CNC envy for Frank Howarth

So, I have the 1000x1000 X-Carve, and I really like it. I’ve really only used the large size once or twice - almost everything I’ve made could have been made on the smaller X-Carve.

That said, this guy’s CNC is looking amazing. This video is part 2 of the build, and I think next week he’ll have part 3. All of his videos are impressive. I’ve been watching his videos for a couple of years for the woodturning aspect. And he lives not too far from me, so someday maybe I’ll stop by and visit his shop.


That kind of strength calls for a much larger spindle.

Damn that things a beast…

I hope my soon-to-be Franken-Carve is 1/2 as strong as that thing. Here’s a teaser pic :smile:


About to do much the same thing to mine. Pretty much time to stop calling mine an X carve as so little will be left that was ever stock.

Mine is also coming along… not anything CLOSE to that monster, but I did not inherit a fortune or a machine shop either. I tested it this weekend using a 36 v supply on a 110 volt spindle. Also, my z-axis is a ball screw/linear bearing unit but uses a nema 17 motor. I am tearing that down now and replacing with a nema 24 motor. I wanted to get @Travelphotog and @EricDobroveanu 's input on this short carve video. Note, the long curls of aluminum coming out and the rough top edge. Is this good or bad? This is a viper bit at (I am guessing… my tach is GONE, can’t find it) around 4k rpms. Again, this is just the first attempt after squaring, tightening and calibrating, and using .005 DOC, 6"ipm:

Any feedback?

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@Earwigger Too slow! That’s what we like to call chip welding. I have found that going slower than ~30ipm can cause chip welding. I hear a lot of chatter too, which is bad, you should probably up the RPMs, 4K is quite slow. At these settings, your chip load is looking good, but your SFM is way too low (131). You want to hit 600+ SFM with a 1/8" bit. Not sure what spindle you have, but generally speaking ~20K rpm will serve you well at 654 SFM, you won’t get much chip welding.

I’d start there, 30ipm @ .005" DOC and 20K rpm. After that you can try raising IPM or DOC, but you’ll be better off going faster usually to maintain the chipload. I find it hard to maintain a proper chip load with aluminum unless you use a 2flute cutter, but the surface finish is great with the 3flute destiny end mills.

Thanks man! (I always wanted to learn how to weld aluminum!). I figured it was slow. I blew a fuse on my 110v power supply so I am using all my 36 v supply has to offer. I had to order 8 amp 20mm fuses. Hence the messy experiment.

Last night I finished boring an anti-backlash coupling so I can upgrade my z axis stepper to Nema 23. Now I need to build a stepper motor mount. By then, I should have my 110 v supply working again.

One last question: I have nearly everything I need to make this a Makita router unit. Would you just automatically do that or try to use this 600 watt 110v spindle?

Again - thanks for your guidance. I want this machine to be dedicated to aluminum milling.