Monday, June 13, 2016

CNC: Come to Fruition

So THIS happened, nbd:

And you may be wondering:  how did such a PERFECT, wooden circle come into being?  CNC, baby.  That's how.

I'll spare you the gritty details, dear reader, involved in tackling the learning curve to use this beautiful beast.  But suffice it to say, it was hard.  Like, really, really hard.  And totally still is.  The amount of learning still left is overwhelming to say the least.

Ok, I take it back.  I need you to feel at least some of the pain.

Building it: That was hard.  But not as hard as I thought.

Testing it:  That was positively terrifying.  You guys, routers spin fast.  Like, kill-you fast.  Say you were to run up to me with a helium balloon and a pin.  I would quickly run away from you.  I just can't take that kind of pressure.  So you can imagine how calm I was for Test #1.

Feeling confident that I tightened everything adequately to avoid it vibrating to pieces and murdering my face:  Not very.

Learning how to get from CAD software to CAM software to Controller software without mucking up the Gcode and, you guessed it, having it murder my face:  So very difficult.  And each job is a new murder-adventure possibility.

Understanding how the speed of the router interacts with the feed rate of the machine and how deep you're cutting in one pass, and how that depends on the material and what size bit you have and how rigid your machine is, and how many flutes the bit has, and whether it's an up or down spiral, and whether you should leave an onion skin at the bottom and risk the wood not being consistent by thousandths of an inch or just go with tabs but then need to master a new CAD/CAM program that can handle the tool paths for that, and how to clamp the workpiece to the spoil board so it won't (well, you know), and on, and on, and on:  Shall we just say mind numbing and call it good?

Anywho, it's exciting and terrifying, and a bit of a love-hate-mortal dread relationship right now.  But the take home for you is, if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks, you'll know what happened.

(In case you wanted to nerd out, you nerd:   )



  1. oh Sam...... Oh.... Oh....

  2. pS -Perhaps you should not approve that last comment

  3. Haha, it took me a minute to realize it was a joke :D I've got an enclosure planned for just such an occurrence, though :)