CNC Router Projects Are Great for Demonstrating Woodworking Craftsmanship

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Do you want to surprise your friends or family members by making something cool out of the pieces of wood? If your answer is yes, you can use your top-notch CNC router and try DIY CNC router projects in that case. How should you start? Our starting point will be designing a CNC router first.

CNC Router Design

Before attempting to make a CNC router machine you need to make some kind of design. Here designing refers to drawing sketches on paper. But for this particular type of machine, you need to make three-dimensional sketches.

To prepare your 3D drawing, you can use Google SketchUp which is a CAD program. The program is free to use that you can download from the Internet. It is a CAD program which is easy to use. Using the program requires no prior experience of CAD programming.  

However, the program is not helpful in making a complex design. For making a more complicated design you need to use Autocad Program. But for simple projects involving not intricate design, the Google SketchUp will do the job.

Building a router machine takes time. It may require up to six months if you want to make one such machine. So what most people do is they gather some idea regarding the dimensions of different parts of the machine by drawing a three-dimensional design and order the product online.

The important point here is a CNC router has many moving parts. As a result, one needs to make sure that one part does not interfere with the other while operating the machine.

What to Consider Before Designing a CNC Router?

Before designing a CNC router, several factors come into consideration. These are as follows:

  1. The Kind of CNC Router You Want to Build

The first question is what kind of CNC router you want to develop. There are two types of CNC routers: moving table model and moving gantry model. Between these two models moving gantry model is preferable since the design is suitable for cutting envelope greater than 30×30.

  1. Type of Materials You Want to Cut

CNC routers are used to cut different types of materials including wood, metal, plastic. So design your CNC router machine according to types of materials you plan to cut. But CNC routers are not ideal for cutting metals harder than aluminum. For cutting tough metals use CNC mill instead of CNC router machine

  1. The Construction Material of the Machine

It depends on what type of material you want to cut. If you want to cut metallic material for example, aluminum the construction material of the machine should also be aluminum. Sometimes CNC routers made of wood are used to cut metallic materials. But this is not a good practice since the cutting operation is slower compare to using CNC routers made of metals.  

  1. The Amount of Money You Are Ready to Spend

A CNC router is an expansive woodworking tool. The price of a CNC router could be as high as more than one thousand dollars. So, building a CNC router yourself is cost effective than purchasing a unit.  

CNC Project Ideas

After designing a machine and purchasing it online, it is now time to make something. There are numerous things you can make when it is about CNC project ideas involving wood, ranging from a simple mailbox to a well-crafted guitar using the woodworking machine. You can do all of these CNC projects at the ambiance of your home. Working in wood CNC projects is exciting since you use your intuitive power to craft something new.

Let’s now make a coffee stand to explore the utility of the machine.  

CNC Project Plans

The success of a project whether it is a DIY project or a large industrial one primarily depends on a good plan. The planning process involves making a list of things you need to collect for completing the project, managing or purchasing those things and follow the building process in a step by step process. For our coffee stand project, we will first make a list of essential items, collect or purchase those necessary items and then build the stand.

Things to Gather

For this project we need to gather below four things:

  1. Walnut wood
  2. Aluminum
  3. Wood glue
  4. A CNC router

To make the coffee stand we used walnut because the wood is ideal for camouflaging coffee stains.

Steps to Follow

  1. Cutting the wood
  2. Cutting the Cork
  3. Cutting the aluminum
  4. Smooth out the edges
  5. Fitting and finishing the project
  1. Cutting the Wood

Use a walnut plank that is spacious enough to make all necessary parts. It is a good idea to secure the plank to a spoil board so that the wood does not buckle during the cutting operation. Make four pieces from the walnut plank. These four pieces are top, base and two equal length sides.

  1. Cutting the Cork

Make two cork inlays: one at the top and one at the bottom or base. Cutting a top cork inlay is difficult using a CNC router. Instead, using a router table makes the cutting process of top cork inlay easier.

  1. Cutting the Aluminum

Screw the piece of aluminum to a plywood spoil board so that that the piece remains flat while operating the router to make perforations on the surface of the aluminum piece.

  1. Smooth Out the Edges

Smooth out wood edges using router table which has a ? inches round over bit.  You can skip this step if you don’t have a router table.

  1. Fitting and Finishing the Project

Attach different parts of the stand using wood glue. The usefulness of using wood glue is you can disassemble different parts of the stand for cleaning.


The demand for CNC routers is increasing day by day because the machine is proved to use both in industrial use and in small DIY projects. CNC router projects become so much popular among hobbyists since the projects allow them to make something awe-inspiring.

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