Opinions on woodworking with a CNC router

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Opinions on woodworking with a CNC router

Postby harrykane140693 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:46 am

I occasionally think to myself that some operation would be a lot easier (or even become possible) if I had a CNC router setup. But they're kind of expensive, and I don't have experience with computer modeling, and I'm not sure how often I'd actually use the thing. I'm also not sure how much I'd enjoy it... I like this hobby because I like doing things by hand, which CNC diminishes. I don't know though, so I thought I'd toss out a few questions for y'all.

Do you have a CNC router? How often do you use it? Are the cost and space requirements justified? What kind of stuff have you used it for? Do you enjoy using it? Is it "real" woodworking?
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Re: Opinions on woodworking with a CNC router

Postby WillAdams » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:26 pm

I've got one, and I like it. Some observations:

- very flexible --- I can work up a setup to make a part which would be multiple setups on a table saw and router table (or involve quite a bit of cutting by hand and using specialty planes)
- noisier than using hand tools
- it's much more pleasant to use with a good dust collection setup

How do you currently draw up plans? If you use a CAD tool or a vector editor you're halfway there. You may want to consider SketchUp

If you don't, you'll need to find a suitable CAD solution --- if you have no experience, I'd suggest starting w/ Carbide Create: http://carbide3d.com/carbidecreate/beta/ --- see: http://docs.carbide3d.com/assembly/carb ... tutorials/ for some videos --- its' almost embarrassingly simple. If you enjoy drawing stuff up in it and find it workable (if you have problems check https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Carbide_Create and https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php ... ate_Basics ) then proceed to the next step:

With a given project drawn up, research what is needed to actually cut:

- you'll need to select an endmill, see: http://docs.carbide3d.com/tutorials/tutorial-tooling/ and https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Endmills
- you'll need to work up feeds and speeds: http://docs.carbide3d.com/support/suppo ... ds_250.jpg and https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Materials
- you'll need a way to hold the part in place: http://docs.carbide3d.com/tutorials/shapeoko-clamps/ and http://docs.carbide3d.com/tutorials/project-wasteboard/ or see: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Workholding

Then assign appropriate toolpaths and preview the file in 3D --- you may wish to also use a 3rd party previewer --- GrblGru is a 3D machine simulator and excellent for this sort of thing.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)
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