Rotary 4th axis for tube coping

Am looking to build my own Rotary 4th axis, anyone done this or has any info on if its better to buy one or build one out from parts. My budget is around $200-$300. I never worked with a 4th axis and would love to build one for coping tubes. I really dont know about ratio, backlash or setting that would need to be calculated for it. Basically know nothing about the subject, have looked all around the net but have found no step by step writeups or videos.


Look for information related to building one for a CO2 laser engraver/cutter. Probably the chuck style vs. the hot dog/friction style. I built one for my lasers, the basics should be the same. I chose a motor that closely matched the Y-axis motors on both my lasers so that the setup was easier. Basically, you build the rotary, then unplug your Y motors and plug the rotary in. Then in the control software for the lasers, there’s an option to tell it you’ve plugged in a rotary, and you dial in the step and direction settings there.

Mine’s basically the friction style (the motor turns wheels or rods that the object sits on), and it’s a real pita, because things slip on the wheels. It’s very similar to this one: The next go-round will definitely be the chuck style rotary, and I’m hoping that I can build one that will work on the Crossfire Pro and both my lasers. However, steel pipe being much heavier, maybe the friction style would be fine for a plasma setup.

Look on, Sawmill Creek, and CNC Zone for threads related to building one.

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Jeremy Fielding on youtube built one. Doing this is on my list of wishes for the PRO as well, should have enough interfaces in the control for it.


Thanks for the input, and yes getting a motor that matches matches the ones with what the crossfire has was one of my concerns, most of the chinese ritary 4th axis Ive seen come with a 3a 57 step motor and dont know what will come with the pro, or how would a 4a or higher affect the settings dip switches ect… Also they seem to be 6:1 ratio and dont know if missing steps will be a big issue with those on a plasma cutter. I will definitley check those links out.