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Forum topic by Jrod7085 posted 02-03-2010 02:52 AM 4382 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jrod7085

1 post in 1783 days


02-03-2010 02:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cnc jobs custom cabinets

My Uncle has a fairly new SCM CNC machine that he uses in his custom cabinet company… but with the economy like it is he is wanting me to find something that we could utilize the CNC machine with. Do you have any ideas or leads that we could pursue? I am currently learning the programs involved, and we were hoping to get a contract to manufacture materials, or maybe just a few one time jobs.


6 replies so far

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a1Jim

112883 posts in 2325 days


#1 posted 02-03-2010 07:21 AM

Sorry no help

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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SteveMI

870 posts in 2042 days


#2 posted 02-06-2010 03:13 AM

I don’t know where your location is, but you need to let everyone in your area know that you have the resource and are available. Make sure you can give a machine time hourly cost and minimum charge, nobody has time for the whole quoting process for one time or transient work.

I’ve used a local shop to laser cut metal, they have a set hourly rate, handling charge and material stock prices. I send them a file and usually in an hour have the cutting time estimate. Then it is just when they can fit it in. They do would prefer long term and high volume, but understand that cash flow is important.

That isn’t available for wood CNC locally to me. Either the shops are set to only use a certain software or can’t figure out how to cost smaller outside work. To me it seems that they bought the machines without understanding the need to invest in a person to run them. Sure wish for some parts that I could drop off couple sheets or boards and pick up the cut parts later that day like I can with metal.

Steve.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

680 posts in 1879 days


#3 posted 02-13-2010 03:48 PM

Steve, I think the problem is that doing little jobs like that just aren’t profitable for a shop to do. I just started a new job at a smaller shop than the last one I had. Just a guess, but I’d think we’d need to charge about $100/hour to do that work profitably. And it’s just not worth the hassle to stop working on the $10K (or $100K) job to work on the $100 job.

If you’re parts will fit on my 30”x45” machine, I can do them at home for a much more reasonable price, if you don’t mind the ±1 hour drive. I’ve made some parts for people and shipped them to New York and Seattle.

-- Gerry, http://g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

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SteveMI

870 posts in 2042 days


#4 posted 02-13-2010 05:50 PM

Gerry, I don’t think $100 an hour is out of line commercially under the right circumstances. I don’t do cabinets, but have read about software on shopbot site that creates a whole sheet stock 2D cutlist from input of final sizes that has all dados and mounting hardware holes. If a contractor could just send that file to a shop and pick up the carcass parts later it would seem to be a huge time benefit.

I have always been amazed that Kinko’s and all the office supply can survive by offering photo copy services in primarily suburban settings away from colleges and with everyone having a printer at home. Most offer high volume jobs, but take plenty of walk up jobs.

Gerry – I’ll send you a dxf next week to quote and see if it can work out.

Whether a shop can viably do walk up CNC for wood will depends on the shop flexibility and if the equipment is at high utilization. Jrod seems to have the problem of significantly underutilized equipment at the current time. My biggest question would be in how to charge somebody to convert their sketch or hard-copy plan to code that can be cut. Also, different from metal, how do you accommodate boards.

Steve.

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Ger21

680 posts in 1879 days


#5 posted 02-13-2010 06:28 PM

At my previous job, our cabinet software was about $15,000. You’d add a type of cabinet, input dimensions, and get a printable cutlist, a .dxf file for every part that needed machining, and optimized cutting layouts for input into a CNC saw. The problem with your idea, is that you need the software to create the file.

At my new job, the software we have only gives a drawing and printed cutlist. Adding the modules to go straight to the machine typically adds another $5000-$8000 dollars. (Cabinet software is typically sold as modules, so you pay for as much as you need). I’m currently working on automating our shop for as little $$ as possible. I got a quote for a nesting package the other day for about $5000

Also, workholding for small one off runs can make small jobs even less attractive. We have a 5×12 vacuum through spoilboard table, so it’s not so simple to throw a single board on the machine and cut without it moving around.

Converting a sketch to code would be an hourly rate. Probably in the $60-$75/hour range in our shop. Just a guess, as I don’t do estimating. I really can’t see it being less than $50-$60 in any shop, unless the person doing it is making $15/hour.

-- Gerry, http://g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

680 posts in 1879 days


#6 posted 02-13-2010 06:37 PM

JRod, you might want to make some visits to all your local woodworking and cabinet shops and see if they ‘d be interested in outsourcing some of their cutting to you. Also, if you have the capabilities, check with local signs shops and see if they have a need for any CNC work.

Sorry for steering the thread off topic. :-)

-- Gerry, http://g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

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