Saturday, June 20, 2015

Super Block

Not long ago, I saw this hoplite-themed knife block:

(from here)

And I thought "Hey, that'd be a nice, easy project for the CNC machine." But in deference to my lovely and talented spouse's sensibilities, I decided a different theme was in order. And it was far too easy.

I found some superhero-shaped silhouettes, played with them a little in GIMP to make suitable outlines, ran them through Inkscape, and handed the designs to the Shapeoko, using a 1/8" bit and 3/4" birch plywood. Here's what I ended up with:

The edges came out quite nicely. A little work with 300-grit sandpaper cleared up some fuzziness and some splinters. The caped body piece gets sandwiched between the non-cape bodies and has small pegs which are supposed to fit into the holes in the base and shield/knife-holder. This is how it looks glued together.


The tolerances are rather stunning. The "foot" and "hand" pegs fit almost perfectly, requiring a bit of force to get them in and holding so well they almost didn't need glue. The Shapeoko is too much fun, and I've only been using it a couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Scaling Up

The dragon I posted yesterday was maybe three inches across. This one isn't.

Ruler for scale. Obviously.

I'm still feeling my way around what bits to use under what circumstances, and I really need to work on hold-downs, but the CNC machine is doing whatever I tell it to, no matter the size.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fully Functional

I did a little tightening up here and a little adjusting there and...

Yep. Machine works. No sign of that drifting to the left. I've got some other prep work to do like putting threaded inserts into the waste board to make it easier to clamp pieces down, but I've basically got it functioning like it should. I'm running a larger-scale test, but after that, on to the inlay work.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First Carve

I managed to clean out a corner of the garage so I could run the CNC machine without filling my dining room with sawdust and noise. Watching it work is insanely cool.

But how does it work? Well, needs a little tuning. There's a bit of leftward stepping going on with the finished test piece, which suggests I'm losing some moves along the X axis. Probably just need to tighten up some pieces.

But I've finally got the machine plugged in and running. Now I can reasonably contemplate cranking out wooden pieces for Castle Panic, engraved stone, inlaid furniture for Stephanie, and all manner of things.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Shapeoko 3, #90

Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!

 OK, maybe not quite so impressive as all that, but at this point, I have a fully assembled CNC machine which is responding to controller software commands and gcode files. Now, what shall I make first?