I may be able to help. I don't have all the answers as i'm just starting to look into it myself. I have built a 3D printer, CNC plasma table and converted my milling machine to CNC. Its relatively simple to set up an arduino to run a machine as a cnc. Have you looked at GRBL - its firmware to load onto an Arduino to make it into a CNC controller. What Hardware do you have already
I'm looking into whether we would actually need more than two axis, i have been reading quite a bit on driving the chuck and registering its position using an encoder so that we can produce threads. As far as i understand it X & Z axis are the only axis that would be required for basic turning operations.