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Joe's Hybrid 4x4 CNC Router

hybrid hybrid

    The name says it all; it’s a hybrid of sorts and even more so than the 06’. Built of steel unistrut, 8020 aluminum extrusions and a smaller portion of MDF and HDPE parts it has become one of the most robust DIY cnc router projects to hit the web since Gerald’s Mechmate (mechmate.com). The clear difference however (and it is hard to compare the machine to an outstanding design like the Mechmate) is that it is a true bolt together machine. Often times DIYers are discouraged when they find a perfect machine for their needs but it is out of their abilities and resources. This was the case for Joe; not necessarily that he couldn’t weld the machine together. But he had a desire to design something that had the rigid nature of a machine requiring skills of a metalworker and the ease so that an every day person with enough aspiration could build it.

hybrid 8020

    Resembling much of the Shopbot’s original structure with unistrut it is a very commercial looking bolt together machine. The core of the machine is the aluminum extrusions and their t-slots and high strength lightweight design. They allow adjustment and play that you cannot normally get with a machine that is milled to only bolt together one way. The table typically setup with 1-1/2” of MDF bolted down with t-tracks and milled flat is extremely durable and if needed rather cheap to replace. A huge upgrade from linear skate bearings and gas pipe this machine boasts high quality Size #2 v-roller bearings and affordable 3/4" x 3/4" steel angle iron as the rail. Fixed and adjustable bearings with eccentric and concentric bushings allow you to put the machine together loose and button it up without any guessing or exacting precision as it bolts together. It’s just fluid and easily adjustable in all ways.

slide slide2

(Z-Axis Slide With Porter-Cable Router)

    The machine itself started out with Joe basing much of it on the 06’ model; pipes roller bearings and lots of HDPE and MDF. After much playing and use it was revised several times before ultimately deciding on the best guide system of v-roller bearings. Hugely successful with larger more industrial machines but still quite affordable for people it was the best way to go. It offered a much more accurate way of linear motion without breaking the bank. The extrusions stayed however; they were vital for this machine to be a bolt together that was easily adjustable. Losing the gas pipes, their handful of mounting plates and the skate bearing assemblies it allowed a much simpler design in the area of linear motion. And that was Joe’s whole concept in the machine; keeping it simple. No gimmicky parts and proprietary components, just simple structure that could compete with others in its class; built with parts that could be bought from many suppliers across the United States and the globe.


(Earlier Revisions of The Hybrid)

    With over 50 active build logs and over 150 members active in the Hybrid user forum this machine has in a short time captivated a market that was otherwise stuck between either going for a smaller machine or putting themselves in the unfamiliar environment of trying to do more complicated metal machine work. The only custom parts on the machine are made of materials that can be easily milled on a smaller cnc router; typically a Joe’s 06’ or a JGRO and if not accessible to you directly Joe even cuts kits for this machine.

Sample Machined Parts:


Sample Hybrid Controllers:

controller controller hobbycnc

The Bottom Line:

The cutting area of the machine is roughly X: 48”  Y: 48”  Z: 5”

The average speed with the suggested motors and controller is between 100-150 IPM depending on your setup. But with a better controller and optimal configuration rapids of up to 300IPM have been successful

Perfect for milling soft/hard woods and plastics: signs, parts, 3d relief and v-carving, medium sized nests of parts etc and also soft metals such as brass and aluminum.

Great for the small shop that needs a larger cutting area with a small overall envelope.


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  • Contact: joecnc2006@yahoo.com