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Thread: Dedicated CNC joinery machine?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Rapid City, SD
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    633

    Default Dedicated CNC joinery machine?

    Have done a cursory web search on this - not much found, other than DIY palm router inventions.

    What I have: PRSAlpha 9660 2.2HP spindle. Very happy with dovetail, mortise /tenon joinery operations off end of table.

    What I'd like is a dedicated CNC joinery station, featuring:
    PRSAlpha grade mechanisms
    Fixed bed, moving gantry
    Work table roughly 36x36
    Stand-up work height, 42-48" minimum which will also allow for end milling of larger scale furniture parts.
    I have air clamp systems on hand that could be employed for vertical operations.

    Naturally, I look to Shopbot for their standard offerings, but a buddy is closest thing to what I've described. However, I believe the moving table would be problematic for this type of processing.

    Any one else build such an animal?
    Would a desktop be a simpler solution?
    How about a CNC kit I could build to suit?



    jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kennebunkport, Maine
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    3,983

    Default

    Jeff,
    Bill Young was just looking for for people to test out a new vertical Jig you probably saw, BUT it require one of the New Desktops or a Max which both have twin drive rails on the Y axis.
    All 80/20 extrusions on the bed, and top of my extrusions is 33" for my wheelchair with 3.5" locking ball casters, Bill wasn't sure about wheelchair height,so in addition to no floor and one side open for the 'Chair...he also sent 8" casters and about 6" of OSB risers on the Makercrate . So I could easily have made my extrusion height 40".
    I imagine you could easily build a stand any height you needed for a Desktop.
    I cut for months on a fixed table lagged into wall,then the Makercrate with all 360swivel lock caster Locked, the last 2 years been cutting with casters unlocked.
    Cut quality on the Desktop has NOT visibly suffered...and I'M PICKY on cut quality. Desktop is rugged little unit and fairly lightweight.
    Not sure exactly how much distance that would give you for width, but probably 22+"(?) on the X.
    Maybe ask Bill Young for some pics and specs/features to give you an idea?
    Pre-caffeine rambling
    But consider regular new twin Y ballscrew Desktop, And pick Bill Y's brain!
    Be neat to see a shoulder height Desktop
    scott
    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kennebunkport, Maine
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    Default

    Sorry Jeff...Hadn't noticed your cutting area preferences, tried to delete above above post, and be more concise...but took too long and couldn't mod post.
    Sorry
    scott
    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    409

    Default

    I'm sure what Bill is doing could be adapted to a large tool like this: https://youtu.be/4Aw4lElTecg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
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    Default

    Scott,
    Good points. I stopped investigating that option when he opened by stating, it is strictly for hobby work, not professional shops. However, I will go back and investigate despite his notation. There still may be answers for me there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Rapid City, SD
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    Eric,
    That's precisely what I am using, thanks to Gary's shared work from years ago. Have made hundreds of drawers this way, and is my favorite of all methods I've tried.
    Setup is no big deal for a kitchen full of drawers, but the one-off furniture pieces with 2-4 drawers dilutes profits. I also used it for tenons recently, which produced parts with outrageous accuracy and cleanliness. As a furniture maker and furniture grade cabinetry producer, this is paramount. Having a dedicated machine on hand for minimizing setup, maximizing holding/clamping needs without mucking up the big machine seems to be worth consideration, based on my business model.

    Considered a stand alone dovetail machine in the $4k range, but have to ask - would it be smarter to put that towards a second smaller scale CNC system that would be exponentially more useful?

    I started out with a woodrat ( https://woodrat.com/) over a decade ago, as a means to quickly generate much of said joinery. Kind of a manual 3 axis joinery machine. (hmm- wonder how I developed an appetite for a CNC...)
    As I evolved into the CNC over the years, it has always been in the back of my mind that a CNC modeled more after this wall mounted joinery system would be quite ideal, for many of the reasons I initially listed.

    May be best to reach out to SB or Gary C to investigate putting a custom machine together. Thinking I may be put off in the investment required, but doesn't hurt to ask.

    I am aware of several users here have built their own, but other than assembling the Shopbot, I am not certain if I'm qualified for building my own custom machine, short of purchasing a used 'bot and modifying to suit.

    jeff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kennebunkport, Maine
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    Default

    Yep, Gary could probably make you up a custom machine with pop-up Pneumatic registering/clamping, ATC,scratch your back, and auto touch off without blinking very hard
    I'd still pick Bill's brain!
    LOVE your work Jeff!
    scott
    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    ny
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    763

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    I am in the process of making one, designed it have all the parts will be building it after I slow down over the winter, it will be running mach3 though. table will be 4' wide 30" deep and able to swing vertical for tenoning long parts. My biggest issue on my using the end of the table on my shop bot is the length limit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Harnett View Post
    I am in the process of making one, designed it have all the parts will be building it after I slow down over the winter, it will be running mach3 though. table will be 4' wide 30" deep and able to swing vertical for tenoning long parts. My biggest issue on my using the end of the table on my shop bot is the length limit.
    In case it isn't obvious...you can run the router sideways. That way you can do parts of unlimited length without the need for digging a hole in the floor etc. The machine can be much, much smaller (and cheaper) as a result.

    A modified version of this horizontal router attachment could be done pretty easily.

    Also...Check out Acorn. WAY better than Mach3, there's actual tech support and it's only $299. Mach3 is like 20 years old now...That's ancient.
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    ny
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    763

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Watson View Post
    In case it isn't obvious...you can run the router sideways. That way you can do parts of unlimited length without the need for digging a hole in the floor etc. The machine can be much, much smaller (and cheaper) as a result.

    A modified version of this horizontal router attachment could be done pretty easily.

    Also...Check out Acorn. WAY better than Mach3, there's actual tech support and it's only $299. Mach3 is like 20 years old now...That's ancient.
    I had initially thought about running the router sideways but there are a lot of joinery tasks I would like it perpendicular to the table and I do not want to be resetting the router for a task. The acorn I may go with if I upgrade. I got for next to nothing a gecko 540 with a smoothstepper and motors. I dont mind the software being around for a long time, it still works.

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