|Project by MC Creations||posted 12-22-2010 04:09 PM||11882 views||37 times favorited||30 comments|
These are just a few pictures of my latest evolution in woodworking. I know many woodworkers don’t think that CNC Routers are “real” woodworking. Just in case for you purists, you may be able to see the full complement of hand tools on my full service woodworking bench in the background. But there are many products I want to make, and unfortunately doing it by hand is not really doable.
Now, this was a really fun build. I spent over a month in my spare time designing it on Google Sketchup, taking design ideas from other DIYers and some industrial machines. I picked up the electronics after doing about another month of research, and spent another month learning how to use them. The computer I use is and old beast from 2000 I had lying around, and is 700mhz Pentium 4 that gets the job done just fine. When I finally had a week to spare, I got out my calipers, put wood to saw and made what you see here. Took about 30 hours to make the machine itself, and another 5-6 hours to wire it all up and calibrate it. The mill is a Porter-Cable 1hp trim router which is more than enough for my needs, and hardly tasks the machine at all. I can upgrade to the 2 1/4 hp unit if I feel it’s necessary in the future.
Performance is incredible. Repetitive cuts for boxes, patterns, signage, carvings, mortises, and infinitely more possibilities are only now limited by my software and milling program. I’ve got about $800 in it so far, not counting the computer, and considering I can cut a piece as big as 24” x 18” x 7”, it’s quite a bargain. Much smaller machine kits using the same electronics are more than double that. All in all, I’m really happy with how it turned out. In fact, I’m going to use the machine to make a smaller version of itself that I can enclose and put anywhere in the house to pump out products non-stop.
For all the build pics and even a video of the machine in action, feel free to check out my photo gallery here. And don’t worry, I still make traditional wood products (pics coming soon). But now I can use this machine to make the repetitive dull mill work, and even carve fancy designs into finished products. Thanks for looking!
-- MC Creations, www.creationsbymc.com, www.beer-claw.com