View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Please allow me to introduce myself....

25-08-2010, 05:36 AM
Hello from Sunny Southern Germany!

Let's see, my name is Cab and I live in "Motor City" (Stuttgart) just across the river from Mercedes-Benz and just across town from Porsche. I'm an American, originally from Idaho, but I've been living here for a bit over forty years now (yep, I'm that old... ;-). I spent fourteen years working for the US Army here as a (civilian) Arts and Crafts Instructor. When computers came along in the late seventies I got stuck into that and eventually became a specialist for Macintosh computers, which is what I've earned a living with right up to today. When I'm not out saving the world from server crashes and erroneously erased documents I like to build things, especially guitars and other musical instruments (you can see some of my work here: www.fearn.de). I've had a Heiz High-Z S-1000 gantry machine for about four years now with which I'm pretty happy. At the moment I'm trying to learn a bit more about the finer points of getting my setup right, especially in Mach3.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to being here!


25-08-2010, 09:32 AM
Hi Cab and welcome to the site. Sounds like your a bit of an 'old hand' at CNCing :lol: Four years is how long it takes some of our members to build their machines let alone use them :lol:

Lee Roberts
25-08-2010, 12:40 PM
Hey Cab, welcome to the site! Was nice reading your intro (intriguing), i look forward to seeing what you get up to.

Four years is how long it takes some of our members to build their machines let alone use them :lol:

Whatever, i'm hoping to have it done for christmas...SO...SO...:tongue:

25-08-2010, 02:22 PM
Thank you very much for the warm and friendly welcome! At the moment I'm busy reading through everything you've got on getting the Mach3 setup right (I'm hoping to be done by Christmas as well :lol:).

I noticed you were asking people to post photos. I have a whole thread with lots of photos over in the Telecaster Guitar Forum that might of interest to your readers. They run a guitar building challenge every year which you have to document as you go. I took second place in two categories with mine which involved quite a bit of CNC work. Should anyone be interested they can see it here:


Back to work here!

25-08-2010, 03:04 PM
How do Cab.

Velcome to the mad house...plenty of cabs in London you know. :wink:

Lee Roberts
25-08-2010, 07:22 PM
Hi Cab,

Thanks for the link, well done with coming second place in both categories!!

The only problem with the link is we have to register to view the images, not a problem but people will tend not to. You should have access to your own Album section (http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/album.php) here on the forum, so if you like you could add the images to it and then copy the code over to your posts as and when you need to use them.


25-08-2010, 08:04 PM
Hi Cab,
You have some beautiful guitars over at http://www.fearn.de/, I would love to make something like that one day!
I just started out trying to make a telecaster. After 4 attempts I finally got a reasonable tele neck out of my homemade router. Somewhere along the line I must have flipped something , as it came out left handed! No problem though this is just a test one made from pine (I haven't risked any maple yet).

Just glued up an ash body blank today, I'll have to test the tool paths in MDF first (my last attempt came out 3/4 sized!).


26-08-2010, 05:38 AM
Lee: Ooooops! I forgot that you have to sign up on the Telecaster Forum to see the pictures! It is free and very quick to sign up for though (and they won't send you any email!). The thread covers building the guitar in some detail withs lots of pictures, so maybe a few people might be interested enough to have a look anyway.


26-08-2010, 07:31 PM
Hi Nathan,

Thanks for the compliments! Your neck looks pretty decent there as well. Have you checked out the Telecaster Forum yet? (www.tdpri.com) They have a lot of good info on building Telecasters over there (and did I mention you can check out the thread on my Telecaster build for their contest? Oh, I did, didn't I... :wink:)

"(my last attempt came out 3/4 sized!)."

I've done that too, but without the aid of CNC. The first time I printed a Telecaster body pattern with a laser printer I didn't notice the button that said "Print full size". It came out just enough smaller to not be noticeable until I'd cut out three or four bodies using it and started putting them together...

Question, have you found any kind of bit that doesn't get dull instantly when cutting MDF? I've tried everything I could find from cheap hardware store wood bits to very expensive industrial metal bits without much luck.

I look forward to hearing more about your Telecaster project. If I can be of help in any way, please let me know.


02-09-2010, 01:54 PM
Thanks Cab,
Sorry I have no idea what the best bit is for MDF, I am a novice at this. I haven't cut much of it - but when I did used 2 fluted carbide end-mills. I think mine must be dull already as they seem to lift the very top surface skin of the MDF rather than cut it - or maybe a down-cutting bit would be tidier. The problem with my machine is that because it is home-made from MDF it is pretty flexible. Although it can move reasonably fast, itts flexibility limits the feed rate I can use in practice. So the feed rate is usually too slow for the spindle rotation speed - and the extra friction risks burning the MDF / dulling the bits.

Maybe speeding up the feedrate or slowing down your spindle speed on your router would extend the tool life? Some of the router cutter manufacturers have optimal speed/feed-rate charts for the bits they sell.

30-09-2010, 01:22 PM
Hi Cab,

Had a good crawl over the TDPRI challenge thread and am massively impressed by the project photos/workmanship (and the time you took to record everything too). However, I wonder if you would like to expand a little on your final comment - "Actually the CNC router is slower than I am, it's just more accurate with less stress" - Are you refering to fine detail work such as the inlays, or basic wood removal/pocketing etc?

I'm considering the same model router (or possibly the T variant) for machining similar sized workpieces (although sadly not guitars) and am a bit concerned it might be a little slow hogging out from the initial wood blank.

Be interested in your views.



30-09-2010, 03:21 PM
Hi Davem,

Thank you very much for the kind words.

As far as speed goes I was referring to the whole process. Since most of my work is non-repetitive the planning and machine setup time is a major factor. Inlays are especially tedious as every piece of pearl is different and has to be lined up and clamped differently than the last one.

The High-Z is generally pretty good, especially since I finally sat down and took the time to work on the setup two weeks ago :whistling:. Among other things I discovered that the company now lists it as capable of 2000 mm/min (used to be 1000) and mine seems to get along fine with that. I also increased the acceleration quite a bit and it seems to accept that as well. After that I set up a PC that I had sitting around without optimizing it for Mach3 to see if it would work. It did. Doing that allowed me to put it in the network so I could transfer the cutting files from my office machine directly to it. I'd turned everything Mach3 didn't need off on the other PC and been using "sneaker net" to do it with a USB stick, which was not nearly as much fun.

If I knew what I know now I would have gotten the T model myself. In addition to the higher speeds it also has less play. Mine has something like 0,0135mm on the X axis. According to what I've heard the recirculating ball drives should eliminate that.

Another thing I can heartily recommend is the Shuttle Pro2 USB controller. I picked one up on ebay for around 70, as I recall, and it works a treat.

Hope that helps.