2017 Team 6- 4th Axis CNC

About the Project:

    Our project is to fit a Thermwood Cartesian 5 router table with a fourth axis for Shaw and Tenney of Orono, Maine. The fourth axis will need to turn a 7” x 7” x up to 30’ long piece of irregular shaped clear spruce stock at 200 rpm, to machine paddles, oars, masts, flag poles and other complex shaped pieces. The Thermwood router has a working surface of 5 feet x 10 feet, of that our sponsor Steve Holt wants to keep half of the table open for non-fourth axis machining and mount the fourth axis centered on the other half. Ideally we will design an open system that allows for the longer stock to be slid through machining in 10 foot sections. We will also have different inserts in the chuck to accept the materials for different applications, one of the inserts will be a rectangular shape so that it can hold the end of oars and paddles, while another insert will accept circular stock for projects like the masts and flag poles. Our main concerns will be designing a solution that fits within the geometrical limitations of the router table, where the planer and router heads are mounted, we will need to design fixturing that can fit under the cross beam, but also set high enough so that the stock can spin without crashing. With the completion of this project we will be saving Shaw and Tenney both time and money, they will be able to have the router complete the roughing and unskilled labor needed to start a piece, leaving their craftsmen able to complete the piece, with this they will be able to complete projects faster, selling more, and cutting costs.

Weekly Updates:


11/27/16: This week we have worked on creating 3D models in


, and also worked on creating an excel spreadsheet to solve for deflection.

11/18/16: Using the equations from the FE reference book to start the analysis of a simply supported beam to determine the potential max deflection of the paddles and oars while being machined.

11/11/16: Met with Steve at Shaw and Tenney to show him our ideas and to look into how they hold their pieces while being worked.

11/1/16: Drew a hand sketch of our potential design.

10/26/16: Turned in the first Interim report.

10/23/16: Came up with an idea to use different inserts to be able to hold different types of stock.

10/18/16: Met to discuss the needed sections of the 1st interim report and assigned sections to group members.

10/10/16: Began to develop initial design concepts for implementing the 4th axis.

10/6/16: Had our first meeting with the sponsor to learn more of what they wanted out of the project.


This is the CNC mill we will be fitting with a 4th axis.


02/26/2017: Finalized our design for the external gear to turn the fourth axis. We will be using a synchronous belt with a 1 inch width. We also came up with a budget for most of the parts.

Complete Assembly








Complete Assembly of the Chuck



Finalize the design so it can be easier to manufacture. Instead of adding grooves for the timing belt on the main chuck we made a separate gear with 16 teeth that will be welded to the 14 inch pipe. We had no luck in finding a donated 14 inch pipe for the project. After consulting our sponsor Steve Holt we decided to order the pipe from Bangor Steel. We are also going to use a size L 1 inch wide with a .375 pitch size timing belt. We will be using bolts instead of jaws to clamp the wood stock because the jaws will hit the CNC table. Purchase forms are done and waiting to be approved.




The base plate is being machined at the Machine Tool Lab by the team. The rest of the machining is done by the The Advanced Manufacturing Center. All part  have been ordered and will be available for assembly in two weeks.



Received the gear from a Maine water jetting company. The Advanced Manufacturing Center had to alter their estimated finish date due to machining complications, The new estimated finish day  will be May 5th 2017. Assembly will take place the weekend of May 6th.




The Advanced Manufacturing Center plans to restart production on May 8th adding in the designs to add concentric bearings and adding more support to the entire system. Machining is expected to be completed by May 19th, which will allow for final assembly the week of May 20th.

Team Biographies:

Tim Murphy-

    My name is Timothy Murphy, I am from Granby, CT, I graduated from Granby Memorial High in 2012 then attended Embry Riddle University in Daytona Beach Florida for a year before transferring to the University of Maine. I transferred to Umaine because I had always liked hands on learning and thought the MET program would be a perfect fit for me, I am now a Senior in the program. I originally got my interest in everything mechanical from growing up riding dirt bikes and doing the work on them, and taking things apart to try and figure out how they worked. After graduation I plan to join the Army as a aircraft powerplant repairer to gain hands on experience before and learn new skills before joining the manufacturing engineering field.  

Jake Cayer-

Grade: 4th year senior Mechanical Engineering Technology student

After Graduation Goals:  To work as an engineer for a power transmission company

Hobbies:  Hunting, Fishing, snowmobiling and automotive repair




Grade: 4th year senior Mechanical Engineering Technology student

After Graduation Goals: To pursue a full time position with a company in Maine

Quick info: 21 years old from Gorham, ME. I enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing and the outdoors.


Faisal Alrammah-

    My Name is Faisal Alrammah and I’m from Alkhobar, KSA. I’m a graduate of Aloruba High School in Dammam, KSA. I attended Jubail Technical Institute in Jubail, KSA in 2009 I graduated with an associates degree in Millwright. I was more Interested to learn about Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Machinery Maintenance. In 2011 I came to The University of Maine pursuing my Mechanical Engineering Technology degree. I started at the Intensive English Institute and I’m a senior student In the MET now. I like 3D CAD designing and photography.


Week one photos


Steve Holt- Shaw and Tenney