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Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine

 
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
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Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


For those of you that have never had a chance to see a cnc machine work or don't really know what it can do, I'll try to post some of the more interesting things that I do from time to time. This is a simple job but pretty cool all the same.

I just made some open shelves that will go from a cabinet to a wall.

They will have to be scribed along the back edge so I rabbeted the back edge for easier scribing.

The process starts with placing some packing tape on the finished side centered on the miter. Just a quick layout, nothing real accurate.



Then the machine does it's thing.
The first operation was the rabbet. Now the miter folding passes are being done.



When the machining is done the machine runs up to the far end to get out out of the way.
We're left with this.



I programmed the miter fold pass to be .01 inches above the spoils board. Essentially leaving (.01 - the tape thickness ) worth of the finished veneer.
You can see the white in the bottom of the pass. The veneer is partially machined.



Then simply lather some glue in the joints.



Fold it up. This time I just used a couple pieces of tape and some shims to counter the tape.



And the finished side has some veneer folding around the miter.
After the glue sets I'll cut and slip in a permanent shim to hold the two leaves from spreading.



This was a simple shelf with no end caps. But they are no trouble either. This is a 5 sided box we did when we first got the miter folding bit. You just have more passes to program.



This kind of thing is fun, I have to admit that.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


Gus, that is very impressive to say the least. I was going to try something like that with Azek to make columns. I might even get a new blade for my wormdrive

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Old 04-02-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


That IS cool! Did you steam the veneer to keep it from splitting?

I'm familiar with CNC in metal fabrication and the cabinet shop across from mine just got a router but they won't let me play with it yet.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


My favorite subject!

I do some programming and training for cnc's on the side to keep me busy. I am still saving up for my own but I thought I would share a project since I'm up to the magic 15 post mark and can post pics now.

This is a raster to vector conversion program (which is coolspeak for image to code)

The image is drawn or scanned then cleaned up and embedded with layer code that the cnc can understand (DXF).



Through the magic of intertoob....ta da





Don't worry I didn't sell it, I was just testing the software so no copyrights were infringed upon during this project.....
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


Another example using a TrueType Font

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Old 04-02-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teetorbilt View Post
That IS cool! Did you steam the veneer to keep it from splitting?
I was wondering about the splitting potential as well. Seems like .01 inches of wood would be rather fragile.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


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Originally Posted by Teetorbilt View Post
That IS cool! Did you steam the veneer to keep it from splitting
I'm familiar with CNC in metal fabrication and the cabinet shop across from mine just got a router but they won't let me play with it yet.
No steam or moisture needed. The packing tape helps hold the fibers together pretty well. Ther is some minor breakage, especially when going across the grain, but after a little sanding all is well.

They should give you the keys to the kingdom, don't you think?

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Originally Posted by Bergstrom View Post
My favorite subject!

I do some programming and training for cnc's on the side to keep me busy. I am still saving up for my own but I thought I would share a project since I'm up to the magic 15 post mark and can post pics now.

This is a raster to vector conversion program (which is coolspeak for image to code)

The image is drawn or scanned then cleaned up and embedded with layer code that the cnc can understand (DXF).



Through the magic of intertoob....ta da





Don't worry I didn't sell it, I was just testing the software so no copyrights were infringed upon during this project.....
I haven't expanded past Cabinet Vision as far as software goes.
I like what you have there. What is the exact name of the software?

I'm not sure how the machine gets the proper language. I know it can be done , obviously it can. The G - Code is slightly different for each make of machine. I guess I would figure that out when I expand my software choices.

Who cut that for you?

Last edited by Gus Dering; 04-03-2009 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


Both parts above were machined by me on a Weeke 550.

The software is straight up AutoCAD but your machine needs a DXF conversion application to understand them. Most editors either have them or have them as an upgrade. The DXF files are embedded with layer codes in AutoCAD that are recognized by the editor as tool numbers,tool paths,depths, rotation direction and so on.

I have found Planit's cnc center is great for standard nesting operations but really is lacking when it comes to complicated machining procedures. A combination of both platforms is ideal.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


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Both parts above were machined by me on a Weeke 550.

The software is straight up AutoCAD but your machine needs a DXF conversion application to understand them. Most editors either have them or have them as an upgrade. The DXF files are embedded with layer codes in AutoCAD that are recognized by the editor as tool numbers,tool paths,depths, rotation direction and so on.

I have found Planit's cnc center is great for standard nesting operations but really is lacking when it comes to complicated machining procedures. A combination of both platforms is ideal.
I agree with you about Planit's short comings when it comes to the more complicated ops.
Have you played with their Alfa-cam?
The users that have both the manufacturing and Alfa-cam seem pretty happy with the combo.

You seem very well versed for a guy without a machine. How is that? Have you worked at a cnc shop in the past?
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:34 PM   #10
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


Gus, all is not as it seems. This is still a small town. I rented space to Joe in one of my buildings, tolerated his ups and downs, allowed him to use unused space for storage when he was up and put up with his kids running all over the place. That was over 20 yrs. ago.

Joe now does the sales and design and those little kids now run the shop. Their new toy is brand new and they're still figuring it out, I offered help as I have CNC experience but Joe Jr. is determined to do it all himself.

I'm sure that they'll let me play with it in time.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:50 PM   #11
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


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Gus, all is not as it seems. This is still a small town. I rented space to Joe in one of my buildings, tolerated his ups and downs, allowed him to use unused space for storage when he was up and put up with his kids running all over the place. That was over 20 yrs. ago.

Joe now does the sales and design and those little kids now run the shop. Their new toy is brand new and they're still figuring it out, I offered help as I have CNC experience but Joe Jr. is determined to do it all himself.

I'm sure that they'll let me play with it in time.
Well it sounds like you will get your chance. They just need to get to know you a little better.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:14 PM   #12
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


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I agree with you about Planit's short comings when it comes to the more complicated ops.
Have you played with their Alfa-cam?
The users that have both the manufacturing and Alfa-cam seem pretty happy with the combo.

You seem very well versed for a guy without a machine. How is that? Have you worked at a cnc shop in the past?
No I haven't had an opportunity to try Alphacam yet but it sounds like something I would like to see. As far as my background goes I worked for many years in a very large shop with several CNC's form various manufacturers. Most of them were early G-code machines. Then I took a job for a few years in a smaller (15 man) shop as a manager pulling double duty as "CNC Guy" on a new flat table Weeke.

I started my shop in '07 (smart timing huh?) and have been saving for my own machine ever since. I can't talk myself into taking out a loan on one so I just have to suck it up and return to the dark ages for the time being.

By doing the consulting work I still get to play around with them though. One shop I work for has a new Homag BOF with an aggregate which seems to have unlimited possibilities. After working with that I have to go home and fire up my collection of Porter-Cable routers to try to bang out a job....it's quite sad really.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:15 PM   #13
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


That is amazing stuff! I am wholly in awe! That is some pretty cool technique! .

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Old 04-03-2009, 10:41 AM   #14
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No I haven't had an opportunity to try Alphacam yet but it sounds like something I would like to see. As far as my background goes I worked for many years in a very large shop with several CNC's form various manufacturers. Most of them were early G-code machines. Then I took a job for a few years in a smaller (15 man) shop as a manager pulling double duty as "CNC Guy" on a new flat table Weeke.

I started my shop in '07 (smart timing huh?) and have been saving for my own machine ever since. I can't talk myself into taking out a loan on one so I just have to suck it up and return to the dark ages for the time being.

By doing the consulting work I still get to play around with them though. One shop I work for has a new Homag BOF with an aggregate which seems to have unlimited possibilities. After working with that I have to go home and fire up my collection of Porter-Cable routers to try to bang out a job....it's quite sad really.
I feel for you in regards to knowing how fast and efficient the new heavy iron equipment is when they are tied to the computer then have to go cut and process by hand. That would be tough to set aside everyday.
But on the other hand you are now building your own kingdom. That is worth alot of counter weight to the lack of updated equipment.

Have you looked into using someone's machine to process your parts?
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:53 AM   #15
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


It's not all bad. I have enough equipment to handle most things that I run into. It's just that I have been to the promised land and then had to return to reality. My CNC fund is about 75% complete right now so I'll just have to keep hanging in there for a while. As far as using someone elses equipment I have used that option but it's kind of a PITA. Here's a pic of my shop



I have room set aside for a 4x10 machine which isn't shown in the pic.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:16 PM   #16
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


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It's not all bad. I have enough equipment to handle most things that I run into. It's just that I have been to the promised land and then had to return to reality. My CNC fund is about 75% complete right now so I'll just have to keep hanging in there for a while. As far as using someone elses equipment I have used that option but it's kind of a PITA. Here's a pic of my shop



I have room set aside for a 4x10 machine which isn't shown in the pic.
Nice space you have there.

What is your plan for dust collection?
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #17
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


That's included in the CNC fund as well as a linear phase converter. I am leaning towards a Torit type multibag system.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:06 PM   #18
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


We looked into a new multi bag system when we were moving to cnc. As I remember we were looking at about 14 grand for that system.
We ended up with a used 4 barrel Murphy Rogers. I don't remember the cfm rating but it works great. There is still plenty of vacuum while the cnc is running. It has a 15 horse motor and a 12" inlet.
We spent $1500 on it, then a few more bucks to get it painted and stuff.

We are not in a real cold climate. We have the collector outside. If I was in cold country and had to put it inside I would look alot harder at your system as I believe it is really designed for that. But it sure comes with a price.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:59 AM   #19
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Re: Miter Folding With A Cnc Machine


jebus i gotta get me one of those
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:24 AM   #20
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jebus i gotta get me one of those
This toy is pretty cool. If you are a real tool junky this may be the crowning jewel.
Here is the thing that I have noticed in the last couple of years though. I am more of an engineer than carpenter now.

It is a subtle change that takes time but it is there. I think it all starts with your thought process. When you think about how you are going to make something your mind searches for solutions within your arsenal of tools and skill set. You know the routine. I'll set the table saw to rip at 12, rip 4 pieces , then set chop saw to 32 , cut 4, put the rabetting bit in the router and rabett one side of each... Until you have a finished product.

Now I look at all projects much differently. They all start with "how can I get the software to cutlist and machine this thing?" It is all about the programing. And if my software does not perform a certain task "out of the box" the question becomes "can I add the needed part or operation manually?" Hopefully more efficiantly than cutting it by hand.

When it comes to custom programing a backround in computer programing would be helpful. The biggest struggle is learning the language and being able to translate between that senario of hand operations and computer speak that means the same thing in the electronic world.

And then ther is the machine itself and all of it's nuances. The machine is a robot. Carpenters can learn to operate a robot no doubt. But it is not carpentry skills that are being called on to do it.

For instance, the tooling needs to be calibrated. The design software has a tool at .5 inches in diameter. Then mid way through a run you want to put a sharp tool in. The next tool has been sharpened. After you check it with calipers you find the diameter of .484.

If left unchanged the machine will be making parts too large at every pass in the tune of .008 on each cut, .16 each length and width.
The machine has offset abilities. Everytime it looks for a coordinate to go to it looks to see if there needs to be an adjustment for tooling diffferences. In this case .008 or 1/2 the diameter difference from software to reality.

The operator needs to enter that offset at the machine as well as "touch off" the new tool before he resumes cutting. "touch off" is slang for letting the machine know where the bottom of the cutter is in relation to the spoils board or the deck so all the operations are done with proper height of tooling.

I am a carpenter way more than an engineer. I don't know about you but all that crap sounds more engineer like than carpenter like. And this is sooo simplified. And I feel like I suck at computers. Go figure.

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