Shed decoration

Stu-1

Stu-2

It was a bit of a hard slog to get this project across the line in time in the end, but the project was completed (at least to this standard), photos taken, and a 3400 word article submitted for the next edition of The Shed magazine.

I didn’t try rushing a finish – it will pop even more when I do, but I think it looks pretty good as it is!  This one is destined for the shed.  I’ll add some guns to it (the Sopwith Camel had Vickers machine guns), and hang it in a banking turn, probably dog fighting a pteranodon or similar.

Pleased how it came out – a solid nod towards the original aircraft (with a wooden toy emphasis), down to the 9 cylinder Clerget 9B rotary engine.

Update – just to clarify, as there has been a bit of confusion out there it turns out….this is very much my own design, it has not been made from someone else’s plans.  It was primarily made on a bandsaw – the CNC helped with the motor obviously, but this is something you can definitely make with standard woodworking machines.

The full article, and my plans will be available in the next edition of “The Shed”

Sums it up!

The Multimaterial Dragon

From the recent video, here are a couple of images of the dragon, cut from acrylic, aluminium, corian, carbon fibre, brass, copper, MDF, ply and melamine (and the assembled dragon is acrylic and aluminium).

colour dragon02 dragonheadDesign from MakeCNC.com

Just been to the aluminium merchants, and picked up another $600 worth of aluminium sheet, from 1.5mm to 6mm thickness for some upcoming projects.

Corian

Been looking at a few different materials as part of this exercise on routing (CNC) a range of alternate materials and surfaces.  Had a closer look at Corian today, and while I was generally aware of the term, and the look/feel of kitchen benches made of the stuff, I didn’t actually know much more about it.  While this is unlikely to be news to everyone, a bit more information about what this product is may be quite interesting.  Not sure how I missed knowing more about it until now, but there you have it – can’t know everything!

Turns out it is around 50-50 polymethyl methacrylate with aluminum trihydroxide filler.  To put that in more common terms, it is around 50% acrylic polymer, and 50% alumina trihydrate, which is a product derived from bauxite.  Bauxite, as you may well know, is the raw material that is processed into aluminium.

Makes a lot more sense to me now why some people have been using it to make pens on the lathe!  Probably makes a bloody good pen if the truth be known, look, feel, finish and weight.

While it can be thermoformed into various shapes, it can also be machined relatively easily as well.  So I will be rather interested to see how it goes on the CNC, both in shaping, even 3D work, and engraving.  A number of router bits in my CNC collection are rated to handle solid surface materials, including the 3D cutters.  Think it will look rather interesting, and opens the door to combining it as another material in a mixed material project.  Especially given its machinability.

Owl’s Life

Bit of a test day today (isn’t every day?!)  Wanted to see how some new bits from Tools Today would go with the nested projects I have been working on recently.  Today’s test was on a scary looking bit – but not scary because it was big and mean looking – quite the opposite.

This bit is super fine, and a whole 1/16″ (1.6mm) diameter solid carbide cutting tip.  It looks way too fine and fragile to use, let alone in a CNC router!  However, I wanted to see if it could work, as it is currently the largest bit that I have that will cut 3mm MDF and not create oversized, and therefore sloppy joints.  This bit in question is the 45190 Amana Tool straight cutter – 2 flute, and is not up/down or compression.

Thought it would break in a heartbeat, but hoped not.  Even so, I slowed the feed speed down to 50mm/sec.

The result?  Not only did it survive perfectly well, it cut really cleanly, and did not have a tendency to try to lift or move the MDF around, even when the distances between components was at a minimum.

I’ll get more detailed views (and video) of the bit in action at another time.  What I was left with after my testing was this fellow.  The bit performed admirably – I’m sure they have a reasonably high attrition rate, but so far there have been no dramas, or casualties.

Owl-1

Owl-2Cool little guy, and probably not far off life size!  Still I might try him in 6mm MDF next!

Work in Progress

While I wanted to wait until the project was complete before showing it, I have just finished a mammoth step, so decided to share the progress.

Starting with a slab of American Walnut

DSC05827It has been resawn into two pieces, and joined together to create a slab of the required width

Then, after 24 hours of solid routing on the Torque CNC

DSC05838And a quick initial application of Danish Oil (as much to find where I need to do additional sanding), the result is starting to show some promise. (The gauges are only to test fit, they will not join the project until it is pretty much complete).  The top station (the celtic design within a circle) is not just decoration, it will also be a clock.  The gauges are all high quality German-made ones I bought from Carbatec.

DSC05849Exhausted getting this far, and I still have to have it finished by Sunday!!  And tomorrow is a day away from the shed :(

Big push at the end coming – how unusual………

A logical conclusion

Using the same steps discussed in the last entry, I have taken a vector drawing of a Celtic Cross (created by “CarveOne” on the Vectric Forum), and produced a 3d rendering of the design.

This is the first time I have really tried using multiple paths on the same object.

The first pass was a roughing pass – used to remove as much of the unwanted timber as possible with a strong router bit, and higher feed rates to perform the task quickly.

DSC05816For this I used the 46294 3D carving bit from Toolstoday.com  It has a Zirconium Nitride (ZrN) ceramic coating, so this bit is also appropriate for routing in aluminium, brass, copper, cast iron and titanium alloy.  It makes very short work of the camphor laurel!

DSC05818There wasn’t a lot of material that needed to be removed, but it is still a worthwhile step to minimise any unnecessary load on the finishing step (and router bit).

DSC05820The final design was then carved using the 46282 3D carving bit.  This has a 1/16″ diameter tip, so can really get into the details.  Even so, there is a bit that is even finer, if even more detail is required (with a 1/32″ round nose tip).

I was using these at around 80mm/sec.

Once the design was cut, I swapped over to a solid carbide 1/8″ upcut bit to first cut around where the gaps were meant to be inside the design, and then to cut around the outside, down to about 12mm deep.

DSC05822For a sense of scale, the cross is about 300mm high, and 200mm wide.  Straight off the router bits, there is no need for sanding where the carving bits have been.  There is a bit of feathering on the outside of the cut out, but that is both a function of the timber, and insufficient router bit speed.

I deliberately didn’t cut all the way through the timber, so there was no need for tabs to hold the cut pieces in place.

To release the cross from the surrounding material, I turned the whole thing over, then ran a basic flattening profile on the back, taking off 2mm at a time with a surfacing cutter – using the RC2248 replaceable tip cutter.

DSC05825

Once this cut down to the required depth, the cross was released.

Each project presents different challenges, so I get to know more and more about how to use the CNC router effectively, and how to incorporate it as another workshop tool.

I had a look back at some tests I did on the CNC Shark using 3D carving bits – the finish I am achieving here is chalk and cheese compared to my early experiments.  I don’t know if I can attribute it all to the platform, but having such a solid, heavy duty CNC router certainly is not harming the finish that I can now produce!

 

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