20 Dollar CNC Enclosure
Who says you need an enclosure for a CNC milling machine? I’ve had plenty of experience with manual milling machines. It just takes a few minutes to sweep up and you’re done right...?
At the beginning of the year I bought a PM-25MV. It’s a manual milling machine. At first machining parts wasn’t too messy. The only time chips landed more than a couple of feet from the machine was when I was drilling deep holes. About a month later I installed a CNC conversion kit on my machine. Chips started to travel further. Cleaning up was starting to take quite a bit of work.
Then I started using a fly cutter for facing operations. Chips were flying 30 ft! They were ricocheting off the walls and ceiling and getting into everything! It would take hours just to clean up the mess. No matter how vigilant I was in wiping my shoes, chips also started finding their way into the house. I even tried switching shoes when I came inside the house. That didn’t work either. The invasion of the chips continued. I knew that if I was going to convince my wife (who is 9 months pregnant) to let me keep my CNC milling machine, I had to act fast.
The obvious solution was a CNC enclosure. But it couldn’t just be any enclosure. I was going to do my homework and have the perfect enclosure complete with LED lighting.
Every day I had new ideas for my enclosure design that would make it “better”. A few weeks later my “two or three day” project had turned into weeks. I still needed to use my milling machine so I decided to design and build a temporary enclosure. It had to be quick and cheap.
After just an hour of sawing, glueing and screwing,I had exactly what I needed….
I made it from recycled wood I got from our old queen bed box frame. It’s 5 feet tall, 3 feet deep, and 4 feet wide. The corners in the back are reinforced with braces for rigidity.
The curtain rod across the front is just a ½” PVC pipe I had in my raw materials stash. I first tried a 1” PVC pipe, but it was too large to get smooth action with the shower curtain hooks.
Here’s the parts I used. Note: I am not affiliated with any of these sites and don’t get paid if you click on these links:
- 1 x shower curtain twin pack $9.99
- 1 x package of shower curtain hooks $5.99
- 1 x 10 ft, ½” PVC pipe $2.20
- Scrap wood from bed box frame - free
You’ll also need wood glue and screws. If you don’t have scrap wood, Just pick up some 1x2s at your local hardware store.
My total costs were $15.96. Even if you need to pick up a few extra materials and supplies, you're still probably only looking at around $20! It might not look pretty, but it gets the job done while I continue to work on my dream CNC enclosure.
Do you have tips for making the perfect CNC enclosure. Please share in the comments below. Stay safe and happy machining.