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Manual CNC machine

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Dave the woodworker

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It has occurred to me that I may be able to build a manual CNC machine for what I plan to do.

I basically want to write text in wood at the same depth. As I am not very good at making neat letters with just a router on its own, some means of control of the router would be beneficial.

A manual CNC machine would not require computers, controller, software and a lot of setup time.

If I made templates I could reuse them again and again.

Your thoughts on this and a possible design much appreciated.
 

akirk

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Do you mean a template within which you run the router? If so you can buy letter templates commercially…
 

RichardG

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You do get better at hand routing letters, but having a small trim router that you can wrap your hand round makes things a lot easier. I use a full size paper template stuck on the wood, then make a first light pass down the centre of each letter. Next pass is a little deeper and use it to correct the wobbles of the first pass. If you keep doing this until the final depth you get a nice handmade result. You'll never get the crisp perfect result from using a template or CNC machine but I much prefer the not perfect hand made look.

F852B8B1-25BA-49F6-AADB-9282F418A40A.jpeg
284198CA-333E-4FC1-A3F4-7F199B2A4E14.jpeg
 

Dave the woodworker

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Thanks for the replies.

I am thinking of a template because I want to write paragraphs on wood, like poetry so the writing will be quite small.
 

Ollie78

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Will not be any good as you can only do one letter at a time then you have to reset the machine.

I see, I didn't look into it too much. I have seen much bigger industrial versions before which may be able to do more at one time. You could use an overhead copy router machine but then you need a full sized template for everything.
I guess they have been superceded by cnc machines now.

Ollie
 

Dave the woodworker

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There is a company that makes them here in the UK but they are expensive for hobby work.
I think I could make a simple machine that would do the job. Might have a go😀
 
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julianf

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You know what the first C of CNC stands for, right? : )

That aside, a pantograph is the tool.
 

D_W

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I think you want to call your development "PC"
People controlled.

You're looking to make a duplicarver more or less, one that works in three dimensions. This isn't a new thing, but their applicability in the past was probably greater in larger labor intensive forms (like spruce guitar tops and violin tops, removing all or nearly all of the material from something that would otherwise take a skilled person a couple of days to carve and voice accurately). Premise is simple for the guitar top duplicarvers - someone hand carves a pattern and then that's stuck on one side with a feeler/tracing device going over the pattern and whatever the tracer does, the arm with the router does to a blank on the other side of the apparatus.

(but this whole letter carving thing has been done for eons - it was popular way back in the mid 80s when I was forced to follow my parents around on the craft show circuit).
 

Sachakins

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Ii think mathias wandel has built what you need
This is his wood version, the second is a lego version, not suitable but food for thought
Wood one


Lego one
 

D_W

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Ii think mathias wandel has built what you need
This is his wood version, the second is a lego version, not suitable but food for thought
Wood one


Lego one


the benefit of a duplicarver setup is that it doesn't change the scale of what you're making. The drawback is that it's a little bit more complicated.
(and if scaling isn't important, Matthias's system is a good idea).



(The music in this reminds me of 1990s DVDs on things like pouring cement footers, but the video is newer).

"Hey Jack, how's the background track business lately?"

"Oh, you know. I've been busy writing music - 1/3rd is picked up for industrial and DIY videos, 1/3rd for after school specials, and the rest ...you know...goes to the softcore industry".

"really, jack, what's that? a like a solid core door with something soft in the middle"

"nah....not quite" .
 

Sachakins

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There is an inherent benefit in scaling, when you scale down, that is any errors or imperfections in your template or your movements is reduced also. Whereas a duplicator will show errors one for one.
You can set a pantograph to upscale, downscale or one to one for duplicating.

I did see a duplicator once that actually worked from stylus above the router, I'll try dig out the video of it. Space saving design too.
 

D_W

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There is an inherent benefit in scaling, when you scale down, that is any errors or imperfections in your template or your movements is reduced also. Whereas a duplicator will show errors one for one.
You can set a pantograph to upscale, downscale or one to one for duplicating.

I did see a duplicator once that actually worked from stylus above the router, I'll try dig out the video of it. Space saving design too.

I wish I wasn't as aware of what you mention as I am. The same issue is a reason visually to do very small work with high magnification - if it even looks decent that way, it'll look superb at normal vision.
 
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