4th axis


I think it’s worth having a 4th axis. I could use it for my CNC mill and also for adhoc jobs on the laser cutter.

I checked ebay and those things are really expensive.

Here’s one that uses a worm drive (another). That looks easy to make. A belt drive would be cool too.

I figure I can buy a chuck like the one at the right. The problem is that I don’t understand the shaft. I think that’s tapered.

This looks affordable so I think it’s a matter of finding one with a straight shaft so I can put it on some bearings and then add a timing belt.

Of course once I get it working there will the the challenge of the software side of things. These guys are using some inexpensive software for cutting pulleys.

Here’s a great idea I got from Guy from Ottawa Robotics:

I now have a small chuck on order, will report back when I get it.

4 thoughts on “4th axis

  1. Pingback: Small pulleys and gears « Mambohead

  2. Arrons comments:
    The most common way is to mount a rotary table on its side and drive it with a stepper. A 3 or 4 jaw chuck can bolt right onto the table and you are good to go.


    You can pick up a cheap small rotary table at Harbor Freight next time you are in the states:

    I have a hell of a time navigating the Harbor Freight website, so I can’t find their 4″ tables and any chucks. Maybe they don’t have them, I don’t know. 3-1/4″ 4 jaw lathe chuck is $75 at Busy Bee in Ottawa. They’ve got 3 and 4″ rotary tables also. Or you can get stuff from Grizzly down in the states for a little cheaper.

    Then you need to build a mount to connect a stepper to it.

    And you’ll have to fight with backlash. Not a big deal if you always spin it in the same direction, or compensate the backlash out in Mach3, but not the prettiest.

    Alternatively for the money-is-no-object crowd, there is the Sherline table already prebuilt with stepper connection:

    There are a bunch of mounting kits for the Sherline to get it standing up if you want. About as high precision as you’ll get.

    Alternative, you can get a cheapy like the one in this ebay auction…

    He’s been selling those for years. Mount a chuck onto the face of it, and you are good to go. Not the stiffest design in the world.

    Finally, you could get a headstock from a small lathe like the Sherline or Taig, and drive it with a stepper instead of the normal motor that they intend. Easy to mount a chuck too also.

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