Touch probe on my journey man

Hey guys, moe here,
Im waiting on my cnc and i just realize that i have to buy a touch probe, my journey man won’t come with one.
So my question, do i need to buy onefinitys or can i use the dog river touch probe i see on Amazon?

Hi Moe, while a touch probe is nice to have, you can get by without one. When I started my CNC journey, I only had a printed circuit board for Z probing and was happy. Later on when I purchased a XYZ probe, I had to learn a bit of Gcode to edit the script for the different dimensions. I am using a BuildBotics controller through the breakout board, I believe OneFinity uses those tiny Molex connections on a separate port. That said, it would be easier to use their probe, but any probe should work with some tinkering. You can get by in the beginning just using the paper method and make chips from there.
On a separate note, the videos I see for the Onefinity, come from the inside out. Others will approach from the outside edge, pushing against the work piece. Editing the Gcode script for probing can make it approach from either side you wish.

Hi Moe - welcome to the forums. As Joel noted, you do not need to purchase the OF touch probe. But if you don’t, you will need to change the macro to ensure probing is completed properly. Certainly using the one from OF (or @charleyntexas who makes the one from OF) will be the easiest.


There have been others that use the Dog River touch probe, you’ll need to update the settings to reflect the dimensions in the UI.

In many respects probing from the ‘inside out’ direction is better. When you probe from ‘outside in’ the bit is pushing against a fixed object at that point and if the circuit fails to complete you end up with a bent or broken bit. Also it enables you to probe a corner at the limits of what the machine can cut since the probing cycle runs from inside the workspace towards the outside.

There is one major drawback, if your workpiece that you’re probing is out of square, that will get magnified by the distance of the probe. This is where a grid on your wasteboard, dowel holes, t track etc can help you square your workpiece to the machine.

Hi Moe,

Also understand that the only complex aspect of probing takes place quite literally in the black box. The probe itself can be a very crude device if you only want to probe Z (which is how I roll). In that case, any flat piece of aluminum will suffice. One wire to the aluminum plate and another wire to an alligator clip (or fancier magnetic attachment as Onefinity uses on theirs). If you do wish to use an XYZ probe, then it’s more worth the cost of buying one.

This pic shows my old Z probe on the left, and my newer Z probe on the right, that doesn’t require the use of an alligator clip.


First, I used the paper method. Then I made one out of mdf and covered with copper tape. Finally I ventured into cutting aluminum and made one.

As for the dog river one, I am sure is perfectly fine. And the connector will need to replaced or a jumper made to go from the connector on the OF to the probe. I bought this, which has ten of the microfit molex 2pin connectors that fit the probe port.

[Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 dual row (2…](Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 dual row (2…

If you have the breakout board pin 22 is also for the probe you don’t need to a molex connector. I have an aluminum insert at the front right of the wasteboad for the ‘bitsetter macro’ connected in tandem with the probe block.

Yeah, I didn’t realize the Journeyman didn’t come with a touch probe or dust boot. Kinda pissed they didn’t add this info to the “not included” section on the page. The website could use a bit of an upgrade itself.

So now I need to get a dust boot and a probe.

Well then when you get them you’ll be pissed again because they didn’t tell you that you’ll need somewhere to stash the touch probe between cuts and that you need some kind of hose boom for the vacuum hose. The hose can’t just be stuffed into the dust shoe and hang off the front of the machine - the weight of the hose will pull on the dust shoe and can pull it out of the arms (which if that happens when the router is running will eat the back of your shoe). Since everyone has a different installation, it’s hard to standardize on hose management solutions but either @RowdyRoman or @PwnCNC have solutions you might want to take a look at while you’re waiting.

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Haha - there are like $2500 of things they didn’t “tell you” :wink:


For sure, especially if you come at this from the point of view that someone else is responsible for telling you everything vs. taking responsibility for doing a bit of research. The number of things that you can decide you “need” is endless :laughing:

Need is somewhat relative, really all you must add to the Onefinity is a router, some bits, electricity and g-code. Everything else is optional but some are highly desirable to be more productive and do things like contain dust. A touch probe isn’t mandatory, you can zero from a center mark by eye or use paper and jog .1mm at a time until you get it right, the touch probe takes that operation from a 10 minute task to a 30 second task making it more time efficient. A dust boot is a good idea to have as well, keeping chips and dust from settling all around the shop is likely a desirable outcome… also I see many posts on the forum about dust buildup on the lead screws and in the machine, dust collection can help reduce this as well. I have well over 1000 hours on my machine and have had no such issues with dust building up in the various pockets of the machine.

For sure. Probably only about $200 for the router and a handful of bits.

But as with any tool, it’s pretty easy to define “wants” as “needs” :smiley:

Thanks for the info…
I decided to but it anyway. I just hate paying tax twice due to the company being in Canada