How long have you owned a CNC machine?
I've owned my CNC machine for a little less than a year.
Is your current CNC machine a router, a mill or something else?
My current CNC machine is a router.
What was your first CNC machine?
My first CNC machine was the 1000mm Inventables X-Carve with a DeWalt 611 router.
What is your current CNC machine?
My current CNC machine is the 1000mm Inventables X-Carve with a DeWalt 611 router.
Do you treat your CNC work as a business or a hobby?
I treat my CNC work as a hobby right now but look forward to what the future holds.
How did you get started?
I've always been into making things, whether it be with wood or metal, so I guess getting a CNC machine was inevitable. I had been doing research on guitar making and came across several individuals who utilized CNC machines in their building process, from that moment, I was hooked! I couldn't get enough of it! I set out on an in depth search to find out what all could be done with a CNC machine. I definitely fell into the "Rabbit Hole" of the CNC world. After months of research on software, machines and process, I pulled the trigger on the X-Carve. I felt that it was the best option for me. Affordable, versatile and a great community of makers to go with it, especially being I had never done this before. Inventables really makes it easy for an "everyday" person to get their hands on this technology and be able to create some really cool stuff!
What is your favorite type of project or item to make using your CNC machine?
My favorite project is one that involves some thought process, some trial and error. I feel like CNC machines are frowned upon in a sense because its computer driven but a lot of thought and accuracy has to go into the things that are carved and finished. It's very rewarding when a carve comes out the way you imagined it and in some cases, even better than you imagined it.
What is your favorite type of material to machine?
My favorite type of material to mill right now are different types of hard wood. They are a little more forgiving than the softer woods. I've recently carved some aluminum, which can be a challenge but its really nice to work with as well.
What is your favorite style of end mill, the one you just can’t live without?
My favorite style of end mill would have to be the ball nose end mill for 3D finishing. I feel like those bits open up a world of possibilities and can take the CNC experience to the next level.
What type of project(s) are you working on currently?
I'm currently finishing up our first guitar prototype. I started designing it before I even owned the CNC machine. (Progress of that build can be found on our Instagram and Facebook page) I'm am doing some donation work for local schools in my town as well as working on some odd end ideas for future projects. Stay tuned!
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Research! Research! Research! Don't be afraid to reach out to fellow makers as well. From my experience, everyone is really cool and always willing to lend advice and help. The learning curve is a little intense, so don't be discouraged if you ruin some material or break some bits. It happens more then I'm sure anyone wants to admit.
What has been your biggest cnc related challenge?
My biggest CNC related challenge would have to be the learning curve of the 3D aspect of the machine. I knew the capabilities of my machine but didn't quite know how to unlock them. After I got some what comfortable with carving and setting up material, I set out to find anything and everything I could on 3D carving. It was definitely worth it!
How many hours a week would you estimate you run your machine?
Estimated weekly run time would be around 10-14 hours a week.
What was your most epic fail or biggest mistake made on your machine or a project involving it?
Oh there is so many! Most epic fail would have to be the time I was not paying attention to the materials Z depth and literally carved two big holes out of my waste board, all the way through.. But like i stated earlier, mistakes happen all the time, you just have to move on.
Any plans or goals for the future concerning your work or equipment?
I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself with designing and carving and utilizing other "specialty" tools with my CNC projects. I'm in talks with other small makers on a few collaborative projects as well, which should be pretty exciting. Also excited to move forward with the guitar making. That was my first intention when purchasing the machine. But for right now, I'm treating this as a hobby and taking any opportunity that comes up.
Here are a few examples of the great work from 1881 Woodworks.
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