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Cometoz

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Reply with quote  #1 
As a 74 yr old young guy who started in CNC only a few years ago I'll add my two bob's worth!!

I finished making my first CNC just as my dad who was a mastercraftsman in wood was able to look at it and admire the repeatability and accuracy of some of the work I turned out for clients. He taught me most of the things I knew about wood and other materials.

I had started building models for which there were no plans (due to Intellectual Property issues) and and taking concepts and ideas in people's minds to reality.

The models I make consist mostly of wood but intermingled with brass rod and tube, acrylic and vacuum formed finials etc.

I'll only reluctantly slow down to two days a week paid work but desire to keep the brain very active and extended. I maintain a copy of "Australian Timber Buyers Guide" by the bedside for light reading. It's enabled me to utilise materials that the 'old man' wouldn't have even thought of with references to strength, machinability and finishing ability.

As well as the CNC machine I have three lathes, a mill and a plethora of other machinery for differing materials.

As a qualified engineer my work has provided me with a variety of projects - all part of the learning phase. CNC is just a tool - I am no more bound to it than those people who see my machine shop and ask me to make a set of bedside cabinets. I could, but that's just not the way the shop is set up. All my output is small - for example ... I purchased a 200 x 50 x 1500mm piece of Camphor Laurel in Mullumbimby some 15 month ago..... Most of it is still on the rack but I have used pieces of it in about 15 models and items so far.

One of the reasons I made my first CNC was that it was a challenge - the old man told me to keep using the brain or it will rust up! But I have to tell you learning G-Code, creating and editing DXF files at 74 is a challenge sometimes.

When my grand-kids come over they love to watch me on the scroll-saw and lathe - maybe next year I'll let the oldest one try his hand!

But to me - CNC is just one of the suite of tools I use - far easier to cut clock gears on a CNC than by hand and putting up with the inevitable lack of concentricity and badly meshing gears in a 12 gear train cut with a scroll saw.

Life's to short and there is so much to learn!! After vacuum forming might come 3D printing for some fiddly bits ... with technology the sky's the limit.

Just my two bob's worth

Tony




john lewman

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Reply with quote  #2 
We would love to see some of your CNC models. I think we could all learn a lot from seeing them. Please feel free to post your favorites. The forum has unlimited storage. if you post large files the forum software will automatically fit them into the post. Then when a reader clicks on the photo they will see it pop up full size. Use INSERT not ATTACH for the best results. ATTACH only inserts a thumbnail image into the post.
Cometoz

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks John .... sadly a lot have been commissions and I'm bound by IP etc but I'll see if I can sort out some before I go on holidays in a few weeks time.

Does your drafting programme have a "save to .dxf" option - some of your small parts like doors etc, could be so easily done and it would save me the time of tracing in Cut2D or drawing from scratch.

I could use my Aspire but it seems like "a sledgehammer to crack a nut" so to speak!

Thanks for commenting ....

T
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm with you Tony.

CNC is just a tool that requires a different skill set. I could make toys from a tree with my pocket knife but why would I.

If I had the money and time there would be a CNC router in my shop now. I revisit CNC building from time to time to see if its getting any cheaper. I kept seeing people using them to cut things that looked like 3D puzzles from sheet stock but nothing I could really use until recently when I watched a video where they designed a toy car and cut all the parts from a 2x4. That got me excited about it all over again. I have way to many irons in the fire right now to mess with it. But that certainly bumped it up my list.


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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for your comments on CNC. Cynthia and I were just discussing CNC and how we might be able to provide some high quality CNC plans with some of our new toy designs we are working on right now. Where did you find the  video that shows the 2 x 4 being used as a material for wood toys on a CNC? Could you possibly find that and post the link to it on the forum with some more of your CNC comments? We would all greatly appreciate it.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #6 
I'll see if I can find it it came up as a recommended video for me on YouTube.
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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #7 
I found them.

Legacy CNC, Toy Car and Truck



Legacy CNC - 2 x 4 Wooden Toy Car - Software/Design Demo



These machines are really expensive. The lowest cost I could find was $4,000+. It would take a lot of toys to get your moneys worth out of that.


Being a Linux Admin would be more likely to go with an open source DIY system. There are a bunch of those around.

OpenBuilds CNC Routers

LinuxCNC

Google Opensource CNC for a lot more.


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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #8 
This might give you some ideas.


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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for posting the inspirational CNC toymaker videos. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million! As the prices of the CNC's continue to fall they are becoming more and more available to the toymaker. I am planning on purchasing one someday and your input on the forum is encouraging me a great deal.

When I was a boy there was a lot of talk by old pre-power tools craftsmen complaining because drill presses, table saws, band saws and jig saws were becoming available to the common man. They predicted the end of craftsmanship and insisted on using hand powered tools only. What happened was just the opposite. The availability of time-saving power tools provided the help and time needed for craftsmanship to explode with creativity and to reach heights of perfection that had never been seen.

I predict that the lowering of the cost of the CNC machines will cause this to happen for woodworkers of all types-and especially for toymakers and designers who specialize in wood as a material for toys. It will provide endless possibilities for incredible wood toys of a new complexity and higher level of workmanship. Man and machine will create together to shape the dream-world of new wood toys.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #10 
I agree 100% John. And to add to that. I find the idea of putting wood in my CNC router and telling it to make wheels while I'm at the park with my grandson very appealing.

I also like the idea that once I have my pattern done I never need to make that pattern again.


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ctowne

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Reply with quote  #11 
This is a great post and I too think of a CNC as another tool.  It is like film photography to digital.  Everything has a place and the true talent is in the people that can bring their ideas to fruition using the tools they have. 
gscott40

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Reply with quote  #12 
Actually John....as I have posted several times...your plans are pretty good as they stand. Here are two examples of several I have begun importing to Vectric's Aspire directly from the downloads I get from you. Your PDF's are great and Aspire imports them as vectors. I don't know about other software...but I assume it would work also. One just needs to remember that router bits are round and inside corners will be round and that the smallest router bit is still larger that a scroll saw blade.  By the way, Aspire also imports Sketchup files directly, for what that is worth.

Aspire allows you to generate the tool path you machine will take and it generates a 3D view of exactly what your machine will do. This allows you to see any problems that might occur before you actually cut it out. That is what the pictures below represent. I imported the Fat Fendered Ford directly, flipped it, generated the tool paths and this is what my machine will cut. The red areas represent a 1/16" pocket the fenders will snap into. I have trouble with them sliding when I glue.

The picture of the classic woody still has the stock represented because there are tabs and I cannot remove the waste stock when they are represented. Tabs keep the material from popping out while the machine is running. I have several others I am inputting. I will say that some things are better done on the scroll saw than the CNC but....that will probably always be.
Enough.

--George


fAT FENDERED FORD.jpg  cLASSIC WOODY.jpg

john lewman

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks or the excellent input and posts. This is quite a help to me. I might have the opportunity in the near future to work with a local school that has a small CNC for woodworking. I'll keep you all informed if that develops into a working relationship.
RussJr

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Reply with quote  #14 
All,
After purchasing my first toy plan I came to the forums and read a lot of posts before venturing out. Although I have been a longtime cabinet maker and very part time furniture maker (though not professionally),  those skills don't necessarily transfer over to making small things. I am now a full time grandfather and retired programmer/network administrator. All MS technologies, it paid the bills for many years and afforded me my tools Linux guys!

My main interest was how to best to approach creating the vectors from the pdf files, and there were a lot of good tips here. And I agree, DXF would be a nice agnostic file type and make life sweet. I know for sure I would save a ton of time programming. I use Vcarve Pro, although Aspire is on the near horizon. My CNC is a 4x8 Laguna Smart Shop II.

Like everyone else, my plans for the 1890's Rocking Horse were nearly perfect, and the errors that I did correct were most probably a result of my importing files and manipulating them. I used 6/4 American Beech and 3/4 American Walnut.

Thanks for all the advice and comments,

Russ
Rocking Horse.JPG 

john lewman

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Reply with quote  #15 
This is beautiful CNC work and also pretty exciting for me to see this morning. Thanks for the info and for sharing this with the forum. I am fascinated with CNC and hope to take a deep dive into the technology soon. Your work is very inspiring and your fit and finish is perfect!
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