light switch covers

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Project by cliffton posted 09-21-2012 02:57 AM 1630 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I haven’t been around lately but I have been making projects. I built a Fine line Automation CNC router and have been busily punching out projects. This is my latest, our house has quite a few light switches and they are pretty much all different and pretty much all ugly. So my wife tasked me with cutting out nice wooden ones for her. So here it is. Its made of baltic birch 1/4 ply (.24) because my first try with them out of “real” wood they badly cupped after a few days. After being removed from the CNC they only need touched up with sanding paper to get rid of the fuzzies and stained. The back view is a much larger stepover to speed up the machine time on the same .125 round nose bit so it gives it a kind of neat looking geometric pattern.

3 comments so far

View Jim Bennett's profile

Jim Bennett

17 posts in 2266 days

#1 posted 09-21-2012 01:58 PM

Clifton, I love the grain design of the plywood.
I am intrigued about the Automation CNC router. You said you built this?
I’d like to hear more. I love my routers, most used tool (s) in the shop.

-- Jimmy, Upstate NY in the summer, somewhere south in the winter (on the boat).

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2836 days

#2 posted 09-21-2012 02:03 PM

Man, I’ve always wanted to do this. I have a log home with tacky covers. I bought and oak one and it sticks out like a sore thumb. If you ever start mass producing hickory or maple ones, look me up. I’m interested. The more knots the better!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View cliffton's profile


117 posts in 3224 days

#3 posted 09-21-2012 07:40 PM

Jim I built the whole thing in my garage from quite a few sources but here is the rundown on it. Its a 4’x4’ x 8” rack and pinion FLA300 CNC router.

The kit all came from Fine line automation, though he sources quite a few parts from Cncrouterparts.
so frame, gantry, motors, cables, and drive system came from Nate at FLA.

he supplies a K2CNC compatible z axis mount so I got a mount for a bosch 1617evs off of ebay. I picked the bosch as its lower bearing is very easy to replace and very available. But you can get mounts for most popular routers, even VFD spindles if you want.

I am using a Ethernet smooth stepper, while not required, makes the machine run smoother.

I used an old PC case to house my power supply, gecko drive, smooth stepper and emergency stop.

I built a cheap PC from parts I had laying around to run Mach3 on. Mach3 is an awesome piece of software, that runs your Gcode. Though there are free options out there ( Linux cnc) I think mach3 is a very good deal.

For designing 3d parts I like to use sketchup with the dxf plugin. for 2.5d/2d and about 90% of the work I do, Vectric Vcarve pro is what i use. But and its a big but, Vectric’s stuff is pricey, Vcarve pro is I think 600$. Now there are free cad/cam gcode generators out there, I have heard very good things about CNCportal though I haven’t used it. CNCZone is a very good resource.

For bits I use mostly 1/4 and 1/8 carbide 2 and 4 flute bits. I also have each in flat and round nose. For lettering I have a selection of cheap V router bits that I use.

Building it wasn’t’ hard at all with the 3d models supplied. It is a steep learning curve for making stuff though. The machine WILL do what you tell it to, even if its not what you want it to do :D . I have a 1/2 inch hole in my MDF deck that reminds me of that every time I go to cut. I forgot to zero my axis before I hit “cut” The router plunged right through the deck like it was butter.

for most parts that I do a smaller machine would be suitable, but I have been cutting cabinet doors for people and the larger machine is nicer for that.

Bertha, after I get my house done, considering the amount of interest I have gotten from them I may start doing that.

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