All I need is another project! - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Default All I need is another project!

We had the local CNC users' group meeting tonight and while setting up my monitor and computer had a guy introduce himself. He has had his CNC for 2 years and has not hit the run button yet. He needs software training and machine instruction. The people at the Rockler store told him to come to the meeting and talk to me because I do software sessions and machine startups. I hat to tell anyone the refer to me "NO" so I'll be doing at least a couple of days work at his shop to get him up and running.

We also had an 81-year-old woman come in looking for someone to do some work for her on an old rocking chair that has an iron frame and oak back and seat. The original back had scrollwork in the center of the back with hand-carved details around the rim. She did find someone to do some scrollwork in the back for her but it is flat without the carved detail. The back and seat also have a roundover. Noone at the meeting had the time or they lacked the skills for the job and I tried to avoid doing it but I always make sure the work gets done if it is doable and they have been referred to our group. I think it was interesting that it was the local Woodcraft store that told her to check with our group that meets at the Rockler store but I have dome software demos for them when their employees could not be there. This project will be started in about 3 months from now because of my backlog right now.

I'll post the project for those interested in what needs to be done to make the parts similar to the originals.

Got to go! I have design files to finish!

Mike
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 06:30 AM
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That's cool, Mike! I wish we had stores like that here. Closest to us is 200 miles away in Dallas.

David
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 10:48 AM
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Beside ponying up $5,000-$7,000 for a good machine, the thing that really stumps me is getting adequate instruction. When in doubt, I tend not to use the device. My first instruction in computers was on a Wang system's dbase software, which went to really basic concepts. I wonder if there's a good book on the topic, one with big enough type for old eyes? Or if there are any classes in the region. I have a pretty good design skills, and it's original stuff I want to make, not just reusing existing ones. Oliver's commercial projects really float my boat. I'd follow my own marketing advice and even have several mountain resorts within easy driving range. Making enough to finance the machine would be nice.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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That's cool, Mike! I wish we had stores like that here. Closest to us is 200 miles away in Dallas.

David
Dallas is where I'm at. You could show up at a meeting or 2 since it's only 200 miles.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Beside ponying up $5,000-$7,000 for a good machine, the thing that really stumps me is getting adequate instruction. When in doubt, I tend not to use the device. My first instruction in computers was on a Wang system's dbase software, which went to really basic concepts. I wonder if there's a good book on the topic, one with big enough type for old eyes? Or if there are any classes in the region. I have a pretty good design skills, and it's original stuff I want to make, not just reusing existing ones. Oliver's commercial projects really float my boat. I'd follow my own marketing advice and even have several mountain resorts within easy driving range. Making enough to finance the machine would be nice.
Tom as far as design software goes I usually recommend Vectric software because it is easier for people to use if they don't have a CAD background. They also have great tutorials to make learning easier. To try out their software you can download trials of their software and play with it. The trial versions do have limits on what you can output but they are just like the full versions so you can play with all the tools.

As far as buying a CNC I personally think it is best to stay away from the low-end units. They can be frustrating to operate because you are limited by the looseness of the machine and the accuracy and repeatability just aren't build into these machines. Often they have proprietary control software that is really limiting and is just enough to run the machine. You don't receive any feedback from the controller so you don't know what changes in a toolpath might help when a problem arises.

I think saving for a better machine is worth the wait and you can be learning the design software of your choice so you can be that much ahead of the game when you get your funds together for the CNC.

You might check around in your area and see if there is a local CNC User group, they can put you in touch with other people that are willing to do instrutional tutorials for the group.

Mike
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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One thing I can't emphasize enough is that a CNC machine is just another tool you can use to make a project and does not replace all the tools in your shop. I have seen a few cheaper CNCs advertised as "the only tool you will need in your shop", I'm here to tell you that's not true.

You could clamp a board to the bed of the CNC and crosscut it but a table saw would be the right tool and a lot faster. You can plane a board with a CNC but a planer is the right tool to use.

Mike
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 04:09 PM
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Dallas is where I'm at. You could show up at a meeting or 2 since it's only 200 miles.
I may get a schedule from you if Sandy and I can get away around the time y'all have a meeting. I think it would be fun.

David

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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David are you sure it's only 200 miles, I guess you are farther northwest than I thought you were.

Mike
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