1. #1
    Hi Everyone,
    I'm Neil the kitchen fitter from Northamptonshire.
    I come from an electronics background many years ago but by a remarkable twist of fate, Went on a bike ride one night, Met a friend that was in to woodwork, bought a router the next day, made some furniture,
    got asked to make some kitchen doors, Before you know it I'm making kitchen doors all day long !
    I always used to make bespoke carcases but would get my standard sized carcases from a local firm.
    In 2011 I upgraded my panel saw, got a fully automatic edgebander and now make all my carcases
    Cutting and edging panels is very quick but dowel,shelf pegs and various other holes are time consuming.
    I just bought a homemade cnc router that can cut 4ft x 4ft but the design allows for longer materials
    which is great for tall larder units and wardrobes if done in two goes.
    The framework and gantry are welded up heavy gauge steel box section 25mm ball screws on x and y, 4nm stepper motors all round and came with a brand new kress spindle
    Slowly getting the hang of its workings but havent put any of my own g code through it yet.
    I'm currently on an evaluation version of CamBam and have a version of turbocad that exports dxf files
    but I am after any advice on the best software to use that factors in the cost and thickness of the user ha ha. It is only basic holes, slots and square cuts I need for now.

    As I am now completely obsessed by cnc routers, Is there any exhibitions ever for small scale enthusiasts or would it be part of a big woodworking exhibition ?

    Many thanks


  2. #2
    I found Vectric Cut2D very easy to use and ideal for your job, you can download a trial version; Vectric Ltd - Trial Software
    Your machine sounds quite robust and maybe the Kress spindle is it's weak spot ? I know your requirements as stated are quite basic but how many watts is the spindle motor.

    There's also this thread.

    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 14-01-2014 at 04:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Eddy's correct that the Kress will be or become the weak link with this machine. When your ready go with the 2.2Kw water cooled spindles you'll see on Ebay you can't go wrong with them and they will do this job all day long without any trouble.

    Regards Software then for the very simple things you want now then Cambam is fine and free so stick with it for now. Then at a later date when you have found your feet upgrade to some of the better software.
    Personally I wouldn't go with the Cut2D because it's quite limited and offers very little Cambam can't do and before long you'll out grow it and want software that can do 3D has well. The Good thing with Vectric software they do have a good upgrade policy and refund most or all of the cost I think if you upgrade.

    Another to look at and My prefered cheap starter option is Delcam's ArtCam express for 99. It can then be upgraded has you go along by purchasing Modules to bring it upto the same or similair spec has it's bigger brothers. Bonus being you only buy what you use or need so your not paying for features you don't use.!

    To be honest if your doing batch repeat work for same doors etc the you'll find that hand written G-code will work best and better still parametric G-code has this gives flexabilty by allowing re-sizing Etc inside the G-code with just a few edited lines.
    It's often far more efficient has many Cam packages are quite inefficient so can waste loads of time doing moves that need not happen or can be more direct, hand written code for simple things like Doors and drilling holes etc is much more efficient so saves overall Cycle times and speeds up the Job.

    At the moment this may sound daunting and advanced but bare it in mind has it's worth taking the time to learn G-code commands.! . . Even when just using Cam packages it's worth learning G-code language so you can see what's happening and in time Catch potential crashes etc thru YOUR mistakes while processing the Toolpath parameters.!!. . . . . It's very simple and not difficult to learn with very few commands.

    Do some search's on G-code and Parameteric G-code to see the differance.

    Hope this helps and Remember if you doubt the G-code at all the just cut AIR.!!!. . . .It's cheaper than MDF. . Lol
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 14-01-2014 at 05:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Thanks for your advice Eddy,
    The spindle is the 1050w version. The 2-3kw watercooled spindle is the most likely upgrade but I'll wait until later in the year to work out what
    specifications to go for. The reason I said that is the 2.2kw spindle will do
    everything I need it to but today I saw on ebay, the Blurry customs auto tool changing spindle, It looks the business but you wouldn't see any change out of 2500 with buying the extra tool holders etc. Oh and I'm now skint after buying the cnc so I can only dream of such wonderful
    goodies for a few months ha ha.

  5. #5
    Thanks for your advice too Jazz,
    I think I'll try the trial version of the Vectric software and look at the
    Artcam one as well. Have you seen Bobcad mill express before ?
    Yesterday me and my nephew managed to carve some letters out via
    the cambam program, which I was more than happy about

    So here's a question,
    Lets just say I've got to make 6 wall cupboards so will require 6 lefthand sides and 6 right handed sides.
    Each side has 18 x 5 mm holes (shelf pegs and hinge holes)
    plus 4 x 8mm holes (dowels)
    and 3 x 10mm holes (these are for the lugs on the adjustable wall hanger brackets)
    The material is melamine faced chipboard and requires clean holes cut.
    Would you do all the 5mm holes on all panels first, then tool change, put them all through again with an 8mm cutter then do the same with a 10mm or could you get away with one 5mm twin fluted cutter to drill out the shelf pegs then use the same cutter to plunge into the melamine and open up some more holes to 8mm and 10mm thus saving a load of time?
    Many thanks

  6. The latter if you get the feed rate right to get a clean edge, some experimentation on scrap needed...

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