Friday, December 25, 2015

First Projects on New CNC Router

After building my CNC router and getting things tuned up I've had some time to finish a few projects.

Engraved Signs

For holiday gifts I made a few name plates for friends and family. Two of the signs are for some of my fellow sculptors at West Huron SculptorsRobert Ongaro and Yuni Aaron. I put some Golden Oak stain into the carved areas to heighten the contrast.

The latest updated of Autodesk 360 Fusion included an Engrave toolpath. It's quite simple to use - select the text and the tool and Fusion does the rest - moving the tool up and down so the sides of the cutter align with the edges of the text.

In the image below the lower blue line is the path of the tool tip. You can see it moves deeper in the wider areas and retracts at the ends of strokes.


The fonts I choose to test out were these:
I had no trouble cutting any of them.

One side effect of being a woodworker for many years is you have LOTS of wood scraps. Off cuts and small pieces accumulate over time so it's great to have little projects like this to make use of the wood. I used some left over tiger maple, quartersawn white oak, and walnut to make these.

The tool for this work is a 60 degree sign making bit. It uses a single solid carbide inset knife. I got this one from Tools Today. This insert knife actually came loose during my first test cuts. I didn't notice until it was done with one piece. The wild chattering which was taking place chipped the tip and the edge. I'm glad it didn't come fully loose - yikes. Anyway, it still works well enough to produce all the signs above. It does need to be replaced though.


The spindle speed used was 12000 RPM. The feed and plunge rates were 100 IPM.

Acrylic Guitar Templates

In cutting guitars it's important to get the router origin perfectly aligned with the wood blank. In order to help with this I routed some clear templates out of 1/4" acrylic. The origin is at the bottom center of the guitar body. Align the template, mark the bottom with a pencil, zero the tool point in X and Y to that origin and things are ready to cut.

Here's the template for the Jazzmaster:

And the Telecaster template:

These are cut with this tool, one flute, sharp point, scalloped back edge - specially made for acrylic and other hard plastics: Spiral O Flute from Tools Today.

More Guitars

I cut fifteen more guitars for Wallace Detroit Guitars. These were he first ones I did on my machine.
The flats and a few finished guitars:

The flats are screwed to the spoilboard. A few tabs hold them in place. These are easily removed via a bearing guided straight cutter bit at the router table. 

Ready for pickup, further custom routing, and finish. More details on the cutting, with the University of Michigan routers, is available here

Newer Work

Here's a post about some newer work done on a rotary axis I added to the machine.

Here's a project cutting acrylic and assembling into a figure


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