Originally Posted by Dan
Just ran across this. Take out the CNC aspect, make the chassis out of steel and use router as a motor and you have a DIY mill. http://www.instructables.com/id/My-C...type/?ALLSTEPS
Wait, be easier to have a cross slide vice under. Would work awesome for small parts.
That's pretty close to what my CNC router looks like, but mine is on a steel chassis... Mine uses a 1/2 hp motor on a flex shaft to the spindle and it can cut wood like butter and is capable of doing some soft metals, I've made a few copper exhaust gaskets with it to see if it would do it and it did the first 2 just fine but copper work hardens and it began to chatter badly on the third one I was cutting on the sheet. In order for me to do more of these I would have to cut the sheet down first, then anneal the pieces and cut out one or 2 at a time.
What's nice tho is I can get a better spindle motor like a pulse modulated DC motor so I can have the much needed torque at a very low rpm, then it would cut thru metals considerably better. I was looking at a 800 watt brushless dc spindle which would fit my mount and the price is still not that bad, but once you get above the 1.5 kw level with these motors and their driver circuits, that's where the price really jumps since the stronger motors are still rather small and require liquid cooling and a driver circuit that can take the additional power.
I was also thinking about using one of those brushless motors in the lathe since I could have triple the power and torque for close to the same size, these motors are pulse width modulated so that's how they can produce such awesome torque at lower rpm's, the power going in is the same, but it's modulated and it does it so smoothly you would never know the motor is going on/off several times a second to control the speed.