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Allen
01-26-2016, 09:33 PM
A few of you know that I've been adding some new equipment to my workshop. A laser and a CNC router.

It's been an ongoing project for a few years now, and finally I'm able to start to integrate them into the workflow. The goal being to get the accuracy and repeatability I want for some of the components and elements in my instruments, besides other tasks not luthier related.

This is just some rough video I shot today of installing some rosettes in 3 tenor soundboards so you can get an idea of the work flow. Way quicker and more accurate than doing them by hand like I use to up to a month ago.


https://youtu.be/FXQSiSuJBSk

Sven
01-26-2016, 10:30 PM
I could watch an hour of that!

Ken Franklin
01-27-2016, 03:41 AM
That's very interesting, Allen. What is the start up cost for something like that? I bet your bits last longer.

Timbuck
01-27-2016, 05:45 AM
Starting up costs aren't too high .. There are loads of videos and plans on the web if you want to build your own hobby CNC router at a fraction of cost of a ready built commercial machine most of the plans are for guys who are familiar with working in wood....I've built 4 and 2 of them are still in use by my Son Mike....Building them is not difficult..learning to use them is the hard part.:D

resoman
01-27-2016, 06:05 AM
I'm thinking that the learning curve for programming is pretty steep but what can be done is pretty amazing and worth the effort.

ksquine
01-27-2016, 07:48 AM
I thought you did those rosettes free hand

Pete Howlett
01-27-2016, 08:41 AM
I can see the attraction of this technology if you are doing 'broken' rosettes and the like. Well done mate. It's not for me, losing the handmade label...

Allen
01-27-2016, 09:22 AM
That's very interesting, Allen. What is the start up cost for something like that? I bet your bits last longer.

A good laser is going to cost you over $10,000. I built this CNC as I wanted an industrial grade machine but those are only available in either smaller sizes or much larger and cost $40,000 and up. I have approximately $20,000 into it, with countless hours not including the learning curve of the CAD/CAM learning curve.


I can see the attraction of this technology if you are doing 'broken' rosettes and the like. Well done mate. It's not for me, losing the handmade label...

These are just tools like any other you would use. Table saws, band saws, routers.....instead you use fences, jigs, templates and guides to improve your accuracy.

Pete Howlett
01-27-2016, 10:03 AM
And a computer :) Just yanking your chain buddy - British humour :) Honestly, if I had not had to change my business plan a CNC router would be in my kit. However I have neither the time nor energy to learn all that stuff and any repetitive work can be more appropriately farmed out to those specialist companies that can tolerate the mind numbing boredom of watching a machine repeat flawlessly a set of instructions. I loved the work Precision Pearl did for me - pity they are no longer interested in doing stuff for me cos I get asked a lot for that particular logo :( Anyone had any experience with Gurian cutting pearl for headstock logos?

sequoia
01-28-2016, 05:13 PM
Pretty slick Allen. I won't ever be going to CNC, but I agree that a tool is a tool. And what accuracy! Nope. I would use em' in a heartbeat if I could justify one and I can't... One observation I would like to make in my humble hobbiest opinion is that a couple coats of shellac on that top wood before routing would maybe cut down on the frizzies and micro-tearout and give an even sharper line. Don't know. Just a thought.