Is this possible with a CNC machine? - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 05:05 PM
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Welcome to the Router Forums. I think the question here would be if the cost of a CNC would be cost-effective for your shop. Are there other projects that you could use the CNC for? If you will be mass-producing these parts I think a vacuum jig would be good for holding the parts for machining and as 4D said, a jig that would hold several pieces at a time would be the best way to proceed.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for so many great replies already. The pieces are used to make oboe reeds and the current method of gouging or removing the material is outdated, imprecise, and overly troublesome. we basically use a small manually operated "machine" to slide a curved blade across the piece, removing one strip at a time until it get to the desired thickness. Google "oboe gouging machine." These machines are still quite expensive, from $1300-2300. Then we need multiple machines to produce a selection of results (the thickness etc. has to change with the weather seasons).

Barring how to hold the piece down to make the cuts, would a CNC machine be able to cut precisely enough so that my end result is an exact thickness? Starting with something about 2mm thick then taking it down to .60 mm. I imagine this would require a really small and fine bit? And is there a way on the programming to vary exactly how thick it will cut at exact points if the dimensions of the starting blank are programmed in? My dream, which may end up being farfetched, is for a machine like this to gouge the pieces not only precisely, but then also allow me (on the computer program) to alter exact specifications of thickness and gradation etc.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 09:40 PM
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It's not uncommon to have CNC machines that work within a few thousandths but you'll likely spend the same amount or more (emphasis on more) for a rigid enough CNC machine to hold those tolerances.

The other factor will be the environment; humid and the bamboo will be thicker, dry or low humidity and the bamboo will be thinner. You could check the thickness today and find it to be 0.60mm and 0.65mm tomorrow if the environment changes.

What tolerance is acceptable for this application? From my limited knowledge on wind instruments I'd say the tolerance is small but I know the reeds must vary from different batches and suppliers.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 11:08 AM
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 01:23 PM
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to your question, i think yes. at least the machine i am using (CAMaster panther 404) with Vectric Aspire can perform the specs your are asking. the programming and tolerances can be very precise.

as you mentioned, the variable in your project would be the "external" diameter, and how linear that diameter is along the length of the blank - all with regards to a reliable hold down method. an individualized vacuum hold down jig could be designed/built that may hold down the "average' of the diameters being used. the jig would be periphery lined with a rubber gasket which could allow some diameter deviation.

the method of holding on the sacrificial ends which are removed later would also be a method to pursue..

is the external surface left on the reed, or is it shaved/machined/shaped also?
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