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Those With CNC

 
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:24 AM   #1
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Those With CNC


Do you primarily use it to process and break down your sheet goods.
3 axis?
Cut dados and drill for shelf pins/ cup hinges etc?
Do you only run Melamine on it or can you use higher quality prefinish ply too?

ML
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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Re: Those With CNC


What type of machine are you talking about?? Router vs machining center??

We were a nested based manufacturing shop and used all pre finish birch ply. Sheets go on the machine and ready to assemble parts come off. We used blind dado method to join parts which were later fastened with screws.

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Old 10-08-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Those With CNC


Awhile back I think Gus cut a whole bunch of finish ply parts for another CT member.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:53 PM   #4
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Re: Those With CNC


We have a 3 axis machine and we use it for everything. We've used it to cut solid wood, plywood, veneer, and solid surface.

It cuts everything for cabinet case parts. Blind dado joints, shelve pin holes, pilot holes, hinge plate holes, sink cutouts, etc.

For solid wood we mainly use it when we need to cut profiles we don't have a shaper or router bit for or when we need a profile on a curve or something like that.

One time we had a large table top someone asked us to re-veneer but it was too large to fit threw the planer or wide belt to remove the old veneer. The 4" flycutter on the router solved that problem in no time.

Need to cut some odd shapes in veneer? No problem.

With the right cutters and software, what you can do with the machine is almost endless.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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Re: Those With CNC


Completely agree with J.C.

In my shop I use my CNC for just about anything and everything. Sometimes a I break down materials (sheet material, real wood, solid surface, whatever) on the saws, but sometimes I just have the NC do it.

That said, what level CNC are you talking about? There is a huge difference in power between a NC router and a point to point. Point to points are really fast at drilling and some have limited routing capability - but they are nothing like the beefed up cnc routers.

Here's a picture of my Anderson Stratos WFD (I bought it new in 2000 and it is still rocking out parts today and I do all of the maintenance on it myself).
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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Re: Those With CNC


Point to points can still have pretty powerful spindles, some of the bustellato and weeke machines are 13hp vs probably 17 on a larger router which is still plenty capable with solid wood machining. Point to points tend to be better suited to post process vs nested, meaning you probably cut your parts out on another machine like a panel saw and now you want to drill for hinges, slides and perhaps even knock down connectors. While a router is good at those tasks you will not be able to machine the cut edges of the panels in the same step without an aggregate head and having all the parts that require end drilling on the edge of the table, so that machining would require you to handle the part a second time as well as a separate setup on the machine.

My cnc experience was on a large table 5x12 machine with a hybrid table so it was possible to process 4x8 as well as have the rest of the table setup with pods for part processing at the same time. It was rare we needed to break down the setup but it did happen with large parts, typically arch moldings.

The pod systems on the point to point machines save a lot of time if you do a lot of custom work thats not as repetitive as what a router does.

I think the setup times and all the part fixturing jigs required are typically the biggest surprise for a new CNC owner. Sheet goods work well with vac tables but solid wood parts will require some doing to get them held down properly. Used to use the onion skin method a lot with solid wood parts and then just run them through the wide belt to free them up.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: Those With CNC


tccoggs,

All good points. Fixturing parts is really an art. I run a vacuum table on my machine and sometimes I make fixtures that have threaded inserts or and what not to allow me to bolt down parts to the vac table. I also make tracked spoilboards for small parts when I need a lot of them. Sometimes I skin parts, sometimes I tab them - really just depends on what I'm trying to do.

Overall, CNC machines aren't really good investments for everyone. They really excel at doing repetitive tasks where the programming and setup times can be spread across many parts. Of course, there are a lot of reasons to use a CNC for one-off parts too.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:56 AM   #8
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Re: Those With CNC


Quote:
Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
We have a 3 axis machine and we use it for everything. We've used it to cut solid wood, plywood, veneer, and solid surface.

It cuts everything for cabinet case parts. Blind dado joints, shelve pin holes, pilot holes, hinge plate holes, sink cutouts, etc.

JC Can I ask what machine and software you are using?

ML
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Re: Those With CNC


If I was getting back into CNC I would probably go with a thermwood as my first machine. Not huge but capable, good software and support.

Our first was a komo mach3 5x12 and it took a long time to grow into it and to reach profitability between the cost of the machine + the design and operator time vs what it output.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:59 AM   #10
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Re: Those With CNC


Quote:
Originally Posted by MSLiechty View Post
JC Can I ask what machine and software you are using?

ML
Cosmec Fox 51 It came with Alphacam and we have Cabinet Vision. We use Cabinet Vision for the sheet-good cabinet parts and Alphacam for everything else.

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