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 Post subject: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:39 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:42 pm
Posts: 24
First name: Mitch
Last Name: Berry
City: Austin
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78727
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Hey guys,

I'm in Austin, and don't have a cnc machine of my own.
I'm highly skilled with solidworks and fairly skilled with fusion, though it has been a little while since I've gotten into it or had a need to.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in milling bodies (and possibly necks) for me?

Super small scale, one at a time. (Mill it, I build and sell it and have another made, rinse and repeat)

I'm looking for someone who is willing to do this for the love of making guitars, for the satisfaction of helping a fellow artisan and for a reasonable amount of money.

The local shops want to charge more than I could possibly sell the guitars for single bodies, and, to make the investment reasonable per body, I'd have to buy the wood and produce about 100 of them. If I had that kind of capital, I'd own a machine to do it myself. Lol.

Anyway, given the weird laws about import and export of wood, and substantial overseas shipping, I definitely prefer someone stateside, if not in Austin.

Thanks in advance. I'm looking forward to your responses.

Mitch


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 Post subject: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:20 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 867
City: Escondido
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
If you are doing electrics, you might want to roll your own. This is a high quality kit for the price of a bandsaw:

https://openbuildspartstore.com/lead-cn ... 40-x-40-1/

It has limited z, so an acoustic neck and heel are beyond it. But it should cut bodies and electric necks all day.

I should add that this system makes upgrading relatively easy. I’ve built one for a friend (different kit, same mechanical parts) and he’s made many upgrades since. Of course a welded steel $6,500 machine is better, but you would be surprised how good these are.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro



These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: Pmaj7 (Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:25 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:42 pm
Posts: 24
First name: Mitch
Last Name: Berry
City: Austin
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78727
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Thanks for that!

Here was the thought process that went through my head.

"Wow! It even shows guitar bodies. That must be the right one.
Wait. Where did they get a piece of wood that big?
.... unless it's miniature... wouldnt that be funny.
Wait 40cm x 40cm! Yeah thats super small... no wonder!
Wait.. it says inches..
Wow. Where did they get a piece of wood that big?
Man, that grain must be going every which way!
Oh I had better thank him for sending that!"

And that was all in about 15 seconds... haha

I will read further into this. I assume it answers a lot of the questions that I would pose here, like what software it uses etc. Presumably fusion 360. (Which I have, as I said before)

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:20 am 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 867
City: Escondido
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Ha! That isn't a picture, it's just a computer graphic. But that is the cutting size. If you had the wood, it could do that.

Just FYI, Fusion 360 like Solidworks, Rhino, or virtually any CAD/CAM software create a generic(ish) file that you then "read" on the CNC machine. The software on the CNC side is called "controller" software. It is usually built into the machine, or on DIY machines on a dedicated computer connected to the CNC by a USB cable. A little time over on CNCZone.com forum in the DIY woodworking equipment section will probably sort you out.

You will need all the "extras" from the order page to get a turnkey system. All in, about $1,600. Not bad, considering.

You CAN get more robust almost anything. More robust motors, more robust drivers (those funny boxes that turn the signal into actual voltage to turn the motors), a different controller board to turn the USB signal from a computer into pulses for the driver, etc. But the specs on that system are widely used and plenty robust enough to get you carving solid body guitars.

I have built three machines for myself over the last ten years. The one I use the most is my own design, but using many of the Openbuilds components. I've attached a picture so you can see. The machine mostly exceeds my skills operating it. The problems are usually user error.

Attachment:
IMG_0400.jpg


Careful, though! CNC is a rabbit hole. People who have never used this machine think it is somehow "cheating" or that it takes the "artistry" out. They seem to think it has a hole on one side that you throw wood into and say, "make me a Stradivari!", and out comes a masterpiece. Just like getting clean straight cuts from a table saw must seem like magic if all you have ever had is a jig saw. But it is just a tool. You have to know how to use it properly. That actually can be a near all consuming task too. That's why the shops around you want to charge so much. The man/hours they dedicate to learning how to efficiently operate that machine is enormous.

But I'm not a machine shop. And if I didn't like to tinker, I probably wouldn't be making guitars! For me it has been an amazing tool. It is very versatile, if totally unforgiving. If you set up everything right it is just magic to see it do its thing. But boy, that setup is unlike any other tool. I sometimes takes me days to go from a plan to an actual cut part. Every new part I cut is like a moon shot in the sixties. Expect a lot of Apollo disasters.

Of course even with a CNC machine you still have to know what a guitar is, what proper geometry makes it playable, how to finish it, what the ergonomics need to be, how to set it up to be playable, and for acoustic guitars all the knowledge of how to make a wood machine sound like the voice of an angel. Straight tablesaw cuts help, as do the very complex cuts a CNC machine can do with precision. But the artistry and craft is still in your hands.


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These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: Pmaj7 (Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:03 am)
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 Post subject: Re: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:19 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:42 pm
Posts: 24
First name: Mitch
Last Name: Berry
City: Austin
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78727
Country: United States
Focus: Build
I'm at work so I have to be quick, but in summary, I totally agree. I see a cnc as another tool in the arsenal, and as someone who designs laboratories for a living, I fully understand the artistry behind computer aided drafting. We have routers, punches and lasers at work. I programmed the punch and laser for a while, but never got trained on the router and never had to learn G-code for either of the machines I was trained on. The software they use is very drag and drop, in 2D. So generally speaking I understand the basics of CNC but, setting one up is not something I have had success with. Several years ago I bought a small machine that used master cam but I never got the ratios right so 1 inch was more like 1mm. Etc.. I've learned a lot since then, but, I still anticipate it being a substantial learning curve.

The only other problem I have, is the lack of room for a machine. I work out of a 2 car garage, which houses two cars.... and all of my mechanic tools, etc. I have to pull a car out to work. Until i can make room, a decent sized cnc may be outside of my available work area.

As for guitars, I'm fairly well versed on electrics and geometry, I've been playing for over 30 years and in that time have built or modified almost every guitar I've owned from parts and pieces, and have made a few with a hand router in recent times but am only now starting to try to make enough money to pay for my hobby at minimum. I have no delusions of trying to make a living at it given the amount of competition vs the demand. But it is possible.


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 Post subject: Re: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:59 am
Posts: 1940
Location: Rochester Michigan
I've made a neck or two for customers ;-)

_________________
http://www.birkonium.com CNC Products for Luthiers
http://banduramaker.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:42 pm
Posts: 24
First name: Mitch
Last Name: Berry
City: Austin
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78727
Country: United States
Focus: Build
I checked out your website. Nice work. I'll touch base with you soon. I have a few projects cooking that I will need to liquidate first.


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 Post subject: Re: USA cnc side work?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5435
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
Andy does excellent work. I'm just starting the finish on a build with one of his neck/fretboard combos.

_________________
Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


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