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Anyone With Cnc Router Experience?


Robert Irizarry
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I've been toying with the idea of building a CNC router and was wondering if anyone here has experience with them. I only recently started digging around for resources and came across Cnczone.com which looks to be an excellent resource - it even has a musical instrument section. Any suggestions on resources, recommendations for plans, experiences you care to share, etc?

Thanks in advance!

Regards,

Robert

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Robert,

I bought plans from John Kleinbauer at Crankorgan.com. This was before the CNCzone started up. He has many different type of machines that are built from hardware store parts. Once that was completed I had the knowledge that I needed to build something of my own design that could accomodate necks and bodies. I'd go that route again if I had to do it over. You'll see many of John's design elements incorporated into other machines designed by many people on the CNC zone.

Marty

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Robert,

I bought plans from John Kleinbauer at Crankorgan.com. This was before the CNCzone started up. He has many different type of machines that are built from hardware store parts. Once that was completed I had the knowledge that I needed to build something of my own design that could accomodate necks and bodies. I'd go that route again if I had to do it over. You'll see many of John's design elements incorporated into other machines designed by many people on the CNC zone.

Marty

I'm curious about this as well - specifically what software would you use to design a guitar that you could then feed into the CNC for processing?

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I tried Freeware programs and they never worked for me. BobCad is a program that was offered to me for 200 dollars. You can draw with it and then convert the drawing to what is called G code, which is the machine language. You take the gcode and load it into the Cnc machine's software which drives the machine. I purchased a motor and controller set from Maxnc a number of years ago. It was pricey, but worked out of the box. A lot of guys will assemble their own controller and use a version of Mach software which is popular these days. I hardly use my hand held router any more, I just draw and rout from the CNC right to the body blanks.

Marty

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Robert,

I bought plans from John Kleinbauer at Crankorgan.com. This was before the CNCzone started up. He has many different type of machines that are built from hardware store parts. Once that was completed I had the knowledge that I needed to build something of my own design that could accomodate necks and bodies. I'd go that route again if I had to do it over. You'll see many of John's design elements incorporated into other machines designed by many people on the CNC zone.

Marty

Many thanks for the feedback, Marty! I'll be digging into the CNCzone site shortly.

Regards,

Robert

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I hardly use my hand held router any more, I just draw and rout from the CNC right to the body blanks. Marty
Marty: Would you happen to have any pics of some of the work you've done in CNC?

Regards,

Robert

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Here are some samples and the machine itself. I find it is faster to bansand and sand the perimeter rather than machine it out.

I have to agree. Sorta... I think just to rough out an idea for shape and stuff then hard to beat a bandsaw. But the consistency of my CNC and the actual machine time (not programming) is hard to beat.

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I've been toying with the idea of building a CNC router and was wondering if anyone here has experience with them. I only recently started digging around for resources and came across Cnczone.com which looks to be an excellent resource - it even has a musical instrument section. Any suggestions on resources, recommendations for plans, experiences you care to share, etc?

Thanks in advance!

Regards,

Robert

When I needed a small CNC'ed mini mill to make a fret bender I spent many hours on the CNCZone site. There is a section on Router mills and Guitar building. The site is big and the two sections are not combined. I found the hardest part with the whole project going from having all the mechanical parts to creating a part. Design to G-code, if that didnt make sense you have a long journey ahead of you. Anyway thats the right site and good luck to you.

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Here are some samples and the machine itself. I find it is faster to bansand and sand the perimeter rather than machine it out.

Thanks so much for the pics as well as the tip! My wife is already starting to dread my talking about building one. :D

Regards,

Robert

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When I needed a small CNC'ed mini mill to make a fret bender I spent many hours on the CNCZone site. There is a section on Router mills and Guitar building. The site is big and the two sections are not combined. I found the hardest part with the whole project going from having all the mechanical parts to creating a part. Design to G-code, if that didnt make sense you have a long journey ahead of you. Anyway thats the right site and good luck to you.

I'm definitely at the beginning of the journey. Right now it's a thought but I'm a fast study, focused (some would say obsessive) and happen to work in Information Technology. It just seems like a natural fit for my technical background. I appreciate the feedback!

Regards,

Robert

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I'm still semi-seriously playing with the idea of getting a CNC setup made, although probably a converted mini mill and not a big router-based unit, which I simply do not have the space for.

the thing I keep coming back to is this: I have yet to build two identical guitars, and I won't save any time (none at all, zero), likely waste a lot of time designing everything in CAD, transferring to G-code, etc. if I keep on doing - essentially - one-off instruments. And once a template's made, well, bandsawing and template routing a body takes, what, 10-15 minutes tops? Forget about 3D shapes like necks; lots of programming time and cutting time (yes, time I could do something else, I know, but I'm not doing this in a production setting) for something (making a neck) that takes little more than half an hour to an hour starting from a prepped neck blank.

The thing's I'd like to do with CNC: make metal hardware (bridges, headless systems), metal detailwork/small items (pickup rings, various hardware bits and bobs), inlay (logos in particular), but it's still a lot of money and quite a lot of time for someone without aspirations of large-scale building. For example, I can hardly think of a worse option in terms of prototyping.

I can build an average eletric, including a fair amount of inlay, in about 100 hours of actual work (I'm a bit slow, though, and have few consecutive hours to spend on much of anything). No way I could do that with CNC, which would still require a lot of hand work (the hard stuff) to get fitted together right and feeling right.

Thing is, it is very accurte, fantastic way to make precise parts, templates, jigs (if you don't want to cut the instruments themselves), so if/when I get a bigger place, I may well shell out the bucks and get a CNC. Thing is, by the time I get a bigger place, I should be able to afford a K2 :D

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I'm still semi-seriously playing with the idea of getting a CNC setup made, although probably a converted mini mill and not a big router-based unit, which I simply do not have the space for.

the thing I keep coming back to is this: I have yet to build two identical guitars, and I won't save any time (none at all, zero), likely waste a lot of time designing everything in CAD, transferring to G-code, etc. if I keep on doing - essentially - one-off instruments. And once a template's made, well, bandsawing and template routing a body takes, what, 10-15 minutes tops? Forget about 3D shapes like necks; lots of programming time and cutting time (yes, time I could do something else, I know, but I'm not doing this in a production setting) for something (making a neck) that takes little more than half an hour to an hour starting from a prepped neck blank.

The thing's I'd like to do with CNC: make metal hardware (bridges, headless systems), metal detailwork/small items (pickup rings, various hardware bits and bobs), inlay (logos in particular), but it's still a lot of money and quite a lot of time for someone without aspirations of large-scale building. For example, I can hardly think of a worse option in terms of prototyping.

I can build an average eletric, including a fair amount of inlay, in about 100 hours of actual work (I'm a bit slow, though, and have few consecutive hours to spend on much of anything). No way I could do that with CNC, which would still require a lot of hand work (the hard stuff) to get fitted together right and feeling right.

Thing is, it is very accurte, fantastic way to make precise parts, templates, jigs (if you don't want to cut the instruments themselves), so if/when I get a bigger place, I may well shell out the bucks and get a CNC. Thing is, by the time I get a bigger place, I should be able to afford a K2 :D

If you are just interested in CNC as a hobby then build one yourself. If you are interested in it as a tool, then buy one.

If you can take a block of wood and turn it into a neck in 1 hour (profiling, headstock contours, tuning peg hole drilling, and carving), then don't waste time with CNC!

It would be hard to make a similar argument against CNC for inlay.

One-off's are pretty easy if they are truly one-offs. You have to design everything at some point...and if you have your CAD skills down then modifying existing drawings and making code from them is pretty trivial.

For metalworking, you need a CNC mill, not a CNC router. Unless you can afford something suitable for both (i.e. a used Fadal for between $25 and 50k) then you will need to chose one or the other. You definitely don't want to do metal working with a K2.

I use Fadal's at work and I have a K2 at home. CNC is the way to go for me...but I have 15+ years of CAD. If you aren't up to par on CAD then that is the first step.

I pretty much do CNC all day, most days, let me know if you have any questions.

G-Eng

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