How to create your plates by hand. Tutorial

If you are on a tight budget or can’t find anyone who can cut the plates for you, you can make them yourself. This is quite easy and that’s how i started back in the days. The idea is to build the machine with handmade plates and then cut new ones with the machine once it’s up and running.

We will use standard aluminum for the tutorial. Any aluminum will do if it’s not hardened. You can also use HPL (laminate floor) but only for a belt driven machine.

Step 1
Print the stencils that you find in your download on to self-adhesive paper or plain paper that you glue on to a sheet of aluminum or HPL.
Measure the print to see that your printer doesn’t downscale the print.


Step 2
Cut the stencil 5mm outside the border

Step 3
Glue the stencil on to a sheet of aluminum or HPL

Step 4
Use a sharp object to mark the holes. This will make it much easier to get the holes perfect.

Step 5
Drill all the holes by following the color codes. For the oval holes, drill 3 holes and use a file or jigsaw to open up the hole.

Step 6
Some plates require exact copies like the 4 corner plates. To get an exact copy of the first one, do like this. Choose two holes furthest apart and drill through your original plate on to the plate below and fasten it with a 5mm screw.

Step 7
Do the same with the other hole and fasten it with another 5mm screw.

Step 8
Now you can use the original plate as a template. Since we have fastened the original plate with screws the below plate won’t move while drilling the other holes.

Step 9
Cut the plate with a jig saw or miter saw. Trim the edges and soak the plate in water to remove the template.

Step 10
Some of the plates needs bigger holes for the motors. You can use a drill as shown in the picture below or use a jig saw to open the larger holes. The result doesn’t need to be perfect, we will cut new plates once the machine is built.

Step 11
The reason we need big holes is because of the motors.

Step 12
You can make smaller holes if you don’t have a large drill. Just use washers as a distance.


Now you can move on to the tap instructions and start to build your machine. Look at our videos for instructions on how to cut aluminum.