edge can be made using a grinding machine.

Recommendations for making homemade wood milling cutters:

  1. It is advisable to sharpen the cutting part at an angle of 7-10 °. A sharper edge will cut much worse and quickly lose sharpening.
  2. With the help of an angle-type grinding machine equipped with metal disks, it is possible to give the cutting part of the mill the necessary configuration. For these purposes, diamond-coated files are also suitable.
  3. If the cutter has a complicated configuration, you can flatten it or bend it.

How to make a diy milling machine

The simplest milling machine can be manufactured on the same principle as the turning tool described earlier. There are several ways to design a leading design center. In the first case, a steel tube with thin walls is mounted on the shaft. This method is considered the simplest, but it is not without drawbacks. The operator will not be able to process workpieces whose diameter is less than the inner section of the pipe. In addition, such a design will not be able to quickly dismantle if necessary.

Using a milling machine
Using a milling machine, you can securely fasten both the tool and the workpiece, which will allow to obtain the highest quality of the product

In the second case, the workpiece will be attached to the face plate. For this, you can use screws for which you first need to make holes. This method also has disadvantages. The diameter of the workpieces is limited by the size of the face plate. To simplify this process, you can make a special cartridge, although in this case it will not be possible to avoid some restrictions. The back center, which will be used to fix the long workpieces, needs to be installed on the tail stock. The electric motor is mounted on the frame. In general, the simplest designs of turning and milling tools are largely similar. If you want to get a more functional device, you can make a milling machine with your own hands, but this will require additional technical knowledge.

DIY table technology for a milling machine

There are several design options that can be used to install a desktop milling machine. Tables can be stationary or portable. In addition, there is also an aggregate variety. This design allows you to expand the surface of the table for the use of the router. Most often, craftsmen prefer stationary structures having a metal frame. As a material for the countertop, Dutch plywood is suitable.

Note! When making a table for a manual milling machine with your own hands, you must take into account the growth of the person who will work for him.

The list of necessary tools and materials includes:

  • metal parts for the frame (pipe or corner);
  • guides from aluminum;
  • axis for fixing the milling cutter;
  • putty, as well as priming and painting compounds;
  • self-tapping screws;
  • furniture bolts (60×6 mm);
  • hexagonal adjusting bolts with nuts (4 pcs.);
  • Finnish laminated plywood with moisture resistant properties (sheet thickness 1.8 cm);
  • material for the manufacture of a parallel stop (plywood or boards);
  • drill and set of drills;
  • screwdriver and electric jigsaw;
  • welding machine;
  • auxiliary devices (brushes, rags, spatula).
Portable table for Hand held wood router
A portable table for manual milling allows you to process small parts of wood

Having everything you need, you can easily make the design of the milling table with your own hands, video reviews of the technology, which are many on the network, will help to visually familiarize yourself with this process.

DIY manufacturing technology of machine: drawings and assembly

Milling machine differs from a conventional tool in the presence of a program that controls its operation. On many videos, homemade machines are made on the basis of a beam with a rectangular cross section, which is fixed on rails. Milling is no exception. During the installation of the supporting structure, it is advisable not to use welded joints; fixing is best done with bolts. The fact is that welds are vulnerable to vibration, which is why over time the frame will undergo gradual destruction. As a result of the change in geometric dimensions, the equipment will lose its accuracy and processing quality. It is desirable that the drawing of the table provide for the ability to move the tool vertically. For these purposes, a helical gear is suitable. Rotational motion will be transmitted using a timing belt. The vertical axis is an essential structural element. For its manufacture, you can use an aluminum plate. It is very important that the dimensional parameters of the axis correspond to the dimensions of the future machine.

The scheme of the machine on round guides
Scheme of the machine on round guides
Helpful advice! Using a muffle furnace, it is possible to cast a vertical axis of aluminum, taking into account the dimensions indicated in the drawing.

Assembly of the machine should begin with the installation of two step-type electric motors. They are mounted behind the vertical axis directly onto the housing. One motor will control the horizontal movement of the milling head, the other – vertically. Then you need to proceed to the installation of the remaining components of the structure. Rotational movement will be transmitted to the nodal elements of the tool using belt drives. Before you connect software control to the finished router, you must definitely check its performance and, if there are any shortcomings, eliminate them. Many masters use do-it-yourself video reviews for assembling the machine, which details this process.

DIY equipment for creating milling machine for wood

To create milling machine at home, it is imperative to use stepper motors. They provide the ability to move the tool in 3 planes. To create a home-made machine, the electric motors present in the matrix printer are ideal. It must be ensured that the motors have sufficient power. In addition to engines, steel rods will be required.

Milling machine
Milling machine made of metal profiles using a small milling machine

The matrix printer has only a couple of motors, and three will be required to create a milling cutter. Therefore, you will need several old printing devices. It is desirable that the motors have 5 control wires. Due to this, the functionality of the tool increases. Of other importance are other engine parameters:

  • degree of rotation in one step;
  • winding resistance;
  • voltage level.

To assemble the drive, a stud and nut are required. The size of these parts is selected taking into account the drawing. To fix the motor shaft and stud, you can use a thick winding of rubber from an electric cable. The nylon sleeve is suitable as a retainer; a screw should be inserted into it. As an auxiliary tool, you can use a drill and file. Tool management will be carried out by software. A mandatory element of the machine is the LPT port, which provides the connection of the control system to the router via electric motors. The quality of the components used to assemble the machine depends on its service life and the quality of the technological operations performed. Therefore, the choice of parts should be approached thoroughly. When all the electronic components of the machine are installed and connected, it remains only to download the driver and software.

Milling machine
The milling machine can be made from improvised materials steel fasteners and old parts from the printer.

How much does it cost to buy milling machine: tool prices

If almost any master can cope with the manufacture of a manual milling cutter and a stationary table, then assembling machine for many will seem an impossible task. Moreover, home-made designs do not have the capabilities that a factory-made tool can offer.

Helpful advice! If you intend to use a milling cutter to perform complex woodwork, it is better to give preference to factory designs that are precisely calibrated and have many functions.

Prices for them vary depending on the functionality, table size, power, manufacturer and other parameters. Average prices for factory-made milling machines:

Machine name Table length mm price $
LTT-K0609 (LTT-K6090A) 900 3257
WoodTec MH-6090 3510
LTT-P6090 4682
RJ 1212 1300 4509
WoodTec MH-1212 4941
RUIJIE RJ 1200 5678
WoodTec MH 1325 2500 7060
WoodTec MH-1625 7683
WoodTec VH-1625 9520
RJ 2040 3000 15032
WoodTec VH-2030 14522
WoodTec VH-2040 16159

Assembling a machine with software is a rather complicated process that requires certain skills and knowledge. This work cannot be completed without a suitable drawing and necessary details. Elements such as signal cables, stepper motors, and microprocessor boards can be removed from outdated equipment or purchased online. Many online stores offer ready-made kits for assembling milling machines for home workshops.


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