My CNC Setup: Organizing Tools and Improving Stability

In this video, I showcase a few upgrades I've made to my setup. I have actually included some storage services to keep my tools and devices organized. I've hung a spindle wrench holder on the French cleats around the computer system cabinet, as well as a tray for the Z axis touch plate and a tray for the panic stop button. Furthermore, I've included some beefier cross supports to the frame to avoid shaking when using the fourth axis. Lastly, I have actually made a cabinet to hold the chuck key for the 4th axis and chuck interface pieces for future jobs.

Tools utilized in this task can be discovered at


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0:00 (intro).
0:58 (tool holders).
5:11 (bracing).
8:15 (cabinet).

My CNC Setup: Organizing Tools and Improving Stability

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  1. Those are GREAT ideas, but on the cleat for the wrench holder you lose a bit of space on the cleat area above. If you were to cut the pockets for the wrenches at a 45* so the come out to the front and not straight up you could get full access to the cleat area above and still have easy access to the wrenches. Great job and I love your videos.

    1. Or, just put the wrench holder on the top cleat. Nice thing about cleats is you’re not locked into a particular arrangement.๐Ÿ˜

  2. Infrastructure improvements are always awesome to see. Gives me ideas of what I still can improve in my own little workshop

  3. Nice! I love how you are always striving for a better shop, while using the shop. You are an inspiration to many of us…

  4. Are you at all concerned about the vibration of the machine causing those things to fall off the shelf by the 4th axis?

  5. I always enjoy your videos sir. Youre a source of inspiration. Thank you for the continuous, calm problem solving you always display.

  6. i love that youโ€™re always making little tweaks to your shop setup, itโ€™s much more realistic (instead of a giant overhaul) and it speaks to a thoughtfulness and awareness about your space. a thoughtfulness and attention to detail that is also present in your videos and makes them both soothing and delightful to watch.

    p.s. maybe this is a little odd, but have you ever thought about just putting the chuck key on a bungee cord and/or carabiner? put a little hole or hook in that shelf and it can just get hung up after, or if youโ€™re not pulling it very far it can stay clipped to the structure itself ๐Ÿ˜‚

    i was also quite surprised by your stacking the little cookie shaped things loose on the shelf, iโ€™d half expected some โ€˜poles on standsโ€™ (like kitchen roll holders) that you could take out and pop on top of the CNC as needed, and drop the cookies onto them via the hole in the middle. but maybe this works better for your personal habits!

    1. I made a comment on another channel recently about my being embarrassed when people ask what I make in my workshop, as the answer is mostly things _for_ the workshop. Anything that reduces the clutter and makes things work better is a win IMO, and the joy of making stuff is mostly the same whatever we are building.

  7. Fantastic work, Frank! It’s really looking great! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
    Organization always helps!
    Stay safe there with your family! ๐Ÿ––๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. Love your content Frank! Iโ€™ve been watching for years and I have really enjoyed seeing the progression of your production quality and confidence with different materials and techniques.
    Would you ever consider doing a rebuild of your slide saw? I cringe a little bit every time the bearings catch on the slide while youโ€™re cutting, it just looks a little awkward to use haha

    I hope you and yours are well. Keep up the great work!

  9. When drilling that aluminium, you discovered something about how drills are ground.
    The middle part is called the web, and if it wasn’t there, the two flutes of the drill would be seperate pieces and the drill would fall apart. It’s there on small drills too, but the drilling pressure allows the metal to deform and move out to one of the cutting edges.
    You can cut a smaller drill bit shape into the Web so that part can cut as well, it’s called splitting the point. You can buy split point drills, or do it yourself with a small cut off wheel in a dremel.

  10. Some excellent upgrades to your CNC. I like them. A couple of questions though. Do you have any problems getting to the wrenches? It looks like the little fixture above them restricts access. Also I think you would like to have some sort of a door on the small parts cabinet. It would keep the parts in and dust and dirt out. Thank you for sharing. Have a great 2023 and stay safe.๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Excellent! I did the same thing on the end of my (mostly) Avid Pro 4824 years ago and thats where my hydraulic table lives as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently added large steel gussets to the “40” side of the legs also to stiffen things up. Alas my 5th axis is still sitting in the box while I complete other updates to the machine.

  12. Frank – what I most appreciate is you taking the time to illustrate and explain your design process.

  13. As always Top Shelf Video Frank, Thanks for sharing. I was thinkin, on the side you store your chuck key, drill a hole to drop the chuck key in. Less chance of it vibrating off the shelf, and it would hold it in an orientation for easy and consistent access. Thanks again

  14. Love it. I know you thought about the fold up shelf. If you find that a lot of dust gets in where you keep the tools, you could add a split fold up shelf on one half to have a small area to hold the tools and still allow you to open it with out moving the cart. When your not using it, fold it down to keep the dust out of the tools.

  15. When finished my toolmaking apprenticeship, I spent a few years in our NVH (Noise Vibration & Harshness) section at Ford UK Product Development at Dunton, Essex. It was fascinating and educational. One thing we did was look at mounting point locations. If a part had a resonance at a particular frequency then looked for antinode locations to minimise vibration being transmitted from one part to another. I can remember moving an accelerometer on a magnet along a vehicle exhaust system which was mounted on a rig with a hydraulic ram shaking the exhaust through a frequency range for instance. CAE is so good at predicting those things nowadays, that testing is only needed to prove what they already know. Bracing your CNC table would definitely fall into that area of engineering. We know that your background would mean you already understand that sort of thing, and as it is more than 50 years since I was involved for a brief period, I suspect you know rather more than I do anyway. I still find it incredibly interesting though. BTW the area I spent most of my time at Ford doing was in a small instrument design team, and doubt many people enjoyed going to work as much as I did.

  16. Frank, larger drill bits have a “chisel edge” at the termination of the drill web. Look up “relieving a drill point”, and you can split the chisel-edge on a bench grinding wheel with a very good/square corner. It might take you a few dozen attempts, but once you learn it, you will avoid pilot holes whenever you can. Keep up the good work. -Andy

  17. Hey Frank, another brilliant project video, thank you. Is there a particular reason why the aluminium extrusion protrudes past the end of the bed at the shelf end? I feel like that would frustrate me and I’d keep catching myself on it. Could you cut the aluminium extrusion short or extend the legs out, assuming there is enough space for you to walk around the machine. Particularly since you have relocated the trolley.

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