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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve commented in the past about how CNC cutting can be a long slow process. However, it can also sometimes produce things much faster than using conventional methods. Here’s a case in point.

I’ve been wanting to come up with a way to mount the touch-screen control panel for the Piranha FX above the table to make it easier to access and less likely to be covered with sawdust.

I came up with a simple base, arm, and bracket that could be glued up to make a little stand that holds the controller. The arm attaches to the base with two little mortise and tenons and the bracket attaches to the arm with a dado.

Normally this would require the bandsaw, drilling, and chisel work plus a few hours of shop time.

Now, the Drumroll please.

With the CNC actual production time for this project was 1:17 minutes for the base and 3:07 minutes for the arm and bracket cut. Plus, all the parts fit together perfectly the first time. Everything was glued together and ready to roll.

Fast, accurate, and easy. You gotta’ love it.
 

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sweet...
but when will you be retiring particle board....
 
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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sweet...
but when will you be retiring particle board....
I would have used plywood but didn't have any of the right size. So, being a lazy sod and wanting instant gratification, I used what I had on hand.
 

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John
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Looking good. Oliver, How do you like the Piranha FX
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looking good. Oliver, How do you like the Piranha FX
I like it a lot and I'm clearly having a good time with it. The only problem is that I have to remind myself that I do have other tools in the shop that need love and attention also.
 

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Mike
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Great shop project!

Oliver on a lot of jobs like this the computer design time takes a lot longer than the cutting as you found out.

It is always nicer to have a project go together than to have to redo something you messed up. You can check your measurements before you ever cut into some really expensive material.

I still need to make a stand for my Piranha pendant. I usually stick it in the work bench drawer after the machine starts running. Kind of hard to hit STOP with it in there.
 

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Mike
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I like it a lot and I'm clearly having a good time with it. The only problem is that I have to remind myself that I do have other tools in the shop that need love and attention also.
Oliver,

You brought up an important subject. Some people think that a CNC will replace most of the tools in their shop. It will do a lot of the things that other tools will do but sometimes it is faster and better to use the other tool. This little project to hold the pendant is a good example. You could have used a band saw, table saw, drill press, mortising machine and router or another combination of tools to build it but it would take longer.

One more thing, it's always neat to make something for your CNC using your CNC, and it's fun!:grin:
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice stand, Oliver. I assume the curves in the cuts are added by the software. You just design square and it allows for bit radius?
V Cave calls them 'fillets', Paul, and there is a software tool that lets you add either "dog bone" or "T bone" fillets to the corners by specifying the radius of your cutting tool. The more I use it the more I discover how cool the V Carve software works. I find creating most shapes in V Carve is actually easier than in Adobe Illustrator; especially when you know it will need a tool path to cut the design. And, I've been using Adobe Illustrator for over 25 years.
 

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Paul
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V Cave calls them 'fillets', Paul, and there is a software tool that lets you add either "dog bone" or "T bone" fillets to the corners by specifying the radius of your cutting tool. The more I use it the more I discover how cool the V Carve software works. I find creating most shapes in V Carve is actually easier than in Adobe Illustrator; especially when you know it will need a tool path to cut the design. And, I've been using Adobe Illustrator for over 25 years.
Can you import Illustrator and let V Carve allow for the tool path? Many moons ago, I ran a vinyl cutter/plotter (Roland) and did a lot of the work in Illustrator... but in plotting and vinyl cutting there's no tool path.
 

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Mike
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Paul you can export a vector file from Illustrator and use it in VCarve or Aspire software to run the toolpaths.
 

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Nice project! Knowing you have a CNC and seeing the stand most would expect that you cut the parts using the CNC. I've been making furniture and teaching students how to for the last 45ish years. When I look around my house I see many pieces that I made before owning a CNC. Any with a curve on them could likely have been made quicker using a CNC, but weren't a challenge to make without one. Those I've made with a little help from my CNC also could have been made without it. As I have a full array of shop tools along with my CNC I don't design for the CNC but rather design for the function and aesthetics that please me. Then I break down the parts I need and determine what process would be most efficient and accurate. Nothing that is a simple shape needs a CNC to cut it out. I will use my CNC if that shape also needs a stop dado down the middle and a precisely space row if 5mm holes down the sides. The CNC can cut the dado, drill the holes, and cut out the shape all within a few minutes, which is far shorter than the time it would take me to set up my router table to cut the dado, use the table saw to rip the piece to width, use my radial arm to cut it to length after carefully measuring and marking the length, set up the drill press and a spacing jig to drill the holes but waiting for the 5mm drill bit to show up from amazon. A few days later should I decide I need another duplicate of the piece I'd go back though all those steps again. With the CNC once I have the drawing done and toolpaths created I just have to clamp another rough board blank down and hit "R" on the keyboard to run the file again.

There are several occasions when the part I've designed can only be accurately made using my CNC. Usually it is the complex joinery required or complex surface transition that demands the precision of a CNC and my ability to clamp the part at a compound angle under the bit. Having a CNC and knowing its potential has opened up my design freedom to only worry about process when I'm happy with the design, My earlier (pre-CNC) designs often changed/simplified somewhat when time came to make the parts.
4D
 

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i like your design! i am a little confused on the joinery, does the flared tenons and exaggerated corners of the morises allow for more glue, or is there another purpose?
The shape of the tenons and mortises is a result of using a router bit to cut them from flat stock. Where sharp corners are needed those "dog bone" moves are there to allow room for a square corner from the mating piece. In most cases those dog bone corners don't matter, but they do reduce the amount of contact between parts inside a glued up joint. I've added the capability of clamping parts vertically in my CNC so I can cut better fitting tenons that match the shape of the mortises I've cut on flat stock. For smaller impact I'll use a 3/16" or 1/8" end mill to cut the tenons/mortises which makes the dog bone corners smaller and less obvious.
4D
 
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