Tails - Production mode! - Router Forums

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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default Tails - Production mode!

Went into production mode for the first time on my CNC - it was a blast!! I'm making some trophy blanks for my local laser shop and these are B-52 tails awarded to some pilots and crew. I'll be making 12-15 every month so I'm kinda stoked about that. When I agreed to take this on I was going to use my more conventional tools but as I got closer to making the first batch I realized I can do the blanks on the CNC not only much quicker but more accurately, especially since they get laser engraved after I deliver them so accuracy counts.

I spent a fair amount of time in the beginning by getting very good measurements off my sample and creating the file in Fusion 360. But now that I have that done I can cut one tail or two at a time - it takes 5 minutes per tail so a two-up Walnut plank takes 10 minutes. Because I wasn't certain how well this would cut I have limited the feed to 75 ipm but with the up-cut spiral bit I'm using I feel like I could double the feed but I just don't see the need right now. I also used Fusion 360 and the CNC to create the fixtures I'll need on my crosscut sled to cut the bevel on the trailing edge and I'll use my router table to do the roundover on the leading edge. There's a base these set on and I'll use the CNC to make part of that along with the antenna (bump on the side).

I do all the milling and joining with table saw, miter saw, and jointer and thickness with the planer and drum sander so for me the CNC is just another tool in the shop that gets me to a finished product in the fewest steps while keeping a very good handle on quality. It doesn't hurt that it's the coolest tool in the shop, either! LOL! I'm enjoying the fire out of this, especially for a home shop setup -

You can see a finished tail in the background but the base isn't visible here -


A gaggle of tails!
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David

Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Airline Baptist Church BC Songs
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:17 PM
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Dave,

Ain't retirement fun????

Good Show!!

HJ
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, John, we're looking forward to the time when we are retired but not there yet. After the last 25 years of technology sales and how flakey that industry is we decided that I would stay home and work. I probably can't quite replace my income but we don't really need to at this point. I'm working 12 hours every day minimum in the shop (that's not a bad thing!) and have actually thought about going back to work for someone because the hours are easier! LOL!
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David

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:28 AM
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Dave,

I go from morning (no arlarm unless it's hunting season) til 11 or so at night. But I choose how, what, when, and at what pace. Still can't figure out how I had the time to run a business. It ain't all bad.

Now, if only Scottart lived closer for those painting lessons.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:21 AM
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Glad to see that you are now paying for your machine. good job on the tails.

You have already figured out that you will need other machines to finish a project like this and save time. You could do it all on the CNC but using the router table and table saw save a lot of time on a project like this.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:52 PM
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Nice job on the tails David.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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One of the most challenging parts to make on the B-52 tail award is the bump on the side, which on the real plane is an antenna. I didn't make the tail in the photo below but it was my sample and I have no idea how the antenna was made but I figured out a way to do it safely and in volume. I drew it up in Fusion 360 and repeated the profile, which I got from careful measurement of the sample, and put 10 on a piece of Walnut to be cut off later.

One consideration was/is how to protect one of my favorite assets - my fingers! I don't like the idea of using my bare hands to hold small parts near anything spinning so what I came up with is not only safe but very productive. I cut the profile on the CNC and then over to the router table to round the edges. Also, I made a handle to hold this piece securely and the neat part is that once I cut the antennas off I can use the remaining rectangle to make two bottoms to the base unit, which is how I sized the entire piece and allowing for high utilization of the Walnut boards.

Here's the sample tail -


And my setup for rounding the antennas (yes, I did the handle on the CNC and also labeled it... :thumbsup -


So an hour later I have 30 antennas ready to slice off -
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David

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:55 AM
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With age comes wisdom, Grasshopper.

You should get the "Scottart" award for this month.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 10:25 AM
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Great solution to make the antennas and good use of the materials. That is a big part of project design for the CNC, knowing when to utilize the CNC and when to use the other machines in you shop.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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This has passed the CNC phase and on to more traditional tools in the shop but I'll update anyway -

Here's a little more on making the Walnut B-52 tails; it was time to cut the taper on the trailing edge today and I had already made the fixture to hold the tail at the prescribed angle on my crosscut sled. So I used it today for the first time and didn't like the way it worked, figured I could do better. It cut ok but occasionally the piece that gets cut off gets caught in the fixture. In retrospect and doing a little reverse engineering it's obvious that there's no place for it to go so not sure what I was thinking when I designed this.

So I modified it by taking the main portion of the fixture off the sled and making it free standing. Now the offcut piece falls to the side like any other offcut would. This works much better and is much simpler in design. And as usual, I over-engineered the first design when I know that simpler usually means it's going to work 'mo betta' - ah, well, I'll probably over-engineer the next one, too...

Original design -




Current design -


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David

Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - Airline Baptist Church BC Songs
Romans 3:23
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