Large order & most efficient method- How would you do it in your shop?

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Forum topic by rrww posted 12-04-2012 07:39 PM 1381 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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263 posts in 2289 days

12-04-2012 07:39 PM

I have a client that wants me to produce 600 wood panels for him. They are basic shapes mostly ovals and half ovals from 10.5” X 15” to 10” X 36”. Made out of ¾” pine.

We typically build larger stuff, these panels are real simple – but I don’t know how efficiently they can be built. I don’t really want to turn down the business, as this client has been very good about bring more business in.

We have a small CNC to make patterns with, but it is too small to use for more than a few pieces.

Because of a couple of other things we do I’m working on buying a overarm / pin router and they can be found very reasonably, and if I can get one quick enough we can use it for this project.

We have a 50” drum sander, but it really sucks to sand pine with it. I wish I had a wide belt.

If this order was yours how would you go about making all these panels without losing your mind? Short of buying a large CNC, is this even possible to think about?


9 replies so far

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2641 days

#1 posted 12-04-2012 07:48 PM

Templates and patterns come to mind

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3824 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 07:54 PM

Pin router is a good way to do it. Most are 3 phase. The old
Delta ones with the round columns are accurate enough
for this job, but not for real precision work. I have a
Delta/Invicta RU50 and it’s a nice balance of precision, power
and not too huge.

Another way to do it is with a shaper with a rub collar and
a vacuum template. With parts that large you can mount
a couple of handles on each template and have the
air hose coming out the center and routed overhead.

Farm out the sanding.

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3753 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 07:57 PM

How about farming it out to someone who has a larger CNC ?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Josh's profile


1226 posts in 2745 days

#4 posted 12-04-2012 08:06 PM

We have a 4’ x 8’ CNC where I work. The vacuum hold down is segmented in 4 quadrants. That way we can make a 1/4 jig out 1/4 mdf and cut out 4 – 8, or whatever, plaques, etc. We also have 37” Timesaver abrasive sander which is way awesome and way expensive. We are in CO where the beetle kill pine is abundant. Especially in large quantaties, the pill KILLS the belts. We have to take them to a car wash and spray them with the hose at close range to take off the sap. It’s a pain. When my boss knows we won’t be able to fulfill an order, he tells the customer they can be pissed now or be pissed off later. Don’t overcommit if you think you can’t do it…....or just invest in those pricey machines.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View rawdawgs50's profile


82 posts in 3193 days

#5 posted 12-04-2012 09:56 PM

I would:

1- Make rough templates 1/16” over (blanks) and final template (CNC)
2- Buy all your stock rough and mill it oversize. let it acclimate a good week. Then bring it down to spec.
3- Break down the pine into slightly larger rectangular blanks using table saw and cross cut sled.
4- Trace oversize template on blank (use pen)
5- Bandsaw on line, 3/8” 3 TPI blade (Have extra blades on hand)
6- Get a vacuum clamp set up for your final template. (Do not mess with tape or any other fastening system)
7- Use either a 3HP+ router in a table or a shaper with a solid carbide compression bit and guide bearings

I would want at least 3 employees on this job. For safety reasons and time. There is a lot of labor involved. To much time for one person and the monotony can hurt you.

Good luck-

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4069 days

#6 posted 12-05-2012 01:43 AM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4069 days

#7 posted 12-05-2012 02:33 AM

CNC and routers are not stupid proof.

I read your question twice, the first time I missed the part of you owning a CNC.

Hire an idiot to feed it, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time, 1 at a time………infinitely …………… Thats why they invented them.

Run 2 shifts, 6 days a week, betting many would love a job that resembles “stupid proof” cuz thats why CNC is here to stay.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4069 days

#8 posted 12-05-2012 02:40 AM

like Jim said, sub it out,

Good Karma can go a long way

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4069 days

#9 posted 12-05-2012 02:49 AM

The thing about a pin router or more commonly called an overhead router, by industry, is that it’s a monster thats heavy and consumes a big footprint and and and and…serious tool and real estate to ever sit idle.

and a router can fit in a box and do everything the other can ? including a “pin”

If you really want a “loose your mind job” there are worse options : ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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