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Fun with hobby CNC

I’ve recently embarked into learning CNC machining, although just on a hobby level.  I’ve been wooodworking for most of my life, this seems like a logical next step.  I’ll be mostly trying different designs out for wood, but do have the end goal of using this machine to build the parts for a bigger machine.  I’d like to be able to cut an upright bass neck at some point!   Anyhow, with no further ado, here is what I’ve done so far:

So that was the build of the machine itself, now for some projects:

1.  The first actual cutting I did was a sign for my son’s room, fairly simple letters onto wood, but I did have some 3D shading on the letters to test out some capability.

 

2.  One of the main reasons I wanted a CNC was to cut out instrument parts.  If you saw my bass build  you know that I enjoy making unusual instruments.  Eventually I’d like to have a machine large enough to cut out bass necks and bodies.  This project was my attempt at cutting a ukulele out of standard Home Depot 2x material (2×4 and 2×8).  If you want the CAD for this let me know, the neck especially turned out very well.

 

 

 

3.  In addition to instruments, one of the goals is to cut shapes into wood that aren’t typically achievable with conventional woodworking tools.  This isn’t anything new, people have done CNC carving of this type of wave interference patterns before, but I felt that was a good test of capability:

 

Also, here is another one that I actually finished up.  It was cut out of a nice piece of flame maple that had a bunch of defects, which I think in this case are positive things.  It’s hard to see the 3D in a photo, but it’s there!

Cut on the CNC, finished all by hand with various dye colors and hand sanding.

Cut on the CNC, finished all by hand with various dye colors and hand sanding.

 

4.  Time to up the safety of this whole thing.  Not only is there a danger from the router bits and thrown material, but it’s also just LOUD.  This enclosure cuts down the noise significantly, and also makes it safe to watch the process.

 

5.  Any woodworker that’s made some furniture is probably interested in dovetails.  I wanted to try some funky shapes that wouldn’t be possible normally.  I wasn’t sure how good the tolerances on this CNC would be, would there be large gaps when the parts are assembled?  I was looking to buy a new rack enclosure for my band‘s PA gear, I decided to make one instead.  The connections ended up being perfect as far as I can tell.  You’d have to take a magnifying glass to see any issues.

 

 

That’s it for now, I’m sure I’ll be doing some more projects that I can post up soon.  If you want any CAD from any of these, just let me know.

 

Just released a new song I wrote for my son, hope you enjoy it!

I wrote this song for my son before he was even born, but never got it recorded until now. I wanted to have something for him that talks about one of my favorite parts of being a kid, using your imagination to make amazing stories with ordinary household items. I hope you and your kids enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed making it.

I haven’t released many songs under my name in the past, but since this song is about family it seemed appropriate.

If you want to download it, you can just put $0 in the price block to make it a free download. (and I really want you all to download it).  Go here:  http://brettdooley.bandcamp.com/

Thanks to my wife for making the super cool watercolor for the cover art.