CNC wiring.

(19) X axis stepper, flexible coupling and thrust bearing.


(20) The wiring has started (I am quite looking forward to this bit).


(21) Steel housing (control box) fitted to the rear of the frame, this is for all the control electronics and power supply.


(22) All wiring is screened to minimize noise pickup and prevent false pulse detection. There is also a common earth point within the control box.


(23) Without using energy chain this is a reasonable solution to routing cables from the moving X and Z axis to the stationary frame.


(24) Cable routing from a different direction .

Energy chain for cables.Energy chain for cables.

I have now fitted some IGUS energy chain. I think the previous system worked just fine but this is perhaps a more elegant solution.


The power feed to the spindle motor finds its own way.


The spindle is manually switched on/off. When its on there is inherent danger, when its off and unplugged, it is safe.


Although using a pump circuit to prevent software glitches unexpectedly turning a spindle motor on, computer control of such a powerful motor does represent an avoidable risk.

Microswitch for Z Axis limit.CNC flexible coupling for the X Axis drive.Tweakie.CNC

Buy a 10mm paint brush (or a purpose made machine brush) to clean away swarf and debris and if you are ever tempted to poke your finger in anywhere on a running machine DONT, use the brush instead. Fingers are precious too.



CNC control box wiring.CNC cable runs.CNC wiring in progress.CNC control box wiring.CNC cable runs.Tweakie.CNC under construction.

CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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Despite some earlier doubts about safety I have now decided to add spindle control to Tweakie and the simplest method was to use an optically isolated, solid state relay which is controlled directly from the LPT port. Since there have been a few other additions the control box is now getting quite full but fortunately there is enough space on the door to add the SSR and socket. The Mach software allows for the specification of which LPT pin is to be used for spindle control and then, from within the GCode program, the M3 command turns it on and the M5 command turns it off. It should be noted that with the machine turned on the spindle is potentially always live, however it can still be unplugged for safe tool changing etc.

Tweakie.CNC.Solid State Relay used for the spindle control.

This new socket is not just limited to the spindle, in fact, it can be used to switch anything on and off (within the current limitations of the SSR and associated wiring, of course).

If you click on the right hand picture, my ‘Towers of Hanoi Revisited’ video shows an application where the socket is used to power an air bleed valve (via a transformer) which in turn creates and destroys the vacuum within a pick-up tube from a continuously running vacuum pump. The ‘pick and place’ operation is controlled by a GCode program which includes the M3 and M5 commands.

CNC. Pick 'n' Place. Towers of Hanoi. Video.