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Thread: Old Newbie

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  1. #1
    I retired in 2018 😃 after working for a major British oil company for 39yrs, working at their research facility testing cars & motorbikes exhaust emissions, the vehicles being driven by robots in a very controlled facility. Having worked with very sophisticated (and expensive!) systems, I fully understand the challenges and frustrations of working with 'robotic' control. (Even the best systems rely on that variable that is human input - a dot instead of a comma leads to very unpredictable results 🤥!) .
    I love woodwork, (traditional and modern) and now want the challenge of building a CNC router, I will spend the next few weeks (months?) reading and gleaning information from this site before taking the plunge, so please be patient with what will be initially (and maybe always! ) stupid questions 🙄.

  2. #2
    Hi Angler, (guess you're into fishing ...Lol)

    Plenty of retired builders on here who have built some great machines with plenty of experience to share.
    Don't be afraid to ask what you think are dumb questions because we encourage it here as there is only one dumb question, yes the one you don't ask.!

    My advice straight away is to start a build thread, doesn't matter that you don't have any plans or designs yet, just set out what you would like to build, usage, size, budget, etc and take it from there.
    Ask ALL your questions in that thread rather than starting new threads asking questions on specific things, this way it saves you trawling back thru the forum in weeks or months time to find a suggestion or supplier someone may have suggested.

    The best advice at this moment is DONT buy anything, NOT even a bolt or nut. DO lots of research to get an idea of the style of machine you would like then get straight into designing it or better still just straight out copy someone else's machine or parts of a machine that you like, nobody here will mind. If we did or more to the point " I my self" did more than half the machines on here wouldn't exist.

    DON'T get bogged down with details like forces and FEA etc because the reality is that it's just not required at this level for a wood machine provided you don't build it out of spaghetti and use sensible materials.
    Do try to design it in CAD if you can and to highest detail, you can as it will save you time and will catch potential problems before the build starts, however, it's not required and you can still build a very nice machine using paper n pencil, but the key point being is to have a plan and don't design as you build as it always works out bad or at best takes much longer and costs a lot more because your constantly re-doing things.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 1 Day Ago at 08:34 AM.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  3. #3
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 464. Received thanks 62 times, giving thanks to others 11 times.
    Welcome to the forum.
    Questions are only stupid until you realise how important the answers are! Wow that was clever, I must try and remember that one!

    Edit: Dean replied while I was typing. Excelent advice as usual.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  4. #4
    Thank you for the advice Jazzcnc, my background pushes me to research and research before buying, always have done. Nice to know people won't get upset if you 'borrow' their ideas though. 👍

  5. #5
    Cheers Kitwin, guessing you're a philosopher 😄

  6. Hi Angler,
    I am also an engineer turned woodworker, hanging around here getting the info, courage and plans together for a workshop CNC. There is, I believe, a sweet spot for a self build solution for woodworkers at a reasonable costs (my target 2k-2.5k) if the right balance of size, components and design are selected. Close but not there yet. Will be interested to see what route you want to take through.....it always amazes me how different people's 'must have' lists are.

  7. #7
    Andrewg, been looking at this forum for a couple of days, a CNC Router has always been on my wish list.
    As to 'must have's' I am still formulating, but very aware that the end product very much drives this. It's all too easy for the engineering background in me to get drawn into building something with all the best, most accurate 'bits and widgets', that assuming it's built correctly, is great but then only used for base, DIY type work that only needs barn door tolerances.
    Looking forward to the challenge 😏

  8. #8
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 464. Received thanks 62 times, giving thanks to others 11 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angler58 View Post
    Cheers Kitwin, guessing you're a philosopher ��
    No, more of an idiot really.

    Kit
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  9. #9
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 464. Received thanks 62 times, giving thanks to others 11 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewg View Post
    Hi Angler,
    I am also an engineer turned woodworker, hanging around here getting the info, courage and plans together for a workshop CNC. There is, I believe, a sweet spot for a self build solution for woodworkers at a reasonable costs (my target 2k-2.5k) if the right balance of size, components and design are selected. Close but not there yet. Will be interested to see what route you want to take through.....it always amazes me how different people's 'must have' lists are.
    This forum tends very much towards the more highly engineered machines. Look elsewhere and you'll find plenty of people happily blogging about timber framed machines with angle-iron rails and skate-bearing carriages. IMHO for a woodworking machine the required tolerances really comes down to whether you want to make carved house name signs, bass-relief panels etc. or more complex structures where several parts must fit together accurately.
    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    This forum tends very much towards the more highly engineered machines. Look elsewhere and you'll find plenty of people happily blogging about timber framed machines with angle-iron rails and skate-bearing carriages. IMHO for a woodworking machine the required tolerances really comes down to whether you want to make carved house name signs, bass-relief panels etc. or more complex structures where several parts must fit together accurately.
    And how long you want it to do this for.???? . . . . DONT DO IT FOLKS.!!
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

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