Sep 30 2015

CNC Guitar making with machines and hobby routers

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Creating a Guitar and cnc guitar making

One of the more complex tasks for a CNC router hobbyist is using their machine to create an instrument. In this article we will be going over how to do just that, specifically talking about making a guitar. First you should determine exactly what your machine is capable of. Your cutting area should be 600mm x 800mm in order to have enough size for making the neck. If you are a little short on room you might be able to use your diagonal length instead. Be sure to measure everything before you get too deep into other parts of the project. Continue reading


Sep 25 2015

Some exciting new CNC Lathe Projects

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CNC Lathe Projects

There are not a lot of machinists who decide to use just a lathe when they are picking out their next project. Since lathes are mainly used to make objects that are round a lot of people see them as limited; many individuals will use a lathe to partially prepare a project and then finish it on a router, mill or some other type of CNC machine. But some individuals may find themselves with access to only a lathe and not have other machines at their disposal. This article is for our readers who find themselves in that or a similar scenario. Those of you who just want to try something different and make a lathe-only project can find this article to be an interesting read as well. The size of your lathe will be the first determining factor in selecting a project. Continue reading


Sep 1 2015

CNC wood globes and maps

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CNC woood globes and maps

Some projects that are made with CNC routers are hard and some are easy. Depending on your skill level and how much of a challenge you feel like tackling you may want to try working on a very complex project or something that is fairly simple. This article is going to measure both ends of the spectrum by looking at one of the harder projects you can tackle, a globe, and one of the easier ones, a map, for those among our readers who are interested in geography.

CNC ideas wood globe project

CNC ideas wood globe project

Let me start by saying that a globe can be one of the most complicated projects you can tackle with a CNC router. Making something that is shaped like a ball like a wood globe is not what most CNC routers were built to do and that is what makes this project so difficult. Two things will primarily determine how hard this project will be, the size of the globe and the level of detail on the globes surface. If you are making a small, simple globe this project will not be too difficult. You can take a cube shaped block of wood and more or less transform it into a sphere. From there you can engrave the circular surface like you would the surface of a flat object (though be prepared for the circular shape to result in some potentially challenging CAD/CAM programming). Of course this will require you to have a machine that is big enough to get that job done. If you want a globe that has more detail on it, get ready to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You probably are not going to be able to make this globe as one solid piece; you will want to assemble it. This will be particularly handy in case a mistake is made; that way you will not have to start all over. You will want to make a series of curved, squared-shaped pieces that can be fit together into a hollow sphere. If you want to cover up the lines where the pieces are attached it will look fine but you could also coordinate them into your design to represent the equator, meridians and parallels. The pieces do not have to just be square and form a perfect orb either; you could shape them like melon slices so that they have more support for each other when you glue them together. One of the biggest components of this project will be making sure that the continents are represented accurately. This is another instance when the level of detail will determine difficulty. You could make the pieces flat or you could partially raise them to represent mountains. Parts of the wood could be sanded to represent deserts and other changes could be made to make your globe more interactive and truly unique.

wood-map-cnc-ideas

wood-map-cnc-ideas

Making a map is much simpler than making a globe, primarily because it is a 2D project. This project is not much different from routing a sign or any other 2D project that starts as a flat piece of wood. You can use 2.5D techniques to “raise” mountains or make other geographical features apparent on a map just like you can with a globe. A map also has the benefit of not having to take all of Earth into account. You could use your woodworking skills to capture just one continent, a single country or an even smaller area like a specific national park or a certain city. Like many other 2D (or 2.5D) projects this is a good place for beginning hobbyists to start working. You obviously like CNC routing if you are working on a project like this so if you also enjoy geography why not mix your two hobbies and build something special just for yourself.