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G1005Z Full CNC Mill Drill

This page is here to show you what an import mill converted to CNC is capable of. I know the pictures are large and I am sorry for the wait, but I feel most will want to see this stuff in high resolution. This first picture and video section is here just to show off what these can do. Later on, there is an FAQ which can hopefully answer most of your questions. Full conversion designs for this mill are available on the next page. Unlike most sites, I do not charge for these plans. I do however offer many of the conversion parts for sale to save you time on your own retrofit.

Machine Specifications

Grizzly's G1005Z Page
  • Table Size: 7-1/2" x 23"
  • X-Travel: 12.5"
  • Y-Travel: 6.5"
  • Spindle Travel: 3-5/8"
  • Motor: USA Manufactured 1 HP
  • Spindle Range: 12 Speeds, 110-2580 RPM
CNC Axis Motor Specifications

Full Specifications

Power Tranfer and Ball Screw Specifications
  • Screw Type: McMaster Carr Rolled Ball Screws
  • Screw Diameter: 5/8"
  • Screw Lead: 13/64"
  • X-Y Driveline Gear Ratio: 1:1.6
  • Z Driveline Gear Ratio: 5:9
  • Belt Type: SDP-SI Urethane/Kevlar Timing Belts
  • Mounts: 1/2" CNC Machined 6061 Aluminum
0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
Servo Controls

Geckodrive Full Specifications


CNC Video Files

Here are a some video clips for you to see the machine in action. These clips are quite large and have not been editted yet so please excuse the waiting periods. If you don't have a high speed connection or don't want to wait for every movie, just watch the CFC picture or letter engraving videos. These are the operations that set apart CNC mills from manual mills and also show the true accuracy and speed of the controls.

Routing 1/4" GE MR5 Lexan

The cut is being performed with a 3/8" endmill at 25" / minute. A finish pass is being ran at 40" / minute after every 0.100" climb milling pass.

Lexan Routing.avi

26.6 Mb

Milling 1/2" T6-6061 Aluminum

The 3/8" HSS endmill is taking off 0.050" per pass and is moving at 20" / minute. Again a 0.010" finish pass is made at 40" / minute.

Aluminum Milling.avi

10.0 Mb

Drilling 1/2" T6-6061 Aluminum.

A #7 cobalt drill bit is being used to make proper sized holes for tapping in that aluminum block. The z-axis is moving at 6" / minute.

Aluminum Drilling.avi

8.2 Mb

High Speed Picture Engraving in Carbon Fiber

Here is one of the coolest things to do with a CNC. The machine is making a picture of calvin in 2.0 mm 11-02 twill carbon fiber sheets. The engraving is being done with a simple Dremel tool bit at 40" / minute just 0.010" deep. Check out the finished product in the pics below.

Carbon Picture Engraving.avi

14.6 Mb

Letter Engraving in Carbon Fiber

This time we are engraving cartoon style lettering onto a carbon sheet. I wanted this to be extra sharp so I reduced the feedrate slightly. The full panel is shown below in silver CFC.

Carbon Lettering Engraving.avi

18.3 Mb

Finished Parts this Machine has Made

Here are just a few of the products and parts this machine had made. If you follow the designs for this CNC conversion, you can produce the same stuff.

This is a climbing robot that I made for an ASME Mechanical Engineering Competition at Colorado State University.


All the aluminum and carbon fiber you see here was machined on this mill. There are eight precision bearing holders that had to be accurate to within 0.0005".


Here is the finished engraving showed in the lettering video above. The entire operation took less than 90 seconds to complete.


This is a servo control box for a new machine I am making for some friends. Once again, all carbon, aluminum, and lexan parts were made on this mill.


This is the lexan plate that was milled in the video above. I needed to join it to the carbon sheet by routing a recessed area.


This is where that Rutex label engraving was actually used. The owner of this new machine wanted Rutex controllers instead of Geckos for whatever reason.


These parts were made for other machines that I either sold or am using myself. This first one was a new base plate for my lathe.


These are motor mounts that were used on a previous machine. As I am sure you noticed, these are the same design used on the G1005Z. They work so well and are so rigid, I saw no reason to change them.


This z-axis motor mount was needed for an older mill retrofit.


1. How much time and money does a CNC mill retrofit like this take to complete?

Not including the price of the mill, a conversion like this can be completed for a roughly $2000.00. A complete breakdown of this price can be obtained from the design pages. This took about 150 hours to complete, however, when I started this project I was still quite new at machining. If you already have experience with machining, you could probably complete yours in half the time.

2. I can't afford that; any way to make it cheaper?

There are some ways. All parts for my machine were purchased new as I wanted to be able offer plans that others could follow. Some of the most expensive components are the servos and the ball screws. If you hunt around on Ebay or in local salvage yards and manage to find these components, you could save yourself up to $1000.

3. What software on your computer is used to control this?

I use a program called Mach 2 CNC available here. The machine is controlled using the digital signals from the parallel port (printer port) on a computer. The code inputted to the machine is called G-Code and can be easily written by hand or created using a CAD package of your choice.

4. Can this still be operated manually?

This question comes up a lot. First off, the jog controls on the Mach 2 software allow the mill to be driven just like a manual mill only much faster and more accurate so the only time a manual control would be desired is when you need to "feel" the cut you are making. My z-axis design allows the fine and coarse downfeed to be fully operated manually as desired. While I made threaded handwheel mounts on the ballscrews for the x and y axes, putting them on would serve little purpose. Since the stock acme screws were replaced with ball screws, one turn of the handwheel does not move the table 0.1", it moves it 13/64". Because this is a non-sensical dimension, moving the table 1.000" by hand would be nearly impossible and hence I saw no reason to mount handwheels. If you wish to "feel" the cut or edge find, the servos can be temporarily disabled and the pulleys can be driven by hand.

5. If I was to complete a conversion like this, what special tools would I need?

A small lathe and the mill you are converting will be necessary to make the mounts. Apart from that, all you need is simple hand tools. The parts that require machining are available for purchase if you don't wish to do this yourself.

6. What's with the weird donut power supply (how is it powered)?

A bridge rectified toroidal power supply is one of the cheapest ways to power CNC controls like these. That 35 lb. transformer can supply 2 kW continously to the servos. An equivalent regulated power supply that can handle 2 kW would probably cost near $1000. Fortunately, CNC motors do not require a "very clean" input power so a bridge rectified transformer works just fine. The Gecko drives, however, do require a clean 5 volt source so a much smaller regulated supply is used to provide the logic power.

7. In additions to plans and parts, do you offer complete CNC machines for sale?

Unfortunately, this is something I cannot do right now. I don't have the space or time to fully convert the machines for you.

8. I am electrically challenged. Is this a problem if I want to do a conversion?

Electronics knowledge is certainly preferred, but you will not need to know how build your own circuit. If you can follow a simple wiring diagram, you will be just fine. Due to the high voltages involved, caution should be taken when powering this stuff for the first time, but so long as you stand at a safe distance and test this outside, there is no danger whatsoever.

9. I have a mill made by "xxxxx" that looks similar to yours. Will your plans be compatible with my mill?

Literally hundreds of US companies import the same Chinese mills and sell them under their own name. The difference from machine to machine are usually quite minor (like color or motor size) and do not change the conversion designs at all. Generally the table lengths vary a bit, but the mounting points are still identical. The x or y ballscrew length is the only thing that will change. I have converted three mills now and have used the same design for all three. If it looks similar, it will probably mount up just fine. There are some ways to check if you go to the designs page.