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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I purchased a Bobs E4 cnc machine back in February. Didn’t really start working with it until March. Well, I have learned a great deal, am able to design, create tool paths and run them. I am not happy with the machine because the gantry is not stable enough to cut through hardwoods at a reasonable rate. I found a cam software called, “Open Buillds”, I really like better than Universal Goode Sender (which was a head ache). I am starting to design some stacked lettering custom signs. I am playing around with textures, and pulling in some models. All my shows for this year have been cancelled. I do have 1 show this July 4th and 5th. I am hoping to sell some of the stuff I made, and get a few orders. I have been making custom signs since 2009 using a hand held plunge router. I am older now, my eyes get blurry, and hands cramp up. Which is why I purchased a CNC router.

I wish I choose a machine with aluminum frame, this laser cut plywood frame is not very strong. Live and learn.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Karen, have you shown us any photos of your CNC and shop? How about your signs? I didn't go back through your posts to see if you have so if you've already shown us then disregard the request, please.

David
 

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Mike
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Karen I've been CNCing for several years and I'm still a rookie. There is always new technology to learn and software is constantly updated and upgraded so there is always something to learn.

I think the most important thing for the hobbyist/small CNC business owner to remember is to make this fun and not let it rule your life. 99% of the hobbyist/small CNC business owners started because they were looking for something to do that would be fun and possibly make a little money on the side.

If you are at a point that you want to turn this into a business then get a better machine, the best you can afford, and run it at least 8 hours a day and at least 5 days a week. If you are not cutting parts for a customer then you need to be cutting items you can sell online or through a local outlet, keep that machine running. Better yet would be to find a company that needs an endless supply of items made (no custom orders) and just run your machine to meet their needs. It might not be fun doing this but remember you decided to make money instead of taking time to be creative and enjoy designing new and innovative items. Make that machine pay for itself as quickly as possible and save a portion of your profits for unexpected expenditures and maintenance. Keep it running, keep it running, keep it running...

Or just have fun with your machine and learn to work within its limits.
 

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I got my hobby machine 6 years ago for making wooden gear clocks. Even went so far as to buy specialized software to design my own (Gearotic). I have yet to design or build one but I have made hundreds of other projects. I've been deep in learning how to make my own custom cnc patterns. I am having a blast. My machine is limited but it does what I need it to do so just having fun.

If I ever want to actually do real work with a cnc machine I will have to upgrade but for now it is keeping me busy and out of my wifes hair. Win win for everyone. :D

So guess just saying what everyone has already said. Just have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here are a few of my small plaques I made. I will resize some more pics, and post them.
 

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Mike
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Karen David beat me to it. That is a great paint job on the welcome sign. Nice job on the other two signs also, I like the frame around the bear.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I love making things, if I didn’t create something every day, I would go crazy. I also love learning new techniques and find a new challenge very rewarding. I have learned a great deal about using a CNC machine these past 4 months. I am still watching training tutorials. VcarvePro is an extensive CAD program with a great deal of functions to learn. I am still learning how to fully use it. When I understand and feel comfortable with a design method, I will move on to another. I have a show on July 4th and 5th, I am excited to see people’s reactions to my new CNC product line. I will take more pictures of some things before I put them in the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, went to the art festival over the weekend. It was very disappointing because there was not many people attending. Don’t know if it was because of the virus thing, or the organizer did’t advertise. All the vendors did poorly. I came home with a lot of items. Normally I sell almost everything at an event. There was a man selling flags he made with his CNC, and he only sold a couple of them. He should have sold out on the 1st day. Oh well, There is always next year. Looks like I will be posting on EBay and putting my stuff in local stores.
 

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Just had the last summer festival (labor day week end) cancel. That's it for the big ones til next year. Still have the display at the craft village and Etsy store - but no live events that we will go to. So I've got lots of time to get artsy, insulate the garage ceiling (got tips Rick?), make a spot in the garage for the new laser that's supposed to be coming, and clean and organize the shop. And maybe make a few things.

It's been a tough year, Karen. But I kinda liked having the summer off. May do even less week end shindigs now.
 

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Mike
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Well, went to the art festival over the weekend. It was very disappointing because there was not many people attending. Don’t know if it was because of the virus thing, or the organizer did’t advertise. All the vendors did poorly. I came home with a lot of items. Normally I sell almost everything at an event. There was a man selling flags he made with his CNC, and he only sold a couple of them. He should have sold out on the 1st day. Oh well, There is always next year. Looks like I will be posting on EBay and putting my stuff in local stores.
Karen I'm afraid that is what we will be experiencing until there is a good working vaccine for this virus. You might open an Etsy store, from what some of my customers have told me they have been having really good sales since all of this stay at home stuff has been going on. Several of them are pushing me to get one open but then they give more files to do for them.

Just got one more file to do while I was typing this!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have had an Etsy store for years. Etsy is getting greedy because they keep adding fees and the final sale amount is getting smaller. I need to take pictures, package, measure and weigh for the calculated shipping. I have to do that today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't know why these pics uploaded rotated to the left. What the heck!!!!! Now, how do I delete these? I tried, but don't see any edit link for photos.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Here are some photo posting tips if you’re taking photos with your phone or iPad – the best way for proper orientation is to shoot landscape (widescreen). Rotate your phone or iPad CCW for proper orientation. If you want your photos to be portrait then open the photo in a viewer on your computer, rotate it to the orientation you want, then save it in that orientation. It will be correct when you upload it to the servers here. If you’re shooting video please shoot widescreen like our monitors, not portrait.

The best way to post photos in line with your text is to use Go Advanced below the Quick Reply window. If you’re starting a new thread then you’re automatically in the Advanced editor. Click on the Paper Clip on the ribbon bar and that will bring up a dialogue box where you can browse to your photos. Upload them and then put your cursor where you want a photo, hit the dropdown beside the Paper Clip, and choose the photo you want inserted. If you have several photos and just want them at the end of your text then put your cursor at the end and hit the Insert All on the dropdown list of photos.

Always post a photo rather than a link; most folks won't click on a link.

David
 
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