This a list of and advice for the tools I used for building and operating my NC router.
For those who plan to build a machine you might find some helpful hints on the tools you need here.

BloXYZ NC Router

BloXYZ build blog

ANew NC Router
build blog



NC Advice

Other projects



The Square

 The key to a working NC router is precision and this is how I got it. A simple 12" precision square used carefully and creatively can achieve levels of precision easily with in .001 inches and better. Most squares come with a scribe. This is basically a pointy piece of metal. The best way to make a good clean precise mark with a square is to just make a little cross hatch with the scribe on the work piece. Pens leave a much wider line and can mark up you square. Once you do mark the point you want to drill I advice not to center punch it as most center punches will hop off target a little. Once a piece has been center punched incorrectly it is almost impossible to drill it in the correct spot.

I highly recommend Starret squares. If you are planning a project like this then the extra money of a good square is only a small fraction of the total cost of the project.

Drill Press

A drill press if used in combination with a square is a very accurate tool. Once you have marked the spot to be drilled with a scribe with patience and care you can line up the drill press to the mark. If you can, use a good drill press. There are allot of cruddy drill presses out there that have alto of wobble in the spindle or any other place. Better drill presses achieve better results. This does not mean you need a top of line drill press, only that you should use one that was not made in china.


Drill Bits

Good drill bits are important and not extremely expensive. If you are going to be making your machine in steel then good drill bits are even more important. When buying any bit it is important that it was not made in china. Cobalt bits are very good and will last for a very long time. I personally have had good luck with Craftsman's Zirconium Nitride coated bits but for really good bits I recommend ordering Cobalt bits from either Bass Tools (713)-682-1889 or McMaster Carr. Both company's provide excellent bits and you can feel the difference between the good Cobalt bits and the Craftsman bits.

I will just say again, don't buy a bit that was made in china. It does not matter if they say it is titanium it is not worth you money or saving a few bucks. If a bit breaks or dulls that is at the minimum an hour out of your life to replace it and in addition to that you have to pay for another bit. A good bit will last more then twice as long and pay for itself in the long run.

The only time the rule of good bits does not apply is for low precision wholes larger the 3/4" for which real bits are very expensive. In that case buy a cheep whole saw and don't feel bad when you have to through it away when your done. Expect a whole say to be able to drill through about 1.5" of unhardened steel before dulling. When using a whole saw use plenty of cutting fluid to keep it cool. Heat is the enemy of whole saws. Don't use whole saws on stainless steel thicker then sheet metal. Don't use whole saws for precision work



 I hate to say this but I have never had any problems with any taps and except for some specialty work would use any tap I can get my hands on. The tap on the left was made from a piece of 1/2" acme threaded rod to thread my Delrin anti backlash nuts. You can find instruction on how to make it in the Bloxyz build blog or from Dave Kush at who I got the idea from.

Taps are expensive so you should design your machine to use as few different bolts as possible. This also makes bolts cheaper as you can just buy a box of one or two kinds.