10 x 9 x 4 Fixed Gantry Machine

Fixed Gantry Machine
10x9 Fixed Gantry CNC Machine.

Simple, Solid and Inexpensive

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to build
  • Low cost
  • Built with basic tools
  • Made of stock materials
This fixed gantry machine uses bearings that ride steel rails. Bearings also support the leadscrews. These features give a solid machine that can use a trim router to cut aluminum.

The plans are step by step written directions with over 250 images that include photos, dimensioned drawings and 8-1/2" x 11" printable templates.

10 x 9 CNC Machine
Made of 1x4 and 1x6 boards.


Only basic tools are required to build this machine. Tool list (on FAQ page) The machine's body is made of 1x4 and 1x6 boards that are cut to length and drilled. These boards are stiffer than MDF.

Most cuts are cross-cuts, and all wood cuts can be made with a power-miter or hand saw. A table saw is neither needed nor missed.

The rails are black iron pipe, rigid conduit, or galvanized plumbing pipe, which can be cut with a hacksaw.
There are no threads to tap, and the steel rails are not drilled.

The table is sized so it can use half (18 inches) of a standard three foot Acme leadscrew on the X and Y axes. This simplifies upgrades.

Building Cost

The cost for the All Thread version of this machine, not including the trim router and stepper-drive package is ~$150. This is ~$40 for bearings, and $110 in the homecenter components of wood, pipe and hardware.

Stepper and drive packages start at $270. Trim routers start at $80.

The cost of the leadscrews and leadnuts will range from less than $20 total with all axes using hardware store All Thread, to over $50 for each axis when precision Acme is used.

Directions for these options are included. The leadscrews can be upgraded after the machine is built.

Steppers and Speeds

NEMA 23 steppers move each axis. This is a standard size that is available in many stepper and drive packages.
The prototypes used the HobbyCNC 200 oz.in. system. HobbyCNC also sells a 305 oz.in. system. Its extra power is noticeable, but was not missed in machining the aluminum with this 10x9 machine. Other stepper packages can be used.

The 5/16-18 threaded rod leadscrews gave rapids above 50 inches per minute. The precision Acme leadscrews permitted rapids over 250 ipm with the 200 oz.in. steppers.

The machine uses a trim router. Its power is compatible with the wooden construction and the popular steppers and drives.

Scaling and Units

The machine has a cutting area of 10 x 9 inches with 4 inches of Z travel, and a footprint of 17.5 x 17.5 inches. The machine can be enlarged by a few inches on each axis.

The pipe rails are clamped against their supports at their ends. There are no center clamps. Therefore, long rails will flex. The rails could be secured in their midsection, but this is not addressed in the plans.
The gantry supports could be lengthened to give more Z travel, but chatter increases the farther the router bit is from the gantry rails.

This machine is sized in imperial units because it is built of off the shelf USA home center parts. The measures are in fractions of inches, not decimal inches, so carpenters' measuring tools serve well.
A list of the metric measures of the USA materials is on the FAQ page.

Milling Aluminum

The photo below is of a piece of 3/8 x 6 inch aluminum flat bar that was milled with a 10x9 machine.

The machine used 3/8 inch diameter precision Acme with anti-backlash leadnuts on the X and Y axes.

There are more pictures of aluminum cut with this machine on 10x9 details page.

Information regarding a spoil board and hold down clamps for the 10x9 machine is on the Hold Downs page.

Work milled with the 10 x 9 CNC Machine
Aluminum edge milled by the 10x9 machine with Acme leadscrews.
More info is on the 10x9 details page.
These plans do not include directions for the software and electronics because the suppliers cover this information for their own products.
These plans do give directions for deriving the Step per Inch values that are needed to configure the software for these machines.
The machines were all designed to use NEMA 23 stepper and drive components such as those from Geckodrive, Xylotex and HobbyCNC.
Mach3 and TurboCNC are popular controller software options. Other software and motor suppliers can be used.
The above vendors work with the Do It Yourself market and have help forums and documentation.
Clicking a Buy Now button in the table below will forward you to PayPal via the downloading service.

The Digital Download page gives more information about downloading the plans.
You do not need a PayPal account to use a credit card with PayPal.

These plans are also in the five plans bundle, which includes the 10x9, 13x13, 18x24, 25x25 and 24x48.
10x9 Plan
Buy Now

The file size is 7,930 KB (8 MB)
The file name is 10x9_plans.pdf

13x13 & 10x9 Plans
Buy Now

The size is 9,631 KB (9.7 MB)
The file name is 13x13_10x9.pdf


All five CNC plans
digitally delivered as one PDF.

Five Plans
Buy Now

The size is 32,351 KB (32.4 MB)
The file name is 5_plans.pdf